Version 45: Keeping things the same

45Hot on the heels of version 43, we have version 45. 44 was a ninja release to fix some rather important functionality, but this one is a real release with a few new goodies:

  • The biggest thing is a new language: Dutch! A big thank you to Martijn Nelissen, who provided the Dutch translation.
  • We fixed a few problems with exporting, including giving the right file extension, and correctly handling special characters in driver names, run names, etc.
  • We added the missing languages in the UniGo config.
  • The rest of the changes bring us to the theme for this release:
    • Off Camber Data now remembers your settings from the Min/Max window across restarts.
    • It also remembers which screen you were looking at. If you were looking at the histogram when you closed it, it opens back up with the histogram.
    • Finally, OCD now remembers the width of the run selection window. This seems like a small thing, but if you are working a lot with tags, you know why this is important!

As part of this release, I’d like to congratulate to Bryan for having his first changes in this release! Bryan’s work has been making the releases run smoothly for quite a while now, but this is the first time his efforts actually ship as part of Off Camber Data.

As always, you can get the new version from the downloads page, or simply restart your old version of Off Camber Data. For feedback, feel free to just comment on the blog, or send us an email at feedback@offcamberdata.com!

Export laps to Google Earth

Did you know you can export your laps from OCD to Google Earth? It is really easy:

A series of menus lets you export to Google Earth.

Right-click on the run header, select “Export Run”, and then “for Google Earth”. Once you click, it will show you a menu like this:

Select channels to export to Google Earth

It doesn’t matter very much which channels you select for export, since Google Earth doesn’t show them very well anyways.

When you click “Export”, OCD will ask you for a filename. Save the exported file somewhere, and then double-click it to see your traces in Google Earth. This is what it should look like:

A screenshot of what Google Earth looks like with data exported from OCD

On the left, you can select and deselect individual laps, to make the display a little less cluttered.

If you only ever want to look at a few laps, not all of them, you can also export data from OCD one lap at a time, by right-clicking on the lap instead of the run header.

If this was helpful to you (or if you find an error), please let us know by leaving a comment, or sending us an email at feedback@offcamberdata.com.

Version 43: Walking Hibernation

Number 43 on Petty Enterprise's Plymouth SuperbirdIt’s been a long time since the last release, but the season is starting again, and we don’t want to keep from you what we worked on over the winter. Most of our efforts have gone into some big projects we’ll release later this year, but we also implemented a lot of fixes suggested by users. We wanted to make sure everyone who suggested a fix that we put in has it in their hands in time for the first races, so here are the highlights in version 43:

  • Spanish translation! This is a big one, and a big thank you goes to Stéphane Ohana to make this happen!
  • The positions of the various windows are now remembered across restarts of OCD.
  • Tags are remembered during import, so when you import four wet sessions in a row, you don’t have to add the “wet” tag every time.
  • On small machines (with 4GB of memory or less), we had some performance problems. Performance will always be a challenge on machines like this, but it should be much better now.
  • When you import a lot of runs, and then realize you made a mistake, you had to wait until it was done importing. No more! You can now cancel during the import.

If you pay really close attention you’ll see hundreds of smaller fixes that mostly fly under the radar.

As always, you can get the new version from the downloads page, or simply restart your old version of Off Camber Data. For feedback, feel free to just comment on the blog, or send us an email at feedback@offcamberdata.com!

How to fix a missed split

Has this ever happened to you? You go out for a session, put in some good laps, and when you come in and try to compare your two best laps, the graphs are totally misaligned and the data is meaningless:

Misaligned graphs due to a missed split

Why does this happen? You can probably guess by looking at the lap times on the left: Lap 4 is unusually long. This happens when the magnet sensor does not detect the magnet loop in the track. We can see more detail in split time analysis:

Missed Splits in Split Time Analysis

Split 3 in lap four is extra long, because the sensor missed the start/finish line, and started thinking that the first split is the start/finish line. That’s why all the graphs are misaligned.

The context menu for a split

This menu appears when you right-click on a split in split time view.

Fortunately, we have an easy way to fix it: Right-click on the split that’s too long, and choose “Missed Split” from the menu. When you use this function, OCD will do its best to determine how long that split should have been. It usually gets pretty close, but it is still an estimation. To make sure we don’t show estimated data as real data, the lap that this happened on is still hidden. If you trust the estimation, you can un-hide (“show”) the lap in the same right-click menu.

Now, the graphs are aligned:

The graphs are now aligned

It’s important to note that all the lap times after the missed split have changed. That’s because before, it was measuring laps from split 1 to split 1, when it should have measured it from start/finish to start/finish. Fortunately for Moa, this means that her fastest lap was actually a 49.075 instead of 49.202. Congratulations to Moa!

If this was helpful to you (or if you find an error), please let us know by leaving a comment, or sending us an email at feedback@offcamberdata.com.

PRI 2015

Look what came in the mail today!

PRI Tickets

We’ll be at PRI in Indianapolis on December 11th and 12th. We don’t have a stand of our own, but if you want to grab lunch or coffee, send us a mail at feedback@offcamberdata.com, and we’ll arrange it.

See you there!

Version 42: Polyglot

Number 42 on a virtual McLaren F1Only two weeks after version 41, version 42 is ready. This is mostly an internal release, with a lot of changes that will make it easier for us work on OCD, but it does have a good number of new features for you as well:

  • New language: French! You can now analyze your data in the language of love and diplomacy!
  • We also made a number of smaller updates to German, Danish, and Swedish. Please let us know when you see a problem with the translations, even if it’s a small one. Unfortunately we don’t speak all of them, and so we need the help of volunteers to maintain the languages we have, and to add new ones.
  • We improved support for files from the UniPro 6003 data logger by adding new channel types, and fixing some of the ones we already had.
  • If you’re running on a Mac that has the Yosemite or newer, you might have gotten used to graphics glitches and other ugliness by now. We apologize that it took us so long to fix it, but most of those issues are now resolved.
  • This version is faster, sometimes much faster, especially on Windows.
  • Channel lists were sometimes sorted one way, and sometimes sorted another way. They are now always sorted alphabetically.

As always, you can get the new version from the downloads page, or simply restart your old version of Off Camber Data. For feedback, feel free to just comment on the blog, or send us an email at feedback@offcamberdata.com!

Version 41: Globally Positioned

41It has been a long time since we released a new version. The reason is that this release is a big one. The headline feature is, as you might have guessed from the title, GPS timing. If you have a UniGo 6005 or greater, you can now use the GPS antenna to get lap and split times. To help you get started, we wrote a guide about how to configure GPS timing. We encourage you to go over it the first time you use it, but the short of it is this: First, you drive with the GPS antenna, then you use OCD to set up the track using the GPS traces you just recorded, and finally you copy the new configuration to the UniGo. This is a little different from how other lap timers do it, but we wanted to make sure that the driver doesn’t have to push any buttons on the track. We welcome your feedback about this approach!

There are a lot of other fixes in this release, so I’ll just mention the highlights:

  • A big thanks goes to Ondřej Kočka for providing a Czech translation!
  • A combination of work on the UniGo firmware and the OCD configuration dialog means that you can now configure your tracks with OCD, and then copy them to the UniGo. On the UniGo, you can select them from a list, rather than having to set all the settings one by one.
  • As part of that work, we made a lot of changes to the way the UniGo is configured from OCD, and fixed a lot of edge cases.
  • Dashware export did not work when the language was set to anything but English. It was a very embarrassing problem, and I’m glad it is now fixed.
  • We added some safety features to make sure we can recover as much data as possible when something goes wrong. For example, if OCD crashes three times in a row, it will try to repair itself. Also, if files from the lap timer are corrupted, OCD will now try to recover as much data as possible.
  • We found some cases where you could create multiple tracks with the same name. This is very confusing, so we made sure this is no longer possible.
OCD's Set Splits Dialog with Splits

Define split points in this dialog, transfer them to the UniGo, and drive!

As always, you can get the new version from the downloads page, or simply restart your old version of Off Camber Data. For feedback, feel free to just comment on the blog, or send us an email at feedback@offcamberdata.com!

GPS Timing with the UniGo

So you arrive at a new track and they don’t have magnet strips. Maybe they have only one, but you want several splits per lap. Or you don’t want to worry about installing the magnet sensor. Either way, you want to use GPS for timing, and you have never been at this track before. What do you do?

The first time that you add a new track on your Unigo, you will need to have your laptop and Unigo with you at the track. The following steps will show you how to configure the hardware, record the initial track data, export the track data to OCD to set the start/finish line and reimport the data to your Unigo to be ready for use.

Step 1: Make sure the hardware is set up

Setting up the UniGo for GPS is pretty easy. First, make sure you have the latest firmware installed. You can see the current version in the Info menu on the UniGo. You need at least version 1.02.000 for GPS. If you’re missing the latest version, you can get an download the firmware update from our downloads page.

Then, plug the GPS antenna into the back of the device, and mount it in a place that has a clear line of sight to the sky. Zip ties are very helpful for this. The GPS antenna has an adhesive backing, so if you have a large enough flat surface, you can just set the antenna down on it, and it will stick.

The UniGo's info menu

The Info menu, showing nine fixed satellites.

Next, we’ll make sure everything is working so far. Turn on the UniGo, and give it some time to find the GPS satellites. Two minutes should be enough, depending on weather conditions. You can watch the current GPS status on the UniGo by going to the Info menu, and scrolling down to “Satellites Fixed” and “GPS Status”. To find the Info menu, go to the Main Menu button, and select the “i” Info button.

Ideally, you want to have at least six satellites fixed, and GPS Status should say “DGPS + 3D”. If you want to look at something while you’re waiting, you can click on the GPS Status menu entry, and you’ll see a detailed breakdown of how the UniGo finds the satellites.

 

Step 2: Drive the track

This step is always a favorite among drivers. On the UniGo, go to Settings/Track, and set “Receiver” to “GPS”. It should look like this:

The Track menu on the UniGo

The Track menu on the UniGo

If you have an RPM wire installed, you can just start driving now. If not, you have to tell the UniGo to start recording before you start driving. To do that, go to the main menu (press the menu button at the top-right), and go into run mode (UniGo Runmode Icon). In run mode, press the menu button, and select “Start recording”.

While you’re driving, the UniGo will not show lap times or split times, because it is still learning the track. It needs at least three clean laps to properly learn a track, but more is always better. When you’re done, come back in the pits, and stop recording. If you have an RPM wire, the UniGo will stop recording automatically 30 seconds after the engine stops. If you don’t have an RPM wire, you can make it stop by pressing the menu button, and selecting either “Go to analyze menu” or “Stop recording”.

Step 3: Set up the track in OCD

OCD's Import Window

In the import window, specify a track name.

To set up the track, start by importing your session into OCD. When you’re importing, make sure to give it a track name. We will need that track name later. Specify a driver, kart, and tags as usual. At this point, you might notice that the entire session is in one lap. That is because we have not created split points yet.

To configure the split points, finish importing, and click Tracks at the top of the OCD window. In the list of tracks, select your track name. In my example, this is “Parking Lot”. Your screen should look something like this:

OCD's Track Management Window

On the right, you can see various settings for this track. You can adjust many things there, but right now we are trying to set GPS split points. Set the “Receiver Type” to “GPS”, and then click the Edit button next to “Split Points” at the bottom. This will bring you to a new screen where you can configure the split points. For this tutorial, I just did some laps around a parking lot, so I see a very boring track map:

OCD's Set Splits DialogOn the left, the window shows the list of split points you have defined. At the moment, no split points are defined, so instead it shows you a message asking you to define the start/finish line. As you mouse over the speed graph, you can see the cursor move over the track map. Click on the speed graph where the start/finish line is to set it. The map and the speed graph will recalculate. On the left, it shows the lap length. You can define several more split points by clicking on the graph. Split points of any kind, GPS or not, work best when they are right before big braking zones, at the end of long straights. That is why we show the speed graph below the map. When you’re done, your window should look like this:

OCD's Set Splits Dialog with Splits

Hit “OK” to dismiss the window. Off Camber Data will ask you whether you want to recalculate the split times for the run you imported. When it does so, confirm by clicking “Recalculate”. This will apply the split points you selected to the imported run. You can now see your lap times and split times!

Step 4: Uploading the split configuration to the UniGo

You can see the times in OCD, but you want to see them while driving. To do that, you have to upload the configuration for the splits to the UniGo. The easiest way to do that is in the Track Management window, where you are right now. When the UniGo is plugged in, there is a button at the bottom of the window saying “Apply and copy to device”. Click it, and OCD will copy the configuration for all tracks to the UniGo.

Track Management again, with the option to upload track settings highlighted

By the way, this also works when you have a UniKey. Off Camber Data will copy the information to the key. It transfers from the key to the UniGo when you plug in the key and select “Restore Local Setup” from the menu.

At this point, you are good to go for more sessions!

Questions and Answers

1. What if it’s not my first day at this track?

The Load Track menu on the UniGo

The Load Track menu on the UniGo. Select your track here to use split points you have configured before.

You have already done this for the track you are at, and you want to use the split configuration you have created before? No problem! On the UniGo, go to Settings (The Settings icon from the UniGo), Track (The Track icon from the UniGo), and select “Load Track” to load your settings.

When you load a track this way, and then you choose “GPS” for the Start/Finish Receiver, it will show you the number of splits loaded. This way, you can be sure your configured splits are there.

2. While driving, the UniGo missed some splits. Now my timing is messed up in OCD. How can I fix it?

When the UniGo fails to detect that you went past a split point, it will keep counting time until you get to that split point again. In OCD, you will see one lap that is twice as long as it should be (or longer, if the UniGo missed more than one split point). There is a very easy way to fix this: Right-click on the run in lap selection, and hit click “Edit Run”. A window appears where you can edit various properties of the run. One of the things you can do there is “Recalculate split timing”. Click that button, and all times will be recalculated. In most cases, it will now find the split point, and your laps will show correctly.

The dialog box where you can recalculate split timing

If this didn’t work for you, you can use the other way to correct missed splits: In the split time view, find the split that’s too long, right-click it, and choose “Missed Split”. It will cut the split in two, and recalculate all times after it.

If you find you have a lot of missed splits on a track, you may want to re-set the split points from step 3 above.

3. OCD doesn’t let me add another split in the “Set Splits” dialog. Why not?

There are two restrictions on adding new splits in the “Set Splits” dialog. One is that splits have to be a certain distance apart. When they are too close to each other, the UniGo has trouble telling them apart when you drive past them, so OCD doesn’t let you set them that way.

The other restriction is a little more complicated to explain: As you know, sometimes the UniGo can fail to detect that you crossed a split point. OCD can fail to detect a split point as well. When this happens in the “Set Splits” dialog, OCD will let you know that it missed a split by telling you in the list on the left. It is impossible to define a new split point next to a split point that was missed. The mouse cursor in the speed graph changes to indicate that you can’t click there. To fix this, try going to a different lap with the “left” and “right” buttons on the side of the track map.

The Set Splits Dialog with one missed split

In this screenshot, OCD missed the second split point. You can see this most easily in the list on the left side. It is impossible to set a new split point next to the missed split point.


As always, let us know if you have any further questions. You can email us at feedback@offcamberdata.com, or simply leave a comment below!

How to put your own logo into the UniGo

Did you know that you can put your own logo onto the UniGo and have it show during startup? All you have to do is create a 135×160 pixel bmp file with a color depth of 16 (or four bits). Save this file on the UniGo at /Pictures/startup.bmp, and it will show up when the UniGo boots up.

Microsoft Paint will create a file like that when you save it as a 16 color bitmap:UniGo Startup LogoThe image has to be exactly 135 pixels wide and 160 pixels tall, or you will either see garbage or nothing at all when the UniGo starts. Don’t worry though, no image will mess with the normal functioning of the rest of the device.

Happy customizing!

 

Version 40: Skipping Forward

Ford GTNot every release deserves an announcement. Sometimes we have to ship an urgent fix for a small number of customers, we fix an internal problem, or maybe we just keep OCD up to date with changes to hardware devices. All of these things happened in the last few weeks, and so we’re zooming from version 37 straight to version 40. We have a lot of good stuff in this one:

  • Multiple Delta Graphs! Now you can get a delta graph when selecting more than two laps. All selected laps will be compared to the fastest one.
  • Danish language support! I think this one speaks for itself.
  • The histogram now shows exact values or every column when you hover over it with the mouse. Check out the screenshot below!
  • Expanded support for the Unipro 6003 series of lap timers. In detail, the means support for pedal and steering wheel sensors,  as well as support for g-force measurements. This functionality is only available in the Unipro Advanced edition of OCD.
  • Devices now show up properly in Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite). Please note that not all problems in Yosemite are fixed. While OCD is completely functional, there are quite a few layout problems we’re actively working to fix.
A screenshot of Off Camber Data's new histogram.

This is what it looks like when you hover over a column in the new histogram.

As always, you can get the new version from the downloads page, or simply restart your old version of Off Camber Data. For feedback, feel free to just comment on the blog, or send us an email at feedback@offcamberdata.com!