Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Need Suggestions for in-race-car PC. Car goes 300+mph. Video?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Need Suggestions for in-race-car PC. Car goes 300+mph. Video?

    Hi everyone,

    I've been reading here for a few years and watching the forum grow - I've finally run into a project where I need an in-car PC.

    I crew on a race car project where I am responsible for all the electronics in the vehicle. This includes the Engine management system, and the data gathering system(s). This car is built for racing at Bonneville (top / landspeed) and we hope to be the fastest production body car in the world when the car is completed.

    It's a custom built, tube chassis car with a 498cid Hemi and two ProMod 91mm turbos capable of 3400+ horsepower. We'll likely only need around 200hp to achieve our goal.
    Here's a video of the chassis dyno tuning we performed last week, to get you an idea:
    http://youtu.be/ry3t9GfAEb8


    Anyhow, the engine is up and running on Megasquirt-3 which I assembled myself. I also use an IO Extender (add-on kit for megasquirt) to gather data from turbine speed sensors, wheel speed sensors, suspension travel, and a number of fluid temps and pressures.


    I've decided that I need an in-car PC to run the TunerStudio software (a simple Java based app) to collect the data from the Megasquirt+IOX. The computer can be a low end, low performer because all it's doing is capturing data over the serial port at 115200bps.

    HOWEVER, here are my questions:

    (1) I am wondering if I can beef up the in-car PC specs such that I could also record 2, 3 or 4 channels of video. I *can* run independent cameras (GoPro or similar) but the problem is, it's a hassle to start each camera individually while preparing to make a pass in the car. I'd much rather have a centralized recorder with 2-4 channels of video.

    (2) Are there decent cameras out there for this? I'd like HD 720p 30fps. Last year I used a couple cheapo Sanyo Xacti CG20 cameras with good luck (see in car footage from our other race car here:


    (3) Can anyone here recommend cameras, and in-car PC specs for me? I am running short on time, the event is in August so I have 3 months to put together and test a system for use in the car.



    Thanks so much for ANY input you may have,
    -Scott

  • #2
    Apologies for having no real input, but...

    OMG this is really cool, subscribing to thread, good luck on your endeavours.

    Comment


    • #3
      Quick update, I had time to do some more research this morning and I have decided to skip video recording to the in-car PC. I found remote controlled "action" cameras that'll do the trick just fine and are affordable at $300 per channel.


      I will still use the in-car PC to log powertrain data from our Megasquirt EMS.

      My next question is, I'd like to remotely control (RDP? VNC?) the PC wirelessly. I don't see any motherboards that include both WiFi and a 9-pin Serial port - should I go with built0in wifi and a serial port mini PCI card? or vice versa, should I get a board with onboard serial and use a mini-PCI Wifi card?

      Suggestions welcome, don't be shy.

      -Scott

      Comment


      • #4
        I would get something with an integrated serial port and then add Wi-Fi. A motherboard similar to this offers an integrated serial port and a mini-pcie slot (I have personally used this board and it works great for low-power, low-performance situations). Depending on the space you have you could get something without a mini-pcie slot which would be cheaper and just use a pci wifi card.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would get a built-in serial port as usb-serial dongles are wonky sometimes, you can use usb or pci wifi. For remoting in, not sure if wifi will keep up if your trying to monitor while its driving 300+mph

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SNOtwistR View Post
            I would get a built-in serial port as usb-serial dongles are wonky sometimes, you can use usb or pci wifi. For remoting in, not sure if wifi will keep up if your trying to monitor while its driving 300+mph
            +1!! Having tuned a lot of cars using USB dongles, I know how to tweak them to make them "work OK" - but lately I have been testing USB-serial adapters versus PCMCIA adapters versus onboard UARTs and have found that I can get nearly double the "frame rate" (number of samples per second of all my inputs to the Megasquirt) using onboard UARTs. Hence, I plan on going with your suggestion.

            How much of a concern is a fan versus fanless solution? At Bonneville, where we race, car interior temps can reach 110 degrees F. I see some of the specs for no-fan CPUs and cases saying "max 40 deg Celsius" which is under our maximum. I do not care about fan noise in the race car (you'd go deaf without hearing protection - a Barton Hemi making 3000hp is extremely loud).

            What are thoughts on the bundles out there that have the Intel Atom processors, in the VoomPC enclosures, going right around $300? they include the M2-ATX power supply, seem like a decent choice but I am concerned about internal temps getting too high...?

            Comment


            • #7
              Forget about a carPC in a racer. It'll be broken in no time. This is what you want...or one of the many similar systems:
              http://www.spaa05.com/rct/


              VegasGuy

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by VegasGuy View Post
                Forget about a carPC in a racer. It'll be broken in no time. This is what you want...or one of the many similar systems:
                http://www.spaa05.com/rct/


                VegasGuy
                That doesn't look like what I need. I don't need telemetry - I should clarify, I just want to remote in to the PC during staging to get the internal datalogging going. Also, our racing venue is smooth with no bumps, not a rally race - watch the video above and you'll see what I am talking about. Our cars weigh 9000 pounds on purpose. There's no rough stuff.

                Comment


                • #9
                  OK, I got the case, power supply, Intel mothreboard and Atom CPU, 2 sticks of 2GB DDR3-800 memory, and a "rugged" 2.5" HDD on the way.

                  My last concern is the wireless card. Does anyone have suggestions for the antenna to run (in the race car, pointing out the back window towards the Push Truck)? and any suggestions on a mini-PCI wifi card to use out there at Bonneville?

                  thanks!
                  -Scott

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dieselgeek View Post
                    OK, I got the case, power supply, Intel mothreboard and Atom CPU, 2 sticks of 2GB DDR3-800 memory, and a "rugged" 2.5" HDD on the way.

                    My last concern is the wireless card. Does anyone have suggestions for the antenna to run (in the race car, pointing out the back window towards the Push Truck)? and any suggestions on a mini-PCI wifi card to use out there at Bonneville?

                    thanks!
                    -Scott


                    Update to this thread, I got the car PC assembled and running!!

                    I am a Linux admin at work, so I decided to try Ubuntu. I am glad I did, it's rock solid (on the test bench anyways). I gutted a laptop from the junk pile at work and got an Intel mini-PCI card with antenna, and it works great. I can connect via ad hoc networking with my laptop and use VNC to remote control the desktop. The other cool thing someone helped me with, is a utility called "xdotool" which lets me write a simple script to start my TunerStudio program and begin a datalog automatically. Whenever the race car is fired up, a datalog begins in about 25 seconds.

                    Next up is working on a pair of antennas (and probably a 1w power booster on each end), and some little things like trying out tricks to make Ubuntu boot a little quicker. Right now I am using a WD-SCorpion 500gb drive, but I bought a 64gb Plextor SSD that I will also try out to see how it compares. I am a little leery of using the SSD as lots of people report generally flaky behavior with them, we'll see how that goes.

                    Thanks to all the members of this forum, I did a lot of reading over the past few weeks and got a lot of great ideas from here.

                    In August I'll be back to post up the results of our racing season,

                    -Scott

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Update to this thread. We just finished Speed Week 2012 at Bonneville Salt Flats, and we managed to break a world record in the A/BGALT ("A" sized engine, turbocharged, running on gasoline, in an Altered Coupe body class).

                      We didn't make it to 300mph as the course conditions and car weren't quite ready, but we did set a record with a 273mph average in two passes. Our fastest speed of the meet was recorded on pass 4 with an Exit Speed of 283mph.

                      My car-pc performed *flawlessly* as both a datalogger and communications server. I was able to monitor and make tuning changes while the car was on the 7 mile course.

                      Here's a pic and link to bangshift.com's coverage of our team during the event:


                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen-shot-2012-08-12-at-12.41.26-PM-685x366.png
Views:	1
Size:	288.1 KB
ID:	2284631

                      http://bangshift.com/blog/living-the...dventures.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dieselgeek View Post
                        Update to this thread. We just finished Speed Week 2012 at Bonneville Salt Flats, and we managed to break a world record in the A/BGALT ("A" sized engine, turbocharged, running on gasoline, in an Altered Coupe body class).
                        Congrats, its all over the LSR board folks talking about the hot Dodge Daytona. I listened to your runs via meridix internet radio - sounded good! Wish I coulda been there. I still hold one ECTA record in Ohio, but I'm saving my car for the Texas Mile in October where I can open it up on the concrete.

                        Congrats again, glad the CarPC worked out.
                        HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X