Terratrip 101 Plus Rally Odometer

This review of the Terratrip 101 Plus was written before Terratrip agreed to revise the software and operation of the Terratrip 101 Plus to eliminate the quirk with “Dis Set” feature that I discussed in the original review.  Further, the Terratrip folks have agreed to revise the operation of the arrow up and arrow down buttons to allow for on the fly adjustements to the odometer reading which resolves the issue that I noted about the lack of adjustability that I also complained about.  The Terratrip folks are to be congratulated for offering to make these improvements to this odometer.  As I noted at the end of the initial review written below, I will be further reporting on the use of the revised Terratrip 101 Plus odometer during the 2012 Baden Classic Rally. See my latest post on this matter on April 2, 2012

Original Review:

I recently added another odometer to my rally navigating equipment tool box.  I will be going back to Germany in April to compete once again as the navigator with Harald von Langsdorff in the Baden Classic on April 27 & 28, 2012.  The rules of that rally permit the use of mechanical odometers, such as the Halda odometers or a Brantz Retrotrip, or a simple electronic odometer like a Terratrip 1.  Last year I was able to borrow a Terratrip 1, but due to circumstances that option became not feasible this year.  I have a Brantz Retrotrip, but I am reluctant to use it in this rally and further, I have loaned my Retrotrip to another rally competitor for his use in an upcoming Porsche club rally.

I was going to purchase my own Terratrip 1, but Terratrip has recently discontinued this odometer.  Therefore I contacted the rally organizers and asked for their permission to use the Terratrip 101, which has being put on the market as a replacement simple odometer for the Terratrip 1.  The organizers agreed to allow me to use the Terratrip 101, so I ordered one through Demon Tweeks in the United Kingdom.

The Terratrip 101 is the most economical odometer in the Terratrip adjustable rally odometer product line.

The Terratrip 101 is a Compact Odometer

In some ways the Terratrip 101 is a better odometer than the Terratrip 1.  The Terratrip 101 has the same tactile buttons that navigators/co-drivers who have used a Terratrip 202 or 303 will be familiar with.  While pressing the buttons on a Terratrip 202 or 303 is silent, pressing the buttons on a Terratrip 101 produces an audible “beep”, which so far I have found to be a little annoying compared to the silence of my Terratrip 202.

In my opinion, the most significant improvement in the Terratrip 101 is that the calibration factor now has four significant figures compared with three significant figures in the Terratrip 1.  With the Terratrip 1 the calibration factor if using a wheel sensor, was the number of signals or flashes per unit (mile or kilometer) divided by 10.  Therefore, if the sensor sent 2000 signals per unit, then the Terratrip 1 calibration number was 200.  This is a precision of 0.5/200 or 0.0025 based on one-half of the smallest calibration input unit.  With the Terratrip 101, for the same wheel sensor, the calibration factor would be 2000.  The precision of this calibration factor would therefore be 0.5/2000 or 0.00025, which makes it up to 10 times more precise than the Terratrip 1 or any other rally odometer with a three digit calibration factor.

The Layout of the Terratrip 101 is Similar to the Terratrip 202 and the Terratrip 303

The “Dis Set” function on my Terratrip 101 unit is faulty or perhaps the software is not correct. After I push the “Dis Set” button, I can enter the desired distance, for example 12.46, however; when I push the “Enter” button, the value that appears in the odometer setting is always 0.01 lower.  In my example, the odometer reading after pushing “Enter” would be 12.45.  I can’t believe that the Terratrip folks ever tested the unit that I have.

The “Dis Set” function has another troubling quirk.  To set the odometer reading, you press the “Dis Set”, then enter the desired four digit odometer reading, and then push the “Enter” button.  The troubling quirk is that you cannot pause for any longer than 4 seconds during this process or else the entered value will disappear and the display will return to the previous displayed value.  This prevents a navigator from pre-entering a distance reading any significant distance ahead of a known reference point.  For example, if I know that the correct mileage at a “Speed Limit 35” sign is 14.56, then I cannot enter this value 20 seconds before we get to the sign and then simply press the “Enter” button as we pass the sign.  I need to time my entering of the value 14.57 (because I have to remember that I will lose 0.01 when I push the “Enter” button) so that we pass by the “Speed Limit 35” sign within 4 seconds after entering the mileage value.

The Terratrip 101 Has Good Mounting Provisions

Another disappointment with the Terratrip 101 is that the odometer reading cannot be adjusted on the fly.  The advertising for the Terratrip 101 Plus says that the Terratrip 101 Plus allows “Manual adjustment of distance”.   Unfortunately the Terratrip advertising people don’tquite understand the meaning of “adjustment”.  I had hoped that I could either increase or decrease the odometer reading by 0.01 units by pushing the up and down buttons that are co-located with the 7 and 9 numerical buttons.  In other words “adjust” the current odometer reading.  However if you need to adjust the odometer value, then you must go through the “Dis Set” procedure.  So you cannot actually “adjust” the value, the only thing that you can do is manually enter a new value into the odometer.

The Terrtarip 101 has a very good display with the provisions for adjusting the brightness and contrast.

As this is a new unit for me, I have not had the opportunity to use the Terratrip 101 yet beyond the initial testing that I have done in my basement.  However, my initial impression of the Terratrip 101 Plus is not very favorable and as I don’t have time to make other arrangements, I will be taking the Terratrip 101 with me over to Germany with me to use in the Baden Classic on April 27 & 28, 2012 and I’ll report on its performance during that rally.

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2 Responses to Terratrip 101 Plus Rally Odometer

  1. Andy Kowalczyk says:

    You’re not bringing your “new” Stevens box? 🙂

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