Phone System Update
The programmer expects the predictions to be working as intended some time next week. At that stage it would be fully working, but I’ll need to do a lot of testing and there may be some bugs or changes. So the current estimate for it to be available to players is somewhere around 2-3 weeks from now.
In any case, the device is never used in view or openly at the wheel. It is always hidden somewhere like a pocket. The first release will not be legal to use in about half of casinos. You need to check legalities regarding electronic prediction devices in your casino. If you need advice on this, contact me and I’ll explain how to approach your local government to ask for free. You may as well do this research while waiting.
The second release will be legal to use in all casinos, because you wont actually use it at the table. You’ll need to write data down, exit the casino to enter the data in your phone, get the betting charts and go back into the casino. It’s a bit of extra work if you do it this way, but you’ll still be able to get a full analysis in a fraction of the time, when compared to the current software version.
Hybrid Connection Upgrade
I’ve researched more about available options for upgrading the Hybrid connection. With a distance of 15,000km to the server, the current connection can support about 4 users at a time, unless they are connected remotely to the server terminal, in which case it would be 1-2 simultaneous users. I originally thought it was more but more testing revealed limitations.
· I’ve tested more of 4G networks but need to travel to get access. It will cost me about $20 per hour of video per user. It will work if the connection from inside the casino is good. It’s not a cheap option but still viable. But it’s not convenient for me in many cases.
· It is impossible to get any connection to my residence other than ADSL2. But I can get a second or third connection. This is the most convenient option for me.
· Another option is I rent a house with NBN or cable connection, which will give around 100mbps down and 30mbps up. This would be ok but it’s $200/week rental plus around $100/month for the connection. But it’s then about 3 hours drive to the server. But it’s convenient when using multiple operators.
· Another option is server colocation services. This has 300 megabit up and down, and about 170ms ping to the other side of the world. But a suitable data center is a long drive for me. And it is messy with security for multiple operators.
· Another option is office lease with cable or NBN internet. I’m still considering this but there is nothing close to me with good internet. It would also be a good option for multiple operators.
For now as long as players inform me when they intend to use the server, I can manage the connection used so it’s adequate. In any case, the video should be started about 5 seconds earlier than usual. This is because internet connections use a "slow start" algorithm where the data first sent is minor to see how much data the connection can handle (to prevent packet flooding). Then the data rate speeds up to meet the connection speed. So a connection may start at 50kb/sec, but may increase to 600kb/sec after about 5 seconds. This is not the delay. It’s just the time taken for video transmission to be fast and reliable enough.
The latency is 300ms with a fair connection, and the video buffering can be 1 second in most cases. So if the Hybrid can get a prediction in 1 second after ball release, with a 15,000km distance it will be 2.3 seconds instead. It’s easily early enough for most wheels. Besides in most cases, the target would be to get prediction after about 5 seconds, depending on when no more bets is called.
Availability of operators & training
I need to train operators, who will eventually be able to manage several teams at once. Basically the operator can switch between tabs in the software to switch between teams. It is overkill but good to have the ability if only one operator is available. I’ll be contacting the operators soon to organize training.