New Dealer: Track Rat Motorsports!

track-rat-logo-big
We’re excited to announce our newest US dealer, Track Rat Motorsports! They will be focusing on sales and installation of RaceCapture/Pro, including Realtime Telemetry and related Autosport Labs technologies.
Track Rat Motorsports is a specialty shop for vehicle data acquisition systems and instrumentation. From pros to track day enthusiasts they have the skills and experience to help racers record their day at the track, play it back with their video to analyze performance and get the most out of their car and themselves.
Located in Florida, Track Rat Motorsports provides in-person expertise for the southeast United States and anywhere online. Look them up!
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Lap times and crystal balls

Realtime Telemetry: New cellular carriers

A much requested feature for RaceCapture/Live real-time telemetry is the support for additional cellular carriers. Good news: we are testing firmware enhancements for enabling U.S. based AT&T and European carriers like T-Mobile UK and other providers.  Enabling additional carriers requires making the cellular module’s “APN” settings configurable in the RaceCapture/Pro firmware, settable via the RaceAnalyzer software. We’re not sure how fresh the data is, but here is a huge list of APN settings for carriers all around the world.  Watch for a firmware update soon!

Mobile App + Bluetooth Features

We are finally ramping up production of the Bluetooth modules this week, and we’ll have screenshots of the updated mobile app coming soon.   To the Indiegogo backers waiting – thank you for waiting- it will be worth it because the mobile app will really take RaceCapture/Pro to the next level.

To support the mobile app we’ve added a couple of key features to the firmware:

Lap Timing

Predictive lap timing

Read more

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Seattle Soho Loft Seattle VC, Angel and Crowd Investing Event

We’ve been invited to be on the panel for Soho Loft’s Seattle VC, Angel and Crowd Investing Event! on June 20!

If you’re near Seattle and interested in crowd-funding your project via Kickstarter or Indiegogo, this would be a great event to attend. We’ve learned (and are still learning) a ton during the RaceCapture/Pro Indiegogo campaign- we’re excited to share that knowledge. Would be great to meet you in person, too. See you there!

JUNE-20-seattle

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RaceCapture/Pro: Open Source race car data and telemetry!

It’s been a while since an update on the RaceCapture/Pro indiegogo project, and we have some important things to share!

Open Source! \o/

Fulfilling the promise of our Indiegogo campaign, we’re excited to announce the open-source release of the RaceCapture/Pro Data Acquisition and telemetry system! You can find it all here on github.   Support the project by getting your own RaceCapture/Pro system!

oshw-logo-200-pxRaceCapture_RevF_3quarter

The hardware artifacts are licensed under a modified Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license, inspired by the Arduino project. The firmware and software is GPL 3.0. You can read the details in the License.txt file of each respective sub-project when you start digging in.

Do U code B/C RACECAR?

Got hardware and/or software chops and love motorsports? We are looking for collaborators to take RaceCapture/Pro to the next level. From firmware enhancements to bug fixes, to developing hardware expansion modules that add additional logging channels or working on android apps, we want to hear from you. Ping us at racecapture@autosportlabs.com, tell us what you love to do and how you’d like to contribute!

Bluetooth Module and Mobile App

Speaking of promises, we are now fully focused on the remaining Indiegogo perks. We have the hardware and inventory to build all of the Bluetooth module dongles- we’ll be cranking on that in the next couple of weeks.

panels of bluetooth modules

Shift Light Perk

We have another design round to do to fix the errors in the first version.  If you forgot what happened the first time, I had a basic design ready, and then one of our backers brightly said, “it should auto dim!”  and “Yeah, that would be a great idea!1!!”. I exclaimed.

So what happened? (begin tech..) The first design tried a 555 timer circuit to change the PWM based on ambient light. Turns out there isn’t enough dynamic range in the 555 timer circuit I used, with the result in not enough dimming. Le Sigh. So,  looking at using a tiny microcontroller to get better PWM dynamic range or using a simpler, 2 step bright/dim setting.  We are probably leaning towards the simpler high / low at this point so you can get a cool shift light that can integrate into RaceCapture/Pro sooner than later.

Onward!

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RaceCapture/Pro is Live!

And RaceCapture/Pro Sales are Live!

If you were not one of the 131 IndieGogo contributors or the select few who have beta tested for us, you can now purchase your own RaceCapture/Pro here for $399.00. We’ve also opened sales of the Real Time telemetry module for $129.00 !

Why RaceCapture/Pro?

It’s plastered all over this website, but here’s a link to the page just in case. Why RealTime Telemetry? Because racecar. Or raceboat. Or race motorcycle. Or race truck. Or race something. Because you need the info, stat!

Because Data drives you!
Because Data Drives You!

Thank you!

Thank you to each and every one of our campaign funders, beta testers, friends, family, friends of friends, race teams, and support crews. You helped us in many myriad ways get the power of open source data acquisition technology into the hands of people not afraid to tinker, program, or hack their cars. And the world of automotive data will never be the same.

What are ya waiting for?! Get one for yourself and get Data That Drives You!

Racing smarter, not harder,
The entire team at Autosport Labs

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BMW CCA Endurance Racing!

We are excited to announce that Autosport Labs is the “Official Data Acquisition and Telemetry Partner” for the new BMW CCA Endurance Racing Series!

Here is their Facebook post:

We are pleased to announce Autosport Labs as the “Data Acquisition and Telemetry Partner” for our series! Autosport Labs will be providing discounted Race Capture Pro units to all our registered racers as well as gift certificates to be provided as contingency prizes. We look forward to partnering with them to provide innovative data and telemetry services to our racers.”


For our part in this partnership we will be awarding trophy gift certificates for the new racing series for the race team exhibiting Best Sportsmanship as well as offering 25% discount codes to registered entrants of the series for Autosport Labs products.

BMW CCA is breaking with a trend seen in other racing series: they are allowing real-time telemetry during competitions. We’re thrilled to partner up with BMW CCA to showcase their new series and showcase our new products in action with live telemetry, as well as the valuable feedback teams will get when reviewing their data post race.


The schedule for the season is May 24th at Mid-Ohio, August 23rd at New Jersey Motorsports Park, and tentatively scheduled is September 20th at Watkins Glen. Check out their website and Facebook page for more details and if you’re a BMW driver, we hope you can get a group of your driving pals and your car out for this fun new series!

http://www.bmwccaclubracing.com/events/enduro.aspx

www.facebook.com/BMWEnduranceSeries/info

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Real time data – you want it. we have it!

Feeding your data addiction

We are building RaceCapture/Pro systems and the real-time cellular telemetry modules as I type!

rcp_and_cell_telemetry_building

Here’s where we are on the perk fulfillments:

- Data Junkie : fulfilled

- Data Addict : fulfilled

- I Can Haz Realtime Data Wave 1 - shipping target May 5

- I Can Haz Realtime Data Wave 2 – shipping target… Maaaybe May 5?

- Mobile App Dashboard + Bluetooth – delayed to end of May

- Shift light bonus perk – delayed to end of May

We are excited for the possibility to compress the 2nd wave of I Can Haz Realtime Data data into the first wave and ship everything more-or-less together. We will see how well the first batch of cellular telemetry modules go this weekend, after all of the unknowns and gotchas are teased out from the volume production process.

We apologize about the delays in the Mobile App + Bluetooth. However, there is a silver lining to this cloud! We have all inventory to produce the bluetooth modules – we just need to sequence the work, which will be scheduled soon after the cellular modules. There’s also the Android dashboard app: this needs additional work to create a base set of features that we can get in your hands in the near term, and then start iterating improvements. For those of you waiting, thank you for hanging in there.

For the shift light bonus perk: this has been on the back-burner and won’t be complete until the Bluetooth modules + Realtime data perks are fulfilled. All of the shift lights will likely be shipped separately from other perk levels.

Missed the Indiegogo Campaign? We have some love for you.

As you’ve noticed, we’re getting close to fulfilling all of the Indiegogo perks for RaceCapture/Pro, the Real-time Cellular modules and even Bluetooth modules.  True to the code-of-honor for crowdfunding campaigns, we have agreed not to separately sell RaceCapture/Pro, Telemetry modules and Bluetooth Modules until all of those respective perks have been fulfilled.

We’re getting close! First up for regular sales is RaceCapture/Pro. Following soon- the realtime cellular telemetry module. Finally, when all of the Bluetooth module perks have been fulfilled, we will make available the Bluetooth Module add-on + Android dash. We will be picking the target dates within a week. Stay tuned!


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Building! Testing?

Building!

We pause this RaceCapture/Pro assembly weekend : (beer) food one hand, blogging in the other, to let you know how things are going at the ‘lab!

We’re finishing up the current batch of 64 units- we will be shipping these out during the upcoming week. 53 are allocated to the ‘Data Addict‘ perk level, and the remaining 11 are slated for the first set of backers in the ‘I can Haz Realtime data’ perk. Our next batch of RaceCapture/Pro circuit boards are on order, and we will start building that batch in about 10 days.

rcp_64_assembly

For those that signed up for the real-time telemetry perk we will be sending you emails with early shipment as they become available, in the original order the perks were backed.

Production telemetry modules and Bluetooth modules are being built in the next couple of weeks as well. This week we’ll be testing the final design while we finish collecting miscellaneous inventory like an appropriate 900/1800MHz GSM antenna, cabling and so on. We’ll be sure to share progress on that as it happens!

In case you missed it on our Facebook post, here’s a picture of the first tested bluetooth module! It’s super tiny and sized to fit a super small plastic enclosure with handy mounting ears, as seen in our previous blog entry.

btConnect_assembled

Bluetooth module - it's so tiny!

Testing?

Testing! So how the hell do we test RaceCapture/Pro ? There are over 100 individual tests: testing analog inputs, digital inputs & outputs, analog and pulse outputs, GPS, SD Card… and much more. For the first 25 units the testing was done in a semi-automatic way, using the on-board Lua scripting language to report the state of the inputs while they get externally simulated by a human.   This is super time consuming in addition to being rather soul-crushing. Enter the automated tester!

What you see is a RaceCapture/Pro circuit board perched on top of a bed-of-nails tester. This tester will automatically flash the bootloader / firmware and then run RaceCapture/Pro through a battery of automated tests while the operator stands by in a very relaxed posture after hitting the start button. The results of the test will be detailed on the computer’s console, and the overall results indicated by a green “WIN” or Red “FAIL” LED. WIN!

RCP_testbed_in_construction

It's an automated test bed b/c lazy!

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Data Addict updates – are you hooked?

Busy week at Autosport Labs! Here’s where we are on the projects:

Fast tracking RaceCapture/Pro shipments


We’re working on fulfilling the “Data Addict” wave of RaceCapture/Pro Indiegogo Perks – due end of March.

We’ve received feedback from the Telemetry Perk backers asking: “Can we at least get our RaceCapture/Pro units early, while we wait for our telemetry modules?”

The answer is Yes: for an extra shipping fee of $10 USD (domestic) / $40 (international) we will ship your RaceCapture/Pro unit in advance of your telemetry perk.  We will email you separately with details on this opportunity. Thank you for the feedback!

RaceAnalyzer + installation / software guides


Lots of progress on RaceAnalyzer and the related installation / operation guides.  Find the guides and latest software on the main RaceCapture/Pro page.

What’s coming up? Expansion of RaceAnalyzer’s analysis capabilities and the matching documentation. Check it out and let us know your successes / questions on the forums.

Bluetooth Module / Mobile app status


We have finalized a design for the Bluetooth module! It’s tiny! – check out the size in the image below. You’ll be able to mount this just about anywhere with the included 6″ cable that attaches to the connectivity expansion port (on the front faceplate, between the button and GPS connection).

Regrettably, development time on the mobile app is causing about a 4 week slip in the Bluetooth / mobile app perk deliveries. We will do everything we can to tighten that up, because we are seriously wanting it for ourselves too!  The plan is to get the app in  a state where a useful set of features exist- then ship it so you can start playing with it while we continue to iterate quickly, adding features and smashing bugs.

btConnect_composite

Telemetry Module


We have Revision B of the telemetry module Printed Circuit Board design out to fabrication right now. Changes include removing the front power button (it’s designed to power up automatically, so it’s not needed), addition of  data transmit / receive LEDs so you can see telemetry activity (who doesn’t like blinky LEDs?) and the ability to use an alternate SIM card holder because our primary source went out of stock (grumble grumble).  In about a week we will be able to build and test a unit – if all goes well we’ll order boards in volume and start building en masse!

Cell_telemetry_board_revB

Revision B Cellular Telemetry module. getting close!

Shift Light


Ahh, shift light…. still stinging from the annoyance of having to re-work the design. We’ll have some more news in the next update.

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Oh hai, we shipped!

In all of the activity over the last few days, we forgot to 1) write a blog post about it and 2) update the Indiegogo project status!

Well, the big news is that on Late Monday / Tuesday the 5th we shipped our first batch of RaceCapture/Pro units to the Indiegogo backers that jumped on the Data Junkie perk level! Here’s a picture of Kelley hauling boxes to the post office:

Haulin' boxes!

I sent a note to all of the initial perk recipients thanking them, providing some context around our project and letting them know where we stood on the documentation and software.  It was a bit more emotional than I expected.

I’d like to share it with you here:

Read more

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