Stepping up with the AIM Solo

While we’ve had some success using the free lap timing apps, we’d simply had enough of fiddling around with a phone and external GPS receiver. Too many times we’ve forgotten to turn on the lap timing app or simply losing GPS connection on those crucial laps. So it was time to step up our game and we turned to the popular AiM Solo lap timer for our data recording needs. Just in time for the new track season too!

The AiM Solo is complete lap timer with GPS technology built into the unit doing away with any external receivers. It’s capable of recording times for circuit races, hill climbs, regularity, point to point races as well as performance testing (0-100km/hr, 0-400m etc).

It comes in two models, the AiM Solo and the Solo DL with the DL featuring the ability to connect to the ECU for capturing additional engine parameters or the optional AIM SmartyCam video camera. We figured the base model Solo was good enough for our needs and put an order through the AiM Sportsystems website and to our surprise received it the following day! Overnight parts from Japan Sydney!

We love unboxing new stuff and the Solo didn’t disappoint! Looks even better in person than from the website pictures and much more compact that we imagined, measuring only 9cm wide and 7.5cm tall.

You get all the cables required to charge the Solo and to connect it to the PC. A handy feature is a mounting bracket which the Solo can be attached to.

The magnetic attachment to the mounting brackets is great idea allowing easy removal when you want to take it in and out of the car.

Have I mentioned its a good looking unit?! The buttons are large and easy to press too which is great when you’ve already got your helmet and gloves on and need to turn the unit on!

Its packed with some pretty cool features too:

  • Automatically selects the track based on your location
  • Automatically recognizes the start/finish line to start timing
  • Ability to view multiple types of lap timing including predictive lap time
  • Displaying rolling or static lap time
  • Displaying two types of predictive lap times (displayed as a lap time or as a calculated +/- time against the best lap)

Lap times are easy to read on the display so you’ll be able to read it while driving.

When your sessions are over, you can connect it up to the PC to download the recorded data. The connection point is neatly hidden behind a little door.

So how does it perform? We took it out to Sandown and strapped it to John ‘Mr Oversteer‘ Richardson’s R33 Skyline during one of this shakedown sessions.

No more signal drop outs and the data collection was faultless! The data collected can be analysed using the AiM supplied Race Studio software too. This is a great way to find out where you can improve and reduce those lap times. There are plenty of guides online to help you compare your own data or compare against different data from different drivers. One site we found useful is James Colborn’s racing blog with some good tutorials to help get you started.

Another cool feature is that you can export laps to Google Earth allowing you to compare different lines taken on the race track. You can easily see the 2 lines John took coming onto the front straight at Sandown (the blue line being his faster lap). Unfortunately you can’t export individual laps to Google Maps but it can be done easily using free apps and online guides.

If you’re looking at the next step in your driving improvements, the AiM Solo is a great unit to help with you knock off the next tenths of sec!



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