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CSL DD, my humble review

manu68

Premium
Hi.
Just some comment on my récent purchase of a CSL DD + MC laren V2 rim.

I put my order in june, and have been delivered about two weeks ago.
As about always with UPS, it hs been a mess, but that is not really the point here.

My simracing background is simple.
I am 54, and i practise simracing since Internet exists. First race with an 33 kb modem on Graand prix legends.
I have raced some years without ffb on basic wheel . Then purchased my old good logitech G25, which i have use until my recent purchase.

I always thought that it is a wheel which has allowed the simracing to be what it is today, and never considered to replace it , just because i have been satisfied all these years.

Then fanatec has put the CSL DD on the market, which i think is about the same revolution as the G25 .

It has a perfect size, it looks great, it is easy to install and configure, the shifter has a great feeling, the pedals are nice (i have them for about two years already).
And the price is very fair for what i got and needs.

The difference is huge with the G25, in many aspects. We could discuss long, but i think that the smoothness is key, more than torque or strenght. It feels more like driving a real car.
The simracing experience is the same as with the G25 or another wheel, just more enjoyable.

G25 was and remains a fantastic wheel. During many years, all wheels have been designed to clone it. CSL DD sets just the reference a big step beyond in all domains.
In about two years, i am sure that all wheels will be direct drive on the market, and even cheaper.

I recommand it more than 100%.
It is the perfect wheelbase for my needs and my rig.
Thanks to fanatec to have understood the needs of people like me
 

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RasmusP

Premium
You could say that with a 2m table, I could mount a wheel to the table. But it's IKEA. It's thin "wood" with lots of air in it. I feel bad enough for the one on my right that I use the G29 and have that shaking
Excuses, excuses... :p
I could also say that the Ikea table would surely hold 1-2 Nm more torque and that everyone in the building would be thankful to have the rattling Logitech wheel replaced by the completely quiet csl DD :D
It would still be a massively better driving experience, even when dialed down to the same torque.

Btw, living in a 2.5 room apartment (its half room when below 10m²) of 57m².
Did you read the part where I'm stating that I sometimes hit the wheelbase with the backrest of my chair when going up from the desk and that I'd like the smaller footprint of the csl DD? :roflmao: :roflmao:
 
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Cote Dazur

SIM Addict
Wow, I will need time to understand the wealth of information in your answer. Very well written and elaborate.
Then there's the game gain, which is basically "what was the clipping limit with the default 100%".
When using 50% gain, "what was clipping before" is now only half strength
Ok, just one question (amount many) for now. I understand that when using 50% gain, "what was clipping before" is now only half strength, that is how I see it.

but now you have 50% headroom!
What I do not understand is the headroom. Maybe it is because I do not understand where the clipping in FFB is coming from. What I understand is that it is game related, independent of the controller, as the game does not know how weak or strong the wheel is.

AC clip at 100% gain the same with a DD2 or a G27. But why is it clipping? Where is the limitation from?
 
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RasmusP

Premium
What I do not understand is the headroom. Maybe it is because I do not understand where the clipping in FFB is coming from. What I understand is that it is game related, independent of the controller, as the game does not know how weak or strong the wheel is.

AC clip at 100% gain the same with a DD2 or a G27. But why is it clipping? Where is the limitation from?
This is a bit tricky. I honestly don't fully know. But all games have the limit at 100% output level.
And if a game doesn't have this limit, all wheel controllers have an input level at 100% too.

You might set the gain to 1000% but that only means that "what was 10% before at default" is now clipping.

As far as I know, ffb was developed via DirectX. The 3 "directInput" channels are force, spring, damper.
The output level is "standardized" you could say.
It's a bit like "line level" in audio where you can plug any line level device like a Bluetooth adapter or a cd player or an mp3 player or a PC into the input of your Hi-fi receiver without having to fear that it will overload the input or blow your speakers.

But it's all digital so it's not really a true output level. The game only tells the wheelbase what level it should output.
And the "directInput" ffb channels are limited at 100%.

FFB contains 2 informations:
- direction
- level

Clipping simply means that everything beyond 100% won't output a higher level anymore.
It will still contain the "direction" though.

So clipping isn't always bad! It only means that you won't get stronger ffb from that point onwards.
It can also happen when driving through Eau Rouge, in the dip for example.

When you set the gain to 100%, you will turn in to the right into Eau Rouge, feel the grip building up, the FFB becoming stronger.
Then the dip happens and the tyre loads increase. The FFB ramps up but it's reaching over 100%.
So you might feel a little "left/right wiggle" through the dip but you won't feel the increased grip from the higher tyre load.

Then the crest comes and you steer slightly to the left.
But since you were clipping before, you won't really feel how light the car becomes over the crest.
Eau rouge at default is basically:
- turn in: ffb goes to 80%
- dip happens: 130%
- crest happens: 60%

So with 100% gain, it will be 80-100-60.
Dip = 20% stronger, crest = 40% weaker

If you now set the gain to 50% and get a 2x as strong wheelbase, the turn in into Eau Rouge will feel identical but when you drive through the dip, you will feel how much more tyre load you'll get, how the grip massively increases.
Then at the dip, the FFB will become a lot lighter, telling you that the car is super light in that moment.

So with 50% gain, it will be 40-75-30. (80-130-60 / 2)

Dip = 35% stronger, crest = 45% weaker. But since we have 2x as strong wheelbase, it's actually:
Dip = 70% stronger, crest = 90% weaker.

I'll record ffb telemetry from rfactor 2 at Spa tonight since I'm doing a club race there. I'll post a Screenshot from Eau Rouge at different gain levels then!
 
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Cote Dazur

SIM Addict
If you now set the gain to 50% and get a 2x as strong wheelbase, the turn in into Eau Rouge will feel identical but when you drive through the dip, you will feel how much more tyre load you'll get, how the grip massively increases.
Then at the dip, the FFB will become a lot lighter, telling you that the car is super light in that moment
Thank you, that answer both question for me, headroom and clipping. Makes perfect sense. Would also explain why a wheel base twice as strong, will not feel twice as strong most of time, but will feel more dynamic. Dynamic might reveal more information which is interesting, but too much dynamic could also be distracting as too divergent from how a real wheel feels like since IRL the eau rouge variation will only partly be felt trough the wheel and partly trough the so called “seat of pants”.
Fascinating!
 
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RasmusP

Premium
but too much dynamic could also be distracting as too divergent from how a real wheel feels like since IRL the eau rouge variation will only partly be felt trough the wheel and partly trough the so called “seat of pants”.
Well, only talking about Eau Rouge:
You should lower the gain until you have FULL dynamic without any clipping through this corner.
Clipping should only happen for sausage kerbs or hitting walls.

I doubt that 8 Nm are able to be strong enough to be stronger than irl.
Going through Eau Rouge at 200 km/h and more is certainly quite intense :D

F1 drivers get around 4G lateral, 3-4G vertical through the dip and then need to be held down by the seat belts over the crest with about 1-2G vertical.
Steering wheel torque is their least problem haha


But overall:
Yes, exactly. Too much dynamic can be distracting and lower your precision and smoothness!
Which is why I always set the gain to "just below clipping while driving normally".
Big sausage kerbs clip with my settings, walls etc too.

And from there I just dial in the wheelbase strength to my liking.


Only in games with "bad" ffb I raise the gain to get less dynamic. Wrc9 for example has almost zero ffb when driving straight but ramps up the FFB during cornering way too steeply.
I'm using 130% gain in that game. So basically all corners have the same strength due to clipping but the physics aren't good enough to feel grip levels through ffb strength anyway...
So I prefer to have a good relation between straight line ffb and cornering ffb.
Compared to no straight line feeling and arcade feeling grip levels when cornering at lower gain settings.
 
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