Big Squid RC - O'Donnell Racing TGX1 Temperature Gauge Review

January 24th, 2007 - Brian
From: http://www.O'

So I finally got my hands on a O'Donnell Racing TGX1 Temperature Gauge. If you are the sort of person that does not read reviews, and just wants a quick answer because you are on your way to the hobby shop, then YES, get one, it's good. For the rest of you that want to know what's good and bad about it, keep reading.

The gauge itself has a nice feel to it. It's easy to hold with rubber sides, not to big, and easy to find in the toolbox. It's actually a little smaller then my last gauge, (and way better, so my old gauge is now a backup, and the TGX1 is now my main gauge!) and is much easier to hold and read the screen.

When I first took it out of the package, I did like most people, and just started pressing buttons. (Who reads manuals?) To my delight the gauge actually lit up! That's right folks, this thing is backlit! This feature alone moves my old gauge to the bottom of the toolbox! At one of the tracks I normally bash at, they have indoor and outdoor night racing and as you can imagine, the outside pit ramp isn't the best lit part of the track. Having a back-lit gauge is awesome here. Instead of squinting, or trying to catch the right angle of light, it's just there, and it works!

Another nice feature of the TGX1 is the stopwatch mode. Just press the mode button at the bottom, change over to stopwatch, and you are ready to start checking those lap times! Sadly, the timer only has a START, PAUSE, and CLEAR options. It would of been great to have the ability to track multiple laps. (maybe 5?) So while it is there, and it's useful, it could of been a little more useful. It does Minutes, Seconds, and Hundredths of seconds, so when you are not dialing in your engine, and tracking lap times, you could check to see how long you have been running on a single tank of fuel, and maybe think about coming into the pits for more.

The gauge also comes with a nice little carrying case to keep it safe. You can strap the case to your belt, or just use the case to keep it safe when rolling around inside your toolbox. The gauge itself has a belt clip if you are one of those 'quick draw' type temp people who need to measure your engine temps as well as everyone's car that happens to roll by. (You know who you are)

Overall, this is a great upgrade to my old gauge, and it's a solid must have accessory. The temperature readings seem to be right on with several other devices I have laying around. So far it seems pretty durable, and the backlight feature is great! Reading through the included manual (yea, yea I know!) it explains all the features very well, and if you are confused by any of the features, all the answers are right there.

There is a little room for improvement. Consider these wish-list items. It's a great gauge without them, just wanted to share some thoughts. I would like to see a button for the backlight so that I can use it in the stopwatch mode. (The light stays off in this mode to save power, and there's no way to turn it on. Remember my dark outdoor track?) I would also love a way to maybe track several lap times. I'm not asking for a ton, maybe 5 or so. I have a poor memory, and by lap 3, I have no idea how many seconds I did lap 1 in. One last thing to add to the wish list (incase they do make an upgrade at some point) would be to have a setting that would show the temperature upside-down. If I'm holding the gauge on the engine, it would be nice not to have to tilt my head around. Yes I know I'm going to remove the gauge, and can just look at it right-side up, but I'm a geek that way, and I like little features like that.

For more information check out the web site under Accessories and Tools!

 Time to Bash  9/10 Remove it from the packaging, press buttons.
 Workability  8/10 Has some nice features; a few extras could make it amazing!
 Car Show Rating  10/10 It's bright, and has a backlight!
 Bash-A-Bility  10/10 Feels solid.
Big Squid Rating  9.0/10 Tentacles. It's one of the better gauges I have owned. For less then $40, it seems like a no brainer must have.