Questions Regarding Tournament Manager (Alternative display types)

Good Morning Forum,

OK so this is sort of an odd question, but we want to know if anyone has experience with alternative displays for tournament manager or know of some sort of API that can communicate with a tournament manager server and extract data from it in real time.

We would like to create some custom displays that are able to poll the tournament manager server. Here are a few examples of what we would like to do:

1. We have some laser galvanometers (for laser light shows) that we would like to use to create a match timer clock that is shown on the wall behind the bleachers for the VEX drivers to see.

2. Use the laser galvanometer to show a “now serving” queue number on a distant wall.

3. Create a “now serving” display with standard TV or projector with just 1 big readable number that shows the match number for teams to know when they should be going to the queue line.

4. Use the gym’s score board to show the current match number/game clock.

We think these sorts of things would greatly improve our tournaments and provide flexibility and better passive communication.

We have the know how to display the data we would potentially get, but no way to actively communicate with the server.

Has anyone seen this at a tournament and knows who to talk to about it?

Are there any TM devs here that have seen this or are willing to help us out?

We have only done normal VGA/HDMI displays on projectors and now TV screens. Much cheaper for TV’s and rolling displays (about $60-$70 each, a reasonably big TV can be had on sale for about $250 so now cheaper than projector plus PC costs).

Laser displays would be really cool though!

TM does not have multiple audience and pit display items so you would have to do the web server and code a bunch of stuff to get these “now serving” values of the match numbers to queue next. Nice new display type to request - a “field match queue” display. With the Pi covering field times and audience displays, why not have a queue next match, 2nd match, and even up to 4 deep per field. That would be cool at really large tournaments. You go to your spot in the queue. However, would the queue areas be dynamic and move up or be a set of fixed queue spots?

Here is some code I found that seems to hook into the web server. Start from there…

We currently have that exact stand with 49" tvs on them. I can confirm they are awesome.

They have a power strip on the back with a pi, all we do is plug them in and they’re ready to go.

that looks promising, thanks!

Your only real hope is, as @Team80_Giraffes said, data-scraping the web server.

If you want anything else, you’ll have to dedicate a computer to running a script that automatically uses the appropriate export-to-CSV options in the TM interface.

Not recommended but theoretically possible: monitor and (figure out how to) interpret the TM network packets.

@TheColdedge Have you had any luck with this? I’m guessing the web server doesn’t provide any of the information you actually need?

No luck. The software guy doesn’t think it will give him the info he needs.

Ideally we could get the same API that the displays use inside TM.

Realistically, I don’t think we’ll ever be given that kind of access to the inner workings of TM.
And trying to reverse-engineer the protocol would be difficult, and legally questionable.

I’d be pleased if they gave other options for displays aside from hdmi output.

If you’re really that determined to get access to more data without packet sniffing or other questionable techniques, set up software to optically interpret the built-in displays (essentially a more sophisticated version of OCR).

Ohhh, that just sounds painful.

I didn’t say it wouldn’t be. I’ve thought about ways to get data out of TM for quite a while now, and I haven’t been able to come up with a good solution.

Now that I’m actively thinking about the topic again, though, you could always read the database file TM uses. As far as I know, that file is updated in realtime throughout the tournament. Just be especially careful not to write any data to that file.

What is restricted to HDMI? I tested a Raspberry Pi display with an HDMI to VGA adapter and the composite output, both worked fine. I think I had to edit the config file to get composite to work.

I had eight rPis this past event - four were stock configurations, four were custom outputs (two viewsonic field displays did not have hdmi and two infocus projectors) All ran well.

The TM DB file is for a SQLite DB file right? What would you use to open and look through it?

Search for a database explorer program on Google

This looks like a good option

When I glanced at the traffic leaving my machine, I saw a packet going to “” Haven’t spent that much time on it though. I would assume that I would be seeing different traffic leaving the machine if there was a live competition going on.

VEX Via packets go through DWAB’s website. What you likely saw was a clock synchronization packet (if offline, it prompts you to double-check the time)

So assuming we have access to the DB Files, is there anything preventing being able to setup something to strictly pull from that DB, and not write to it? I may experiment with this when I get home today.

I don’t think so. I believe I’ve successfully opened up TM databases in the past, without any issues with file ownership/permissions/etc.

If you try to access a tournament file (even if you’re not modifying anything) while it’s in use by TM (such as during an event), you WILL cause problems. You’ve been warned.