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Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
10/1/20 7:52 p.m.

Yeah, despite being a Garmin product, it's purpose is not navigation. 

What I've been thinking is this: if it can compare laps, can it compare autocross runs? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/1/20 9:03 p.m.
loosecannon said:
Keith Tanner said:
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:
loosecannon said:

Anybody try it for autocross yet?

I  wonder if the platform could be adapted to autocross, even if that wasn't the intended purpose when first released. It may just require some software changes.

There are a lot of people who can't figure out how to navigate a cone course with a map, and you want a consumer grade single camera system to do it? ;)

No, I want the system to record my co-drivers and my laps and tell us where we were better or worse than each other.

So you want a camera and a laptop. That's all you need, just play the runs side by side.

loosecannon SuperDork
10/1/20 9:20 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Uh no, there's not enough time between runs for any meaningful analysis doing it that way, at least at local events. I had a MaxQdata system that was ok at this although there was no way to sync data with video between runs, it had to be done after the event. And the developer of MaxQdata stopped supporting it. I have SoloStorm now but it's not been very good at local events because our starts and stops are close together and it seems to get confused and the data makes no sense.  I never even brought the SoloStorm to Nationals because I couldn't get familiar enough with it during the year to feel comfortable adding another thing to take care of between runs. I know others have success with it but the system still seems a little cumbersome. Maybe I have the wrong GoPro or tablet or bluetooth gps but I would certainly love one box that did it all and allowed for a quick review of data overlayed on a video.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/1/20 9:45 p.m.

Time? You load up two video files and hit play at the same time, then watch to see when each car is gaining ground. Elapsed time: one run. 

Or, if you want data, you can use a SmartyCam and do the same. 

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/2/20 9:09 a.m.

Garmin sent me one for review and it showed up yesterday. Good timing as I'm heading off to VIR today for a weekend of racing. Will see how it works for qualifying and the race itself, though mid-race coaching will be generally useless if I'm dealing with traffic or mid-battle.

In any case, analytics cannot get much worse than AIM's software so I suspect this will be pretty helpful. I normally use an AIM Solo. 

Video review to come after the weekend is up!

Rodan Dork
10/2/20 10:49 a.m.

Very interesting technology!

I'm curious how it can determine 'optimal' lines, braking points, corner speeds, etc. for a given car on a given track?  Is it all generated from previous data on that particular 'profile'?

Looking forward to hearing a lot more about this.

adam525i (Forum Supporter)
adam525i (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
10/2/20 10:57 a.m.

In reply to Rodan

The way I read it is that it is comparing to your previous laps so it must take a few laps to start giving advice. At some point I wonder if the advice just starts to be "Carry more speed" until you are flying off the track at corner exit lol

I feel like there could be a market to rent these out, something that tracks should be looking at doing.with how simple it looks to setup in a vehicle.

infernosg New Reader
10/2/20 12:30 p.m.

In reply to adam525i (Forum Supporter) :

After watching the video I was wondering the same thing. Maybe it'll realize that's not possible when it senses your car spinning or you deviate well from the optimal line (doubt it). Either way, I suppose it is still useful. If it's only recommendation is to carry more speed and you're at the limit of the car's capabilities then it time to address the car. Stickier tires, better suspension, more aero, etc.

I'm finding myself really wanting one. Instant feedback is great for a relatively inexperienced track driver like me. HPDEs are fun but more often than not I'm finding myself at trackdays where I'm in the car by myself. It is somewhat comical hearing the Garmin navigation voice saying things like "next left apex earlier" and "next right carry more speed."

car39 Dork
10/2/20 2:07 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Probably isn't a good thing when it starts saying "Oh sh*t Oh sh*t Oh sh*t!  You ok?"


Rodan Dork
10/3/20 8:07 a.m.

Good, in-depth review here:  Catalyst review by GRM member

MagnusThome New Reader
10/7/20 5:04 p.m.

I've done some thorough testing and made a few videos on it:


Main on-track test: https://youtu.be/5lMG34o4tc0

Quick runthrough of the screen and mounting: https://youtu.be/UbLraKy80Z4

A 3D-printed securing clip with downloadable file to print: https://youtu.be/di2LOT9s0Uw

Long unedited session (yeah, a bit long and boring) if you want to see EXACTLY what it does and some other videos on the Catalyst: https://www.youtube.com/c/magnusthome-rejsanu/videos


I got this question below on Youtube and spent a bit to reply properly since I think it might be a common misconception. Share it here too since it might explain some things :-)



Does this assume every track is flat or does it somehow sense on and off camber sections of the track? On some tracks, a tight inside line may be best to avoid off camber sections on the outer half, especially when elevation changes are also occurring.

My reply:

You're touching on something quite important, the Catalyst doesn't know the fastest possible line round a track, it only knows how you've driven and what you did when you were your fastest. The easiest way to describe it is that it'll point out when you are sub-optimal to what you can do (or rather, have done).

When you get to an unknown track you'll try out many different lines and try to remember what was fastest (including where it's best to sacrifice something to gain elsewhere). This is what it does, it helps you remember the fastest way you got around the track. If you stop trying alternative lines it can't help you. So for an extremely competent consistent fast driver it is not of much use. And not either for an extremely consistent stubborn "I'm sticking to this way, so there!" bad driver.

I'm more and more leaning towards describing the Catalyst on track coaching as "pointing out your mistakes". Which for an inconsistent driver like me is a VERY good thing. Instead of just driving on and forgetting them I'm loudly told and reminded the following laps what I did wrong, or rather what I should have done, but didn't.

So it doesn't replace the help you can get from following a friend who knows the track, studying a track guide or getting help from a human coach who knows the track.

But it'll help you when you are out on your own to keep track of when you are driving your optimal and when you are driving sub-optimal to what you can do, or rather have done. With a normal logging system this is exactly what you do, you later(!!) look at the squiggly lines and find out what you actually did when you set your fastest times. The Catalyst checks your squiggly data logging lines in real time and tells you right there and then!


Mike (Forum Supporter)
Mike (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/7/20 5:38 p.m.

It really looks like the same basic hardware as the Garmin Overlander. I like their magnetic mount design.

accordionfolder SuperDork
10/7/20 5:56 p.m.

In reply to MagnusThome :

Like the APEX pro, it could technically tell you if you're under utilizing the available grip for a given session for a given car position and angle (regardless of the actual gps position on the track) - since it has a full suite of accelerometers. I'm not sure if it does yet, but it certainly could. Though to your point it wouldn't be giving you "new" lines to use. I have both in my car for different reasons currently. Hopefully future updates of the catalyst enhance it further. The ApexPro also enables you to do point to point and is useful for autoX, etc. 

I love my catalyst, but both together are a killer self-coaching combo. 

The magnetic base is awesome, the video re-view tools are great, some of the line analysis are fantastic. Right now it's lacking A LOT of post session deep analysis support, i.e. you can "compare" laps, but it's not easy to deeply review lap metrics. Odd since they nailed reviewing lap video pretty much seamlessly - a rare feat. See the ApexPro iOS app for examples of all the tools it's missing. Also why oh why can't we export video WITH the data overlay? That seems like a basic feature if you wanted a "one-stop-do-it-all" tablet. 

rkammerer New Reader
10/12/20 9:34 a.m.

I've got one of these on loan from a local distributor I know, I'll be trying it out Tuesday.  Mounting was easy, aligning the cameara was easy - tip, don't have the car running if you have stiff motor/trans mounts.

Has anyone figured out a way to preview "track configurations"?  My local track is Worldwide Technologies Raceway at Gateway Motorsports Park (ie, Gateway).  The unit shows Configuration 1 and Configuration 2, plus the oval.  The track is a Roval with infield, and not any adjustments to make to create new layouts that I've seen in the past 8+ years.  Garmin Tech support suggested just using "Add a Track Configuration" and ignoring the two existing options, though he did say since these are so new the support team is still figuring them out as well.

ojannen Reader
10/12/20 9:44 a.m.

In reply to loosecannon :

Solostorm is really good even if it doesn't pick up the start and finish perfectly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjdfXX0UacM

You can zero out your times at specific points on course and compare individual corners.  The interface is good enough to be usable between runs in a two driver car.

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