Because the beacon sensor is connected to the data logger (box), it will require a channel. Using a channel is a small price to pay when you see how much more information you get by breaking the data into laps.
At or near the start/finish line tends to be the best location to place the beacon. The car's position on the track (line) will be relatively consistent by doing this. Also, the race car is always accelerating at that point, providing a much more consistent condition, and the data lap times will be similar to typical track lap times.
This concludes the cost and basic hardware aspects of data acquisition systems. Next month the replay portion of the system will be covered. You will get to see how software is used to display the sensor information and where the race car is on the track. In addition, you will see real data with tips on how to use this information to make your race car faster.