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Direct drive/servo wheels

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Turk, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. Turk

    Premium Member

    I'm thinking of upgrading my wheel again. At the moment I have a fanatec CSR but I'm beginning to find its limits.

    I was looking at the fanatec wheel base, I've seen in places that it's basically a servo wheel?? It's probably the next step up for me and to get a working wheel it looks like it's going to cost me around €1000.

    I have a fanatec wheel, pedals (CSR elite) and CSR H-shifter. I've had varying problems with all of them, the wheel has become loose and I can see that it's the way the wheel is connected to the base, essentially one screw stopping it from moving in place. I've had a load cell fail on the brakes and the replacement didn't entirely fix the problem. The gear stick has an intermittent clicking noise that sounds like somethings loose, but doesn't affect the operation of the gears. All these things make me a bit apprehensive about buying a more expensive fanatec product, but the fanatec wheel base seems like it's in another level of build quality and fanatecs support was pretty good when I contacted them.

    The other wheel I'm looking at is the accuforce wheel from simexperience. This seems to be coming in around €1800 but the package looks very good, as far as I can see you essentially get the base, two wheels and software. But it's a big step up in price and I don't know that it's worth the extra money for someone who doesn't get to play as much as they like. I'm wondering is the Fanatec wheel more than enough for me? Would I appreciate the difference? Would the accuforce be overkill for my needs.

    I know there's an open servo wheel project as well but the only one I could find was horribly expensive at almost twice the price of the accuforce and still requiring assembly.

    Is there any chance racedepartment could do some sort of roundup of wheels? To give some idea of what the difference is, what gains there are in spending more money and what wheel is enough for different types of player.
  2. At one point everyone that loves sim racing realizes its time to upgrade. Purchasing high end hardware for your hobby never disappoints. You could probably feel it's overkill depending on your level or time availability but will never regret.

    So my thoughts. If you are already thinking(that means its affordable to you) to move to accuforce, step up. You will be blown away by the difference and enjoy every mile driven. But be prepared for a whole upgrade of your system. Gradually the rest of your equipment will start feeling toyish.
    One year ago I upgraded from g25 to t500rs and then it all changed. .
    Now I own a gs105 motion seat, aftermarket shifters, lc handbrakes, different rims, lc brakes, full simvibe installation... and two more babies that leave no time to race.
    T500rs is a very very good wheel. t300 as well (if you want to keep your pedals). Improvement over yours, but you will soon find their limits as well. The accuforce wont bother you with its limits, just your limited time.
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  3. Turk

    Premium Member

    Damn, I was hoping you'd tell me the cheaper one is just fine. :p

    With the Accuforce, besides the wheel is there much more components that would take up space? for example, is there another large control box? I'm trying to design a sim rig that will fold into a work desk and essentially hide the sim gear when not in use, and space is becoming an issue

    Accuforce does seem like a very good package though. Even though it's nearly twice the price it does seem like good value for what you're getting. It's just about affordable to me, but this would be my third wheel and I do want something that would last the test of time. AC has completely taken over my gaming, whenever I get the time to play a game I can't bring myself to play anything other than AC, so I suppose it would be a good investment.
  4. While I agree to a certain degree with what @asteroulis said about there always being something on your rig to upgrade, I'm not sure you'll never be satisfied.
    I currently run the CSW v2 and with how that performs I have zero interest in the Accuforce wheel. I mean it's an interesting wheel, probably kickass, and most likely an upgrade to the CSW, but I'm so happy with what I've got I don't see a need to upgrade.
    That said, there for sure are other parts of my rig I'd like to upgrade. :)

    Edit: Oh and I have had the T300 at home for 2 weeks, while I found it a VERY good wheel I was stuck with the feeling that if I kept it I would still go around drooling over the CSW v2 and wanting it, so I took the plunge.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. I am in almost identical position as OP. And 100% positive that going for CSW v2 now will leave me "drooling, wanting, ..." for Accuforce later.
  6. Then if the Accuforce is within your budget range, go for it, else you'll be "wasting" money on the CSW when you finally give in to the want and buy the Accuforce anyways.
    To me the Accuforce has never been interesting, it's just way too much money to spend on something which is a hobby for me, if I where using it as a tool for practicing for real racing perhaps.
    I'll rather spend those money on upgrading the rest of my rig, the consumer version Oculus Rift is on the horizon, as is the HTC Vive, so there's more than enough stuff to waste money on ^^
  7. Richard Hessels

    Richard Hessels
    Premium Member

    Enough people spend that amount or more money on fishing gear or a mountainbike.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. CSW v2 with a good rim is not exactly cheap either, does it not fall into the same category?
  9. I don't think we should start a debate again. We should not try to put our standards of what is an acceptable amount to spend on your hobby as a universal truth. And that is not the matter here. Nor does anyone suggests of course that the second best wheel is worse. It's just by far second imho. And by far cheapest of course. So it's just a budget choice, isn't it?

    @Kjell Eilertsen Hobbies are usually were people tend to spend money on. People
    's motivation to spend is their desire. In hobbies desire is not something you have to create, its there. you just have to feed it. :-P
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
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  10. There's always more than one school of thought regarding upgrades; one can baby step their way to better gear or take the plunge and go all-in. I used a G25 for years and was quite happy, then I upgraded to the ClubSport Wheel and pedals and used those for over a year before changing to the AF and CST pedals.

    One of the up-sides to using higher-end gear is that it tends to retain it's value better so you have a better chance of recouping a larger percentage of your investment. The other upside is that your enjoyment of using the gear increases significantly. It also has a tendency to cause you to want "more" of what makes it a better experience, hence the desire for more upgrades. :)

    Upgrades are expensive. With that being said, I enjoy my Sim-racing more than ever and better gear keeps me interested in racing over playing other types of games. I recently added triples and am in the process of building a race-rig with serious shake-ability (Darn Dirt Rally!). This may be considered a disease of some kind but, at least it's one I thoroughly enjoy. :)
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  11. It does, but it's still about half the price of a AF wheel. I consider the CSW v2 package to be very expensive and in the upper limit of what I am prepared to spend on this hobby. If I where a millionaire sporting a huge villa with a butler and cleaning maids, a garage full of amazing supersports cars etc then I guess things would be different, but that is not the case :p I'm a mere working man.

    I'm not trying to start a debate, if you look back at my comments you will see that I even recommended getting the AF if it's within your budget, I was stating my reasoning behind it not being an interesting choice for me because it might give someone on the fence a perspective they hadn't thought of. Don't mistake it as me trying to talk people into getting the CSW rather than the AF, get whatever you want and you feel is within your budget.
    Matter of fact is I'll repeat myself here, if you WANT that AF wheel, buying the CSW might just be a bad idea, because you run the risk of wasting money when you finally give in and get the AF anyways.
    You might not though, you could realize that the CSW is more than enough to keep you happy, it certainly was for me, I see no hardware reasons to upgrade what so ever as it's everything I was hoping for and a little more.

    I'm sure they do, and if they can afford it then why not? See my comments above :)
  12. CSW v2 with vast selection of wonderful rims to any taste makes Fanatec a tremendous value. No doubts. DD market is still maturing, as it seems, and even AF is not the end of ones wildest dreams. There are always OSW and Leo Bodnar. But AF is the only turn key, *almost affordable* to mere enthusiasts DD wheel on the market.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Turk

    Premium Member

    I haven't heard anyone say anything negative about the CSW, that's what has me on the fence. It does seem to be competing with the accuforce, I don't know whether it's a cheap DD wheel, an expensive consumer wheel (in the same market as the CSR and thrustmaster wheels), or somewhere in between.

    I don't think I'd regret buying the accuforce, it's a matter of whether I'd feel I bought second best if I bought the CSW and will want to upgrade it again at some point?
  14. I had the privilege of testing them both.
    I own a cswv1 so with that as a reference point i tested these wheels
    the cswv2 is almost twice as good and to me the AF felt twice as good as the cswv2

    I ended up with the AF
    Just had it dialed in. you need to finetune it
    otherwise this awesome piece of kit won't be used with all its advantages
    and compared to the cswv1, which i always liked for its feeling,
    is i can now feel better what my front is doing when turning in
    i feel much more confident when going in to a corner

    @ asteroulis: which aftermarked shifters do you own and which one do you prefer?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
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  15. Frederic Schornstein

    Frederic Schornstein
    TXL Racing Premium Member

    The "premade OSW" would be this one not many avialable:
    It is 2.500€ if you throw in the extras you should/need you end up with around 3000€ plus a Rim. This is with the best OSW servo (something around 22nm or so) and it is all completely build up and you have warranty.
    It is really a nice package, but if you throw in a rim with some nice buttons etc. you will end up around 3500€, but therefore it should last you the next 20+ years :D
  16. Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson
    Technical Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If your man servant can't fix your car and create you a custom servo wheel while frying your bacon then he's really no man servant at all:D

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  17. I have each wheel right here now, both are great wheels, the af is better, not sure I would say it is 800.00 usd better. For right now it is my choice, it does take software fiddling to get it working at its best. If money is a serious constraint, go for the csw v2 and don't look back, it's a good wheel. I had a g25 from around 2007, got lots of use from it, finally upgrade last August (the g25 gave up the ghost 2 days before the fanatec arrived). I used the Fanatec for less than 24 hours and had to send it back for warranty repair. I went thru withdrawals, I ordered the af, than waited the 2 months for delivery. The fanatec was gone for 3 weeks, it worked great when it came back.
    I'll eventually sell one, but I have time to mull it over :thumbsdown:

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  18. With the surge of OSW builders, does it even make sense to buy AF with stepper motor?
  19. What kind of material cost are we looking at for an OSW wheel?
  20. I'd say very comparable to AF.
    All depends, sorry, you would need to do some legwork to figure out the best option, servo, motor, builder. I am still in the process, so can't give any first hands advise till I get one. Margin for individual builders is smaller, that directly translates into better quality components and motor, . . . at roughly same price.