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Are there any wind sim solutions with LARGE fans?

sunaurus

Premium
Hey hey! I'm looking to add wind simulation to my rig, but all DIY projects and pre-built solutions I can find are using tiny (<200mm) PC case fans. I guess the reason for that is most people have monitors on their rigs that would block large fans, but as I'm a VR driver without any monitor on my rig, I would like a bigger fan that I could just place in front of the rig.

I've sort of tried it out with a regular house fan and it feels good already without any simulation, but I would like to take it to the next level with full wind simulation. Does anybody have any ideas of how to achieve this or maybe know of some existing pre-built options that I could use?
 

metalnwood

Premium
Usually people go for bilge blowers if they want more than the standard fans give you.

I have two and they are off the rig so going through ducting. At the end of the ducts they get up to about 50km/h wind speed. That drops down to about 26 where my face is at. If you dont use ducting and mount on the rig then you will have less losses.

Still, its more than I use, I never have them running full, two of them at once is quite a breeze.
 
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I've played some with bigger fans and it didn't go well.
The problem is momentum.
The fans take too long to spool up and then don't spool down quickly and the timing is all off.
Kinda like the lipsync being wrong on you TV -- the lag is too great -- you get more distraction than immersion.
You need to balance CFM and responsiveness.
 
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My first wind sim had 2 Thermalright TY 143 fans, (14 cm, up to 2500 rpm), installed in front of my face. Not bad and quite silent. However, since I use VR, the headset made me feel less airflow on my face than I expected.

So I replaced these fans with 2 Delta TFC1212DE. These are industrial fans, stronger and built like a tank. This model is 12 cm only, but can run up to 5200 rpm, which translates into 252 cfm of airflow, which is a lot. It is much noisier, but with a good pair of closed circumaural headphones, you can barely hear them during gameplay.

However, now with the headset and the headphones, I still felt that the airflow was not enough for absolute realism, so I added another couple of Delta fans. I made custom stands for them, all pointing to my head.

I am using 2 controllers by SymProjects, which work great with the 4 fans and can be easily set as wind simulator or normal fans (for closed cars). I can switch between different modes and speeds from my button box.

These Delta are great, but you will have to buy some grills for them, because the blades are exposed, made of very hard plastic and spinning at thousands of rpm, so they can easily chop your fingers. I also 3D-printed front shrouds as a protection but also to focus and stengthen the airflow even more.

Bear in mind also, that these are inverted PWM fans, so you need a software than can control that or otherwise they will run full speed when the car is idle and stop at full speed of the car. SimDash, the software from Symprojects can do that. My first 2 Delta fans were inverted. When I placed my new order, I purchased 3 units, just to have a replacement, and one of them was not inverted (pretty weird). Fortunatelly, they are not expensive at all, considering how powerful and sturdy they are. I bought them from eBay (China).

Here a photo. More here.

jxvzY0I.jpg


I don't know about really large fans which work at 220V and are also PWM, but I suppose they exist or there is a way to make normal fans work as a wind simulator. It would interesting to know. The result would be quite impressive. See for instance this professional kart simulator.

Special-Projects-Full-Motion-Kart-Simulator.00_00_04_15.Still001.jpg
 
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sunaurus

Premium
Thanks for the replies, useful info in here. I definitely want to avoid lag, so if larger fans generally result in lag, I guess I will need to bury that idea for now.
The karting sim image above is basically exactly what I was imagining, but I guess that's not something that's easily obtainable or reproducible.
 
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metalnwood

Premium
The bilge blower fans I was talking about are only 4"/100mm but they spool up and down very fast so if you are using them to simulate wind as you accellerate/slow down then they are good for that but I generally just have it for cooling so adjust it with a rotary during a race so its fast enough to keep me comfortable.
 
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I upgraded to two high speed 12v fans used for Bitcoin mining using the upgraded Symprojects Fan Controller board which provides more than enough airflow in VR for me, in fact they can make me too cold sometimes.


 
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