Frequently asked questions

If you can't find the answer you are looking for on the drop-down list below, please visit our online Support Centre -  https://racelogic.support/02VBOX_Motorsport. 

General questions

Does it matter what type of SD card I use?

lexar-sd-cardThe better quality card you use the better your experience will be. If you use a poor quality SD card it might not only effect the quality of the video recorded but also restrict you when transferring data to your PC - you will definitely need something with a transfer rate over 20MB/s.

We recommend spending a little more and getting something from one of the top manufacturers (e.g. Lexar, Sandisk) and using a USB 3.0 card reader.

Where can I get hold of the fonts used in the scenes?

A great place to purchase fonts is on www.fonts.com. You will find almost every font used in our free scenes available on this website.

How can I extract images from the Scene file?

Scene files (.SCN) are a collection of files zipped up using .tar compression. To extract these files, download the free Tar unzip utility here.

Install the 7-Zip software, right click the '.SCN' file, click '7-Zip', and then 'Open archive'. You should then be able to extract the 'graphicscfg' folder which contains all of the images.

How can I split the video files?

To extract the part of the video you wish to use (ie. to upload a particular lap to YouTube), you can use the free Video Splitter.

How can I measure RPM?

If you want to display RPM as a gauge or text on your scene, then you can measure RPM in one of two ways: either by reading directly from the CAN bus of your car, or by using the Micro Input Module.

OBDII-connectorCAN method:

Our video data loggers come with the following CAN input channels as standard: 
  • VBOX Video HD2 - 32 CAN channels
  • Video VBOX Pro - 32 CAN channels
  • Video VBOX Waterproof - 32 CAN channels
  • Video Vbox Lite - 8 CAN channels
You can connect to your vehicle's CAN bus either by using an optional OBDII connector.

If your car doesn't have CAN on the OBD connector (about 50% do), then you can splice directly into the CAN wires or use a Clip-on CAN interface to connect without damaging insulation, but this takes some auto-electrician skills.

Each car uses a different protocol, but here at Racelogic we have reversed engineered 99% of the common protocols (and we add new ones each week), so we supply a free database with each unit. We can often supply RPM, Wheelspeeds, Throttle Angle and Brake Pressure, depending on your vehicle. For a list of supported vehicles, have a look at our Vehicle CAN Database.

Micro-Input-moduleMicro Input Module:

Alternatively, you can use the Micro Input Module to take an RPM feed from your ECU, Coil or Injector to capture RPM, throttle angle, brake pedal movement etc.

How can I customise the graphics?

All VBOX in-car camera systems come with Setup software which allows you to create scenes from scratch or edit the default scenes provided, adding bar graphs, rotary gauges, text elements, pictures and trackmaps. A large library of scenes, gauges, g-force meters and existing trackmaps are available to download by registered users. Scenes available here >

Features:

  • Full WYSIWYG editor
  • Total gauge and needle design freedom
  • Supports any user chosen font, in any size
  • Large library of trackmaps supplied with software
  • PNG, GIF, JPEG logo/background import
  • Gauges, Text and bar graphs can be associated with any logged parameter, internal or external
  • Take values straight from the CAN bus of your car using the Racelogic Vehicle CAN database (free)
  • Height, width and position of picture-in-picture completely user adjustable
  • Lap and split-time features - best, current, last, timed freeze
  • X & Y G-force, distance, time, height, vertical velocity displayed in any format
VBHD graphics overlay example

How can I analyse my driving?

There are two ways of using the VBOX video logger to analyse your performance; either by simply viewing the enhanced video in a standard media player, or you can go into more depth by using the supplied 'Circuit Tools' software package.

Video only

Say, for example, you want to see how you are taking a particular corner and if there is any scope for improvement.

Simply move the time slider on your normal media player until the position marker on the circuit overlay approaches the desired corner, then play the video at various speeds, using the on-screen graphics to see:

  • braking point (too early?)
  • braking g-force (maximised?) 
  • turn in point (too late? )
  • minimum apex speed (best?)
  • exit speed (critical!)

There is no need to learn any complicated software package, or to understand how to separate, categorise and view reams of complex data. A great free media player which has varaible speed play and works well with Video VBOX files is the VLC player, which you can download from here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

Circuit Tools analysis

The Circuit Tools software package is designed to vastly simplify the process of extracting more performance from yourself and your car. Insert your SD card containing the video and synchronised data, and select the latest file. The software then automatically detects which circuit you have been driving (from the vast database of circuits included with the package), then uses the start/finish line in the database to separate and sort the laps contained in that file.

The fastest lap from your latest session is automatically chosen and displayed on the graph window, and the video is moved to the start of this lap. You can then compare runs from this session, or from previous one simply by clicking on the relevant lap-time shown in the session window. A theoretical 'fastest lap' is calculated from the best sectors in each session. To view sectors, simply click on the relevant sector, or drag the cursor over a number of sectors to show a sequence.

To see how easy it is to use this software to go faster, watch the short video on Circuit Tools.

I am having trouble logging vehicle CAN data

Typical causes of error in CAN Bus systems include the following:

  • Incorrect channel settings for the incoming CAN signal, i.e. CAN format, CAN id, Byte position Byte length.
  • Wrong Baud Rate between connected modules and logging system. No data will be transferred at all.
  • CAN High and CAN Low connected the wrong way round. No data will be transferred at all.
  • Lack of termination resistor. This will cause intermittent bursts of, or, no data to be transferred.
  • The CAN port assignment is set the wrong way round.

Where can I find the CAN bus on a vehicle?

The use of CAN Bus in road vehicles to date has been mostly for interECU communication and therefore it is common for vehicles not to have CAN available on a convenient connector. In cases such as this, it may be necessary to tap directly into vehicle CAN wiring to pick up signals. Typical places to pick up CAN include the ABS system (look for a pair of twisted wires, but ignore the four wheelspeed wires) or on the back of the dashboard (look for a pair of twisted wires).

If the vehicle does have CAN Bus on the OBD connector, it will normally be on Pins 6 and 14 as indicated below. See our Vehicle CAN database to find out which signals are available.

See also "How can I measure RPM?" for more information on CAN logging.


Video VBOX questions

How easy is it to use Video VBOX?

Fitting the system to a car couldn't be simpler, simply plug the unit into the cigarette lighter socket, place the GPS antenna on the roof, fit the cameras, and you're done! To line up the cameras you can either connect your laptop via USB to show a live preview, or use the optional stand-alone preview monitor.

The kit comes with a forward facing camera mount, so that you can mount one of the cameras on your windscreen.

The other camera has a standard suction mount, and is usually placed on a side window facing the driver.

The video starts recording the moment you start to move, and will stop recording a set time after you have come to a stop. Alternatively you can override the automatic recording by pressing the start/stop button on the front of the unit.

The resulting video is contained on the SD card, which can be inserted into your computer and viewed using any common video player, either running on a PC or a Mac. For some examples of the kind of video you can produce, please go to our Vimeo Motorsport Channel.

How does Video VBOX work?

Inside Video VBOX is a GPS engine and three dedicated processors.
  • The first processor takes inputs from multiple cameras, and combines them into a single video stream.
  • Based on the GPS engine, vehicle and sensor data, a second processor then blends high resolution graphics in the form of gauges, bar graphs and text, onto the video.
  • A third processor takes the video stream, adds the stereo audio channel and then encodes both of these into an MPEG-4 format which is written to an SD flash card.
  • A separate VBOX format file is also created which contains all of the data channels seamlessly synchronised with the video.

What is CAN and how does Video VBOX use it?

CAN stands for Control Area Network. It is a form of multiplexed wiring designed by Bosch and allows the linking of a number of control systems together, normally in a vehicle, so that they can share information.

In the past it would have been necessary to have at least one wire for every signal on a vehicle making wiring looms bulky and expensive. CAN bus multiplexing allows a large number of signals to be transferred digitally using only a pair of twisted wires.

Sharing of information also reduces the number of sensors that are needed. For example, the engine controller has its own sensor to monitor coolant temperature. Using CAN it can periodically broadcast the temperature reading so that the information is available to any other systems on the car.

The VBOX uses CAN in two ways:

1) The first is simply to transmit GPS data for use with the Multi-Function display or other third party loggers. The format of the GPS data within the messages is fixed and documented in the various VBOX user guides.

2) The second way that VBOX uses the CAN Bus is to communicate with external Racelogic modules. When a VBOX is first powered up it scans the CAN Bus looking for any Racelogic modules. If a module is found, the VBOX will send out a CAN message to request data from it in synchronisation with incoming GPS data. The module will reply to the VBOX request with its measured input value (temperature, yaw rate, voltage, etc). The CAN identifiers used by the VBOX to communicate with the external modules are based on the type of module and the module serial number. This allows the VBOX to individually access each module on the CAN Bus.

The standard bus rate for CAN on a VBOX network is 500K although it can be changed to other values. Typical Baud rates used for CAN Bus communication range from 125Kbit, 250Kbit, 500Kbit up to a maximum of 1Mbit.


Trouble Shooting

Why does the Video VBOX power light stay on when the power plug is disconnected?

The Video VBOX contains a tank circuit which keeps it powered for up to 20 seconds after the power is removed or turned off. This enables the Video VBOX to close the data and video files properly before shutting down to prevent data loss.

I accidently removed my SD card while the log light was still on. Can I save my video?

It’s most likely that the video file is now corrupt because the Video VBOX didn’t close it properly. Try playing the Video with VLC player or use DivFix++ software to repair the AVI file.

How do I find the serial number, software version and firmware version of my Video VBOX?

Power up your Video VBOX and connect it to your computer via the supplied USB cable. Run Video VBOX Setup software and select ‘Help’, then ‘About’. This should bring up a window displaying the Firmware and software version, as well as the serial number.

Alternatively you can open your data file with a text editor such as note pad. Once the file is open, look at the file header and you should see the firmware version.

I want to analyse lateral and longitudinal G. How should I mount my Video VBOX in my car?

There are no accelerometers inside the Video VBOX. Lat Acc and Long Acc are derived from GPS, therefore you can mount the Video VBOX in any orientation you like.

Why does my speed gauge in the video show an incorrect speed? When I was travelling at 70mph, the video showed I was going 112mph.

This is most likely a scene setup issue. Please load your scene file in Video VBOX setup software and check that you have the correct speed units assigned in gauge properties.

My Video VBOX won’t log anything to the SD card.

Try formatting your SD card. If that doesn’t work try another SD card. Please make sure that your removable media is manufactured by a well-known company such as SanDisk, Kingston or integral.

The last time I used my Video VBOX was about a year ago and it was working fine. I tried it today and it can’t seem to get GPS lock.

Try a GPS coldstart by holding down the log button. This will enable the receiver to perform a new search for satellites. After you have performed the Coldstart, leave the car in a clear, static location for about 5 minutes.

My Video VBOX has recorded many small files when driving around the paddock. How do I prevent this from happening?

These small files are created because the Video VBOX keeps meeting the criteria set in your log settings. By default the Video VBOX will log when you’re travelling above 2.5km/h, and then closes the file when you’ve been stationary for 3 seconds. Try increasing the stop log delay or change the log mode. Remember to make sure the Video VBOX has stopped logging before you pull the SD card out!

I need a mounting solution for my race car to stop my Video VBOX moving around. I have no storage space and Velcro won’t hold. What can you suggest?

Try 3M Dual Lock. This simply snaps together and works in the same way as Velcro, however it’s about 10 times stronger! 

I have a fibre glass bodied kit car.When I analysed my data in Circuit Tools, the data seemed very noisy and the GPS was intermittent. It was fine when I tested the scene in my Porsche. What’s going on?

This is most likely multipath interference. The antenna is receiving direct GPS signals as well as signals being bounced off other objects before reaching it.

The metallic body of your Porsche acts as a ground plane, blocking these bounced signals from underneath. Unfortunately fibre glass offers no ground plane at all, so you’ll have to make one. As a quick solution, try cutting a 10cm diameter circle out of tin foil, sticking it to the body work and then positioning your antenna in the centre of this circle.

My OLED display keeps flashing ‘COMMUNICATION ERROR’.

Please check the following:
  • In Video VBOX Setup software, is ‘OLED Display’ selected under serial application in scene properties.
  • Is your OLED running the latest firmware version?
  • Check cable for damage.
  • Is the OLED plugged in to the AUX or Serial port correctly?

How do I know if my cameras are perfectly level?

If you don’t already own the preview monitor, connect your Video VBOX to a computer via USB, run Video VBOX Setup software and use the ‘Download output preview’ function which can be found under ‘Video’.

This will send a screen shot of your cameras to your computer once a second. Alternatively, you can simply record a short file and check the video.

I spent a day on the track and recorded loads of laps. However, when I loaded my file into Circuit Tools I only have one large session rather than separate laps.

Circuit Tools is most likely set to ‘Show whole file’. Click the Session tab and then select ‘Show Laps’ in Display mode.

When analysing two of my laps in Circuit Tools, the data seems un-synced. How do I sync the graphs up?

This is most likely due to the way you’re comparing the laps. Click the Graph tab and then select ‘Position’ in the X Axis options to compare laps by position rather than time or distance.

I’m trying to log CAN data from my car but I can’t see any data in my files.

Please check your scene configuration. Expand CAN and module configuration and check the following:
  • Make sure the baud rate matches your vehicle’s baud rate.
  • Check that the CAN mode is set to VCI and make sure you have Send Acknowledge un-ticked.
  • Check the DBC or REF file. Is it correct for your vehicle?

I’ve added split points to my data in Circuit Tools by using the Start/Finish Wizard, but I can’t see the splits in my lap time data window.

In the top left hand corner of the lap timing session window there is a small icon. This is the Toggle Splits On/Off button. Click this to enable splits. If they’re still not visible, make sure ‘Split Columns’ is ticked in Column options, under the Session tab.

How do I change the scene in my video?

Unfortunately you can’t change the scene after the video has been created. The scene is recorded over the top of the video footage on the fly, and logged to the SD card as an avi file.

'Unable to determine log rate' error message when opening files in Circuit Tools (File wizard - F2)

The log rate request is shown by Circuit Tools when the initial file sample rate cannot be determined. This can happen when the unit has no satellite lock when the recording is started, or when GPS noise is present in the first few samples within the file. The Video VBOX logs time stamps from GPS signals, and it is this that is used by the software to see if the file is logged at 5, 10, 20 or 100 Hz.

In case of the Video VBOX Lite, Video VBOX Waterproof and VBOX HD the log rate will always be 10Hz. So, simply enter 10 into this box to allow the file to load in correctly.

Lograte


'AVI files doesn't exist' error message when opening files in Circuit Tools

Can not load video

The VBO data files and AVI video files are linked together by an embedded name. I can see in the screenshop below that the top file has been manually renamed.

File-rename3

Instead of manually renaming the files yourself, you can predefined them within the Scene Setup in the Video VBOX Setup Software in the area shown below.

File-rename

If you want to rename a file after it has been created, then you will need to use the Circuit Tools 'rename' function. This is found within the open file window.
File-rename2

To 're-sync' the VBO and AVI files, please change any file you have renamed back to it's original name. In this example the original was 'VBOX0007.vbo'.