RacePi – Using a Raspberry Pi with SoloStorm

RacePi Hardware ComponentsWe were recently approached by Donour Sizemore from the New Jersey region about adding support to SoloStorm for an open-source data logger that he is building around a Raspberry Pi ‘hobbyist’ computer.

Donour has put together a cost-effective yet powerful data logger that can be built for about $100, and is working on interfacing it with his Ford Focus RS in order to pull some of the custom CAN channels that the ECU supports – such as steering wheel angle and brake pressure. While you can do much of this with off-the-shelf solutions such as the RaceCapture line of data loggers, some people are just hackers at heart and love to build their own solution – and we like to support them.

While Donour was making progress on the hardware, he was looking for an analysis solution that would work well for him – so he contacted Mike @ Petrel Data Systems.

After looking at the challenge, we decided that the easiest solution was to implement a real-time stream from the RacePi to SoloStorm via Bluetooth that used the Race Technology telemetry protocol. Their protocol is efficient, well documented, and is already supported by SoloStorm. We also have code that is used to encode a telemetry stream that we shared with Donour to help him in his development.

Donour is working with us to add some additional channels to the messaging protocol, in order to support things like gyro rates and wheel speeds – and he hopes to perform some real-time math to calculate slip angles and other factors that contribute to tuning a tire and chassis combination.

The RacePi source code is freely available on Github and you can contact Donour through there as well.

You can learn more about the Raspberry Pi 3.