Displaying Multiple Channels

Perhaps the most important aspect of any software package is the ability to overlay data from two different laps, whether they are from the same session, a different session on the same day, or a session from a year previously. This is where the bulk of improvements can be found; data from one rider can be overlaid on data from another, showing where one rider is faster or slower than the other. And multiple laps from the same rider can be used to show whether a certain line choice is superior to another in one particular corner, or where on the track one bike setup is better than another.

Displaying multiple channels on the same graph

Displaying multiple channels on the same graph can sometimes make things crowded. Here RPM, throttle position and speed are shown in a typical format, with overlapping occurring that can make it very difficult to clearly see each channel.

Quite often to see the entire data picture, you will want to display more than just one or two channels on the screen at the same time. The problem is that with multiple laps and channels, the screen can quickly become crowded and the data difficult to decipher. Most software programs offer more than one way to display multiple channels; one method is not necessarily better than another, but it’s more a matter of which format works best for you to deal with.

Displaying multiple channels on a tiled graph

Most programs offer this tiled approach to displaying multiple channels. The advantage is that none of the different channels will overlap, but the smaller scale makes each graph slightly more difficult to read.

In general, when looking at a single channel, to see the graph clearly the scale is set to roughly the minimum and maximum values seen by the channel. For example, a speed graph would be set from zero to slightly more than the highest speed seen on the track. Likewise, RPM from zero to just above redline. Showing speed and RPM on the same graph using this format will create some overlap. Add in more channels and things just get more crowded. Most software packages will display each channel in a separate graph, cleaning things up but making each graph on a scale that may be difficult to see subtle changes.

Using creative scaling to make a tiled effect on a single graph

Some creative use of scaling can generate a tiled effect using a single graph, and limit the amount of overlay. The benefit of this method is that each channel can be scaled as large or small as necessary, and allowing some overlap makes each graph slightly larger than it would be in a purely tiled effect.

Another option is to change the scale of each channel so that the individual graphs do not overlap. In this manner, the scale of each data trace can be maximized while at the same time each channel can be made as large or small as necessary. Experiment with various scales for each channel until you find what works best, then-if possible-save the scaling sets so that they can be recalled each time you look at those channels.