Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

Log Files

Do I have to use an external SD card?

No, you can just use the internal storage on your device. The external SD card makes sure that you have enough room to store large video files if you are recording video with the onboard camera.

Where does SoloStorm save my log files?

If you are using the internal storage on your device, then all of the log and video files are saved to the /petrel directory.

If you are using an external SD card, then your files will be saved to either /petrel or /Android/data/com.petrel.datastorm.activity/files/petrel.

Which external SD card path is used depends on a number of factors, however the use of the more complex directory structure was made necessary by Android v4.4, which restricts where on the external SD card non-system applications can write to.

Note: Files stored under /Android/data are deleted when uninstalling SoloStorm.

Logging Service

Can SoloStorm log data while the phone or tablet screen is turned off?

If you are not recording video using the internal camera, then you may turn off the device screen or use the home button to pause Solostorm and launch another application. The SoloStorm logger will run as a background service. Exiting SoloStorm by tapping the Back button will still shut down the logger.

Why can’t I turn off my device screen while recording video using the internal camera?

Android devices require that a video preview be displayed when using the internal camera.

How can I tell what state the logger is in if it is running as a service?

When the SoloStorm logger runs as a service, a notification appears in your notification bar. The status of this notification indicates the state of the logger. You may also enable voice notifications under SoloStorm’s Display Settings which will notify you when the logger status changes.

Logging Triggers

How does SoloStorm know when to start and stop logging?

SoloStorm can be configured to start and stop logging based on vehicle speed, or it can be configured to start and stop manually.

If I use an automatic trigger to start logging, will I lose the start of my run before the logger was started?

No, SoloStorm has an internal buffer that captures the start of your run from the moment the vehicle starts to move. Once the start trigger speed is seen, this data will become part of the log.

In automatic trigger mode, the start button says ‘Start Video’, but in manual mode is simply says ‘Start’. What is the difference?

In manual mode, the start button is used to start both the data logger and the video recorder. In automatic mode, this button only starts the video recorder so that you can capture video between when you launch the car and the logger is triggered by the selected trigger speed.

Markers

SoloStorm is not starting the video recorder when staged. Why is this?

If the video recorder was manually stopped (for example, video was accidentally started and the stopped), or you had to stop it while waiting for the course to clear, then the video recorder will not be automatically started again until a run is completed, or the logger is turned off an on.

This is on purpose, so SoloStorm will not continuously start the video recorder if you have manually stopped it while staged.

What is the purpose of the Start, 60ft, and Stop markers?

Only the Staging marker affects logging – the others are used only to better calculate section times and overall run time.

I set up my markers during a course walk, and I changed the session name before racing. My markers have disappeared! How do I get them back?

Markers are specific for each session, and are saved in the session directory where the logs are saved. If you are comfortable with technology, you can manually copy the markers file from one session to another, then start up SoloStorm. Your device should have some type of File Manager app that will allow you to do this.

In automatic trigger mode, SoloStorm starts the video recorder when I am at the staging line, however I did not set a staging marker. Why is this?

If you did not set a staging marker, then after your first run SoloStorm will calculate where the staging line is for the current course, and will start video recording when your are near to it. You can manually stop the video recorder and start it later if you have to wait at the staging line.

My lap times calculated based on Start and Finish markers are not accurate when compared to my posted run times!

The run times that SoloStorm generates will be close, within .2s or so, depending on the accuracy of the markers. For best results, it is important to set all of the markers within as short a delay as possible, as the relative positions can change as GPS drifts. This can happen in the time that it takes to fully walk a course from Start to Finish. Quickly set the Staging, Start, and Finish markers before walking the full course. If you need to, you can precisely set the markers when editing sections in the Analysis view. If you use video and lap time to help set the markers, this can be more precise. NOTE: The relative position of the markets is important as SoloStorm will align your run starts to the Staging Marker in order to compensate for GPS drift. DO NOT set the staging marker anywhere but the actual staging line, or your calculated times will be off.

Video

When I calibrate the video recorder, SoloStorm shows me the first frame where my screen flashes a red box. Why do I still need to select a video frame?

SoloStorm will automatically detect the greatest change in red color in the calibration video, and pre-select that frame for you. In case this frame is not correct, you can still select another one.

How can I speed up video overlay processing?

If using Hardware Acceleration for video processing, you are producing overlaid video using the highest quality for your device.

If you would like to disable Hardware Acceleration, you can then decrease the quality of the video overlay. This can decrease the time that it takes to overlay a video, but usually only on the lowest quality setting, and only at low resolutions (480p). Additionally, turning off the logger and any other cpu-intensive applications will speed up this process as well.

Using a good-quality class 10 flash memory card will also help, regardless of the encoding method (accelerated or not).

How do I enable jogging of video frames?

Jogging of video frames during analysis is enabled in SoloStorm’s Video Settings. To jog videos, frames are extracted and saved to the flash storage. This is a more robust method than jogging a H264 video stream in real-time.

Can I preview the video from my GoPro WiFi camera?

Not with SoloStorm. If you need to aim your camera, please use the GoPro app. While video preview can be implemented, it will either consume considerable CPU resources or use your device’s hardware decoders, and neither is acceptable while both logging data and utilizing the internal video recorder on your device.

Help, my GoPro camera is not responding to WiFi control! What to I do?

Sometimes GoPro cameras will do odd things such as power on but refuse to power off, or start recording but refuse to stop. These problems occur with the official GoPro App as well as with SoloStorm, and will probably be resolved by firmware updates from GoPro. The only known solution to this problem is to reset the camera by removing then installing the battery.

Downloading video from my GoPro is really slow! What can I do?

If your camera supports the recording additional Low Resolution video files, SoloStorm can download them instead. These videos can be played back on your device, and have their frames extracted for jogging.

The newer ‘+’ models also support faster WiFi download speeds, but Full Resolution files (especially 960p and above) still take a long time to download.

I am automatically downloading Low Resolution video from my GoPro – can I later download the Full Resolution video for overlaying?

Yes, you can! Simply tap on the Video Widget, and you will be prompted to download the larger video file if you have not done so.

My GoPro is only recording very short videos and not capturing the entire run. What’s wrong?

GoPro cameras seem to be sensitive to the state of the SD card. When deleting files off of the SD card, you may need to reformat it. If you do not, the camera may stop recording after a short period of time.

How long does it take to download video from my GoPro camera?

For a typical autocross run, it can take up to 30 seconds to download the low-resolution video for analysis. In most cases it will have downloaded by the time you arrive back in grid. High resolution videos can take up to several minutes, however. It is best to import them manually.

Accelerometer

I can’t seem to calibrate the internal accelerometer on my device. How do I fix this?

There are a large number of Android devices on the market, and some behave differently with respects to the IMU (accelerometer + gyro). The IMUs on Samsung devices have received the most thorough testing, however if you are having problems please contact support and we can help you gather more information about how your IMU works so we can support your device.

It is recommended that you watch this video on confirming calibration for reference:

Some low-cost, Chinese branded devices have accelerometers that simply do not work (we tested on a Cubot phone), so we suggest that you avoid those if you wish to use the internal sensors.

ProSolo

Enabling ProSolo Race Mode

To enable the ProSolo Race Mode, enter the SoloStorm Settings, and select ‘Display’. You can then select from among the available race modes – Solo2, ProSolo, or Hill Climb.

How does ProSolo Race Mode differ from Solo2?

ProSolo Race Mode adds a 60′ course marker, as well as a Left Side and a Right Side for the current session. Each Course Side contains it’s own set of Course Markers. The currently selected Course Side is rotated between runs (if that option is selected when setting up the Session Name and Driver List). You can manually rotate between sides if you need to, and the current driver can be selected from a pop-up list.

How should I set Markers in ProSolo Race Mode?

Follow the same procedure as with regular Solo2 markers, except you must manually switch the current Course Side and capture markers for each side. It is best to capture the markers for each side in as little time as possible, in order to prevent GPS drift from factoring into the relative positions of the markers. If need be, you can manually set the markers during analysis.

Analyzing on a PC

Can SoloStorm export log data for use with other analysis or overlay software?

Yes, SoloStorm can export log data in CSV format.

Integrating with a DL1

Does calibrating the internal accelerometer affect data from a DL1?

The internal accelerometer is not used when SoloStorm is configured to work with a DL1, so calibration has no effect. The DL1 must be correctly mounted in the vehicle in order to provide accurate acceleration values.

Are runs recorded using a DL1 different from log files recorded off of a Bluetooth GPS?

No, the log files are structurally the same, and store data in the exact same format.

What data will SoloStorm use from a DL1?

SoloStorm will use GPS speed, GPS position, GPS accuracy, time, acceleration, throttle (configurable, analog channel 1 to 7), and RPM.

Do automatic triggers work with a DL1? Can SoloStorm tell a DL1 to start logging to it’s own memory card?

Yes, automatic triggers work with a DL1, but SoloStorm does not tell the DL1 to start logging. The DL1 recorder is completely independant of SoloStorm, which uses the continuous data stream from the DL1 serial port.

Battery Life

What is the best way to maximize phone battery life while using SoloStorm?

If you are not using the internal video camera, you may turn off your device’s screen.

I am recording video using the internal camera. What now?

Leave your phone plugged in to a USB car charger. If you are charging multiple devices, such as a GoPro camera, invest in a higher-quality, 2A charger such as the Lenmar AIDCU4.

I can’t use a car charger in my race car. What do I do now?

Place your phone into airplane mode, but enable the bluetooth radio. Very few phones support this, so the other option is to pull your sim card and put it somewhere safe. Also turn off the logger when not required. Without the cellular radio, you battery will last for a long period. Bring a vehicle usb charger so that you can charge in between runs, or purchase a spare battery.

Which services will consume the most power?

In descending order:

  • Onboard camera
  • Device screen
  • Cellular radio
  • Wifi radio
  • Bluetooth radio

Pricing

What currency are your prices listed in?

All products are priced in US dollars. While we are headquartered in Canada, 99.9% of all autocrossers live and play in the United States. That’s also where we spend 99.9% of our racing budget! Given the fluctuating exchange rates, it does not make sense to maintain separate pricing for fellow Canadians. Sorry eh!

© 2017 - Petrel Data Systems - Solo Race Technology