What is the iFlag?
The iFlag is a fun DIY project that you may have heard about on the iRacing forums. An iFlag is simply a Arduino Uno board with a colorshield and a RGB Matrix, which can sound a bit complicated but is actually a breeze to put together. Its purpose is to help you be more aware of the flags that iRacing offers. Instead of just having the standard small flag in the corner of the screen that pops up occasionally, the iFlag will act as a board that emits light to show you a flag, similar to those installed at real tracks so drivers can see flags. You can see what it does here.
Is the iFlag actually useful?
When I first ventured into making an iFlag I originally thought that it would be a fun DIY project, but that it's functionality would be limited, however I was very wrong. The iFlag has helped keep me on my toes at all times. As soon as the first lap traffic approaches me, a car in front spins off or I have a car to the left or right of me I know right away. As mentioned prior the iFlag also tells you when someone is on your left or right with a handy marker, which is very useful in addition to having a spotter.
How do i make an iFlag?
To make the iFlag you need three simple pieces:
An Ardiuno Uno board or any 100% Uno clone, which can be picked up for relatively cheap on Amazon.
An RGB colour shield which can be bought from Itead.
And finally an RGB colour matrix which can also be found on Amazon
To assemble simply click the color shield into the Uno and then click the RGB Matrix into place onto the shield and Uno, then plug into your computer. The finished product should look like this:
Setting up the iFlag
To set up the iFlag you need to download the software, which can be found here. Simply download it, unzip the file and run the software. After a few minutes the software should detect the uno and it will flash some colours, you can enable a demo mode to show you all the flags available and show the letter F so you can orient the iFlag correctly.
In conclusion the iFlag is a very useful tool for simracers, allowing you to get information quickly rather than possibly missing the small flag provided by iRacing it will illuminate and let you see when you are being lapped, when there is a yellow flag, when you have a slow down, when there is a car beside, and hopefully not when you are being disqualified.