Supercars team finds success with D2N

Tuesday, 28 November, 2023 | Supplied by: D2N Pty Ltd

Supercars team finds success with D2N

Erebus Motorsport came into existence in 2011, with team owner Betty Klimenko setting her sights on succeeding in the fast world of motorsport. Fast forward to 2023 and the Supercars team has had a number of podium finishes, thanks in part to its technology partnership with D2N – Technology Solutions.

“We were using D2N previously as a supplier and purchasing smaller items from them, such as radio adapter looms and rooftop antennas, as they were one of the only suppliers in Australia who were producing radio parts with specific applications in motorsport and Supercars,” said Erebus Race Engineer Tom Moore.

“The radio applications which are used in Supercars are very specific and therefore it is very difficult to find suppliers with equipment that exactly suits our needs. I knew that D2N were also suppliers of higher-end intercom equipment and Riedel was of particular interest to us, so when we were looking into upgrading our garage communications to incorporate those systems, it was a natural progression to seek out D2N and enquire about how they could fulfil our requirements.”

One of the main reasons Erebus wanted to invest in a D2N wireless intercom system was the duplex interaction it allows between engineers, car controller, and crew and team managers all simultaneously. Moore explained, “We had one or two issues occur during a pit stop where the information provided by the engineer to the car controller needed to be updated after the pit stop had begun, and with standard digital RF radios, communicating a change once the car controller has keyed up the car in the pit lane is virtually impossible.

“In this sport, one preventable issue is one too many, so it was clear we needed to invest in the latest technology to ensure we were equipped to achieve the best results possible at all times. For that we needed D2N, their experience and their solutions.”

Amongst many other smaller consumable items, D2N supplied Erebus with a Riedel Bolero standalone belt pack system, consisting of 15 belt packs, three charging bays, one Network Stream Adapter (NSA) and two Bolero antennas. More recently, the company has also built custom Riedel MAX headsets for Erebus with individualised ports to suit the team’s needs.

“The equipment supplied by D2N fulfilled and fulfils our needs perfectly and we utilise the features of the system on a regular basis,” Moore said. “We are able to communicate throughout the garage to multiple people and/or groups of people concurrently and essentially hands-free.”

In addition to the equipment being much more user-friendly for the engineers and car controller, the pit crew — who are now listening to the radio messages via a wireless intercom rather than an RF radio — are particularly impressed by the stark difference and improvement in audio quality. According to Moore, “The crew couldn’t believe that the communication within the garage could be so clear. Every person in the garage uses at least one Bolero belt pack.

“The engineers, team principal and crew chief use theirs to communicate to each other individually or specified groups and they use them to communicate to the pit crew for each car during all sessions, including live pit stops. We use the NSA to bring in radio transmissions from the car to the Bolero system to be heard by any and all members of the team and similarly the race control transmissions are brought into the system via the NSA.”

While the race engineers still communicate directly to the car with an RF radio, these transmissions are brought into the Bolero network via a Riedel NSA, and the pit crew, car controller and team principal then listen to these transmissions on their belt packs. Race engineers communicate with their respective car crews via a Bolero belt pack and the car crews receive the messages from the race engineers on their own belt packs.

“Our car controller uses his belt pack to communicate with the entire crew as well as the two cars, and in some circumstances — a double stack pit stop, for example — the car controller is communicating to both drivers, both race engineers, a data engineer, team principal and up to 10 crew members all at the same time and all hands-free whilst conducting a pit stop,” Moore said.

“The obvious wow factor with the D2N solution is the difference in audio quality between an internal wireless intercom transmission and a standard RF radio transmission. They are not even comparable in terms of audio quality. However, the features and additional functions the system allows to all users are quite astounding; duplex communication is something which is very hard to go without after getting used to the freedom it allows.”

The Erebus team are now essentially operating with Formula 1-level radio communications within their garage, with the Bolero belt pack system considered to be at the very forefront of technology for wireless intercom systems. In addition, Moore praised D2N for its support packages that have helped the team use the equipment to its full potential.

“D2N is more than accommodating in helping to expand our solution whenever we require it and then cannot help enough to assist us implement that solution,” he said. “Whether it be visiting the team workshop prior to events or a last-minute installation at the circuit, they will do anything and everything possible to ensure we get the most from our communication equipment. They are happy to offer advice on all matters communication related and always happy to help us win races.”

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