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First use of a computer in an F1 car?


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#1 Cargo

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:28


Edited by Cargo, 22 November 2018 - 10:51.


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#2 Darren Galpin

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:39

Ricardo Divila used an HP computer in 1978 for data logging and suspension calculations - see http://members.atlas.../Fittipaldi.pdf for a few more details (beware - > 1MB).

#3 Gary C

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:39

a friend of mine used to own Tyrrell 008 that won Monaco 78 with Depailler up (well, most of it anyway) and he told me that there was a 'space' in the nose of the chassis that he couldn't make out what it was for. When he asked Roy Topp, he said it was for the computer system they were developing that year, don't know what it was for though.

#4 Maldwyn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:49

Also Arrows were working with Socom (?) Micro Systems in 1978/9. The name appeared on the sidepods, but I'm not sure what they provided.

#5 fausto

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:10

Scycom or Scicom, maybe...yes I remember both Arrows and Tyrrell working with data acquisition, Tyrrell even having a specialist engineer on board (Charlie Kemp?)

#6 Peter Morley

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:21

Originally posted by Gary C
a friend of mine used to own Tyrrell 008 that won Monaco 78 with Depailler up (well, most of it anyway) and he told me that there was a 'space' in the nose of the chassis that he couldn't make out what it was for. When he asked Roy Topp, he said it was for the computer system they were developing that year, don't know what it was for though.


Someone said that one of the 6 wheeled Tyrrells still had the computer gear attached when it came up for sale, he even told me the name of the guy who fitted it - Doctor someone, I thought he was German but that's about all I can remember.

Tyrrell 008 was the same period so that would tie in.

#7 Michael Oliver

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:35

Originally posted by Peter Morley


Someone said that one of the 6 wheeled Tyrrells still had the computer gear attached when it came up for sale, he even told me the name of the guy who fitted it - Doctor someone, I thought he was German but that's about all I can remember.

Tyrrell 008 was the same period so that would tie in.


The Tyrrell sponsor was Data General, IIRC, and the Doctor was Karl Kempf. That's without referring to reference books, so the spelling might not be right!

#8 Maldwyn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:10

Originally posted by Michael Oliver
The Tyrrell sponsor was Data General, IIRC, and the Doctor was Karl Kempf. That's without referring to reference books, so the spelling might not be right!

Wasn't there something in Maurice Hamilton's biography of Ken Tyrrell about a computer bofin working with the team having been paid for by the First National City sponsorship money :confused: I don't have the book in front of me unfortunately.

#9 st59cz

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:24

It was Dr. Karl Kempf in the time when Tyrrell was white and blue (FNC).

#10 Stephen W

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:29

I went to a lecture in the late 70s at Blackburn College by Karl Kempf about his work on the Tyrrells. There were over 30 people crammed into a small lecture room and I suspect I was the only one there with an interest in motor racing, the rest were computer specialists.

I found the whole experience facinating especially how reluctant the existing race engineers were to embrace the 'new technology'. He was only accepted once he proved his computer analysis of the data could improve the lap times!

:)

#11 petefenelon

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:41

Who needs electronics when there's Allan Staniforth's String Computer for suspension setup?;)

#12 Stephen W

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:48

Originally posted by petefenelon
Who needs electronics when there's Allan Staniforth's String Computer for suspension setup?;)


Agreed, but once you have exhausted the supply of string and you have no idea how to get any more out of the car then and only then can the humble computer help. It must be said that even the emminent Mr Staniforth now resorts to squiggly amps and a computer to keep his Megapin competitive.

:cool:

#13 Mallory Dan

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 14:21

I recall the some big news over the 77-78 winter was the Kempf/Tyrrell thing. At the time it was thought quite revolutionary, even making the the sports pages of the Telegraph. IIRC they were going to set up a whole 'team within a team' purely concentrating on the Computer thingy and its perceived benefits of improving handling.

Shame the Lotus 79 came along at the same time really ...

#14 WHITE

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 19:19

Originally posted by Darren Galpin
Ricardo Divila used an HP computer in 1978 for data logging and suspension calculations - see http://members.atlas.../Fittipaldi.pdf for a few more details (beware - > 1MB).


Ricardo Divila, had already used a computer to collect data in 1975. If I am not wrong, it was during practice for the British GP. He was then assisted by Karl Kempf who, later, assisted Maurice Philippe when developing the Tyrrell 010.
However, in 1974, A. J. Foyt had fallen back to a computer to collect data from his Coyote-Ford during practice for the Indy 500. The device had a weight of 15 Kg. and was able to collect 14 different data such as boost pressure, engine revs, suspension "dive", etc. Foyt got the pole.

#15 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 19:42

The Swedish teamboss Tore Helle had computors on his Rotel-sponsored F3-cars (Conny Andersson) in 1975. I think they only tried it in testsessions. It was a couple of clumsy boxes on the engine. When the car pitted Helle could collect the data on a long paper-slip.

#16 james

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 20:20

In Mark Donohue's book The Unfair Advantage there is a picture of him testing a camaro in 1968 with data acquisition,measuring speed,cornering power,acceleration,braking,accelerator position,rpms,steering-wheel angle,and laptimes.

#17 David Beard

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 21:21

Originally posted by petefenelon
Who needs electronics when there's Allan Staniforth's String Computer for suspension setup?;)


It's obvious why the String Computer went out of favour: the string version of CtrlAltDelete doesn't work...if you roll up the string it can never be untangled again.

#18 MCS

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 21:31

Originally posted by Tomas Karlsson
The Swedish teamboss Tore Helle had computors on his Rotel-sponsored F3-cars (Conny Andersson) in 1975. I think they only tried it in testsessions. It was a couple of clumsy boxes on the engine. When the car pitted Helle could collect the data on a long paper-slip.


Tomas, weren't these the Len Terry designed Vikings? Rather odd, heavy-looking devices I seem to recall.

Was Terry - covered here in some detail on TNF, as I'm sure you know - involved in the testing and development of the cars, or did he simply build them, do you know?

Mark

#19 stuartbrs

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 01:02

I am sure I have seen a picture of a BRM H16 with Data logging equipment strapped to the gearbox...

And what are we terming as a computer here? An electronic device with a silicone chip? Or an electronic device that can calculate values...

Remember.. German U Boats had computers for aiming their torpedoes...

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#20 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 07:51

Tomas, weren't these the Len Terry designed Vikings? Rather odd, heavy-looking devices I seem to recall.


Helle used the computors the year before when they had Marches. I think he said that he used the data for the upcoming Viking project. But I am not sure if they got any useful information, or if it just was a way to attract sponsors...

#21 f1steveuk

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 14:12

Bluebird CN7 1960 :up: Well it went around Goodwood, but it is stretching the point!!

#22 dolomite

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 22:19

Karl Kempf and Tyrrell in the late 70's

#23 Mike Lawrence

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 06:14

The article is on .

I cannot remember the name of the company which used a Spectrum to sort suspensions in 1986, but it was based in Bradford on Avon, next to Avon Tyres.

After more than 20 years perhaps I can break silence. Ray Mallock also used a Spectrum and, as a result, the pick-up points on the rear suspension of Albert Obrist's Ferrari Dino were moved by five eighths of an inch which, at the time, was illegal. These days it would not raise any eyebrow in Historic racing.

I spoke to both Ken Tyrrell and Karl Kempf in period and neither would give much away. Kempf's contract was not renewed so there must be a story there. Ken could lie for the Solar System in the Inter-Galactic Olympics. On the day photographs appeared in Autosport showing a Tyrrell with pneumatic rear suspension units, he told me that I had not seen anything of the sort. It is my belief that this was a Kempf set-up which did not work.

I believe that while Arrows tried on-car systems, the problem was electrical interference from the engine.

Ford had TV commercials in the mid-1970s which showed computer modelling and everyone assumed motor racing was on the case. The first March to be designed using a computer was the 1989 March 89P, the Indycar with a Porsche engine. Formula One projects were ahead of that, I suspect, but have no way of knwing, that John Barnard was first.

The chassis of the AC/Shelby Cobra Mk III was said to have been designed using Ford's computers, but how much computing power do you need to come up with a twin-tube ladderframe?

There's a PhD thesis in computers and motor racing, maybe a book.

#24 fausto

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 06:52

Originally posted by Mike Lawrence
The article is on .

I cannot remember the name of the company which used a Spectrum to sort suspensions in 1986, but it was based in Bradford on Avon, next to Avon Tyres.

........................


Geoscan?

#25 Kojima_KE007

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 08:21

Maki was using some sort of data logging system on their suspensions in 1974 and Kojima was doing same sort of thing in 1976 and 1977 as well.

#26 Michael Oliver

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 09:10

I think I was incorrect when mentioning Data General in connection with Karl Kempf, as that was a later period I think. I certainly remember a lot of fuss when Kempf got involved, possibly during the last year of the P34 six-wheeler and then with the 008...

I don't know whether this really qualifies but I found a reference in Andrew Ferguson's Team Lotus: The Indianapolis Years book which says that Team Lotus did a Firestone tyre test at Indianapolis in August 1967 with Jim Clark driving, during which his car ran with a 'black box' data recorder. During this test, they discovered that, even during cornering on the banking, and the associated loads this involves, his car was running higher off the ground than when it was sitting static in the pit lane!

As a result, the team discarded the traditional cigar-shape monocoque and went with the wedge shape of the 1968 Lotus 56 turbine, a profile which was also used for the type 57/58 F1/F2 project which was put to one side following Clark's untimely death in April of that year. This used the shape of the body to provide download. The whole issue of download/downforce was a concept which Clark had begun to take an interest in, having driven a Vollstedt Indy car at Riverside in November 1967 with a vestigial wing and then experimented with fitting a wing made from a helicopter rotor on his Lotus 49 at one of the Tasman rounds in early 1968 (although the car did not run with it).

The wedge shape was less pronounced on the types 63 (F1), 64 (Indy) and 68/70 (FA/F5000) but returned again with the Lotus 72, which was rather successful. So here perhaps is an example of on-board data-logging having really changed the shape of racing cars, or Lotus ones at least, for some years...

#27 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 11:08

I always assumed that the loss of sponsorship in 1979 was the trigger for Tyrrell stopping the Karl Kempf research project.

Ford were certainly using on-board data acquisition during their Le Mans programme of the 1960s. The first I remember was the J-car at the 1966 Le Mans test day, but they may have used it before that.

#28 TonyCotton

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 13:33

1986 is a bit late. By then a hillclimb team I was involved with had a Spectrum powered string computer for a year or two, and moved on to a PC using Lotus123. The resulting suspension geometry worked quite well.

I recall the highly respected genius David Gould explaining at an HSA meeting how he used another spreadsheet (Computer Associates, I think) to design the Gould 84 hillcimb car.

I also have somewhere a 1979 Autocar featuring IIRC an Arrows with an Apple II in the sidepod. Probably all the computing power of the average mobile phone.....

#29 Darren Galpin

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 13:36

Originally posted by TonyCotton
I also have somewhere a 1979 Autocar featuring IIRC an Arrows with an Apple II in the sidepod. Probably all the computing power of the average mobile phone.....


Much less......

#30 willga

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 18:32

Originally posted by stuartbrs
I am sure I have seen a picture of a BRM H16 with Data logging equipment strapped to the gearbox...

And what are we terming as a computer here? An electronic device with a silicone chip? Or an electronic device that can calculate values...

Remember.. German U Boats had computers for aiming their torpedoes...


Wasn't it a P261?

From memory, it was some sort of device with ticker-tape and holes, which could dynamically measure suspension movement and roll. I think JYS was quite enthusiastic about it, but Hill less so.

Mr Nye ought to be able to shed further light.

#31 RDV

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 03:56

More on Karl Kempf


Intel Fellows are selected for their technical leadership and outstanding contributions to the company and the industry.


Karl G. Kempf
Intel Fellow, Technology and Manufacturing Group
Director, Decision Technologies
INTEL CORPORATION
Karl G. Kempf is an Intel Fellow and Director of Decision Technologies in Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group (TMG) based in Phoenix, Arizona. Kempf is responsible for directing the continuous improvement of decision-making processes in Intel's capacity supply chain (designing, building, ramping, and running manufacturing facilities) as a member of the staff of Technology Manufacturing Engineering (TME) and in Intel's product supply chain (planning worldwide production and logistics across multiple product lines) as a member of the staff of Supply Network Group (iSNG).

Kempf joined Intel in 1987 and has been involved in designing and implementing decision policies for production scheduling, staffing and cross-training, equipment maintenance, ramp management, equipment selection and layout, strategic and tactical production planning, and logistics operations, as well as a wide variety of modeling and simulation projects. He has produced more than 50 internal publications.

Kempf is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, co-founded and co-chaired the American Association for Artificial Intelligence's Manufacturing Special Interest Group, and served on the editorial board of IEEE's Expert Journal focusing on artificial intelligence applications in manufacturing. He serves as adjunct professor at Arizona State University supervising graduate students in Mathematics, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, and Supply Chain Management. Kempf has published more than 100 research papers in the external literature on various topics in heuristic and mathematical decision science, and has delivered keynote addresses at a number of national and international conferences.

Prior to joining Intel, Kempf worked at McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, and Huntington Beach, California, where he was a member of the team that won the contract for automating the initial National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Station. He worked previously at Pinewood Movie Studios in England where he participated in filming three Superman* movies, serving on the team that won an Academy Award* for special effects. While working for Ferrari in Italy (on loan from Goodyear), he was involved in winning three Formula I Gran Prix* World Championships.

Kempf holds a B.S. in Chemistry (with honors), a B.A. in Physics, a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematic, and completed post-doctoral studies in Computer Science.



Quick Facts



Member of the National Academy of Engineering

Responsible for designing and implementing decision policies for all aspects of Intel manufacturing and supply chain management

Involved in the continuous improvement of decision-making processes across Intel

Published more than 125 research papers on various topics in heuristic and mathematical decision science

Adjunct professor at Arizona State University

Previously worked in the aerospace industry (McDonnell Douglas), entertainment industry (Pinewood Movie Studios), and automotive industry (Ferrari)

#32 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 06:49

Willga is absolutely correct - an onboard data-logging device was used in testing by BRM on a P261 in 1964-65. Graham Hill was darkly suspicious of the entire notion - and when Tony Rudd kept telling him 'the computer says' Graham eventually exploded and bawled 'Well if your black box is so bloody clever let's see it go flat-strap through Woodcote in the rain!".

In the same period Ford made extensive use of computer capability in their initially failing Ford GT programme, and on-board data collection was certainly explored by them.

Eberan von Eberhorst was involved in Auto Union trials and testing before the war using a mechanical data-logging system, and there are other precursors I am sure.

DCN

#33 Yorgos

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:04

Alfa Romeo used a telemetry system at the Le Mans trials in 1970. There are photos of 33/3s with short antennas and a brief mention of the system in a L'Automobile report.

Yorgos

#34 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:16

Originally posted by Cargo
I cannot believe there can have been an earlier date for using a computer on a race car. Anyone know?

C.


Niki Lauda, 1968, Formula V

;)

#35 rwhitworth

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 12:50

Originally posted by fausto
Scycom or Scicom, maybe...yes I remember both Arrows and Tyrrell working with data acquisition, Tyrrell even having a specialist engineer on board (Charlie Kemp?)


The Arrows sponsor was called Scicon - a computer services company owned by BP and based in Milton Keynes. I always assumed they were purely a sponsor rather than a provider of services - but I may be wrong.

#36 Ruairidh

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 21:28

Originally posted by rwhitworth


The Arrows sponsor was called Scicon - a computer services company owned by BP and based in Milton Keynes. I always assumed they were purely a sponsor rather than a provider of services - but I may be wrong.


............interesting, I assume that later Scicon became SD-Scicon and even later was acquired by EDS?

#37 rwhitworth

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 22:14

Originally posted by Ruairidh


............interesting, I assume that later Scicon became SD-Scicon and even later was acquired by EDS?


Yes, that's them. I had forgotten the EDS part - but that's definitely correct.

#38 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 12:00

It would be interesting to further define the question about the use of computers to design racing cars, since anything that went into a wind tunnel from the seventies onwards would have used computers to quantify the results - similarly scientific calculators - which are computers - were certainly being used in design processes during the early seventies.
So what is it that we are asking about, on-board data collection, or cars with servo systems to react to data aquasition? or cars designed by CAD systems, or Finite Element analysis?
The Bradford on Avon bunch - didn't they run a Sierra Cosworth in one of the UK series with 'Computer designed suspension'?

#39 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 02:16

Sorry, I have a habit of killing interesting topics stone dead. Ignore the last one and carry on chaps!!

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#40 f1steveuk

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 12:14

Well it's still computer related!!

I believe the Stewart SF1 was the first F1 car to be totally designed on computer, and I'm sure Alan Jenkins told me there never was even a scrap of paper attached to the car

#41 gary76

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 10:19

I seem to remember reading somewhere about a data logging system fitted to the !937/39 Auto Union cars. It was apperantly used to check the lapsed time, speed, gear change points and brake applications. This was the monitored by Prof. Eberan von Eberhorst.
Maybe somebody can fill me in on somemore details.

#42 David Beard

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 11:48

Originally posted by f1steveuk

I believe the Stewart SF1 was the first F1 car to be totally designed on computer,


What does "totally designed on computer" mean?

In any case, I would have thought most teams were producing all their drawings using some sort of CAD system years before that.

#43 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 12:31

I think you've pretty much answered your own question David.
By saying that there wasn't a scrap of paper attached to that car what he means is that they did not use drawings in any part of the design process, in other words they did not need to print hard copies of anything, whether that be to check the design against layout, or to give a less than up to date supplier a drawing to make a part from. All parts were made from computer files, no drawings were issued.
Whether you believe him or not is another matter!

#44 Peter Morley

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 17:17

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Willga is absolutely correct - an onboard data-logging device was used in testing by BRM on a P261 in 1964-65. Graham Hill was darkly suspicious of the entire notion - and when Tony Rudd kept telling him 'the computer says' Graham eventually exploded and bawled 'Well if your black box is so bloody clever let's see it go flat-strap through Woodcote in the rain!".

DCN


Just got this photo in a bunch of BRM photos, no idea who it is from so I hope I'm not offending anyone's copyrights etc etc.

This is presumably the device that Doug was referring to.

Posted Image

Presumably this was a data-logger rather than a computer - recording the data on a paper plotter.

#45 CraigD

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 17:56

The Arrows sponsor was called Scicon - a computer services company owned by BP and based in Milton Keynes. I always assumed they were purely a sponsor rather than a provider of services - but I may be wrong.

In fact Scicon developed the Arrows data logger as part of the sponsorship deal. I know as I was on the Scicon team!

We designed a microprocessor-based single board computer, engineered the battery supply and case to fit into the wing profile, hooked it up to transducers around the car and programmed it to log data during practice laps. Afterwards you removed it, plugged into a printer and printed out the stats. 

Scicon's strapline was "The 200 mph micro". 

Not sure how much value Arrows (or Scicon) got from it, but it was certainly a fun project for a young graduate to work on!   :cool:



#46 Charlieman

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 19:02

In fact Scicon developed the Arrows data logger as part of the sponsorship deal. I know as I was on the Scicon team!

We designed a microprocessor-based single board computer, engineered the battery supply and case to fit into the wing profile, hooked it up to transducers around the car and programmed it to log data during practice laps. Afterwards you removed it, plugged into a printer and printed out the stats. 

Scicon's strapline was "The 200 mph micro". 

Not sure how much value Arrows (or Scicon) got from it, but it was certainly a fun project for a young graduate to work on!   :cool:

Tell us more, please! 

 

You've got a bunch of 8 bit sensors connected to a field of 8 bit computers -- too early for 16 bit. Or just a single 8 bit processor? SBC? Storage?



#47 D-Type

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 19:06

I missed this one first time around.  What in the name of Hades was a "String Computer"



#48 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 19:45

This was Allan Staniforth’s rather Heath Robinson method for designing suspensions for racing cars. It used rulers, pins, string and various templates to model camber change and instantaneous roll centre movement during roll, etc. Here’s a rather rough and ready photo of a page in Staniforth’s Race and Rally Car Source Book:

CBF0-C350-A10-D-46-B6-8-CE2-035-F71-FD1-

#49 Rupertlt1

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 19:58

An interesting yarn from the world of drag racing:

 

https://www.nhra.com...h-data-recorder

 

RGDS RLT



#50 2F-001

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 22:59

On the subject of data logging... there are photographs of early Chaparrals with small reel-to-reel recorders aboard at circuits in the early- to mid-60s; that's aside from the use made by them - and Penske - of GM's 'black lake' test facilities and data acquisition.