RegisterSearchFAQMemberlistUsergroupsLog in
Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
Hello from the UK, and some questions
Author Message
Reply with quote
Post Hello from the UK, and some questions 
Hi - I race in Formula Jedi in the UK. This is my toy:



I currently use a Stack DashLogger, which has been nothing but trouble since the day we installed it. I'm looking to replace it for next season. Alex Carrano, who also races in Jedi, pointed me at RaceCapture/Pro. I'm particularly drawn to it because I'm a software engineer, so the open nature of the platform is very attractive.

I have a few questions that I'd be very grateful for answers to:

  • My current Stack system is a complete logger and dash solution. I would certainly be looking to use the Bluetooth Dash Display, but I'm not sure to what extent it would be possible/sensible to use that as the only display? Would I need to (or be well advised to) supplement it with other things (rev counter? shift lights? low oil pressure warning light? anything else?). I'm slightly reticent because, as I know from experience, Bluetooth can occasionally be grouchy (my phone *almost* always connects to my car, but...). The last thing I want to do is (say) stall on the grid, restart the car, and then discover that my dash isn't displaying anything because it's failed to reestablish its Bluetooth connection...
  • As I understand it, Linux and OS X versions of the software are planned, but not available yet? Is there an ETA for either/both? Any functionality differences/limitations between the different versions?
  • Is there any reason why I wouldn't be able to run the Windows version on a Mac within a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion)?
  • Is the integrated telemetry the only option for uploading data to race-capture.com? Or can that be done after the fact? I don't have any particular need for real-time streaming of data, but would like to be able to share and analyse it online.
  • Are there any options for integrating/synchronising with video?
  • Is there any reason why I shouldn't be able to use the existing Stack sensors that are fitted? Any reason why I might be well advised not to, even if they could be made to work?
  • Am I right in thinking that the lap timing works via GPS only? There's no requirement for a beacon or similar?
  • This is a very subjective question, I know, but how accurate is the predictive lap timing? The Stack system I currently have *claims* to have predictive timing, but in practice its predictions are so inaccurate as to be useless. Does the RaceCapture/Pro predictive system use only GPS for its predictions, or does it also use accelerometer and wheel speed data?
That's turned into quite a long list of questions Embarassed. Thanks in advance for helping me make sure that this is the right way for me to go!


_________________
paul.butcher->msgCount++

Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington Park...
Who says I have a one track mind?

http://www.paulbutcher.com/

Author of Seven Concurrency Models in Seven Weeks: When Threads Unravel
http://pragprog.com/book/pb7con
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Reply with quote
Post Howdy! 
Hey Paul. Welcome to the forums. That does look like a very fun toy. Let me see what I can do to answer your questions (some of the other RCP guys might join in too). If i don't respond to your point its because I don't have what I feel to be a good enough answer.

Quote:

My current Stack system is a complete logger and dash solution. I would certainly be looking to use the Bluetooth Dash Display, but I'm not sure to what extent it would be possible/sensible to use that as the only display? Would I need to (or be well advised to) supplement it with other things (rev counter? shift lights? low oil pressure warning light? anything else?). I'm slightly reticent because, as I know from experience, Bluetooth can occasionally be grouchy (my phone *almost* always connects to my car, but...). The last thing I want to do is (say) stall on the grid, restart the car, and then discover that my dash isn't displaying anything because it's failed to reestablish its Bluetooth connection...


I personally don't trust displays either so I would advise a primitive fallback system that you can count on when a display does something wrong. In example with my team's race car we have shift lights driven by RCP with our ShiftX board. We also have 4 independent LEDS that are used as warning lights. All are programmed via LUA and handled directly with RCP.

Quote:

As I understand it, Linux and OS X versions of the software are planned, but not available yet? Is there an ETA for either/both? Any functionality differences/limitations between the different versions?


Yes these apps are in development and can be found at https://github.com/autosportlabs/RaceCapture_App. We are working diligently on the app but don't have any concrete ETA that I am aware of. We want to ensure the app is done well and as issue free as possible and we intend on releasing it when we feel we have reached that point. But if you would like to play around with it and use it (we all do) then do feel free. Hooray open source. There are some dependencies that need installed but its not too bad. The README should have everything you need (and if it doesn't come back to this forum and we can help).

Quote:

Is there any reason why I wouldn't be able to run the Windows version on a Mac within a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion)?


Sometimes VMs and USB like to have issues. VMware traditionally has been pretty good about this (disclaimer: I used to work there) but occasionally issues crop up.

Quote:

Am I right in thinking that the lap timing works via GPS only? There's no requirement for a beacon or similar?


Yes. We do not currently have beacon support nor is it a requirement Smile.

Quote:

This is a very subjective question, I know, but how accurate is the predictive lap timing? The Stack system I currently have *claims* to have predictive timing, but in practice its predictions are so inaccurate as to be useless. Does the RaceCapture/Pro predictive system use only GPS for its predictions, or does it also use accelerometer and wheel speed data?


Disclaimer... I wrote it. In my testing it has been very accurate (like ~1/10th of a second). It only uses GPS, nothing else. The system is very dynamic in that it learns how long the track is (based on your fast lap) and adjusts its data usage patterns on that. Its accuracy will go up after you turn a couple of quick laps (read 8/10th driving). Its more accurate on shorter tracks than longer ones, but that is likely unnoticable. Might be a little off in corners, but not by much.


Hope that helps.


_________________
Andrew Stiegmann (Stieg)
Principal Engineer
Autosport Labs Inc.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Reply with quote
Post  
Hi Paul - I see Stieg replied (thanks!) and I'll weigh in too.

All great questions. our other team members will jump in on some of the questions.

1) There's no doubt that a hard-wired connection is the most robust - there's a trade-off with the convenience of a wireless solution. That said, we're putting a lot of effort making sure the app re-connects aggressively on power cycle events, etc.

If it makes more sense to you, you can run the RaceCapture app as a secondary display until you're comfortable switching over. You can even integrate RaceCapture/Pro with your stack system and pull data from the Stack system, if the Stack system has a CAN bus interface, and there's useful info you want to pull from it (not sure what features your stack system has)

2) actually we primarily develop in Linux and OSX for the app; we're working on an OSX installer and deciding on the best way to create a package for Linux (yum / apt-get repo, etc).

You know we're open source, right?
https://github.com/autosportlabs/RaceCapture_App
https://github.com/autosportlabs/RaceCapture-Pro_firmware
http://www.autosportlabs.com/about/

3) the app is cross platform - no need to run it in a VM if you have the chops to get the source running. Smile

4) we're working on uploading after the fact; but with telemetry, the data is waiting for you as soon as you get out of the car, no need to do the uploading steps.

5) Yes, with RaceRender and Dashware you can sync and overlay video. You can also trigger a go pro via our user defined outputs (soon to be documented)

I think our other team members want to weigh in, I'll let it go from here Smile


_________________
Brent Picasso
Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Reply with quote
Post  
Regarding sensors; while we recommend dedicated sensors, RCP MK2 has very high impedance on the sensor inputs. So, if you tap in to an existing sensor, it should not affect the measurement of the original sensor. You should definitely verify this, of course.


_________________
Brent Picasso
Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Reply with quote
Post  
Andrew, Brent, many thanks for your replies.

Regarding the Bluetooth connection to the dash, is there an option for a hardwired (USB?) connection instead? If I go this route, I'll be permanently mounting an Android tablet on the dash, so hardwiring would be no less convenient than Bluetooth. And if it's going to be more reliable, definitely preferable.

Regarding the existing Stack system, the intention is definitely to discard it—it's been so unreliable that I'm tempted to reprogram it with an axe after it's out of the car. But it might make sense to retain the sensors that have already been plumbed in (which is why I was asking the question about using them). I would be quite happy to replace them with sensors that you recommend instead though, if you think that that would make for a better/easier/more reliable solution.

In particular, running the RCP dash alongside the Stack dash is not an option. Apart from anything else, there's absolutely no room in the cockpit for that kind of setup (as you can probably see from the photo of the car, there's not much spare space available!).

Good news on the OSX version. I'm quite happy to install from source, so that sounds like an excellent option.


_________________
paul.butcher->msgCount++

Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington Park...
Who says I have a one track mind?

http://www.paulbutcher.com/

Author of Seven Concurrency Models in Seven Weeks: When Threads Unravel
http://pragprog.com/book/pb7con
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Reply with quote
Post  
Hi Paul,

The USB port on RCP is in device mode only, so the android computer would need to provide a USB host and then when plugged in, expose the interface as a /dev/ttyACMXX device. The android app currently isn't designed to connect in this manner; but perhaps a custom linux dashboard would work. The USB connection is currently focused as a connection for your laptop for ad-hoc programming / monitoring.

We have some future dedicated dash projects in the works and connectivity will be via CAN bus and possibly serial integration. There are 2 RS232 ports on the unit; one dedicated to wireless (bluetooth) and the other left available for custom serial integrations (ECUs, etc).

If you can get a 0-5v signal from your existing sensors then you can certainly get those mapped in to RCP's input; the sensor calibration options are very flexible. I'd say try using your existing sensors first!


_________________
Brent Picasso
Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Reply with quote
Post  
Thanks Brent.

I'm not sure I'm up for writing a custom dashboard just yet, so it sounds like the right option would be the Android dash over Bluetooth, plus the minimum of hardwired backup lights.

Is this the ShiftX board that Andrew referred to:

http://www.autosportlabs.com/product/sequential-led-cluster/

(I only ask because the text "ShiftX" doesn't appear on that page).


_________________
paul.butcher->msgCount++

Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington Park...
Who says I have a one track mind?

http://www.paulbutcher.com/

Author of Seven Concurrency Models in Seven Weeks: When Threads Unravel
http://pragprog.com/book/pb7con
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Reply with quote
Post  
That would be the board! it's the code word for the project in github. It's a simple board that brings together a number of surface mount LEDs in a 3 stage element.

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Reply with quote
Post Re: Hello from the UK, and some questions 
paulbutcher wrote:

Is there any reason why I wouldn't be able to run the Windows version on a Mac within a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion)?


FWIW, download and installation of the RCP MK2 App v1.2.1, V2 driver, and firmware 2.7.5 went without a hitch for me using a MacBook Pro (OSX 10.9.5) running Windows 7 (64 bit) in VMWare Fusion v6.0.5. Cool

Charley

View user's profile Send private message
Reply with quote
Post  
Hey, that's great to hear, thanks. We'll have an OSX installer soon so you'll be able to run on your mac natively.


_________________
Brent Picasso
Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Reply with quote
Post  
I spent an educational day yesterday wandering around the Autosport Show here in the UK looking at dash and logging solutions. With the notable exception of MoTeC, they're all stuck in the dark ages. And MoTeC is both ruinously expensive and closed.

So all of this has, I think, persuaded me that I am going to take the plunge and go with an RCP installation.

The one thing that's still giving me sleepless nights is the Bluetooth connection. But I'll live with it.

Two things did come up during my conversations yesterday that I'd appreciate guidance on though (I know that, because the software is all open source, the answer to all these questions is "yes, given enough work" but what I'm trying to work out is whether they're easily achieved with the software in its current state):

Firstly, is there any way to control the dash (switch between different display configurations, for example) from the RCP? It occurred to me that I probably won't be able to use the touchscreen with race gloves on (and I don't think the scrutineers will appreciate me cutting the fingers out!). So what I'd like to do is mount a couple of buttons on the dash and use these to do things like reset the lap times and page between displays?

Secondly, I know that there's a good way to get data from the car to the pitwall, but what about in the other direction? A "come into the pits" notification, for example?

Finally, I'm still not sure whether I need the integrated telemetry option. If the Android tablet I use as a dash includes a modem, can I stream to/from race-capture.com from the tablet instead of the RCP itself? Assuming that I can, are there any tradeoffs I should be aware of between the two approaches?

Thanks!


_________________
paul.butcher->msgCount++

Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington Park...
Who says I have a one track mind?

http://www.paulbutcher.com/

Author of Seven Concurrency Models in Seven Weeks: When Threads Unravel
http://pragprog.com/book/pb7con
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Reply with quote
Post  
Hi Paul,

Thanks for the sentiment and feedback, and as you could guess, we feel much the same way and that's why we're taking a different approach at a fundamental level.

For touchscreen, you could try this product: http://www.amazon.com/AnyGlove-TM-Synthetic-Touchscreen-Compatible/dp/B00AB3EVOW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420917654&sr=8-1&keywords=touchscreen+gloves+drops

We recently purchased some and will be testing it ourselves.

We have it on our list to do 2 way communications through the cloud service - details have not been hammered out yet.

You can do telemetry via the app or through the dedicated telemetry module. Think of the dedicated module targeted for purpose built race cars where data just starts streaming automatically with no additional set up by the user. App mode best targeted for track / lapping day use cases.

Hope that helps!


_________________
Brent Picasso
Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Reply with quote
Post  
This thread is about 10 months old now but worth a follow up, as I had the exact same question re using nomex gloves with a touch-screen.

brentp wrote:
For touchscreen, you could try this product: http://www.amazon.com/AnyGlove-TM-Synthetic-Touchscreen-Compatible/dp/B00AB3EVOW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420917654&sr=8-1&keywords=touchscreen+gloves+drops

We recently purchased some and will be testing it ourselves. .


Brent, what was the result of using the AnyGlove chemical?

It looks like a very easy fix, but only temporary since it wears off with limited use and after washing a few times (per their website).

Although it is a bit more labor intensive, a more permanent solution would be to sew conductive thread into the tips of the glove fingers. It also probably works a lot better, too. Here's the link to a DIY video I found.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-A-Glove-Work-With-A-Touch-Screen/

I am thinking of doing this to all of my gloves and my wife's.


_________________
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
View user's profile Send private message
Reply with quote
Post  
Great link to instructables article! I think this will be essential for many racers as touchscreens become more popular in racing environments.

Let us know how the glove modifications go.


_________________
Brent Picasso
Founder, Autosport Labs
Facebook | Twitter
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:
Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum