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Load Cell Brake Mod, Advantage?

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Kristian Maynes, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. Can you get faster lap time using load cell brake mod? While watching on AC youtube vids, i can see that all fast laps brake late and stops shorter which i can not replicate with my G27 w/ nixim mod. I even tried lots of laps with different brake gamma/brake bias combination.
    Now i think that having a load cell brake mod have an advantage on any race.
  2. The advantage is muscle memory versus using a spring and pot. Instead of appling a set amount of angle to the pedals to move a pot, a load cell allows you to use force which is said to be easier for the human body to learn which results in better consistency.

    That being said, there are dozens of people winning sim racing championships with G27 pedals with pots so it really does come down to practice with the equipment you have more than anything else. Most people do prefer load cells or bushing mods to a standard spring and pot setup.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. I've always doubted the advantage in practice. Yes a load cell relies on pressure to generate a signal, but with a pot you can setup the spring to have exactly the same amount of pressure and movement as the load cell. It's not the pot that's the problem, it's the linear non-adjustable spring brake pedals use and the linear non-adjustable 'gamma' most games use.
  4. From an electrical standpoint, you are correct that a load cell doesn't really offer an advantage, its simply the feel of load/pressure to apply your force that is the advantage, however similar results can be obtained with progressive springs and bushing mods with a pot based brake as well. I use a set of CSR Elites with load cell of course but I also have a set of T500RS pedals with a Basher bushing mod that I also find very good. Both accomplish the same function, they just go about it slightly differently, and arguably the busing mod is a LOT more reliable since it will very likely never wear out unlike a cheap load cell. There are high end pedal sets that use more expensive load cells that are probably a lot more reliable than the more affordable Fanatec load cell based pedals, but again, same function at a much higher cost than a simple bushing mod.
  5. Not really because you just need to mimic the exact same force vs travel a load cell has with a multi-rate spring that gives the same force, and has the same travel. Then you can adjust the brake curve (gamma) and sensitivity in a game so the pedal feels similar in every game.
    The force and travel can be exactly the same as the load cell, or any braking system in real life. You just need the actual data from that load cell brake pedal or real brake pedal, so you can clone it.
    I'm sure you don't need a load cell to have realistic brake feel, it's a myth.
    Imagine if your real car suddenly had no mechanical link to the brakes at all. Imagine engineers measured the exact force and travel the mechanical brake pedal had, then cloned it exactly with a multi-rate spring and pot. There would be no force or travel difference. The difference would be that you wouldn't be able to detect a near lock up, ABS engagement, fade etc as there's no link to the brake fluid anymore.
  6. Apparently you misread my post because you're agreeing with what I stated but you started off your post with "Not really". :O_o:
  7. Richard Hessels

    Richard Hessels
    Premium Member

    One really big advantage of the loadcell is you can modulate your braking.. go from 20% to 80% and back to 20% in an instant.. without barely having to move your feet.
    Where with a normal pedal with a potmeter you need to release your foot to 20% and back to 80% and back.. the corner is already gone.
    As with a well tuned loadcell brake you don't need all that travel.. you just put pressure on your pedal.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Yes I mis-read part of it! Sorry!
    Somebody on here has made DIY hydraulic pedals, and it's a great project. However is it really better than a multi-rate spring? I don't think so. Brake fluid is a non-compressible liquid (until air gets into it), so it won't add any 'feel'. The only 'give' in a brake pedal is air and water in the fluid.
  9. You still need a spring with a load cell or it won't feel realistic at all. How do you compress a spring without moving your foot?
    If you are just pushing on a load cell without movement or a spring, that's not realistic!
  10. You really don´t want springs on a brake pedal if you are looking for realism. They just offer to little max resistance in the dimension that would fit a brake pedal. There is a reason no high end pedal uses spring other then to get a return force back to 0 or simulate the slack before the brake discs engage. Some uses air pressure.

    Real brake pedals does have movement. If you want to brake on a plank you do want a pressure transducer/loadcell of course. The big benefit with a loadcell is the ability to fine tune the pressure you want so easilly and even if you don´t physically move the pedal it still does react to pressure applied so you can in general adjust them a bit more.

    But it´s not mandatory to use loadcells to simulate a pressure sensitive pedal. It´s the rubbers that create the progressive resistance and as mentioned real brake pedals do have travel.

    Focus should be more on having progressive resistance so you can feel better how much brake pressure you apply rather then loadcell or potentiometre.

    Though I think it´s easier to create a good brake pedal with loadcell/pressure transducers but the rubber, springs etc is more important.
  11. does anyone tried spring mod + log pot? I'm not into electronics so I don't know if this will work. You can modify linear pots to do logarithmic response. Maybe if you combine the two mods and fine tune it, you can replicate those expensive load cell. If anyone knows what resistor i should put and where on the pot terminal if this is gonna work?
  12. Err pots are variable resistors that lower the input voltage based on their position, and the output voltage is then interpreted by the drivers as being a value from 0-100%, that is then interpreted by the game as a force of braking from 0-100%.
    At least that's the way I understand it.
  13. You can pretty much get a logarithmic/exponential response with the linearity settings on many games, which will be much easier to tune to your liking than a hardware-fixed response.
  14. Let me express my opinion as an automotive engineer.

    Brake force is not linear to the travel of the pedal. Also the pressure on the drivers foot is not linear as well. But they are analog to each other.
    So a realistic brake is the one that has a progressive pressure to the leg that can be translated at the same time to the exact same progression to the simulator.
    So if you install a progressive spring/bushing/hydraulics etc, you have the first and most basic part of the equation that will make you feel you are pressing on a real brake. I have the Basher mod which is very nice and I have made another one much cheaper which does the same. Both trick the mind just fine.
    The second part is how this translates to brake pressure in the software. Some sims have an option to change the linearity. Some don't. Even if you play there, you cannot achieve the perfect values. This can only be achieved universally and accurately with a pressure sensor. So that it will work the same way with all sims and with the exact analog proportion in every sim.

    So, a right "foot" feeling with the according pressure sensor is the realistic way to do it.

    Of course this has only to do with how realistic you want to be. Champions are still racing with non modded analog hardware.
    Racing has foremost got to do with understanding car physics, practice and the last is the Hardware we use. Of course it's still a part of the game and it contributes a lot to the satisfaction. To some the most;-)
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Leynad777

    Premium Member

    A few weeks ago i exchanged my Thrustmaster TX pedals against a CSR Elite Pedals with Loadcell-breaks. The first loadcell was much to unsensitive and i got a new one as replacement. It´s still quit a force to get to 100% break even on the highest sensitivity, but this is the advantage. With the new pedals i break between 60 and 90%, when i´m a little to late maybe 95%. The 100% i push only, when i made a bad mistake. I wouldn´t say, it makes you faster, but maybe more consistent and for sure it´s way more authentic. I´m driving more tyrefriendly and having less spins. But better for hotlapping i doubt.
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. I miss my CSv2 pedals, but the knee pains were too much, so I had to get rid of them and now I'm back on softcore G25. Load cell is definitely better, but with these, I can at least run a 30-40 minute race without a problem.
  17. Of course, not everyone likes it with the same stiffness. But the load cell is just the sensor. You can have a very light or very strong brake. You can have short throw or long. It doesn't matter as long as you measure the desired pressure with a pressure sensor.
    Even stock pedals can be easily transformed and have the exact same feeling but different in game behavior.