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Flagtronics in car race flagging system

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17 minutes ago, JDChristianson said:

Make this thing work as a transponder too. Then there’s only on gadget to buy for the car. 

 

Now THAT I could get behind!

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2 hours ago, JDChristianson said:

Make this thing work as a transponder too. Then there’s only on gadget to buy for the car. 

 

Pretty sure this is the fastest route to getting a cease and desist letter.

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Can it also automatically give a blue flag to cars that are being rapidly approached by faster traffic? 

 

If so, I'm going to donate a few units to a few teams.

Edited by zack_280
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2 minutes ago, zack_280 said:

Can it also automatically give a blue flag to cars that are being rapidly approached by faster traffic? 

 

If so, I'm going to donate a few units to a few teams.

 

LOL!

 

I'll expect mine in the mail asap; Road Atlanta is almost here.

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53 minutes ago, AnonyMoose said:

 

Pretty sure this is the fastest route to getting a cease and desist letter.

AMB is evil

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17 hours ago, Team Infiniti said:

AMB is evil

Do you think your transponder breaking at your next race is a coincidence? 

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When the car says GO, but the corner worker says otherwise. There was a 3-4sec gap between getting the green in car to when the T9 flagger started to pull their flags. Was great to have another chance to use the Flagtronics equipment this past weekend at Road Atlanta. Really hoping this gets in to every car in the field during every race.

 

image.thumb.png.2ca367a2b170b20aacbadea818d7db10.png

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Was excited on Friday when someone walked over and asked if wanted to test the system during the race.    We installed it in the mustang for the race the next day.   Unfortunately, it only worked for about 45 min.   It froze when we came into the pits during yellow which became the first red.   It never restarted.   We left it in until the evening until we realized it was just too bright to have in the car working or not.   The brightness definitely needs to be adjustable or have a day and night setting.    Hopefully they get the system sorted.   I'm not sure how it worked for everyone else, it didn't work for us though.  😔

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I'm torn on this device.  In some ways I can see it be cool to have, but I'm also hesitant to give drivers more reason to not look ahead and instead focus on information in their cockpit + the car immediately in front of them.

 

Knowing the importance of the flags is ones more reason I always remember to look ahead.  This is the behavior (looking up and far ahead) we need to encourage.

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2 hours ago, Snake said:

Was excited on Friday when someone walked over and asked if wanted to test the system during the race.    We installed it in the mustang for the race the next day.   Unfortunately, it only worked for about 45 min.   It froze when we came into the pits during yellow which became the first red.   It never restarted.   We left it in until the evening until we realized it was just too bright to have in the car working or not.   The brightness definitely needs to be adjustable or have a day and night setting.    Hopefully they get the system sorted.   I'm not sure how it worked for everyone else, it didn't work for us though.  😔


Thanks for the feedback! There is a photo sensor present to automatically adjust based on ambient lighting conditions. It sounds like there was a failure in your unit, which has historically been rare so we will have to look into it. The current development units are using some off the shelf components not intended for racing and our next revision with only our own custom hardware is coming soon. There is a power button on the side that can be cycled or simply turned off to attempt recovery or just disable it respectively. I should add that the box should not be installed where the photo sensor is facing a light source as this will increase the screen brightness. We'll need to create a quick set of instructions as some users never turned the unit on or experienced a too bright screen when the photo sensor faced a light source.
 

1 hour ago, QuaTTro said:

I'm torn on this device.  In some ways I can see it be cool to have, but I'm also hesitant to give drivers more reason to not look ahead and instead focus on information in their cockpit + the car immediately in front of them.

 

Knowing the importance of the flags is ones more reason I always remember to look ahead.  This is the behavior (looking up and far ahead) we need to encourage.

 

It's extremely helpful when you can't see the flagging stations for a variety of reasons. It's also helpful for a litany of reasons enumerated here: 

 

 

Edited by vtjballeng

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3 minutes ago, vtjballeng said:


Thanks for the feedback! There is a photo sensor present to automatically adjust based on ambient lighting conditions. It sounds like there was a failure in your unit, which has historically been rare so we will have to look into it. The current development units are using some off the shelf components not intended for racing and our next revision with only our own custom hardware is coming soon. There is a power button on the side that can be cycled or simply turned off to attempt recovery or just disable it respectively.
 

 

Good to know.    We didn't want to mess with as it was a low priority for us during stops.    We were trying to get our live streaming to work but that never happened.   We weren't used to having it so we really didn't miss it i guess.   We didn't think about cycling it as we didn't know if it would sync back up with the race already running.   Good to know it will.   Photosensor def wasn't working but I'm guessing that was just because the whole thing was frozen.    Oh well, we'd have no issue throwing it in again and giving it another go.   We all love the idea of the unit.   

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One of our drivers said that he was keeping an eye on the cars he knew had this system on full course cautions because they would go green before the flags were lifted and we would lose spots if we didn’t match suit. Scary when cars fly past you when you think it’s still full course yellow. 

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1 hour ago, cowboys647 said:

because they would go green before the flags were lifted

 

That's scary.  I'd really be interested to know if this was due to slow response by the flag station worker or if the system was going green before the track was actually green.

 

This is something that should be brought up at drivers meetings, if the system is being used at the event.  Remind drivers that when the system goes green, double check the status of the next flag station.  If the flag station is still double yellow, the track is still yellow.  It is exactly the same as getting a call of green on your radio and you look up to see the flag station still holding double yellow.  Despite what the S/F shows, your section of track is still yellow, until that flag stand pulls the flags in.

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55 minutes ago, Round3Racing said:

 

That's scary.  I'd really be interested to know if this was due to slow response by the flag station worker or if the system was going green before the track was actually green.

 

This is something that should be brought up at drivers meetings, if the system is being used at the event.  Remind drivers that when the system goes green, double check the status of the next flag station.  If the flag station is still double yellow, the track is still yellow.  It is exactly the same as getting a call of green on your radio and you look up to see the flag station still holding double yellow.  Despite what the S/F shows, your section of track is still yellow, until that flag stand pulls the flags in.

The system is not official, it is still testing. If you see above, I had a green flag in the car 4sec before black flag pulled their flags. I could have been half way to 10a if I jumped the start.

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56 minutes ago, mindspin311 said:

The system is not official, it is still testing. If you see above, I had a green flag in the car 4sec before black flag pulled their flags. I could have been half way to 10a if I jumped the start.

 

Perfect example!  As long as the teams that are using the system are aware of the limitations and the need to verify the flag condition with the flag station, I'm all for it.  In fact. I'm very interested to test these in our cars.  If/when this system becomes official, I'm hopeful that ChampCar will use a photo or video like yours as an example of what to do.

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5 hours ago, Team Infiniti said:

Flags trump all other input regardless if the flaggers are the slow link. Period


Yep. This is development testing. Alpha hardware to come. Beta hardware thereafter. Final rollout there after. We're taking this slow and steady as a false or unreliable rollout of final product would pose so many problems. Thanks everyone for working with us as we sort out the details!

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1 hour ago, vtjballeng said:


Yep. This is development testing. Alpha hardware to come. Beta hardware thereafter. Final rollout there after. We're taking this slow and steady as a false or unreliable rollout of final product would pose so many problems. Thanks everyone for working with us as we sort out the details!

 

This is such a great idea and it sounds like you guys are taking a very smart approach.  One of our drivers is in the tech business and is also developing a product for racing applications which would pair very nicely with your product.  We'll be testing his system this season.    I'd love to get you connected with him.  My email is in the signature below.  If you send me your contact info, I will get you in touch with James.

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I think the system is a great idea and Im glad to see them testing.   Im guessing the system is always going to be faster than a human, maybe incorporate a 3-4 sec buffer, or just tell the person pushing the button to hold 3 seconds so the flag stations can catch up.

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2 hours ago, JDChristianson said:

Is it mentioned in the the drivers meeting that this system is in testing and that the flag gets are official?     

 

I don't think there needs to be a statement at the driver's meeting as this is an unofficial system.  The flag stands are the only official communication method currently.  This system is only giving you a heads up to a situation.  It is the driver's responsibility to use this as an aid until a time when it becomes something more than that.

 

1 hour ago, Jab31169 said:

I think the system is a great idea and Im glad to see them testing.   Im guessing the system is always going to be faster than a human, maybe incorporate a 3-4 sec buffer, or just tell the person pushing the button to hold 3 seconds so the flag stations can catch up.

 

Just like without this device it is the driver's responsibility to verify the next station's status before making a maneuver.  If you get caught passing when you shouldn't because the flagger hasn't switched over that is the risk you take.

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