Lap Timer Prototyping
Mid-way through the 2021 race season, we decided to trial a prototype GPS based lap timer system. The lap timer was trialled in 2 forms; an add-on module for the DS24 & a standalone module with the bulk of the testing being carried out on the standalone module.
Standalone Prototype 1.0
Based off the same case/screen/LED combo as the DS24 with a different processing unit and powered off of an internal battery. Functionality was simple; 20Hz Screen refresh, 10Hz GPS Positioning, Lap Timing with reference to only one point (official timing mark) & Holding the Best Lap time for session (and providing delta timing vs this lap).
From it's first outing, the times were close to the official timing with the lap times being within 0.100 of a second across multiple sessions and cars. Example below shows device recording a best time of 1:02.477 and the official timing reported 1:02.439, 38ms difference! Not bad (especially for our more basic lap time correction factor)
Standalone Prototype 1.1
A revision of the initial prototype; same hardware with improved firmware to add in sector timing and few other bits. To add sector timing, 2 extra reference points for Knockhill were programmed into the lap timer. Locations of each trigger point were set to the official sectors as seen below;
Adding in the Sectors into the tracks allowed for 2 significant additions to the functionality:
Sector Based Delta times - This allows drivers to have a better idea throughout the lap of how fast they are going relative to previous times
Potential Best Lap time - This allowed the device to take all the best sector times and form a calculated potential best time if the driver was to string all their sectors together perfectly
This version of the lap timer (along with a DS24) can be seen in action from this video from Scott Smith of S&B Motorsport
Standalone Prototype 2.0
For the 2.0 Prototype, we decided to up the ante a bit. New processing module with more juice for more features but with the same screen/led/case setup as before.
The new processing module allowed for us to add in onboard storage which could be accessed via USB, the obvious idea here being laps and sessions could be saved for viewing at a later date.
This version is still under development but we are looking at offering some prototype versions of this lap timer to a number of racers for 2022. Be on the look out for announcements on this....