Performance Tracking Software

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gpraceman
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Performance Tracking Software

Post by gpraceman » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:34 pm

This is something that I haven't done before, get user feedback before even writing a new software app.

All of my software so far has been geared to the race coordinator. However, now I am considering writing some software geared to the individual racer. The basic concept is for data gathering and analysis in order to improve speed performance. For those with test tracks, you can interface to your timing system to log your test runs. Tweak something and log a set of test runs. Compare the data from different sets of runs to see the change in performance. Record actual race results as well.

So, with such an app, what would you like to see feature-wise? I can't make any guarantees, of course, but I'd like to generate a good list of features to make this a good tool for improving and documenting speed performance.


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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by psycaz » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:54 pm

Ability to record and analyze multiple timing sensors.



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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by BallBoy » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:21 pm

I would like to see a way to record a variety of variables for a given car. I suppose you could build in a list of what may be considered standard variables (e.g. weight, wheelbase, lubricant, Center of mass/gravity, inches of drift). Being able to identify some custom variables would be nice for things that aren't what is determined to be standard (e.g. degree of toe/camber, fender locations, bore diameter), as well as for techniques not yet discovered. Then, with the defined variables be able to graphically show the results for a given variable or set of variables.



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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by birddog » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:42 am

I like this idea, but when I purchased the timer for my single lane test track, I went as cheap as possible and bought a timer that doesn't support an interface to a computer. So, I'm unable to use GPRM with my current test track. If I had to do it over again, I'd pay the extra to get this feature on my timer as I have to manually record each time today.

Also, my copy of GPRM belongs to the Pack, not me personally, so although the license allows me to use it on 2 different computers, I wouldn't feel right using it for my own personal use.

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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:10 am

psycaz wrote:Ability to record and analyze multiple timing sensors.
Yes, that would be good to see, especially before and after the curve.
BallBoy wrote:I would like to see a way to record a variety of variables for a given car. I suppose you could build in a list of what may be considered standard variables (e.g. weight, wheelbase, lubricant, Center of mass/gravity, inches of drift). Being able to identify some custom variables would be nice for things that aren't what is determined to be standard (e.g. degree of toe/camber, fender locations, bore diameter), as well as for techniques not yet discovered. Then, with the defined variables be able to graphically show the results for a given variable or set of variables.
Yes, there should be some way to document a car's configuration and compare the timing results of those different configurations.
birddog wrote:I like this idea, but when I purchased the timer for my single lane test track, I went as cheap as possible and bought a timer that doesn't support an interface to a computer. So, I'm unable to use GPRM with my current test track.
You could manually enter the results for each heat.
birddog wrote:Also, my copy of GPRM belongs to the Pack, not me personally, so although the license allows me to use it on 2 different computers, I wouldn't feel right using it for my own personal use.
I appreciate you abiding by the software license.


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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by jzarvey » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:35 am

I would like to be able to set the software up to run a certain number of runs and have it show average time. Then record what I changed to the car and run that same number of runs and have it report the average. Maybe have a separate file or database for each car that I can save and open to do more testing for each car.


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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by DerbyAddicted » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:03 am

While it may be slightly off topic, if you're considering adding multiple timing sensors (to analyze different aspects of the race), it would add more to the race to add that into the regular software, so if a Pack wanted to, they could do print outs for the boys, and the boys could see how they compare to other racers from peg to curve, the flat, etc Just think it would add to the PWD experience if the boys got a print out like they do at laser tag that broke down different aspects of the race



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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by gpraceman » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:29 am

DerbyAddicted wrote:While it may be slightly off topic, if you're considering adding multiple timing sensors (to analyze different aspects of the race), it would add more to the race to add that into the regular software
The main issue that I see is having a multi-lane track with multiple sensors per lane. It would have to be a custom timer. How many people would build one? Probably not enough to justify building the extra complexity into GPRM. With a single lane test track, you can get a 4 lane timer and mount the lane sensors along that one lane. That seams to be to be a more likely scenario than on a multi-lane track.


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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by BallBoy » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:55 pm

Another feature that may be useful would be a center of gravity calculator. I envision such a calculator being used when planning the build of a car. Perhaps require inputs of block weight, wheelbase, # wheels, weight of wheels, ballast material (e.g. 1/4" tungsten cubes, 3/8" lead rod), ballast locations, presence of/weight of /location of fenders.



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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by gpraceman » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:40 pm

BallBoy wrote:Another feature that may be useful would be a center of gravity calculator. I envision such a calculator being used when planning the build of a car. Perhaps require inputs of block weight, wheelbase, # wheels, weight of wheels, ballast material (e.g. 1/4" tungsten cubes, 3/8" lead rod), ballast locations, presence of/weight of /location of fenders.
That is a possibility, but I wouldn't want it to get too complicated (dealing in all 3 dimensions).


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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by BallBoy » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:28 pm

gpraceman wrote:I wouldn't want it to get too complicated (dealing in all 3 dimensions).
I imagine that most would be satisfied with just 2 dimensions, perhaps even 1. Knowing the balance point fore and aft would be most helpful. Second, in my opinion, would be left to right and lastly the vertical. I know this feature isn't necessarily performance tracking, but rather build planning. I think there is a software niche that could be filled in build planning. Since advanced builders seem to be the target audience for this new product, accuracy in design could be helpful.



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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by quadad » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:29 pm

I think that if the software included columns of data for: Car, Date, Run Number (starts at 1 each day); and then 2-4 'user defined' columns (e.g. car setup), ALONG WITH up to four timing sensor inputs (relative to the start sensor, that would be SWEET ! The output needs to be easily imported into MS Excel or similar programs.

When can I get my trial version ?!?!?!

I will have four timing sensors for a single lane. The nice thing about it is that by just adding a few extra sensors and light sources and wiring, you can then essentially swap connectors on a given track between multi-lane and single-lane mode.



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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by gpraceman » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:37 pm

It is something that I am currently working on. It certainly is not too late to throw out some feature requests.


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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by bracketracer » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:17 pm

I would like to see it work for six sensors at a minimum instead of just four. One file per car with the ability to have multiple sessions per file. It needs to be able to show the average time in the session for each sensor and the standard deviation for each data group. It would be great if it could calculate the intervals between each sensor and average those as well. A notepad to record data about the car's setup. I use a correction factor to compare times on my track to times on the league's track also. It would be cool if you could have it calculate the estimated time based on the average it ran on my track times my correction factor. Each car has it's own correction factor.



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Re: Performance Tracking Software

Post by quadad » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:22 am

Bracketracer, are you set up for six sensors, or expect to be ? I could see someone using up to that many, especially with the newer, lower cost, non-display oriented timing systems. But it would seem to me to be pretty much the upper limit of practicality. I suspect that if someone started with 6-8 sensors, they would soon gravitate to 3-4 that pretty much tell them what is going on. Otherwise it eventually becomes just too much data. I haven’t gone this far though, so I could easily be wrong here.

As far as the math functions, I think there is infinite possibility, and that is why I suggest just having the data easily import into a spreadsheet. But I do believe that it would be valuable if you could get some basic minimum without having to do that step, but I think that the “short list” would explode quickly. Someone using graphite lube might want to plot the total time vs. run number to determine the ‘sweet spot’ after re-lubing. They might like to see the running average of the last 4 or 6 runs. Someone else running an Outlaw or League car on oil might try different setups or staging practices to see which give the fastest time down the hill or minimum time getting through the transition. The list is endless and I think will be almost as long as the number of users. I do see a large benefit of not needing to go to a spread sheet, it’s just that I see a huge job in determining the “short list” of features to support in the software.

Some simple things like allowing users to select either elapsed time or delta time for the sensor data format, calculating a running (variable count) average time, highlighting the minimum values for a given sensor, etc. would, I think, be high ‘bang for the buck’. None of these would prohibit a second step of moving the data into a spreadsheet, they would just give more immediate convenience.

I would still very much suggest a number of optional, user-defined columns for setup, instead of one large text block. A number of these would be applicable to a block of data (e.g. car name, group or individual wheel characteristics, axle characteristics, COM, bore/axle prep type). Many others would be applicable to each run (e.g. staging position, drift, if it wiggled or not). Those still reading at this point can look for the scrolled message about the PWD Obsession Help Group …



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