In our last tech article we talked about why Aim/Mychron Is The Best. In this article we are going to discuss what I feel is the ultimate setup for data and video analysis while considering a reasonable budget. The nice thing about the Mychron system is you don’t need everything at once so you can slowly expand. It makes for a great excuse to buy some Birthday or Christmas presents. Lets start off with the head unit, the newly released Mychron 5.
2T or not to T. That is the question…
Mychron makes two units in the Mychron 5. One is a single temperature unit which typically is used for water temp. They also have a Mycrhon 5 2T which has two temperature inputs which generally is used for water and exhaust temp. Now the Mychron 5 is (499.00 USD) and the Mychron 5 2T is ($599.00).
I agree that having the ability to take two temperatures is much better. EGT is very important to tuning. But this is why I recommend only buying the single Myhchron 5 because you can take that extra $100 and invest it into our next piece of data.
With our $100 we saved on the Mychron 5 unit, and will purchase the expansion bar which allows us to add four more inputs of data, which could be temperatures, steering sensor, brake sensor, throttle sensor, power valve sensor, speed sensor, Smarty Cam and many more. Mychron Expansion bar is $250.00 and it simply allows you to expand at your own pace. One of the main reasons why I love the expansion bar so much is that it has a external power cable that you can hook up to your battery. It will power the whole system, so you never have to worry about charging the Mychron battery anymore.
Aim Smarty Camera
Now a smarty cam is not cheap, however the benefits far outweigh the price. First and foremost as much as we want to blame the kart or the engine there is more time to be gained in driving. Having video to watch, and be able to see the drivers hands is more valuable then any other piece of data. The cool thing about the Smarty Cam is once you plug it in to your expansion bar it will overlay the data right on the screen. Now you can actually see lap times, speed, pedal sensors, water temp right as your watching the session. In 2015 I destroyed my Gopro3 Black which is like a $400.00 camera. It was like taking 4-$100 bills and lighting them on fire. When I got my Smarty Cam I quickly fell in love with it, until the day my mount broke on track and went flying. It got all smashed, and I instantly thought to myself, great I just lost a $1,000 camera now. Well that is not the case at all, and this is one of the main reasons why AIM is the best all i did was give it to Aim Technical Support and for a small fee to replace the lense they repaired the camera and it was back in action. It’s nice to know your investment is going to be looked after.
These are the three main components of building one great data/video system. Now lets talk about sensors.
Installation: Easy. Couple Zip ties.
Final Notes: The RPM graph in my opinion is the most essential piece of data that can be collected. You can pick you driving errors, engine problems or chassis issues from this data.
Water Temp Sensor
Installation: Easy. Couple Zip ties.
Final Notes: Water temp is essential for making sure your engine is at optimal operational temperatures.
Exhaust Temp Sensor
Required: Yes And No
Installation: Medium. Couple Zip ties. Have to weld a nut onto your exhaust for the probe to go into.
Final Notes: Yes, if you are running an engine that can be tuned with adjustable carb. Not as beneficial in a Rotax as an example.
Magnetic Pedal Sensors
Required: Throttle Yes, Brake Yes
Installation: Difficult. Requires custom fab, and brackets.
Final Notes: It senses the magnetic field and calculates it as a percentage so you can visually see how you are with your pedals. You can really see, if a driver is too aggressive with the throttle, or they do a double acceleration, too soft under breaking or too aggressive. I really like to see the pedal positions. As much as it is a pain in the butt to install, its data that can really show driving and a bit of chassis mistakes.
Wheel Speed Sensor
Final Notes: Before the Mychron 5 we used wheel speed a lot more. It is a nice tool to have because you can see very easily wheel lock up, or wheel slip on exits of corners. Personally now I don’t find it an essential tool anymore with having GPS. I like to know our MPH/KMH and the Mychron 5 gives me that data.
Required: No, but would be nice if you can actually dedicate time to it in testing.
Installation: Medium. Need to weld a large socket for the probe that fits in the exhaust.
Final Notes: Lambda is a great tool for tuners trying to find optimum performance of the engine. You can visually see the difference in changes. However it does take some time learning how to use it and benefit from it. It is a time consumer. Many events do not allow it as well so its one of those things you do behind the scenes.
Steering Position Sensor
Installation: Difficult. Usually requires custom brackets
Final Notes: I really like the steering sensor. The problem is the lack of time to review all data, and you can see more visually from the camera that the steering sensor is just not essential.
We carry and support all Mychron products. If you are wanting a product that is not online, give us a quick call and we help get you set up and offer any advice on your unit.