Poor Girl’s Data Acquisition

OK, the real poor girl’s data acquisition is a stop watch taped to her bike (or the manual lap timer that may already be on her bike from the factory.)

However, if said poor girl is already lucky enough to own an iPhone, and a decent protective case ($20-45), she’s twenty bucks away from the next best thing. Of course, the (also optional) external GPS receiver makes data acq a heck of a lot more accurate and more expensive, add another $99.

I have fallen in love with numbers. Correction, I have always had a thing for numbers, I have fallen in love with representing my relative suckage at the race track mathematically. There are all sorts of numbers to be marveled over: linear acceleration, lateral acceleration (really cute on the graph, when you fall over), average speed, top speed, sector times, theoretical best lap, gap times, and so on and so forth.

All this numerical goodness for the price of a military-duty weather-proof iPhone case, an external GPS receiver, and a $20 app by the name of Harry’s LapTimer Pro.

I’ve played with it at JenningsGP with mixed results. When it works, it’s freaking awesome! Unfortunately, I keep getting screwed by the lack of a proper mounting solution and a weak friction latch on aforementioned GPS receiver.

The GPS receiver was clearly not designed for woman to stick into iPhone, duct tape said mobile device to the tank of a motorcycle and go knee dragging. The engine vibration alone does the physical connection in and wreaks havoc with the interpretation of the signals from outer space.

It worked well for one track day; however, I must have worn the friction latch out, since it doesn’t even stay put in the car anymore. Pulling the teeny retention tabs back out with tweezers lessened the problem somewhat.

It works well inside the breast pocket of my leathers, but I can feel the thing up against my body and it’s annoying; not to mention it takes way too long at Third Call to push the ‘Go’ button, shove it in there, and get ready to roll out.

Then I discovered ‘overlaying’. The iPhone records video while the lap timer app continues collecting GPS fixes and accelerometer data. After your session you can combine the two by a simple push of a button and you’ll find your video footage dolled up with your relative position on a little track map (and various other data, such as time, date, location) in your ‘Photo’ app for your review. Sha-weeet!

For this to work, I have to mount the iPhone vertically in a position where it can record video unobstructed. If I thought I had a problem before, I really have one now. The best place for that sort of thing, without getting in the way when in a race tuck is the spot that damned steering stabilizer now occupies. Ask me about that sometime… I give you a hint: it involves a setting of 10 and a tight right turn in the pits. ;P

The GPR Steering Stabilizer hogs prime real estate.

I have to put on my thinking cap.

Failure (to acquire data) is not an option! Not now tthat I have gotten Harry’s LapTimer Trainer for my birthday. Trainer enables me to compare specific laps with each other on my iPad’s big screen with the aid of gorgeous graphs, maps, and charts some of which I can’t even decipher yet. Just send your session data to Trainer via Bluetooth and analyze to your heart’s content.

So far, I have $139 invested in this solution. That’s a far cry from plopping down $700+ on that Starlane Athon GPS R I had been lusting over for quite some time now. For a savings of about six hundred bucks I forego the knowledge of lugging RPMs, tallish gear selection, and missed downshifts. I can see that on my vids, and trust me, it ain’t a pretty sight (yet).


4 Comments on “Poor Girl’s Data Acquisition”

  1. john says:

    Jeeezes woman – you have your fork tubes stickin up enough ya thinkin ?

    • Miss Busa says:

      Don’t you know it’s rude to talk about a lady’s fork tubes? Fortunately, I ain’t a lady. šŸ˜‰ Believe you me, I already lowered those suckers about 15 mm or so. I have to change out my leaky fork seals and then I will put them where I would have them. The rear is lowered a bunch, too. I have no clue what stock geometry is either. The suspension is all fooked.

    • Dandooligan says:

      She likes it to turn quick… šŸ˜›

  2. Black widow says:

    You are such a geek! Add voice activation or a physical on switch that you can tape to the clip on.


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