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Automatic Beacons

 
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switcher



Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:45 am    Post subject: Automatic Beacons Reply with quote

Ok, I may be starting to get lazy now but thought it might be possible (at least with the 4 courses I've driven to date Smile) to place beacons based on Lat/Log G and minimum duration thresholds.
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daverx7



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Automatic Beacons Reply with quote

switcher wrote:
Ok, I may be starting to get lazy now but thought it might be possible (at least with the 4 courses I've driven to date Smile) to place beacons based on Lat/Log G and minimum duration thresholds.

I like the idea of this. It is a different approach on where I put the beacons, but I would take what I could get. Also, if this is turned on with others with the MaxQData system, their beacons will be sorta close by default.

-D
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Ed
Site Admin


Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 280
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've waffled on this one for a long time. It's a bit easier to imagine an automatic beacon-placement algorithm for a road racing course, where you can fairly well count on straight sections between curves. But in autocrossing, depending on available space and the course design philosophy prevalent in your area, you are quite often faced with courses with no real straightaways at all. We've seen a lot of data files from winning drivers where there's surprisingly little going on with the brakes or throttle and it's mostly about threading through the cones smoothly without losing momentum (duh). So from the standpoint of the DAQ system, it's just left/right/left/right/left/right etc. etc. Given that, it's hard to pick beacon positions any better than randomly.

Even assuming a useful beacon placement algorithm, given run-to-run and car-to-car variation, it's a big leap of faith to assume that the algorithm is going to consistently place the beacons at exactly the same spot on each run for everyone, or even choose anywhere near the same beacon locations.

I feel it's worth choosing your beacon positions manually, because as a driver you will naturally segment the course in a way that makes sense to you and allows you to focus on the elements you want to work on. It's a tall order for the computer to read your mind. It usually takes me about twenty seconds to decide where I want my beacons, and then I export that set and use it for subsequent runs, so for me personally automatic beaconing wouldn't really be a time saver.

What the community might consider doing is using the file-transfer capabilities of their Pocket PCs and Smartphones and just share one beacon file with everyone at an event. The course designer can place the beacons according to what makes sense with the course design, and everyone can then use the same standard beacon file.
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Ed Lansinger
MaxQData, LLC
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