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Guide to Motion Sim Hardware (2)

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Brian Clancy, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Brian Clancy

    Brian Clancy

    In the introduction to this series, I mentioned digging further into the components that make up a racing simulator. In this article, we’ll discuss the software aspects of simulation. It is important to note that this information is provided for enthusiasts and the knowledge shared in this series is not necessary to enjoy motion simulation.

    Untitled.jpg SimXperience offers a complete line of Plug-N-Play / Install-N-Drive solutions for the motion simulation enthusiast. The only knowledge required to operate a simulator is related to game configuration such as installing a game and mapping your wheel in the game settings. If you are able to perform these simple tasks, then you have the skills necessary to enjoy DIY motion simulation. Having said that, I’m one of those people that must understand what goes on under the hood and if you’re still reading this, I’ll assume that you are as well.

    Racing simulation begins with a game that has the ability to output “motion data”. This motion data is then translated via a “motion profile” into simulator geometry specific instructions for actuators or motors. These instructions result in the movement of your simulator.

    As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, free software named X-Sim exists to perform this very task. X-Sim is a community project led by German engineer Martin Wiedenbauer. X-Sim is extremely flexible and is capable of powering a wide variety of simulators via a wide variety of actuators and electronics.

    Several key factors set X-Sim apart from competing motion engines:
    • Low Latency Data Delivery Rate (Instructions get to the actuators faster)
    • Large Number of Supported Games
    • Capable of Vehicle Specific Motion Profiles (More accurate motion)
    The ability to rapidly obtain motion data from a game and apply it to the actuators is a key factor in preventing lag which would result in an “immersion break”. In generic terms, an immersion break can be defined as any movement or untimely effect that does not seem natural and causes you to focus on the inaccurate effect and not on racing.The following may help you to better understand the benefits of vehicle specific motion.

    Vehicle Specific Motion Profiles
    • Maximum braking G-Forces are accurately defined and fine detail such as wheel hop can be detected by the user.
    • Bumps, Cornering G-Forces and Road Surface detail are accurate in any vehicle that you have a motion profile for.
    • No immersion breaks exist and motion quality is consistent throughout the driving experience.
    One Size Fits All Motion
    • Maximum braking G-Forces are unknown to the motion engine resulting in lost detail
    • Maximum cornering (Lateral G’s) forces are unknown resulting in extreme movements in some vehicles and miniscule movements in others.
    • Motion engine is constantly attempting to rescale and determine the maximum force values resulting in a constantly changing feel and at times almost no motion at all after being bumped by another vehicle or rubbing a wall
    Vehicle specific motion is one of the key differences between a professional simulation experience and simple gaming movements.Later in this series, I will give you a sneak peek out our upcoming Sim Commander 2 software and some video demonstrations of how easy it is for anyone to build and tune a vehicle specific motion profile. For now, we’ll keep with the overview concept. The next article will discuss the actuators, electronics and motors that receive the data from the X-Sim motion engine software.
    Remember, you can ask Berney questions etc HERE in the special Q&A thread in the SRH Forum :)

    Attached Files:

  2. Georgios Davakos

    Georgios Davakos

    Amazing as always.
  3. Derek Speare

    Derek Speare

    Thank you kindly for broadening my sim horizons!
  4. Valerio Vinassa

    Valerio Vinassa
    PrestoGP Veteran

    Thanks:) always appreciated these explanations
  5. Ivo Simons

    Ivo Simons

    Very nice guys.