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How close is too close?

At present, my recently acquired 34" ultra-wide monitor is mounted over the top of my wheelbase and positioned 23 inches from my eyes:

_DSF3112b.jpg


While I'm happy enough with this setup so far, when I lean forward slightly and reduce that distance to 21 or 20 inches (or even 19 inches, which appears to be the point where my fingers will start to brush against the steering wheel) I sense that I could be somewhat happier still.

Temporarily moving the monitor closer by another inch so I can test this setup will be easy, but this will bring the monitor stand firmly into contact with the rear of the wheelbase, so moving it forward by another two or three inches from there will require me to fabricate a spacer and rework a few parts.

Which is not impossible or even difficult, but it will require some time and effort on my part, as well as potentially spending some money on materials.

So before I do that, I'm curious about the conclusions of others who've experimented with this and the monitor-to-eyeball distance they ultimately settled on ... thoughts?
 
So before I do that, I'm curious about the conclusions of others who've experimented with this and the monitor-to-eyeball distance they ultimately settled on ... thoughts?

If you're not yet seeing individual pixels, then the main problems you'll encounter are your eyepoint will be too low on the monitor (leads to neck pain) and/or fingernails scuffing the monitor.
 
Since you didn't mention it in your post, have you tried adjusting the FOV settings in your sim?
 
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At present, my recently acquired 34" ultra-wide monitor is mounted over the top of my wheelbase and positioned 23 inches from my eyes:

View attachment 446488

While I'm happy enough with this setup so far, when I lean forward slightly and reduce that distance to 21 or 20 inches (or even 19 inches, which appears to be the point where my fingers will start to brush against the steering wheel) I sense that I could be somewhat happier still.

Temporarily moving the monitor closer by another inch so I can test this setup will be easy, but this will bring the monitor stand firmly into contact with the rear of the wheelbase, so moving it forward by another two or three inches from there will require me to fabricate a spacer and rework a few parts.

Which is not impossible or even difficult, but it will require some time and effort on my part, as well as potentially spending some money on materials.

So before I do that, I'm curious about the conclusions of others who've experimented with this and the monitor-to-eyeball distance they ultimately settled on ... thoughts?
That looks like it would be really uncomfortable (eye-strain wise) over an extended period of time.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. These things are different for every individual.
I'm just envisioning it as I sit using my own T500RS as a reference.
What I try to visualize during monitor placement, is where (relative to my own car) the windshield would be from the steering wheel.
I then make any screen FOV adjustments from that point on in software.
 
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That looks like it would be really uncomfortable (eye-strain wise) over an extended period of time.

This hasn't been the case so far, but my typical usage runs about an hour at a time, two or three times over the course of a day, so it's possible longer stints could prove problematic.

What I try to visualize during monitor placement, is where (relative to my own car) the windshield would be from the steering wheel.
I then make any screen FOV adjustments from that point on in software.

This approach is a common one, but since I don't have a windshield-sized monitor, it necessarily means that I will be able to see only a small portion of the scene at any one time. IMO, this makes racing more of a challenge and not in a good way.

Instead, I prefer to use the proper FoV setting in-game to reduce the scale of the scene to match what my monitor can show me while simultaneously maintaining the monitor's h:v format and the same perspective I would see in the real world.

This way, every element of the scene I see is proportionately correct relative to every other element, except they're smaller in size to fit my smaller size monitor.
 
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My 49" widescreen is on an adjustable wall bracket and monitor bottom bezel sits on the front edge of a Fanatec DD main box. Result is 55cm to eye plane.
 
My 29 inch ultrawide screen is on a adjustable monitor mount arm and can be moved freely. It is 43 cm from my eyes, and anything closer will cause my fingers to brush the screen. I am using a CSL elite and the shape of the wheel base makes my eyes just at the center of the monitor, and if I turn on the driver arm in game my hands in reality and in game line up really well. Pretty happy with the setup although I wish for a bigger screen.
The only issue is I sometimes still scratch the screen accidentally when using paddle shifters, and I had to turn down the brightness and contrast of the screen plus changing color temperature to warm so as to reduce eye strain.
 
20 Feb 21 update: I added an additional two-inch thick spacer today and can now say with absolute confidence that positioning my 34" ultra-wide monitor 21" from my eyes is definitely not too close!

In fact, I'm now more tempted than ever to position it at 19", although I'll have to revise my monitor stand because having the monitor cantilevered so far ahead of it is causing it to droop forward a bit, whereas I prefer it to be perfectly vertical.

That's not an insurmountable task, but it's involved enough that it will likely be another weekend or possibly two before I get around to tackling it ... stay tuned!
 
My 29 inch ultrawide is 45 cm from my eyes - I can't place it closer because of straight fingers touching the screen. Using 35 fov (as calculated) it looks great. As you can see, I'm using cheap threaded spacers from aliexpress. Dont forget about adjusting horizon level to match your eyes level - it helps with the immersion imo.
 

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22 Feb 21 update: For the curious, below is a photo of the revised spacer arrangement and wheel-to-monitor clearance:

_DSF3148b.jpg


FYI, if I use the straight-finger test referenced above, I can move the wheel forward by another .75" or so, as I can touch the buttons on the Bose Soundlink Mini with my fingers as things are right now...
 
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Your wheel extension setup is intriguing.

How much stability / rigidity is lost due to using the spacers?

And thanks for the data point!
Tbh it's more rigid than I thought it would be, I'm using using pretty high ffb and I don't feel much of a difference. At first I wanted to make an aluminium spacer, but gave up on this idea based on how it feels with such an easy solution. The base movement is what I want to minimalise now, although it's hard mounted to an aluminium plate using 2 bolts (T300 design) it is not enough, I want to use m8 from table clamp to bolt it extra.
 
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Tbh it's more rigid than I thought it would be, I'm using using pretty high ffb and I don't feel much of a difference. At first I wanted to make an aluminium spacer, but gave up on this idea based on how it feels with such an easy solution. The base movement is what I want to minimalise now, although it's hard mounted to an aluminium plate using 2 bolts (T300 design) it is not enough, I want to use m8 from table clamp to bolt it extra.

A suggestion: If you apply several thick-ish strips of 3M's industrial-strength, double-stick adhesive tape between the base and the mounting plate, it will significantly reduce the movement of the base. It does this by filling gaps between the base and mounting plate and also by being very sticky.

FYI, you can learn more about these tapes here: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1204168O/3m-vhb-tape-design-guide-high-res-pdf.pdf

I had some RP45 leftover from another project, so I used it because it was handy. The bond formed is very strong and it takes some effort to remove the base from the strips of tape, but it isn't permanent, so you can remove the base if/when you need to do so. (Note: The tape will be ruined in the process, so you'll need to apply new strips of tape when you reinstall it.)

Of course, this assumes the mounting plate itself is sufficiently rigid. In my case, this meant reinforcing it with a layer of 3 mm carbon fiber sheet (also leftover from another project) that I bonded to the metal, but replacing the mounting plate with one that's stronger and more rigid is probably a better option.

Anyway, it's nice to see someone thinking outside of the box and coming up with ideas of their own! :)
 
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PWD006

Premium
I'm 51cm or 20" away from my LG 38" widescreen. I use a Fanatec DD1 and the bottom of the monitor sits in line with the wheel quick release. i use an FOV of 41 verical or 82 horizontal and it seems to work well for me in pretty much every game I play. Also work well with GT Sport where the FOV is fixed..
 
To pass the time during a recent sleepless night --take it from me: insomnia sucks! -- I decided to rebuild my monitor mount and move the monitor forward another three inches. After this latest tweak, it's now positioned just a fraction over 18" from my eyeballs.

My fingers now have just over .25" of clearance between the paddle shifter and the screen, which seems to be more than enough, as I haven't (yet!) scraped my knuckles or fingernails on it during the five hours or so that I've raced since I made the change.

I also had to tweak the FoV setting, as well as adjust my virtual seat position to compensate for the now nearly 3" shorter still viewing distance. Adjusting to this has been the most difficult part of the process, because my perception of my visual reference points has changed just enough to affect everything and even after five hours of racing, new visual memories are still forming and have not completely replaced the old, no longer relevant ones.

That said, I'm confident this will prove to be a positive step for me for two reasons: 1) The improvement in immersion is significant, as the FoV and seat-position tweaks that became possible allow me to better see / sense cars that are alongside me; and 2) Although my average lap times are a bit slower (as judged by overall time of a 17-lap race being a few seconds longer), I've improved my personal best lap time by nearly .3 seconds, which is significant! :)

(Once I finalize the new bracketry, I'll post a photo for the sake of completeness. But right now, it looks a bit crude, as you'd expect for something made in the middle of the night by a sleep-deprived person.)
 
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As promised, here's a photo of the latest -- and potentially final? -- revision to my monitor mounting setup:

_DSF3196a.jpg


As a bonus, because there are now two uprights, one at each side, instead of just a single one located in the middle, the occasional and very minor bit of monitor wobble has, for all practical purposes, been eliminated.
 
As nobody has mentioned it, I'll just point out my regular monitor is less than 1" from my face. OK so its a VR headset - but the point is unless you have a bad screen door effect going on, it's seems the main limitation is the practicality of the mounting to gain extra immersion. Crazy thought, but has anyone (other than VR users) brought their monitor in front of the steering wheel?
 

blekenbleu

Premium
Crazy thought
VR headsets accommodate proximity by appropriate optics and IPD adjustments,
while a close monitor requires eyes to nearly cross for fusion and perhaps reading lenses to focus.
Another issue is that on-screen features which are represented to be at appreciable distances
will inappropriately change size and spacing for minor head movements,
which impacts ability to judge distances e,g. to corner apexes.
 
VR headsets accommodate proximity by appropriate optics and IPD adjustments,
while a close monitor requires eyes to nearly cross for fusion and perhaps reading lenses to focus.

FWIW, I'm near-sighted and at ~18", I'm just barely able to see the individual, 1440p pixels. This means I am now at the practical limit of how closely I can position this monitor from my eyes.

Another issue is that on-screen features which are represented to be at appreciable distances
will inappropriately change size and spacing for minor head movements, which impacts ability to judge distances e,g. to corner apexes.

According to the FoV calculators I've checked -- three or four of them, in fact -- my in-game FoV setting in RaceRoom should be .7X compared to the .6X setting I was using with the monitor positioned at ~22 inches from my eyes.

But in practice, I found that .7X is too high and .6X is too low, with no other options available in-game. So I went into the individual files for each car and tweaked those to effectively turn ".7X" into .65X, which feels about right to me.
 
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