Software Newsletter #5 - March 15, 2000
1. The Difference in Data Recorders
2. The Difference in Sampling Rates
3. Comparing Apples to Apples
5. REAL World Technical Support
-- The Difference
in Data Recorders --
I received some e-mail this
week concerning selecting a data recorder. I thought it might be helpful to everyone.
Question: Hello, I'm really thinking about a DataMaster for my super
comp car, 23 T altered. I do some bracket racing, some divisional and national
events. I'd really like to do more, but work calls first, it pays for this hobby.
I really don't know much about this end of it, data recording. I need all the
help I can get in selecting a data recorder. How is a DataMaster different? Thank
Answer: I'm a SuperComp racer myself and designed the
DataMaster for sportsman drag racing in particular. The DataMaster is an all-digital
computer, so it is very fast. And, that is essential in throttle stop racing.
We need to be able to see the slightest variation in engine RPM when the stop
is activated and deactivated and when the car is 'coasting' on the stop. We also
need to see the slightest variation in traction all the way down the track. With
EVERY other data recorder on the market, NONE of this is possible. The
sampling rates are far too slow to get any worthwhile data. For example, at 60
to 100 samples per second, a sampling rate this slow can only show a deviation
of about 150 engine RPM. That is worthless information in our sport! As slow as
they are already, the other data recorders spend all of this time looking at ANALOG
(slow) devices to monitor pressures and temperatures, meanwhile missing all the
--The Difference in Sampling Rates --
gives a vehicle reaction time, exact time to distance information, track condition
information, shift points, and other valuable data that you just can't get anywhere
else. This is because our sampling rate is over 3300 times per second! DataMaster
reads every ignition pulse at each quarter turn of the crankshaft and then measures
the width of each pulse (pulse width) to produce a frequency. It repeats the same
process for the drive shaft. In this manner, DataMaster can produce an accurate
RPM reading that can reveal variances of as little as three (3) engine RPM. This
kind of accuracy cannot be achieved by simply 'counting' pulses as the other data
can be calibrated to any racetrack and to your race car, to model roll out and
tire growth. By doing this, DataMaster reports a vehicle reaction time and an
actual time slip that will match a Compulink timing system to within .001 of a
second. No more bogus time cards!
With a DataMaster Sportsman computer
you can find mere thousandths of a second of variation in performance from one
run to another and from one lane to another. This is because our billet drive
shaft sensor ring has twelve (12) points. Only DataMaster has the speed to do
this. In this manner, our computer can see as little as 1 inch of rear tire movement.
And, by using this many pickup points, every time you stage your car, a pickup
point is next to the sensor pickup. The other companies provide you with a cheap
and inaccurate magnetic switch and one or two cheap magnets that you glue on!
Very crude indeed! We use a very expensive and highly accurate proximity sensor.
In fact, our proximity sensor, cable, and billet sensor ring alone cost us over
$200.00. Call one of the other companies and ask them for the FREQUENCY RATE of
their drive shaft sensor. More than likely, they won't be able to tell you. Or,
they won't tell you! Our proximity sensor is rated at over 3,000 CYCLES
-- Comparing Apples to Apples --
you don't get just a screen full of unknown data on a graph. You get an exact
graph representing the actual 1/4 mile run. You don't have to search for it, it
is right there! And when you overlay graphs of other runs, you are therefore comparing
apples to apples. Everything lines up exactly to the .001 of a second. Again,
there is nothing in the world that can begin to compare to DataMaster, not for
any amount of money. If you hit the brakes at 999 feet, the DataMaster will
show you this, exactly. Can any of the others? Absolutely not!
Software Download --
DataMaster is packaged as a complete system including
the DataMaster Analyzer software which enables you to download the information
to your PC and graph out the runs. By overlaying your Base run on top of your
Predicted run, you can easily see exactly where on the race track that the race
car did not repeat and therefore, why you didn't 'run the number' you predicted.
If you use the DataMaster to find, analyze, and then remove the variables in your
race car, you'll be able to stop 'chasing the number.'
The DOS version
of our DataMaster Analyzer software is available to you as a FREE download
on our web site. You don't need a data recorder to test the software and see exactly
what a DataMaster does better than any other data logger system in the world!
Our software can be run from DOS or Windows. Therefore, you can use ANY IBM compatible
computer to download and analyze runs. And, you won't have to wait very long,
because DataMaster downloads a run in just four (4) seconds! The DataMaster stores
up to four (4) runs in memory, so when you get into the later rounds, you can
save your runs and download them later.
Don't be fooled by some of the
advertisements for the competitions 'fabulous' Windows software. I checked out
one of the largest manufactuer's Windows software. You know what I found? Nothing!
Their software showed nothing. You couldn't overlay runs because the software
didn't even know where the actual run is on the graph. The software offered colorful
graphs, but with no meaningful data whatsoever! There might be something there
for the circle track guys, but not for a sportsman drag racer. I've also seen
other racers using another competitors product, where they have ten (10) foot
long paper print outs on their trailer floor, trying to match up the runs side
by side. Absolutely ridiculous, and totally worthless!
-- REAL World
Technical Support --
With Family Software, you'll get better technical support than anywhere
else on the planet. Why? Because, I design and program all of Family
Software's products and I use them all on my own very competitive SuperComp
dragster. All of my experience and knowledge is available to you and
to our other customers. Try to find that kind information at any one
of the other companies selling data loggers. You won't be able to, I
guarantee it! Family Software cares about the racer and his/her success
as a racer. The other companies just want your money! Sad, but true.
-- Secure Ordering --
You can safely
order directly from our web site. All of your information is handled on our Secure
Our company has now been registered with the Public Eye. You can check our ratings
by clicking on the Public Eye link on our Home Page or Order Form.
you have questions or topics that you would like to see covered in this newsletter,
please Email them to me.
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software
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