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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter #1
Xtreme Lens, a multimedia racecar digital recording system used in NASCAR and roadracing schools, will be used for the first time in a rally environment in the Jon Nichols/Dave Shindle entry at the Rally of the Tall Pines, November 22. The unique quad-view image (4 in-car digital video cameras), dual digital audio for seperate recordings of intercom and engine audio, tachometer and speedometer displays, lateral G force bar graph and position of car on a stagemap determined by Global Position System tracking will make some of the most exciting rally viewing and analysis available and is a first for North America rallying. Xtreme Lens also is capable of recording vital engine data such as pressures and temperatures for service crew review.
The system also graphs speed by distance, G force by distance and engine RPMs by distance traveled so multiple drivers who have the system installed in their cars can tell where they are losing or gaining time to other drivers and why, i.e. speeds on straights not as fast as other driver or driverA lifts off throttle into curves earlier than driverB.

There is a download of the system view available at http://steeletechnologies.com/xtremelens.html and then going to the demo page.

Xtreme Lens is used now primarily as a learning tool at racing schools providing students with a windows-based CD of their seat time to review with instructors and then as a momento of their experience. With further testing in the rally environment, perhaps some of the N America rally TV coverage will include the multimedia Xtreme Lens unique views and information not available by just the regular in-car camera coverage shown today.
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter #3
It cost millions of dollars to develop (4th version currently in use)and each unit is tens of thousands of dollars in equipment (not for outright sale). Because Xtreme Lens also has military contracts, infrared and nightvision cameras can be installed.
We plan some software tweaks for the rally application. The featured camera view (larger view in the image) can switch among the 4 cameras. I'm thinking it would be cool to feature the camera on the driver for the start control when the system is turned on to show the driver preparing to drive, then when the car reaches say 10MPH at the start of the stage the featured camera will be the front facing camera and when the car comes to a complete stop for the finish control, the featured camera will be of the codriver getting his timecard notated.
Most roadracing and NASCAR installations have included a rearview camera. For rallies when dust and snow covering the rear of the car will be an issue, we'll find something else such as driver's foot pedals and footwork to capture with that camera.
The advantage of 2 audio channels for rally scenario is that we can plug into the car's intercom to capture the codriver's instructions and conversations between drivers and also have a microphone in the engine compartment to capture engine revs. This will allow the TV production version to be edited to capture either or be mixed and not include the sound of the gravel on the underside of the car.
The system is indeed expensive and any suggestions to help get it into rallying would be appretiated. Travelling to the Nascar and roadracing circuits was neat for awhile but think the system is more suited to the needs of rallying and would be more fun to use it in the sport I enjoy.
 

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Wow... this system sounds really cool...

Maybe you should approach the manufacturers about getting it in their cars?? It would be the most logical path to follow right now; they're always into this sort of thing, and maybe they can help out the less fortunate privateers in getting this into more cars.

An idea, anyway... Wish I could get this in our cars, it would be a hoot!

KT
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter #6
>For privateers, the VuZ 4 camera/multiplexer system combined with a
>data logger and appropriate software would provide a more
>economical solution. Nearly all the bells and whistles of Xtreme
>for a fraction of the price.

There is no price for a Xtreme Lens. We come install it in your car, support it and you just buy the CDs or DVDs. You do not have to buy the equipment.

For rally, we may start using the vertical Gforce accellerometer as well to show G forces over jumps and bumps. We've always had that capability but it was not important enough in the roadracing application to include it on the image.
Took a ride in a NASCAR car around Bristol Speedway last weekend: 33 degree banking with racing slick tires equals mega lateral Gforces. Pretty impressive.

The track view diagram will become the stage map diagram and you'll be able to watch the car's progress along the map. That and the speed are determined by GPS included in Xtreme Lens.



>Maybe you should approach the manufacturers about getting it
>in their cars??

Am talking to one manufacturer team now. The idea is to make a recording of a rally and select portions of the recording would be used to create thousands of interactive CD or DVD that would also include a photo gallery, team bios, car specs for the rallycar and streetcar versions,...... that the manufacture could use as a marketing freebie to prospective car buyers or new sportscar buyers, giveaway to team members and sponsors and as a tool to attract new sponsors.
Also available to them is the modified system that would allow recording of any engine, transmission, suspension component that is able to have a sensor (temperatures, pressures, quantities) that can be anaylized by the service crew that would be out of the price range of most privateers.

Any team: manufacturer, armed forces team or otherwise, that may be interested in such a marketing tool, give me shout. Would love to see the recordings from your cars.
 

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nevermind the cameras - it sounds like someone is finally filtering GPS/INS in a rally car!

accident reconstruction
driver education/assessment
tuning

neat...

Robin (GPS geek)
 

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>There is no price for a Xtreme Lens. We come install it in
>your car, support it and you just buy the CDs or DVDs. You
>do not have to buy the equipment.

That's cool.

>The track view diagram will become the stage map diagram and
>you'll be able to watch the car's progress along the map.
>That and the speed are determined by GPS included in Xtreme
>Lens.

I know other softwares that derive the track map from the accelerometer...while I'm sure this is great for circuit racing, I'm not sure it is so useful with such varying degrees of grip as is found in gravel rallying. GPS is probably a better choice, but does it see through the trees? I know we tried bringing a Garmin type unit along as a backup when we did our notes for Cherokee a few years ago. Satellite reception was very spotty. Turned out not to be useful. Maybe with better antennae?

Anyway, the track (stage) map is probably only useful for entertainment at this point, as any further use (analysis and incorporation into notes for improved road knowledge) is illegal.

>Am talking to one manufacturer team now. The idea is to
>make a recording of a rally and select portions of the
>recording would be used to create thousands of interactive
>CD or DVD that would also include a photo gallery, team
>bios, car specs for the rallycar and streetcar
>versions,...... that the manufacture could use as a
>marketing freebie to prospective car buyers or new sportscar
>buyers, giveaway to team members and sponsors and as a tool
>to attract new sponsors.

Great!

> Also available to them is the modified system that would
>allow recording of any engine, transmission, suspension
>component that is able to have a sensor (temperatures,
>pressures, quantities) that can be anaylized by the service
>crew that would be out of the price range of most
>privateers.

Yeah, that's the stuff I wanna see...linear actuators on shocks, wheelspeed sensors for diff performance, etc. I would guess unless they contracted with you for the entire season, so they could log their testing data and every event, they will still stay with their own data systems.


> Any team: manufacturer, armed forces team or otherwise,
>that may be interested in such a marketing tool, give me
>shout. Would love to see the recordings from your cars.

Neat opportunity. Good luck.
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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B

So Dave...
re:
"so multiple drivers who have the system installed in their cars can tell where they are losing or gaining time to other drivers and why, i.e. speeds on straights not as fast as other driver or driverA lifts off throttle into curves earlier than driverB."
So who's going to be driver B at Pines?
your pal, rz
 

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RE: GPS

>GPS is
>probably a better choice, but does it see through the trees?
> I know we tried bringing a Garmin type unit along as a
>backup when we did our notes for Cherokee a few years ago.
>Satellite reception was very spotty. Turned out not to be
>useful. Maybe with better antennae?

A better (amplified) antenna mounted on the roof of the car will make a big difference in coverage. My issue at Cherokee was that the track log was storing so many points that it rolled over before the end of the day of recce...

Adrian
 

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RE: GPS

>>GPS is
>>probably a better choice, but does it see through the trees?
>> I know we tried bringing a Garmin type unit along as a
>>backup when we did our notes for Cherokee a few years ago.
>>Satellite reception was very spotty. Turned out not to be
>>useful. Maybe with better antennae?
>
>A better (amplified) antenna mounted on the roof of the car
>will make a big difference in coverage. My issue at Cherokee
>was that the track log was storing so many points that it
>rolled over before the end of the day of recce...
>
>Adrian

When you get into this sort of application, cheapo receivers don't really cut it. In addition to antenna, receiver noise becomes an issue. A number of L1-only mapping grade receivers can have their tracking loops configured ('widened') for under canopy performance and will work quite well, even in differential mode.

A couple of years ago I completed a contract study for OMNR. Six Leica SR9400s (single frequency mapping/'survey' receiver) corrected by six different private & public sector DGPS correction services (GPS-C, Coast Guard, Satloc, Racal, WAAS etc) all receiving data through a big geodetic choke ring antenna multiplexed to each of the receivers. This was all setup on a motorhome with an onboard LAN for logging data. We did tests all throughout Ontario.

In one of the tests, we parked the motorhome under complete cedar 'canopy'. I really didn't expect to track very well but was amazed that we tracked consistently for the entire 8 hour test. Positions were recorded every second. The precision of these positions was 1.5m horizontal at one standard deviation.

Mapping grade receivers will also allow you to properly log position data to some sort of swappable media rather than rely on a track log.

In Dave's fancy application, I'm sure that in addition to providing position, the GPS is used to synchronize very accurate time for the system - something the handhelds aren't typically configured for.

As an aside, one of the DGPS systems we were testing was a prototype federal gov't system. It showed the best performance (one metre horizontal accuracy at one sigma). The corrections are broadcast for free from MSAT. The specific radio needed can be purchased for $1500 CDN.

Robin
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter #12
>I know other softwares that derive the track map from the
>accelerometer...while I'm sure this is great for circuit
>racing, I'm not sure it is so useful with such varying
>degrees of grip as is found in gravel rallying.

The Jemba system that creates the stagenotes will map out the stages by combining the Coralba odo data and the Jemba accellerometer data. The map is then reviewed and matched to organizer supplied stagemaps to make cetain the corrct route was followed and there were no glitches in the data. From what I've seen, its always been very precise.

>GPS is
>probably a better choice, but does it see through the trees?

The GPS we use now sends 4 signals every second and is no problem through the trees and we have another GPS upgrade being developed. However, because the antennae is mounted to the roof, it will be a problem if you are on your roof. :p

>Anyway, the track (stage) map is probably only useful for
>entertainment at this point, as any further use (analysis
>and incorporation into notes for improved road knowledge) is
>illegal.

That is what stagenotes are for.

Actually, Jemba is interested in adapting one of our systems to record the stagenote process in the recce car.

And Xtreme Lens may incorporate some Jemaba and Coralba technology into its systems in the future. Currently we just aim a camera at the Coralba to see the odo distances but Xtreme Lens will have the odo distances and speeds fields shown seperately beneath the GForce bar when we develop a full rally version of the software.
 

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>>I know other softwares that derive the track map from the
>>accelerometer...while I'm sure this is great for circuit
>>racing, I'm not sure it is so useful with such varying
>>degrees of grip as is found in gravel rallying.
>
>The Jemba system that creates the stagenotes will map out
>the stages by combining the Coralba odo data and the Jemba
>accellerometer data. The map is then reviewed and matched to
>organizer supplied stagemaps to make cetain the corrct route
>was followed and there were no glitches in the data. From
>what I've seen, its always been very precise.

True, but they are not doing it at speed. The object of their efforts is to get as little wheelspin and slide as possible, whereas the object of a competitor is to go as fast as possible.

>The GPS we use now sends 4 signals every second and is no
>problem through the trees and we have another GPS upgrade
>being developed. However, because the antennae is mounted to
>the roof, it will be a problem if you are on your roof. :p

Cool. I need to learn more about GPS schtuff. Looks like you and Robin are masters.

> Actually, Jemba is interested in adapting one of our
>systems to record the stagenote process in the recce car.


> And Xtreme Lens may incorporate some Jemaba and Coralba
>technology into its systems in the future. Currently we just
>aim a camera at the Coralba to see the odo distances but
>Xtreme Lens will have the odo distances and speeds fields
>shown seperately beneath the GForce bar when we develop a
>full rally version of the software.

Nice to see you are working to put together rally specific packages/applications. I wish you luck!
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter #14
>True, but they are not doing it at speed. The object of
>their efforts is to get as little wheelspin and slide as
>possible, whereas the object of a competitor is to go as
>fast as possible.

I was just mentioning that Jemba is capable of doing this. Xtreme Lens uses the GPS, The accellerameters are only to show Gs pulled around corners and not for course mapping. And while our first system determined speed and distance by wheel sensors, that is now done by GPS. The GPS is less intrusive in installation and not prone to breaking than mounting wheel sensors.
 

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>>True, but they are not doing it at speed. The object of
>>their efforts is to get as little wheelspin and slide as
>>possible, whereas the object of a competitor is to go as
>>fast as possible.
>
>I was just mentioning that Jemba is capable of doing this.
>Xtreme Lens uses the GPS, The accellerameters are only to
>show Gs pulled around corners and not for course mapping.
>And while our first system determined speed and distance by
>wheel sensors, that is now don by GPS as well. The GPS is
>less intrusive in installation and not prone to breaking
>than mounting wheel sensors.

In order to be properly integrated, the data from GPS & INS needs to be put through a Kalman filter (pushing the boundary of my knowledge here...) There's a company up here in Toronto that has a system boxed. It's used for providing aerial camera position & orientation, for medium accuracy surveying, rail, vehicle dynamics etc. Sort of cruise missile for the masses... You can start surveying outside and walk into a building to continue for a couple of minutes - then you've got to pop outside again before the INS drifts too much and reacquire satellite lock.

They've got a vehicle setup for measuring dynamics: (POS LV)
"The system provides dynamically accurate, high-rate measurements of the full kinematic state of the host vehicle."

see:

http://www.applanix.com/html/products/prod_land_index.html

Solid state accelerometers and gyro as well as dual antenna GPS azimuth - somewhat more sophisticated than Jemba. The great thing is that GPS outages are minimized because the inertial takes over

One of my clients has POS AV (airborne) in his plane but he won't let me put it in my rally car

:'(

Robin
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter #16
Creative way to get Xtreme Lens for free

Here is an idea that may attract a sponsor willing to
help with the expenses of a team wishing to use Xtreme Lens. Xtreme Lens can have the sponsor's logo imprinted on the CDs itself and a hologram image of it or decal stategically placed in the incar
portions of the video. There is also blank areas of
the image where we could include their logo that would
be seen by anyone watching or by the TV audience if
the production company airs it.

So you'll be getting several new locations to market to sponsors other than just the rallycar bodypanels. Use those funds raised to get access Xtreme Lens.
 
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