Grandprix Race Manager Issues

Discussions on race preparation, race management, sound effects, and other race related software. This is only for software provided by our sponsor, GrandPrix Software Central.
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rookie20
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Grandprix Race Manager Issues

Post by rookie20 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:10 pm

We just ran our area kub kar races this past weekend and had a couple of issues with Grandprix Race manger version 16.
We had tested the software at our own kub kar / scout truck races (I am from Canada) and we had no issues with the software. We only had 15 youth in the kub kar and 10 youth in the scout truck races.
For the area races we had 85 youth register. After we registered the races and created a schedule we started to run the races. (We are using a best track for the races along with a champ 4 lane timer). We are also using Race replay software. Immediately after our races finish, race replay shows the race, then Grandprix displays the results and finally prepares for the next race. After the first 10 races the software slowed down dramatically and occasionally went back to the schedule page. This took upwards of 30 seconds before we could proceed to the next race. This additional time greatly slowed our races this year. After we finished 85 races, we narrowed the field to the top 20 finishers and ran a Grand Finals. With only 20 races there was no delay in Grand Prix software. We have used the same computer with Grand Prix software over the past 4 years. It is an Hp laptop with an AMD chip, (between an Intel I5 and I7 and does have a separate graphics card). I have downloaded version 17 on the laptop but we decided to use version 16. We actually had the same issue last year with the software slowing down. We did not have this issue with version 15. Has anyone else experience a slow down with more racers on version 16? I am trying to determine if there is an issue with the software or if we need to upgrade the computer.
The second issue was that race replay would not come up after the first couple of races. We had to manually click race replay on the bottom of windows 10 to start race replay. After a couple of times clicking on Race replay the software stared showing the race that just finished. Again I am just wondering if anyone else has experience this issue
Thank you
Glenn Kilner
(32nd Sarnia group Comissioner



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gpraceman
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Re: Grandprix Race Manager Issues

Post by gpraceman » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:41 pm

With V16 and V17, after a heat the software does crunch the standings and stores them to the data file. That can take some time with more racers and a slower running system. With running RaceReplay, the video processing can cause a slow down in the system as well, so it does take some more horsepower (CPU and RAM) to run both GPRM and RR. With V17, you can turn off the auto standings calculations and then just calculate them all at once at the end of racing, using the Calculate button on the Standings tab of the Main screen. That way, there is no delay between heats due to standings calculations. With V18, we are planning on making some changes to how standings are being handled to prevent any delays. That will be out in September.

As far as RR not wanting to come to the forefront at times, you've got me stumped there. As long as you were not trying to do something with GPRM at the time, Windows should have given the focus to RR.


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

smasumura
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Re: Grandprix Race Manager Issues

Post by smasumura » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:39 pm

This year (2/1/19) I was running V16 of the Race Manager on a Windows 10 laptop. Worked fine last year. We typically have about 75 cars or so racing. This year, the race software would go off and perform huge disk writes after each race heat. Between when the race would end, the data would be recorded, and the race heat advanced, it'd be easily 15 - 30 seconds. The race software would, during this disk write, be "not responding." It used to take a few seconds.

I had running the race replay but turned that off thinking the large disk write was its fault. I was in a location with no wi-fi, so I turned off a bunch of system stuff (wi-fi, Dropbox, One Drive) that was trying to sync. Last year, this had fixed the lag in the software. This year, nope.

So, I haven't really changed much on my laptop (certainly not our PWD software) and have plenty of disk space. What could have changed so radically that it would cause the race manager to go spinning off to write tons of data? Best I could tell, it was writing to the NTFS log file and race data file. I'd like to figure out the problem so that we don't encounter it next year. I've been very happy with the software up until this year (I think we've been using it for 3-4 years). I'll be digging out the track parts and timer gate so I can run some tests at home.

-Stephanie



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gpraceman
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Re: Grandprix Race Manager Issues

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:00 pm

Version 16
Standings are crunched after each heat and then saved to the data file. More racers means more standings to crunch and more writes to the data file. Anything else doing disk read/writes on that computer (like RaceReplay, Windows search indexer, anti-virus scanner, etc.) can slow down this process. Putting the data file onto a USB flash drive or SSD can speed things up as read/writes are generally faster than with a regular disk drive.

Version 17
You can disable the auto standings calculations, in the Advanced Software Settings screen, to prevent a delay between heats. Then once racing is done, you can manually click on the Calculate button on the Standings tab to get all of the standings to generate. Those wishing to display standings to the audience during the race and those using DerbyWeb trying to do the same thing would be best to have the data file on a USB flash or SSD drive. If using DerbyWeb, your computer CPU and RAM needs to meet or exceed the recommended minimum requirements and running your computer as a web server in addition to running GPRM needs a computer with more horsepower.

Version 18
All standings are calculated when you go to view them but are not written to the data file. Unless you have a dog slow computer, you should not see a noticeable delay between heats. If you wish to use GPRM to display standings to your audience during the race, there is not expected to be any noticeable delay between heats. However, if using DerbyWeb, the standings will be written to the data file after the data is crunched, but only when/if you choose to publish them. If you choose to publish standings while racing is going on, then all of those data file writes are going to happen between heats, so there could be a delay between heats. The advice of the USB flash or SSD drive would still apply in that case.

There are many other improvements with Version 18, so anyone running an earlier supported version (currently Version 13 to 17) and still has their race upcoming is recommended to upgrade. If you have already had your race for this season, Version 19 is expected out in early September.

Future Versions
The current way standings are handled in Version 18 is expected to be carried on to future versions of the software. This seems the best way to support regular GPRM users, those that use GPRM to display standings during the race and those DerbyWeb users that publish standings during the race.


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

smasumura
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Re: Grandprix Race Manager Issues

Post by smasumura » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:38 am

I get that V16 does number crunching, but here's what I don't get:
* In early 2018, had V16 and laptop ran about 75 racers and could get through 3-4 heats/minute.
* In early 2019, nothing has changed except for any Windows 10 updates applied throughout the year. Same # of cars, race hardware, etc. Race speed plummets and we're lucky to get 1 heat/minute.

So, what happened? All I can surmise is that some Windows update broke something to where it now takes 3-4 times longer to do what it could do before. But what? And how do I fix it?



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Re: Grandprix Race Manager Issues

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:49 am

smasumura wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:38 am
So, what happened? All I can surmise is that some Windows update broke something to where it now takes 3-4 times longer to do what it could do before. But what? And how do I fix it?
Again, anything else doing disk read/writes on that computer can slow down the process. Maybe Windows was updating its search indexer. Maybe your anti-virus scanner decided to do a system scan or was scrutinizing the writes that GPRM was doing. Any other program running on the computer, even in background, could be accessing your hard drive and slowing down the GPRM writes.

The last update for GPRM V16 was May 1, 2017, so it hasn't changed since then. Simple fix would be to upgrade to the latest version before your next race to remove the potential of slowdown between heats. At a minimum you can put your data file on a USB flash or SSD drive to speed up the read/writes.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

smasumura
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Re: Grandprix Race Manager Issues

Post by smasumura » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:03 pm

Noticed one last bit of odd behavior. When I went to look at the standings, it takes a significant amount of time for the results to come up (and in the meantime, the program is non responsive. Will try putting the database on a USB drive to see how to behaves.

-Stephanie



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