WiFi Lap Uownload (Pit Chief View)

edited March 2013 in RaceChrono for Android

Found an interesting Android Latimer with a unique feature set, it will upload the lap information, including the OBD data when it comes within range of the teams wireless router.

It's a VERY interesting concept that work perfectly for endurance racing, found it looking into the 24 Hours Of Lemons. Plus it takes the requirement for a data connection out of play.




  • the idea is interesting but... why use a wifi connection which can only operates on a very short distance instead of using 3G ?
  • aolaol
    edited April 2012
    Yes, I was wondering too about the WiFi. Might be that the 3G is not reliable for the developer's home track, or he does not have fixed rate 3G service. I'd think the data would be even more useful before the pitstop.
  • edited May 2012
    Hey guys, I'm the developer of WifiLapper. This is actually the first thread I'm aware on the internet to mention WifiLapper, so that's pretty exciting. If you guys have any feature requests or bugs to report, feel free to email me.

    To answer the above questions, I went with the Wifi idea for a couple reasons:
    • It gives you full control of the network - you don't have to worry about blocked ports, congestion, or intermittent reception. If it doesn't work, the user is capable of upgrading antennas or fiddling with the hotspot location until they get it worked out. If 3G wasn't working at a track, you're out of luck.
    • You can use cheaper devices - you could use a non-phone device that doesn't even have 3G.
    • Multiple teams can share the Wifi connection. In a 3G situation, every team would need to have their own internet connections with their own data plans for laptops and phones. With Wifi, only one group of people at the event needs to bring a router.
    • If I went with 3G, either I or WifiLapper's users would need to provide a web-connected server to receive the data, and then their Pitside device would need an active internet connection too. Building a server system is difficult for the average user, and I don't have the experience to make it work.
    • 3G access in Canada is at least $35/month. Since most people won't be putting their main phone in their racecar, I didn't want people to have to get a data plan for their in-car phone. Since I'm just a one-man dev team, it also would've meant I'd have to spent a couple hundred dollars maintaining a data plan while I developed the app.

    I've tested car-to-pit transmission from moving cars to a stationary computer at up to 75mph, so I'm pretty confident you should be able to get your lap data as soon as the lap is complete without waiting for a pitstop. My first track day at an actual track (as opposed to a back road) running it will be in 10 days from now, so I'm hoping for a good result there. If you take a look at the youtube video around the 5-6 minute mark, you can see it transmit from my WRX to a laptop in my garage.
  • edited May 2012
    Well, being the op its fairly self evident that the idea interested me.

    I will say that I stumbled across wifiLapper researching the very thing Art built it for, 24 Hours Of Lemons, $500 jalopies running an endurance race. What intrigued me the most was not in fact the laptimes, well because honestly RaceChrono would be my laptimer with the features it has, but more the ability to feed my pit OBD information. Actually, this is important enough my "team", OK me and my buddies who only have dreams of 24 Hours Of Lemons at this point, that we would likely convert our potential car from pre-OBD2 to OBD2 just for the ability to send vehicle health info to the pits. Temperature on the rise? The driver might miss that, but the crew likely won't. All this needs to happen while the laps are taking place, but not really in real time, or at least not enough of a reason to invest in the very expensive equipment it would require.

    On the other hand, I would like to see my laptime, comparison to previous lap, and split times at a glance and then look at the specifics after my stint while relaxing in the pits, which RaceChrono provides me now, and a whole lot more. Heck, just yesterday I found features of RaceChrono I didn't know about, and I have been using it for 2 years, granted to time my drive to work, but still...

    Art, neat feature set and thanks for posting. Good luck at the race. Lemons? Or Chump? Hopefully I'll see you at a track one day, although that's at least a year away.

    Aol, I hope I have said enough over the last 2 years to let you know how much I love the program (and I havn't even used it on the track yet). But if I have not then, well, It's awesome. But, I still figured you might like to see some different ideas, plus to pit streaming is something I know was on the to-do list, and I liked how this didn't require a data connection to make it happen.

    Thanks gents, and both please keep up the awesome work.

  • aolaol
    edited May 2012
    Art, thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights in such open manner! It's interesting to hear your side of it. Good luck with the project, and racing too!

    Over here in Finland 3G is cheap (cheapest is probably 5 euro / month) and works well, I usually don't even bother turning on WiFi even if available. Still, it's clear to me that not everyone has this and I need to develop RaceChrono this in mind (ability to disable maps/satellite imagery etc.)

    I've toyed with the ideas of having web back-end and live data at pits for some years now. The ideas are great, but unfortunately they have never come to reality. For this Android version I've been planning a session cloud sync feature, maybe I should design it so that it would allow also 'live' sync?

    Keep in mind, the move from Symbian/WM platform to Android is such a big task that it will still take some time to get to same feature level that we used to be... There is many things to do before I get to this kind of cloud features.

    Kyle: It's wonderful to have such big fan of my work!
  • edited May 2012
    Little update - It worked at the track day! It took us a while to find a good spot for the router, but once we did we were getting laps transmitted not just from the track the router was nearest to, but also from a spur that came close to that section of track as well. Router placement is absolutely key, it looks like.
  • edited May 2012
    With this cloud sync: Would this be a service hosted on racechrono.com? This would be great for general use but as has been said if there is flaky 3g at the track this could be a problem. Perhaps a custom server address could be defined in the program, with the server software available for download too. This way you could have a laptop set up as a mini 'cloud' and not have to worry about 3g.
    This mini cloud server software could also have a 'sync to master server' option so that later on the team could put their times online for all to see straight from the server laptop.

    Of course this probably means more work for you, Aol! haha

    I only mention this because i have been using ubuntu one to sync some files between my phone and computer. (Photos from the phone, ebooks and music to the phone) and while it is great, i would much rather have the server on my own network rather than the internet at large. Even if it's less convenient sometimes. (Generally the phone only syncs when plugged into its charger while on wifi)
  • sorry, no advertising commercial products here! (just deleted one)
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