MMOs – OSW Open Sim Wheel Project

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015 Everyone 🙂

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MMOs OSW Opensimwheel Project

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This won’t be a review or a tutorial of the project, It is only a photo log of my project from start to finished. (with a little bit of explanation)

Firstly, I would like to thank Phillip Jansen Van rensburg (a.k.a Beano) for the tutorial guide from the iRacing forum (Link to the tutorial is here) which can be followed just as I did to complete this project.

I also would like to thank:

MMOs form virtualracing.org forum for the software + Firmware and his dedication of R&D to make this project a possibility

Berhard Berger from the Opensimwheel.net

Martin Ascher for the mount and written tutorial guide link here ( and his driving videos 🙂 – Check out his website if you haven’t already at http://www.ascher-racing.com/opensimwheel/

Everyone in this project who makes this dream a reality by your contribution be it suggestions or opinion, I thank you very very much.

Additional pre-project reading material and source to download the file (Software side of things) can be found in MMOs thread in Virtualracing forum here (You’ll need a google chrome or translate for non german speaking reader) The main important thing before I start this project is to understand the wiring diagram that Beano post on the thread, after studying it carefully and understand it, I started my adventure. First of, this is the Build of Material that I use (the 4 last entry on the spreadsheets are from Jaycar electronics)

PART AND LINKS QTY
LARGER 20-30nM 130ST-M15015
130ST-M15015 http://www.aliexpress.com/item/hot-sell-2-3kw-synchronous-motor/1097322214.html 1
Cables and connectors Contact Lisa Zhan via email 1
Power Supply ARGON SNT RS 25 24 http://www.reichelt.de/index.html?ARTICLE=137087 1
STM32F4DISCOVERY http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?KeyWords=497-11455-ND%20&WT.z_header=search_goItem%202 1
ARGON SERVO DRIVE Consists of 1
Digital Servo Drive Argon http://shop.granitedevices.com/product/30/digital-servo-drive-argon 1
HAlf brick Heat Sink (argon & VSD-E) – Link 4
ARgon Resistor 250W 82 Ohm – Link 1
Simple Motion V2 USB Adapter http://shop.granitedevices.com/product/32/simplemotion-v2-usb-adapter 1
COUPON CODE FOR ARGON: V2dDG429, V8jf432d, V7jf432d
Alu Enclosure-Link 1
Drivelock bush http://www.beltingonline.com/drivelock-13-22×47-dl13-9694 1
adapter board for Discovery Dennis Reiner info Available after 17/12/2014 1
HUB from BEano 1
Servo Mount from Martin Ascher http://www.ascher-racing.com/shop/mige-mounting-bracket/ 1
10amp Incoming AC (230vAC) line filter – Link 1
dual pole Emergency Push button (for 3 Phase Estop) http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/161402846989?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649 1
120mm 12v DC Silent Fan from Jaycar 1
Power Converter from 24vac – 12v DC Jaycar 1
Jumper cable, fuse, fuse holder, cat 6s, switch, fasteners, terminal block, rainbow 15 ribbon cable,db15 head, 26pin ribbon , Ferrites choke, 3 core cable 1
Single pole Emergency Switch(for enabler) , neutrik usb, jumper lead, power switch. 1

Start of picture below. these are the first stage when parts start arriving. it doesn’t take very long for it to arrive Mainly 1-2 weeks ( it was the Christmas period after all) Picture of Mige servo arrival (bottom box servo, top box cables) the servo weighs at 13.5Kg

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The hub mount that can be coupled with the Split bushing arrived, thank you Beano (picture shows with 2 layer of RMK adapter mounted)

The Rest of the material arrived ( Box, controller, Discovery, PSU filter,etc )

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Material Preparation , (Wiring diagram – Check, wires- Check, tools -check)

Messy colourful wires is a necessity 😛

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Back and side view one last time before closing 

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Wiring completed

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Completed

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It’s ALIVE

Calibration Stage

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Martin’s Mount Arrived 

 

Mounted

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Testing time
2015 is a great year for sim racers, going from normal wheel to direct drive is like going from CRT to a triple screen racing, not going to give review but After  2 weeks racing and driving with MMOs wheel full time, I am very very amazed.

This is the impression I gave to those who asks:

Star Mazda at Road Atlanta

” it’s sooo stiff and violent all the road surface and bumps are so rapid and you will feel so connected to the road like ever before”

larger NM number means weaker FFB – so that video was at 48Nm It is now 28Nm, When I click 1 more up it becomes 45Nm, meaning it’s about 60.1% of the full force iracing supply, still not 1:1 yet it is now 1:1 (100%) (until I crank it up to 28Nm) however even at 45Nm in iracing slider, during the double right hand apex hairpin, when I accidentally clip a curb too high, my elbow felt like it was about to buckle, i think to drive this at a right force, you need a correct seating position to ensure it is safe, real race car position where the steering wheel is close to your chest and high, so you utilise your back muscle to turn that wheel instead of using your hand muscle.”

another thing is with Direct Drive wheel, it is not like normal wheel where when you crank up the force you loose detail because of clipping, the more force you crank up the clearer and more powerfull the detail is. there is no clipping in F Meter, and most importantly you push that wheel to the limit = pushing the tyre to limit, when tyre start to loose traction you will feel the wheel got loosen and lighter so clearly and much earlier, you know it’s time to catch that slide baby!!
Real VS virtual (Virtual Ouch!)

 the force that I apply to the brake pedal can be felt soo clear and so precise with this wheel , the more pressure I put, the heavier the wheel is and turning is like lifting 10KG of weight , I understand now why race car driver use steering weight training”

Daytona in a Ford GT3

one thing that really surprises me I can feel road surface again- oh the joy, road surface feeling since the G27 is now back baby and it’s on steroids, it’s gives me instant road feel so fast so many times, again and again, I kept smiling lap after lap , there is subtle vibration with every bumps and grid of the road ( I was thinking this is a placebo at first) but after 2 hour, I I know Im not crazy, daytona road surface felt smoother on the bottom than on top, top is a bit rougher, with t500 the road surface can be felt too , but with this it’s like amplified and clarified so many times that I am so sure it’s a fact (a subtle vibration can be felt a lot more on top than on the bottom).

The elevation of car ‘s weight transfer during Bathurst corkscrew experience is such a wakeup call. With this wheel I can feel that a turn should be done this way not that way, the speed of turning and the angle of turning dictated so strongly that If I fight it I know I’ll crash or spin ), I am more patience with my throtle because I can feel a lot more with my steering wheel and Im waiting for it to tell me when it is ok to push and when it’s not, it is clear as night and day.

I can let the car and steering wheel and the weight of the car glide into position, do it’s job, rather than me muscling it or forcing the car to do turns that is unnatural The weight of the car and road surface can be felt so much faster and instant than what I have played with before.

In my first lap, because I wasn’t expecting such a jolt and culture shock, I was 5 -6 seconds off my normal time, on lap 5, Im 100th off my normal laptime. lap 8 I was doing a purple lap by half a second, by lap 10 I hit 1 second faster than my PB with t500.(im still very slow but this wheel has really woke me up to what a steering wheel should feel like) 

it really is something that needs to be felt to understand.”

Testing Gamestock Car Extreme Formula V12

100% Force Oulton Park in a Lotus 79

70% Force – Road Atlanta in Radical SR8

Sincerely,

Marcus Hwang

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Temporary Renovation

Hi Again everyone, I have found a better way to wire the wheel and peripherals to the dash and I wanted to post this is because I think this will send sparks of inspiration, Ideas and hopefully be useful.It has taken me over 4 months to get it to this stage (mainly because of waiting on parts). I am calling it a temporary renovation.

The Dash-
First – I was running 3 x BBI-32 controller and a Cthulhu controller simultaneously.
(one for the button box, one for the nascar dash and one for the V8SC Shifter )
not only this contribute to a lot of clutter but it has a lot of wastage in terms of inputs management.

Picture below, displaying connection of USB and Radio on the right.

and previous button box with 2 ps/2 connector at the bottom.

The Frex sequential shifter and Frex Handbrake is running via the same BBI-32 on the Button box – detachable via 2 x Ps/2 Cables( as picture above)
The V8Shifter is running a single BBI-32 just for + and –
and The dashboard also run another BBI-32.
This has started to create problems sometimes where windows won’t start if I have all three PCB plugged in to the USB hub/ directly.

Second,- The ability to change wheel and change the number of buttons/input on the go is a necessity not just a “want”.

Third,- Dashboard is as important as the rig it self. This adds immersion, centralised all useful informations (temp, fuel, etc) without pressing any button and it will save cost in the long run.

To combine these three things together, a new dashboard needs to be created in order to:
1. Attach/detach the Frex shifter and handbrake (3 inputs and 1 ground) (Read 4 pins)
2, Attach/detach the V8 sequential Shifter (2 inputs +1 ground) (read 3 pins)
3. Attach/detach the PTT radio button (1 input + 1 ground) (read 2 Pins)

This Dashboard below is made from 3mm Galvanised steel plate with Carbon fibre vinyl. -cut and measured to be as comfortable to use as possible.
2 red missile toggle safety switches is used to cut down power to the Z1 sim screen and the Gauges. Another one on far right is for a Fan in the future.

Point #2 and #3 can be combined using 1 ground (common) i.e. they can share the same ground, therefore in order to save space and save number of inputs in the Controller (BBI-32) , I decided to join the Frex Handbrake and Frex Sequential in to one 4-core cable to make 1 male plug.
Like Picture below.

The female counter parts that goes behind the dash and wired into the BBI-32 controller board

The picture below displays the middle part of the female socket of picture above and how the back of the Female socket looks like,
it is detachable from the ring/dashboard so if there is any wiring issue in the future it can be conveniently detach from the socket.

For the V8 shifter and the PTT button, a second female Binder (mrs binder) is installed on the dashboard, but instead of joining the 2 Peripherals like how the Frexes are , 2 Male binder socket was used.
One for the radio button ( connected to Pin 1 and 3/ground) and another for the V8 Shifter (connected to pin 2, 4 and 3/ ground) – all that is needed when using the Radio button is to unplug the Shifter male socket and plugging the Radio Male socket in.

For the NEW GT3 wheel : with 11 inputs, using the 4 pole binder is not possible anymore. luckily it has a bigger brother with 12 pins and 15 pins (for both Male and female) it cost a little bit more than the 4 pins but it’s totally justifiable.

screen shot 2014 02 26 at 5 54 32 pm

screen shot 2014 02 26 at 5 54 32 pm

screen shot 2014 02 26 at 5 57 10 pm

screen shot 2014 02 26 at 5 57 10 pm

The above pictures are the female and Male 12 pins connector.
This connector gets a little tricky to terminate – as the female parts have 12 pins (11 inputs and 1 ground) and to put it in perspective. the diameter of the black circle on the female bits are the same size as Australian 5c coin.
Imagine soldering 12 wire that can not touch one another inside a 5c coin.

It took 1.5 hour going through this, Wires and solder is slowly fed into each pin and re-melt.

For the male-end, a 15 core spiral cable was used so 3 of the cores remain unused (since it’s a 12 pins socket)


The video above is displaying finished result of spirals wiring.

Overall, Soldering and wiring the female end was much harder than wiring the male end even tough both looks about the same time.

To make sure there are no cross connects between each pin and the connectivity is in tact after completion, each of the cable and the pins on the male socket was tested using multi tester, heat shrunk and re tested again.

Wheel and Wheel plate arrived

screen shot 2014 02 26 at 6 09 26 pm

screen shot 2014 02 26 at 6 09 26 pm

screen shot 2014 02 26 at 6 10 01 pm

screen shot 2014 02 26 at 6 10 01 pm

meaning: Time to start the wiring …again.

This by far is the most challenging wiring I have ever came across , the Mod27C wiring of the SLI- PRO regardless of number of inputs still feels simple compare to this.
Reason:
Terminating/Soldering from the button end have caused so much clutter. So It had to be terminated from the spiral ends.
Everything has to be done properly (soldered, heat shrunk and tied together) on both ends.

a Magnifying glass was required to wire them.

A quick suggestion: note the picture below. each cable was terminated but not soldered. Please leave the soldering until the very end.
Right after all the wire is inside heat shrink tube.

A lesson learnt (pic below) – many wastage of wire and heat shrink tubbing and not to mention all the time to rinse and repeat.

A Cable Gland is also used to secure the spirals from tugging way all those connection. the gland once tightened is hot glued to the carbon fibre plate.

When it’s all done.

img 7269

img 7269

img 7270

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There is still some space for flappy paddle shifter in the future.

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dsc 7533

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dsc 7544

Edit 28 Feb 2014:  Friday 5:08 AM,  looking at the picture tells me that something is not right. The rotary encoder that we  use here should be a rotary switch instead (pay attention to the three label around the rotary knob at the real car), three labels equal three positions. So I have to made the change, good thing BBI-32 have it’s own 2 point rotary switches.

All those inputs from the Dashboard – Shifters – Radio Button and the Steering wheels are connected (detachable) to one BBI32 controller board vs 3 previously.
The Benefit of running this behind the dashboard is so that future wheel/peripherals only require a set of spiral cables, plate, buttons and the male jacks instead of all that plus another controller board. plus it is just like the real thing.

The full end results.

Sim VS The GT3

I hope you benefited and enjoy this as much as I do. Lastly I would like to thank the one and only :Antonino Nizza for the Wheel plate. without him agreeing to make them, all of this would not have happened.

Good Luck and Happy sim racing 2014
Marcus

Fun Little clip and previously finished wheels

Here’s a clip of it’s in live race at Bathurst

T500 RS F1 Rim Guide -Part 3 (update 29/12/12)

Continued from PART 2

PART 3 – Internal Structures and Positions (THE HARD YARD)

Please read carefully and take as much time as needed to do this part – do it carefully

Disclaimer : Please be aware!! , That by following this guide, you are voiding your warranty of the F1 Wheel rim from Thrustmaster™ – IF you decide to do this, I will not take any responsibility for any damage this guide may cause to you, your body and/or your surroundings, you do this at your own risk., Thrustmaster will void the warranty of the rim (not the base) as soon as you open this wheel and/or made any modification to it. Kids /adults If you are under the age of 15 please close this page NOW! unless you have your parent’s supervision while doing this.- I will not take any responsibility for any damage you may caused (in case you burn down the place or have lead (chemistry code: Pb- read: plumbum) poisoning from using the solder iron and/or cut your self from having flying dremmel cutter bits fly in to your eyeballs) I am seriously thinking hard about not putting this guide online for these reasons. SO if you never use any electrical tools before, please DO NOT do this mod.

At this point, you need to drill from the front of the wheel in order to install rotary switches and encoders where they should be.
the holes are 7mm – I’ve marked the positions in red .
WEAR YOUR EYE PROTECTION NOW !!! – Drill where it is marked with red circles.

Where I marked “FLATTEN THESE: That is the area that represents “pseudo” knob, they need to be flatten out, the faceplate material of these bulging pseudo knobs are made from aluminium. the inside is hollow- so it should be fairly easy to do –
MAKE SURE YOU TAKE OUT THE ALUMUNIUM ROTARY COLOURFUL STICKERS FIRST before doing this as you’ll need it to cover the dremel/flatten out area.
again – be careful and go very slow – required a set of steady hands– make sure each one is clean and use your dremel sander drill bit to refine the edges – no protruding and sharp edges, etc.

If you want to have external LEDs you need to drill an extra hole(s) maximum of 5 supported by SLI-PRO – I am having 2 on each side and 1 next to the DRS button, drill carefully.

THIS WORKS TAKES A LOT OF TIME AND PATIENCE, YOU MAY NEED TO TAKE BRAKES IN BETWEEN JUST BE VERY CAREFUL OR YOU’LL END UP WITH A “SCAR FACED RIM”

There is an easier method to do this, by taking out the aluminium face plate completely you don’t need to flatten the surface of those pseudo knobs, however you’ll loose the middle sticker and all the writings.

Once done, flip it around and you should face the inside of the rim like picture below.
I’ve marked the area that is required in order to fit rotary switches where the holes are

Carefully flatten out those marked from A to F with the dremel- this is where it gets difficult – DO NOT CUT OUT TOO MUCH -use the red markings as guide
as structurally it will still be very strong while the internal have more space for your switches.

PS: see the button already installed on the right (top right of “C”) that hole is from the stock buttons and the waterproof button fits perfectly

The picture below is where the shifter block are, this also needs to be flatten out to create space for your rotary switch.

so it looks like this BEFORE AND AFTER (below)

If you notice the picture above the elevation from “down” to “top” is now totally gone in the AFTER picture. also the 2 round cylindrical is now also gone. there are 2 springs inside , don’t worry ,that springs is only to create tension for the shifter, without it, the shifters feels exactly the same. it’s either taking these out or you can’t have any rotary switch(es)

Now after this, you can start drilling holes for the SLI-RPO spot and where the rotary goes.

It may looks very ugly at this point, but don’t give up – you are on the right path. Place your SLI-PRO in the area above and see if everything matches up. If they do leave it for now, if you have problem “pushing” or placing the SLI-PRO in to the front of the face. – skim more of the structural plastic until there is enough space, BE PATIENCE – GO SLOW when you skimming it with dremel.

!!! NOTE: This section is the hardest part to do as you need to be precise of where you want the SLI-PRO to go. if you choose to just cut the outer area of the SLI-PRO in Bottom of PART 2  then you need a screen/face plate to hold them in space. I suggest making one from black tinted perspex ( as I will be making one soon to replace my current one)

Place your rotary switches and button like so and make sure that the face of the rotary switches are flat on the inside of the wheel rim like picture above. (I’ll tell you how to do the middle one later)
once you place the rotaries flat – grab the shifter block that you have trimmed down and sit /install it back to where it was before. see if you can reach the flushed point where it closes/sits properly with the 4 screws (bigger ones) installed to the end.

you see on the picture above, the glue is touching the shifter block, that means 2 things, I melt the glue so it has more space and/or trim a little more.
So I did. Never try to force them if they don’t fit – they don’t fit!.

Once those holes are drilled , place your rotaries where it should go ( notice I put 2 rotary encoders on top) instead of switches – the reason being is there are 2 very important structural “bones” that holds the shifter block and Thrustmaster “Quick-ish” release – If you want to install rotary switches on that position (where marked “REV” and BOOST” from the front) those 2 “bones” must be taken out and it will affect the rigidity of this rim.

The middle rotaries gets a little trickier as the holes are already in place from the FERRARI knob that we took out earlier (you’ll need the knobs as well if you want this to look authentic) what you can use is put a washer in between the face of the rim and the locking nut, that way the Rotary switch is secured – another lazier method is using hot glue (NOT RECOMMENDED)

Once installed try turning the rotaries and make sure they are secured tight and not moving around. all the buttons are in place and secured.

Time for you to wire them up. Grab your ribbon cable from bodnar and have the wiring diagram handy (it’s the coloured ones I post on the second part) or if you can’t find it . go here (http://www.leobodnar.com/products/SLI-PRO/SLI-PRO%20User%20Manual.pdf)

The Cables needs to be tidy and make sure you split the ribbon cable properly in order to save space later on.
I solder the wires from the ribbon cables directly on to the buttons and rotaries. – don’t’ forget to solder the wire coming from shifter block to the ribbon cable also.

Same with the rotary switches like picture above. – be careful not to touch the solder-iron tip with the solder point of the rotary switches. as it may damage the internal circuitry.

TIP: Try to Flatten each wire after you solder them and secure it temporarily with a masking tape or gaffer tape, before you went to the next button/rotaries to get the cable out of your way

After you finish, it’s time to connect the ribbons to the SLI-Pro and test all the buttons out.
make sure you configure the rotary encoders using the software provided in leobodnar’s website and then go to control panel -> SLI-PRO -> properties and press each button/rotation, see each one lit up as you press. and Christmas should be near 🙂

as an addition I’ve installed a 5mm LED housings next to the DRS button for… well DRS signal

Right click on the SLI Max Manager and test the device.

Install your rotary knobs – your face plate – put the round stock aluminium colourful stickers back .

To install the middle Ferrari knob, – carefully remove the yellow Ferrari cap, leaving just the black part (jagged), drill the centre to fit the rotary switch “D” shape shaft.
place it flat on the face and hot glue the shaft (small amount) to the black jagged rotary cap , and put the yellow ferrari cap back on.

close the wheel rim and time for you to take it for a spin.

If it all seem too hard – I would recommend someone else do it for you. couple of places that I am aware of at the time of writing this.
Zelko Roso www.Zroso.com – waiting time might be a while – but you get a complete custom wheel – not a Thrustmaster ™ mod

Feel free to throw me a question / post a comment below if you decide to go the DIY route and need any tips / guide. I’ll try my best to answer them.

Conclusion:
It has been a challenge for me as I wasn’t expecting it to be this complicated- however during the process I have learnt so much that I think every sim racers/ DIY enthusiast must go through once to see how wonderfully complicated – how much precision and attention to details required in order to appreciate the process in making an F1 wheel rim.

I am certain this one will never be “complete/ finished”, there are always things to be done, it is one of those things that can go as far as your will and as high as you dream.
Dream big and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way.
Have a Merry Christmas 2012 and I wish for you to have a wonderful New Year of 2013.

Thank you all for the support for the past 12 months- hope to see you all very very soon.

Cheers,
Marcus

UPDATE 29th Dec 2012

In addition to Roso’s wheel from the link above http://www.zroso.com – I have just came across a company that is also manufacturing high quality formula 1 wheel – Meet : SalaMotorsport, Their new website is still under construction at the time of this post- however , the information was that,  website will begin to launch in early 2013, and that the wheel using  full Carbon Fibre body with the options  of SLI-PRO and upcoming SLI-F1, which means only one thing, that THIS is or will be the closest thing you can get to actually touching the real thing and it is apparently made in the exact process that the real Formula 1 Wheel ($45,000) is made . There is no price at the time this is post. however with this much photo to convince us the reader, I will be keeping an eye on the news when this is released.

Information provided and quoted directly from the source:

  • SalaMotorsport are 80% complete on the new F1 Sim steering wheel and it will be available in the new year.
  • This wheel is pre-preg carbon fibre construction and will use the new Leo Bodnar SLI-F1 unit and has 28 control buttons,switches and dials, all fully programmable.
  • Made in the exact process that the real formula one (ÂŁ45,000) wheels are made and only the best materials and top quality switches from Leo Bodnar are used in its construction.
  • Production wheels will have Alcantara grips, clear extra led’s and Electrical Lifeline quick release bosses with adapters for all types of wheel base.
  • It will be come in its own flightcase for protection.
  • More updates to follow.
  • The Salamotorsport website will be up and running at the start of 2013.

Here are couple of pictures to entice our taste buds before the website launch , one for SLI-PRO ,…

SLI-PRO - SALA

another for SLI-F1

SLI-F1- SALA

Back panel with shifters and clutches

photo%20%285%29

Someof WIP Rotaries and and  different options grip

photo%20%288%29

I would like to thank Scott from SALA motorsport for allowing me to use the pictures in this blog.

I hope you all have a great New Year 2013. See you very very soon. I will cover this topic in a new post when more information is received.

Marcus 

F1 Rim Guide -Part 2

Continued from PART 1

PART 2 – Electronics and Buttons

Disclaimer : Please be aware!! , That by following this guide, you are voiding your warranty of the F1 Wheel rim from Thrustmaster™ – IF you decide to do this, I will not take any responsibility for any damage this guide may cause to you, your body and/or your surroundings, you do this at your own risk., Thrustmaster will void the warranty of the rim (not the base) as soon as you open this wheel and/or made any modification to it. Kids /adults If you are under the age of 15 please close this page NOW! unless you have your parent’s supervision while doing this.- I will not take any responsibility for any damage you may caused (in case you burn down the place or have lead (chemistry code: Pb- read: plumbum) poisoning from using the solder iron and/or cut your self from having flying dremmel cutter bits fly in to your eyeballs) I am seriously thinking hard about not putting this guide online for these reasons. SO if you never use any electrical tools before, please DO NOT do this mod.

OK – Now you have all the tools (that includes the eye protection) Lets do this.
First you need to open ALL of the screws using the Philip head screwdriver – all of them. on the back

and 4 screws on the face plate .

Lay the wheel rim face down on a piece of cloth and carefully remove the back plate – there should be 3 sets of wires still attached to the main PCB – These are the paddle shifters wire and the PS/2 connectors that goes to the T500 RS base, remove them from the main PCB on the rim.(the two in red and black wires )

and one with coloured wires – It should connect to the molex socket as depict below in purple markers. -carefully remove them.

Once you remove the paddle shifters’ wire from the socket, you can easily remove the rest of the molex from the main PCB and the 4 screws holding the PCB to the rim (marked in RED)

Now this is the point of for you to decide whether or not you want to keep the stock buttons, these buttons are hot glued inside the rim and is a bit tricky to get out, either way if you manage to get them out – the waterproof buttons should fit perfecty in the place , if you decide to use the stock ones, you need to cut the white molex connector and strip the tips of those red and black wires.
I choose to to take the stock buttons off.

This is where you need the Manual here -> http://www.leobodnar.com/products/SLI-PRO/SLI-PRO%20User%20Manual.pdf
oh heck you only need these diagram for this purpose- here it is. (photos are from Leobodnar.com) I do not take any credit in creating these diagrams.

the colours represent the actual colours on the ribbon cables itself.

you need to figure out how many functions/button you are going to assign on the SLI-PRO

The Maximum you may currently assign is 16 Buttons + 6 rotary switch
-The Wheel rim have 8 buttons in total – please see numbers marked in red from 1 – 8 ;
– 2 thumb encoders that comes originally with the wheel (marked button 9-10 /LEFT and 11-12/Right)
– on the one I did I use the 2 spots on top (marked Rotary encoders #3 (button 13-14) and encoders #4 (button 15-16 )

IT has taken all maximum 16 functions/ buttons, but what about the paddle shifters you say? – well you see the PDF guide – each 12 position rotary encoders Switches also provide/take up a functions.
so if you only use 4 ROTARY SWITCHES instead of maximum 6 – you are left with another 2 unused buttons. so I use the 2 functions as  button 31 and 31 for the paddle sifters.

Once you figured these out. It’s time to create some space for the SLI-PRO

This next step of cutting and drilling require you to wear EYE-Protection, so go on, put them on now,( hmm maybe not while you reading this. but when you are actually doing the cutting)

I use my SLI-PRO as a guide to where it should go.

once you figure this out.- there are couple of ways that you can do start your preparation.
You need to take out the “Thrustmaster™” face plate after you remove the 2 screws holding it. ( at the back of my SLI-pro on the picture above)

First you draw the area around the outside of the SLI pro where you are cutting – and cut the shape later on.
or
second method is creating a stencil first using a masking tape.
1 place your masking tape (with the sticky side on the led of the SLI -Pro) gently and try to get it as straight flat as possible. (probably the easiest way is put the masking tape face up on a flat surface – and then put your SLI-PRO face down at the sticky area leaving the marks)
2 peel it off gently – do not yank it as it may damage the connection
3. you should see a mark of where the LED goes. – This is where you get your hole puncher and – start punching holes on the masking tape where those marks are.
(Sorry I did not took any picture while doing this . but I have a picture of when I did the Carbon vinyl face sticker) the hole puncher’s holes are perfect for the SLI-PRO

4. Check to see if the holes match exactly to the actually SLI-PRO.
5. If it doesn’t match, repeat this process. its should be quite easy the first time – be patience with the hole-punching.
6 .If everything matched- apply the hole-punched masking tape on face of the rim – where you want the SLI-PRO to go – and start drawing with the pencils where you need to drill.

OK-EDIT 6th Jan 2013, If only I google the word “SLI-PRO guide”Life would be much easier  just found this, photo is courtesy from Race department user Jadran Dimic. Now at least this guide may be a little easier to follow.:)

SLI-PRO Template

See above ^^ where the pencil markers are ( I forgot to take out the Thrustmaster ™ plate) – I used these as a guide for the holes.

Take out all the buttons and these rotary knobs – I should be fairly easy to do so from the inside

Once all the button and electronics are out – The next part is determining areas to be cut out and “flatten” for rotary placements.
To be continued at Part 3 here

T500 RS F1 Rim Replica Guide -PART 1

PART 1 – Equipment and Materials

Disclaimer : Please be aware!! , That by following this guide, you are voiding your warranty of the F1 Wheel rim from Thrustmaster™ – IF you decide to do this, I will not take any responsibility for any damage this guide may cause to you, your body and/or your surroundings, you do this at your own risk., Thrustmaster will void the warranty of the rim (not the base) as soon as you open this wheel and/or made any modification to it. Kids /adults If you are under the age of 15 please close this page NOW! unless you have your parent’s supervision while doing this.- I will not take any responsibility for any damage you may caused (in case you burn down the place or have lead (chemistry code: Pb- read: plumbum) poisoning from using the solder iron and/or cut your self from having flying dremmel cutter bits fly in to your eyeballs) I am seriously thinking hard about not putting this guide online for these reasons. SO if you never use any electrical tools before, please DO NOT do this mod.

Brief Introduction:
Some of the method(s) used in making modifying this rim could be un-orthodox to some, rough on the edges at first even – however the end result if you do this right , is guaranteed pure satisfaction. Nothing beats the wheel that you make yourself. it is one of those things that you can keep forever and never grows tired of.

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, Let us begin.

The Materials needed to do this are as follows:
1. 1 x Thrustmaster F150 italia replica wheel rim ( and of course a T500RS wheel if you are planning to use this wheel)

2. 1 x Sli Pro with the optional ribbon cable from www.leobodnar.com (SLI-F1 will be better if/when they are released)

plus those ribbon cables

Keep the guide open here’s link (http://www.leobodnar.com/products/SLI-PRO/SLI-PRO%20User%20Manual.pdf)

3. 4 x 12 position rotary switches from www.leobodnar.com (Get them from Bodnar as these will work with SLI as you only required to solder 3 wires per switch)

4. 2 x rotary encoders (ebay or leobodnar) either will work – only required 2 way ( I’ve always bought ones with push-in function, but in this case, I did not use/wire the “push-in”)

5. 5 x Chicken knobs /rotary knob caps

6. 1 x SLI-Pro cover (make one yourself from dark Perspex to cover the entire SLI-PRo’s face)0- I would recommend this strongly as I purchased one from some modder online and the quality is shocking, The mounting holes does not fit the Thrustmaster rim’s hole and faceplate already crack/brittle when the carbon-fibre vinyl is taken off completely. I will update this with new picture once this is fixed.

7. 8 x waterproof momentary buttons (ebay) I found out that once you remove the stock buttons, the 13mm diameter holes of the original Thrustmaster™F1 rim fits these waterproof buttons without doing any modification to it (the face of the rim). (now this bit is optional – as you may use the stock buttons that was on the rim, however , it requires you to cut the molex connector of the button in order to wire them to the SLI-PRO’s ribbon cable) – I use fresh buttons to reduce error and for contingency of needing the stock button in future) – see picture below ” stock buttons” have white connector)

ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION TO AVOID FLYING DEBRIS !!!!!

Tools that you’ll need are:

ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION TO AVOID FLYING DEBRIS !!!!! (have I said this enough?)
1. Eye protection- Glasses- swimming goggles or a welding face mask – (It is not fun pulling hot melting hard plastic out of your eye socket)- not that it happened to me.
2. A Philip/Pozi head screwdriver
3. wire cutter and wire-strip pliers + stanley cutter
4. Multi-tester
5. Solder Iron with the 60/40 resin core (better if you have multi-voltage solder iron) in case you over cooked the resin and damage a button.
6 . Dremel and Dremel drill bit Kit with circular cutter and grinder drill-bits.

These ^^ things scares the bejesus out of me

4. a 6mm drill bit (for the External LEDs )and SLI-Pro LED
5. Hole Puncher
6. Oh ..and a vacuum cleaner – unless you are working outdoor. you are going to make a lot of mess like these.
in case I forgot – ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION TO AVOID FLYING DEBRIS !!!!!
7. Some common sense. i.e.. don’t leave your soldering iron plugged in un-attended. etc

To be continued at part 2 – here

TH8RS modes

Many of you that known /own a Thrustmaster T500 RS wheel , knew that they’ve released the H-Patern Shifter that can also be change into a Sequential mode by changing the Plate around.Well I have just acquired one recently and I’m quite pleased with it, so Im going to share a bit about what they can do.

1. H Pattern Shifter – Adjustable tension and they feel really good. The throw is a bit on the larger side , however this can be shorten by shortening the shaft.

2. Sequential mode. I personally think they are really nice. it have a solid and dampened “Thump” to it , very rugged and solid feel to it.

3. My personal favourite and this is my main reason of buying this shifter in the first place ( Im curious to try and see if this is only good on paper).
The Handbrake mode (Analogue mode)
Instead of acting like a button (on/off) on each gate/ shift , by turning on the analogue mode (clicking analogue in the shifter properties in the control panel),

The shifter acts like an axis and progressively increase the value the more you pull. All you do is rotate the H-patern plate like below.

So gear “1” is on the right top corner and Gear “R” is on the bottom left corner.
so once you pull the lever towards you the axis’ value increase.. hence analogue mode.
And of course you can map this as “accelerate” or anything in game however that’s the gas pedal’s job.

This is meant to be assign as a Handbrake function, it simulates Handbrake in cars. ie. the more you pull, the harder it brakes.
before I continue further, I wanted to mention some fact below.

I think Thrustmaster really outdone themselves here, this is the only shifter that have 3 different functions in one, and they’ve done it really well with adjustable tension, rotatable mount and rotatable shifter position, they have really thought and planned about this , and the quality of the shifter it self is amazing.
A. 90% is metal,
B. No internal mechanical friction ( Hall Effect Sensor) so you’ll have unlimited lifetime ( at least that’s what they claimed to be)
C.Works on PC and PS3 ( however the analogue mode is PC only)
D. Adjustable tension.
E. Excellent Price at US $149 from Amazon.com.

Back to the Handbrake topic, pulling the lever may simulate handbrake but one thing that is missing is the tension, there is almost no tension when pulling the handbrake this way, at least not a progressive tension, so I did a little “nixim-like” mode to it, what you can do to make the tension rise the more you pull the lever is by adding a simple piece of innocent foam/rubber in front of the lever, at least now you need to apply more force to brake harder and you can gauge how much you want to park that truck.

Another thing , I know rally Handbrake is supposed to be Vertical, but Im so used to Horizontal/ angled handbrake and the car that I drive in real live have horizontal/angled handbrake, it’s only second nature and Automatic reflex that every time Im aiming for the Handbrake my arm reach to the side instead of up front. This has now my permanent Handbrake.

I love using them this way, it felt so natural, I don’t even have to look where they are when I need them now, but this is of course a personal preferences, I suggest you give horizontal mount a try and see how easy it becomes now to pull the lever.

My rig have rotatable gear mount so it’s very easy to change the angles or heights, it’s also another reason why I love this rig more than any other rig on the market.

I hope this helps you in making your decision easier if you are still deciding which shifter to get.
The Video below demonstrates the better angle for me and how you put it in analogue mode. Enjoy

As always if you’d like to thank me for creating these tutorials, guides, tips and/or reviews. please click on donate button on the right column to help keep this running, Thank you.

Cheers,
Marcus

HumanRacing GT Chassis Keyboard and Mouse tray (updated 16 Sep 2012)

Over the time I’ve been looking for racing rig that have all in compatibility, accessories ,ergonomics, looks and simplicity , but never have I met a company that responded to customer’s request, produce result so promptly and elegantly, until now.

Just a number of months ago, I was watching Shaun from SRT done the review on HumanRacing GT Chassis, and there was no accessories offered at the time, after consulting with shaun re quality of built and confirming with other owner, Im really glad I made that decision, The HumanRacing accessories that they produce not only compliments the rig but also making it more elegant from what has already a very nice rig.

To see some of the early release accessories like:

1. Fanatec clubsport pedal converter plate, head to : http://wp.me/pLC9x-97
2. Then the Fanatec CSR Shifter mount head to : http://wp.me/pLC9x-8K
and in addition to the above, they have a just released a keyboard and mouse tray for the HumanRacing GT Chassis.

And since I got my hands on the accessories, I have been using it for the past 2 days, I will describe them in as details as possible for you and do a review on this.

A very simple looking elegant design.

Firstly the Keyboard and mouse tray are made from 4.5mm thick Aluminium plate that is laser cut and drilled to be mounted onto the included or additional gear mount, and they can be mounted on the left or right side of the Chassis’ seat.

The Dimensions are:

  • Keyboard tray is 20cm x 15cm
  • Mouse tray is 20cm x 18.5cm

The mouse tray is covered with a grippy mouse pad surface material and it is mounted with 2 x M6 Hex Screw on to the gear mount handle (included / optional)

The Gear mount is the same as one that comes with the rig, and it is an optional – so for those who does not use the gear mount do not have to purchase another gear mount and can save even more on cost.

( I received my review unit with it) so since I mount my gear on the left for australian driving, the Keyboard and mouse tray goes on the right side of the seat.

The keyboard tray is mounted on to the mouse tray’s centre edge by a small angled pole.

the Kit comes with :

A. Gear mount, ( that can be reverse mounted left or right) also comes with 2xM6 Hex screw (optional)

B. Mouse Tray (Aluminium Base 4.5mm thick high grade) with mousepad surface material on top and mounting point on bottom

4.5mm thick aluminium mouse pad surface.

Bottom view of mousepad that attaches to the gear mount.

C. Keyboard tray with 2 x Velcro tape for securing keyboard or your button box.
D. A small angled pole for mounting keyboard tray at an angle and it is all fully adjustable.

Mounting and assembly is very easy, all the nuts and screws comes and fairly straight forward.
what makes this design special is that the tray can be adjusted like the shifter/gear and they make your rig very elegant.

One word that my wife said after I finished installing this was “sexy”. Not only that, it is actually very strong since they are mounted on the gear mount.

The Result, is a fully adjustable mount in angle height and tilt of both the trays.

I did not use the included velcro tap as my Apple™ keyboard’s battery compartment latch on perfectly. When I get a button box, they will utilise the velcro.

Here are my opinions after using this for couple of days

  • The Mouse pad is very smooth and also provide traction for mouse movement.
  • It is very sturdy, both keyboard and mouse looks and felt “balance” .
  • The height of the keyboard is spot on, the angle adjustable to the most comfortable position. I typed a whole email on it without using the velcro for testing and the keyboard stays on ( not bouncing around) .
  • Even though they are both on the right side, It actually feels ok to type, as if your keyboard is on the right side of the desk.
  • With additional arm on both side, it did not hinder entering/exiting the rig
  • It has really made this rig an even better looking and more comfortable rig.

With this Additional mouse and Keyboard stand, making changes on the fly now made even easier while driving.
I never know mow much I needed this before , and now that I have this , It is hard to Imagine driving without this.

There are many racing rig out there that have the additional functionality and accessories but not the look, or vice-versa, this rig has both and HumanRacing have done it with style.

Thanks to everyone at HumanRacing team especially (Thanavud) for producing and designing ,(Tinnakorn) for sending it in addition to the other accessorises. I look forward to their near future design and additions.

I hope you enjoy this review.

Below is a little video slideshow displaying assembly and how adjustment method.

As always if you’d like to thank me for creating these tutorials, guides, tips and/or reviews. please click on donate button on the right column to help keep this running, Thank you.

Marcus

****** September 16 2012 Update video*******

Strength and stability demonstration on the GT Chassis shifter mount .