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Old 07-23-2016, 12:14 AM   #1
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Default Opinions on Data Logging Dash Units

Hi guys,

I'm after some real world feedback and opinions on currently available data logging units and race dashes.

My race car currently runs an older Haltech PS1000 ECU which is working fine. I'm data logging using a Traqmate GPS unit, using the older predictive lap timing display, and with a Traqdata 2 add on unit which is wired to read various inputs such as TPS and AFR/lambda, and running a möbius camera. I'm using Dashware to overlay the data onto video. Example:


I'm using various analogue gauges, stock tach, and an Ecliptech shift light unit.

This works fine, but it's a limited solution. Synching is a pain (largely a Dashware problem I think). Data inputs are limited with Traqdata and require manual splicing into the loom to pick up signals, though the GPS and predictive timing functions are great. Having to plug the PC in to the unit (rather than just remove a data card) to get the data is annoying too. Still, it was fairly inexpensive (comparatively), and has done the job for the most part.

I'd now like to upgrade, ideally to an integrated dash/data solution. It wouldn't necessarily need to be an all-in-one, but in the end I'd like the following features:

* Race dash that displays key engine data, GPS speed, predictive lap timing, and shift lights (as a minimum) - ideally this would come from the ECU via CANbus.
* GPS based logging (5hz minimum,10+Hz preferred) for speed, track mapping, lap times, primary ECU data (including rpm, AFRs, TPS, coolant temp, etc), and perhaps a couple of other inputs (maybe brake pressure, oil pressure, etc) - again, with ECU data via CANbus.
* Camera control from the unit - I can't reach my camera to turn on/off when harnessed in. I could switch it and set up to start recording when powered on, but I'd rather have functionality like the Traqmate (ie. start video recording with data). 2+ cameras (for chase cam functionality) would also be nice but is not mandatory.

I don't necessarily need real time overlay of data - I'm happy to do that later, provided the software is user friendly.

So, with this in mind, what's the best solution? As I see it, there are a few options. For full dashes:

AiM - either an MXL2 or MXS. I have heard various reports about them, good and bad. Also at the top of the price tree for a logging dash - around $2500-$2800AUD (more for the larger MXG).

IQ3 Dash Logger (Racepak/Haltech) - Haltech sell a version of the Racepak that is PNP for the PS1000. It is slightly more expensive than a normal Racepak, at around $2300AUD (with logging functionality).

Race Technology - Dash2 Pro with GPS logging enabled, CAN input enabled, and GoPro control enabled. Even with the nickel and diming of Race Tech, it is the cheapest full-dash solution at around $1800AUD.

Otherwise, there are the cheaper non-logging dashes (eg. MXL/MXS Strada, IQ3 non logger, and the standard Dash2) that can be combined with a dedicated data/video logger such as the AiM Evo4, Race Technology Video 4 or DL1, etc.

So... Thoughts? What's the best value solution for my needs? What's everyone else using, and how's it holding up?
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:31 AM   #2
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We have an AIM system in our race car, pulls everything over CAN from the ecu. I mean everything, wheel speeds, brake pressures, all engine parameters, fuel level etc etc. Software is fairly easy to use but they only have their own proprietary smartycam if you want to use cameras. We use gopro cams with some ridunkulous sd card and hardwired them in for power. Still start manually at every session and sync to data afterwards. I've always liked the racepak iq3 logger setup. If it's PNP for your ecu and allows extra inputs that would be my best bet.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:38 AM   #3
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I've been looking at data logging and gauge function for a turbo build I'm doing. I priced out like $800 for all the Innovate gauges I would like and that covered only four functions. The AIM MXS dash does all those functions, except maybe ethanol content, plus a lot more for a third more cost. I think I'm going to pony up for it. If anything, its cool and I will enjoy looking at it.

A second major factor other than cost effectiveness was aesthetics. I really don't like A-pillar mounted gauges. I don't want a stuck-on pod. A common mount in the NC are in the dash vent holes if you remove the ball. I could do this, but I have four vents and only two near the driver and I like being cool in the summer. Lastly, the most obvious single din radio plus gauge panel is a good solution, but I already installed a double din navigation stereo there and am happy with it. Considering that, the dash logger seemed like my best option.

At first I was put off by the thought of a digital dash in front of the analog dash in a street car, but now I'm like whatever. It will be fun to play with and I will have all the data I need to avoid destroying a very expensive engine.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:52 AM   #4
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I like and use the Aim Dash. We made a plate that is removable from the dash when required for road use.


I too like my vents for cooling.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verwah View Post
I've been looking at data logging and gauge function for a turbo build I'm doing. I priced out like $800 for all the Innovate gauges I would like and that covered only four functions. The AIM MXS dash does all those functions, except maybe ethanol content, plus a lot more for a third more cost. I think I'm going to pony up for it. If anything, its cool and I will enjoy looking at it.

A second major factor other than cost effectiveness was aesthetics. I really don't like A-pillar mounted gauges. I don't want a stuck-on pod. A common mount in the NC are in the dash vent holes if you remove the ball. I could do this, but I have four vents and only two near the driver and I like being cool in the summer. Lastly, the most obvious single din radio plus gauge panel is a good solution, but I already installed a double din navigation stereo there and am happy with it. Considering that, the dash logger seemed like my best option.

At first I was put off by the thought of a digital dash in front of the analog dash in a street car, but now I'm like whatever. It will be fun to play with and I will have all the data I need to avoid destroying a very expensive engine.
At one time I had a PLX Devices LCD display with several PLX Devices modules (Pressure, temperature and Wideband O2). These were very expensive and a bugger to install (way too much work). The colour LCD looked really sexy at night but during the day with the roof down, I couldn't read it unless it was just using black and white.



I really only ever used its text 4-line mode so I decided to make my own, only better (ie. more readable with the roof down).

DIY twin LED gauges using MS3-Pro and Arduino:


LED displays mounted on red acrylic that screws into OEM gauges (with their needles removed of course, hole drilled in the acrylic for spindle to pass through - the OEM gauges are still fully functional underneath).
Most of the data is read from the MS3Pro via the CAN bus.
The OEM fuel level voltage is sent directly to the Arduino for conversion (0-100%).

Stealth push-button to control 3-Line->4-Line->PeakValues+PeakReset (hold button down for 2 secondds to reset peaks)::


3-Line Mode:


4-Line Mode:


Left Gauge Peak Values Mode (right gauge looks the same as 4-Line mode):
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokiel View Post
At one time I had a PLX Devices LCD display with several PLX Devices modules (Pressure, temperature and Wideband O2). These were very expensive and a bugger to install (way too much work). The colour LCD looked really sexy at night but during the day with the roof down, I couldn't read it unless it was just using black and white.

You've got a very nice gauge install there! Its low key and good fit/finish. I think I see MSM dial faces too.
Getting rid of the dummy gauges the car comes with (oil pres. namely) seems like an easy choice. I think I can get away with leaving my stock binnacle and cluster intact. I now have an MXS dash and it seems like it will fit on top of the steering column.
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