Data loggers!

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Road Racing' started by McRib 1s Back, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    I think all the ELM 327 are exactly the same Chinese product with different branding. Mine is okay at relaying ODBII data but occasionally midrun will freeze the tach.

    The Kiwi wifi gets good ratings but costs $100. Wifi has better response than BT.

    I use the phone GPS and it works good enough for me (iPhone 4GS)
  2. Register or Sign in

    Advertisement Sponsor

  3. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    Simvalley ELM327 WIFI OBD II Automotive Diagnostics Scanner for iPhone iPad iPod Touch is the one I got from Amazon. Around $20.
  4. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback. I see some units advertise that they are the newer version of ELM 327, maybe I'll give it a try on WiFi.

    The iPhone is capable of giving a single data point per second for the GPS (as opposed to the ten times/second+ of modern external GPS units). You can see why that can give some bad speed data and generally bad accuracy. The iPhone's (5s) M7 chip and accelerometer are innovative and give great resolution. My Lap Timer reports >30Hz resolution in this space. I can't wait to try the whole rig out at Big Willow on Saturday!
  5. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    What external GPS unit do you use? Any others have recs on GPS?
  6. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    I have a Bad Elf Pro BT, but it's funky -- see my previous posts in this thread about it.

    I just bought an XGPS 160. Both units are 10Hz, but this new one actually gets it through the app. I think you get 1-3Hz on Bad Elf. Lame, considering how good it is in my desert offroad map use. Another story...

    So, my plan is to use the XGPS 160 and a WiFi based unit. I really don't think you can reliably use two BT devices that weren't designed as a system. As a technical aside, BT and WiFi both potentially use competing bandwidth in the 2.4GHz. This can work, however. Best if WiFi goes 5GHz, but doubt any of these cheap units do that. A big compromise for sure.

    Another big downside of the WiFi OBD II type units is that they require a private network configuration (RFC 1918) and means you cannot also be on the Internet at the same time. I suppose this is just an annoyance, but it doesn't feel like the right way to handle this problem.
  7. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    I'm trying out this cheap ELM 327 WiFi unit. It claims A/B/G WiFi so maybe I can force 5Ghz WiFi bandwidth and better reliability. I think the drop-outs people report are sometimes related to 2.4Ghz noise/interference. Cable free operation is a nice benefit. I figure it's not that big of a risk for the money. I'd spring for the more expensive units if I had even a single first-person account of their reliability.
  8. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    That unit is the same ad what I have and have been a bit underwhelmed. You can see how the tach gets stuck in my YouTube videos. I'm gonna give it one more try.

    I'll check out the GpS units you recommend. They integrate with trackaddict.
  9. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    I use this one with the GPS in the Iphone it works well Go Point BT1
  10. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    Not exactly the same, but using the OBDlink MX, I'm getting ~30 pid reads/second, and I think you can pick / prioritize what gets read.

    I'd really like a good logging system, but I'm starting to think that a full system is the way to go instead of piecemealing one together. $150 just for the GPS signal sounds steep. Please keep us posted with how everything plays together.
  11. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Sure other sensors have better fidelity, but GPS is an area where you're hard-pressed to get reliable 10Hz sampling. Your OBD II sensor is effectively giving you real-time data, so why skimp on GPS -- arguably more important for track data?

    Think of it this way:
    $150 (GPS) + $27 (Harry's Timer GP Edition) + $25 (WiFi ELM 327 OBD II) = $202 that's very cheap for such a system. It's basically a fraction of the cost of full-fledged system. If you like Harry's, you don't have to make the leap to a dedicated system (especially since Harry's has unique features some pro systems don't!).

    My point here is that we have a very viable middle ground solution. You can use that GPS sensor in other applications too. Spend $86 and get the 5Hz "150" model for nearly as good real-time data and you have a nice budget option (compared to flying, we're moving pretty slowly, and there might only be a few corner cases where it doesn't work as well as the 10Hz unit).

    For any amount of money it's a very clean setup. This GPS gives you actual real-time data rather than the stale/plastic looking display updates. Watching side-by-side videos with Harry's on built-in GPS versus 5Hhz+ is what sold me. I'll share more detail soon. :)
  12. jimlau

    jimlau Member

    I'll tread carefully here since I'm not a forum sponsor, but do consider what you look to get out of your data and/or video besides something cool to show on Youtube. Serious data loggers usually come with some analysis software to overlay laps on each other, to compare yourself with others, a theoretical best, and instructor, different car setups, and so on. So one goal might be to piece something together, but another might be to spend a few bucks toward really understanding what you are doing on a track and where you can improve. Keep in mind what we all spend for a set of tires or track entry fees! A few hundred dollars for a device you can use in any vehicle you're in, and making performance gains in your driving, which apply to any car you drive, doesn't sound so crazy.

    I just wish we didn't have snow on top of snow on top of ice here in Michigan so I could go out to play with this car and collect some data/video and work with it!
  13. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Your opinion is respected, you've made great points, and it's clear that you know a good thing when you see it -- hell, you bought a FiST! :)

    Okay, I get that a complete solution is better, but I wanted this thread to represent the full gamut of options.

    You totally get to represent the virtues of the VBOX lineup, provided you also understand why the budget-minded among us need to be somewhat cost conscious.

    I like gadgets, and I'm betting a VBOX product is in my near future.

    I want to exhaust my cheaper toys first. The iPhone software is innovative and it could take many of us, most of the way we want to go.

    Can you offer a constructive counter to my recent "combo"? Is there a better $200 rig, provided you already own an eligible smart phone?
  14. jimlau

    jimlau Member

    For budget setups, I think you're probably right on. I don't have much experience with them other than Harry's, which does support the VBOX Sport. So I think start with HLT, and add on/upgrade pieces as you like. I think there is even a mode in HLT that can save VBO files (native to VBOX).

    Then someone could find their way to the Customer Area on the VBOX Motorsport (even if one is not a customer) and download and use our CircuitTools software for free…
    You don't get support that way, but you can play with our software using data files generated by whatever GPS you're using. Of course the VBOX Sport would be a great choice for real 20Hz data and proper software support, but you can get some other choices for less money.
    McRib 1s Back likes this.
  15. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    That's great insight and advice, thank you.

    See my related PM about the VBOX Sport?
    jimlau likes this.
  16. jimlau

    jimlau Member

    Yup. I'll be able to get back to you on that soon.
  17. hyatt

    hyatt Active Member

    Have any of you guys heard of RaceCapture PRO? It's an open source datalogger built by some racers near Seattle. It has the ability to stream real time telemetry to the internet, monitor independent sensors, trigger devices based on sensor input, etc. It's pretty awesome. We have one at work we've been playing with (that I'm considering buying and putting in a 24 hrs of Lemons car my coworkers and I are building). Not trying to flog my place of business (I just manage the catalogs, not a salesperson by any means) but there aren't a ton of people carrying it yet. Check it out!

    PS I forgot to mention that it exports data as a plain CSV instead of a proprietary file format and that the software to view the data is free.
  18. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing that -- no, I didn't know about it! That is seriously cool! :)
  19. hyatt

    hyatt Active Member

  20. jimlau

    jimlau Member

    That does look pretty sweet for $400! We might need to get one of these to mess with at the office…

    And just so we're clear on data files, the VBOX .VBO format is just space-delimited text. So while it may technically be proprietary, it can still be easily played with in Excel or any other data analysis tool, and free software can export VBO files to CSV, KML, and other formats.
  21. hyatt

    hyatt Active Member

    I've heard really good things about the VBOX! The VBOX Sport is particularly intriguing.

Share This Page