How to Add Telemetry Like a Pro!
This awesome article by Chris Rupnik is a re-print from the October 2016 issue of Pit Signals.
I owe David DiCesar credit for this finding. While at the spring classic at Tremblant earlier this year – David clued me into what I had wanted most: Telemetry for our vintage cars!
As Tremblant doesn’t have a racehero.io compatible version of their track software – all we could get as racers was the best lap and total time. That’s probably fine for most – but I’m a numbers guy and would have appreciated more statistics. He had pruchased an android phone at Walmart in the U.S., one of those cheapy deals where you get the phone for very little dollars but have to pay a high monthly fee. What I didn’t know – and the key – is that the phone works fine without it ever being activated. The software is loaded on the phone via a wifi connection – and the GPS tracking doesn’t require an active cell phone contract to work. I should have guessed that – but now I knew for sure.
This opens up the ability to use any old android or apple phone as a track phone! Maybe someone in your family has upgraded to the latest and has an older phone that is no longer suitable for daily use – however recording 30 minutes of track telemetry requires very little processing power – so really even phones from 3-4 years ago work perfectly!
The software that I use is free – and is called track addict. This software has all the tracks loaded into it – and once you load the application on your phone in fact detects via the GPS which track you are at.
The app is pretty amazing. Using the GPS which provides specific time and location – it is able to determine speed – G-force and what I really wanted – lap time for each lap at Tremblant! Depending on how you mount your phone – you can even take video. However, in my case I much prefer the quality provided by my gopro cameras.
As vintage cars are not allowed to view the telemetry while in the car – please mount your camera in such a way as you cannot see the screen while running, in my case Andrew built a lovely marsupial pouch. If capturing the video isn’t necessary – I am pretty sure just having the phone in your pocket in an open topped car is good enough. Once the session is over – the data is exported as an excel file (CSV) which is then emailed separately – once the phone is in wifi connection. (Editor’s note – please do not carry your phone in your pocket while driving – have it securely mounted away from where it can slip down an interfere with operation of your vehicle).
Now for my case where I have multiple gopro camera video that I want to overlay, the same company that provides track addict application makes “RaceRender” which is $30 but does exactly what I need. This software is step by step assembly of very professional looking video. It takes the CSV file from the phone, asks a few little questions and has a great sync tool that matches the telemetry to the actual video. There are many different pre-defined dash type layouts to choose from – and this is the one that I have found most to my liking. The results is pretty spectacular – and you can see that since the CHGP I ahve been using it on all my videos. Example: https://youtu.be/yOZ-alK1Now
Walter demonstrated at the 2014 CHGP the Harry Lap Timer software which does effectively the same thing but the editing of the final video is done on an ios device – which isn’t my personal preference.
I hope to see more people taking advantage of this great tip by David – THANKS!