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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-08-2016, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default Simulated Car Racing Hobby

Anyone else enjoy the byte cage? Here's a small write up of a simulator rig I am working on.



I wanted to move away from desktop racing and closer to the cockpit racing, without shelling out hundreds of dollars and then not fitting into it.

So, here is attempt 1 at getting everything positioned correctly and figuring out which ergonomics I prefer.



Cable management started fairly nicely.





Then the USBs started getting plugged in.



Then audio cables...





Then the pedals were mounted to the supports.



The only fixed item is the monitor support. Everything else has a set of 6 bolts locating it fore/aft and angle. I didn't quite get the bolt holes perfect, so I have to tap them in with a small plastic mallet.

The sound system will be mounted in true surround eventually and the computer / accessories are going to have a small table built to lift them off of the ground.

I use a keyboard in my lap as I don't have room or the ability to leave a keyboard on the little table, but I find it a bit more comfortable to type this way.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and may go into the pre-prototype which will be more compact and faster to adjust in less ways. The final prototype will be welded tubes and incorporate all of the prior design fixes from my screw ups.



Build Process:
I started with a simple set of 2x3s cut to length and added a few holes for adjustment.



Bolted them to base.



Seat assembly before padding.



I used some carpet padding to go under an old memory foam mattress topper. Later, I added a yoga mat between the carpet padding and mattress topper.







I ended up removing the lumbar support section as it was arcing my back too much. Once removed, my back was straightening too much, so I added a section of cardboard to thicken up the lower section a little. Need to make that modification a little more permanent.

The pedal supports.





I wanted to hang the pedals upside down as well as give them a very stiff support.

I haven't felt any flex since mounting them to the support, but I am still trying to get the pedal angle down as it caused my right leg to go numb for a minute in the middle of an hour long race.

Monitor support.



I made it a bit too tall, so I will have to make the next one a bit shorter. The monitors are mounted in their lowest position and it is just about perfect. (I would rather have them mounted higher on the pole though.)

The table is tilted at a 15 degree angle and I find the steering wheel position very comfortable, so I brought it inside.



Tested it on my old computer.






Then moved my spare computer to my kitchen bar counter.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-08-2016, 01:36 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Re: Simulated Car Racing Hobby

Nice rig! I've got something similar but use a big TV instead of a triple screen as it tends to distort things a bit on the motorcycle sims I also play. Pretty cool to see I'm not the only one that's built a rig for sim racing.

I'm running a G27 with (most times) Fanatec CSR aluminum load cell pedals. Also setup a hand brake on a Leo Bodnar board that is hooked to my motorcycle sim controller setup to make use of the cable linkage. Makes for DiRT Rally and Live For Speed (as well as Assetto Corsa) drift and hot lap sessions to be everything awesome that you would want from a sim. Also used the old bucket seat from my drifting days so it feels right at home with the 5.1 surround and controls all in the same places I used to setup cars for.

Been experimenting with facetracknoir and a Samsung Galaxy S3 (has a gyro) as a head tracking unit, works remarkably well too! I'm honestly surprised at how well it works. Been almost 5 months since I've had time to even touch my sim stuff though, too busy to get to any of it so the wheel collects dust and my computer rarely gets used for anything when I have a smart phone.




A little rain drifting on rFactor:



AC Hot lap with one of my all time favorite turbo cars:



Pushing way too hard on DiRT Rally:



AC with a 427 Cobra:



Earlier days of sim drifting with the new rig before the e-brake:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zweihammer View Post
Looking at this Large Hadron Collider of a vehicle, I am starting to think the little bastard may have been on to something...
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-08-2016, 09:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Simulated Car Racing Hobby

Awesome, you do have more oversteer control than I do, I don't have much drift experience.

At the moment, I am using Assetto Corsa for multiplayer and realism and Project Cars for endurance racing as I find it less taxing mentally while still pulling consistent times. Previously, I have used the Shift series and Live For Speed.



The Cobra isn't an easy car to handle, but you had very little wheel spin. Pretty fun to watch that.

I've been thinking about the TrackIR stuff and want to get something similar, but I am not in a hurry. I am really looking forward to the new VR headsets coming out and I may have to pick one up. It would definitely decrease the size requirements of my simulator rig without the triple monitors. (Soon to be 3+1 w/ 1 auxiliary for the spare computer once I get the stand in the mail.)
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-08-2016, 11:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Simulated Car Racing Hobby

Indeed the Cobra is a handful to drive quickly, the developed technique that I use to keep the thing under control is "more is less" when it comes to throttle input. The more you try to hammer all 440hp to the wheels the less control you have. Truly a car that defines lap times made driving with the technique of "slower is faster". Part of the way I mastered it as well, was setting track surface to "dusty" and using the vintage tires, air temp as cold as possible and just finesse the thing around a winding course trying to keep the rear end from breaking free, or, just riding slight slip angle from apex to exit. The Ferrari F40 is another fantastic car to use for that sort of driver training as the gearing is really long and the turbo's really add an awesome dynamic to traction management.

I started into LFS back in 2003 (yeah, from the start... I feel old now) and around the same time was just breaking into the drift scene with a proper rear drive car, so after a few hours with an old Logitec DFP900 linking corners I would hit the streets with my actual car and despite the nay saying from people about sim to real life skill cross over, I got really good, really fast. Over a decade later I can only afford to do the motorcycle building and sim drifting (although I am gearing up for another drift car build at the moment) so I invested all I could in taking it to the digital streets. Plus a few demolished cars and a few blown up engines, plus the cost of tires, it just wasn't worth it to get any further than hooligan status, especially when the "pro's" are running 1000+hp V8's and shopping cart caster wheel steering angles.


Once things settle a bit I have been wanting to get a Oculus Rift (seems quite a few other options are coming up on release dates as well) just for GP Bikes, LFS, and AC. When I was using the Samsung S3 for head tracking it gave me butterflies in my stomach looking around in the car much the same way the first few laps with a wheel proper did all those years ago. There is something special about the technology we are seeing progressing into full production this year. What a time to be alive, able bodied, and into sim racing/driving/riding!



A quick head tracking test on LFS, turned on fraps to record a few moments of it and never intended to upload the video until I was talking with a friend about how smooth it was, had to show off an example of it.




Tried to replicate my brothers Blackhawk Farms Raceway lap on a CBR250R "Dream Cup" bike on GP Bikes by Piboso. Didn't work out, but it's still cool as hell to be able to look to an apex.






If you haven't heard of it, or bought a copy, BeamNG.drive is a fantastic sim if you ever felt the damage model is lacking on most racing games. The latest update added all sorts of damage to the sim. The realism has become annoying at times. Losing control at 90mph on tree lined roads from the interior view while using a race rig will make you tense up knowing the impending impacts are going to shred the car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zweihammer View Post
Looking at this Large Hadron Collider of a vehicle, I am starting to think the little bastard may have been on to something...
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-08-2016, 01:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Simulated Car Racing Hobby

I need to look into this GP Bikes, but I'm not sure how I feel about using the car controls to run a race bike.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-08-2016, 09:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Simulated Car Racing Hobby

I did this a while back.





Started out with 3 xbox, one for each display synchronized together with Forza. Then I moved to PC so I could get more games and more control. I played GTR, Dirt2, and F1 2010, even had the Ferrari F1 wheel. I eventually quit playing because it would take like an hours practice to memorize the track and get a good lap time, then another half hour or so for the race. The more I tried to make it like a real simulation the more it started to feel fake.


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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-08-2016, 11:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Simulated Car Racing Hobby

Very cool, what's in the small bins?
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-08-2016, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Simulated Car Racing Hobby

Electronics parts.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-09-2016, 12:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Simulated Car Racing Hobby

Very cool!!!
Rat,how did you hookup the S3?To what?
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 04-10-2016, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dICKHEAD View Post
Very cool!!!
Rat,how did you hookup the S3?To what?

Used a basic USB charging cable plugged into the phone and computer, then a program called "face track no ir" (no spaces or quotes) and Trinus VR (not sure if that even does anything but it ensures connectivity between the phone and computer, needs to be running on both ends.

Most of getting it to work came from this site:

http://minicrit.com/?comic=hellnocopter

There is quite a few head tracking options out there, some cheap, some not so much. With VR becoming an available thing people like me (and anyone else that builds their own sim rig stuff) are becoming a minority in the world of racing/flying.

Also, a quick google search will tell you if your smartphone is equipped with a gyro, without it movement is laggy and unpredictable, my actual phone I carry with me doesn't have one and I just couldn't get it to work, searched around and found my fiance's old S3 had a gyro for movement tracking, so I swiped that from the desk drawer and charged it up. Spent a fair amount of time (about a week of spare time) learning how to get it all to work. I'm not a computer person at all, so it was frustrating and trying on a level I can't even describe.





On the GP Bikes forum while discussing head tracking a guy suggested this as a cheap alternative to messing with a smart phone. Kind of wondering why I haven't ordered one yet as it would solve 90% of the issues I ran into setting up the phone to do the same thing.

http://www.edtracker.co.uk/shop/my-basket/edtracker-pro




On the note of sim racing and building our own stuff, I put together a motorcycle controller quite some time ago. Fully functioning clutch, brake, throttle, buttons on the left for up and downshift (not pictured) until I make some foot pedals and mount it all on an old frame. Plugs into the computer via USB cable and calibrates through the default Windows game controller menu, then calibrates easily in game.

The steering axis looks off, because it is, the way the bars sit lower than the steering pivot allows for the bike on screen in first person view, and the bars clamped to the desk, to both be at identical lean angle at all times, allowing for some really immersive fast laps. Being able to roll the throttle on, look to an apex, and hear every little thing the bike is doing (high quality headphones) makes for an experience that I would say is as close to real riding as your going to get in your home office.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zweihammer View Post
Looking at this Large Hadron Collider of a vehicle, I am starting to think the little bastard may have been on to something...
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