Software Newsletter #4 - March 9, 2000
1. What Weather Station Should I Buy?
2. Can I Take My Gauges to the Staging Lanes?
3. Where Should I Read the Air?
4. Should I Store and Average My Runs?
-- What Weather Station Should I Buy? --
I received some email this week concerning confusion about selecting
a good weather station. I thought it might be beneficial to share this
information with everyone.
Question: "I am in the market for a weather station for
our race team, low 9sec motor cycle. We race ET bracket locally. I am
primarily interested in ET prediction. I was looking at hand held units(TAG)
but after reading your comments on using them in the staging lanes I
am confused? We time trial during the day and race after dark! Could
you make a recommendation for a weather computer, and explain why its
better to use them at the trailer than the staging lanes. I appreciate
any help you can give me."
Answer: The unit you mentioned, along with many others, has sensors
that are way too sensitive. This is one reason you can't take readings
in the staging lanes, we will get to the other reasons in a minute.
When the sensors are too sensitive to change, you can not expose the
unit to any air currents or motion. Even the slightest breeze will change
the temperature and humidity readings. Any movement effects the barometric
readings as well. So, the unit is constantly seeking information and
seemingly can never decide what the actual weather conditions really
Pushing the HOLD button to freeze the readings ISN'T the answer!
Why? Because you don't know if you are freezing good readings or garbage.
The whole idea in ET prediction is to measure the CHANGE in the atmospheric
conditions from one time of day to another. If you can't take accurate
readings, you are wasting your time. In fact, it will actually hurt
you. For this reason, many racers want to trade these units in after
they have used them for a short while. For a recommendation, read on.
-- Can I Take My Gauges to the Staging Lanes? --
There are a couple of reasons that racers would like to take their
readings in the staging lanes. First, there is a misconception among
racers that they need to measure the actual air that the motor is going
to breathe on the run. This is totally wrong. Indeed, we would like
to know the actual oxygen content in the air, but there is no device
that can do this accurately outside of laboratory conditions. Oxygen
sensors are designed for measuring the oxygen content in air that is
contained in a glass beaker located in a laboratory. The atmosphere
at a race track is certainly not a laboratory. Therefore, we must use
the barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, and a scientific formula
to find the CHANGE in the amount of available oxygen in the air from
one moment to the next.
The second reason that racers want to measure the air in the staging
lanes, is because they want to read the air conditions as close as possible
to making their run. This is a valid reason, but it can't be done reliably
in the staging lanes. Especially during the day. Again, you cannot expose
your gauges to any wind or breeze. You cannot measure the temperature
anywhere near an asphalt surface that has seen any sunlight. The asphalt
is a huge heat sink that absorbs heat and then radiates it back into
the atmosphere. Do you think that you can measure temperature or humidity
next to a dozen race cars with hot engines and exhaust headers? You
can't. As a matter of fact, you can't measure temperature properly if
the unit is near any surface that radiates heat, including people. Stand
in the shade but, close to the side of a white trailer on a sunny day.
Your temperature readings will soar, even though you are in the shade.
This is because your gauge is exposed to radiant heat reflecting off
of the white trailer. Can you understand now, why you can't measure
the air in the staging lanes? Good!
-- Where Should I Read the Air? --
The best place to measure the air is back in the pits, in the same
place every day, isolated from any breeze, sunlight, or radiant heat.
We want to measure the change in ambient air. The "air" in the staging
lanes is not ambient air! Now, you can see all the various companies
trying to sell expensive 'trailer stations'. Why? Because they are finally
beginning to realize that their expensive portable units won't work
in the staging lanes. (I told you so, ten (10) years ago)! If you have
an extra $1500 you don't need anymore, this is one way to go. Maybe,
you can trade-in the 'trick of the month' unit you bought last year!
The real solution is that the traditional and proven method of using
separate components, gauges and computer, still works best and for much
less money. Our ET Predictor II is the most accurate ET Prediction computer
in the business. And, our ET Predictor II Weather Stations give more
accurate readings, starting at $349. Let's see, that's about a thousand
or more dollars less. Believe me, if anything worked better, I'd be
using it MYSELF!!!
-- Should I Store and Average My Runs? --
Well, if you are using a unit that predicts ET based on an average
of stored runs, you've already lost. Anytime you are averaging performance
you are averaging your ET prediction. You need to be able to predict
off of ONE (1) run. Preferably, a run from the lane you are choosing
to race in next. Our DataMaster data recorders show us that there is
an obvious difference in the timing system between lanes at every race
track. If you are predicting off the timing system in the right lane
and then competing in the left, then God bless you! Our ET Predictor
II systems and RaceLog PRO Software allow you to accurately predict
to the thousandths (.001) of a second. That's why we are the ET Prediction
-- Toll Free Ordering --
We also have a new Toll Free Order line to save you even more money!
If you're placing an order by phone, call 877-497-0992. If you need
information or technical help, call 610-497-5561.
-- Secure Ordering --
You can safely order directly from our web site. All of your information
and it is posted on the web site. Our company has now been registered
with the Public Eye. You can check our ratings by clicking on the Public
Eye link on our Home Page or Order Form.
have questions or topics that you would like to see covered in this
newsletter, please Email them to me.
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software
http://www.iFamilySoftware.com - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)
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