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Vehicle data logging on track - anyone do it? (Going to be testing OBDFusion next week)

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
So I've been to VIR twice with my GTI, and before I do much to it, I'm trying to gather data before throwing cooling mods at it.

I already have VCDS which is great, but I don't want to have a laptop in the car on track for obvious reasons. Also I'm not a big fan of logging with it in general.

I didn't want to drop coin on OBD11 because of the subscription model, plus it's redundant having a specialty VW scan tool that is potentially less capable than VCDS.

I just switched from Android to an iPhone so my OLD(like 2010 or so old) ELM327 bluetooth adapter is no longer useful to me along with Torque for Android which was my previous "generic" go-to.

What I wanted was to be able to log some simple OBDII parameters while on track, and have it done as easily and effortlessly as possible. And make it idiot-proof. The other motivation was to use it on my other vehicles (2005 Sequoia and wife's 2022 Kia Niro EV) just for general monitoring and for the Sequoia, clearing a CEL that pops up and throw it into limp mode because of a failing secondary air injection system 😬

After way too much time of scouring Youtube and forums, I think I found what looks to be very promising: OBDFusion ($9.99 in the app store) with a VeePeak BT 4.0 OBDII adapter ($30 on Amazon).

What I like MOST about this app... is that whatever logging parameters you want to have saved... it saves the list of them (which was a big gripe of mine with OBD11 according to users... you have to select everything from the list of ALL of it every single time you hook it up).

You can configure it to start logging automatically... so basically as long as my phone is nearby, and the adapter is plugged into the car... it is logging. There's no screwing around with my phone before heading out on track. I have to do that enough with my old Gopro Hero 3 and AIM Solo. Only downside is however you have your logging preferences set up... it will log these same items for ALL of your vehicles. So I can't watch fuel system items on my Sequoia, and IAT/ECT/etc on the GTI (automatically). Gotta go into the logging preferences and change them each time.

You can monitor live data on gauges and stuff if you want. Frankly it's not as good as Torque Pro with regards to the gauge interface/editing/options, etc. but it gets the job done. For these, they DO save your preferences on a per-vehicle basis.

Everything gets saved in a .csv file so you can upload to datazap... or even use the data on a video layover in Racerender which I verified does work (I just grabbed a random video and attached the test data file to ensure it works for the screenshot below). I do need to upgrade to one of the paid versions of Racerender to be able to edit guage faces and stuff, but that's OK. It'll make it neat to see where the ECT and IAT fluctuates, plus log throttle position.

I have a screenshot attached of the logs made. My phone isn't on/app not opened/etc for half of those. It's great because you just plug the adapter in, turn the car on and it's done in the background.

Note that the OBDII TPS runs from like 13 to 83% or so, not 0-100. I haven't messed with it yet, but I should be able to write a custom PID that will convert it to 0-100 scale. I've done it in the past with Racerender using data from Racechrono(app I used when I had Android).

I am not sure if anyone has really played with these generic OBDII scanners much on these cars because of the OBD11 and VCDS availability and functionality... but I haven't figured out how to log engine oil temp or DSG temp yet. Those are the two other things I'd *like* to log.. but realistically oil temp can at least be monitored on the dash and it's easy enough to remember the highest temps seen.

Attached are a few screenshots from the app from screwing with it the last few days in my limited free time... and a screenshot messing with Racerender to confirm the csv is useable. IATs are stupid waiting in line for Chic Fil A with the stock intercooler FWIW. :ROFLMAO:

Also here is my test file uploaded to datazap:
https://datazap.me/u/derhase/obdfusion-log-testing?log=0&data=1-2-3-4-5&solo=2

If anyone has any insight on adding custom PIDs that would be great. Not sure if there is capability of pulling stuff from non-ECM modules (DSG oil temp, steering angle, brake pressure, etc), but I know that engine oil temp at the very least should be doable.

I'll be running this setup at VIR next weekend, so hopefully within the next couple weeks I'll have a video together.

In the meantime, if you're interested in screwing with this same setup... this video was probably the most helpful in setting it up to log how I want, etc.
 

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aaronc7

Autocross Champion
Location
USA
Car(s)
17 S3
Simos tools is great. If you're looking for something all in one in a track app, I recommend Race Chrono and obdlink device. Can log mode 22 PIDs also.
 

Will_

Autocross Champion
Location
SF Bay Area
Car(s)
2017 GTI S DSG
I use RaceChrono with a Carista OBII Bluetooth link and its been very straightforward to log everything and export.
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Simostools is free. Just need an A0. MUCH higher logging resolution as well. Can log probably 100 PIDs at the same too with no loss of resolution. You can set triggers for coolant, IATs, oil, knock, whatever for it to blink if it exceeds a value.
Well son of a bitch.

No good on an apple device... but I still have my old Pixel3 which may get repurposed to logging duty. Thanks for the heads up... I have heard of the Simos Tool app... but honestly didn't look too deep since I'm not looking to tune/flash the car... didn't even think about the logging capabilities.

I have used Racechrono is the past and liked it, generally speaking. I had some goofy issues with it failing to record at times. I used it with an external GPS unit which I no longer have since the AIM Solo has GPS data covered. Plus it's stupid easy and idiot proof.

I'll probably play around with this app a bit more the next few days... I may just get Racechrono again though. I'm trying to remember... you can set it up to also control a Gopro via bluetooth right?
 

aaronc7

Autocross Champion
Location
USA
Car(s)
17 S3
Well son of a bitch.

No good on an apple device... but I still have my old Pixel3 which may get repurposed to logging duty. Thanks for the heads up... I have heard of the Simos Tool app... but honestly didn't look too deep since I'm not looking to tune/flash the car... didn't even think about the logging capabilities.

I have used Racechrono is the past and liked it, generally speaking. I had some goofy issues with it failing to record at times. I used it with an external GPS unit which I no longer have since the AIM Solo has GPS data covered. Plus it's stupid easy and idiot proof.

I'll probably play around with this app a bit more the next few days... I may just get Racechrono again though. I'm trying to remember... you can set it up to also control a Gopro via bluetooth right?
been awhile since I've used Racechrono, but yeah you were able to turn it on, start/stop via bluetooth. See the video in-app over wifi, and transfer to the video to device over wifi too after the event or whatever.

I've messed around quite a bit with Racerender too, but something was nice (easy, simple) about racechrono just being able to use that one app to import video, create overlay and export video etc.
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Thanks to some of your old posts @aaronc7 I got the engine oil temp and knock correction PIDs working.

The oil temp logged is what VCDS calls the oil temp sensor, the display reads oil temp sensor 2... So it's not 100% what the display reads (about 10F higher as it warms up, closing to within 5F at temp).

Not as nice as racechrono, but I already have it, and it'll log automatically every time I start the car with the OBDII adapter plugged in.
 

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aaronc7

Autocross Champion
Location
USA
Car(s)
17 S3
I'm speculating a little here, but pretty sure the ECU reported oil temp value is modeled--it takes the actual sensor reading but also applies it's own corrections in top depending on RPM, load etc. Probably trying to model the oil temp as it's flowing thru the motor.

I would guess that dash oil temp is more of a direct oil pan temp sensor reading, but it has its own averaging factor/delay/lag going on.
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
I'm speculating a little here, but pretty sure the ECU reported oil temp value is modeled--it takes the actual sensor reading but also applies it's own corrections in top depending on RPM, load etc. Probably trying to model the oil temp as it's flowing thru the motor.

I would guess that dash oil temp is more of a direct oil pan temp sensor reading, but it has its own averaging factor/delay/lag going on.

So this got me curious.... How the heck does this sensor report oil temp AND level with a single signal? Internal CAN logic to send both simultaneously?

Edit: per a VW tech friend that's exactly it.
 

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aaronc7

Autocross Champion
Location
USA
Car(s)
17 S3
I haven't dug into it....but perhaps it's a digital signal, not analog? Like ethanol content sensors-- they use frequency to report ethanol content and pulsewidth to report fuel temp. Just a guess/idea.
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Intercooler temps logged - we had someone hit a wall midway through this session so we pitted in and sat for a little while... you can see how badly it heat soaks sitting still and how quickly it dissipates ones moving again:

https://datazap.me/u/derhase/data-logging-track-vir-full?log=0&data=1-3-5-6

In this one there's a dip down to about 5mph in the middle of the session - I pitted in for a second to get away from traffic.
https://datazap.me/u/derhase/vir-full-temp-logs?log=0&data=1-2-3-5-7

The auto logging thing failed me and for some reason did not record my second session on Saturday (which was my fastest lap at a 2:20.98 for reference). Lots of slower laps because of hitting traffic throughout every session.
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Unfortunately due to the amount of traffic most of the weekend, and technical difficulties, I think the ONLY session I had video AND AIM data AND the OBD2 data all together was during Session 1 of Saturday. Regardless here it is on an overlay for reference.

Stock intercooler, stock tune and all. The refresh rate for all the temperatures was intentionally set to slow because the tach was more important to have updated regularly.

 
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