Family Software Newsletter #4 - March 9, 2000


Topics

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 are.

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 Experts!

-- 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 is handled on our Secure Server. We have established a privacy policy 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.

If you have questions or topics that you would like to see covered in this newsletter, please Email them to me.

Bob Kodadek
SC 1596
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software
http://www.iFamilySoftware.com - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)


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