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A noob's question regarding SimVibe's chassis mode

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by St3fan, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. St3fan

    St3fan

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    Hi all, I've just started thinking about adding bass shakers to my rig. Although I've bookmarked and read through pretty much all posts related to bass shakers here on RD, I still get confused about the requirement of 4 channels in chassis mode.

    Like many people who don't have a million dollar budget and are curious about a SimVibe setup, I'm looking at these Dayton Pucks in the hope that I could test it with the chassis setup (2 in the front on my pedals and 2 behind the seat) and feel how good it feels. If I'm happy about the shaking from them I'll keep them, if not I think I could get a larger shaker for the seat, and move 1 of the pucks from the seat to the shifter.

    However when I start searching for a amp I get really confused. I have very little knowledge about audio systems, so could someone explain:

    I read that it is possible to drive all of these 4 pucks using just 1 4-channel amp. I did some search and found that most of the amps looked like this one with left/right inputs, and outputs for all the channels:
    https://www.parts-express.com/ce-labs-av400-a-v-distribution-amp-4-out--180-006

    I'm confused that if I'm gonna use an amp like this one, how do I connect it to the sound card? Am I understanding the chassis mode correct that all four channels need to have different sources? Does that mean I need a 4-channel amp that has 2 sets of L/R inputs?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    The amp you showed is a Distribution AV amplifier.
    This is for taking an input (in this case stereo audio and composite video) and creating multiple outputs of the same source. It is not an audio amplifier for use with speakers or in your case tactile.

    The question is would you not be wiser to put a bit more money towards a unit like the ADX and start with 1 then gradually buy more over time if you are restricted by budget?

    I see lots of people that seem to want to rush into Chassis Mode or think MORE tactile CHANNELS is always a better option for immersion than the QUALITY or performance of the transducers being used to deliver the immersion.

    My advice to bypass cheapo low-quality amps and go a bit beyond the Dayton Pucks. The 16ohm or 8ohm Pucks also complicate things. As be aware of matching the amp 4ohm resistance rating with 4ohm transducers. Most transducers use 4ohm.

    The SMSL is one of the best entry level amps around that WILL deliver a good performance.
    It is neat and tidy, reliable and a proven choice to power 2 units.
    Here

    Perhaps take advantage of the 30-day returns...
    Try one of these
    &
    Try one of these

    This way you can return one but be knowing which is the better option.
    Eventually, go for two units, then buy another amp and pair of tactile for CM Mode.

    This will work out much better in the long run than some $50 low-quality amp and 4 Dayton Pucs.
    Do not underestimate the importance of having a decent amp and unit to produce the felt sensations you desire to feel over having more and the cheapest route possible.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  3. St3fan

    St3fan

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    Thank you @Mr Latte for your reply. I've been reading through your previous posts but still feel reluctant to aim for a higher budget - because I probably will then spend more on the tactile setup than my G27 which makes me feel that I should upgrade my wheel instead :p I really don't have any experience at all with shakers so I really don't have any idea how they will feel after I mount them.

    If you don't mind may I ask some questions?

    Here are some of the confusion and questions I have when I'm looking at my rig and trying to figure out a design:

    1. This is a picture of my pedals. I inverted mounted my G27 pedals to the aluminum profiles. My plan was to mount a shaker behind the pedal mount, so I'm wondering if putting there a 50W shaker would be an overkill?[​IMG]
    2. Below is a picture of my rig, and a picture of the seat's bottom. This cloth seat was taken from a wrecked Prius, and it is effectively just slightly over 80mm from the floor. I keep feeling that if I mount a huge shaker such as the ADX Maximus that you always recommend, my setup would run into some trouble. Where should I mount it? Will I trigger the side airbag in the car seat?[​IMG] [​IMG]
    3. Another really big concern of mine is that as you can see the whole rig is sitting on carpet. Do I need special isolation between the rig and the floor?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  4. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    Cheers for detailed response and images. That's a real nice little rig you have going there, plenty of fun to be had with that and adding some tactile to it.

    There are some things you should clarify regards the vibrations going into the floor. I will share some more on things to also consider regards tactile immersion.

    Flooring:
    If this is an apartment or upstairs then yes vibrations will travel into the floor and could be an issue.
    If your cockpit is on a concrete floor or basement then vibration noise isn't so much an issue.

    Isolators:
    Rubber isolators, rubber layers or rubber pads help reduce the tactile energy leaking.
    Their purpose is to also help maintain the vibrations where you want them.

    You mention a possible height issue with installing the units to the seat.
    Obviously, you want to avoid changing your 80/20 so I see buying 4 basic isolators as a good thing to do.
    These will give you additional clearance to the floor my friend and solve that issue.
    Buy These but Compare the Price.

    Tactile Placement:
    If you install the tactile directly on, or in close proximation to the pedals then the tactile vibrations will easily be felt in them, simply because it is the first area or path the vibrations will travel. Less distance and less materials the tactile can flow into or has to flow through to get to the desired location then the more wattage and energy can escape. You may want to use a 3-4mm steel plate and some neoprene rubber again, about 3-4mm thick. This could help prevent pinging on the alu but will offer a small amount of resistance to maintain the tactile in the metal plate prior to the pedal/frame. Ebay will have these at not that much money.

    I always encourage trying more than one way to install, so your welcome to share in future what you try, I enjoy the discussion and learning from peoples own feedback. So please update this thread with what you do. I am sure many others would also be considering tactile immersion on a budget.

    Stereo Effects:
    With close installation, you will likely improve the sense of feeling the Left/Right vibrations from Suspension based effects as these are the only effects to really provide stereo cues. So you want Suspension as an effect to offer the best low-end Hz the unit you buy can produce to help convey these effects. To do this with Dayton Pucks you are not really going to be able to achieve as good of a performance from the units low-end abilities to the mid range bass frequencies it will output for say other effects. You would likely have several effects using the same frequencies that feel best, this then could give them little-felt distinction to others.

    Point to note, so often people look at wattage as a way to compare different units. It is not the wattage that really matters. It's the ability of the unit to deliver low bass frequencies with sufficient energy. A small unit at max wattage is not going to produce the low-end bass of a more capable unit with even say moderate wattage. Voice coil type transducers are rather efficient with wattage. Buttkickers are not, as they have to physically move heavier pistons and have minimum wattages to even start to vibrate.

    I kinda chuckled as you even refer to the ADX as "huge" which in reality is nothing close to the output of the high-end units available. It's a great unit for the money by all means, kinda like your wheel it offers respectable performance. As a fun analogy, consider perhaps the Dayton Puck like a DF-GT, the ADX is more like a G29/T300. A BK Mini is akin to say a T500. A Buttkicker Advance is like a Fanatec V2.5 and the full-size Buttkicker LFE is like a Direct Drive wheel. This my own loose perception here but only as a way to show an example.

    Installing:
    Placing 4 units in corners on a rig is not essential nor is going to offer the best potential. Yet some think they have to represent the tires/wheels in this manner for Chassis Mode. If anything they are letting a good portion of the tactile energy leak to other frame sections it is not even going to be felt. Then they have to use much more wattage driving the tactile unit hard possibly then losing composure. 80/20 is easy to mount the tactile in different places but I suspect this is what you will find if comparing more direct installation to the 4 corner method.

    My advice if approaching this in a cautious way and with a budget in mind.
    Would be to have you buy for now one ADX, install a 3-4mm steel plate across the seat runners. Have the ADX centered in the middle. You could then also try switching it to a smaller metal plate having the tactile in the pedals. I would expect you to require more wattage for the seat as it will have more materials to travel through.

    Bad Stereo Tactile:
    Do not however, do what a lot of people do and run 2 units on a metal/wood cross section with both L/R units practically beside each other. This totally defeats the purpose of wanting to feel the STEREO directional bumps as both units will be mixing their vibrations into one surface going to both the L/R sides of the seat. For improved stereo, you want to have a direct installation to the L/R seat runners with individual installation plates. This way you are avoiding the L/R effects mix before even reaching their destination.

    The question I can't answer and say what to you as a user would be best is if going with two units.
    Would 1 in pedals and 1 in seat both as Extension Mode be better than having Stereo (Front Channels) in the pedals or seat?

    In all honesty, some people prefer tactile in two body regions and feel this more immersive rather than feeling L/R stereo cues in just one body region. This is something the CM Vs EM thread tried to get peoples feedback on but failed immensely in doing so, as nobody bothered expressing in it.

    Last point is that "Sim Shaker Wheels" is available as a free demo and cheaper to buy. Simvibe is not and obviously costs more also being more work to setup and configure. I personally have been testing with SSW and have found it possible to improve on over Simvibe for several effects. I do seek others willing to test files that I create for it so they too can feel improvements as the software is very much underrated or bypassed. Both however generate the tactile in very different ways.

    Others are welcome to offer their own experiences or opinions. I just don't think 4x Dayton Puck is worth having on CM and spending a bit more even for 2 units would be better. Then with the intent to perhaps gradually have 2 amps and 4 of the better units than Pucks. However my own opinions are not by any means the last word.


    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  5. St3fan

    St3fan

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    Thanks a lot for the delayed reply.

    I might be having the wrong vision, but if I put 4 isolators like these under the rig, will those contact points cause some local pressure and bend the aluminum profile in long term use?

    I mean it is quite large in terms of size, and tall, compared to similar Dayton and Aura shakers, which leads me thinking whether they fit under my seat.

    How about mounting the shaker in the back of the seat? Do you have experience with that? I just take off the cover of the seat and had a better look at it. I think I might be possible to mount the shaker either under the seat or on the back, but it requires some work I think.
    Also do you think the shaker can trigger the airbags?

    Could you explain a bit on the difference between EM vs Stereo? I'm a bit confused.
    Now I get many of your points, and I think I probably will go for that expensive amp (well it's a LOT more expensive than I thought I would consider), 1 small Dayton puck for the pedal, and a larger shaker on the seat, so that I could run these 2 shakers off the onboard sound card (Am I right that I only need to plug the 3.5mm to RCA into the green headphone jack on the back of the computer?).

    I read that post but because you asked so many questions in it, as a person who has no experience at all I really can't benefit a lot from reading it.

    Good to know. I would like to give that a try after I decide which equipment I need to buy.
     
  6. St3fan

    St3fan

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    Oops, that amplifier doesn't seem to have output controls for individual channels. I'm guessing 1 puck + 1 ADX wouldn't work?
     
  7. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    I had to pop out hence the delay.... :)
    As your using the thinner profile, well you could get 6 if you felt necessary and have less gap with 3 along each side.

    Dimensions are in the PDF at Parts Express. They should fit with the linked isolators and a plate on the seat rail section. You can re-measure the distance if having a metal plate on the seat rails. Either way it's not hard to raise the cockpit even doubling up on those affordable isolators or adding metal washer and nut. You certainly spent a good amount of money on the frame.

    The ADX are the new Aura Pro. They have improved detailing apparently but I've yet to find someone not impressed with them at the price they are. The Dayton Pucks are tiny and perhaps closer resemble "tactile exciters" than proper transducers. Parts Express I believe own the "Dayton Brand" so heavily promote that brand. I doubt the Pucks will output much energy at 20Hz regardless of volume (paper specs). They will operate best from about 40-80Hz but importantly still not likely produce the same energy with below 40Hz frequencies as other models. Lower frequencies are harder to produce as they require much greater energy. This requires much better or stronger magnets used for improved excursion and heavier internal weights, not just wattage.

    Yes that can work well also. I personally like to use the "back/spine" region to emphasize gear changes and engine. Your seat will have a good internal metal construction so the tactile should flow quite well if attached to it. The airbags, I would assume they needed voltage to operate. See if they have a power connection or backup battery and disable it.

    Approx $100 is not expensive for a decent 2 channel amp. It's better to do that and have something that will perform well and last than spend $50 on junk. Wait another month if you have to and get the better thing.

    CM is primarily for the benefit of Suspension Effects. EM does not support suspension effects at all.
    Mono effects in CM will go to all 4 units but they are very much similar signal to each. Engine if compared on CM vs EM is really a mono effect on 4 units Vs 1+. So clearly engine in CM is more engrossing. However, EM allows you to place effects in specific regions like mentioned above for the spine or on a shifter.

    Yes I often forget how confusing all this may be to some people.
    I waffle on too much as well,,,,,,,
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  8. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    The issue is Pucks are currently available with 16ohm or 8ohm the ADX is 4ohm.
    With 2x 8ohm Pucks its possible to wire them in Parallel to alter the ohm resistance to 4ohm. See Parts Express on this to suit 4ohm of the amplifier. Like I said it complicates things and the price is then close to the BST 1 anyways. :)

    You could do it much easier with the other Dayton BST 1 model I linked as it is also 4ohm and supports higher wattage. Should perform a bit better also. The Pucks have very limited wattage, that is a concern.

    It is possible using EM Seat & another unit as EM Shifter (with one cable) as each will have its own volume control within Simvibe. You still want to be careful however not to exceed the wattage of 1 unit yet still provide enough to the other.

    So if the ADX was on the "Left Channel" and Dayton BST 1 on the "Right Channel" with you can use Simvibes own gain controls for each "EM Output" with what Simvibe refers to the Output Mixer dB control. Additionally, all effects also have their own volume control.

    Simvibe uses for EM
    GREEN 3.5mm
    Seat (left channel),
    Shifter (right channel)

    These do not have to specifically be installed for seat and shifter.
    In your case to use a single cable the pedals would be controlled by the EM Shifter output channel and its controls.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  9. St3fan

    St3fan

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    After some struggling... I ordered exactly the things that you recommend @Mr Latte I also found the Penn-Elcom 9106 rubber isolators much cheaper on PartsExpress than on Markertek.
    1 ADX + 1 Dayton BST1 + 10 Rubbers + 3.5-RCA + SMSL Amp
    Now I'm waiting to see what the Dayton and ADX shakers can bring me. The ADX alone really brings up my budget by a whole lot - was planning to use 4 Dayton Pucks or 2 Dayton BST1s in the beginning you know.
    Just to clarify, I just need a 3.5 stereo to RCA cable to connect my motherboard's built-in audio chip to the L/R inputs of the amp for the EM mode to work, is that right?
     
  10. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    Well I'm impressed, but thank you for putting faith into the recommendations made. :thumbsup:
    Yes the 3.5mm - Stereo RCA is all you need for 2x EM channels. Onboard audio will be fine too.
    You can then use GPU, a USB headset or other sound card for game/system audio.

    Can I ask if you would consider something?

    I would very much, enjoy you sharing here, your own experiences when the stuff arrives and present to others views on how it feels or performs. This might create perhaps an interesting thread for others. As an audio/tactile noob (in your own words) it could be a perfect scenario for many others to consider or follow. Yet importantly rely on your own findings and impressions.

    The level of support/help you want is down to you.
    If you need help in configuring or learning about frequencies and doing tests to fine tune things then this can be shared here also.

    Question:
    What gauge of speaker cable did you buy or already have?
    Also please discuss further or share how you will be mounting these units.
     
  11. St3fan

    St3fan

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    Well I actually don't know. My roommate happens to have some lying around so I just stole them :p

    I'll come back with some further ideas. Maybe make a new post with my thoughts in it.

    Maybe this question is not so welcome, but could I ask for some ideas on SimVibe vs SSW? Thanks. Is there any manual thing like the SimVibe tuning guide for SSW so I would know beforehand what I need to do?
     
  12. St3fan

    St3fan

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    I just took a picture of the cable:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    Not sure on the quality of that speaker cable.
    It looks like what we brits call cheap bell wire for a door bell, lol

    Does it have printed on it anywhere an AWG number?
    16 AWG is recommended for this unit and the Dayton BST1.

    Which Simvibe guide are you referring too?

    I may consider a thread/guide to help more with SSW in future but both are different in their own ways regards creating audio files or effects to use. I am pushing to try and get more people involved with it for comparisons as its a reasonable question to ask. Although I've not yet tested SSW in mono configurations.

    Simvibe isn't cheap but in your case with two units it does give more control for them to have individual effects or usage. SSW offers some very good sensations for stereo tactile or quad installation whilst also having some effects Simvibe does not offer like acceleration/deceleration forces. Yet Simvibe will allow you to have better engine effects at this time.

    You can easily test at the start with "Audio Tactile" and discover what it offers, then try the SSW demo and purchase it or Simvibe later if you want.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  14. St3fan

    St3fan

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    How do I get that running? I mean how do I get game audio in the Rift, and vibration off the game audio from the onboard sound chip at the same time?
     
  15. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    It is possible to mirror the audio within the Rifts settings to have the audio go to an additional device.
    See 2:39
     
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  16. St3fan

    St3fan

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    Thanks a lot! I didn't know about that setting. Now I'm really looking forward to the shakers.
     
  17. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    SSW works really well with combining its own tactile effects with "Game Audio" based tactile.
    This way you get the nice addition of engine details but also something that SSW nor Simvibe do in providing feedback from passing cars and several surfaces that in some sims do not contain any physics data so do nothing. These however, do generate sound effects and will work with audio tactile for additional immersion and response. :)

    In Assetto Corsa, the green tarmac at Imola or the rain drains and green tarmac beside the rumble strips at Nurburgring GP track are examples that do nothing with telemetry based tactile. Yet produce a rather pleasing felt sensation with the audio tactile.

    This requires mixing the two sources together going into the amp for the tactile.
    It would, however, require a secondary sound-card like the Asus DGX.

    Worth considering for future perhaps.

    • Oculus Headset Audio
    • Mirrorowed Audio Soundcard Device = Audio Tactile
    • SSW or Simvibe Soundcard Device = Telemetry Tactile

     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  18. St3fan

    St3fan

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    Hi @Mr Latte most of the things have come in today. However I really need some advice how to mount the shaker to my seat. Here are the bottom and the back of the seat.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    There are so hard structural part in most of the back part, and there is a beam thing in the middle on the bottom so the bottom of the seat is not actually flat. I also notice that the hole for mounting the shakers is 5mm in diameter, which is a weird size.

    Could you offer some idea how I mount the seat shaker?
    I think I can use a spare wooden board to easily mount another shaker behind the pedals.
     
  19. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    Hi, pushed for time at the moment but have a query.
    You could have a steel/plate going across the seat runners and bolted to them. Then the ADX drilled/bolted to the middle of the plate. I suppose this could be shaped and hanging at the back of the seat and not inverted but of course it would be tidier under the seat and inverted.

    You may need washers if adding a plate to balance the depth of the plate for the 80/20 runner to attach flat to the runners as it currently is.

    With the 80/20 attached to the seat runners, the only issue I see (having a better look) is that the vibrations will also go directly into the 80/20 base section. It would be more ideal if the 80/20 section under the seat frame that you show was then on 4 isolators as this would help prevent the vibrations leaking into the main length of the 80/20 frame. This, however, lifts the seat up an inch or so (depends on the isolators you bought as you maybe didn't buy the 2.5" dia x 1" thick ones I linked)

    Sorry if hard to grasp from this description but we may need a few basic images to convey better.

    *Edit
    If you can bolt a steel plate to the main seat frame (below or on back) that would do as most vibrations will go directly into it. Having isolators under the seat would maybe improve or help sustain them from leaking below into the main 80/20 frame. It's the type of thing that sometimes just has to be tested/tried. Then having isolators under the main frame as well as feet from the floor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  20. St3fan

    St3fan

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    I don't have proper tool for steel. Will wood panel work too? I'm thinking adding a wood panel across the support of the seat and drill mount the ADX on it.