En Fr

Data acquisition

  • A/ Presentation
  • B/ Data, What for?
    1. Reliability
    2. Driver coaching and performance
    3. Chassis Set Up
  • C/ Which hardware for which use?

A/ Presentation

Whatever the race, whatever the series, you will always find people around race cars carrying laptops around. From the driver doing his own mechanic work to the full army of engineers in F1, all of them work on the same basic thing: performance and reliability.

Data acquisition changed the way of working in motorsport forever and now is available to all racers. Prices have come down so much that the data box plus dashboard now costs less than a full instrumented panel with standard gauges. Softwares for management and data reading are now very user friendly and easily connect to existing systems.

Today, a low cost solution provides at least the exact same functions than a top notch system did 10 years ago while being much easier to read. A huge effort has been made by data companies to make the systems accessible without engineering degree while retaining enough power to offer specialist ever greater analysis capabilities.

R-engineering offers a wide range of service from installation and configuration of a complete system to on track analysis or support and teaching of the basics to advanced features available.

Important notice:

We do not just offer for sell and install data acquisition systems. We make sure that the solution we offer you suits your needs and that you will be able to use it according to your needs and skills. We also integrate the devices in your car for best communication and interface with other systems.
Nothing is worse than a badly calibrated data acquisition as instead of giving you precious advice and knowledge of what is really going on, it will in fact mislead you or worse, make you go the opposite direction of what you need.
How to keep a system working and calibrated is very easy and we can teach you to do just that in a matter of hours.

We are first of all Race Engineers so data systems are the very tool we use every day as our primary source of reliable information.
Being for engine mapping, aerodynamic test, or simply driver coaching, we know how to use fully all of what those systems can offer that’s how we can help you chose and use the best system for your car.

B/ Data, What for?

1/ Reliability:

Historically, data acquisition appeared as monitoring systems to ensure all vital parameters of a racing car were kept in check.
Associated to a dashboard, all gauges are replaced by a single unit able to display flashing lights and text messages on screen in case of danger for the car or warn the driver of a problem before it gets serious. Stopping an engine when oil pressure becomes too low can prevent huge damage and save the engine. Comparing prices of a data acquisition device to a complete race engine make the investment worth it.

Connection with engine ECU is usually made through CAN, a simple two wire connection that can pass through all parameters within an engine control unit to be recorded and / or displayed by the data system.

No engine mapping modification is needed and most modern ECUs have their communication lines pre-programmed.

Reading graphs about engine parameters is the simplest thing to do. Take a big block of data covering an entire run and watch temperatures and battery volts graphs tendencies. Spot a failing alternator before it stops the car; see a problem in cooling before frying the engine etc.
A clear resume table showing maximum, minimum and mean values can give you a clear insight in what is going on in a matter of few seconds.

This is the first basic use for data acquisition and the least expensive part to do as well as being the basic foundation for all the more complex uses possible.

2/ Driver coaching and performance:

First of all by comparing lap by lap (or different drives through a stage) to effectively quantify gains and losses corner by corner.

Overlay graphs of many laps is very easy and direct speed comparison shows a lot of things. Add throttle position, brake pressure, and steering angle and you can clearly compare drivers’ actions and spot what made the difference.

Go on to a direct line comparison using the onboard GPS recording, add video recording in full HD that synchronizes with the data and you have the best available tool to work on your driving style and skills.

Reading of basic driving parameters is pretty simple and direct. Comparing laps this way gives you exact figures on how much time has been gained or lost at any point of the track giving the driver clear reference points. The data never lies!

3/ Chassis Set Up:

Want to know how much that roll bar change made you faster in that turn? How much it made you lose in that one? Only data acquisition can answer.

Basic system with the simplest sensor can already tell you lots of things and allow analysis far beyond what most people imagine possible. Add more complex sensors, add maths channels and you can get anything from roll to tire deflection to load on any wheel at any given time. Add even more maths and you can go all the way to simulate that setup change you thought about without leaving the pits.
Possibilities are endless. From the gentleman driver to fully fledge pro race team data has things for you that nothing else can give you. There is always room for improvement and data acquisition shows you what is going on that is why they are today the central pillar of racing engineering.

From a theoretical point of view, you can do without data acquisition just like you can set up a car without knowing the slightest thing about vehicle dynamics. Just keep on trying about anything until it works. At some point it will. 
That may sound crazy but think about it, without data to look at, how much of the trial and error process do you usually go through before getting your car right?
Ok, you are far from clueless, but if you just have the final stop watch as a judge you are more likely to miss vital information.

Data acquisition doesn’t tell you “soften that real roll bar”, it goes hand in hand with your expertise and help you sport what works and what doesn’t.

C/ Which hardware for which use?

All modern cars have a capable ECU able to communicate directly with any data system.

We chose with you the most suited equipment for your needs and budget. For most applications, we work with AIM and for very high end we relly on Motec and PI Research Cosworth Electronics.

In all applications, planning and understanding of your needs are crucial. Quickly, loom and sensors can become the most expensive part of your future system.

We prepare, plan, install and program your data package as well as teach you how to use it.

We have worked on the whole range available on the market, from the simplest to most expensive hardware. We know what we are talking about.

R-Engineering can interpret all the results for you and provide track support. We can work on your car set up, increase your qualifying speed as well as your tire life and although we can do without data acquisition, having it with us proves the cheapest and fastest way to success (see track support page for more information).

We guide you through the purchase of the data package you need and will not leave you without support, what we put on your car will be useful or we won’t sell it. No need for high tech sensors without no body to read the graphs or ensure the calibration is right.

The latest generation of products includes full color leds and displays, GPS, full HD video, carbon fibre steering wheels etc. everything is possible!

Please contact us, you will be amazed by how the prices have really come down!