Hi.

Welcome to the site where I document my adventures with driving related video gear and technology. Track days or just driving around.

Trial Run: TrackAddict with Kiwi3 and iPhone 6

Trial Run: TrackAddict with Kiwi3 and iPhone 6

1st test run using the TrackAddict app on iPhone 6 in conjunction with the Kiwi3 OBDII device to provide data channels (RPM, Speed, Throttle Position, Gear) along with route/GPS (from phone). 

Since the new Kiwi3 runs Bluetooth 4.1 - it needed virtually no setup at all. I simply downloaded the PLX Devices Kiwi3 app onto my phone to make sure I had the latest rev of their firmware (it was already done!). Once that was check was complete, I popped open the TrackAddict app on my iPhone 6 and set it to look for the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy, aka BT Jeb Bush) OBDII device. 

TrackAddict found the Kiwi3 but it immediately protested that it did not know the make/model of the car - perhaps they didn't store that data in 1998? Then I began fooling around with which data channels I could record - the most important ones were already selected (nice!). After browsing the other possibilities, I decided to just roll with the defaults. 

One thing I found a bit odd about TrackAddict is that once you begin recording, you can't watch on your phone screen. I imagine this is done to conserve battery. The other item, and this is more important, is that it lost the BLE connection to the Kiwi3 on my 1st run so all I got was data from my phone (speed, GPS location). Whether that was purely a fluke or a recurring bug in the application is impossible to say right now. 

One surprising feature of TrackAddict is that it interpolates the data to determine what gear you're in. How cool is that?! I'm guessing it is looking for precipitous drops in throttle position or engine speed (when you depress the clutch). Watching the video and listening for shifts, I was impressed at how accurate it was - just one hiccup when making the turn in the cul-de-sac when it thought I went to 3rd gear. See if you can spot it too.

With the free trial version of TrackAddict, you can only save 3 recordings - which I think is adequate if you're just getting started with track days and don't have a big budget. The nice thing about the Kiwi3 is you actually have a very valuable tool to help troubleshoot your cars (model year 1996 and up) when you're not using it to log engine and performance data for your videos!

Cost for this Setup:

  • Camera - $0 (Android or iOS device - assume already owned) 
  • TrackAddict - $0 (trial version)
  • Device mount - $20
  • Kiwi3 - $109 (with shipping+taxes)

Notes:

  • Car is a '98 BMW M3 Cabriolet 5MT. Sorry for the shake in the video - that's a result of "flex" in my wobbly German convertible. Certainly NOT the fault of my rock-steady phone mount which I already love to pieces. 
  • Oh yah, and it's garbage day. :/
Harry's LapTimer: No bueno.

Harry's LapTimer: No bueno.

Essential OBDII reader: all your data are belong to us!

Essential OBDII reader: all your data are belong to us!