NLR Traction Plus Review

RCHeliguy

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I have to say that looking at how this would work that it is a pretty cool setup.

I currently have an NLRv3 and the software for it is absolutely easy to setup and this product uses an extension of that software so it would be absolutely simple to use and tweak to your preferences.

It's definitely not cheap, but I have to wonder how much this would add to an existing NLRv3 system.
I'm just not sure how much my rig weighs. My NLRv3 and seat are about 100lbs. The SC2 Pro is about 25 lbs. The Sim-Lab P1 is about 120lbs. Add everything else I've put on it and I think I would be very close to the ~ 500lb weight limit once I climbed aboard.

 
It's too expensive for what it offers, there is no arguing that. The understeer effect also doesn't even work in any Dirt titles. I would also be curious just how well it really works across the titles it does claim to support, doubt it works as good as advertised across every game, but this is just speculation at this point.

I was legit considering this as I was in the middle of planning my new TL setup moving from my old wood setup. I held out to wait for a price on this, the day I seen the $6k price tag I ordered the parts for my DIY TL immediately lol.

At $4k I may have bit the bullet on this.
 

RCHeliguy

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I agree that it is priced pretty high. The Dirt Rally games work very well with the NLRv3, but I have noticed that lack of sway in that game.

However it does look very solid and well designed.

My biggest thought is that the weight limit will be a complete deal breaker for almost all of the people who are willing to part with 6K for something like this. A person doesn't go this deep into a rig and then use a frame like they have.

BTW that is an issue I have with most of the DIY solutions for traction control. They don't have a specified weight limit because no one knows what they are capable of pushing and for how long. Most appear to be rough prototypes and when you are done, unless they have convincing software that drives it well, all that money has been wasted because you won't get the effect you are looking for.
 

RCHeliguy

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I think I'm up to two deal breakers on the Traction Plus forgetting price.

1. Weight limit
2. VR motion support. I just realized that you would be sliding through your car's door and into the passenger seat in VR using this device. There are trackers that can be used with the Vive and Index, and I believe a system that would allow you to mount a Rift controller to your seat to compensate for motion, but I don't think they are very refined yet.
 
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Re: VR support - they do have an optional proxy driver for OculusVR and SteamVR which attempts to cancel out the effect of motion on the tracked headset position. It doesn't require an additional puck - they know roughly where the platform is at any given point based on the commands they send to it and (if applicable to their system) any feedback position signal coming upstream. Combine this with an estimate of where your head is in the rig relative to the motion axes and pivot points (this is tunable) to get a transform that you can invert and apply to the intercepted tracking data before it reaches the game.

I believe this is the thing you're talking about that uses a tracker to cancel motion: https://github.com/sharkyh20/OpenVR-InputEmulator
(Though it seems to be getting little support these days)

I've been working on my own VR motion cancellation, similar to what NLR uses (no tracker). It works pretty well. Without it, you end up outside the car on steep banks and hills :)

Back to the NLR Traction Plus: It's very impressive engineering, and fun to see inside it. I can see the value as part of a package with their seat mover. But, for most DIY rigs, it seems a bit at odds with itself - if you have this kind of money, there's a good chance you have a big heavy rig with heavy corner actuators, and then you're bumping into the weight limit.

To me, it seems over-engineered. Impressive, but too complex for what it does. You can DIY a yaw system for $1k and probably DIY a yaw + sway + surge (which it doesn't do) system for $3k maybe? There's certainly value in having a well-built, turn-key solution... but there's no way I'd feel comfortable putting my rig on top of this. A simpler design likely would cost less and have a higher weight limit.

It's like they over-constrained themselves to designing the perfect yaw + sway platform specifically for their line of cockpits and seat movers, and in the process shut the door on supporting DIY cockpits (but then decided to sell it for DIY rigs anyway).

It's nice to see Barry's comments on the feeling you get from true left/right sway. The GS-5 also tackles this problem, but in a different way. I suspect a sway motion axis would give you a more exciting feeling of weight transfer and change of direction, for example during a turn apex or if a car bumps you (but, you still need the GS-5 for sustained forces). I'm planning to rebuild my yaw platform at some point and have been contemplating whether I should toss in sway and/or surge. If it's anything like the heave motion I get, or snap from a well-implemented yaw system, it could be a lot of fun :)
 
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