Formula Dash Update?

Race Capture Pro hardware installation- power, wiring, physical installation, etc. See the dedicated forum for Sensor related topics

Moderators: JeffC, rdoherty, stieg, brentp

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 5986
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Post by brentp »

As before, the $49.95 Kindle fire is a shockingly good deal - the build quality is great, the processor is fast and most importantly, the Bluetooth is rock solid - it's a great tablet at any price. The display is even quite good.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TSUGXKE

It's the single reason why we have the RaceCapture app in the app store:
http://www.amazon.com/Autosport-Labs-Ra ... B016ZJM7GE
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter

loftygoals
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Post by loftygoals »

brentp wrote:The primary caveat is to secure the USB connection so the USB plug does not come loose in high vibration environments.
If there is room adjacent to the USB connector on RCP, you could use a nut to secure the cable with a cable like this:

http://www.keysight.com/en/pd-1688306-p ... =US&lc=eng


-bj

ushgeo
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:07 pm
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Post by ushgeo »

Great info, guys. Thanks.
brentp wrote:The android app is currently Bluetooth only. Do you have any specific concerns about Bluetooth connectivity? ... We have worked very hard to make the connection fast and stable - We just tested with 6 RaceCapture devices over a 15 hour enduro race weekend, not a single glitch.
I am sure that you guys have done what you can on the RCP side, but Bluetooth is inherently not as fast, stable, or foolproof as a direct connection. And maybe its hyperbole, but it seems like I am constantly having to (re)pair all of my BT devices and my concern is that I will end up having to pair the tablet to RCP every time I get in the car. I have enough on my pre-race checklist to add that potential frustration. Waiting for device.....Bueler, Bueler, anyone?

But I understand why you went that route with the app. BT is user-friendly, universal, and would make the dash portable. And like Brent said, the Fire HD is good quality yet cheap enough to make it essentially disposable. I'm not opposed to this option, I'm new to RCP and am really just doing my due diligence before I leap in to a setup.
loftygoals wrote:I think the Windows version will connect via USB. Assuming I'm correct, you could build a Windows based display.
This is an interesting alternative. I would like to look into it a bit more. Has anyone out there done this with RCP yet?
loftygoals wrote:That's part of the beauty of RCP, the possibilities are endless!
I agree. I'm sold on RCP but just trying to work out the best dash scenario. Thanks again.
NASA GTS3 Racing
2000 Porsche 996 Ex Grand Am Series Race Car
****************************************
2005 Porsche 997 C2S - Atlas Grey - R.I.P.
2012 Audi S4 Prestige - Sold
2006 BMW 330i Sport - Sold

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 5986
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Post by brentp »

ushgeo,

Understood. While we're always looking at hardwired options, bluetooth (and in the future wifi) will be something we support.

I may create a video to illustrate how robust the connect / disconnect is with Android + RaceCapture to show you how well it works.
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter

xlr8
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:08 pm
Location: Dallas

Post by xlr8 »

I'm in the same boat as ushgeo and also talking to BJ (loftygoals) about setting up RCP. I would much prefer hardwired but in it's absence with make do with BT. I want something that always works and while BT works well on most devices it's not perfect. Last thing i want is to troubleshoot BT while i'm sitting on grid.

Regardless i'll be purchasing one soon and giving it a go.

One question, i have a fire tablet from 2014, will it work or do I need this new one?

loftygoals
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Post by loftygoals »

A 2014 tablet should work fine. I have a super cheap Chinese tablet that runs it great. The Autosport Lab guys did a bunch of optimizations to ensure that even low spec hardware would run the app reasonably well.

With the Beta's since mid-year, I've had extremely reliable connectivity. I've learned that it is best to use a dedicated device or at a minimum shut of cellular if you are using a cell phone and aren't using data. It's annoying to have phone calls and instant messages coming in while you are on track!

My biggest concern with a using a tablet as a dash is forgetting to charge it or having something drain the battery in between session or overnight. You could wire the power to be hot all the time, but I generally don't like to bypass the ignition or kill switch for accessories.

The reason I'm worried about a dead battery is I've found many tablet need to have a minimum charge of x% before they will boot. This means I could hop in for a session and not have a dash. It isn't a likely scenario, but a possible point of failure.

-bj

ushgeo
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:07 pm
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Post by ushgeo »

loftygoals wrote:My biggest concern with a using a tablet as a dash is forgetting to charge it or having something drain the battery in between session or overnight. You could wire the power to be hot all the time, but I generally don't like to bypass the ignition or kill switch for accessories.
For permanent power, you could use a DC power cable, remove the male plug and wire straight into the fuse box.

Could you possibly even solder the same naked wire ends onto the back of the DC (lighter) outlet?
NASA GTS3 Racing
2000 Porsche 996 Ex Grand Am Series Race Car
****************************************
2005 Porsche 997 C2S - Atlas Grey - R.I.P.
2012 Audi S4 Prestige - Sold
2006 BMW 330i Sport - Sold

loftygoals
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Post by loftygoals »

ushgeo wrote:For permanent power, you could use a DC power cable, remove the male plug and wire straight into the fuse box.

Could you possibly even solder the same naked wire ends onto the back of the DC (lighter) outlet?
Yeah, but the kill switch in a race car would still shut off power unless I wired direct to the battery. In a street legal car, you would have to find always hot power as well, because the cigarette lighter in many modern cars switches with the ignition (my MINI does this).

It's not a problem in my mind to have it wired to an always hot source. In the race car, I would prefer to have it wired to a source that is killed by the kill switch but not my the ignition switch. This way I could turn off ignition power, but leave the kill switch on to charge the tablet. There is still a risk of discharging if I accidentally turned the kill switch off, but it would be minimal at that point.

I'm actually being devil's advocate a bit, here. At my last weekend I had the tablet charging via the cigarette lighter which shuts off when the ignition is off. This didn't cause a single issue for me, even when leaving the tablet in the car overnight.

-bj

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 5986
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Post by brentp »

The tablet approach has a hidden benefit, and that's the battery, which will keep itself powered during pit stops. it's like a dashboard with a battery backup. :)
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter

loftygoals
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Post by loftygoals »

brentp wrote:The tablet approach has a hidden benefit, and that's the battery, which will keep itself powered during pit stops. it's like a dashboard with a battery backup. :)
Very true. There are a number of benefits to the tablet: It is easy to update, it has other uses, it is cheap, it easy to replace.

I originally was set on a hardware dash, but the more I use the Race Capture App on my Android phone and tablet, the more I think it is a great solution.

-bj

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 5986
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Post by brentp »

Here's something I'm been thinking about: A 3D printed frame for the new fire tablet, with hard mounting points that are similar to the dedicated dashboards currently seen. That could be very cool to bring the best of both together.
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter

ushgeo
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:07 pm
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Post by ushgeo »

loftygoals wrote:
brentp wrote:The tablet approach has a hidden benefit, and that's the battery, which will keep itself powered during pit stops. it's like a dashboard with a battery backup. :)
Very true. There are a number of benefits to the tablet: It is easy to update, it has other uses, it is cheap, it easy to replace.

I originally was set on a hardware dash, but the more I use the Race Capture App on my Android phone and tablet, the more I think it is a great solution.

-bj
This!

I am very intrigued by BJ's suggestion of using a dedicated auto PC, as it would offer some features not available with an app and would come with a pressure touch screen rather than a piezo touch screen, thus negating and need to sew conductive thread into my gloves. However, at the end of the day, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID says I to me. RCP + cheap tablet = simple and effective. Done.
NASA GTS3 Racing
2000 Porsche 996 Ex Grand Am Series Race Car
****************************************
2005 Porsche 997 C2S - Atlas Grey - R.I.P.
2012 Audi S4 Prestige - Sold
2006 BMW 330i Sport - Sold

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 5986
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Post by brentp »

AnyGlove touchscreen liquid or conductive thread will take care of the touch solution. You really don't want a resistive touch screen - they're just sad in many ways - visibility as well as responsiveness.
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter

loftygoals
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Post by loftygoals »

brentp wrote:You really don't want a resistive touch screen - they're just sad in many ways - visibility as well as responsiveness.
This is very true. I used to have the Traqmate Traqdash which has a resistive screen. Readability is much better on my phone and cheap tablet. And despite the Traqdash being resistive, I could rarely get it to respond well while wearing gloves.

-bj

loftygoals
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Post by loftygoals »

So I had a thought last night:

One of my original concerns about using Android as my primary dash is how do I recover if there is a problem mid race? This is an issue, because I want to have a single information display in the vehicle. This means if my dash goes down, I loose timing, temps, fuel level, basically everything.

The problem is if the app closes it can be difficult to restart an app on Android at 100 MPH with gloves on. And if I need to bring up the Android navigation softkeys, exit the app by going home, and then relaunching the app--well, that's not going to happen while maintaining race pace.

So how about a physical way to do all that stuff?

These got me searching for something assumed must exist, but I'd never seen before: A physical button that can control an Android device via bluetooth. As I suspected, someone had already come up with something like this:

http://flic.io/

This little guy connects via BT 4.0 and has a helper app that runs on Android. It is a single button that can active 3 function through a single tap, double tap, or hold.

Potentially a little helper app could be written that when launched would force Race Capture App closed, cycle BT, and restart the Race Capture App. Then this app could be associated with a single tap.

If you configured your tablet to auto run Race Capture on startup, then you could set hold function to reset the entire device.

The button itself is small and wireless, so it could be mounted on the dash or steering wheel.

Thoughts?

-bj

Post Reply