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

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

Post by ushgeo »

BJ you must get as little sleep at night as I do.

You bring up a very good point. I dont think that any tablet or phone should replace the OEM instruments the way an AiM dash could, so I plan to use it to augment (and hide) the existing gauge cluster. If the app or tablet were to crash during a race, I would simply chuck it under my left thigh or something (maybe install a little pouch on the door to stash it in for emergencies) and just watch the needles (which is what Im doing now).

I like the idea of the Flic button you found to control the dash tablet. You could circumvent the need to restart the app, etc. by using the button to just reboot the entire device and wipe out any potential problem that is causing the app to fail. As you pointed out, you would then have to relaunch the RCP app, hence your idea for a helper app. Well, there's an app for that!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... tart&hl=en

Autostart-No Root lets you designate which apps to launch automatically upon device start-up. So if the RCP app or the tablet crashes, you could use the Flic button to reboot the tablet, which will cause RCP app to automatically launch. Voila!

Potential downfalls of the Flic button are that it is battery powered (one more thing to worry about) and probably isn't built to withstand racing conditions.

My question to you and Brent is, can RCP2 take the place of that BT button altogether? Can you use a hardwired button or switch to tell RCP2 to send a BT signal to the tablet to reboot? Then let the autostart app do its job?

Let's take it even further. If the tablet crashes. Can RCP2 autodetect the loss of bluetooth connection while the car is still above a specified velocity (i.e. I'm still racing here) and then set the reboot process in motion automatically?

Deep thoughts, by Jack not-so Handy.
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:BJ you must get as little sleep at night as I do.
4-5 hours is my norm. I late at night is when I do my best engineering...
ushgeo wrote:I dont think that any tablet or phone should replace the OEM instruments the way an AiM dash could
I actually plan to do this in my M Coupe race car. I figure 99% of the time, the one thing I pay any attention to is my shift light. (I try to force myself to do gauge sweeps on the straights, but that's hard to do if you are chasing someone down.) I'm going to keep the shift light separate from anything RCP. If one fails, I have the other. I'm also going to do a hardwired master warning light from RCP. That way if the display fails I still have RPMs and notification that somethings gone wrong.

ushgeo wrote:I like the idea of the Flic button you found to control the dash tablet. You could circumvent the need to restart the app, etc. by using the button to just reboot the entire device and wipe out any potential problem that is causing the app to fail. As you pointed out, you would then have to relaunch the RCP app, hence your idea for a helper app. Well, there's an app for that!
I know it is a bit more work to configure initially, but my thought was the process of killing the app and restarting would be faster than a full reboot.

ushgeo wrote:Autostart-No Root lets you designate which apps to launch automatically upon device start-up. So if the RCP app or the tablet crashes, you could use the Flic button to reboot the tablet, which will cause RCP app to automatically launch. Voila!
There are some very powerful tools to do this on a non-rooted device. I have one on my Android head unit in my truck that will allow multiple steps and conditional actions. Think of it as scripting.

ushgeo wrote:My question to you and Brent is, can RCP2 take the place of that BT button altogether? Can you use a hardwired button or switch to tell RCP2 to send a BT signal to the tablet to reboot? Then let the autostart app do its job?

Let's take it even further. If the tablet crashes. Can RCP2 autodetect the loss of bluetooth connection while the car is still above a specified velocity (i.e. I'm still racing here) and then set the reboot process in motion automatically?
This was my first thought. The problem with this is that something else in RCP would have to monitor for the BT/serial command to restart. The logical place to put this is in the service portion of the RCP app. But what if that service is what crashed? Then the RCP's command to restart would fall on deaf ears.

This got me thinking, what if it is the BT stack that crashes? One of the things I wanted to reset is BT. The problem is if BT has failed then you can't communicate via the Flic either. That's when I found this:

http://get.pressybutton.com/

This uses the headphone jack. It is basically the equivalent of the media button on a pair of headphone. In fact you could use this with an extension cable or any head phones with a media button. Then your "reset" button is hardwired. The app can crash, BT can crash, but this button will still work.

-bj

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

Post by loftygoals »

Update: Here's a $5 alternative to the Pressy linked above. This way you could use a momentary button that would hold up in a motorsports environment.

http://liliputing.com/2015/09/make-diy- ... one-5.html

I was thinking I could even use the horn button on a race wheel and a relay.

-bj

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

Post by ushgeo »

Brilliant! I have to admit that the slick design and the fact that I don't have to manufacture the thing makes the Pressy very attractive. And [presumably] they have ironed out all of the bugs. I love DIY, but I divide my time amomgst so many things that sometimes I'm willing just to pay for the convenience. Great find BTW. I'm definitely getting one.
Last edited by ushgeo on Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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:Brilliant! I have to admit that the slick design and the fact that I don't have to manufacture the thing makes the Pressy very attractive.
I'd just find a 4 connector audio extension, probably with a right angle on the phone end like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Valley-4-Pole-3-5 ... B00DX6V9JO

Plug in the Pressy and zip tie that end to a spot you can easily reach while strapped in.

Or if you want a dash mounted button I'd be happy to make a cable for you.

-bj

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

Post by ushgeo »

I like that.

In a related matter, BJ, I found your thread on the NASA GTS forum from last year discussing the rules regarding wireless comms with the ECU? Ws that ever worked at so that what we are talking about here is explicitly legal now?

Thanks.

-Trey
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

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

Post by ushgeo »

FYI, there is a Pressy on Amazon Prime right now for under $10. Just grabbed it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JSA ... 1_2&sr=8-2
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 »

brentp wrote: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,

I was thinking about this last night instead of sleeping. It's an excellent idea, but even better would be a case with integrated power for the fire, shift lights, warning lights, and a CAN interface. It would be very simple to install because it would only have a lead coming off of it with 4 wires: 12V, Ground, CAN+, CAN-.

-bj

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

Post by ushgeo »

ushgeo wrote:
FYI, there is a Pressy on Amazon Prime right now for under $10. Just grabbed it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JSA ... 1_2&sr=8-2
Update: I should have read the fine print, as the Pressy is designed for Android phones and the only tablets it supports are Samsung. No Amazon tablets. So, I just returned the Pressy to its original owner, ironically, through Amazon.
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

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

Post by ushgeo »

First, I got my RCP2 enduro package in the mail and am having a lot of fun with the initial set-up and coming up with ideas for mounting, expansion, etc, which got me thinking about some of these posts.
loftygoals wrote:
brentp wrote: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,

I was thinking about this last night instead of sleeping. It's an excellent idea, but even better would be a case with integrated power for the fire, shift lights, warning lights, and a CAN interface. It would be very simple to install because it would only have a lead coming off of it with 4 wires: 12V, Ground, CAN+, CAN-.

-bj
I ended up buying this case for the Fire 7, which is fairly weatherproof with covers for all of the relevant ports and an integrated screen cover. Basically, its like an Otter Box, but more rubberized than the hard plastic of the OB.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016N5 ... ge_o02_s01

I'm going to attach it to the steering column with a RAM articulated-arm ball-joint mount, screwing one of their ball-joint bases to the back of the tablet case. You could easily mount the shift light bar to the top edge of the case, possibly even fabricating (3D print, home-made injection mold, etc.) a plastic housing for the light bar etc. that could be permanently attached (screwed or glued) to the case.

So many possibilities. So little time.
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

F5Pilot
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:19 pm

Post by F5Pilot »

So I got my wife to buy me the RaceCapture Pro for Christmas to replace my XT Racing logger and dash...

So now I need to solve my dash/display problem. I'm running a small formula car (every tablet is too big), with an 8 watt radio (so EMI is of concern-the shift lights on my old AIM dash would light up on transmit) on board.

Would a Lumia 640 XL windows phone connect and work via USB, again saving Blue Tooth for a last resort.?

What separation do I need to accomplish between the GPS, the 8 Watt radio, the remote radio antenna, the dash (Android or Windows), and the RaceCapture box?

Thanks
Dave
Dave Vincent, F500 #73

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

Post by brentp »

A windows phone will likely not work over USB. I'd find a high quality android phone (fast processor, good screen) and maybe design a 3D case around it to mount it.

You should separate the GPS, telemetry and radio antenna as much as reasonably possible, but I wouldn't worry too much about your TX power. Why? Assuming your radio is well out of band of bluetooth, telemetry and GPS, you won't interfere even with 8 watts of power.

However, it would be good to check what channel (frequency) your radio is running at, report it back here and we can help ensure you're good.

We did see one case recently where radio was affecting GPS readings; we suspected the radio transmit frequency was too close to the GPS frequency band.

Let us know and we can help!
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
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F5Pilot
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:19 pm

Post by F5Pilot »

Thanks much for the answers and recommendations.

I made an aluminum mount to place the Race Capture Pro box above the top frame rails forward of the steering wheel/bulkhead by about 18 inches, making the box approximately level and facing forward per the instructions, about 18 inches above the ground. I'm moving the radio antenna forward to the brake pedal area. The radio is on the floor, left side of the steering wheel bulkhead. My radios are in the 462-466 frequency range.

I have a Samsung S4 for an Android dash, that I assume won't work with USB and will therefore use Bluetooth.

Will the GPS antenna function adequately beneath the fiberglass bodywork?

Thanks
Dave
Dave Vincent, F500 #73

stieg
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:37 am
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Post by stieg »

Will the GPS antenna function adequately beneath the fiberglass bodywork?
Hard to say really. Lots of factors (thickness, liquid content of fiberglass, etc) are in play. Would highly recommend that the antenna have a clear view of the sky to avoid reception issues. GPS is a relatively weak signal so its best to have as few obstacles in between the satellites and the antenna as possible.
Andrew Stiegmann (Stieg)
Principal Engineer
Autosport Labs Inc.

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

Post by brentp »

If there's nothing electrically conductive in the fiberglass (thinking carbon fibers) It may work fine as fiberglass is normally glass fiber and epoxy. Most plastics and glass (providing there's no film) are RF transparent.

Best way is to try it out and to compare the average of # of satellites under otherwise similar conditions.
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
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