Racepak brings something new and different to the table with the Vantage CL2 OBD2/EFI Data Kit. The Vantage CL2 concept acts as a hybrid between the low-cost, ease of use solution that mobile apps offer, with the benefits of dedicated hardware to pipe in as much data as possible. It plugs directly into the OBD2 port (or aftermarket EFI with an optional connector), and transmits the data via Bluetooth to your mobile device running Racepak’s D3 app. Utilizing the OBD2 data along with a dedicated GPS sensor, your mobile device then doubles as the display and data logger for timing and vehicle information. The big advantage here is that users can upload and stream this data through Racepak’s cloud service, allowing you to review it later and for others to view the data feed live on their mobile devices. Starting at $286.95, the Vantage CL2 provides one of the most powerful means of data analysis simply on your smartphone.
If you require a data system that can fully mate with the inner workings of your car, logging and displaying highly detailed information, you’re probably aiming for the best of the best. Dashes and dashloggers have come a long way in the past decade. They’re getting packed with more features than ever before, bringing pro-grade hardware to your beater track car. The technology is advancing, while also becoming more affordable.
At this level, the hardware can pull data from a long list of ECUs whether you’re running factory or aftermarket equipment. You’ll have the ability to add more sensors than you’d know what to do with, from engine vitals to suspension and brake information. The only limit is how many sensors you’re willing to purchase and wire to the system. Need an infrared reading on tire temperatures while you’re on track? How about shock travel rates and distance? Or perhaps you need to figure out exactly how much wheelspin you’re putting down when coming off slow corners? Most of these sorts of channels and calculations are already mapped out in the manufacturer’s software for you, and you have the ability to program your own math channels if needed. In most dashloggers, the data read speeds are quick and accurate, and the real estate offered on the display allows for endless customization options. Many dashloggers even include outputs that can control external systems like lights, pumps, or fans. Most of them feature customizable alarms and shift lights, some even have direct compatibility for onboard cameras.
Most Motorsports-oriented dashloggers range between $2,000 to $5,000, but this number can easily go up with additional sensors. When counting the hardware plus labor involved, this option is not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to find a way to mount the dash, plus wire up the sensors and configure the software and hardware to play together nicely.
The CD Carbon Dash from AEM Performance Electronics is offered in 5″ and 7″ screen configurations in a carbon fiber composite enclosure, making them ultra-lightweight while still providing plenty of screen real estate. One of the highlight themes of the CD Carbon Dash is its versatility to fit any users’ needs. It’s offered in two types of enclosure styles to provide either integrated buttons with a shade hood or a flat panel design with external buttons. It can store over 24 hours of data, with the ability to log thousands of channels of data with transfer speeds up to 1KHz/second. AEM Performance Electronics offer a range of adapter harnesses (including a quick and easy OBDII adapter), plus a massive list of CAN-based devices that the CD Carbon Dash will play nicely with. Adding to its versatility, this dash’s display is completely customizable, meaning you can use the manufacturer’s pre-made items or create your own from scratch. Display whatever you want, in any size, any color, any sort of gauge, and any text, based on whatever triggers you choose. The data is analyzed on the free AEMdata software, which continues the theme of versatility. It can be as simple or as detailed as you want to make it, to fine tune your car setup or your driving technique. MSRP starts at $1,054.50, also making it one of the most affordable dashloggers you can get.
AiM has become a common standard in the grassroots racing world, offering serious bang for the buck with its product lines. The past few years have introduced color dash displays and loggers across the board, and AiM is certainly no slouch in this department. The current lineup of MXS (5″), MXP (6″), and MXG (7″) dashloggers offer a lot of customization options, although mostly limited by AiM’s own preset themes. While some users may want a little more freedom in fine-tuning the display options, these limitations also prevent you from screwing things up. This is where the primary advantages of AiM’s ecosystem come into play. There is a lot of modularity here with plug-and-play expansions for additional sensors, video, and input/output options all available from AiM. It also comes with the unique advantage of allowing users to customize the dashlogger and to download data over a Wi-Fi connection, which means you can download data within wireless range from behind the pit wall and never even touch the car. Data can then be reviewed on AiM’s Race Studio Analysis software. MSRP starts at $2,299.00.