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Old 11-24-2009, 12:45 PM   #16
Flood
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There's already a lot of electronic waypoint management and updating going on! Waypoints are stored in the bike's sealed GPS systems (and penalties are given for missed hidden points). See this pic I took at last year's Central Europe Rally:




They changed the course for the day's 2nd stage so all the bikes were in parc fermé and an ASO official went with a laptop from bike to bike, updating the waypoints. It's no big deal to do the same with an electronic roadbook. This could be done with a wireless system as well.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flood
There's already a lot of electronic waypoint management and updating going on! Waypoints are stored in the bike's sealed GPS systems (and penalties are given for missed hidden points). See this pic I took at last year's Central Europe Rally:




They changed the course for the day's 2nd stage so all the bikes were in parc fermé and an ASO official went with a laptop from bike to bike, updating the waypoints. It's no big deal to do the same with an electronic roadbook. This could be done with a wireless system as well.

+1
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Deadly99
Roadbooks could be put on SD cards, daily changes would make it easier on competitors and officials alike. Cost should be similar to a paper roadbook holder.
Ok, I'm a guy that makes road books and organizes rallies and, in my former life, was an electronics designer and embedded systems software writer. Also note that this post is addressing the issues, and is not an attack on the author I'm quoting.

It would not be easier than paper.

A piece of paper won't crash or run out of batteries. It won't have a problem when 14 days into the rally, you have to add a new section due to a small war that pops up that you need to re-route around, and now your file is 1028kb which goes over the limit of 1024kb (or whatever nonsense). It doesn't need an entire software package created to manage/upload the data. It would be very difficult to get mid-day modifications out to the crews, where a stack of papers can easily be handed out to everyone next to a mud hut where the nearest electricity is 80 kilometers away by a person that has never seen an AA battery. Managing the different HW/SW versions over the years would also become increasingly complex as people raced with "legacy" hardware.

It would not cost similar to a paper road book holder.

Such a device, engineered to withstand Dakar-like conditions, would likely have a bill of materials of 200-400 dollars (at the higher end with large enough screens). If this marked up to typical consumer prices, you would see 600-1200 dollar final prices. However, the market is tiny, so that would be very optimistic.

If spec'ing a company to build such a system (and it would have to be a SYSTEM, that is, not just a "device", you need all sides of it. All the support software, route building software, updating software, firmware for the device, enclosure CAD.) I would imagine an engineering price tag of $150,000 to $350,000. (that's just the design. No units included.)

Now can anyone tell me why Dakar Inc would feel that spending a quarter million dollars on this is something that has moved up their priority ladder to where they start cutting checks? Cause they can just print paper and it's working now.

A sealed GPS that records your track is trivial in comparison. That's off-the-shelf stuff.

Anders
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Anders Green screwed with this post 11-24-2009 at 02:00 PM
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders Green
Ok, I'm a guy that makes road books and organizes rallies and, in my former life, was an electronics designer and embedded systems software writer. Also note that this post is addressing the issues, and is not an attack on the author I'm quoting.

It would not be easier than paper.

A piece of paper won't crash or run out of batteries. It won't have a problem when 14 days into the rally, you have to add a new section due to a small war that pops up that you need to re-route around, and now your file is 1028kb which goes over the limit of 1024kb (or whatever nonsense). It doesn't need an entire software package created to manage/upload the data. It would be very difficult to get mid-day modifications out to the crews, where a stack of papers can easily be handed out to everyone next to a mud hut where the nearest electricity is 80 kilometers away by a person that has never seen an AA battery. Managing the different HW/SW versions over the years would also become increasingly complex as people raced with "legacy" hardware.

It would not cost similar to a paper road book holder.

Such a device, engineered to withstand Dakar-like conditions, would likely have a bill of materials of 200-400 dollars (at the higher end with large enough screens). If this marked up to typical consumer prices, you would see 600-1200 dollar final prices. However, the market is tiny, so that would be very optimistic.

If spec'ing a company to build such a system (and it would have to be a SYSTEM, that is, not just a "device", you need all sides of it. All the support software, route building software, updating software, firmware for the device, enclosure CAD.) I would imagine an engineering price tag of $150,000 to $350,000. (that's just the design. No units included.)

Now can anyone tell me why Dakar Inc would feel that spending a quarter million dollars on this is something that has moved up their priority ladder to where they start cutting checks? Cause they can just print paper and it's working now.

A sealed GPS that records your track is trivial in comparison. That's off-the-shelf stuff.

Anders
All this is very true and to the point. However it fails to recognize the implementation of a pre-existing platform. Such a platform is being mandated by the ISO for support veh.'s in the 2010 Dakar. Foreshadowing of things to come?

Earl
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:08 PM   #20
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Stepping back from the major rallies, another issue is making the roadbook entirely digital. Obviously at rallies that's not an issue, but for those of us making our own roadbooks, it's not a small thing to make the tulips electronic instead of pen on ink.

Certainly an interesting idea, and I agree that the technology exists to do it.

With that said, I'm not sure I agree it should be done.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:07 PM   #21
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Certainly an interesting idea, and I agree that the technology exists to do it.

With that said, I'm not sure I agree it should be done.
True and agree
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:10 AM   #22
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Bluhduh

This is one of the problems to over come when you are in the middle of a race!! Paper got stuck!! Nothing I could do at the time....just finishing the stage without RB....following my intuiton. Anyways...I belive the problems you can get from a digitalized RB are far more complex to solve during a race than those from a paper roll. However, we should discuss the enviromental issue derived from the use of non-recycled paper, a lot of paper is used on this activity.

pd: pardon my english...it's a foreing language to me.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:46 PM   #23
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Why not just go for heads up displays in the goggles?
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTM640Dakar
Why not just go for heads up displays in the goggles?
Kinda like Dragonball style
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:22 PM   #25
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bigger picture

I just wanted to chime into this discussion as it touches upon a whole lot of interesting concepts.... in my mind the biggest question to answer: Would the implementation of technology to the roadbook do anything for the rider? (Assuming hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure (i.e. Rally race organizers) were all ready and working.)

With the current state of technology, I say no. I would think there would be a marginal gain in visual acuity. However, I think software based roadbooks could also limit the subtle markup detail that riders/racers are used to when comparing with pens/hi-liters. Unless, a technology based Roadbook editor/reader comes with Photoshop and a Wacom tablet... alright, maybe i went a little far with that one.

With the added complexity, cost and shift of liability from riders to race organizers i think a digital roadbook is currently not worth it.

That being said, i do think a digital roadbook could be more worth while as wireless bandwidth increases and cost comes down... perhaps roadbooks could be updated on the fly to warn riders during the event of course changes. That might be worth the complexity.

two cents.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:42 PM   #26
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As a rider who was racing during the "free GPS" transition to "controlled GPS" and always with the paper roadbook, it is all about limiting problems, as paper is pretty reliable and easily fixed when there are problems. And limiting the amount of cheating in both the manipulation of data transfed into the GPS and keeping the riders as true to the course as possible.

I saw and was amazed with the systems in the Citrogen cars and made very good friends with one of the navigators of one of those cars in 1996 so I could take a peak each evening. And it really takes away from the true navigation aspect of the rallye, as does, I feel, the corridorrs they keep the riders in now. But that is all for safety and limiting the time it takes to recover lost riders.

Yet, I'm looking for some sort ot technology to quickly make route books, on the fly, that I can print to paper and use to train riders, as the old pen and paper method is way too 2000.

Does someone make an app for that??

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Old 10-11-2011, 07:47 PM   #27
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Jimmy, some guy who races sidecars in the dakar is the man to speak with regarding making roadbooks... Paging Mr Whitney..

in the meantime here is one program for PC http://www.donbarrow.co.uk/tulip_roa...s_editors.html

and the google search.. http://www.google.com/search?q=roadb...ient=firefox-a

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Old 10-11-2011, 11:33 PM   #28
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The Tripy (www.tripy.be) comes with excellent software to make Roadbooks.

Currently 2 rallyes out of the Netherlands support the use of the Tripy (easterneuroperally.com and alentejorally.nl) as well as multiple offroad specialists who created Tripy versions next to their paper editions.

Reasoning behind this is simple and all aimed to ease of use and to have fun while riding without worrying about ico distances etc. Just a simple clamp on your handle bars and you are good to go.

In the above 2 rallyes the Tripy riders are in a different class compared to their paper counterparts, as losing your way is quite hard with a Tripy :) It shows you when you have left the right track :)

Their software: http://www.tripy.eu/en/tripy-2-gps-r...racer/benefits
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:04 AM   #29
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After a bunch of experimentation, I've settled on a mixed approach. I use an Excel spreadsheet developed by Hogwild for the Mileage, Notes, etc, and hand draw the tulip.

Practically speaking, that means that once I know where I want the route to go, I print a bunch of blanks, hand write milage, tulip, and notes when I'm riding it, and come home and transfer the info.

It's relatively quick, low tech, the results look pretty good, and there is the additional advantage that it doesn't exist in soft form, so I can't get passed around the interwebs indiscriminately.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:10 AM   #30
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On the plus side, it would make the production of the roadbook simpler, no printing and messing about. Software is used to produce the roadbook then its downloaded to the device.

Then there is the modifications during the rally stages due to route change issues, none of that cutting out and gluing new sheets in (which can cause feeding problems). Riders would just download the amendments for the stage electronically, done.

Negatives are that whichever way you look at it, a roll of paper and the minimal motorised rolling system as it is now means less to go wrong. The "KISS" principle.
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