Racing rig extrusion and bracket supplier in central europe

Lesthegringo

100RPM
May 19, 2018
162
51
Guys, sometime in the new year I want to try and make a second rig to allow me to keep my Flight Sim A10 cockpit rig assembled and working, as it is getting to be a pain having to constantly reconnect everything during swaps between race sim and flight sim.

I'm happy to leave the existing rig as a flight sim, and construct a purpose built one for the race, and since I no longer have access to my TiG welder am considering making one from the aluminium extrusions that seems to be favoured by a lot of people.

Due to the constraints of space I have, I would prefer to design and construct a bespoke one to fit my circumstances, and Ihave a CAD program that helps with that. What I don't have is the knowledge of a supplier of the extrusion here in central Europe, and of course the brackets (I presume they are die cast?) that link the extrusions together. If anyone can point me to someone who can supply and deliver lengths of extrusion and the appropriate brackets I would be grateful. If there is a site that has the sizes and specs of the extrusion and brackets I would also like to where to find it so that I can make CAD drawings for Solidworks.

Cheers

Les
 

NeoGrotesk

100RPM
Nov 7, 2010
125
76
For aluminium extrusion there's Motedis in Germany - https://www.motedis.co.uk/shop/index.php. I've used them before and they're very good.

Or if you want to base it on an already designed rig, but make adaptations, then you could get in touch with Simlab (sim-lab.eu) and see if they can help you out. They were great at customising my rig when I ordered from them.

The great thing about extrusion is you can build just about anything. Though be aware, you'll probably spend about as much on brackets, bolts and t-nuts, etc as you do on the actual lengths of extrusion itself.
 
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NeoGrotesk

100RPM
Nov 7, 2010
125
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PS. I know this site is for sim racing, but got any more pictures of your flight rig? I assume it's what your profile picture is and if so it looks insane!
 

Lesthegringo

100RPM
May 19, 2018
162
51
Thanks! That looks ideal, especially if they ship direct from Germany to here. As for the brackets etc, I know from previous experience from other projects that the costs of the basic materials is just the tip of the iceberg!

Hopefully with the help of the CAD program, I can design it such that I only have to get what I need, rather than getting stuff speculatively as was the case with the flight sim. I also have a small mill and lathe so can make some of the minor stuff myself, and adapters for the bits and bobs I have.

I was thinking of using base 'longerons' of 120 x 40 stock, to give some bending strength, knowing how much strain can be put on the rig during bending - has anyone had experience on this or will I have to triangulate?

Cheers

Les
 

NeoGrotesk

100RPM
Nov 7, 2010
125
76
I have to say, that looks incredible! Really good job.

For your sim rig, there's a pretty good bit of software for quickly mocking up 8020 rigs: https://www.framexpert.com/products/framedesigner/download/

It's a bit clunky to use from what I remember but gives a good idea of the number of brackets and bolts you'll need.

Regarding strength. The base of my rig is 80x40 and is rock solid, the more premium version from sim-lab uses 120x40. Either will be fine (to be honest 40x40 would probably be okay, it seems impossibly strong when bolted together!).
 

Petterio

10RPM
Oct 28, 2019
13
12
37
I can also add my vote on motedis - ordering was straightforward and the products were exact :)

I also went with 8040 for the stress carrying pieces and can't foresee a situation where they wouldn't be enough
 

Lesthegringo

100RPM
May 19, 2018
162
51
Great, thanks guys, very much appreciated feedback! I'll get the extrusions modelled in 3D and start to play around with dimensions and cross reference my 'old' rig; it was set up pretty well after years of fine tuning so the positional stuff for me will be less of a guess that my first goes years ago.

I suspect that I will go with the wider longerons, as if nothing else it will do no harm to make them overly strong, but trying to correct under strength structures is a mess. If anyone has any further tips on using this stuff, I'm all ears.

As for the flight sim rig, the photos don't show it but all those screens, gauges, displays and buttons all really work and show in game data. While I can take credit for the physical part of it, the real genius was the guy who wrote the program that allowed the in game data to be output so that erks like me could make stuff to work with it. I wish someone could do the same with Assetto Corsa or Automobilista so that I could make a nice 1979 Ferrari 312T4 dash with an analogue rev counter.

With a bit of effort and ingenuity, it is really incredible what you can make at home these days

Les
 

NeoGrotesk

100RPM
Nov 7, 2010
125
76
Good news, you can definitely do that with Assetto Corsa and Automobilita! There's a bit of software called SimHub that allows you to do it.

I've got a cheap ebay rev counter attached to an arduino, but you can take the dashboard from pretty much any car to use I think. I also have a working indicator stalk from an Audi A6 on my rig, just because I wanted to see if I could get it to work with my PC!
 

Lesthegringo

100RPM
May 19, 2018
162
51
Really?! That's settled it - I made all my own gauges using X27-168 stepper motors driven by A4988 stepper drivers, and laser cut and engraved all the dials and pointers. I see no reason it can't be done for this, and having done a lot of work with arduino sketches for OLED displays and stepper motors it looks like guys here can use it to improve their own stuff

I'll look into that and see if I can knock up some custom modules that can be made DIY. I'm happy to share any files and work here if I can make it work, and hopefully it will help others.

Is there a place on this forum to upload any CAD / CAMBAM / Arduino files that work?

Les
 
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Lesthegringo

100RPM
May 19, 2018
162
51
Just been spending the morning genning up on SimHub. It's the same concept as some of the stuff for DCS world but looks to be more aligned to using existing hardware like tachometers etc, not that that is a deal breaker. My preference would have been to use my existing hardware, but I suspect that by hacking some cheap aftermarket tachos available on the likes of Ebay and Amazon I could probably make what I want by taking out the innards of the tacho and fitting it to a laser cut gauge of my own design.

Has anyone out there used any particular tacho with success?

Cheers

Les
 

Lesthegringo

100RPM
May 19, 2018
162
51
Thanks - all I would be interested in would be the guts of it, and by the looks of it it seems that ten minutes would have all the bits I need on a bench. I'm starting to think that reinventing the wheel with stepper motors is probably not worth it for a limited number of gauges; with the flight sim there were nearly 30 so it was more cost effective plus they all behaved differently so leant themselves to the arduino / stepper combination.

Give me an hour or so to try and mock up what I am thinking

Les
 
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Lesthegringo

100RPM
May 19, 2018
162
51
So here's a quick mock up, no real detail yet, but to show what could be done (this is the Ferrari 312T4 dash). What I think I need to do is get one of those tachos and pull it apart so that I can see how I would integrate it and the circuitry

Ferrari 312T4 dash.JPG
 
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NeoGrotesk

100RPM
Nov 7, 2010
125
76
You got me thinking about what I'd do....

dashboard v1.1.png


Ideally using some vintage style tachos, like this. No idea if they'd work though. It would also need a custom extension bar for the wheel as all the spacers I can see have a pretty wide diameter.
 

Lesthegringo

100RPM
May 19, 2018
162
51
So this is where the DIY route may be the saviour. If the guts of those universal tachos are what I think they are, then you probably will find that the actual mechanism is only 15mm or so deep. With the X27-168 stepper motors, I can make a gauge that has a TOTAL thickness from the front of the fascia bezel to the rearmost part of the circuitry that is 30mm. You also have to consider that the mechanisms themselves can be sited upwards or outwards with respect to the direct drive base, meaning that the whole lot should move even further rearwards.

From initial sketches, I am not certain that you would need an extension, as you could get the binnacle face near the front face of the base. You also have a little artistic license you can apply, as it doesn't have to be an exact replica

Gonna get me some gauges from amazon and play, but if someone has a solidworks 2008 compatible render of the DD1 base I could use that will help me

Cheers

Les