race cockpits

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RAF_Beerbuzz
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race cockpits

Postby RAF_Beerbuzz » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:51 pm

Got to drive IRacing in the Apex2GT simulator at Mecum Harrisburg Saturday. The guys that run the operations there was awesome and we must have chatted for half and hour. Their products are not cheap but the sensation of driving was intense and I didn't even get a chance to drive the top end model. Check out the paperwork I picked up and their website is http://www.simcraft.com you can also buy individual parts for http://www.diysim.com
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RAF_Grit
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Re: race cockpits

Postby RAF_Grit » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:23 pm

I can't afford no 5-figure race cockpit. And if I could, it'd be an airplane cockpit, ideally made from a sectioned P-40 fuselage or something equally, preposterously cool like this:
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But while I've been super stoked with the precision of the Logitech G25 I bought off a friend (whom some of you know as Whrlwind in IL-2, AlloyCrkr in World of Tanks) when he upgraded to a G27, the G25 only has but two buttons on the wheel:
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I'd had four buttons on my old wheel (which was an amazing deal from Target for $20, 15 years ago, but was a POS as far as steering precision--which is the primary function). And AlloyCrkr's new wheel had six buttons on it, so I had a serious case of button envy.

Plus two buttons simply isn't enough. I need one for the horn so pedestrians get the f*ck off the sidewalk when I'm using it for a passing lane, one to flash the headlights at Beerbuzz to move over and let me by; how am I supposed to dump oil and carpet tacks? Or actuate the smoke screen, fire the .30-caliber Brownings nested behind the turn signals, raise the armor plate behind the rear window, and fire the ejection seat?
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So I did what any good nerd with Internet access and power tools would do: I started looking for solutions online, and rolled my own. It was an adventure, and at Beerbuzz's request here's how it transpired:

I found a bunch of ghetto links, the sim-racing equivalent of posts from ThereIFixedIt with Bluetooth keypads duct taped to the wheel. A winner as far as ease of installation, a non-starter in every other way, especially visual appeal. While I am a big fan of lazy installs, this clearly wasn't for me.

But I did find this guy's pretty slick setup: DIY Buttons for Logitech G27
http://imgur.com/a/mLqa0#DT0i2gI
I will admit I didn't much care for the aesthetics of his results:
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...which Mrs. Grit thought strongly resembled:
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I didn't like the coil cord, which was ugly. But I thought the idea of a button plate mounted between the wheel and hub was sound.

So I found me one of these on Amazon for $7.99 w/free shipping:
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...which yielded a fairly compact 4-1/4" x 1-1/8" printed circuit board Windows conveniently recognized as a USB Human Interface Device--12 button functions, no drivers needed. :ILikeIt:

After messing around lunchtimes and evenings a few days I mapped out a compact button layout I liked. A trip to the local industrial metal supply and rooting around in the remnants bin yielded a lovely 4" x 6" scrap of 3/16" stainless, which cost about $4. Spent $11 on pushbutton switches at BG Micro.com. And after spending Saturday afternoon/evening with power tools and a soldering station I managed to create some interesting 1st- and 2nd-degree burns (caught hot drill press chips on fingers, and stupidly rested my hand on fresh-from-the-grinder steel, raising an impressive-looking blister). :shock:

But I also created:
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I avoided the coil cord's visual offensiveness by opening up the wheel's base and routing the USB cable through the steering column, exiting a small hole drilled in the bottom of the hub to join the PCB mounted behind the button plate. Totally clean, out of sight and secure. :cheers:

Total cost: About $25
So I have more buttons than BeerBuzz and AlloyCrkr. I don't know if it's time well spent, though--could've put the hours invested into driver improvement, which is no amount of buttons can make up for. But at least I'm ahead of BB and Alloy by this one metric, and I'm good with that. :lol:

Oh, and for the record, Mrs. Grit thinks my finished result still looks like Simon. :cry:
So maybe this wasn't entirely a success.
—Grit
:RAFSalute:
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RAF_Beerbuzz
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Re: race cockpits

Postby RAF_Beerbuzz » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:37 am

Very nice and defiantly more buttons than my set up.
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RAF_Grit
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Re: race cockpits

Postby RAF_Grit » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:07 pm

...and you know, More Buttons = More Faster :ILikeIt:

Witness--the 2014 Sauber Mercedes Formula 1 wheel:
Image

I think I need to add more buttons. And some rotary switches. Lots of rotary switches.
—Grit
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