Software Newsletter #4 - March 9, 2000
1. What Weather Station Should I Buy?
2. Can I Take My Gauges to the Staging Lanes?
3. Where Should I Read the Air?
4. Should I Store and Average My Runs?
-- What Weather Station
Should I Buy? --
I received some email this week
concerning confusion about selecting a good weather station. I thought it might
be beneficial to share this information with everyone.
"I am in the market for a weather station for our race team, low 9sec
motor cycle. We race ET bracket locally. I am primarily interested in ET prediction.
I was looking at hand held units(TAG) but after reading your comments on using
them in the staging lanes I am confused? We time trial during the day and race
after dark! Could you make a recommendation for a weather computer, and explain
why its better to use them at the trailer than the staging lanes. I appreciate
any help you can give me."
Answer: The unit you mentioned,
along with many others, has sensors that are way too sensitive. This is one reason
you can't take readings in the staging lanes, we will get to the other reasons
in a minute. When the sensors are too sensitive to change, you can not expose
the unit to any air currents or motion. Even the slightest breeze will change
the temperature and humidity readings. Any movement effects the barometric readings
as well. So, the unit is constantly seeking information and seemingly can never
decide what the actual weather conditions really are.
HOLD button to freeze the readings ISN'T the answer!
you don't know if you are freezing good readings or garbage. The whole idea in
ET prediction is to measure the CHANGE in the atmospheric conditions from one
time of day to another. If you can't take accurate readings, you are wasting your
time. In fact, it will actually hurt you. For this reason, many racers want to
trade these units in after they have used them for a short while. For a recommendation,
-- Can I Take My Gauges to the Staging Lanes? --
are a couple of reasons that racers would like to take their readings in the staging
lanes. First, there is a misconception among racers that they need to measure
the actual air that the motor is going to breathe on the run. This is totally
wrong. Indeed, we would like to know the actual oxygen content in the air, but
there is no device that can do this accurately outside of laboratory conditions.
Oxygen sensors are designed for measuring the oxygen content in air that is contained
in a glass beaker located in a laboratory. The atmosphere at a race track is certainly
not a laboratory. Therefore, we must use the barometric pressure, temperature,
humidity, and a scientific formula to find the CHANGE in the amount of available
oxygen in the air from one moment to the next.
The second reason that
racers want to measure the air in the staging lanes, is because they want to read
the air conditions as close as possible to making their run. This is a valid reason,
but it can't be done reliably in the staging lanes. Especially during the day.
Again, you cannot expose your gauges to any wind or breeze. You cannot measure
the temperature anywhere near an asphalt surface that has seen any sunlight. The
asphalt is a huge heat sink that absorbs heat and then radiates it back into the
atmosphere. Do you think that you can measure temperature or humidity next to
a dozen race cars with hot engines and exhaust headers? You can't. As a matter
of fact, you can't measure temperature properly if the unit is near any surface
that radiates heat, including people. Stand in the shade but, close to the side
of a white trailer on a sunny day. Your temperature readings will soar, even though
you are in the shade. This is because your gauge is exposed to radiant heat reflecting
off of the white trailer. Can you understand now, why you can't measure the air
in the staging lanes? Good!
-- Where Should I Read the Air? --
The best place to measure the air is back in the pits, in the same place every
day, isolated from any breeze, sunlight, or radiant heat. We want to measure the
change in ambient air. The "air" in the staging lanes is not ambient air! Now,
you can see all the various companies trying to sell expensive 'trailer stations'.
Why? Because they are finally beginning to realize that their expensive portable
units won't work in the staging lanes. (I told you so, ten (10) years ago)! If
you have an extra $1500 you don't need anymore, this is one way to go. Maybe,
you can trade-in the 'trick of the month' unit you bought last year! The real
solution is that the traditional and proven method of using separate components,
gauges and computer, still works best and for much less money. Our ET Predictor
II is the most accurate ET Prediction computer in the business. And, our ET Predictor
II Weather Stations give more accurate readings, starting at $349. Let's see,
that's about a thousand or more dollars less. Believe me, if anything worked better,
I'd be using it MYSELF!!!
-- Should I Store and Average My Runs?
Well, if you are using a unit that predicts ET based on an average
of stored runs, you've already lost. Anytime you are averaging performance you
are averaging your ET prediction. You need to be able to predict off of ONE (1)
run. Preferably, a run from the lane you are choosing to race in next. Our DataMaster
data recorders show us that there is an obvious difference in the timing system
between lanes at every race track. If you are predicting off the timing system
in the right lane and then competing in the left, then God bless you! Our ET Predictor
II systems and RaceLog PRO Software allow you to accurately predict to the thousandths
(.001) of a second. That's why we are the ET Prediction Experts!
Toll Free Ordering --
We also have a new Toll Free Order line to save
you even more money! If you're placing an order by phone, call 877-497-0992. If
you need information or technical help, call 610-497-5561.
You can safely order directly from our web site. All of your
and it is posted on the web site. 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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