# Tennis Warehouse: Zepp Tennis Sensor Playtest

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TW Staff, Feb 3, 2014.

1. ### julianHall of Fame

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Angle of incidence

An angle of incidence is changing power numbers for sensors.

2. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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Swing weight is how "heavy" a racket feels when you swing it. The heavier it feels (top-heavy) the more force the player needs to accelerate it. A top heavy racket will need more force to swing it.

While we are at it, twistweight and recoilweight also need to be taken into consideration. Obviously, this can't be done, so we have to be content with the weight of the racket as parameter.

3. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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BTW: I think Babolat got it right, having their sensor integrated in one model only, this avoids the equipment problem...

4. ### julianHall of Fame

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A sensor could be sensitive to a incoming ball speed

Basically the momentum preservation equation shows that the final
speed of a ball (a power number) depends on two components:
1. a speed of an incoming ball
plus
2. a component proportional to a difference of a final speed of a racket and
an initial speed of a racket

Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
5. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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This does not take into consideration the spin on the ball. Nadal hits with a lot of power, but his heavy topspin is slower than a flat hitter.

We also have to take in consideration the energy loss at impact. This is referred to as the coefficient of restitution (COR). COR is typically 0.88 for a collision between racket and ball. This energy loss means speed loss after the collision. The speed of the racket prior to the collision and after the collision (it will have slowed down) includes an energy loss (COR) of the racket transferred to the ball.

Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
6. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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Not to mention the role of the strings and the string tension.

To summarize: Heck of a lot of parameters, which gets one thinking on how accurate the software for the sensor is, since lots of parameters are not configurable by the player...

7. ### julianHall of Fame

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Serve in Dubai vs serve in Lugano

Why power numbers for your serve in Dubai are much better then corresponding numbers in Switzerland?
Is it because of different mechanics or different temperature?

Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
8. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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Still the same old serve...

Also: There are no clay courts in California as far as I know. Wonder if Zepp ever tested the sensor on clay? I have posed the question to Zepp support...

9. ### SparkySemi-Pro

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Just an FYI, I've played on the clay courts @ the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort. They have 3 clay and 2 grass courts. They're around in Cali.

It's a great place to stay for the Indian Wells.

10. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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Got a software update from Zepp, and now the results are practically identical! The measurements make sense.

clay court
forehand: max 60 ave 45
backhand: max 71 ave 44
serve: max 74 ave 62

hard court
forehand: max 58 ave 43
backhand: max 70 ave 42
serve: max 70 ave 62

Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
11. ### julianHall of Fame

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Numbers for serve are very good

Numbers for serve are very good.
I hope we will get some data from Chris Edwards (for serve)

12. ### ShroudHall of Fame

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Totally agree!! Though it creates another equipment problem....

Even if I dug the pure drive what would happen when I added 100g to the frame to get it play OK? Wouldnt that throw off the whole thing anyhow??

13. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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Well, you wouldn't add 100g, but might just customize it with lead, changing the swingweight. So, you would have to keep it standard.

Of course, we do not know what percentage of the power graph is affected by the equipment.

14. ### julianHall of Fame

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Is it possible to use tips from John to improve your power numbers
for serve

15. ### julianHall of Fame

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How to improve power numbers for forehand?

See www.tennisunleashed.net/fssc3
It will allow to speed up a vertical component of a racket head speed

Last edited: Mar 7, 2014

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17. ### ShroudHall of Fame

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I DO add 100g to my racket, playing with a 430g racket. It will be interesting if I get the zepp to see power numbers. I am guessing the 100g will throw off the readings.

18. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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Wow, that's a lot of added weight! Just like the old wooden rackets! Any particular reason for so much weight?

19. ### ShroudHall of Fame

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It makes the racket feel much more solid and stable. Mostly a reaction to my 1st case of tennis elbow in 20 years. I was using a stock racket and is the first time I hadnt added some lead. Playing 4 times in one week (after not playing in years), doing a spray painting project that week and kevlar at the max range. A perfect storm of stupidity really.

Add 18g of lead in the hoop to the shocktape grip which is around 80g plus some og and viola. If I had this weight earlier I doubt I would have gotten TE.

I actually play better with the weighted racket. If you have a solid contact everytime it really helps the confidence. With the shocktape even framed shot are bearable and often good.

And all the light modern rackets I tried were just "hollow" feeling and unstable. Long story but I was using a slightly heavier prince (16.25 oz) and my hitting partner let me try his prestige pro or something like that. I really liked the light maneuverable frame and hit 2 brilliant backhand service returns with it. But everyone of those shots felt like crap! Like i was playing with a flimsy toy. Gave it back after those 2 shots.

ANyhow I should be getting the Zepp to see. I will share power numbers and can try using in a stock, and non stock racket to see what difference the 100g makes.

Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
20. ### gzhpcuProfessional

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That should be interesting...

21. ### PTR COACHNew User

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Ok thanks a lot.

22. ### PTR COACHNew User

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Best regards.

23. ### Team10Hall of Fame

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Hey TW, any progress reports/updates? It's been a while, just wondering. Thanks.

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Team10,

Sorry I don't have better news, but nothing to update at this time. Hopefully we will here some sort of update next week.

Brittany, TW

25. ### Team10Hall of Fame

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Ah okay, thanks Brittany. Looking forward to that update, but no rush.

26. ### julianHall of Fame

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Testing

Is testing still planned?

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julian,

We will still have a Talk Tennis Zepp playtest. We were waiting for the update and are in contact with them now to finalize the playtest details.

Brittany, TW

28. ### jayserinos99Hall of Fame

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Hi TW Staff, I just received the Zepp sensor today and I'm currently downloading their app from the App Store. Are there any other details regarding this playtest?

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Your playtest samples have been shipped!

jayserinos99,
Please refer to the email just sent regarding the playtest as well as the original post for the review questions.

Thanks,
TW Staff

** Post review by Wednesday June 25 **
Tennis experience/background:
Describe your playing style (e.g., baseliner w/heavy spin, serve & volley, etc.,):
Current racquet/string:
Which mount did you use? Was the device easy to attach to the racquet?
Given its weight along w/location on the racquet, was it a hindrance?
How easy was it to upload, view and understand the data on the app?
What did you like about the app?
What did you dislike about the app?

Last edited: May 28, 2014
30. ### scotusLegend

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***********

Last edited: May 28, 2014
31. ### scotusLegend

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TW Staff,

How about extending the review deadline by a week or two, given the lengthy delay in shipping from the manufacturer and the inevitable summer vacations coming up?

32. ### jayserinos99Hall of Fame

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I was trying to calibrate the device using my iPhone and I found a typo: "Device is conntecting..." within the app.

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Hi Scotus,

Given the lengthy delay, we asked playtesters to reconfirm their availability a few days ago. However, if you need an extra week, please email discussadmin@tennis-warehouse.com. We will handle deadline extensions on a case by case basis.

Thanks,
TW Staff

Last edited: May 28, 2014
34. ### mad dog1Hall of Fame

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Actual weights of Zepp Tennis sensor + mount

I received the Zepp Tennis Sensor today. For anyone interested in the amount of weight the Zepp adds to the end of the handle, I thought it would be useful to share the weight of the Zepp sensor components:

1. Zepp sensor: 8g

A. Pro mount: 4g
B. Flex mount: 13g

therefore, if the Pro mount is used to hold the Zepp sensor (configuration 1A), the total weight added to the end of the butt cap is 12g or 0.4 oz which is the equivalent of 48" of 1/4" lead tape.

if the Flex mount is used to hold the Zepp sensor (configuration 1B), the total weight added to the end of the butt cap is 21g or 0.74 oz which is the equivalent of 84" of 1/4" lead tape.

Last edited: May 28, 2014
35. ### jayserinos99Hall of Fame

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Wow, that's crazy. I just got back from hitting with the Zepp (flex mount) and my normal APD spec is 11.8oz, 6pt HL, 320sw and with the Zepp it felt a whole lot more HL and my swings were coming through too fast and with too much spin.

As for the hitting session, I don't understand the unit measurements for power, is it miles/hour? Also, I don't know how it tracks groundstrokes v. volleys; tonight on my forehand it said I hit 59% slice, 40% topspin. Now I know that can't be correct since I hit primarily topspin fh's so it has to be that it's not making a distinction between groundstrokes and volleys. What's even more confusing is that for my backhand it shows 38% slice and 62% topspin and it really should be reversed. I'm thinking that because I'm lefty when it says backhand it really should be forehand and vice versa. It's just odd because I got to calibrate the sensor just fine and also did the setup stating that I was lefty and it just seems that the sensor thinks I'm righty.

Lastly, Is there some way to do a data dump from the app itself? It'd be interesting if there was a way to break down each individual shot.

36. ### mad dog1Hall of Fame

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mad dog1's Zepp Tennis Sensor Playtest

Tennis experience/background:
Played on the high school tennis team. Work and life after college got in the way of tennis. Only got back into tennis about 4.5 years ago. I don't play USTA so I do not have a rating however one of my hitting partners has had good success playing 4.0-4.5 USTA and during this time, I've gone from losing to him by scores of 6-0, 6-1 to now being able to regularly win tiebreakers to 10 and winning 4 to 6 games off him in set play. Another hitting partner is a USTA 3.5 and in practice tie breakers to 10, I usually win handily and when I've lost on a few occasions, the scores are very tight. My match play isn't as good as it can be because I have a torn RC so I have to moderate my serving.

Describe your playing style (e.g., baseliner w/heavy spin, serve & volley, etc.,):
I primarily play singles and am predominantly a baseliner w/ good pace and moderate spin.

Current racquet/string:
Racquet 1: Yonex RD Ti 80 Lite (modded w/ lead) strung with Discho Iontec 1.25 @ 47/44# on an electronic CP machine
Racquet 2: Babolat APD 2013 (modded w/ lead) strung with Discho Iontec 1.25 @ 43# on an electronic CP machine

Which mount did you use? Was the device easy to attach to the racquet?
I test-fitted the silicone Flex mount and did some dry swinging while the Zepp sensor was being charged and I can already tell this Flex mount is going to be uncomfortable for me as it's a sleeve that slips over the buttcap flare. I grip the handle at the bottom on the flared portion but my hand does not hang off the buttcap. I experimented transistioning between my semi-western fh grip to my eastern 1hbh grip and I can feel the edges of the Flex mount catching on my hand. Over the course of 2-3 hour hitting session, this irritation will likely cause blistering.

Also a factor is the weight. With the Flex mount, the entire contraption weighs 21 grams or 0.74 oz. I haven't tried the Pro mount yet, but I can already see how this will be the preferred mount for me since the Pro mount is a lower profile nylon mount that adheres to the buttcap via double stick foam tape so it does not change the feel of the handle. the Zipp Sensor then snaps into the Pro mount. the Pro mount + Zepp sensor tips the scale at 12 grams of 0.4 oz.

1st hitting session: i used the Flex mount on my modded Yonex RD Ti80 Lite. I want to point on that I installed a Fairway leather grip (one of the tackier leather grips) on this racquet which is an L2 gripsize. Also of importance is that Yonex buttcaps have very little flair. Why am I specifically pointing these things out? i installed the Flex mount using the correct orientation, but after hitting for about 11 minutes, i go to download the data. after downloding, i look at the Shot Type and it's showing that i'm hitting 66% forehand, 12% backhands and 22% serves. my hitting partner and I look at each other and don't quite understand this breakdown because we both felt the breakdown as more like 60/40 fh/bh and 0 serves as we were just warming up w/ some easy ramping up to some spirited rallying. Then i drill into the forehands and see that i'm hitting 59% slice and 37% flat and 4% topspin. i'm thinking this makes absolutely no sense at all because I hit primarily topspin during rallies especially on my fh wing. Then i accidentally touch the Zepp icon on the screen and it informs me that the Sensor is unable to calibrate because the sensor is orientated wrong on the handle. I know i slipped it on correctly so how is this possible? Well, the Flex mount had twisted over 1/8 of a turn on the handle so that the Zepp sensor was now ~45 degrees off axis! That's why I was getting the funky readings. Apparently through the course of normal hitting, the Flex mount had rotated off keel. It's entirely possible that this was simply due to the fact that the Yonex butt cap flare is so slight that the mount is unable to apply enough grip to hold firmly even though the Fairway leather is very tacky. Anyways, i twisted the Flex mount to the correct orientation and then continue to hit making a concerted effort to grip the handle a bit further up. After another 16 minutes, i do another data download. The stroke split looks better this time but the slice/flat/top mix is still off. There's no way i hit my fh flat 47% of the time. it was plenty hot on the courts and my forehands were landing 4-5' inside the baseline and were bouncing head and shoulder high by the time they reached the baseline. no way flat shots bounce like hat. Looked at the orientation again and once again, the Flex mount had twisted a little. i'll have to try the flex mount on an L3 grip with a more pronounced flare and see if it resists rotating better.

i noted that during dry swings, i thought the Flex mount might cause blisters. turns out after hitting for 27 minutes, it caused no physical discomfort after i moved my hand a little further up the grip. still not ideal, but was much less of an issue than i expected.

I discovered that the Flex mount can and does slip on the handle allowing the Zepp Sensor to go out of alignment. After i hit for about 26 mins, i looked at the data and noticed a lot more FHs than BHs which didn't makes sense to me. when i drilled into the FHs, i noticed that the app showed i was hitting a ton of flat FHs and i know i always hit about 70% topspin on my FH which has been substantiated by my Babolat PD Play. didn't make sense but I didn't understand why until the Zepp Tennis app tried to calibrate the sensor. At that point, i realized that the Flex mount had rotated about 45 degrees so all the readings were wrong as a result. it's possible that the slippage was due to the small L2 gripsize coupled with the very slight buttcap flare of the Yonex. Yonexes are known for their buttcaps having much less flare than other brands. i'll try it on my L3 APD 2013 next time to see if the larger gripsize and greater degree of flair helps prevent the Flex mount slippage.

Given its weight along w/location on the racquet, was it a hindrance?

I was fully expecting that adding almost 0.75 oz to the racquet which weighs in at 11.8 oz was going to be a disaster. It really wasn't bad. Much to my surprise, the 12.55 oz weight didn't cause too much issue. Yes, i was late a few shots, but overall, i was able to adjust to the extra weight better than expected. I did notice my arm got tired quicker than usual due to the extra weight.

How easy was it to upload, view and understand the data on the app?

Downloading data from the Zepp Sensor to either phone was a breeze. When I went back to the bench during a break, I simply got my smartphones and opened the Zepp Tennis app. As long as Bluetooth is enabled, the data automatically begins to download. Can't get any easier than this.

What did you like about the app?

I downloaded the Zepp Tennis app to both my iPhone5 and my Samsung Galaxy S3. Both downloads went smoothly and successfully. Registering was a breeze as was pairing the Zepp sensor to both smartphones. You create an account to use the app and to create an account you will need to register with your email address.

What did you dislike about the app?

Haven't stumbled onto anything I dislike so far!

After the first hitting session, in Play Tracking mode, it's hard to say as the data was very skewed due to the Flex mount slippage causing the Zepp Sensor to go out of alignment. Proper alignment is required to get any sort of meaningful data.

When I first saw the Zepp Tennis Sensor, I liked the fact the Sensor was attached to the racquet with a removable mounting sleeve (Flex mount) and wasn't built into the handle like the Babolat Play technology because this would enable those players who like to switch racquets to easily install the Zepp sensor on different racquets. Now that I've installed the Flex mount and done some dry swinging, I realize the drawbacks of the removable design. It may be too heavy and/or uncomfortable for some people. If you choose to use the Pro mount which is lighter and doesn't alter the shape or feel of the grip at the buttcap, however you won't be able to move the Zepp Sensor from racquet to racquet unless you install a Pro mount to each one of your racquets.

Suggestions:
I recommend Zepp make additional Pro and Flex mounts available for sale for low cost. This would allow owners of the Zepp Tennis sensor to install mounts on the different racquets they own and would enable the Sensor to be easily used on a number of different racquets. Also, I can see the Flex mount wearing out over time and eventually losing its elasticity and no longer being able to tightly grip the butt cap. I'll continue to monitor the durability of the Flex mount throughout the duration of the playtest.

Finally, in conclusion, i want to thank TW and Zepp for giving me the opportunity to playtest and share my experiences with everyone.

Last edited: May 29, 2014
37. ### mad dog1Hall of Fame

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md1 Playtest cont'd

Ran out of room above! :shock:

A very cool feature of the app and sensor is the 2 modes. Play Tracking mode is used to record and capture strokes for rallies and matches. 3D Serve Practice mode is used to record serves. to finish off my 1st session, i tried hitting some serves to test the 3D Serve Practice mode. based on the measured racket speed, it extrapolates the ball speed potential. it measure spin imparted on a scale of 1 to 10. it records the backswing time and the ball impact time. i hit 6 serves.

the slowest serve was meant to be a slow heavy, rainbow kicker down the T. the potential ball speed reading was 65 mph. spin was 10/10. backswing was 2.26 sec and impact time was 0.23 sec.

the fastest serve was a bit flatter but still w/ alot of spin. the potential ball speed reading was 91 mph. spin was 10/10. backswing was 1.29 sec and impact time was 0.49 sec.

i think the potential ball speed reading is pretty accurate, but i'm not sure how all 6 of my serves had a spin reading of 10. i do try to generate alot of spin on all my serves to give me a bit more safety margin, but i don't think the spin level on every one of my serves is the same. the other curious reading is the impact time. i would expect the ball to be on the strings longer for the slowest serve simply because i was trying to brush across the back of the ball to hit a slow kicker and i would expect the ball to be on the strings for less time on the fastest serve as i was hitting through the ball more to generate more pace but the readings are just the opposite.

another cool feature of the 3D Serve Practice is the 3D recording of the serve swing path. you can rotate the rendering 360 degrees and replay it to see the racquet path of your serve. i wasn't paying too much attention to this while i was serving but next time out, i will try an abbreviated serve motion and see if the swing path recording is different from my regular wind up.

Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
38. ### jayserinos99Hall of Fame

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Since I tend to grip right above the buttcap, the flex mount wasn't terrible but I did feel it. Maybe if I took off my grips, put the mount on the bare buttcap and then wrapped the leather grip over that it wouldn't be as noticeable. I'm chatting with another buddy on this play test and he absolutely hated the flex mount because he grips past the buttcap and can feel the mount keep slipping.

39. ### mad dog1Hall of Fame

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doing this makes the mount more of a permanent add on and doesn't allow you to easily use the Zepp Sensor on different racquets.

Last edited: May 29, 2014
40. ### jayserinos99Hall of Fame

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That's the downside unfortunately. Maybe if there was a way to pick up a few more of the mounts from the company it'd be great. Also, because the flex mount is rubber based, if one keeps moving it around to different frames, it'll eventually come loose, so you'd end up needing to pick up a new mount anyway.

41. ### mad dog1Hall of Fame

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you make a good point and i've added it to my review in the suggestion section. i think you are right that over time the silicone Flex mount will need to be replaced as it'll lose its elasticity and no longer grip the butt cap properly. then again, surely the Zepp Sensor unit will also need to be replaced since the rechargeable battery has a limited life as well. i wonder what happens when the sensor battery no longer holds a charge? there's no way to replace the battery so you'd have to purchase another unit.

Last edited: May 29, 2014
42. ### ShroudHall of Fame

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Did anyone update their firmware?

Under settings in the app you can do it there. Probably a good thing to do.

I'll do it once this thing gets fully charged charged.

FWIW the flex mount fits over my 5 3/8 handle so it should fit almost any racket.

43. ### jayserinos99Hall of Fame

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I updated the firmware before I played yesterday. Technically I haven't had any issues so far, other than what I've mentioned earlier with the possible switching of lefty-righty.

44. ### jayserinos99Hall of Fame

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It's interesting, when I played today, the flex mount was moving around quite more to the point where it just wasn't staying in place properly. My fix was to take off the mount, unwrap my over grip, replace the mount back onto the bare leather grip, and then rewrap my over grip. It seemed to do the trick but I'm still wary of the mount. FYI, I use the ridge where the buttcap begins as the base of my grip, so the flex mount was moving when I was hitting.

TBH, I haven't used the Babolat Play, but from a design perspective, they've got it correct by putting the hardware into the handle. I know Zepp uses the sensor for other sports and from a manufacturing and business perspective it makes total sense to make one sensor and use multiple mounts but it's not an optimal solution. The hardware should be as unobtrusive as possible. As it stands, by adding the flex mount and sensor, my game has changed because my frame is too HL now due to the weight and balance being shifted drastically.

45. ### ShroudHall of Fame

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Its 6 and one half IMHO. While I agree that the flex mount is not perfect at least you can pick the racket you want to use. Maybe one day all rackets will have sensors built in, but Mad Dog1s point is dead on about the battery. I like having an external sensor vs. having the battery die in a builtin sensor. What do you have to do? Send your racket in for repair when the battery goes?

Anyhow should the sensor in the flex mount be flush against the buttcap? Or can there be some distance between the sensor and the butt cap?

46. ### mad dog1Hall of Fame

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doesn't make a difference as long as the sensor orientation is correct.

47. ### mad dog1Hall of Fame

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good to hear that i'm not the only one experiencing the flex mount moving around. from what you're describing, it sounds like we hold the racquet similarly.

When i playtested the PureDrivePlay, i felt it would have been more useful if the play sensor could be transferred to different racquets. Now after playtesting the Zepp with the Flex mount, i think the BabolatPlay technology is a better implementation. i haven't tried the Zepp using the Pro mount yet, but i plan to try it next.

fortunately for me, the additional weight of the Zepp doesn't drastically affect my strokes.

48. ### jonestimProfessional

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I attached the Pro mount last night and let it sit for 24 hrs per the instructions. Unfortunately on serve number 12 the sensor went flying across the court. The mount didn't fail, the butt cap did. I have one of the Prince racquets with the faux carbon "P" insert glued in and that glue failed. The sensor ripped it off and left me with a blank butt cap. I will attempt to glue the insert back on tonight and give it another try tomorrow.

49. ### ShroudHall of Fame

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Isnt the correct orientation where the button is even with the little tab that sticks out?

I ask because all me forehands were recorded as a backhand and visa versa.

50. ### ShroudHall of Fame

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Sorry dude, that blows. Good thing its not the zepp. I am thinking of using the Pro mount instead of the flex mount.