The number of rallyists using TSDMeter has grown exponentially over the last few months. Not that we are complaining! But the downside is that we don’t always get to know when a TSDMeter user wins a rally.
So, when you use TSDMeter and climb the podium, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and get featured here!
We are a bunch of rally navigators, software developers and rock stars who are passionate about TSD rallying.
It was exactly a year ago that we discovered the FX9860GII. We were thrilled of course; this was the first piece of programmable hardware that fit all our requirements. Big numeric keyboard, inexpensive, large screen, battery life that ran into days. While programming in BASIC was the easy way to go, we knew from the beginning that our product had to have a kickass UX and that BASIC was not up to the task. C and ASM it was, and after dusting off the old K & R and with a little prayer to the pointer Gods, we wrote the first main() we had in more than 20 years.
Half a bottle of Old Monk and five Pearl Jam albums later, the alpha version of TSDMeter was born.
We knew ‘TSD Rallying’ was a niche market. There was no money to be made making a product for it and we had no business plan or model. But we did have a clear goal: ‘make TSD Rallying an easy sport to get into’. After more than 9000 lines of code, many iterations to the product, countless rally wins and helping many a novice come into the sport, we are proud to have lived up to that goal!
But the success is not ours alone, it is yours too, our passionate customers! It is you who helped us through all of last year to improve the product and market it.
“We are all rockstars” -:)
Remember days when rallies
were simple and serene
You had a chance to cruise along
and dig the local scene
But an HMS and a stopwatch
would make it for the worst
And when your wife could navigate the course
and still have time to smoke
Those days are gone forever
it’s a nightmare not a dream
Instructions for the rally teams
would make an Einstein scream
For the pros are running rallies
and to make it all worthwhile
They calculate the distances
in the millionths of a mile
You think that you have got it made
when you’re three seconds late
You find that you are 30th
in a field of 28
There’s a Terratrip on your dashboard
a Garmin in the door
PB on the clipboard
and a Tripy on the floor
Your wife no longer rides with you
you kept her out by force
It doesn’t build togetherness
but it helps prevent divorce
Now your present navigator
is a real live Ph.D.
He teaches Calculus and stuff
at a school called IIT
But even he can’t beat the game
you’re still lost in the pack
You’d better kick him out
and get a TSDMeter!
(bastardization of The Rally Song, Oscar Brand, 1962)
TSD rallying is all about your equipment. And size does matter! Here’s a list of some of the rally stuff we love:
(1) TSDMeter – obviously!
(2) Casio HMS calculator – ’til better sense prevails -:)
(3) Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx – discontinued, so try here.
(4) Tripy – digital roadbooks.
(5) Terratrip 202 PLUS V3 – the best rally tripmeter going around.
(6) AST Fastime 15 – nothing like an accurate timekeeper!
(7) RAM mounts – putting them all together.
Video (music: Kevin MacLeod, ISRC: US-UAN-12-00003) shows a demo of the TSDMeter mobile app.
The app runs on iOS (iPhone, iPod, iPad) and Android and is available FREE of cost. Mail email@example.com for details.
We don’t provide any support for this app, since all our development effort is focused on the Casio calculator (TSDMeter BASIC, BASIC PLUS and PRO).
A touch screen device is NOT the right platform to build a rally calculator:
(a) Touch screens are sensitive, have ‘no feel’ and are not ideal when you’re in a bouncy car.
(b) Calculator keys are BIG.
(c) On a calculator, once you practice, you don’t need to look at the keys. On a touch screen, you always need to see what you are typing.
(d) Mobile phones and tabs have pathetic battery life, especially when they have apps running.
(e) You can’t use mobiles or tabs on a bike.
(f) Many rallies don’t allow competitors to use a phone (SRs say “no mobile phone usage” but are usually unclear as to what “usage” is) during the rally.
We would urge you to try the app in a moving car on a bad terrain, to see how painful it is to enter speed chart data, get ideal times etc.
And after doing that, buy a TSDMeter -:)
All programmable calculators support the BASIC language (albeit in different flavours). It is trivial to implement TSD functionality in BASIC. Below is the listing of a rudimentary program that calculates ideal times for a given speed chart (test it here):
020 INPUT "Total speed zones: "; N
030 DIM BE(N)
040 DIM EN(N)
050 DIM SP(N)
060 BE(0) = 0
070 FOR I = 0 TO N - 1
080 PRINT (I + 1); " of "; N
090 PRINT "Begin (KM): "; BE(I) / 1000
100 INPUT "End (KM): "; EN(I)
110 INPUT "Speed (KMPH): "; SP(I)
120 SP(I) = SP(I) * 1000
130 EN(I) = EN(I) * 1000
140 IF I < N - 1 THEN BE(I + 1) = EN(I)
160 INPUT "Start time at TC (HH): "; HH
170 INPUT "Start time at TC (MM): "; MM
180 INPUT "Start time at TC (SS): "; SS
190 INPUT "ODO reading at TC (KM): "; KM
200 KM = KM * 1000
210 INPUT "Distance (KM, 0 for TC): "; D
220 IF D = 0 THEN GOTO 160
230 D = D * 1000
240 SECS = 0
250 PRSD = 0
260 PART = 1
270 J = 0
280 GOTO 370
290 PART = 0
300 GOTO 440
310 DT = EN(I) - KM
320 PART = 1
330 GOTO 420
340 SECS = SECS + (DT / SP(I))
350 PRSD = PRSD + DT
360 GOTO 440
370 FOR I = 0 TO N - 1
380 J = I
390 DT = EN(I) - BE(I)
400 IF KM >= EN(I) THEN GOTO 290
410 IF PART = 0 THEN GOTO 310
420 IF D > EN(I) THEN GOTO 340
430 GOTO 450
450 SECS = SECS + ((D - KM - PRSD) / SP(J))
460 SECS = SECS * 3600 + HH * 3600 + MM * 60 + SS
470 H = INT(SECS / 3600)
480 M = INT((SECS - H * 3600) / 60)
490 S = INT(SECS - H * 3600 - M * 60)
500 IF H >= 24 THEN H = H - 24
510 PRINT "Time: "; H; ":"; M; ":"; S
520 GOTO 210
It is left to the reader to do input validation, handle boundary conditions, optimize, make it more user friendly, port to target device etc.
If you are a TSDMeter customer, you get all software upgrades free of cost. Check your version number by going to “About” in the app. If it doesn’t match the latest version listed here, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions on how to upgrade.
TSD rallyists in India have always been partial to Casio. The Casio calculators were cheaper than their HP and TI counterparts and more importantly, easily available locally.
Since the late 80’s, rallyists have gone through a lot of models: Casio FX-880P, PB-100, PB-200, PB-700, PB-1000, Z-1.. the list is endless. They ran with home-grown BASIC programs.
Then along came FX-9860GII. It was sexier, had a bigger display, well laid out keybaord, backlight, higher processing power, was currently in production and most importantly gave developers the ability to write apps. Though the community moved to the new hardware, they still used the same old BASIC programs. They ran faster, but still had crappy user experience.
That is until TSDMeter happened. A bunch of us, fed up with the ‘PBs’, decided to get together and make something useful. Not just useful, but a product that would blow away the current crop of rally calculators! We were lucky that our team had a great synergy and members who brought in complimentary skills – good navigators with domain expertise, rockstar programmers who weren’t afraid of system programming in C and ASM and some of the fastest pizza orderers in the world. End result is of course a kick-ass product!
Bangalore, Rishikesh, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata, Panjim, Shillong, New Delhi, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Kochi, Shimla.. TSDMeter users are all over the place!