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Use cheap corporate swag to keep your race car telemetry active during pit stops

At last year’s Red Bull Global Rally Cross event some decent swag was handed out by the major sponsors. One of the items we scored was a phone booster battery — not bad!

While cool, the construction of these are on the cheaper side. Like other inexpensive boosters, they lack a button to power up the charge port –  they just automatically turn on when plugged into your phone.


Turns out this cost-cutting move is actually a feature: keeping RaceCapture/Pro powered up during pit stops! Just plug it in to RaceCapture/Pro’s USB port, and when 12v power is cut, it’ll seamlessly provide power for an extended period of time. The unit we scored was rated 2200mAh, which is good for about 2 hours of continuous use.  Since these turn on/off automatically, they’ll simply go idle when 12v is turned back on.


What’s the benefit of keeping telemetry active during the pit stop?

  • Maintain GPS lock
  • Watching sensors while engine is off (is the coolant temperature spiking due to lack of flow?)
  • Maintaining a constant cellular link

If you try out this technique leave us a comment with how it works for you!


4 thoughts on “Use cheap corporate swag to keep your race car telemetry active during pit stops

  1. Also your pit stop timer will continue to run.

  2. We’ve been using a battery backup for our Race Capture Pro Mk2 for over a year now. Originally we tried something similar, an Anker USB Powercore, unfortunately the USB battery backup didn’t always kick in quick enough and the Race Capture Pro would reboot about 50% of the time.

    Since that initial attempt we switched to using a Compulab fit-Uptime (, the reviews aren’t stellar but we haven’t had any issues with ours and it provides more of a true uninterrupted power supply over the 12V line. When the vehicle is running the Race Capture Pro see’s the voltage coming off the alternator, when it’s stopped then the fit-Uptime provides a 12v power source with no perceptible drop. In addition to our Race Capture Pro we also power a relay board connected to our steering wheel buttons (wipers, PTT, drink, dashboard controls) and our Raspberry Pi based Dashboard.

    Since moving to this system we’ve never had issues with the Race Capture Pro losing which track it’s at or any issues with streaming telemetry data to Podium. An alternate to the Compulab fit-Uptime that is more expensive but potentially more reliable and a little more DIY friendly is a mini-box openUPS2 (

  3. If the device is capable of powering and being powered at the same time (which many of them aren’t) then you can also run power into the device through a ciggie lighter adapter, then from there into the RC unit. That way there’s no brief break in power, which I suspect you get with the other option.

  4. Why not just incorporate something like this into the next release? Have a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) get it’s charge from the 12v, when 12v power goes away, you have a built in power supply to do as this article states? Then you can have quality control over the battery instead of a 3rd party unit. Also put a on/off switch for the UPS so when you’re done with the race it kills the UPS from supplying power to the unit. Wham I just gave you guys an idea to make Mk4 even better!

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