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Trip and Survey Meters - Code of Practice

The Don Barrow 'Code of Practice'
This same 'Code of Practice' applies to users of trip meters Survey Meters

Please print this article in your Rally Regulations, so that all Competitors know you are using this system.

All events whether Stage, Road or Regularity Rallies should adhere to a standard 'Code of Practice', so that the Competitor who also uses the same 'Code of Practice' can achieve a far better and accurate result.

Many Organisers fail to grasp the vital importance of providing an exact 100% (cast iron guaranteed) measured distance for all competitors to set up their Tripmeters. Therefore, certain important rules have to be adhered to, these apply whether your are setting up in Kilometres or Miles.
When measuring an exact known Mile or Kilometre, it is imperative to use an Electronic Tripmeter set up in it's Calculation Mode - so that an exact Distance can be recorded and replicated in pulses per Mile or Kilometre. As an example, if an Electronic Tripmeter in Calculation Mode, records 1997 Pulses to the Mile, as against 01.00 Mile (Normal Running Mode measuring Miles) on the Tripmeter Display - you can clearly see that by setting up your new Test Distance in Calculation Mode, using the known 1997 Pulses, will be more accurate than using 100 units to replicate. Because
at 1997 each measured Pulse = 31.72" (2.64' or .81 Metres)
at 100 each measured 100th of a mile = 633.60" (52.80' or 16.24 Metres)
This shows that an organiser using the Normal Running Mode, could actually proceed beyond the 01.00 Mile displayed on the Tripmeter, by up to 52.79' (16.24 Metres) before the Tripmeter registers 01.01.

Therefore it's imperative to use the Tripmeter in Calculation Mode. Get this wrong - especially on Regularity events and you will have a lot of disgruntled competitors to contend with. It's just as easy to get it right, as it is to get it wrong!

Imagine a Competitor setting up their Electronic Tripmeter exactly to the Organisers set Measured Mile, which is incorporating an error, and then competing on a Regularity Section of 50 Miles in length. Their Timing would be 'way out' let alone having to adjust the Distances in the Road Book to suit all the Junctions etc.

Important Notes

  • It's no use quoting the measured Distance Starts opposite the telephone box, this is not accurate enough
  • Or that it's at a white marker post in the grass verge, these can be moved by locals or other competitors
  • Although you may be breaking the law, paint the road with a White Line or Dot exactly at the Start and Finish
  • Obviously remove immediately after the event or paint over
  • Or use a permanent roadside fixture to another permanent roadside fixture, irrespective of the Distance
  • If the above Test Distance given is 1.750, ÷ your Trip Readout by 1.750 to give your Trip switch set up
  • Once set, all other Course Cars should set their Tripmeters in Calculation Mode to this Distance
  • And every time any Course Car carries out further surveys on the Route
  • The longer the Test, maybe 2 or 3 Miles, the better the accuracy
  • Ideally the test should be on a straight piece of road

However if not

  • Use a racing line on your side of the Road at all times
  • Obey ALL road Markings, especially at T Junctions and X Roads etc
  • Specify which approach lane and directions to use at Roundabouts

If using a circular circuit


  • Use anti - clockwise for driving on the LH side of the road (UK) - Use clockwise for RH Countries
  • This ensures the defined route and measured distance is adherred to more closely
  • Use a permanent roadside fixture in a lay-by and back to the same fixture, irrespective of the Distance
  • If the Test Distance is 7.780, ÷ your Trip Readout by 7.780 to give your Trip switch set up per 01.00 Mls / Klms

Route info

  • All Secret Timing Points should be sited exactly at the pre-measured Control Points, mark if possible as above
  • When making a Road Book, simply record the Total Distances only at Junctions/Controls etc
  • By using a DB Tulip Road Book Editor disc, all Inter Distances are automatically generated


  • At the Start of every event, always set up your Tripmeter in Calculation Mode to measure the Test Distance
  • Keep a log of all your known Pulse Settings
  • Pay special attention when measuring the Test Distance
  • Don't be satisfied with your first run, always treble check
  • Follow all the above Important Points and you will soon improve your skills



Copyright - Don Barrow - 2002 - This article may be re-produced in it's entirety only with a Credit to Don Barrow.