How to define a Competition in TP

Assuming the code is installed.

 To startup the TP program click on the icon 

  You will get the initial welcome front-end

One has to click on the ....  Click here....  button to start.
If you click anywhere else the code will close down and exit

Next the main window gets displayed.
If a task has been set to be preloaded, the top window caption will show which task directory is used.

Lets assume you start from scratch and you want to define a competition.

Click on Setup / Comp / Create to define a Competition

 If you got an existing competition, you can use Create to also Modify it.
 Define the general competition values which will get stored and saved  in the TP.ini file which will be located where the TP.exe file is.
Probably C:\program Files\tpgps\tp.ini.
And it creates a comp_id.ini file under the  inifiles directory. Using the competition name as comp_id.

When TP starts up, it reads the TP.ini file.

In this case, a competition called PC92BB is stored under C:\comps\PC92BB\


Never share the Local Working Directory !!!

The competition name can be max 6 characters long. This value gets stored along with the pilot number in the various GPS devices.
The comp_id gets uploaded into some GPS devices. The 6 character restriction is due to  some  GPS (GARMIN 12) do only allow a 6 character long  identification field.

The shared and working directories get created with an mkdir in case they do not exist.

If you intend to feed the pilot scores to RACE, enable Use RACE and then decide if you plan to use  a direct MS Access into the RACE database or  create the RACE  Bulk XML interface file format . XML is recommended route. With XML you create files which can be rerun / reloaded  into RACE in case there is a !@#$ in RACE. Using the direct route, and something goes wrong later which corrupts RACE, will require that you rescore everyone again in TP.
While if you used the XML route, you just re-import the XML files. A direct RACE db update can also result in a hung and locked database.
So,... use the XML file route, please.

And if you use the RACE XML ( or direct db ) route, then  fill in the path to the RACE database directory.
And in the field below , enter the mdb database file name for  the RACE competition. The code does not check if the entries are valid. Get it right.
You require this info to create a cross reference file  ( pilnrid.csv)  that matches the pilot number with the internal RACE ids.

Single Computer Setup

If you only use one PC, then your local working directory and the shared competition directory can be the same.

  Network, Client Server Setup

 The recommended way for a competition scoring more than 30 pilots is the network approach.  Unless you got a USB Serial bank and a powerfull computer.
Make one computer, probably the one with the most disk space, and best processor, least Virus infected and most stable, who got RACE installed, and the best backup facilities ( like a CD writer) the  Server. and then have a hub and some cables and connect any sorts of WINxx computers onto that network as clients.
Each client must have a copy of TP installed. Do not use the tp.exe from a shared drive. TP.exe uses the tp.ini file which is located where the tp.exe file is stored. Tp.ini defines individual, for each computer unique, values. Like the serial comport to be used. Only if all clients are identical and can use exactly the same tp.ini values one can share the tp.exe and tp.ini.

In a  network setup one computer will act as a server. The Server will host the master competition directory, also called the shared competition directory as a shared directory on the network.
On each machine, client or server, this shared competition directory is defined as the TP_COMP_DIRECTORY in the TP.ini file

  The client PC's or Laptops have to map the drive from the server, and in their TP.ini file TP_COMP_DIRECTORY point to it.

Every computer also needs  a local TP_WORK_DIRECTORY defined to be used for initial downloads, before a pilotnumber is allocated to the files.

Also each machine/client needs a unique TP.ini file for defining the serial com ports which are used.

To sum it up , each computer needs on its local harddrive a tp.exe, tp.ini,  and a local working directory.

Shared Competition Directory

Using SETUP/COMP/CREATE ( which can also be used to modify an already defined competition) one defines the Shared Competition Directory .
The shared competition directory will hold the COMP.ini file which defines the default task to be loaded.
 And the TASKxx subdirectories will each have a TASK.ini file that defines the parameters for a days task.

Enable read write for everyone in a comp directory, all the sub directories and all the files.

 Using another previous defined comp
One can switch between different comps.
Use SETUP/LOAD/COMP and choose any of the .ini files which will then replace the tp.ini file with that whatever.ini file.
The .ini files are located in the inifiles directory where TP.exe is installed.
If you modify a TP.ini file, also make sure to modify the comp_id.ini file, if you want this to be a permanent change.

TP is not fully upward compatible. One can not expect that TP 4.11 can read files created with TP4.10 or TP.4.9
There will always be small changes which will make it necessary to modify, adapt some of the ini files by hand to read an old competition.

The main csv file format  for tracks and task turnpoints will stay the same within a TP 4.x range..
The  ini file will have different parameters and some file names will change.

Competitions tend to be a once off event. No one is interested in certain track logs after one year.
Important are the final RACE results and mdb files. The RACE results one has to keep for some years for national ranking.

With the main competition parameters defined we now  have to create an official turnpoint file  and  define a Task in TP

Or back to the main  Index for TP Code