RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Q&A for the RaceCapture Plug & Play - general hardware related usage and operation; for app related questions please post in the RaceCapture app section.

also see the <a href="https://wiki.autosportlabs.com/RaceCapture_Quickstart">RaceCapture quick start guide</a>
Post Reply
GTIspirit
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:20 am
Location: SE Michigan

RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Post by GTIspirit »

I don't know if I have a defective RC Track device, or if the whole USB connection to Raspberry Pi just isn't reliable. The display always seems to freeze on me while driving. Always seems to happen within about 40 to 50mins of driving. Logs attached, though I don't know how helpful they are since they don't seem to have timestamps to find the event which aligns when the RC Track froze.

You can see that it froze at 12:49:16.

It's not the RPi App itself, as the touchscreen is still responsive and I can go into the system menu. It's the RC Track itself which seems to freeze. It's always done this, no matter the version of the RPi App or the version of the RC Track firmware.

Here's my unit.
Image


Image
Attachments
IMG_2299.jpg
IMG_2299.jpg (71.13 KiB) Viewed 356 times
IMG_2297.jpg
IMG_2297.jpg (115.26 KiB) Viewed 356 times
20220827racecapture.zip
(5.54 KiB) Downloaded 16 times

GTIspirit
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:20 am
Location: SE Michigan

Re: RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Post by GTIspirit »

No, it's not the wiring because if I don't touch anything, and just power cycle the unit then it's fine, for a little while. But if I reboot the RPi app the connection is not restored. This is why I think the problem is actually with the RC Track device itself. :(

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 6210
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Re: RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Post by brentp »

Does it happen if your laptop is connected to the unit via USB for an extended period of time? You should be able to test that scenario pretty easily in the garage.

The RaceCapture hardware is very robust against hanging - we have a hardware watchdog that reboots the unit in case there is a firmware crash.
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter

GTIspirit
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:20 am
Location: SE Michigan

Re: RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Post by GTIspirit »

It has nothing to do with a laptop being connected. The dash values froze after idling the car for a few minutes in the garage, not even while driving. Just the RCTrack Mk2 and the RasPi dash. The Raspberry Pi app is fine, it's still responsive. The dash values freeze, as in the RC Track freezes. Screenshot shows it froze at 17:38:03. And yes, when it freezes everything stop updating, not only the CAN values but also the UTC clock.

Doesn't appear to be anything related to the USB connection because if I cycle the power without touching the USB then everything is fine. And it can't be CAN, because then the UTC clock would keep working. That's why I'm suspecting the RC Track itself.
Attachments
IMG_2353.jpg
IMG_2353.jpg (69.63 KiB) Viewed 296 times

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 6210
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Re: RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Post by brentp »

Do the values also freeze if connected via laptop, bluetooth to Android, or WiFi to Android or iOS? (does it freeze on those devices)

When the values freeze, do you see any flashing red LEDs on the unit?

GTIspirit
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:20 am
Location: SE Michigan

Re: RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Post by GTIspirit »

Yes, when it freezes there is a flashing red light on the housing of the RC Track Mk2. This time when it happened I removed the mini USB from the RC Track and re-inserted it. That triggered the RasPi to re-initialize the connection and data resumed, for a short while until it happened again.

Doesn't seem like it's temperature or vibration related, as the place where it's mounted doesn't really get very warm at all. And the vibration at idle is no worse than driving down the highway. I wonder if it has something to do with interference at the autocross site, because it most frequently seems to occur right at staging in front of the start line. When I'm near timing and PA equipment. (Though I did see it happen in the garage, it's just infrequent in the garage, and practically 100% at autocross start line staging.) Maybe I should wrap my RCTrack in tinfoil. :lol:

Seems like there is an additional robustness improvement potential here. If the App sees that the UTC time hasn't updated in X amount of time it could try to re-initialize the USB connection.

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 6210
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Re: RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Post by brentp »

The red flash is an indicator that the USB connection is dropping for some reason. This is due to an intermittent electrical connection, likely vibration related. If you haven't tried it yet, you can switch to a different USB cable. You can also try switching to WiFi connection, just as a comparison / debug approach.

GTIspirit
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:20 am
Location: SE Michigan

Re: RC Track intermittently freezes while driving

Post by GTIspirit »

@brentp strange thing is, after it loses connection, it's usually restored with a power cycle of the RasPi dash and RC Track. Meaning, I don't touch the connection. This is why I suggested an improvement opportunity to periodically attempt connection re-initialization when the RasPi senses that UTC time stops changing. Because, UTC time comes from the GPS engine on the RC Track. A stale UTC would signify dropped connection.

Sure, I'll try enabling WiFi, but there isn't much instruction here. The RasPi dash how-to only mentions the hardwire connection. When I try first time setup on the RasPi dash there is only the option for USB, no option for WiFi.

I tried on my iPhone using the RC App v2.5.0 and it only have the option for WiFi, but just hangs "Waiting for connection" and doesn't connect. Yes, the iPhone is connected to the RCTrack Mk2 device in the iPhone Wi-Fi general settings.

Post Reply