Modern Ignition & Data Acquisition - How It Works

Making Horsepower is the Easy Part. Getting it Down the Track Reliable Requires a Way to Control that Power, and Today’s Modern Ignition and Data Acquisition Systems are the Secret.

Stephen Kim Feb 6, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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What Can You Record?

Tim Anderson: Over 25 years experience in the design and assembly of data acquisition systems has provided the opportunity to develop literally hundreds of different sensors and sensor combinations for the racing competitor. The types of engine sensors used on the data acquisition system in a typical race car would be oil pressure, fuel pressure, nitrous pressure, water pressure, boost, transmission line pressure, manifold vacuum, oil temperature, water temperature, cylinder head temperature, intake air temperature, transmission temperature, EGTs, ignition timing, and air/fuel ratio. Some of the driveline sensors used in the typical race application are driveshaft rpm, clutch rpm, and wheel rpm. These driveline inputs can reveal everything from wheelspin to torque converter slippage, allowing racers to tune their cars accordingly. Likewise, Racepak also offers chassis sensors that measure shock travel, throttle travel, ride height, air pressure, brake pressure, and steering input.

V300 vs. V500

Tim Anderson: The V300SD has established itself as a very popular data acquisition system for many NHRA teams as well as high-end amateur racers. It can record up to 67 different channels of information, and saves that data onto a removal SD card for easy viewing. Another unique feature of the V300SD is that it can record more than one run at a time. The Racepak V500 is a slightly older data logger that was developed to offer more analog and rpm recording inputs. This is important in applications that require faster recording, since the sampling rate of analog channels is 1,000 per second. Furthermore, the V500’s additional rpm inputs provide the ability to monitor and record both overall and individual cylinder timing with the optional V500 timing package. In total, the V500 can record up to 75 channels of data, and has 4GB of internal memory.

Drag Race Logger

Tim Anderson: For weekend warriors who don’t need as many recording channels as the V300SD and V500, Racepak offers the Sportsman drag racing data logger. This unit is ideal for budget-oriented drag racing applications. The Sportsman was designed to offer the same Racepak technology found in the V300SD, but at a price point and sensor input capacity that more closely meets the needs of the sportsman-level racer. The Sportsman still utilizes the exact same sensors as all of Racepak’s V-Net–style data loggers, and is recommended for racers looking for 12 or less total external sensor inputs, on a non-magneto–equipped vehicle. That is still plenty of inputs for many drag racing applications. The base Sportsman package monitors engine rpm, driveshaft rpm, battery voltage, acceleration g’s, and lateral g’s. It includes a driveshaft collar and sensor, and records to a removable SD card.

Loggers for Road Racers

Tim Anderson: The G2X and G2X Pro provide a tremendously flexible data logging option for road racers. They both use the same V-Net–type sensors as utilized by our drag racing recorders. The difference is that they also incorporate GPS data to provide speed, lap times, lap numbers, predictive lap times, and track mapping capabilities all without the need for wheel speed sensors, trackside beacon transmitters, or onboard beacon receivers. Few are aware that Racepak was the first company to develop a commercially available GPS-based data logger for motorsports, dating back to around 2000, with the first systems utilized in NASCAR around 2001. For avid road racers, the G2X and G2X Pro are invaluable tools in not just recording data, but using that data to improve lap times.

1203chp 09 O  Modern Ignition Data Acquisition Systems Grid 2/9

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