267 | Introduction to Aim Solo 2 Logging
AIM make a wide range of motorsport electronics and data loggers, however their Solo range of portable loggers has proved very popular thank in part to its low overhead in getting started and setup. In this webinar we’ll take a look a the system and some basic analysis using the system.
0:00 - Intro
0:15 - Physical overview
3:15 - AiM website sales page overview
3:40 - Heavily configurable display
3:50 - Built in tracks
4:55 - LEDs
5:50 - On screen data recall
7:00 - Communicate with your laptop via Wi-Fi
7:50 - Connect via CAN
8:55 - SmartyCam HD connection
10:00 - Setup
12:00 - Channels tab
15:10 - ECU stream tab
17:35 - CAN expansions
18:00 - Math channels
21:10 - Parameters
25:20 - LED bars
27:20 - Display
29:20 - CAN output
30:00 - Data analysis
39:45 - Who is it suitable for?
41:45 - Questions
- Hey team, Tim here from RaceCraft, welcome to today's member's webinar where we're talking all about the AiM Solo logging system. So today's lesson is just going to be a little bit of an introduction, going over the high level parts of the system, the hardware, the software, how we make use of it. So let's get straight into it. So the AiM Solo, which I've got one of them, this is actually particularly the AiM Solo 2 DL, there's two different variants which we'll go through. I'll just show you under the overhead camera here, what this thing looks like.
So the beauty of this system it can be used as a fully enclosed data logger. So I've got this little suction cup mount which they ship with the logger. It's got actually a really grunty suction cup, it's actually a really nice unit they use and this keeps it nice and stable on the dashboard. But essentially this can be used as a completely self contained logger which can be a really something that can really speed up your process, your analysis process and your setup process as well. So the system itself is pretty simple, from the outside it's got a screen which is used for selecting some of the menus and setting up some of the system which we'll go through a little bit later.
It's only got 4 buttons along here so it's a really really simple thing to use. It's got some LED strips up here which we'll talk about in a second which can be used for either showing predictive lap timing deltas or they can even be used for shift lights as well for the engine. It's also got a couple of connections under here so one of the great things about this unit is it has got an internal battery so it can actually work without even being powered from the car, this can be used potentially, as long as it's charged up, it can be used as a completely standalone unit. So you can just take this entire thing and suction cup it to your car and get going straight away which is one of the big advantages of the system, how quick it is to set up. If you're not doing that and you want this thing to be able to run on external power, you've got the ability to connect an external power source to it, so that can come from something as simple as your cigarette lighter or you can permanently wire it into your car if you prefer.
We've also got the ability to connect up CAN data as well, so we'll talk about that a little bit more but that essentially gives us the ability to have external data coming from the CAN bus. So whether it's things like throttle position or engine temperature or anything like that, we can also have the ability to store it inside the logger itself so this particular one is a Solo 2 DL which is the later version, there's also a more basic version which is just the Solo which doesn't have the ability to take in external data. So that's the hardware for itself, just a really nice compact little thing. So one of the big advantages of a system like this, is it does make the setup time much much quicker. So a lot of the logging systems you'll use will tend to be quite time consuming to set up.
So that can be as far as mounting sensors, mounting the unit itself, running the wiring for it, giving it the power, all of that stuff. It really is quite time consuming. Now one of the points about this particular style logger, and I should say as well, AiM do a huge range of different products, this is only one of their loggers that they do. But for this particular one, the whole point of this is it allows you to get up and go really quickly. In saying that, it does have some relatively powerful features built into it as well which are maybe something you'd more expect to find in higher level logging systems, something that's maybe more permanently installed.
But it does have the ability to get up and going really really quickly which is something I really like about it. Now as far as talking about the different inputs in part of it as well. Jump over to my laptop screen here and I've actually got AiM's promotional material about this logger here which we'll just step through and have a little bit of an overview of it here. So straight away we see there's two different models here, this is the Solo 2 and the Solo 2 DL like I talked about before. DL just means you can hook in external data to log, that doesn't have to come from the unit itself.
So straight away we see we've got the ability to change things like backlight colours, that's one of the things about this particular logger, it is actually really heavily configurable about its display as well. There's a whole lot of different tracks built into this thing so I should say as well before I go any further that as far as the inputs of this thing, the internal sensing it's got, it's got both internal GPS, it's also got built in accelerometers as well so it can do a hell of a lot without any external stuff. But the beauty of having that GPS is it means you can use the GPS for external lap timing so you don't necessarily need to use a lap beacon or anything like that. And this is the screenshot showing you some of the different track configurations. So I don't know off the top of my head how many track configurations it's got but it's got thousands from all over the world.
Now I've never personally been to a track where the track hasn't been part of the built in configuration for the logger but if you do go to it, maybe if you've got your own custom circuit, you're going around, whatever it is, or it's not in that database for any reason, you can make your own and it's really simple to go ahead and make your own track and set your own start/finish lines, your own sectors in there as well if you need to. But it does have a really big database of different tracks you can preselect from in most cases. So it's got these different LEDs up the side here which can be as I said before, can be used for a couple of different purposes, you can use them for a shift light, based on your engine RPM, you can also use them for the predictive lap timing factor. So when you've got a situation where you've got a reference lap time in there and you want to be able to compare how you're going on track relative to the reference, those LEDs can then show you that on track. That's in addition to, we'll go through this a little bit later but the different things you can show on track, you can also show that time delta relative to your reference lap time directly on the screen.
You can show the last lap time, you can show engine parameters, you can show almost anything you want to but having that ability to be able to have those LEDs up the side there so you can see the colours in your periphery are really really helpful, means you don't have to actually directly look at the screen to how you're going relative to your reference lap, you can just see it in your peripheral based on the colours and the number of LEDs that have shown up there as well. What else have we got here? We've got, you can see this is a sort of, one of the displays you can show up on the screen, you can actually got the ability to visualise the logged data on the built in screen down here. That's not something we're going to be going through today, it's not something I personally made use of, I've always made use of the analysis software that is supplied by AiM which is actually the next thing down here. Gives us a little bit of a screenshot and we'll go through it in a little bit of detail later, looking at how we can make use of the post processing software to look at the logged data but it sort of looks like, laid out like most logging systems software and that is in my experience anyway, the most common way to go through and analyse the lap times. One thing you will do when you're at the track if you haven't gone ahead and downloaded the data is you can really quickly just go through and review your previous lap times, that's certainly something I've used it for if I haven't downloaded the data yet and I want to look at which lap was my fastest and when I did that within my stint and what the evolution of the lap times is like, it is actually a really useful screen, you can see a huge amount of data just built into that but personally myself it's not something I tend to look at the logged data, I much prefer to look at that on a much larger laptop screen as well.
The other really nice thing about this logger, something that I find really handy is that you can communicate with your laptop just with WiFi so you don't need to actually plug into things thing to download it. Now it's not a big deal having to download over a cable connection but it does mean that every logging system generally has its own cable type, whether it's by USB interface or whether it's by an autosport plug or whatever it is, however you're connecting to that, often with an ethernet cable as well, it just means you need to have, it's another thing you need to have with you on track. Again it's not the end of the world but it does mean you need to bring it with you, need to make sure it's working, it's in good condition, you look after it, all of that stuff so just having the ability to be able to connect to this thing via WiFI both to download the data but also to program it, I find it's a really great feature and I think it's something we'll see more and more built into other data loggers. I know there are some, definitely some other loggers out there already doing it, but I think it's more and more I think it's something we'll see built into loggers of other existing manufacturers as well. So As I said, it's also got the ability to connect up to ECU parameters, or anything else really on the CAN bus.
So you can pull in data, and we'll go through the setup and look at the huge number of different configurations the pre defined configurations that allow you to connect to different devices but that really does take the level from being something like a really really simple data logger that's just going to help you maybe with basics of looking at your accelerations, your speed trace, which are absolutely really really valid tools but it's really going to allow you to step up your analysis to a much higher level of analysis by being able to log built in stuff that you've already got on the CAN bus of your car. Obviously most vehicles these days have got a lot of data available on the bus, whether that's coming from the aftermarket ECU or whether it's even just from the stock components in your car. There's a lot of information to be tapped into which is great because it means you don't have to go ahead and hook up external extra sensors, you can just use them, everything that's built into your car straight away which in my opinion is a massive advantage, both as far as time investment and cost as well. The other thing that AiM offer as part of their system is their SmartyCam which is just their brand name for their camera input. So this is a little preview here of how that can look.
So one of the nice things that you can do with this is you can take that data that's available either from the CAN bus or from the unit itself, you can then feed that to the SmartyCam which is what we see here, we've got some information as far as speed, gear, RPM, some lateral and longitudinal positional information, GG diagram, track position. Again there's lots of different ways you can manage the video of your car but my preference where possible is to use the native video style that goes with the logger. So what I mean by that is in this case AiM offer an off the shelf camera that's designed to go with their logging system and that usually just makes integration a little bit simpler as well. So my preference is to use the native video system that goes with the logger where possible. They also do some stuff for motorbikes here, this is the mounts and different connection equipment for motorbikes and stuff like that as well but that more or less gives us the overview of that AiM system.
So now let's have a look at how we go ahead and set this thing up. So again on my laptop screen I've got the configuration tool. So the configuration tool we use for this particular logger is Race Studio 3 which is a free piece of software available from AiM. So just to give you a little bit of an introduction to what's happening here, each one of these lines here is a different configuraiton. So that's one of the beauties of a system like this is because it's so quick to swap between different cars, so there is the option to if you maybe don't want to invest in something like this yourself, you can share the cost between you and a few buddies.
And the beauty of having different preset configurations like this is if you want a different configuration to someone else or you have a different configuration for a different car you've put it on, maybe you're using it on a go kart as well as a car, something like that, you can just really quickly come in here, select your selected configuration and resend it to the logger really quickly. So you don't have to go through manually and update the settings one by one each time, you can just have everything stored in a configuration, so that's what each one of these lines is, these are different configurations that I've made for this particular logger when I've gone through from when we first set it up in the car and I've sort of evolved the setup of it and done a few different examples. So what I'm going to do here, I've actually already got it loaded but this is for the worked example that I did for one of our data analysis courses, I'm going to use that configuration template to go through as an example here. So we've got some controls up here as far as updating the software and connecting to the device which is as simple as just clicking on this little WiFi symbol here and you'll find, when you've got it connected you'll find it sitting down here in your connected devices section so it's literally as simple as clicking a button and going, there's no cable to connect or anything like that which again I said is I find a really nice feature. So in this little tab here you'll see I've got the configuration already loaded, this is how I tend to label my configurations, RC in this case for RaceCraft and then the date afterwards, just helps me keep track of what's going on there.
So now I've brought up the configuration, we'll go through it from start to finish here of the basics anyway of the configuration. So this first tab, you can see we've got the tabs broken up here into different sections, this channels tab is the basic channels that are built into this thing. So what I mean by that is without connecting this to any external sources, there's a certain number of channels that this thing will automatically set up to do and configured for you that it'll log. So what I've got set up here, or what we've got in the table is we've got an RPM input. So that's the ability to connect, if you don't have your RPM signal coming over the CAN bus you can actually have the ability to connect up something as simple as an output from your distributor or your ignition coil or something like that and run it right into the back of the dash.
So if you're running a car that doesn't have electronic fuel injection, you can always use the ignition signal to give yourself an RPM signal hardwired into this thing, even if you're not using something like a CAN bus. Alternatively it can be something like a tacho output or whatever you've got, depending on your system but we're not using that on this particular configuration, we're getting that information from the CAN bus which we'll go through soon. We've got these other built in channels here, so in line acceleration and lateral acceleration and vertical acceleration. So we can see here, not only with what do but also the source of each one of these channels so we can see here, this says, internal accelerometer so that's the accelerometer that's built into this thing. You've got the units and the amount of precision we're logging it at here and we've also got the frequency we're logging at.
So you can actually come here and open any of these things, you can rename the channel if you want to, you can change the logging frequency, you can change the precision that it's shown to on the screen. You can come here and do a little bit of configuration if you want to. You've also got, we've got 3 different ingular rates here which in this case are coming from our internal gyroscope so that's our roll rate, our pitch rate and our yaw rate. So you can sort of think of that as being built into the accelerometer, rather than being measured by the accelerometer, it's being measured by the internal gyro. So in the case of roll rate, if this thing's mounted on the dashboard in this way here, that's going to be measuring the rate that the whole thing moves at.
Pitch is going to be like this and yaw is going to be like that, it's just another really, it's actually a really useful thing to be able to have built into the logger. And the beauty of it is that it's all recorded onboard without having to connect to anything external. We've also obviously got GPS information here, so these last 3 channels, we've got the GPS altitude, the GPS speed, which is a really fundamental part of data analysis obviously is getting our speed trace and also this GPS position accuracy which is a really useful metric to have in there because it allows us to evaluate the quality of our GPS signal. So sometimes if you're having trouble with drop outs or you're in a position on a track where you've got a lot of buildings around or maybe hills really close to you, sometimes you can have a situation where you don't have a good quality GPS signal so that's just a really nice way to be able to come in and actually see what the GPS quality was like if you were having troubles that you want to troubleshoot. So that's as far as the built in channels that we've got access to there.
And I should say as well if we want to go through and not log any of those, it's as simple as ticking or unticking that check box there. So over to the next tab in the ECU stream here. So this particular configuration that I've got set up on this logger, this is in our RaceCraft GT86 so that car has a MoTeC M1 ECU in it. So that is the source of all of the CAN based data that we're using for this particular logger. So you can see up here at the top, we've got the MoTeC M1 listed up there as the template and the way we go through and select which template and in the vast majority of cases you're not going to have to go through and build your own template, you can if you need to but you're not generally going to need to because you're going to see the absolutely almost overwhelming number of templates they've got built in here.
So starting from the top we've got things like aftermarket suppliers like 2D, AEM, AiM themselves, coming from another AiM unit, also lots of OEMs, Bentley, Ecumaster, Ducati, Corvette, everything down here, there's a huge number of different suppliers that these units are designed to interface with straight away. So we've got MoTeC selected and within the MoTeC tab you can see all of the different MoTeC devices this unit can communicate with straight off the bat. So as far as setting this up, this was as simple as running the two CAN bus connections, the two CAN wires straight from the loom that's supplied with the unit to some position on the bus and coming in here and selecting the M1 template here and that was it really. That brings up all of the channels that are pre selected in this template for you. So what I mean for each one of these rows is a channel that you can log and it's the same system, it's got the ID address here for each one of them that you don't need to set up, it's already selected for you but you can just, same as before you can come through and tick and untick depending on what you want to log.
So I've got some thing unticked here, things that we're not logging or things that I'm not interested in logging on this particular car but all of this stuff is available on the bus. So the things I'm looking at here, I've got ECU RPM which is that ECU, sorry the engine speed reference that's coming from the ECU rather than the hardwired reference that I was talking about before. You've got the gear position, each one of the wheel speeds, the engine coolant temperature, gearbox temperature, inlet temperature you can see, on and on and on down there, all of the different things I'm logging out of this thing. And really it is as simple as just loading the template and clicking that box and you've got it in there which is a really really nice way to do it. Again you've got the ability to double click on them, you can rename them, you can change the logging frequency, the units, the number of decimal places you're logging to.
You've got quite a lot of customisation there so it really does speed up setting up communications there. You've got the ability to connect up extra CAN expansions, so whether you've got extra sensors that are connected to an external CAN module, I think in this case here the default one is a lambda to CAN unit that AiM supply but you can go ahead in there and use different CAN expansions if you've got a system where you've got maybe a whole lot of analog sensors somewhere in the car that are running to a common position, a common unit, you can us this to connect to that here. We've also got math channels which isn't something I'm using a lot of on this particular logger, the only one I've actually got set up here is brake bias but before I do that, I'll just show you how they work. Essentially the way, it's a little bit different to how a lot of other logging systems use this, the way a lot of other logging systems do it is essentially a really general way to write it out, so what I mean is each math channel can be defined in a completely general way with a math statement which makes it incredibly flexible. It can also make it maybe a little bit intimidating or time consuming to get started with.
So AiM takes a little bit of a different approach with this particular tool anyway where they essentially give you some templates to work from which you can go ahead and build up really simple channels or use multiple of these channels compounded together to build up more complex things. So the way they've got it set up here is it's in some ways constraining but it's actually quite a good thing, particularly if you're just getting started as far as not being overwhelmed by going ahead and having to define these math channels. So we can define a bias which in this case we've got a preview here which we can see we've got the template it's going to use is channel one divided by channel one plus channel two so if I just go into this we can see we've got the option to go ahead and rename the channel. We can change the sampling frequency, we can change the units, the number of decimal places and we can go ahead here and select which channels we want to use. So we go in here and it's as simple as in this case I've got my ECU channel so if I wanted to do a ratio between front left wheel speed and in this case it's got GPS speed but let's say I wanted to do rear left wheel speed, I could go ahead and that would do that channel calculation for me.
Obviously I'd go ahead and rename that channel but it's as simple as that as far as using those templates. Some other templates I've got in here is we've got another option to do the bias but with thresholds so that's basically just saying only do this bias calculation when this condition is true, we can look at a couple of different ways of doing calculated gear position, we can do a linear corrector, we can do also really simple operations like we've got here, so this could be as simple as adding 2 things together. So again we've got the ability to tell it what the function of this thing is. So whether it's, we've got lots of different types of measurements here, whether it's a force, a rate, a speed, a temperature, whatever it is, you can go and select the relevant one there. Sampling frequency, the units of measure which will obviously be context dependent on the type of logging parameter you're doing there.
Decimal places, but down here is where we can do our simple maths. So for example if I want to add 2 things together I can come here and again let's go into our ECU, let's say we want to take rear right wheel speed and we can select the operator we want to use here so in this case let's say subtract, By default it's got a constant so we can put a constant value so this would allow, in this case it would be just adding a value of 1 to the right rear wheel speed. We can also come in here and select a different parameter as well, so we want to add to the GPS speed, we could do that here like that. So you can see it's really really simple to go ahead and build up these math channels. The brake bias one that we've got shown here is simply just taking a ratio of the front brake pressure to our total brake pressure.
So that's saying, we've got channel one here is the one that's going to be sitting in this position, front divided by the total which is the front plus the rear added together so that's just going to give me a measurement of my brake bias. The parameters, this is a really important part and actually relates a little bit back to the YouTube video I talked about at the start of the lesson, there's a couple of basic setup parameters here which are important to get right. So the parameters from top to bottom here is GPS lap detection, this section here, so we've got this hold lap time value here. So that determines how long the lap time is going to be displayed on screen after you cross the start/finish line. So that's going to be usually circuit dependent, sometimes you don't want it on for long, sometimes you want to hold on for a little bit longer so what I mean by that is sometimes, it depends on the track configuration, if you cross the start/finish line, sometimes you want that, you're not ready to look at that predictive, sorry the last lap time straight away, maybe you want to hold on the screen for a little bit longer because maybe let's say straight after the finish line you've got a chicane you've got to go straight into so you're not going to be able to look at the screen.
So you want to be able to hold that on the screen for a certain amount of time. In this case we've got 10 seconds so that means that that lap time's going to, that previous lap time's going to stay on there for 10 seconds after you cross the start/finish line. Here we've got the track width parameters so that's really important to set when you've got a GPS based timing system. So what I mean by that is each lap, the start/finish line is defined by a GPS position so you put the GPS coordinates in for that track, that's obviously pre programmed in for all of those tracks that are part of the database already but this track width is a parameter that allows you to tweak essentially the gate width that you need to run through so theoretically that start/finish point. In fact let me just sketch that out on this pad here to make that a little bit clearer.
So let's say this is our track and this is our car heading down the circuit here and we've got our finish line here. The start/finish line will generally be defined as a point in space so that's just one particular point now obviously the car can be crossing here, it can be crossing here or it can be crossing somewhere across that point as well. So we need to essentially define a detection radius for that. So that's what this track width parameter is doing, essentially you can think of it as putting a circle of radius, whatever it is, in this case I've got 10 metres set in there. That's just saying anywhere within that detection zone, it's going to trigger the beacon because we want to be able to be on either side of the track as we go around the track.
Whether you're dodging another car or putting a pass on someone or maybe missing some debris on the racing line, whatever it is, you want to be able to make sure that lap trigger ends any point along that track width so that's what's going on there. The reason you just don't make that infinite or really large is because if you make it too big, it'll pick you up on other positions of the track as well. So obviously if you make it too big, if you've got, let's go back to the overhead for a second here, if I've got a track configuration where we've got this, this is our start/finish straight and we've got another part of the track as it comes around here. Where later in the lap we'd be sitting around here somewhere. If we make it too big it's going to end up capturing this part of the track as well.
Which is obviously a problem because we're going to get a fake lap beacon at that point which is going to obviously cut our lap time shorter than we want it to so that's why it's important to be able to tweak that parameter for each circuit you go to. We've got the option here to define the reference speed so essentially what that means is, with a lot of the calculations, a lot of the analysis you'll be doing, you will be using speed as quite a central point to that. So by default it'll use the GPS speed which is the GPS speed coming from the unit. But you've also got the ability to override that if you want to as well. So you can come in here, select that and you can go ahead and select from any of the other speed channels you've got defined inside your device configuration.
This last one here is the start/stop condition like I talked about a little bit earlier in the lesson which we've got a couple of different ways of defining here and that's just when it's going to start and stop logging the log file. So in this particular case, it's saying the recording starts when RPM is greater than 500 or speed is greater than 10. So if both of those conditions are met, it's going to start recording and if not, if both those conditions aren't met it's not going to start recording. You have got the ability to override that and put your custom conditions in here as well so you can use any channel you want to to trigger that. In this particular case it's got the exact same conditions as default written in here but you've got the ability to change those thresholds, change the channels it's looking at, anything like that.
So that's just a nice option in there. The LED bars which is what I talked about before when I was going through a little bit of the intro which is just these little LEDs you can sort of see just up on the overhead here. So these have the ability to change colour and also change the number of them that are being shown. You can also see them on the screen here as well. We've got the ability to do that, use those for either predictive lap timing or with gear shifts as shift lights.
So here if I'm using shift lights, I can come in here and define each one of the RPM thresholds that we're going to use for each gear. If you want to use it like that, the way we use it is use it for the predictive lap time. So as I said, as you'll be heading around track you've got a reference lap time in there, you're going to have a readout in your dash telling you how close you are, whether you're ahead or behind that reference lap time. That can be quite a difficult thing to actually look at on track, you're usually pretty busy, your attention's elsewhere as far as making sure you're keeping the car under control on track. So having the ability to show coloured LEDs, both in terms of how many of them are on and which colours are showing, can give you a lot of information in your periphery without actually having to even look at the dash.
So we've also got some options to be able to set that up here. So we can say whether we want each LED to go up one at a time or whether we want them to each time each threshold is being surpassed, whether we want the previous ones to stay on. So whether they work a bit more like a bar or whether they work incrementally up and down like that, you've got the options. And you've also got the ability to define how coarse you want each one of those LEDs to react to. So that's going to depend a little bit on how far away you are from your reference lap you've got set in there.
In this case it's for every 0.1 of a second we're going to have an increment of one of those LEDs, in other cases you might want that to be a little bit wider, a little bit coarser if you're a little bit further away from your reference lap time, otherwise those LEDs aren't going to be that much us to you because they're just going to be all on all the time. Let's say you're 2 seconds slower than your reference lap and you've got 0.1 increments, as soon as you've dropped half a second, all of those LEDs are going to be on and that's not really going to be giving you any more useful feedback over that lap. So the display is an interesting part as well, you've got the ability to have multiple, I can't remember how many pages, it's at least 4 pages you can have selected so that you can, it means that when you're on track, there's basically a default display that will be shown, you can also scroll through the displays if you want to as well. So that's what each one of these pages shown up here is. So I've got this page one and page two so page one in my default page, I've got set up as the lap time relative to my reference so that's what I keep referring back to which is how I know if I'm ahead or behind my reference lap so that's the main thing I'm usually interested in when you're on track.
And you can see down here as far as selecting that thing, if I wanted to change what that is, I can come down here and if I wanted to show my lap number for example, I could come here and select that down here. In this particular case, obviously I want to use my reference to my best lap down here but you can come down here and select from any of these parameters, cycling down here, whether it's a GPS parameter, an accelerometer, a gyro, anything internal, any math channels like your brake bias, like we set up before, we can show that on here if you wanted to or anything else as well. Obviously everything from the CAN bus is obviously shown up in here as well so by default I usually like to have the reference lap time shown up there. On the second page, I've just got, as an example, i've got some powertrain stuff in here if I wanted to really quickly visualise what was happening with my engine. So in this case I've got my engine coolant temperature, my oil temperature, my inlet air temperature and my gearbox temperature.
Again you can split those up into a whole lot of different ways of defining those. If I come in here, you can choose from some pre set layouts, so I've got one thing showing on the screen, two things showing on the screen, three and four. And you can go ahead and just sort of drag and drop and manually select each one of those things. So if I wanted to change the coolant here, I could change this to, whatever I want, if I wanted to show rear left wheel speed for some reason, I could come here and put that on there. So pretty flexible, pretty nice way to show it.
We've got the ability to connect up the, configure the SmartyCam which is the camera system that I talked about before. Which I won't go through because we're not using it here. And also we've got the ability to output information on the CAN bus as well. So obviously we talked about setting up, in this case, this particular logger for setting it up to read CAN data from the MoTeC stream that we've got coming from our ECU. You've also got the ability to be able to put out CAN data onto the CAN bus.
So if you've got another device somewhere in the car that's equipped to be able to communicate with an AiM system or in this case you can, it's actually pretty flexible as far as the information you want to put out there, you can use this as a bit of a hub to be able to put out CAN data in a different format or a different configuration I should say if you wanted to. So you've got the ability to configure all of that here. So that's it for as far as configuring the unit, let's jump over and have a look at what the actual data looks like coming out at the other end of it here. So I'll just get rid of this for a start to make it a little bit simpler. So this is AiM's Race Studio 2 which I think is still the current tool they use for analysing the data.
So I'll just give you a little bit of a brief overview of what's going on down here. If i just bring up our test database to start with. So the way AiM work with their data is rather than organising all of their data into a file structure like I talked about which is my preference, is they have, actually it's a pretty nice database system so the idea is all of the data can go into a common location, you can go here and filter by whether it's driver, event type, year, circuit, whatever it is, you can go through and filter to find the data you're interested in here. So I haven't got a huge amount of AiM logged data loaded into this particular database but we've got a couple of different shakedowns from tests that we've run from our GT86 as well as we've got some different sample data that when you load this software into your computer, there's a whole lot of sample data you can use straight away so you don't even need to have your own logged data so you can practice with it and stuff which is quite nice. But that's how they manage their data information.
You can see there's a bit of a summary of each one, we've got the name of the data file, we've got the date, we've got the type of event it was, whether it was a race, qualifying, test, the type of vehicle, the championship, the track that we were at and a little comment if you want to have anything in there as well. We've got our lap editor, so for each run that I've got selected, so this particular run is some information, sorry a log file that we can see up here, from Highlands. I think it was late last year. Sorry no it was this year 2021 but you can see each lap that we've got loaded in this particular log file. So obviously that log file's been started when we're leaving the pits and it's stopping when we enter back into the pits.
Each is a summary of the lap time here and how slow or fast it was relative to the reference and a little bit more information about it there. Most interestingly the thing we're often going to be interested in is looking at the measures graph or looking at the log data itself. So we'll come back that but essentially this is looking at the squiggly lines that you're often going to be looking at in detail when you're going through and doing some logged data analysis. There's also some other features here I want to show you guys, you've got the ability to do channel reports which is a great way of summarising maximums and minimums of any channels of interest. So I quite often use these for powertrain parameters, so looking at temperatures and pressures, making sure I've got no problems anywhere in the car.
So you can see here, we've got engine coolant temperature, battery voltage, oil temperature, inlet air temperature, stuff like that. All summarised there for us really quickly so we can quite quickly see whether we've got any problems with anything on track.. You've also got the ability to look at the GPS track position as well. We've got some stuff I want to go through here which is using suspension analysis, histograms, some lap timing reporting and stuff which is probably not worth talking about right now but depending on what systems and what sensors you've got logged in your car. So let's go back to the measures graph and have a little bit of a look at the logged data, the way it works.
So to orientate you with what's going on here on the screen, down the bottom here we've got, it looks a bit messy but essentially all of the channels I'm looking at currently are shown on the bottom in terms of our whole run. So, it's a little bit messy but you can see here, maybe if I change this, if it'll change, so you can see the logged data in this particular case, the speed channel is logged in green. So along the bottom here, this is a bit of a summary of the entire run. So each one of these blocks is a lap, so you can see I've done 7 laps total here. It's clipping the lap as I exit the pit lane and then it's got, lap, lap, lap, lap, lap.
And I can see the summary of the speed trace and essentially it just gives me a bit of context for when I was going slow on track, when I was going fast, particularly if it's a race, you'll see safety car periods and stuff like that on here which is just a good way to find your way around the log file. I'm just going to switch that back to single colour. Now up here is really where most of the analysis is going to be happening, so this is where we're looking at our actual squiggly line, so in this particular case we've got the speed trace, we've got the longitudinal acceleration in the middle here and we've got our lateral acceleration at the bottom. Now as far as showing what we want to show on the screen, we can come down here on the left side here, all of the channels that we've got access to, that we're logging, so this is the same logging configuration that I showed you guys before in the setup, all of those extra channels that are coming from the MoTeC in this particular case are shown here so if I wanted to show something like the gear position here, if I wanted to show the front left wheel speed, if I wanted to show air inlet temperature. So let's get a good example, gearbox temperature, inlet air temperature here.
I can go ahead and show that on here as well, it's really quick just to go and manually select or unselect those and they're just added and removed from the graph. But the thing we'll be doing most of the time is comparing one lap to another. So one of the ways we can do that is coming in here and going to the laps, so for the current logged database, sorry the log file that I've got open from the database at the moment, I can come in here and select another lap so I've got my 1:47.08 which is the fastest lap which will generally be selected as the reference lap by default. I can come in here and select this 1:48.08 to see how it compares. Now we have got the ability to colour which I showed you guys a little bit before which is to colour the data by the log file or colour it by the channel colour.
So for example if I was to colour it by the channel colour here, while that might be useful in some cases, it's obviously not very useful when we're doing an overlay because it's really difficult actually to see which log file's which here as far as the speed trace, they're both coloured by the channel colour so if I come back here and click, sorry per lap colour so I'm colouring per lap. You can see the colour definition here so my 1:47.08 in the top left and my 1:48.08 here. And you can see that the faster lap is in blue. Now I have got the ability to change that if I wanted, come here and click on that I can change the colour to whatever I want. But for this particular case we're going to get a better contrast by sticking with the default colours of red and blue.
So straight away here for this 1:47 there's a couple of tools that we see straight away are really useful for understanding what's going on between these two different data sets. I've got a big difference in the speed trace up here, we've got this particular section of track where one car is carrying a lot more speed through this section of the track relative to the other and the time variance plot is a really really good way to see that. So that's plotting how long it's taking you to get to each point on track and what the difference in time to get to each position on track is. So all that means is it shows you where you're losing and gaining time so in this particular case, we've got, generally the red lap is pretty much losing time everywhere. So the reference, we can see the blue line just along here on the zero line.
That's that reference lap and that red line is showing anywhere we've got the red line sloping up like that, so like in this particular section here or this particular section here, that tells us that we're losing time on track. So we're looking for the steepest slopes of those lines and certainly this particular case here, it usually lines up pretty well with the speed trace, this particular area on track here where we've got a big difference in the speed trace is what we see lining up with his big slope in the variance so that's a pretty good tool for understanding what's happening with the time losses. Interestingly after that section of track, if we look at the time variance here, it actually drops off again straight away after that big loss and that's all about the exit from in this particular case it's a hairpin on this particular track which is at Highlands, our local circuit. So you can see why in the speed trace here on the red trace they're just getting much better drive, you can see the speed trace is quite a lot higher here. You can see they're getting better drive out of that corner which is resulting in a better variance in there as well.
And you can see that's continued on for quite a lot of that whole straight so they're gaining time along that whole part of the straight. As far as some of the other information we've got here, we have got the ability to do automatic zooming so it'll try and do its best job at default zoom but if you want to rezoom to the data that you've got shown on the screen at the moment, all you need to do is double left click on the axis on the side here and that'll sort of rezoom for you, the other thing I wanted to point out was we've got a channel legend which shows us the current speed at any point on track. So if I put for example if I point the cursor at this position we've got quite a big difference in speed up here, you can see we've got some summary information up the top here which is the current speed at each cursor position, sorry at the current cursor position which in this case for the blue is let's say 175 and 167 for the red. We've got our minimums, our maximums and our averages across the entire zoomed range so let's say I wanted to zoom in, for this particular case you'll see the statistics automatically update for us so it's only looking at the maximums and minimums of this particular section of the log file but all of the lap that I'm looking at, you can see those values of max and minimum and average have all changed so if I zoom back out you'll see that they rechange to look at everything across the entire lap as well. One last thing to talk about here is obviously the axis system, so we've got distance plotted along down here at the bottom, obviously if you're doing a lot of driver analysis, you'll most often be looking at a distance axis but if you do want to change it for any reason, you can come up here and click between time and distance along that axis we well which is a useful thing to be able to do but most of the time you're going to be looking at things as far as distance.
So guys, that's it for the lesson part of today's webinar as far as doing that demo of the overall of that AiM data logging system or particularly the AiM Solo 2 DL. If you've got any questions that you've got coming up from the webinar, whether it's to do with what we've gone through today or anything else to do with car setup or race engineering or data analysis, I'm happy to take those from you, so chuck those through to the guys now and they'll put those through to me in a second. As far as who this, probably I would say the target person that this thing is marketed at, for this particular logger, I would definitely class this as more of an entry level logger. Now there are options out there as far as using things like your phone which also has the ability to look at, it's obviously got a built in accelerometer, it's got built in GPS, there's a lot of really great functionality built into your phone and you can successfully use a cellphone for, with the right app, for lap timing and it can give you a lot of really similar information on track. Probably the biggest downfall in my opinion anyway of those systems comes in the post processing stage.
What I mean by that is looking at the logged data afterwards so you'll see just from some of the basic tools I looked at when we went through that analysis software, it's a pretty powerful piece of software straight out of the gate, that's where a lot of those phone based loggers do tend to get a little bit let down is when you really want to get into the nitty gritty of analysing the data, that's where they tend to be a bit weaker, in saying that, there's a much lower barrier to entry. So if you want to step up from using something like a phone but maybe not quite ready for something like a full on wired in data logger or maybe a full on dash logger, those things are obviously a pretty big step up in price, I don't know the exact price off the top of my head but I think these are in the ballpark of sort of $400, $500 USD mark for one of these AiM Solos, you might be looking at in the $1000 to $3000 USD mark when you're looking to move up to something like a full dash or wired in logger. So there's a pretty big price point difference and I think overall for someone that's just getting started with data analysis, this is actually a really powerful option, there's a lot built into this little thing and having the ability to be able to just simply chuck this thing in your car without even powering it is a really, I think a really nice feature. At the other end of the spectrum, if you're using it for a little bit more advanced stuff as we've gone through there, you can use it to get CAN data from the car, power it from the car, use external sensors, do all sorts of things, even integrating the camera system that they've got designed for this thing as well. So I think it's a really flexible system, if you're looking at an entry or a mid level data logger, then something like that is probably a pretty good option to go for.
OK guys I'll jump across now and see if you guys have got any questions for me that's come up from today's webinar. OK questions from Suhas Govindaraj, what calculations are possible from the internal hardware in the Solo 2? It comes with 3 axis accelerometer and 3 axis gyro and 3 axis magnetometer. So really the calculations are almost limitless, I would say as when we went through the example of to set up the math channels from inside the logger. It's maybe a little bit more restricted as far as being able to build up complex math channels. So a lot of logging systems will give you full flexibility over writing your own math channels.
So these math channels can be incredibly complex, long strings of different conditions and statements and checks. The beauty of a system like this is it does give you a template to work from which probably makes it a little bit more approachable if you're not used to doing this sort of stuff. But in saying that, you can compound those data channels on top of each other. So you can also do some really complicated stuff, maybe just comes over a little bit more convoluted than if you had a fully flexible template to be able to write your math channels. As I said, you can still go back and write a complicated result by compounding those math channels together.
Basically what I mean by that is using the input, the output of one channel into the input of another. So it is definitely possible to go ahead and make some really complicated things. I wouldn't say that there's any particular limitations on there, it's really just your imagination as far as the limits. OK one other question that actually came from the pre show as well, did you do CFD on the diffuser or just targeting an angle of the expanding area? So no we didn't do the CFD ourselves but yes CFD was done. Our whole aero setup was designed specifically for our car by a company called Top Stage which are based in Australia.
So they specialise in making bolt on, well not just bolt on, but predominantly bolt on parts as far as wings, diffusers, splitters. The whole thing was actually designed specifically for our GT86. So the front splitter, the rear diffuser and the wing were all designed to work as a package together. So they gave us some really specific information on the design, inclination angle of both the splitter and the diffuser, obviously there's a flat floor that's going to join those two things together as well. So there's some limits we need to keep within as far as the pitch on the car, as far as not having it pitching too much under braking, so the centre of pressure doesn't move too far forward as well as the ideal ride height we want the splitter to be sitting at.
So particularly on your question of the expansion ratio of the angle and the expansion ratio of the diffuser, that was all done for us by this company that design all of this stuff in house, they're specialists in this stuff. And while it is definitely possible to get some good results on making your own, for making your own parts, this was an area where we were more than happy just to sub out to someone who is much more of a specialist. Not only in terms of design but also they've got the ability to manufacture this stuff for us as well so again just lightens the workload on us so that's why we went down that path. OK another question from Suhas, what should one consider before buying a suspension? Also since you mentioned phone logging, using Real Dash with MegaLog Viewer HD for data analysis would be beneficial? So yeah a couple of questions in there from Suhas, so what do I consider when buying a suspension? I think you're probably referring to a set of coilovers, or a set of dampers with that question. First off, when it comes to dampers and coilovers, it really is a case of getting what you pay for.
So the quality of the damping components in particular, dampers are one of those things that high tolerances, manufacturing tolerances are really important to get right as far as making a big difference to how consistently they perform. So I would say it really comes down to your budge is your first thing that's defining what you're going to buy. So if you're just using something from a street car that you're using for the occasional track day, that's going to be very very different from something you're using at the professional end of the spectrum. Just to give you an idea, I mean you might be an entry level coilover, something at the very very cheapest end that's an import, maybe you might be looking at $1000 range for an entire set of really entry level coilovers which will come with dampers and springs. At the other end of the spectrum you might be looking at the high end professional racing, you might be looking at $20,000 or $30,000 USD just per corner for the dampers as far as really high end stuff so it really depends on your budget.
So obviously most of us are going to be at that lower end of the spectrum, we're not going to be spending $20-30K per corner on our dampers but just to give you that idea of how the quality does relate to the price quite a lot. So really I think that's the first thing. After that you've really got to look at what you're using the car for. So if you're using your car for a street and maybe a little bit of occasional competition, that's probably going to be a less sophisticated damper, maybe just a single adjustable damper. Obviously many manufacturers also offer different levels, offer different types of suspension that are intended for specific purposes so something that's more intended for the street which is going to give you maybe a more plush or more comfortable ride whereas something that's a purebred racecar, that's going to be something that you're going to not care about as much about its comfort for.
Whereas if you're looking for something more track dedicated, maybe you want to start looking at something that's maybe got 2 way adjust so you've got the ability to adjust rebound and compression separately all the way up to something like maybe a high end rally car, this is something where you really want to have a high and low speed control, particularly on the compression circuit of your dampers. So it's really going to come down to what your specific application is and I'm happy if you've got a more specific application you want to discuss that you want to choose for, jump over to the forums and ask you questions there and we can have a bit more of a discussion, maybe I can give you a bit more of a detailed answer with that. So guys that's all the questions we've got for today, I hope you guys found that introduction to the AiM system useful. Keep an eye out for our future courses as I discussed in the pre show, we've got our Race Driving Fundamentals course which has just gone out now and we've also got our Suspension Fundamentals course which is coming out in about a month's time which is going to be a really good course and I know a lot of our members are going to be interested in checking it out. So guys remember if you aren't watching this live, you can always go back and check out our previous, sorry you can always go back and check out in our archive, our previous webinars that we've got recorded there as well and you can jump on the forums and ask any questions that have come up.
If there's anything you didn't get a chance to ask live. Thanks very much guys, I'll see you in the next one, cheers.