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Software, Software, Software - of the GPS kind, that is.

Discussion in 'Motors' started by RiPz, 3 Jan 2006.

  1. RiPz

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 756

    Location: Middleton, Manchester

    My first thread in motors, indeed my first thread on the forums in a long time, so very few of you will have no clue who i am, but anyway....

    Intro..
    Some time last year (2005 - tis 2006 now remember :)), you may have seen a video released by Dangerous in which he recorded doing top speed run in germany, using software on a laptop.. well, i wrote this software - purely for him at the time, but since then i've not noticed that there's not really any (affordable) commercially availible software to do this type of stuff. This in mind, i've been developing my software further, much further.

    The software is called 'GPS Logger' - because that's quite simply, what it does. It takes data from any NMEA GPS reciever installed on a COM port (can be USB - using a USB to serial bridge driver) and generates certain outputs for the user.

    What it does now
    • Speed/Time graphing
    • Acceleration & Deceleration / Time graphing
    • Current speed
    • Top speed

    Planned Improvements
    I am currently programming a new modile into the software which will be of use to those of you that frequent the track day sessions at the race tracks of the UK - and indeed any other country, for that matter.

    The new module enables the user to record lap data...
    On the warmup lap, the software will draw a map of the circuit - start line to finish line, then on the subsequent laps, it records a top speed, a speed/time graph and an acceleration/time graph, which can be reviewed at any time.

    Another module that i MAY add into the software is a client / server module for trackdays - where one machine in the paddock is sent the co-ordinates of each car on the track for monitoring, and a map is then drawn. The only flaw with this system is that it would require some wireless connectivity, and wireless networking simply doesnt travel far enough.
    - this was suggested by Dangerous.

    Another module that may be implemented - as a side effect of implementing the trackday module, is one where lap times can be ranked - The software will have the locations of popular UK trackday sites stored in it, and when you connect to the internet after a long day at the tracks, it will upload your track data to my web server, and rank you for that track. All it will ask you for is the make/manufacturer of your car, and your name - and you'll appear on a list of all the lap times for that track.
    - Implementation of this module depends on popularity of the software (its an extra cost overhead for me - running a web server for the task)

    The current software in action
    Screenshot of the software, with soem test data provided by some guy i know that only does 92mph on private land *cough* - and before you comment - it's not me, its someone else you all know and love, i dont even drive yet (test this month)...
    [​IMG]

    Almost forgot...
    More Info / Download is available here...www.binary-pulse.co.uk
    note: you want to download the latest version - 2.0.0 has a known bug, and no acceleration graphing, the newer one is (as far as i know) - bug free.

    Feel free to comment / tell me of any bugs you find here, i'll fix them as soon as possible and release an update :)
     
    Last edited: 3 Jan 2006
  2. Pudney

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2005

    Posts: 5,628

    Location: Essex

    Looks very nice, couple of things though (question and a comment really).

    Firstly what did you write this in? It looks very nicely done and I'm impressed!

    Secondly, on the acceleration graph shouldn't the plot really be in miles per second as opposed to miles per hour per second? :D
     
  3. RiPz

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 756

    Location: Middleton, Manchester

    no, miles per hour per seccond is correct for acceleration :p

    think about it...

    acceleration = speed increase / time it took you to do that increase
    speed is done in MPH.. and the time i sample over is a second... so MPH/s :p

    acceleration is usually done in meters per second per second.. ms^-2, or m/s/s, but cars dont work in meters per second, do they :p

    and its written in trusty old VB6 :D
     
  4. Pudney

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2005

    Posts: 5,628

    Location: Essex

    Actually yeah you're right. Oh God, it's only my first day back at work since New Year and my brain has already turned to sludge! :eek:
     
  5. Jez

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 32,360

    Looks very good indeed, i will give it a whirl later if i can dig out my GPS portege which has been in my boot for god knows how long since i got tomtom! :)

    Will it work straight out with a USB receiver (currently working fine with AR2005)? Ive no idea what a USB bridge driver is :D
     
  6. RiPz

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 756

    Location: Middleton, Manchester

    i think all USB reciever drivers emulate it as a COM port device (i dont know, i've only ever owned one), every piece of software i've ever used for GPS has asked for a COM port device, and thats all i've written mine for.. so.. i guess yours will work.

    My reciever is USB - i use the "GM USB to serial bridge" driver.. sometimes called the "Prolific USB to serial bridge" driver... it works fine :p
     
  7. Jez

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 32,360

    Yeah just dug it out and it does indeed appear as a com port, so no worries there then. (£45 ebay special receiver)
     
  8. RiPz

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 756

    Location: Middleton, Manchester

    sounds the same as mine - though mine was a £30 second hand off soemone on ocuk - originally £45 ebay special.. reciever :x
    Any bugs / problems, just let me know :D
     
  9. RiPz

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 756

    Location: Middleton, Manchester

    oh something i neglected to say... i've had a few people say 'make it for PPC and i'll love you' on IRC, i've never programmed for PPC, but i can see why people would want it, so i'm going to look into it and i plan to release a PPC version sometime in the near future - just wait :D
     
  10. 172gus

    Gangster

    Joined: 26 Nov 2004

    Posts: 333

    Wow, like what youve done. Have you thought about interfacing with a cars OBD2 computer to get even more info.
     
  11. Pho

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,081

    Location: Derbyshire

    The PPC version would be very cool. I would program it myself but I'm lazy ;). What would be nice, would be a big full screen speed output. TomToms speed display is too small to read quickly so something nice and large would be much better.

    Maybe similar to this: http://www.pocketgear.com/software_detail.asp?id=16855 but with optional full screen mode :)
     
  12. R220

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,498

    Cool, nice one chap i shall give this a go later!

    Any plans to create a version for Windows Mobile 2003 SE (for PDAs) ? .. unless it already works on them ? :D
     
  13. Simon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

    Posts: 23,241

    Location: Berks / Moscow

    Looks similar to the Racelogic V-Box. Very impressive stuff though.

    For this to work do you just need a GPS 'box' for your laptop?
     
  14. RiPz

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 756

    Location: Middleton, Manchester

    Hehe yeah, you can pick them up from anywhere between £10 and £50 on ebay depending on the one you get and how lucky you are :p
     
  15. Dangerous

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 21,479

    Location: Nordschleife

    Who knocked off 40MPH off in 1 second :eek:
     
  16. RiPz

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 756

    Location: Middleton, Manchester

    someone with elite vauxhall brakes
     
  17. Dangerous

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 21,479

    Location: Nordschleife

    I think you should call it Dangerous GPS logger!
     
  18. rscosworth

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,705

    Location: Glasgow

    any chance of this working with windows mobile ppc using a bluetooth gps reciever?
     
  19. numnutz

    Hitman

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 739

    Location: Hampshire

    Any plans to release source on this, if it could be converted to .net it could run on the pocket pc's + smartphones out there!
     
  20. rG-tom

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 27 Nov 2004

    Posts: 9,606

    Location: London

    excuse me but it was actually me who recorded the top speed ;)

    Tom.