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 (£45,000) 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 

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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

Added new video Testing Strength and stability of the Shifter mount.

Marcushwang's web log

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…

View original post 748 more words

The Player Frame Set by HumanRacing

I am fortunate enough to not only get to test and own one of the best racing rig in the market, now I received a second one. This second one I received of HumanRacing however, is much more “open” in terms of options and accessories to choose.

Initially, when I bought my first one, everything comes in one packet, one solution, frame with adjustable wheel mount, seat, slider and gear mount.

All is fantastic, but what if you don’t need the gear mount as yet, or the seat , or the slider. What if you have your own bucket seat and seat slider and really like the design and look of GT Chassis?, Can you just get the frame set?, well now you can !!!!

Introducing the Player Frame Set

Link : here

Well I was really excited when I saw this option, as Initially I was really thinking of getting another rig for my workstations, not just for racing games but one for work , watching movies, graphic or video editing and do what we all do when we sit in front of a computer… to relax.
Good thing is, now I can 🙂 (There are couple of options that I can do to make this work I will post in a near future when the occasion is right)

Now I am given the options , to Mix and Match there are option to go both ways now.

Use optional after market seat and slider or use HumanRacing’s slider kit or non sliding mounts, gear mount (possibly for mouse tray) or without. It’s like picking candy in a store.

Not to mention at a bonus price of (US $540) less than half of it’s brother with full kit (US $1442) link:Here

All the measurements are still the same, and it is identical to the silver one I have down here, still the best in comfort ,highest quality and at minimum to none  @wobbles in steering wheel mounts, It’s still the best in the market.

Finished installed seat result. with no gear mounts and pedal below

I think it’s a fantastic solution that they have created, really gives that flexibility over which accessories to get (see examples here).

I’ve manage to capture some footage of when I was installing the seat. So I hope you have as much fun as I have in making this video and writing this.

Regards,

Marcus

Final Analogue Handbrake Mount

Just a quick update of how I mount my final Handbrake mount with 2 x TH8RS to the Human Racing GT Chassis Rig.

Received another TH8RS Shifter from a good friend, and turns out his’s Shifter felt much more natural and clunkier than mine, the H-Patern Plate is much shinier while my original one are more on the dove side.

Needless to say I convert mine to the Analogue Handbrake mode and use Xpadder to map the shifter for older games that don’t support more than 3 controllers.

With his Handbrake plate for Th8RS it is now officially a Rally Handbrake 🙂

Thanks for checking out these pictures

Here’s a test Video RBR Rally School:

Another one with Dirt3  – Better visual on the Gear and Handbrake.

Cheers

SLI-PRO and SLIMAX-Manager V2.2

*****UPDATE 23-4-2012 (Custom limiter message display for each Sim)*****

The SLI-PRO now displaying different Speed Limiter message during Pit, works on iRacing, rFactor and Race07/Injection Steam version.

Video is below this message.

**********

Quick video guide of how you can customize your SLI-PRO and new features of the Version 2.2 and how to restore old settings into new version.

This is not a full tutorial, however if you have installed V2.1, then the newest Version 2.2 (for 21 April 2012) should easily installed on the old version and your old configs and scripts are backed up in your installation folder, in addition The new Version 2.2 have much more config files inside the CFG folder, and the ability to map Characters to your rotary switch.

full details are at www.eksimracing.com

Cheers,
Marcus