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#3621157 - 08/06/12 12:28 PM (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 ***  
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Ragtop Offline
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Introduction.

I've not been playing racing sims for very long, but like most everyone here, when I got bitten, I got bitten hard. It's not long before just a screen and a keyboard don't cut it and then - Much to the dismay of our loved ones - The hunt for sim racing heaven begins. First comes the steering wheel, followed shortly by that import handmade sequential shifter! Perhaps the racing seat, TrackIR, 5.1 surround sound, triple displays, a handbrake and some nice gloves are needed too? Of course they are! In the quest for immersion, anything is fair game.

Soon after starting my life in sim racing, I was in my very own little cockpit, tearing around Brands Hatch in an SSTCC Skoda Octavia, wondering how I could squeeze a few more seconds out of it. In an attempt to focus purely on my driving, I wanted to get rid of all the little HUD elements on the screen. Just me and the car, a partnership of sweat and tears had bonded us already, why should some random numbers get in my way?! I quickly found that I was missing shifts, getting the wrong speed into the corner, attacking when I should have been defending and doing all the other things the HUD readouts help me avoid. Some cars have enough information on their dashboards to help with this, but the Skoda Octavia sports only a small rev counter and a teeny tiny shift light, which doesn't cut the mustard when you're staring at the rear bumper of car #1. I needed something else.


The Need

I quickly decided that I needed some peripheral displays and meters to assist me, allowing my primary display to work solely as the dashboard and windscreen. I spent a long time browsing the forums, looking at all sorts. Real tachometers with giant shift lights, hooked up to USB boards with a bunch of software coding to link them to the game? Great, but thats only one feature dealt with. Extra touchscreen displays with lots of cool software running on them? Good, but I'd need a new video card, which means an unhappy bank manager! I soon realised that this was going to get very expensive, and was going to mean lots of new hardware to get it all working.


Along comes Mightygate, with iHUD for rFactor and rFactor 2.

One afternoon I was browsing the app store on my iPhone, seeing if there were any new toys I could have a play with. I thought to myself, "I wonder if there are any rFactor apps out there?" I tapped it into the search field and imagine my joy when this title came up! I had a look at the store page and it looked PERFECT. Customisable? Check. All the information I wanted? Check. Easy to setup? Check. Little to no latency? Hmm, it's a WiFi app, so I'm a little dubious. But for 2.49, I'd be insane to miss out on it.

Let's take a look at it.



At the top of the page are the different categories of HUD elements you can add to the virtual dashboard. You can choose from a few backgrounds, including carbon, coloured leathers and plain black. Adding an element is as simple as tapping it, scaling it by pinching and dragging it around the screen. Once you're happy with its position you can tap the padlock to prevent you from knocking it out of place. It'd be really nice if you could snap the elements to a grid for alignment. (Maybe I'm a little OCD though)

Using the tab in the bottom left corner, you're able to set up 5 different screens at once, allowing you to hot swap them mid race. Theres also separate screens for Telemetry and Timing if you buy the addons. I did find that these buttons were difficult to tap, especially in the heat of a race. It'd be MUCH better if you could swipe between them.

You get a base package for free, containing many elements such as:

Speedometers
Tachometers
Rev lights
Gear indicators
Fuel gauges
Oil and water gauges
Lap timers
Position indicators
Input meters

And there are many more available as in app purchases, including:

Live telemetry
Live timing
Wheel monitoring (Temps, wear, pressures, loads and forces)
G Force meter
Flags
Aerodynamics (rF2 only)
and more.

Here's a couple of different layouts I put together using only the base elements.




Mightygate also provide some prebuilt layouts for you to use, modelled on real cars such as the Ferrari F430, Audi R8 and also a Motec style display.




The buttons on the Motec style display are non functioning.


Time to get into the game.

In order for rFactor to share the information to your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, you need to download and install their server plugin. Its simply a single .dll file that you drop into the 'Plugins' folder of your rFactor install. Then you simply launch the game.

On the app you only need to tap the little antenna icon in the bottom right tab, and type in your PC's LAN IP address.



It connected immediately, and something that I thought was very cool was that the lights on the element displays flickered as my engine started in game. I revved the engine, expecting a 1/2 second delay or so. I was BLOWN AWAY when the dials and lights burst into life IMMEDIATELY. Awesome. I changed up into first, and pulled out of my pit box. "Boy, this app is excellent!". Everything worked in perfect sync, and everything is lightning fast.




I found that the rev lights were particularly helpful, because as they get to the limit (Synced exactly the point that the shift light comes on in the Skoda) they begin to strobe. This is a very noticeable indication that it's time to shift up. One thing I'd love to see is the phone vibrating when the lights strobe. Although the G27 and most other FFB wheels vibrate a lot anyway, it'd be one more indication. Whether you'd feel it depends where you have it mounted of course. I'd also like to have a single shift light too, instead of the string of LED's.

One thing that I was a little disappointed in was that the buttons around the Motec style display do nothing. It wouldn't be hard to make the app send button pushes, so I could set up things like Ignition, Headlights and so on.

After half an hour of using this app, I could see it was going to be a permanent inclusion in my cockpit - On an iPad it'd be even cooler! Right now I'm just using Blu-Tack to mount my phone on top of my G27, so I can see it through the wheel, but you could mount it however you like - It's wireless! Perhaps a suction cup car windscreen mount would work well on your desk!


Overview and Conclusion.

All in all, this is an amazing little app. I should mention that they also make versions for iRacing and LFS!

It's cheap to purchase the base pack, but the in app purchases are a little bit more expensive. 2.49 for the base app is an excellent price, I'd happily pay twice that. However all the extras do add up.

Welcome Pack - 1.99
Live Timing - 2.49
Real Time Telemetry - 4.99
Aerodynamics (rF2 only) - 1.99
Wheel Info Pack - 2.99
Time Pack - 1.49

That's 18.43 all in! However, they do have the 'Platinum Pack' which costs 7.49, and includes all packs. Very good!

I'd DEFINITELY recommend this app to anyone who owns an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and wants a bit more immersion from their rig for little cost and little work.


Things I like:

Cheap to get started
Very quick and easy setup
Instant connection
Little to no lag (If your WiFi is up to scratch I'm sure)
Very customisable
Very easy to customise
Multiple dashboards


Could be improved:

Dashboard selection buttons are difficult to use on iPhone. Swiping between them please!
No single shift light
Can be pricey if you don't buy everything in the Platinum Pack
Elements cannot snap to grid (Would be good for alignment freaks like me!)
No functioning buttons (Headlights/Ignition etc. would be great)

Check it out here

Last edited by Ragtop; 08/06/12 01:28 PM.

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#3621494 - 08/06/12 08:59 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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mr_hill Offline
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okay im sold!! wow looks awesome!


First Ever Win: STCC, Donnington Park, Race 2, 19th March 2012
First Ever Podium: 2nd, Silverstone SCES 2011
First Ever Pole: Race 1, Thruxton, SSTCC, 8th April 2012
First Ever Fastest Lap: Le Mans, SCES, 3:59.028, 3rd June 2012
Wins: 3 (3 SSTCC)
Podiums: 10 (3 SCES, 7 SSTCC)
Pole Positions: 3 (1 SCES, 2 SSTCC)
Fastest Laps: 1 (1 SCES)

3rd Overall SSTCC Great Britain Series, 2012.

Team: Ozjet Racing
Number(s): 26 (SCES) 27 (STCC)
#3621514 - 08/06/12 09:36 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Raw Kryptonite Online smile
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Looks nice! Too bad it's not on Android. Maybe that's in the works.
Very sharp.


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#3621517 - 08/06/12 09:42 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Raw Kryptonite]  
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Darren_Blythe Offline
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Originally Posted By: Raw Kryptonite
Looks nice! Too bad it's not on Android. Maybe that's in the works.
Very sharp.

There's some similar droid equivalents - the names of which escape my mind at the moment...


Roses are #FF0000 , Violets are #0000FF
#3621534 - 08/06/12 10:14 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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MudPuppy Offline
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Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
I was just looking at DashMeterPRO on the Google Play Store. it's $5.49 for the app and looks to have quite a few dashboard layouts. Unfortunately my gaming PC is sitting idle while I try to put a small home network together so I've not had access to Race07 or wireless in my office to test it.
Since it just needs Android 2.1 to run, I may look at a cheap (2nd) tablet to mount rather than having to switch out my faithful Acer A500 when a driving session is done.

Are there other android dashboard apps that folks have found?
Derek

#3621559 - 08/06/12 10:59 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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David Kennard Offline
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Great review Ragtop, I was just emailing my brother the flight touch pad review that Jens did and I also sent him links to some racing ones and then I checked the threads and see this smile boom, off it went to my brother. Thanks.

here is another for multiple sims (including GTR2!): http://www.sensadigit.com/

here is one one for iRacing that I hope the dev will adapt to other sims: http://www.iracedash.com/

I especially like how you can adjust fuel and tire pressures


Last edited by David Kennard; 08/06/12 11:01 PM.

Club Racing at The ADC: Average Drivers Club

#3621588 - 08/06/12 11:57 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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MudPuppy Offline
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Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Yes, it is a good review. Sorry for straying off topic. frown The graphics look really nice in the iHud app.

#3621756 - 08/07/12 08:46 AM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Ragtop Offline
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Ragtop  Offline
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Glad you enjoyed it guys! If I run across more gear then I might do a few more of these if people enjoy them.

I'm not an Android user so I'm afraid I can't suggest anything, but keep the chatter going!


[ CPU: i5 2500k @ 4.7gHz | MoBo: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P | RAM: 8Gb Corsair Vengeance LP | GPU: OCUK GTX 980 Reference | OS: Win7 Ultimate 64 ]
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#3621832 - 08/07/12 01:47 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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JoseMLopez Offline
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Hi Ragtop,
I'm Jose M Lopez from MightyGate. Thank you for the review, we love your photos! smile
I've see that the Telemetry and Live Timing pack have not been reviewed.
I'm uploading some images where you can view each pack:

In Real Time Telemetry you can view the graph in real time of up to 4 indicator: Wheels temp, RPM, Speed, Brake, Throttle... etc. You can compare graphs of 2 laps (you can select what laps!), you can Zoom in, navigate through it... etc.
With Live Timing Pack, you will be able to enjoy a totally customizable time table.





Last edited by JoseMLopez; 08/07/12 01:49 PM.
#3621916 - 08/07/12 04:43 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Raw Kryptonite Online smile
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Yeah, sorry for the hijack, but thank you for the info! I finally got to buy a copy of GTR2 on ebay, so one of these that works with that should be fun in a few weeks when it gets here.
A virtual switch/button box would be excellent too.


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#3621929 - 08/07/12 05:22 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Ragtop Offline
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Ragtop  Offline
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Thanks for getting involved with the thread Jose! I'm having a great time with the app and I'll be sure to get some of the extra packs. I'd like an iPad when I've got some extra money and I think the telemetry and timing packs would compliment one very much!


[ CPU: i5 2500k @ 4.7gHz | MoBo: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P | RAM: 8Gb Corsair Vengeance LP | GPU: OCUK GTX 980 Reference | OS: Win7 Ultimate 64 ]
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#3622124 - 08/07/12 10:55 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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GTinSD Offline
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I don't see anything on pit stop setting, being able to change a setting and inputting it into the game on the fly. Did I miss it?

#3622301 - 08/08/12 07:56 AM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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JoseMLopez Offline
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It's a pleasure to talk with our users! smile you know better than anybody what do you like to get in the next updates. We make a major update each 2 months or so.

I've attached a video from one of our users using iHUD for rFactor 2:


#3622309 - 08/08/12 08:54 AM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Ragtop Offline
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Excellent to hear. Speaking as a fairly typical customer, frequent updates and listening to community feedback are the two things I find most important above all else.

Looking forward to seeing what the updates bring!

Great video by the way, going to pick up some of those packs for practise tonight!


[ CPU: i5 2500k @ 4.7gHz | MoBo: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P | RAM: 8Gb Corsair Vengeance LP | GPU: OCUK GTX 980 Reference | OS: Win7 Ultimate 64 ]
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#3624073 - 08/10/12 07:15 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Chris2525 Offline
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Looks pretty "heads down" to me.


Windows 7 Home Premium x64 / Intel Core i7-3770K @ 3.50GHz (8 CPUs), ~3.9GHz / 8192MB DDR3 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX780 / TM Warthog / Saitek Pro Fight Rudder Pedals / TrackIR5
#3624088 - 08/10/12 07:28 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Ragtop Offline
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No more so than a real car, and realism is what I'm going for smile


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#3624309 - 08/11/12 07:14 AM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Robb Offline
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I'm really impressed with how good this works ... it is great on the iPad.
Thanks for the heads up!


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#3645657 - 09/17/12 02:19 PM Re: (Review) iHud for rFactor and rFactor 2 [Re: Ragtop]  
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Ragtop Offline
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Time for a follow up!

First of all I'd like to apologise for such a delayed part 2 of this review. Jos from MightyGate has been kind enough to give me access to a full version of the app to review, so here it goes!

I ended the last review with a very positive conclusion - The included pack that comes bundled with iHUD for rFactor and rFactor 2 came with a huge amount of options, and I was left VERY impressed by the app.

I did my best to build up a complete racing HUD that was streamlined and easy to read, while providing me with everything I needed to race well without any displays up on my main display, and I'm happy to say I achieved that without feeling like I had to buy any extras- Great job there from MightyGate! Of course this may leave many of you wondering if you'd ever really need the extras that all the other packs include.

That's where this review comes in! After building up my initial HUD set, I was content, but quickly started to ponder what other things I could add to my setup to aid me
in the never ending quest for a better lap. So, I'm going to dig into the other elements that come with the app so you can decide which ones you might want to pick for yourselves!

I'm going to break the review up into a few sections - One for each add on pack, and a final conclusion to highlight some of my favourites.

On with the show!

The Welcome Pack - 1.99




The welcome pack adds some general, uncategorised elements for you to play with;

Torque
Wetness (rF2 only)
Track temperature
Ambient temperature
Rain amount
Flags
Another version of the Tach and Speedometer.

Overall a very useful addition to the already comprehensive selection of elements. I particularly like the Flags and Wetness meter - Very cool for racing on a miserable day! Flags are one of the few things that I do have on my actual monitor, but it's still very good to have them pop up on my phone as a second reminder. I'm not a huge fan of the new Speed and Tachs, but that's just a preference thing. I do like having a gauge and a digital readout in one.


The Wheels Pack - 2.99




The wheels pack has got to be one of my favourite additions here - A huge amount of information available with this one.

Tire temperature
Brake temperature
Tire pressure
Tire load
Wheels longitudinal and lateral force
Tire wear
Tire grip

I don't need to even begin to tell you how helpful some of these can be - Particularly tire temperature, tire wear, and brake temperature. I absolutely LOVE the graphical version of this, it shows 3 sectors of temperature for each tire, both graphically and with a readout, and does the same for each brake - Incredibly useful, while leaving room on a relatively small phone screen. I'd happily pay the whole price of this pack just for this one element. I found the readout elements a little hard to read in the heat of a race, but I think that's really down to a small screen, an iPad would really make some of them shine.


Aerodynamics pack (rFactor 2 only) - 1.99




I'll preface this one by saying that I do not currently drive rF2, so I can't comment on these elements in practise - Only my opinion of the potential use for it. It's a single graphical element which displays the following;

Rear ride height
Front ride height
Front wing height
Front downforce
Rear downforce
Drag

I think that for those of you who are really into the rF2 formula cars, this one is going to be a big help. You get a great image of a car, with arrows which vary in colour to display the wind and downforce that your car is currently subjected to. These are backed up by numbered readouts, along with readouts for ride height and wing height. Again, I don't use rF2 so I haven't used it - But it looks great.


The Time Pack - 1.49




Extremely helpful for those of you who like to know where you are in the race, and how long is left.

Finish time to end session
Fuel per lap
Laps remaining
Difference with leader
Delta time by sector

I often get very absorbed when I'm racing, and push too hard too early - Or I end up settling down and realising we're at the last lap! The time left and laps remaining counters are very helpful for this. Quite useful stuff, but IMO they don't quite warrant their price, they could have been included with the app.


Telemetry - 4.99




This is a BIG one - It really does a lot. You get 4 graphs on screen, with the ability to track the following;

Speed
RPM
Oil temperature
Water temperature
Fuel consumption
Wheel temperature
Throttle
Brake
Gear

Three of the graphs are simple lap graphs, giving you an overview of how you did on each lap (Selected by the grey button in the top left) and the other graph allows you to compare any two of the above, between any two laps. Great for those of you who love to see how you've been improving with numbers to back it up. A little pricy, but I think it could be worth it for many of you. It's a little fiddly on the iPhone, but I think this one would be truly excellent on an iPad.


Live Timing - 2.49




To put it simply - Live timing is fantastic. You can choose exactly which headers you'd like to see, and the app does the rest in real time. Available headers are;

Laps completed
Team name
Current 1, 2 and 3
Last
Best overall 1, 2 and 3
Best lap 1, 2 and 3
Best lap
Sectors
Pit stops

Even on the iPhone, this is big enough to see a huge amount of information at a glance, far more even than rFactor provides in one HUD element! I love the sectors view, it's very easy to see who's putting in the quickest split times. Tapping on a player allows you to view their times, and all other players deltas relative to them, love it! Everything is colour coded (Vital in my books).


Conclusion

Almost every one of these packs is well worth their price tags in my opinion. I would say that the time pack could have been included in the bundled elements. This however, does not detract from the fact that they are VERY good to have. The telemetry pack is a little expensive compared to the others, which is a shame, but I can understand it - This is one of the most advanced parts of the app.

As of yet there have not been any updates to the app that I have seen. I'd still love to see a single shift light, and the ability to swipe between pages would make the app 100% easier to use in a heated race! The addition of button presses being sent to the game would make this app truly sublime - If it's possible!

One issue that I ran into is the limiting size of the iPhone screen (Hey, maybe the 5 is going to make that a little better for some! This is of course nothing that MightyGate are able to control, so I've tried to see past this issue when reviewing the usability of the app. I will say though, that those of you who have an iPad would find many of these features even better! So if you're tablet inclined, then I whole heartedly recommend you go and grab this one!


I'll score each pack from 1-10 to give those of you a rough idea of my impressions.

Welcome Pack - 7/10. Some useful stuff, but only a couple of them have made it into my HUD.
Wheels Pack - 9/10. Excellent addition, that last point is that there are just so many numbers. More work on the graphical elements would score it a 10!
Aerodynamics Pack - ?/10 I can't score this one as I'm not an rFactor 2 player just yet!
Time Pack - 6/10. Very useful stuff, but IMO it should be included.
Telemetry - 8/10. Really great tool, if you can look past the higher cost. IMO 4.99 is still not a lot of money if you're going to use it a lot.
Live Timing - 10/10. The best addon you can buy IMO. Extremely useful!

Thanks for reading, and see you on the track!

Ragtop

Last edited by Ragtop; 01/22/15 09:21 PM.

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