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Ruffle's Data Logging Project



Background

For many years I avoided riding any bike with traction control. Silly perhaps, but the systems seemed somewhat crude and nasty... then Kawasaki produced the Gen5 ZX10R and that was a game changer. I traded up from my Gen2 and embraced the new electronic world.

I duly 'trackified' the bike (riding a modern Supersports litre bike on the road is not something I enjoy; so the ZX10R's purely for the track) and fitted a Woolich ECU monitoring/programming/logging system.

The Woolich is great but a couple of things annoy me. You have to plug it in with a USB cable to do anything and all the software is MS Windoze based. You can't, by Woolich's design, run their stuff in a virtual machine so I have to reserve part of the 'disk' in my laptop and boot into M$ Windows every time I want to be Wooliching things.

The Woolich also doesn't have any GPS input so while interesting, the logging on it is less useful than it could be.

Then one day I came across an incredibly cheap little device called an Expressif ESP32. This is a teensy weensy computer with built in CAN-Bus support. As the ZX10R, like most modern bikes, has a CAN-Bus I started doing some more research and figured out that it could be used as an inexpensive Data Logger.

The other thing that contributed to making this project reality is the ease of PCB design and manufacture. My experience of PCB production is from the 1980's and then it was a big deal involving countless hours of drawing, board layout, photography and PCB production. Now, boards can be designed with a point-and-click Web interface and manufactured in small quantities for a few dollars.

...and so I decided to make a Datalogger.

..and thus it begins...

Version 1.0 has been built and in late March 2019 went for a nice ride around Donington Park attached to a victim's willing helper's ZX10R. It successfully recorded loads of data from the CAN-Bus and now I'm busy decoding stuff and building in a conversion feature that will produce a format that'll be easy to use in a spreadsheet or, hopefully, import into a 'proper' log viewer.

Once fitted to the bike, all further interaction is either automatic or via your phone/tablet/laptop/whatever over WiFi. The logger will start when it's powered up by the bike's loom and shuts down when the 12V supply goes away (you turn off the ignition key or, if you have a race loom, turn off the engine run switch).

The Logger acts as a WiFi Access Point so simply scan for the SSID (ZX10R by default) from your phone/tablet/laptop and connect to it (you can set a different SSID and a password in the Settings tab). Then point your web browser at it (any URL as the Logger grabs the DNS; but if you want to be formal use http://10.10.10.10). You should then get the Logger's home page displayed.

To download logfiles in native or exported form, simply click on the logfile name (000289.CSV) or for the compact form click 'Export'. You can guess what the 'DEL' button does :-)

I'll be making the whole thing freely available so that anyone with modest soldering skills can construct one and I'll be putting the software for it up on Github.

The various parts of the logging system are documented in the following sections:

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