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In the July, 2011 issue we took a first look at Diablosport’s Trinity handheld programmer. This unit carries on the tradition of Diablosport tuning from the well known Predator and adds a lot more functionality. We’re not going to cover all the details again since you can find them in the July magazine.
What we are going to talk about is living with the unit, and what it can do for you. We’ll tease you here by saying it did a whole heck of a lot for us at the West Coast Hot Rod Association’s (WCHRA) Shootout at Sundown race at Auto Club Famoso Raceway during August. We'll also say up front that we're not going to reveal the exact secrets we learned. After all, we're racers and we want to win, but we'll give you enough information to point you in the right direction to discover what you need to know for bracket racing victory in late model Hemis.
One of the big advances of the Trinity over the Predator is in its ability to remain hooked up to the OBD II port and act as a virtual gauge panel and data logger. We have it mounted to the dash in front of the driver with several custom gauge layouts we can choose. For example, we have a layout that our driver, Alex Rogeo, likes to use when racing — displaying digital tachometer, engine coolant temperature, oil pressure, etc. Then we have two other custom layouts with data for her crew chief, your intrepid writer.
Having lived with the device for two months now, we have a couple of nits to pick. The display, even turned up to full brightness gets washed out and can be hard to read in direct sunlight. And since it’s right there on the top of the dash that happens a lot in the daytime. We can still read it, but it takes a bit of effort. Conversely, at night the unit is very bright and reflects off the windshield, so we have to turn the brightness all the way down for night driving. It would be nice if Diablosport could add a quick adjust feature on a future software update, letting you have two brightness settings that are quickly accessible.
That said, we’ll tell you right now they’ll only take our Trinity away from us when they pry it from our cold, dead fingers. Since modern cars have a minimum of gauges, the driver side of us really likes having a display of exact engine temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature, etc. We feel comforted knowing exactly where the car stands rather than waiting for an idiot light to come on and tell us, oops, too late, something is now seriously amiss.
And as for the engineer/crew chief side of us, we’re as happy as a pig at an all-you-can-eat slop trough, which is more apt than you might think. Because the Trinity can not only display the various parameters sensed by the car’s PCM, it can data log them too; we have folders and folders of data on our car now. But those folders don’t hold slop, they hold treasure.
In late July we competed in two classes at the Pacific Street Car Association (PSCA) Showdown at Sundown race in Las Vegas. It was hot, Africa hot, 109 degrees in the shade at dinner time hot. Running in two classes meant hot lapping at times, with Alex going straight from picking up the time slip to the back of the staging lanes. A staging error got us a DQ in the Street Muscle class, but we survived elimination rounds to make the ladder in our other class. We won the first round of Bracket-1 — an unlimited all-electronics class — against a tough racer in an 8 second altered, and then we had a hectic 45 minutes as racing stopped and Alex had to run off to compete in the bikini contest. In front of several thousand fans, she and seven other contestants competed to roars of approval and Alex grabbed second place and $250. Then back into racing clothes and head for the staging lanes. In the quarter finals of Bracket-1 we lost a close race to the defending Bracket-1 champion, Steve Cox (so at least our egos have that: we got beat but we got beat by the best, right?)
We had only three days between the PSCA race and the WCHRA at Famoso. We spent a lot of time sifting through the data logs and noting parameters and ETs, 60 foots, etc. And we thought we found something, something very interesting.