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Old 12-26-2011, 11:51 PM   #1
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Default What is the best data acquisition system?

Trying to help a friend get ready for a race next summer, and we want to do some serious data collection at the track in the spring but need to spend less than $1K. We have an ems for engine stuff, need suspension and sectional times, whatever we can get. Car is going to be insane but can't really say anything about it until pikes peak next year, oops.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:08 AM   #2
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:29 AM   #3
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Good idea to get a clearer picture of what channels you need and how you will use them. What's "best" for one person might not be best for the next. For most people that ask me about data, they actually have no interest in looking at physics data on a lap top after they drive. Most only want accurate lap times without needing a transponder, shift lights and some extra gauges on the dash. For those folks, you shop for sensor inputs and display. For those that are actually going to download the data and look at driving line, minimum corner speeds, shift points etc, you are really buying software, not hardware.

The most advanced D/A systems have powerful but less intuitive GUI's (graphical user interface) or software. I'm a Racepak dealer and love the stuff for it's great blend of affordability, scalability and flexibility. We run it in our race cars, reading the Megasquirt III's datastream and interfacing with Racepak's Smartwire solid state power switching module. Cool stuff.
. The simpler and less expensive G2x is very popular with trackday and club racers.

Other popular systems are Traqmate and their new dash. Max Q data, Race Logic DL1, RLC Commander, Aim Solo and Solo DL. I'm probably missing a few.

If you already have friends with data ac already, give consideration to how useful it would be to able to share and compare data using the same software. That can be more valuable that any cool feature you see on the hardware.

Another reality these days is that you may not need any of it. The latest smartphone apps are truly amazing in how much data they'll capture. The latest apps are just about ready to read your OEM ECU data, collect physics data and record HD video all from your phone. Finish the session and it's already combined with a data overlay showing lateral G's, track map, rpm, lap times. There is at least currently, a limit to the resolution and number of channels any phone can handle so if you want true data ac, you gotta buy the hardware.

Here are some commonly used channels. Decide which are important and how you will use them. That might help narrow down things.

Basic physics included with most entry level systems

GPS MPH
Shift lights
Tach
Gear position
Track mapping
Predictive lap timing (my favorite feature)
Lap Timing
Best Lap display
Lateral G
Accel/Decel G

Engine/drivetrain parameters
usually requiring extra sensors or adapters for your OEM sensors

Oil pressure
Oil temp
Clt Temp
Clt pressure
Trans temp
Diff Temp
Fuel pressure
Fuel level
Boost
Map
Afr (WB02)
EGT - single or multiple
Water/meth injection reservoir level
W/M/I D/C
W/M/I status
Voltage
TPS
MPG
Injector D/C

Advanced physics data

Brake line pressure
Steering angle
Suspension travel
Slip Angle
Roll
Pitch
Vertical G
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:01 AM   #4
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Magneti Marelli

I have a G2X bud have not used it yet.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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Advanced Physics is all of the stuff we need to adjust suspension and aero. What components do I need to do it?
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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If you are looking to adjust supsension and aero, a thousand dollars is not going to get you very far. I just got a quote of 300 for each shock pot.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:22 PM   #7
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I have a Racepak G2x

..... but the best answer is ....... whatever most of your trackbuddies have

if you get G2X but they all have trackmate, then you can't compare your data to their data .... and thats where you'll learn how to use the system, how to analyse data and be able to compare where you are fast/slow compared to them
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:46 PM   #8
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+1 to get what your friends have, +1 to 1000 not being nearly enough to really gather a lot of data.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotaryjunky View Post
Advanced Physics is all of the stuff we need to adjust suspension and aero. What components do I need to do it?
All those sensors will cost over $1600 alone, you need a larger budget to do that.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotaryjunky View Post
Advanced Physics is all of the stuff we need to adjust suspension and aero. What components do I need to do it?
Really, a basic D/A system will do that. Lap times, lateral G, sector time, RPM, GPS mph. With that, a tire pyrometer, pressure gauge and you can do more than most club racers and amateur time trialers will ever figure out.


Aim Solo DL
Racepak G2X
Traqmate

..and a few others. Most are well under $1000 and you just need the basic kit, no extra sensors
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:24 PM   #11
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Also, I highly recommend this:

Amazon Amazon
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:33 PM   #12
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I guess if we can drive consistently, we should be able to do a fair amount with track time data. And I am a very consistent driver, consistently slow. The last time someone timed me, I was a minute and 57 seconds three laps in a row within a third of a second of each other. (Thats at gingerman in my na civic.)

He bought a STACK. Anyone use that?
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:40 PM   #13
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Paging Lotus technician SJMarcy:
SJMarcy, please locate the nearest courtesy phone and dial S-C-A-T-B-O-T-T-O-M.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:59 AM   #14
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If your question after the purchase is "does anyone use one" you are in a world of hurt.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:08 PM   #15
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Not my fault. :(

He's impulsive, I like tried and true. And you guys are usually right about ****, you ********. Wish me luck sorting through data. The car is going to be insane, trust me on that, just have to try and tame it. I'll post some pictures when I can. Thanks for your help, I think I will go racepak on my miata when money allows. Spent my current budget building the old motor.
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