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Data Analysis Fundamentals: Logging Systems

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Logging Systems

05.15

00:00 - Now that we have an understanding of what datalogging is and how it can help, we can discuss what options are available for collecting it.
00:09 There's a wide range of options and here the choice is really going to come down to what you want to log, how advanced you want to get and of course, your budget.
00:18 In general though, we can break down our options into a few different types.
00:22 Portable loggers that can be easily installed in a temporary fashion into your car.
00:27 Standalone logging systems.
00:30 Dash loggers that also provide a driver display.
00:34 And aftermarket ECUs that offer built in logging.
00:38 Of course, there are pros and cons of each so let's cover them in this module.
00:43 Typically the cheapest loggers available are portable lap timers such as the AiM Solo 2 which can be suction cupped to your windscreen and moved easily from one car to the next.
00:55 These units can be purchase for less than $500 USD and are a great entry point.
01:00 Particularly at the club level.
01:03 Most of them will also include a driver display for lap time data.
01:07 Many units of this style however are self contained and will only provide lap time, lap gain/loss, g force and GPS based speed.
01:17 With no ability for additional sensor inputs.
01:20 It's not a bad starting point and even this data is going to be incredibly helpful when you're just getting started.
01:27 AiM also offers the Solo 2 DL which allows easy integration of data from aftermarket ECUs or factory ECUs.
01:37 This can dramatically expand the range of data that you can log, allowing for more thorough analysis of the car and driver performance.
01:45 While I've just mentioned two products from AiM Sports, similar systems are available from a variety of different manufacturers.
01:52 Next, we'll discuss a standalone logging system or enclosed logger.
01:58 Which could be though of as a black box for your car.
02:01 These are normally used in professional or semi professional motorsport and provide a central logging point for all of the data for the engine and chassis.
02:10 These loggers usually provide for a huge number of channels to be logged, often at very fast logging rates.
02:17 And they will provide a large amount of logging memory which is essential at this level.
02:22 This style of logger doesn't include any kind of driver display since these would usually be installed in racecars that already have a separate dash unit.
02:31 If you're not going to include a separate dash unit alongside a standalone logger, then this is a big downside as it's really useful during driver training to be able to see lap times and lap gain or loss data while the driver's on track.
02:46 The other big downside to these systems is that they're usually quite expensive.
02:51 Dash loggers are probably my favourite option but they do add cost and complexity.
02:57 The dash logger acts as a driver display which replaces or supplements the factory gauge cluster as well as acting as a central logging point.
03:06 The dash logger can display lap time and lap gain/loss as well as predictive lap time with an easy view of the driver.
03:14 You can also typically integrate additional sensors directly into the dash logger and bring in ECU data too.
03:22 These are definitely a solid option for a purpose built or heavily modified racecar where the factory gauge cluster may no longer be necessary.
03:30 However in a club level car, you have the added complexity of mounting the dash logger which can be tricky.
03:37 You also need to factor in the cost as dash loggers start in the $1000 to $1500 USD vicinity and can easily run to $3000 to $4000 or more.
03:47 The last option that makes a lot of sense if you have an aftermarket ECU fitted to your car is to use a onboard logging.
03:55 Onboard logging is included on most aftermarket ECUs so on face value this may seem like an easy option.
04:02 However, in my own experience, the onboard logging is usually more geared towards optimising the engine tuning parameters and many ECUs don't offer the ability to take input from timing beacons or GPS to generate lap times or track maps.
04:19 So make sure you check with your particular ECU manufacturer.
04:22 If you can integrate lap timing and G force however, this can be a very cheap way of getting your data if you already have a programmable ECU.
04:32 Just like the enclosed logger, your ECU won't generally be able to display lap time or lap gain/loss so again you're blind to these aspects while you're on track and you can only see your times once you've come into the pits and downloaded your data.
04:47 The best option for you will depend largely on your budget and the type of racing you're intending to do.
04:53 At the entry level, I'd suggest a portable logger as they're cheap and effective.
04:58 Often you can also split the cost with a couple of like minded friends as they're very easy to move the logger from one car to another.