RaceChrono and AVIN Android Head Unit for OBD-2 & GPS

This AVIN Android head unit is for my BMW E46 and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It has no problem connecting to my Bluetooth OBD-2 device for Torque. I previously used TrackMaster with this head unit's internal GPS but really want OBD-2 to overlay information on top of my track day videos which is why I am trying RaceChrono.

I posted to the AVIN Android head unit forum but also want to involve RaceChrono.

I just got the QSTARZ BT-818XT external GPS device. The goal is for RaceChrono to use the GPS and OBD-2 devices simultaneously. My head unit can see both devices available. When in RaceChrono I selected both devices to be enabled for recording. However, when I start a session, it gets GPS at a slow rate and no OBD-2 data at all.

Is there a way to understand if there is a limitation on the head unit where it is not capable of connecting to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously? One backup plan is to try with my Nexus 5 phone with both devices.


  • I haven't got AVIN to test this, but sounds like the Bluetooth stack on the device is a bit buggy. On Nexus 5 connecting two devices will work just fine.
  • Thanks for the reply. The AVIN developer (www.avinusa.com) did get back to me. He said the device is only able to support one data profile. I replied back to get a handle on the details and potential improvements. I did confirm RaceChrono works with the AVIN unit's internal GPS (1 Hz) with my OBD-2 device. That is good enough for video overlays with RaceRender.

    Since I have the BT-818XT device I will use my Nexus 5 phone to use TrackMaster for analyzing my driving lines using the 5 Hz mode.
  • Any reason not using RaceChrono on your Nexus 5?
  • Thanks for the quick replies! I have two use cases:
    1. Overlay lap time, location, and OBD-2 data on top of GoPro video. I may accomplish this with RaceChrono using the AVIN head unit's 1 Hz GPS & my OBD-2 devices. I would export to .csv (v2) to import into RaceRender. The 1 Hz GPS is good enough for the "dot around the track" video overlay. RaceChrono easily adds the .csv file to my Dropbox folder.

    2. Analyze my driving lines around the track. This is where I believe TrackMaster has the advantage: it automatically syncs the data to the cloud and has a nice website for online viewing from any device. Currently (I am new to RaceChrono) it seems that RaceChrono does not have a cloud/web-based or Windows/Linux-based viewing application. I do not want to be restricted to viewing my laps on my phone. I have RaceChrono-2.90 on Android and it gives me these export file options: .csv (v1), .csv (v2), .vbo, .nmea, amd .rcz. I do not know how to utilize these file formats for viewing on any device or even how these import into Google Earth, as that may be a good platform. The RaceChrono instructions mention exporting to .kml for Google Earth but the app I have does not support this. NMEA may be imported by Google Earth but I would prefer a per-lap capability for comparing lines. How is the .rcz file format used?

    I guess one option to reduce the steps would be to use my Nexus 5 phone to collect the GPS at 5 Hz and OBD-2 information with RaceChrono. It is easy to export the .csv (v2) for RaceRender. I would still be left with the question of how I will analyze my driving lines.
  • The .rcz files are for sharing sessions between RaceChrono apps. Also https://serious-racing.com/ supports .rcz files, and I've recommended that for web analysis solution. The .vbo files you can import to RaceLogic's Circuit Tools. Sorry for the outdated documentation, it mostly deals with v1.4 branch of the application, that was available for Symbian and WM devices.
  • I uploaded all my .rcz files from the weekend to serious-racing and after briefly looking at it I really like it. I sent it on to friends to hopefully add data, too.

    I never got any OBD-2 data from this weekend so I am very angry. It was working before the event when I was working on trying this out. RaceChrono was configured correctly. Maybe my OBD-2 device is a piece of garbage or something. Maybe I need to manually connect my Nexus 5 to the OBD-2 reader every time I start the car (which is annoying)? I need to debug this but now I won't have any RPM/throttle data to overlay. The 5 Hz GPS worked great, though.
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