D-Box vs Prosimu

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by HugoB, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. HugoB

    HugoB
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    Hi fellow simracers,

    I’m interested if anyone has experience with both motion platforms and if you could tell the price difference is worth it? I understand Prosimu has a new actuator the ‘PRS 200’:

    http://www.prosimu-shop.com/en/75-t1000.html

    It has double the speed of the D-Box actuators and comes in 100/150/200 millimeters travel, which is 4/6/8 Inches equivalent. The 6 inch D-Box cost 36.000 USD for 4 if I’m correct. The Prosimu 6 inches cost 9800 USD for 4. That’s more than three times as much, is D-Box three times better?

    I understand D-Box uses it’s own software for the motion and works pretty good with almost every game. Prosimu uses Simtools 2.0. Can you get the exact same feedback from the D-Box setup as from the Prosimu?

    I understand D-Box actuators are magnetic and therefore completely silent and very reliable. The Prosimu PRS 200 are brushless motors, their latest product, these are much stronger, much more silent than the old SCN6 actuators. They claim that they are double the speed of the D-Box (2g vs 1g) and can lift 200kg per actuator compared to D-Box 114kg per actuator.

    So whats the deal here? Double the performance for 1/3 the price? Does the PRS 200 with Simtools 2.0 perform exactly the same as the D-Box? But only a bit louder and less longevity? Does anyone have experience with Simtools 2.0 on motion, compared to D-Box software, does it have the same detailed feedback?

    Thanks!

    Hugo
     
  2. HoiHman

    HoiHman
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    Very Very interested in this topic :)
     
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  3. sjb266

    sjb266

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    same...
     
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  4. RaceNut

    RaceNut

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    Me too . . . although, I have a Gen-1 3-actuator D-box with 1.5" of travel. I would like more travel but, the primary reason for going with D-box over other motion setups is the noise factor. Engine-vibration effects aside (low-level resonance), the D-box is extremely quiet and that's a major factor for my use. D-box is known for it's tactile abilities too, so I would be curious to know how these systems compare.

    Regarding the ProSimu setup, I think 4" of travel is enough for Sim-racing, even for Rallying but, more is better (right?) - especially if flight-sims are going to be involved. Of course, 6" of travel would be awesome for off-road & Super-truck action too.
     
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  5. HugoB

    HugoB
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    Thanks for your insights! I’ve been searching for a comparison between the two systems for almost a year now, but nobody seems to have a review up, or it’s hidden too far in the depths of the internet, so I felt the need to create a post here, fully expecting more silence, but who knows..

    Prosimu states that for racing only, 100mm (4'') is enough and their 150mm (6'') is for racing and flying sims, or racing with big movements involved (rally?).
    From their site:

    D-Box’s 1.5'' actuators are 38mm and everyone chooses those, maybe because the 3'' and 6'' are astronomically expensive, or maybe because it is enough for racing? Maybe Prosimu is wrong and you don’t need more than 50mm, or maybe it really is awesome to have 150mm (6'') travel for racing. I’ve met one dude on the D-Box Facebook group that explicitly bought the 6'' for racing, stating it was a huge difference in immersion. But I think there where only two people that I’ve ever heard of who could afford those. If I’d buy the Prosimu set, I’d get the 150mm, because the price difference between 100 and 150mm is only 20%. If you get D-Box, the price difference between 1.5'' and 3'' is double the price.

    I’d like to know if Prosimu can portray the same amount of road detail as D-Box. Barry Rowlandsaid the D-Box feels like ‘a properly sprung car’, so like real suspension. I wonder if anyone can chime in about Prosimu, if they get the same quality of feeling.

    Then there’s tactile. I understand D-Box can even give tactile feedback through the actuators. Given the speed of the Prosimu actuators at 280mm/s, or 2G, which is double the speed of D-Box at 100mm/s, or 1G, I’d say the Prosimu actuators should also be able to give tactile feedback. But maybe it’s a software function that D-Box software offers that Simtools 2.0 doesn’t? BUT: for that amount of money, you could get the Prosimu + 4 transducers and still have couple thousand left to spend on a GS-5 seat?

    So my question for anybody that’s tried both D-Box ánd Prosimu (specifically the new PRS 200): do they both give a good ‘suspension’ feeling?
     
  6. RobertR1

    RobertR1
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    If you're in the EU, you might just want to plan a trip and test them for yourself. You can go test drive the Prosimu stuff in Lille, France and then Vesaro is probably your best bet in the UK to test them using D-Box as their motion platform.

    I was going to do the same test above but I just went with NLR V3 for the kid friend packaging and noise elements. Ken in the D-Box facebook group is a great asset. Message him directly. He's a good dude. He'll be happy to help with any questions.
     
  7. abcx

    abcx

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  8. HugoB

    HugoB
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    That would be my next move, indeed. I do live in Europe (Austria) so I could manage a trip to both Prosimu and D-Box, but my time is very limited. I was hoping I could make it to the Sim Expo this weekend, but unfortunately I can’t. If nobody can tell me if Prosimu’s PRS 200 are just as good as D-Box, I’ll HAVE to go find them and try them myself. I found a place in Stuttgart called ‘Virtual Racing Lounge’, they have D-Box and lots of cool stuff to try. Also there’s the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart so it could be a fun trip. I’d have to go to France to try Prosimu though. I just hoped someone could give me some confidence if it’s even worth pursuing.

    I KNOW D-Box is the absolute king of motion right now and if it must be, I’ll have to save to get one. But I could only afford the 1.5'' stuff. So what if the PRS 200 are just as good (maybe only a bit louder?), then I could afford the 150mm (6'') ones plus 4x Buttkicker Advance ánd add a GS-5 seat later on for the same price.

    BUT if the D-Box gives SUCH a massively better motion feedback, be it through software programming, or because the actuators have superior characteristics, I’m left with only one choice: 4250i
     
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  9. HugoB

    HugoB
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    That looks REALLY cool, thanks! I’ll study that project closely and maybe it could be a good way to go. Only downside is the massive amount of time needed to get it up and running and the time needed to tinker later on. I only have a couple of hours a week to race, so I’d really like to spend them racing ;)

    Damn, that really is a lot cheaper though, and he also uses 750 watts brushless servo’s, that’s the same as the PRS 200, the best there is. And way more silent than the chirping SCN 6.
     
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  10. RobertR1

    RobertR1
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    I was at the Porsche museum a couple of weeks ago. A good place to spend an hour or two for sure. Well laid out and a lot of the iconic race cars of the past are there. If you're in the area already, certainly worth a visit.

    Lack of time is the reason I wasn't able to do the testing I recommended.
     
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  11. RaceNut

    RaceNut

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    Yes, I suspect more people would like more than 1.5" of travel (myself included), even just for road-racing use but, as you say, the cost is a major limiting factor with the D-box systems. I think 3-4" of travel would be great for Road-racing / 6" for Rally & off-road, and flight.

    In order to get good suspension effects with tactile, accel & brake-dive, it really uses all of the 1.5" of travel easily and leaves me wanting more and, there are times where the system is basically bottoming out, running out of travel. Like tactile feedback, it's the combined effects that make it tricky to optimize for best results; having more range would surely help.


    D-box pitches their system as being the only one that can produce the tactile effects in combination with the motion. They have obviously developed a very advanced system in order to do that and it comes at a premium price. By the specs, the ProSimU system should be more than capable to do it but, is the firmware / software package as capable (?)

    As good as the D-box tactile is, there are cases where my SimVibe setup was actually better in some ways, largely because of the shear range of effects possible in SimVibe. There exists much inconsistency in how D-box works with various titles, some have no sub-set of effect-tuning options in the software what-so-ever while others (Pcars2), have many.
     
  12. HoiHman

    HoiHman
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  13. aliolemon

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    May be interesting the Motionhouse Company from South Korea
    https://en-motionhouse.imweb.me/
    MOTIONGEAR TYPE-S4

    $6,100.00

    [​IMG]

    - MotionHouse developed professional motion simulator cylinder (MHCylinder Type-S)
    - Full driven motion simulator based on high thrust and high speed
    - Various motion expressions (Road texture, Roll, Pitch, Sway, Surge)
    - Motion intensity control function (Driving, Sport, Race)
    - Various simulation rigs applicable (RSeat, PlaySeat, PNS Gts plus, Fanatec RSC V2)
    - Motion software
    - Self-diagnosis function



    SPECIFICATION

    AXIS
    MAX POWER CONSUMPTION
    INPUT POWER SOURCE
    MAX USER WEIGHT
    MAX MOVING SPEED
    MAX STROKE

    4 800W
    110V, 50/60Hz
    220V, 50/60Hz
    150Kg
    150mm/s
    150mm

    DOF
    ROLL
    PITCH
    SURGE
    SWAY
    HEAVE

    3 ±10°
    ±6.5°
    ±3G
    ±3G
    ±2G


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  14. HugoB

    HugoB
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    Thank you for your great insights! I am convinced D-Box has the better hand at motion. I understand the actuators can change direction so quickly because they are magnetic, it’s effectively a speaker driver, so infinite control of ‘membrane’ movement. All other servo or stepper motor control drivers use worm gears, which can reach very high maximum speeds, but nowhere does it state the speed at which it can change direction. This is also difficult to quantify I guess. This might explains why we don’t see much (any?) servo motor controlled actuators that can do tactile feedback? Thinking about it, if a worm gear has to change direction so fast that it generates something like 80Hz, demonstrated by D-Box in their software test, the worm gear could maybe just not keep up, or because of the slight play in the gearing, just do nothing at all, or it could break the bearings and rattle the housing apart? D-Box has it easy here, the pin just vibrates freely in the housing, can’t go wrong.

    BUT for normal use, say kurbs, bumps in the road, throttle/brake application, gear shifting etc. maybe the speed of the servo driven actuators is sufficient? Road feel, I understand could be pushing it..

    So if coupled with some tactile transducers, maybe you could get a similar experience from servo actuators as you can from D-Box alone... maybe like 90% the same feeling? I would still get D-Box though if I had unlimited funds, for the plug and play, less cables and less software tuning required.

    But since money doesn’t grow on my back, I'd be limited to the 4250i set with 1.5'' travel. This is where my concern comes, maybe I’d be wanting more travel.

    So, after reading abcx’s link to the DIY motion on the German forum, I’m totally sold on the idea. As I understand it, you can make those actuators your self for around 400€ per piece. Everything is purchasable from hardware stores and some parts are 3D printed. The servo motors are from AliExpress and are as far as I can see, the same servo motors used by pretty much all manufacturers offering such actuators. They are the stongest ones you can get for this alplication:
    http://s.aliexpress.com/Ebqq22A7
    Looks pretty similar to the OSW MiGe’s? So they could be very reliable? In the german forum it’s mentioned that they are strong enough that you don’t need to use their full potential.

    These actuators are very silent in comparison to stepper motors like the SCN6 and such, watch this video of the motion usage:

    Go to 1h37:10, he starts off with only these DIY servo actuators, on a very hard suspension simulation on a bumpy road, then later he adds his other stepper motor actuators that control his rear traction loss, belt tensioner and Frex AirG-Force seat. They are SO much louder! Later on in the video he explaines that he is going to build more of these servo actuators to replace the loud SCN’s.

    Another thing that I REALLY like about this DIY project is: the software is open source! That means, sky is the limit, you can make any game work and you can add any effect you want. In the video he says he is a beta tester of the project and he’s tried a lot of different motion systems before, but none so advanced as this one. Take a look at 51:40, he shows how you can change graph’s that correspond to the output of motion derived from telemetry values the software receives from the game. You can make it do whatever you want. You can even add a certian motion to whatever telemetry data you want, look at 57:10.
    Later you can add intensity and smoothing to every parameter separately, or a global smoothing or rate, or a maximum travel speed or a minimum travel speed.
    Take a look at 1h36:05, you can change the graph real time and see the corresponding output to the motors, even while in game.

    I’m sold, I’m going to make 4 of these actuators and start from there, then add another one for ‘surge’, pushing only the seat front/back for braking and gear shifting, then later on a seatbelt tensioner and if I can find space a platform for front and rear traction loss.

    If anything breaks, you can buy everything from hardware stores and the plastic parts can just be 3D printed. The software is still very fresh, it was released officially just since a couple of days, so they expect a lot of updates to make it even better. The software also has an output to a soundcard that you can use for tactile feedback, but I hope I can use SimVibe for that.

    All in all, this solution seems like the best thing since sliced bread: high performance, high reliability, highly customizable, open source, self repairable, off the shelf parts, and best of all: very affordable!
     
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  15. HugoB

    HugoB
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  16. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte
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    Simtag Simulators.

    They are based beside the Spa track in Belgium. You can rent the usage of rigs on a per hr fee with or without tutoring. I believe they offer some rather high-end solutions including both D-Box and SimXperience type rigs. They also appear to take audio more seriously looking at some of the hardware options they provide as well.

    Some of their rigs were on display at Nvidia's RTX booth recently @Gamescom showcasing Assetto Corsa Competizioni. I shared a video of this in the Gamescom thread not long ago.



    D-Box tactile, while it can be delivered with immense power. To my understanding looking at what it offers, while satisfying for many of its users is not the best possible solution. Simvibe, (certainly not on its own) is neither and the performance using the basic tactile units that are most often used by companies fall dramatically short on what the true potential possible is.

    My own d.i.y build is to be purposely built around tactile performance and how it is installed. While likely staying static, it will produce an immense amount of tactile feedback, ensuring greater detailing and with more options, more control and at a performance level above any cockpit solution being sold in the market.

    I guess what I am saying is, some cockpit building businesses will sway with one solution or another, often based on commercial factors or decisions. However, we see in the community how several people have become creative and experimented, their passion drives them to having combined more than one motion-based solution together.

    What I will do in the near future is share what I have learned in doing the same but from a tactile immersion perspective. Bringing more than one option/solution with it being controlled and utilised with others. Like motion, we can use and combine more than one tactile solution, this is indeed not just possible but beneficial. Pushing creativity, towards such potential, however as I have found requires a well-considered, custom build and installation to achieve the potential of something greater in the immersion it can deliver. Yet this is not something certainly regards tactile immersion any cockpit building company is yet doing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  17. HoiHman

    HoiHman
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  18. sjb266

    sjb266

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    yeah same... is it noisy or not? I can't really tell..
     
  19. HoiHman

    HoiHman
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    Believe it's resonably quiet, especially if you compare it to the SCN acculators that Frex and Prosimu and Simxperience use.
     
  20. sjb266

    sjb266

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    Group buy and support?
     
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