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Re: [FOT] Data acquisition

Subject: Re: [FOT] Data acquisition
From: Dave Riddle <>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 11:34:55 -0700
The funny thing about Data Acq in use by non-pro teams/drivers is 
that it seems to be something they got because others have it.

I run an old AIM Mychron system on my ancient Formula 500 car and we 
have a newer AIM Mychron Gold on my son's 80cc shifter kart.  When we 
are at the track with his kart it looks like we are the only ones 
that actually download and look at the data between sessions.  It 
seems that most people that download at the track just store the data 
to look at later when they get home.  Others must wait until they get 
home to download (maybe they don't have a notebook to download to).

Whereas most seem to use the display as an expensive tach/speedo I 
look at our data to help primarily with jetting, gearing and tire 
pressures and chassis setup.  The EGT readings (along with old school 
plug readings) help with jets, spark plugs and ignition 
timing.  Corner exit acceleration and straight-line top speed and RPM 
readings help with gear selection and lateral "G" readings help with 
tire pressures and chassis setup.

Track mapping, water temp, ambient temp, lap times and longitudinal G 
are all interesting but not really helpful while at the track.

Now the track mapping as described at Bill would be interesting if 
you can actually see when the track surface is in relation to the 
line that your are taking because the track mapping that we obtain 
from the Mychron software only shows the determined line (lateral and 
longitudinal G) being taken and not the relation to the physical corner.

The other benefit to a Data system is it's ability to help you 
protect your equipment.  I have the progressive shift lights set so 
that they gradually light up as Tyler pours on the power and go nuts 
all flashing at him when he is getting to an over-rev 
condition.  Helps keep from blowing motors.  Same thing with EGT and 
Water Temp warning lights.

Just having a Data Acq system is not going to make you a 
better/faster driver.  Heck there are people in cars with just a tach 
that don't even bother to look at that single instrument!  You can 
tell by hearing them hit the rev limiter constantly.

Do things change? Yes.  We have seatbelts, roll bars, etc... 
now.  Those safety devices make us faster as well as safer.  Analog 
instruments were put in cars to tell us what is going on under the 
hood.  Now we have digital insrucments that allow us to play back a 
session on track so that we can see what was going on under the hood 
while we were too busy driving to pay attention.

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