Updated: It appears that use of the Stella is pretty much guaranteed at this point. NORRA took the time to upload the STELLA III EVO Usage Instructions - English video on their Youtube page a couple of weeks ago.
I assume (yeah I said it) that the Stella mount I bought a couple years ago will still work with the new, improved, low carb, low fat, UV protected, anti microbacterial, gluten free, latex free, peanut free Stella?
NORRA has released official information regarding the STELLA III EVO tracker that will be used in the 2019 NORRA 1000. The STELLA III EVO is a revised product and requires a new power cable and GPS antenna. The updated Power Cable and GPS Antenna are currently available for purchase via the ANUBE website.
To anybody not sure how this works... If you have the old Stella "Bracket" and "Base Support" they will work with the new "new" Stella III Evo. The old Stella power cable and GPS cable is not compatible and will NOT work with the new EVO III unit. Again, if you have the OLD Stella components you will still need to purchase this updated power supply cable and GPS ahead of time via the Anube website or at TECH.
Installation will require that you have a fused but direct 12v supply readily available for the "installer" of the device that will take place in Ensenada. It must be an always on (direct to the battery) fused 12v source. It should not be powered by a switched power supply! The idea is if you have a crash you can shut the primary battery swtich to OFF for safety but the Stella still needs to receive power directly from the battery so it can send / receive information.
If this is your first year at NORRA or your first time using a Stella tracker this $75 deal is as cheap as it gets. Order one NOW and plan on assisting the Anube crew with the installation at the start of the tech line. You will NOT be allowed to proceed through tech until the Stella unit has been installed and verified to work. If you park in line and block everyone behind you that came prepared you'll waste your time and others. If you have any questions (no matter how stupid you think they are) please PM me. I've been there and done that with the trackers at NORRA and would be happy to answer any questions. If I don't know the answer I can ask the NORRA ops and get you the information.
Ok I've been called by a couple people asking me and I don't know the answer. What is the "mount?" People keep using the word mount in their communications, including the email from NORRA. If you go to the Anube website, there is no "mount" listed. There is an installation kit, which has all the antennas and wires and the little plate that actually holds the Stella. Then there is the "bracket," which is basically a caveman style Ram mount which attaches the plate to the roll cage.
What part of this are they supplying at tech? The $55 bracket for the roll cage? Or does everybody have to buy the bracket AND the install kit?
And if I already have the stuff from two years ago, it looks like there is now another antenna plus the power new power cable. Do I have to order this or can I just get it at tech?
And for the love of all that is holy, why can't we just use the SAME **** TWO YEARS IN A ROW?
The Installation Kit includes the bare minimum to get the "new" STELLA III EVO up and running. It includes the antennas, power cable, base support, etc.
The $50.00 Upgraded Components will include the new power cable and the new GPS antenna that the Stella III EVO requires. This will allow owners of the "old" installation kit to retain most of what they have purchased from a previous race and save $25.00 bucks.
Purchasing just the Upgraded Components doesn't seem like a great deal considering you can purchase the complete Installation Kit for $75.00 using the $100.00 off Discount Code: 0223NA19 --- As with anything electronic that is subject to abuse during and after a race it might make sense to simply spend the extra $25.00 bucks and have everything "new" at the start of the race to avoid problems. If your old Iridium antenna cable is damaged you might not know it until you've started having problems during the race. I've advised everyone I know to purchase the complete kit rather than the upgrade kit. You can always use the "old" Iridium antenna as a spare if the new one gets damaged (it happens).
Bracket: (not included in Installation Kit or Upgrade Kit)
The $50.00 Bracket is sold separately from the Installation Kit now. The Bracket makes it much easier to install the Stella to a tube (A-pillar usually) using hose clamps. From what I was told the "old" Bracket that a bunch of us already own will work with the Stella III EVO. So if you've got the Bracket left over from a previous race it should be compatible.
Base Support: (included in Installation Kit)
This is the multi-hole equipped mounting plate that the Stella unit itself is attached to. The STELLA III EVO sits in the Base Support and is secured with a Velcro strap. This Base Support needs to be attached to the car somehow and the easiest way is to purchase the $50.00 Stella Bracket. Yeah, the Bracket is ugly but for $50.00 bucks it might not be worth making your own version that's nicer. Without the $50.00 Bracket you will have to figure out a way to attach the Stella Base Support to your car. The Stella Base Support needs to be very solidly mounted so when the buttons are smashed in the heat of battle it stays put and doesn't wander around when the course gets rough.
Yes, NORRA has said that racers will be able to purchase individual components like the new power cable and antenna at TECH in Ensenada. Buying the parts now is advised as it will save time as the transaction won't have to take place in Ensenada during TECH while everyone else around you is frantically trying to purchase parts and get their STELLA installed and working.