Software Newsletter #8 - June 7, 2000
Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and You
2. Using Infrared Thermometers in Drag Racing
3. FREE Software Download
4. REAL World Technical Support
-- Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and You --
What you don't know about RFI can hurt you! RFI can effect almost any
device on your race car. In the early days of drag racing electronics,
most devices didn't have RFI filters. If another racer has a magneto,
solid core ignition wires, holes drilled in his distributor cap, or
some other means of putting out large amounts of RFI, your vehicle performance
can be altered dramatically without your knowledge. Sometimes it is
being done on purpose, and sometimes it happens inadvertently. Either
way, it effects you.
Modern day delay boxes and throttle stop timers now have filtering circuits
to help ward off these invisible attacks on our performance. But, if
you are using older equipment and having unexplained inconsistency in
your performance, this could be the problem. In the past, I have had
my car shifted early numerous times and once even had my throttle stop
actuated on the starting line when I was only using a down track throttle
stop! Most manufacturers will upgrade your older boxes to the newer
design for a nominal fee. It isn't always necessary to buy a new unit.
I discovered the problem many years ago, when I was developing our DataMaster
computer. Like you, my tach was connected to the tach terminal on my
MSD ignition control. Then, I wasn't using coaxial cable for my tach
lead. Also, connected to the same terminal was an MSD RPM Activated
Switch used to shift the car at a predetermined RPM. Every time my car
shifted early, I noticed there was a corresponding high frequency exhibited
on the RPM graph for that run. It seems that the tach lead had became
an antenna for RFI. I found that my car always shifted early when I
ran against the same racer. He had holes drilled in his distributor
cap. I left first and when he caught up with me at about 150 feet out,
my car shifted early and I wouldn't run the number. It was a simple
problem to fix. I replaced every wire that connected to the MSD tach
terminal, including the tach lead, with coaxial cable and grounded the
braided lead to the chassis.
Currently, I'm using a shift timer rather than an RPM activated switch.
It is much more reliable. The throttle stop problem was cured by changing
to a more modern timer with better filtering circuits. The shifting
problem caused me to lose a few races. However, the throttle stop timer
problem cost me what may have been my only shot at a World Championship
in Super Comp. And, that sucks!
-- Using Infrared Thermometers in Drag Racing --
In drag racing, Infrared Thermometers are commonly used to check
the surface temperature on the starting line and the rear tires. In
this manner, it is possible to analyze and perhaps predict traction
changes due to varying temperatures.
Another use of these devices is to check for hot or cold cylinders.
Cylinders making more horsepower will exhibit a higher temperature.
If the engine is sound mechanically, leak down tests show that all cylinders
are equal, and mechanical compression tests show that cylinder pressure
is equal, then variance in exhaust temperature is probably due to fuel
distribution and/or jetting problems.
By using an Infrared Thermometer with laser sighting, such as our new
#IRT888-6, it is easy to locate weak cylinders. The thermometer outputs
a red laser light. Just place the red dot on the header tube, at the
same distance from the header flange, of each cylinder. All things being
perfect, the temperature will all read approximately the same. However,
you may be surprised to see what you will find.
There are many Infrared Thermometers available, however most do not
have laser sighting. Our new Laser Digital Infrared Thermometer #IRT888-6
is probably the best deal you'll find anywhere at just $149.95. The
specifications for this new product are listed in our Products section.
-- FREE Software Download --
Our DataMaster Analyzer software, Version 2.0, is available to you as
a FREE download on our web site. You don't need a data recorder to test
the software and see exactly what a DataMaster Sportsman Computer does
better than any other data logger system in the world! If you have any
older version of this software, download this as a FREE update.
-- REAL World Technical Support --
With Family Software, you'll get better technical support than anywhere
on the planet. Why? Because, I design and program all of Family Software's
products and I use them all on my own very competitive Super Comp dragster.
All of my 30+ years of experience and knowledge is available to you
and our other customers. Try to find that kind of information at any
one of our competitors. You won't be able to, I guarantee it! Family
Software cares about the racer and his/her success as a racer. The other
companies just want your money!
-- New Digital Altimeter/Barometer --
We also have in stock, the best electronic altimeter that I have ever
seen. It has a resolution of just one (1) foot. We had previously sold
a unit that had a resolution of three (3) feet and we thought that was
good! The new unit is just $149.95. You just can't beat that! To read
the specs on this unit, just go to the Products page on our web site
and click on Digital Altimeter.
-- 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. Or,
start a new topic on the bulletin board located on our web site. I'll
be glad to join in.
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software
http://www.iFamilySoftware.com - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)
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