The ‘Lap Timing Plugin’ for VBOX Test Suite allows the user to view lap timing information. It can be used standalone to view saved data files, or in conjunction with VBOX Sim to provide live lap timing data.
When a file is loaded or a live test is being run, the circuit is automatically detected from a database of ~400 worldwide tracks using the GPS position contained within the data and the circuit overlay is added to the 'Map'. If there are multiple layouts, then the length of a lap is used to select the correct version, however this can be changed by using the 'Circuit' options within the 'Map' ribbon bar.
If the circuit does not exist in the database, you can use the 'Gate' options within the ribbon bar to set a start/finish line or a separate start and finish line.
Lap Timing Plugin example
The map pane in the bottom right of the default view shows both the circuit overlay and the line taken by the selected lap(s). The trace from the fastest lap will be automatically selected and displayed when a file is loaded. More laps can be selected to compare against using the 'Laps' area. The Start/Finish line is shown as a green dotted line and the current position of the vehicle is shown as a cross.
Change Track Layout
As discussed above, by selecting the circuit name dropdown on the 'Map' Ribbon menu, it is possible to choose from a list of potential track layouts based on the GPS position contained within the data. By choosing a new layout, the start/finish may change within the software, however the original data contained within a file will not change.
Define Start/Finish Lines
The Start/Finish line is shown as a green dotted line, if you are using a track from within the database, this will be added automatically. However, if you would like to change the location or the circuit is not included within the database, simply click on the chosen point on the track and then select the 'Start/Finish' button on the 'Map' Ribbon menu.
If you would like to set a separate finish line, use the same method as above and then select the 'Finish' option. This new finish line will be indicated by a red dotted line.
Once a new line has been added, the width can be specified.
Load Circuit Overlay
Along with the database of circuits included within the software, it is also possible to use your own overlay file by loading in a ‘.cir’ file using the 'Path/Outline' button on the 'Map' Ribbon menu.
You can create your own overlay file by driving round the outside, then the inside of the circuit and then renaming this file from ‘.vbo’. to ‘.cir’.
The chart pane in the top right of the default view displays data (e.g. speed, delta-T) from the laps selected within the 'Laps' area. Selecting 'Run Compare' and 'Position' as the 'X-Axis' from the Chart ribbon bar will enable you to compare each lap at the same position on the circuit.
The laps pane in the bottom left of the default view shows contains all laps detected by the software. Lap are either defined using the start/finish line contained within the file, or using the 'Gate' options. The fastest lap is highlighted green.
Every time a new test is started (via the 'START' button on the dashboard), or a new file is loaded, a new tab will be added to the test results area, allowing the user to switch between separate files and compare runs from each. A session can be removed from the results area by pressing the ‘x’ icon on the tab.
Along the top of the results area are some default columns, these are:
- Run – Indicates which run number the results relate to, with run one being the first run completed. There is also a selection box that, when ticked, includes that run in the graph, map and into the Average/Max/Min/Standard Deviation calculations. Once selected, a coloured square will appear to indicate which colour this run is displayed as on the graph and map.
Note: If you are loading a file offline, the fastest lap is ticked automatically.
- Time – The total lap time.
- Delta – The difference in time in comparison to the datum.
- Datum – By default, the fastest lap will be marked as the datum. When faster laps are recorded, they will in turn become the new datum. When the user selects a different datum, the datum will no longer be automatically updated. When faster laps are recorded they will not become the datum and all deltas will still be based on the user-selected lap. The default behaviour will be re-established when the user deselects the datum. When a faster lap is recorded it will become the datum lap.
- Position at Start – The file position at the start of the lap.
- Position at End – The file position at the end of the lap.
- Original Delta – The difference in time in comparison to the fastest lap.
Renaming a File
It is possible to rename the session tab by double clicking on the tab header. Changing the session tab within the software will automatically change the name of the locally saved .vbo file.
Adding a Column
It is possible to add columns to the test results area by selecting the ‘Add’ button on the ‘Test Setup' tab in the ribbon bar. Selecting this button will display a drop down list of all available channels which the user can select to display as a results column. By default, this value is displayed as an ‘At End’ value, whereby the column will display the value of that parameter at the end of the run.
It is also possible to right click anywhere in the test results area and select the ‘Add’ option from the dropdown menu.
To remove a column, simply select the ‘x’ icon that appears when you hover over the column title. If a column has been removed, it can be added again by selecting the ‘Add’ button and choosing the desired channel.
Editing a Column
As default, a column is added as an ‘At End’ condition. It is possible to change this by selecting the column title you wish to edit (once selected, the column will be highlighted in yellow) and changing the condition in the ‘data column’ area in the ‘Test Setup’ tab of the ribbon bar.
It is possible to choose the following conditions for the main results:-
- Avg – The mean average of the parameter during the run.
- Max – The maximum value of the parameter during the run.
- Min – The minimum value of the parameter during the run.
- Delta – The difference between the start and end value of the parameter.
- Std Dev – The standard deviation of the parameter during the run.
- At Start – The value of the parameter at the start of the run.
- At End – The value of the parameter at the end of the run.
- Gate (if a gate has been added) – The value of the parameter at the crossing of the specified gate line (e.g. Start/Finish).
It is also possible to change the displayed parameter, by using the other drop down menu on the ribbon tab and selecting the desired parameter.
Sorting the Results
It is possible to either sort the result in either ascending or descending order. To do this, first select the desired column and then click either the ‘Sort Ascending’ or ‘Sort Descending’ buttons from the ribbon bar. This action can also be performed by right clicking in the test results area.
It is possible to filter results by right clicking on a value within the cell results table (e.g. Time (s)). You can then choose to include only results with a value equal to the selected value or that have a value that is <= than or >= than the selected value for that channel. Multiple channels can be filtered, a notification bar above the results shows which filters are applied. To remove the filters, click on the 'x' within this bar.
Copying Cells (Ctrl+C), Rows or Columns
Individual results cells can be copied so that they can be pasted into another piece of software. To copy a cell, select the required cell, right click and then select ‘Copy’ or use the keyboard shortcut 'Ctrl+C'. To select multiple cells, either left click with the mouse and drag or hold down the 'Ctrl' when selecting. To select all cells between 2 cells, hold down the 'Shift' key when selecting.
It is also possible to copy an individual row, column or the entire results table. This is achieved by right clicking the required row or column and selecting ‘Copy Row’, ‘Copy column’ or ‘Copy all’.
Renaming a Column (F2)
To rename a column, you can either Double Click on the column title, right click the required column and select ‘Rename Column’ or use the keyboard shortcut 'F2' whilst the column is highlighted. Renamed columns will be included within an exported file and a generated report.
Right clicking anywhere in the test results area and selecting the ‘Export’ option from the dropdown menu will replicate the function of 'Export' within the Ribbon Bar.
Average/Max/Min/Standard Deviation Values
It is possible for the software to automatically calculate the Average/Max/Min/Standard Deviation values of all relevant runs by ticking the selection box next to the relevant run number.
Once more than one result has been selected, the average, maximum and minimum values will be displayed, and once more than two results have been selected, the standard deviation of the selected runs will be also be displayed.
Selecting the tick box next to the ‘Avg’ line will add a moving average ‘best fit’ curve to all of the selected runs.
The dashboard pane in the top left of the default view displays a series of gauges which update in relation to the cursor position or live lap time.
By default, Delta, Speed, Gear, Throttle Position and Brake Position gauges are included within the dashboard area.
Along with the usual dashboard functionality, the ‘Lap Timing Plugin' has some extra options that can be displayed to the user.
By selecting the 'Add Gauge' button from the dashboard tab, a drop down menu will appear whereby the user can select 'Test' and then the desired parameter to be displayed. On selection, a gauge will be automatically added to the dashboard. All 'Laps' parameters are also available as a gauge.
Test Setup Ribbon Bar
The Lap Timing Plugin plugin has the standard 'Test Setup' options available to other plugins, More information on them can be seen below.
Note: Ribbon bar icons may move/ resize dependent on the Software window size.
Allows the user to create unique maths channels. For more information on maths channels, please see the ‘Maths Channels’ section.
The 'Save Settings' button will save this individual test setup and will appear in the ‘Saved Settings’ area of the ‘Add Test’ window.
This test will also be added to the list of Accel tests under the 'Performance Test' icon on the 'Home' tab for easy switching of the current test.
The 'Export' button displays a drop down menu which allows the user to export either the selected results or line results to either a .csv or .txt file. It is also possible to export the data to a .vbo file for later analysis without the need to take the file from the VBOX's compact flash card. This can also be accessed by using the keyboard shortcut 'Ctrl+E'.
Start/Finish and Finish
Set the start/finish line or separate start and finish lines as discussed above.
Allows the user to rename the currently selected gate line (start/finish, end of bath, etc.).
Deletes the currently selected gate.
Allows the user to either export the created gate(s) as a .spl file for reusing at a later date or using with another VBOX product, or import a previously saved or provided .spl gates file. When imported, gates will be added in the order in which they were saved within the .spl file.
The 'Add' button adds a column to the test results area. Selecting this button will bring up a drop down window where the user can select a channel to display in the test results window.
Sort Ascending/Sort Descending
The 'Sort Ascending/Descending Buttons' will sort the values based on the currently selected column in the results area.
Select All (Ctrl+A)
The 'Select All' button allows the user to tick every run in the results area at once. This can also be accessed by using the keyboard shortcut 'Ctrl+A'.
Deselect All (Ctrl+E)
The 'Deselect All' button allows the user to de select every run in the results area at once. This can also be accessed by using the keyboard shortcut 'Ctrl+E'.
By pressing the 'Edit Data' button next to the name of the file/run or in the ‘Test Setup' ribbon bar, a new window will be displayed whereby the user can add various different pieces of vehicle and test information, such as:-
- Vehicle Model
- Vehicle Number
- Driver Name
- Engine Information
- Exhaust Model
- Test Date
- Test Track
- Test Facility
When in 'Offline' mode, this information will be saved into the .vbo file meaning that this information will be recalled every time the file is loaded into VBOX Test Suite.
When in 'Online' mode, a newly-created session will be populated with session data from the previous session.
Note: This data is purely optional and has no effect on lap times.
To save time, it is possible for the user to import and export the session information for use in other sessions.
Once the session information has been completed, it is possible to export the data to a .vbses file. This file will contain all the session information that can then be imported into the open session information field.
Pressing this 'Help' button will automatically open an internet browsing window and load the relevant section of the Racelogic Support Centre. This page will only be displayed if there is a valid internet connection. If there is no valid internet connection, a cached version of the relevant section (from the last software update) will be presented in PDF form. This can also be accessed by using the keyboard shortcut 'F1'.