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Custom F1 wheel modded onto saitek r440

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by danked05, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Designed and built in a day from 5 layers of 5mm acrylic. I have incorporated the innards of a logitech dual action game-pad into the wheel to gain control of as many functions as possible, while still maintaining the original buttons, and utilizing the original gear shift paddles.
    The wheel performs excellently and is very comfortable to use.
    the project was very cheap, as I used spare acrylic, and already had the controllers. The only costs were 8 euro for the bike handle grips, and 6 euro for 5mm countersunk bolts and associated drill bits.
    tools used were a drill, and a jigsaw, and a 5mm tap to create the threads in the back panel and r440 stock for screwing the whole thing together
    I admit that in it's initial form, it is somewhat lacking in visual appearance, but this would not require too much extra work.
    let me know what you think??

    Attached Files:

  2. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Excellent work there matey :)

    This is exactly the kind of thing we want on here. Home-made, purpose built (and cheap if possible!) racing hardware!

    As you said, its not the prettiest thing in the world, but hey, it works!!

    Do you have plans to finish the asthetics of the wheel off, or was the plan to just get it working and use it?
  3. I originally intended to place a black sheet inside with perhaps the Mercedes star as it is based on the mclaren 2010 wheel, but the weekend ran out, and i wasn't going back to college without a wheel.
    A refinement for the near future I think.
    If anyone is interested I can upload some drawings, and more detail on construction.
    In theory, this can easily be modded onto any steering wheel. (note that having a second controller integrated means a second USB cable)
    In addition, in my case I had to cut off the original wheel (see top view photo where the colored wires come out of the stock) so, depending on the wheel to be modded, this may be permanent.
  4. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Replacing the wheel for most people wont be an issue, as alot use the logitec wheels which are bolted on and easy to replace.

    More details on construction would be great yes. Would be nice if you could include your own thoughts on what you would improve or change along the way too :)
  5. I'll post a detailed write-up on Friday (when I'm home again) with scale drawings and construction info, as well as bugs/problem solving etc.
  6. Here goes with a more detailed write-up of the build.
    I started with a photo of the McLaren MP4-25 Steering wheel, and eventually ended up with the sketch/outline which I've included 1:1 scale (if printed) in the first attachment below.

    I then got my 5mm perspex sheeting and placed it on top of the sketch, allowing me to draw the design onto the sheet with a marker. I did this for all four, and also outlined a back plate which is essentially the main body without the steering arms.

    With the outlines on the perspex I used a jigsaw to roughly cut the pieces of the main sheet, before carefully cutting the shape out completely.

    With the outlines cut, I set about marking the pieces to allow the integration of the buttons, and gamepad innards. Once I had the pieces cut approproately, I clamped the top three together, and drilled the 5mm holes to allow me to screw them together.

    I then added the 4th (back piece) and the back plate, and drilled these at 4.2mm so I could tap the M5 threads for the bolts.

    The holes in the front piece were then countersunk to allow the bolts to tighten flush.

    In the photos, one can see a white layer behind the first piece, and this is composed of 2 pieces of thick card, that I used as an easy method of accommodating the buttons, dpad, and thumbsticks.
    This is far from ideal, and Ideally I would have another layer of perspex in it's place, although this would require a router, or milling machine to precisely cut and machine it -something I'm looking into.

    Once I had the buttons seated, I marked out the front sheet for drilling and cutting to create the holes for the buttons, and this worked out pretty well, although the holes I drilled for the thumbsticks were too small to allow full use of all the axes.

    The assembly was simple enough, I glued, and screwed the back plate onto the wheel stock, then clamped the stock vertically, so I had a flat platform to work on, and I placed the layers, adding the PCBs etc as I went, finally using the M5 bolts to secure it, and using washing up liquid to slide the grips on.

    Note that a jigsaw isn't ideal, as it creates a lot of vibration and movement, and I had several pieces crack. Better would be to use a band saw, or even a router with a fine cutting bit, either of which would make life a lot easier.

    Also, polycarbonate would be better for this design, as it is much less likely to crack, but is similar to machine.

    I plan in the future to make a much more precise version, using Solidworks for design, polycarbonate for construction, and using a router for all the cutting and machining.
    I would Ideally incorporate something like Leo Bodnar's SLI-M into it as well.

    In all, The core design is effective, and relatively quick and easy to construct, as well as allowing pretty much infinite number of possibilities when it comes to what buttons and controls one could build into it, so as a base, I'm pretty happy with it.

    Attached Files:

  7. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Good stuff matey :)

    This is deffiantely a good guide from somone who has limit funds and just wants to knock a decent usable wheel together in no time at all.

    But also, if you take your time with it and are careful about what you use, it could also produce some replica grade DIY jobs.

    Thanks for the more detailed write-up being put up so quickly, much appreciated.

    Do you have plans for anymore upgrades of any kind?
  8. The most immediate upgrade is what I mentioned in the first post, asthetics, and I've just ordered some 3M Di-noc vinyl to cover at least the front with. this should immediately produce a more professional and pleasing apearance. I'll post up a photo or 2 when I get it (probobly 2 weeks time). Also, two of the top buttons are missing, so these will be added soon as well.
    I'll put up a project outline before/if I look at ahead with an improved version in the future.
  9. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    That Di-noc stuff is brilliant. It hides a multitude of sins!

    I`vegot a wheel plate on my G25 that uses it and it looks so much better than most carbon fibre type vinyls.
  10. Finally got the vinyl today, and an hour of careful cutting later........
    Not perfect, but happy with it, and shows some of the potential in this method of wheel construction.

    Attached Files:

  11. very sharp man that carbon vinyl is a godsend i got some saved away for my project =P the wheel looks more proffessional now very nice work!