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TSD Rally Computer App

By on May 20, 2014
Series begins with TSD Rally Computer App

TSD Rally Computer is an iPad app designed to simplify computations necessary to navigate a traditional time-speed-distance (TSD) automobile rally.

A TSD rally is comprised of stages set along a route defined by written instructions. The first stage is the Odometer Check stage that allows you to calibrate your car’s odometer with that of the Rallymaster’s odometer.

In later stages you will follow a course at a particular average speed that will change from time to time at places that are generally unknown in advance. Each change in average speed marks the beginning of a new leg of the race within a stage.

In order to drive the course at the prescribed speeds, you must keep track of your odometer reading along the way.

The TSD Rally Computer allows you to do all this and much, much more. For more documentation, you can download the User’s Guide.

Wanting to know more about the “man behind the app” I asked for a bit of an auto-biography. I was curious what would have an enthusiast go through the development of an App and the process to get it through the Apple-maze of approval. What impressed me most was that he was indeed there, back in the early 60’s – the heyday of our sport, running events and he is still impassioned these many years later! Here is what he sent RReNews by way of a bio –

I entered my first TSD rally in the early ’60s. Along with a friend who had an uncanny knack for changing and maintaining speeds, we won more than our share of trophies in this father’s VW Beetle that only had an odometer that read in whole miles. But, our not so secret weapon then was a large set of rally tables for minutes per mile at various CASTs and a range of correction factors. We’d drive around at the starting line to get the odometer to move right at the line and then estimate the distance as best we could to calculate the correction factor.

Those rally tables were the very first computer programs I ever wrote back in 1963 in a language called CORC (bonus points if you can guess what that acronym stands for…no entries from Upstate NY allowed).

Later we upgraded our equipment with one of the very first BMW 2002s to reach our shores in Feb 1968. We had totally illegal lighting everywhere and a Halda odometer with dual readouts. More trophies followed.

Fast forward to this year. Now retired and working on apps for real estate, finance, and education just for fun, I decided to dust off some old ideas for a TSD calculator. Back when I was an engineering student, I designed a couple of electro-mechanical contraptions that never got beyond the drawing board for lack of money to build them.

With the advent of the iPad, all those old ideas became much easier to implement. The iPad has mapping, clocks, and super fast calculators built-in. So I began building the app you see in earnest. The first version was all tricked out with custom mapping, GPS, and digital odometer. But, then I realized that such a full-blown app would be either illegal in most rallies or force the user into the pro equipped class.

I wanted something that would appeal to a wider audience and that might especially attract people to the sport by making the computational tasks easier to handle while bouncing down the road.

So there you have it, the TSD Rally Computer version 1.0 for the iPad. I welcome feedback, comments of all kinds, and ideas on how to improve the app.

Cheers, Michael Young

For me, I know that I enjoy using my Timewise for laying out events, and I don’t often get to run our local events. Yet if I were new to the sport – would I spend $888+ (if I could find one) just to come out for a fun and challenging road rally? Or, being on the bleeding-edge of gadgets, could I encourage new teams to run an App Class with me?

Here are a few screen shots of the TSD Rally Computer App:

Features of the TSD Rally Computer:

  • Clock time in either minutes and seconds or decimal minutes
  • The clock itself may be a 24-hour clock or a 12-hour clock with AM and PM
  • Distance measurements in either miles or kilometers
  • The car’s odometer distance measurement may be the same or different than the official rally odometer distance measurement
  • One button click to reset default conditions for starting a rally
  • The internal iPad clock can be adjusted to match the official rally clock
  • The car’s odometer reads up to 9999.99 miles or kilometers and can be incremented by simple button clicks
  • Calibrate the car’s odometer to the official rally odometer on the odometer check stage via a popup
  • Change average speed (CAST) with a single button click
  • Preselect the next CAST to simplify the process of changing speed on each leg
  • The CAST button can be deactivated to prevent accidental touching
  • Preset CAST speeds and times to travel one mile or kilometer at those speeds with via a popup
  • Use scroll wheels to quickly and easily change time, speed, or distance throughout the app
  • As time passes and as the car’s odometer is incremented, the actual speed over the course is compared with the expected speed. The difference in seconds is displayed along with an indication to either “Speed Up” or “Slow Down” to stay on pace
  • Pause or gain time on any leg with a toggle button and at times chosen with scroll wheels
  • Handle off-course corrections to time and distance with a toggle button
  • End stages at checkpoints with a single button that has protection from accidental touching
  • Set departure time from a checkpoint and have the time tick down on the master clock
  • Use a handy popup to perform ad hoc computations of time, speed, or distance given any other two variables
  • Hide the bottom toolbar to avoid accidental selection of popups

Note: Use of the TSD Rally Computer during any particular rally will be subject to the rules and instructions governing the rally and may also define your category or class among race participants. Some rallies may, in fact, prohibit use of this app.

– See more at
There’s an App for That 
Amid promises of rallyists to write a column for us about many of the apps out there for use in our sport – for competition or layout tools – we are starting this month with TSD Rally Computer. We are hoping this piece will encourage more Out With the Old – In with a Review submissions. Got an APP that you use in our sport? Share with fellow rallyists by sending your review via this link!

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