Setting up your Calibur system

How to start fencing anywhere, anytime? Here’s your quick guide to setting up your Calibur pocket boxes!

To have a more in-detail guide, take a look at our user manual, or contact our customer support at

Connect a bigger display via cable

Having a larger display for the Calibur scoreboard is possible through cables and wirelessly. Depending on what device you own, the opportunities are various. Here’s a quick summary about the possible ways to extend your scoreboard to a second screen by cables!

Connecting Apple devices


First things first, you have to identify the ports on your device. This guide can help you to do so.

  1. HDMI - if you have such a port, you'll only have to see if your desired screen has a matching input. If not, it is most likely that it has a VGA input, so what you will need to do so is an HDMI-VGA adapter.
  2. Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, or USB-C port: Connect to HDMI with an adapter such as the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.
  3. Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt, or Mini DisplayPort: Connect to HDMI with a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter or cable such as the Lightning Digital AV Adapter or Belkin 4K Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter.


  1. Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, or USB-C port: Connect to HDMI with an adapter such as the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.
  2. Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt: Connect to HDMI with a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter or cable such as the Lightning Digital AV Adapter or Belkin 4K Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter.


  1. Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3: Connect to HDMI with an adapter such as the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.
  2. Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt: Connect to HDMI with a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter or cable such as the Lightning Digital AV Adapter or Belkin 4K Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter.

Connecting Android devices

If you are using devices powered by Android, you are likely to have either a micro-USB or a USB-C type of output. It's very important to check whether your device supports MHL, which is a technology needed to connect to an external TV or monitor via HDMI.

If it does so, all you need is the correct adapter (micro-USB to HDMI, USB-C to HDMI) - after plugging them in, you should be ready to go.

USB-C to HDMI (input) adapter

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Firmware update

What is the firmware and why is it important? Here’s your quick guide to update your firmware for getting the most out of your wireless fencing experience!

The firmware is a software that runs on your Calibur pocket boxes. It is important to keep the Calibur application, as well as the firmware updated, because we are constantly working on making Calibur easier to use while adding more features and with each update, you will get more out of your device!

To have a more in-detail guide, take a look at our user manual, or contact our customer support at

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Hints & tricks - guide to avoid errors

The aim of the Calibur system is to make fencing available for anyone, anytime, anywhere. In order to make this feature, we had to design a complex way of registering hits and transferring information.

Because of this, there are some, not so obvious ways in which Calibur differs from other scoring methods. Here, you can find a list of some elements that cause no problem while fencing, but sometimes are unusual to our users.

Most of the issues listed here can be avoided by testing your equipment in testing your equipment in full fencing uniform, in a realistic setting.

Bellguard for foil

With some equipment, bellguard distinction on foil has minor issues. We recommend that if you experience such things, turn on the switch for "register on-target hits for bellguard".

This also resolves the problem if you see that at some point, if you are sweaty enough (which means that your gloves are dripping wet), valid hits on you do not register as they should. This can also be resolved with a dry glove too though.

Bellguard for épée

One small bug that might occur is that if you test your épée's bellguard barehanded, while keeping the other weapon's point on it, it registers as valid. This is really easy to avoid, since in a realistic situation, since either putting on gloves or using a quick thrust never results in this error.

Testing without gloves extremely slowly can light the screen
Always test in realistic situations

Speed of registering hits

If you find that registering hits is somewhat slower than it is with the traditional scoring machines, you can augment the speed by:

Overwhelmed hardware can cause delay in regsitering

Things to pay attention to when testing foil

In some situations, you may experience peculiarities, but only in circumstances that are extremely rare during fencing, and in case they would occur, it’s probable that no points would be given anyway by a referee.

To avoid misleading test results,

Slower than realistic hits can cause error
Test equipment with a quick thrust to avoid error

+1 Hint for athletes: to eventually get better at competitions, you can do more besides training. Get an insight into your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly performance by using sports analytics tools - the most simple one is keeping a log about your bouts (on training and competitions too). Find out how Calibur's bout tracking system works and do everything you can do for that medal!

To have a more in-detail guide, take a look at our user manual, or contact our customer support at

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Bout tracking

Save your results and analyse your efforts

Keeping track of your results during trainings and competitions is essential to discover patterns in your performance and be aware of the things you have to pay attention to in order to become better at fencing and competing. Calibur offers a detailed log of your bouts to help analyze your performance against other Calibur users, so you can make the best decisions when planning your training. Here’s how!

1. Menu
2. My Profile
3. Upload

+1 Fun fact: Did you know that Calibur system comes with a free remote control for the scoreboard? Check our tutorial on Calibur Remote Control Mode!

To have a more in-detail guide, take a look at our user manual or contact our customer support at

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Reaction time game

Want to know who's the fastest in the fencing hall? Stop guessing, start playing - our Reaction Time Mode is already out to help you show your skills! Here's a quick guide on how to access it within the app.

How to try the Reaction time game in the Calibur app
Open mode selector
Switch to reaction time game

Useful hint:

For better performance make sure to close every other applications on your phone and update the app to the latest version. Remember that hits must be sent and processed via a wireless connection. The system performs the best on the latest devices, however any device can perform better by making sure to dedicate as much resources as possible.

Remote & referee app

How to use the Remote & referee app

Did you know it was possible to use remote controls for the Calibur scoreboard to start and stop the timer, add or deduct points, penalties, bouts and priorities? Here’s your quick tutorial on using the Calibur Remote Control Mode!

Toggle the remote slider in the mode selectord
Setting the scores, adding cards etc

Useful Hint:

Network speed and your hardware can influence the speed of registering commands; if you wish to improve it, try to close every other application and use a stable network without many users (offline hotspot is also an option).

To have a more in-detail guide, take a look at our user manual, or contact our customer support at

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Use Calibur on  PC/Mac

Until we release the designated desktop version of our system here's a quick guide on how to to run the Calibur mobile app on computers. This tutorial will guide you through on setting up the Android system and Calibur app on your computer. Don't worry if you're not tech-savvy; just follow the instructions, and you'll have the Calibur system running on your PC.

We've tested this process on various PCs with successful results, but cannot guarantee perfect operation for every computer model due to the third-party nature of Android-x86. Please check our list of tested and verified computers. 

You can download the manual in a handy PDF or follow the steps below:



On a MacBook:

Windows or Linux PC

On a Windows or Linux PC you can use the Android-x86 emulator to emulate a fully functional Android system.



  1. Prepare the bootable USB using the Rufus software. This will load the Android-x86 emulator, which allows Android to communicate with your PC's hardware.
    • Download the Android-x86 emulator from their website and select the .ISO file compatible with your processor type (x64 or x86). If you are not sure about the type you have check this guide.
    • Download Rufus, a software to prepare bootable USBs, from their website.
    • Use Rufus to prepare the bootable USB with the downloaded .ISO file. Follow the prompts and select the recommended options.
    • Set the following options in Rufus:
      • Device: your USB stick
      • Partition scheme: MBR
      • Target system:
        BIOS (or UEFI-CSM)
      • Volume label: any name
      • Cluster size: 8192 bytes (Default)
  2. Plug the bootable USB into your PC and set your PC to boot from this USB. This process may vary depending on your computer's make, so do a quick search for specific instructions.
  3. Set up Android by following the steps similar to setting up an Android phone or tablet.
  4. Once Android is set up, connect to WiFi and turn on Bluetooth.
  5. Open Google Play, search for Calibur, install it, and connect the pocket boxes.
  6. Be careful not to disturb the pendrive to avoid freezing Android. You're now ready to start using Calibur!

Set up Calibur

As soon as the Android system is running you can do everything you could on a tablet.

Enjoy using Calibur on your PC! 

Lessons from the first broad testing #1

Last week we introduced the Calibur pocket box. It is once again a major leap in product design and features. Testing it is the last step before actual production. 

The plan is something like this: 
1.Build a very reliable, stable and accurate device
2. Use that basis to build on all the smart features in the application. 

We ran a broad épée test back in November which served as a way to pinpoint the weaknesses, analyze the data and incorporate it into a new device.  It’s worth summarizing the major takeaways. Today we’ll cover technical issues and how we addressed them:


Let’s jump start to connectivity. Connectivity is the bread and butter of a wireless system. You can only make wireless as good as the quality of connection is. It is judged by 2 factors: stability and latency. To put it more simply how often the connection drops and how much time it takes for a hit to display. The boxes we shipped in November had inconsistencies in both fields, so we put a lot of effort in fixing it.

Testing connectivity in different setups and distances


In general Apple devices disconnected much sooner than the ones with Android, but we were able to improve on both systems. The development is pretty obvious on this part, we were able to drive down drops to practically 0. Tested on a dozen different, low-end to high-end phones and tablets connection always remained active. The challenge is now to find an otherwise well-functioning phone that fails this test and I’m happy to tell that we haven't find one.


The latency is a bit more complex issue. How long is good enough actually? We found that the threshold for unnoticeable delay to be around 100ms. 

The results are again very promising. The delay dropped significantly and stayed low up until around 15 meters. So now it is up to the phone to process it.

Getting the phone's processing time down proved to be harder to optimise than anticipated. But it’s clear that the delay is mainly caused by the application now which will perform much better after restructuring. More on that later.


The idea that accuracy is based on the utilization of the data pool is a sort of chicken-egg problem. To have people using the devices they need to be enjoyable. To be enjoyable people need to use it. So the deal with the broad épée test was that people would be using them even when it’s not so enjoyable and we will quickly follow-on with updates and by the end of the test they will become quasi-replacement for any system on épée.

After a very strong start, restrictions started to kick in in December basically everywhere and the incoming data started to slow down. But we still managed to get thousands of bouts and tens of thousands of touch data. Huge thanks to our testers for keeping up despite all the hurdles! Two things became clear: 1. That the data will be not sufficiently big with the current model (it's not just a matter of the total volume but the constant flow, to make comparison after every version) and 2. that we certainly underestimated how much work it will be to maintain a system and to develop a new one parallel. So we moved forward and put the focus on incorporating the existing data into the next version.

touching plastron, mask bellguard then interchanging the weapons.

The goal was to make accuracy high enough so that fencers will enjoy using the devices in training sessions and the rest of the data will come much easier. The 2 major questions in accuracy are: does it go off when it shouldn’t and do we need calibration to avoid that? We were able to improve tremendously on both aspects. 

TLDR: The general direction is very clear latency is down, accuracy is up. We are getting through the 3rd wave (so far) of the pandemic and with local clubs shut down, it's more tricky to find the ways for sufficient testing. In our testing the system works well in 90-95% of the cases. So the job for the AI is to close the remaining gap particularly on rare cases. Global testing will start next month with the goal of finding the outlier cases. As soon as the data feed start to improve again so will the system.

In the next posts we will cover the general feedback and future features but for ending watch this video of a short bouting in the office.

short bout in the office

Product evolution #2

We nicknamed the project  “wire eater”  among ourselves so I will refer to the devices asWE versions. The plan was set in motion: ship WE-1, incorporate feedback and develop WE-2 within 3 months. The goals for WE-2: make the app cross-platform (Android and iOS), get bellguard-grounding-accuracy to 90-95% on épée and deliver over 100 devices for the clubs to test. In other words a broad beta test for WE-2. We planned the testing to take place in November.

The sprint started by mid-August and the first clubs buying WE-1 planned to restart fencing in September. We agreed to deliver for the reopening. For the first few weeks development and production went simultaneously, but delivering a product for actual customers was very exciting. We finished just in time:

Some pictures from a training session @ PSE. The kids had fun, and we gathered valuable insights. Néhány kép a PSE edzéséről. A gyerekek jól érezték magukat mi pedig sűrűn jegyzeteltünk.

Posted by Calibur Fencing on Thursday, 1 October 2020

The kids intuitively started to use our products really enjoyed themselves

In the meantime we made a detailed roadmap for WE-2 with the 3 goals in mind as above. Let’s get through them one by one.

Making the app cross platform

It shouldn’t take particularly precise planning. We take what we have for Android and replicate it for iPhones, right? Well, Apple strictly controls everything and why wouldn’t that be true for wireless devices. If we want to connect something to iPhones we need to use a wireless chip approved by Apple. If you had to guess whether we used one like that or not, where would you put your money, and why on not? WE-1 only supports épée and does not have any grounding capacity, but it has a very stable and fast connection with the phones. That part was fine tuned already. Changing the chip means to throw all that away, and restart.

Getting accuracy over 95%

Bellguard grounding should work 9+ times out of 10 in test environment. Our model is based on that a larger data pool is needed to operate. How would we get that? Obviously it’s not an option to gather that at the clubs every time we change something. So a lot of nights went like this:

999 green bottles on the wall, if one green bottle should accidentally fall, 998 green bottles on the wall…

Both of the goals turned out to be an uphill battle especially in the given timeframe. All the new wireless chips turned out to be either too slow or dropped connection too easily with the phones. Every time we tested out something in the lab and took it to a real training session it completely failed. Special thanks to OSC and their fencers for letting us do our it-worked-yesterday-I-swear show twice a week. The connection drop proved to be a very stubborn issue, basically disrupting every other test we tried to run.

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OSC helped a lot, sharing their space to test

Producing 100 pieces

We were approaching the end of October. The clubs who signed up for testing were all set, waiting for their devices, we just finished the new enclosure design and for the 1st time the application was approved on both platforms. 

[supsystic-gallery id=8]

It's much more convenient to connect the yellow penguin than a QR code

But the connection issues still stayed with us. We had only a week left to finish and we put our bets on a last resort solution in changing the antenna design. We urgently needed a plan B and getting the devices out of the pockets made the connection slightly better.

[supsystic-gallery id=7]

Desperate times call desperate measures

I shouldn’t get into details about the things we tried on the last weekend in a rush to find a way to attach them to the body. The new antenna design, though far from perfect proved to be above the threshold and we decided to give it a go. 

We’ve made everything ready and after an intensely laborious week with 3 hours of sleep on average we tested, packed and labelled all the packages ready for shipping. And the épée beta started.

Final touches before sending out beta test packages. (Nov.11.) Utolsó simítások mielőtt kiküldtük a beta teszt csomagokat.

Posted by Calibur Fencing on Sunday, 22 November 2020
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