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Podium Connect?

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Thinking about getting the Podium connect setup.  I mainly want it to be able to monitor gauges from the pits.  We don't have any data acquisition  system now.  So i'm not sure what all i would need to buy.  Does anybody have experience with their stuff?  Reviews? Suggestions? 

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  • Technical Advisory Committee

Their software and website need improvement.



the concept is pretty cool and it does work.  You can see real time data from the car.


The website is glitchy and lacks customization.  The method of displaying the data is inefficient and frustrating

you can only transmit a finite number of data streams based on the aim-smartycam data link with the AIM version.  It also can mess up the smartycam data if you have differing needs.



you need a dedicated data logger for the podium connect to work.  Otherwise you need a race capture to gather the data and steam in one box.  


James Ballenger should be able to help you out with everything you need.


its definitely cool, but I kinda expected more.  I think they are constantly improving the software. Maybe it will get there eventually.  If you hope to identify trends in real time, you will need a crewman dedicated to watching it constantly.  The webpage makes it difficult to monitor over time since it breaks everything into laps.  It also clogs the display with tons of data streams you don’t care about, with no way to sort or order them to see the ones you want together.


id be happy to show you next event if you haven’t pulled the trigger by then.

Edited by Huggy
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Hi -  Brent Picasso here with Autosport Labs - we make the PodiumConnect system and RaceCapture.

We are happy to answer any questions on our products, and always welcome constructive feedback for making the product better.  We are using feedback we've received for a big update in the software capabilities for Podium, which we're revealing soon.


Chris, thank you for investing in PodiumConnect. We don't take lightly the fact that you entrusted your money with us and we are committed to making it an ever increasingly valuable tool, that will have very long product support (We still support RaceCapture/Pro MK1 from 2013).

While we believe we've responded promptly to every question and issue you've had, your comments have us wondering if we dropped the ball somewhere. If we did, just ping us or me directly so we can learn how to improve.


One thing I'd like to clarify with the AIM integration is that you are limited to the number of channels available by SmartyCam.  If you have a RaceStudio3 compatible AIM system, then you can map more custom channels via AIM's CAN2 interface, connecting to PodiumConnect's corresponding CAN2 interface -this dramatically increases the number of possible channels.  You can also connect external CAN  networks - such as direct ECU connections and sensors, not directly going through AIM.  PodiumConnect can map 100 CAN channels, like RaceCapture/Pro can.

Thank you for your interest, and we are here to help.


Edited by Brent Picasso
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  • Technical Advisory Committee

Brent, I apologize for my previous statement, I should not have posted in haste (and from my phone).  After having a think, here is a better statement.


Brent & Company are very responsive on facebook messenger (Autosport Labs)


We had two interactions regarding issues: 


1.  Unit Shipping.  I pre-ordered a unit, and due to some miscommunication on my part, I almost missed the opportunity to get the unit before the March VIR-S race.  Autosport Labs came through and drop-shipped the unit to me in record time.  This was 100% awesome.


2.  Cable Defect. The cable that goes between the AIM and the Podium Connect (PC) is a Binder 5pin-Molex 8-pin adapter.  The insulation was cut/damaged where the outer sheath was stripped to reveal the inner wires, and the crimp job from the very small cables to the Molex connectors was not done satisfactorily.  On initial installation Friday before VIR-S the wires just pulled out of the crimps during normal installation.  

Brent was very communicative on Facebook messenger during this incident.  I needed it fixed that day, so I did the DIY repair by locating some Molex computer crimps I had.  After cutting the wire, re-stripping the sheath, and re crimping the connectors, I was back in business.   


Not sure what I would expect of a company regarding the second issue, but I don't know what else I could have expected him to do that he didn't do.  Brent sent me photos of a wired connector so I could re-pin the Molex properly, acknowledged that there was a manufacturing issue with crimping the connectors, and told me to let him know if I needed them to repair the cable.  







Regarding the website and interface, I unfortunately will stick with my criticism from above.  

Regarding the AIM integration.  The Podium Connect piggybacks on the CAN communications signal between the AIM device and the AIM SmartyCam camera.  Based on AIM software limitations, only a finite number of channels (I believe 16) are broadcasted on this signal.   Obviously, this limits the number of channels the PC can stream.   The setup involves going into RaceStuido3, configuring the SmartyCam Stream in that software, and using the 16 channels to send the data you want to the podium connect.  AIM formats this setup with the purpose of sending data to the SmartyCam, so the channels have fixed names (Speed, RPM, Steering Angle, Throttle Positon, etc).  If you use a SmartyCam, you will want some of these channels to display on the camera itself.  You don't necessarily want all of those same channels broadcasted.  Conversely, you may want a channel to be broadcasted, but not displayed on the camera.  You can configure that in the SmartyCam software, but it does use one of your 16 channels up.  If you want to broadcast a signal that isnt one of the pre-named 16 in the AIM software, you can just assign that "name" to something else (for example the AIM software channel says "engine temp" but you assign it the temperature channel for transmission temp). I ran out of channels in my setup, and had to make decisions about what I wanted streamed.   


I wasn't aware of this limitation when I purchased, as the documentation page shows "Stream up to 100 channels".  Based on some recent communication with ASL, I believe I can bypass the AIM restriction by adding a CAN2 connection to the PC, and directly receive the CAN signals from my ECU to the PC.  This will give me TPS, AFR, IAT, RPM, etc information without using up one of my 16 SmartyCam channels.  I do not know where the documentation for this integration is.  In addition, I will need to add two more pins to my Molex connector for the CAN2 Input.


Regarding the website/documentation. 

The documentation on this unit is still in development.  On the "Wiki" page, multiple links are dead.  In addition, the integration guide for AIM devices shows integration using RaceStudio2, which is significantly different than RaceStudio3, which is and has been the standard for multiple years.  It wasn't a big deal, I got it figured out and working.


Some of the documentation/literature is indicating the coaching aspect of this device, which is mildly confusing to me.  I already have an AIM, with much better (but still imperfect) software for analysis of data.  I do not know what the podium.live software is attempting to do.  The "using Podium.Live guide" is all about data analysis, not about the actual use (interface) of the web page. I understand there may be a market for this device as a data analysis tool, however I believe the "using podium.live" instruction page should include information on how to use the page, and reserve the data analysis information for another page.  



For Podum.Live itself, displayed on a PC or Mac using Google Chrome, you cannot reconfigure the layout of the screen, nor can you remove or reorder the gauges or line charts.  There is a small "hide" button on the line charts, but every time you refresh the screen you must do the hiding again.  I was attempting to view the AFR vs IAT vs RPM, but was not able to get those charts together on the screen.  


For purposes of race engineering, I would like to be able to rearrange, reconfigure, permanently hide/remove, and/or resize the real-time gauges.  In addition, I would like the ability for the line charts to be in real time, with a X axis of a configurable amount of minutes (not laps), up to the full data set.  Braking the real time line chart flow into laps prevents being able to see longer term indicators in the data.


When doing an endurance race, breaking up the analysis by "stint" is important, so having the charts start/end for each stint would be how I prefer to view the data, unless I am looking for a full race trend.  Being able to quickly adjust the X axis scale to these intervals (Since Start, Since last power cycle, Since last pit) would be helpful.  The "Laps" window almost does this, as the laps with a "pit" are indicated as --:--:--.  It does miss the "out lap" after that though, so that gets the lap counts off count with Race Monitor/RaceHero and the AIM data.




Setting alarms on the podium.live web page would be a cool feature.  If engine-temp exceeds 220F, flash red and beep.  


When scrolling, the thin "map" on the left stays centered on the screen, but the laps window stays fixed (moves with the page).  Sometimes they overlap. 


When you have 500 laps in the laps window, finding a particular one is challenging.  Highlighting the best 1, best 5, best 10, etc would be useful. Including a timestamp would also be useful, or being able to sort them according to speed instead of linear order. 



Hopefully these criticisms are taken in a positive manner Brent.  I appreciate your communications and interactions with the community, and do enjoy the product.  












Edited by Huggy
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Hi Cliff, 

I've been interested in telemetry for endurance racing for a while and have been using Autosport Labs Race Capture products in my race cars since they first started.  Telemetry has saved us a few times and also helped us win races.  It is also a great tool to use to help coach drivers during the race using live data and live video on their Podium.live website.  


Since you don't have a data logger, you want the Race Capture Pro.  You then have the choice of using a 4G enabled tablet or Hotspot mounted in the car to send the data, or purchase the 3.5G cellular option with the Race Capture.  The nice thing about using the internal 3.5G cellular option of the Race Capture is that if the tablet or hotspot dies, your Race Capture will keep transmitting data.  If you use a tablet as a display and also to transmit, if the tablet dies, the Race Capture will still continue to save data to its SD card, but will be unable to send telemetry live.  The 3.5G cellular option also comes with a Freedom Pop (AT&T network) sim card.  Freedom Pop provides 200MB free data per month which is more then plenty for a weekend or 2 of racing per month.   


You can add up to 4 tablets to use as displays with the Race Capture App.  I use one as a traditional dashboard showing gauges like RPM, temps, fuel, etc, to monitor the car and then I use another tablet as a predictive lap timer to help the driver learn where they can pick up time.  Both can be configured to show alarms if your gauges exceed thresholds you set (engine temps too high, fuel level too low, etc). They also have a built in pit stop timer that automatically starts counting up when you slow down to almost a stop.  When in pit stop timer mode, it will also show your pit speed and warn you if you are going too fast.   


If you'd like to see an example of live data and video telemetry, here is my data and video from recent Citrus event at NJMP (FF to about 25 minutes in for start of race).







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On 5/28/2018 at 9:00 PM, Lethal Cliff said:

Thinking about getting the Podium connect setup.  I mainly want it to be able to monitor gauges from the pits.  We don't have any data acquisition  system now.  So i'm not sure what all i would need to buy.  Does anybody have experience with their stuff?  Reviews? Suggestions? 

Allow another 300SX the benefits of data & telemetry, thereby ending our exclusivity?  I'll have to think on this one before we can offer this sort of power to you @Lethal Cliff 😉.  There are several combinations of hardware you can run for logger & telemetry.  A Race Capture Pro does it all.  A hybrid setup with AiM dash logger + RCP or Podium Connect is what we run and Chris runs.


@Huggy, you can define custom payloads on the same bus so you can send whatever custom messages you want to an RCP / Podium Connect without the SmartyCAM limitations. The implementation gets super nerdy.  Examples of the custom messages we send from the AiM Logger & receive on the RCP: 




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We have the Podium Connect on the Damson Racing 346 and it's really cool.  Watching temps and gauges as well as doing some coaching from the data.  On the website it shows some really cool features like messaging and pit timer but they don't actually work.  They would be super awesome, hoping they are a part of the upcoming update

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