Simple laptimer and data logger

I’ve been invited to take part on a number of amateur races next year. These will be team events with rented karts (Honda GX 390cc). I have no experience with 4-stroke karts but I’m sure they won’t compare to the CRG I had to sell years ago, when adulthood (and career) kicked in.

This said, I still want to win. Thus, I’d like to have a simple display, laptimer and data logger for these races. These are my requirements:

  1. GPS-based standalone device without any wiring,
  2. live display of previous lap time and best lap time at the steering wheel, and
  3. post-race analytics including positioning coordinates, speed and acceleration.

Taking the above into account, what devices would you recommend? I am currently eyeing the AiM Solo 2 and the Alfano ADS GPS but I have no hands-on experience with either. Would it be easy to install either of them on a different steering wheel every other weekend? AiM does mention that the box includes a mounting bracket with screws, so I wonder how complicated the installation is. Could there be compatibility issues?

As far as I understand, AiM’s software for post-race analytics is better than Alfano’s. In addition, AiM devices connect via WiFi, which I find vastly superior to bluetooth. Does Alfano ADS GPS have any advantage over AiM Solo 2 apart from the price?

Thanks for your input.

Why not just run the Mychron5? It has all of the features that you’re looking for an is specific designed for karting.

Otherwise, you’re just making yourself work way harder than need be for a dash unit.
Besides, Kartpulse did a 24 video series with AIM on how to use Race Studio.

Think hes looking for something portable that can be switched between rental karts easily.

Almost sounds like he just wants the benefits of a transponder only (timing).

Oh I totally missed that part.
Do the Solos do G-measurements or just laptime?

“The Solo 2 DL is often used for HPDE lap timing, with enhanced data. Because it is battery-powered, many users simply keep it on a RAM suction mount, which can be easily installed on your windshield. You then just run a wire to your OBD II port, press one button to turn it on and you are ready to go.” -Someone on the Internet.

Does need to connect to OBD port, whatever that is.

OBD 1/2 is an auto std for diagnostics interface (among others) which, as far as I know, karting doesn’t conform to.

I am indeed looking for something portable that can be switched between rental karts easily.

In addition, I’d like the device to:

  1. display previous/best lap times in real time, which I find quite useful to have during the qualifying session in unknown/wet tracks, and
  2. log coordinates/speed/acceleration for post-race analytics.

The AiM Solo 2 has a triaxial acceleration sensor, so it does measure Gs.

I don’t think there’s anything on the market that suits your needs in terms of portability . Best I can think of is a custom case that contains a massive magnet to hold it to the wheel. Assuming the wheel center is steel.

Something you can switch like the base for a dial gauge.

Designing one might be an opportunity for someone.

AiM themselves market the Solo 2 as a Kart Lap Timer in their online shop, so I would expect it to work for karting. In addition, I think (but I am not sure) it actually records all non-engine metrics of a Mychron 5.

That’s an interesting idea. I had thought about using a dual lock velcro and put a pad on the back and a pad on the kart.

In all seriousness…

What happens if he uses a mychron 4 or 5 off battery power and doesn’t connect the bits for temp and rpm? GPS would still work so presumably it could do the laptimes, speed, g etc.?

I think you’re right about it doing the job. However, the MyChron 5 costs GBP 200 more than the Solo 2.

Besides, how easy would it be to install/remove a MyChron 5 to/from a different steering wheel every other weekend?

Not very hard but not convenient.

No idea what happens if you try to run the solo or the mychron without it being hooked up. That’s what I was hoping someone could chime in on.

I’ll ask my engineeer this weekend about what it would do in that situation.

I have never used either. Could there be compatibility issues with different steering wheels or would it work fine with all of them?

The Solo 2 (base model, not the DL) is designed to run without being hooked up to anything. I’m not sure about the MyChron 5.

Thanks in advance for letting us know his reply!

Honestly, mounting a Mychron is a 13mm wrench to take the nut off the back, and unhook the RPM lead. It only takes 10 seconds. I remove mine off my kart and take it home with me after every race, since I store my kart elseware and sometimes leave my laptop at home.

So swapping Mychrons is really not going to be that challenge, especially with a 5, because they don’t require accessories for GPS or anything. At least it’s designed to mount on a wheel.

I use idustrial velcro to secure a Mychron 3 expansion box to a bracket I fabbed for it which bolts to the “ears” that also hold front nassau panel, tied to the steering shaft support. This is on a shifter, & it holds it securely. A patch size of sufficient surface area is all it takes. Stuff is quite tacky, but the box can still be removed.

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How about a Velcro backed pouch, sort of like a fanny pack with the Velcro on the arms? Mychron in pouch on top of wheel and Velcro arms attatch around the center and connect behind? Or something like that. Or just unscrew it each time. Rental karts must follow the same steering wheel rules as everything else.

Use a GPS enabled cell phone?

though, i doubt the sampling frequency is high enough to be accurate.

I use a solo for both my GT3 for lapping days as well as on my kart for practice for the predictive feature because my Mychron 4 does not have GPS. It works perfectly fine and is a great tool.

The solo (at least the original) has powerful magnets built in and comes with a steel bracket I easily fixed to my kart steering wheel. I added a zip tie for additional safety to insure it stayed in place. The backing plates are like $15 each and having multiples would be convenient.

When moving between. Cars I move the whole ram suction cup when getting into student cars.

In my opinion the predictive time feature is one of the greatest learning tools it provides. You can try something different in real time and determine if it was faster or slower than your saved reference lap instead of waiting until after the session to look at data. Mychrons with GPS will do this also.

Being an AIM product all the data works in race studio.

There is a downside on the kart. The g- force Data is going to be garbage if the decice is mounted to the wheel as you need to calibrate it in a static position in the car for the data to be correct, and in the car it never moves like it does on a kart.