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SFX-100 or G-Belt

Clover11

Premium
I am really impressed with the SFX-100 motion platform and had been planning to build myself a system for a while now. Upgraded to a P1-X thinking of motion in the future. Picked up 3D printing and have been trying to read some build logs. Even got a quote from Ami for those bits and motors and another quote on some profile. Prices have gone up some, which I understand considering everything, but my eyes keep wandering to the G-Belt and I can't help but wonder if I could save myself some money and trouble with a different approach.

I know there are at least a couple who have both an SFX-100 build and a G-belt and a few more that have different motion platforms with the G-belt and I was hoping to get a little advice. I have never been in a motion platform but am really just looking for more feedback and immersion. I at least somewhat understand the limitations of these systems and I am not looking for a perfect recreation of what I would feel in an actual race car, but more feedback to feel what the car is doing for enjoyment and immersion is all I am after.

I have started to think the feedback I am looking for is feel under braking and coming off the brakes which is what has me thinking of an active belt system. I would also love to have the sideways force while in a turn. I'm not really sure if what I think I want is what I will end up actually wanting in practice though. Yaw to feel the back end would be nice as well but I do have some limitations. Seems like some SFX-100 builders have turned things down, or at least some effects. Seems like some early g-belt system users with motion have turned down there motion and like the feedback they are getting from the active belts. It has me wondering if I should skip the SFX-100 for now and start with a g-belt system.

What effects/feelings do you feel are most beneficial for motion feedback?

Would you recommend I start off with the G-Belt or just go for it and build myself a sfx-100?

Thanks
 

blekenbleu

Premium
start off with the G-Belt or just go for it and build myself a sfx-100
If you are up for building an sfx-100, consider building the SimHub-based harness tensioner by @Wotever:
@Wotever's #experimental-belt-tensionner-instructions discord channel

An Arduino nano v3 drives two 280 Watt stepper motor drivers
with motion stop feedback based on a pair of Hall effect sensors.
A bunch of 3D-printed parts are required.

Instructions include this warning:
Warning ! This guide is to be used at your own risks. It involves main voltages, strong motors and chest/shoulders pressure. Even if lot of care has been taken to add security to the arduino firmware, anything could go wrong and I decline any responsibility if something goes wrong/gets broken.

This is a prototype and may not be issues free, feel free to improve and share any parts (code, 3d parts etc….)


Since his motors have about 10x the power of our hobby servos,
that warning does not IMO exaggerate.
I have downloaded his Custom serial device settings file
to see what can be learned for improving mine..
discord invite is the "Live Support" link on SimHub Home page.
 
Upvote 0
If it's braking feel you most want then a g belt (or DIY version) is definitely the way to go. I have a g belt, a gs4 and an NLR v3, I personally think the g belt is the most impressive, immersive and gives the most useful feedback.
 
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HoiHman

Premium
I have both a SFX100 and a belt tensioner.

If i had to make the difficult choice, the belt tensioner would have to go. The braking feel is the most immersive, but nothing beats having full motion on your rig.

If you are a DIY guy and you are willing to investing in improving your DIY and 3D printing skills, the SFX100 project is not that difficult and hundreds of builders have completed it before you.

Once you have build a SFX 100 you will also be able to build a DIY belt tensioner (4-way) which is imho superior to the G-belt from SimXperience because it can tighten all 4 belts instead of only 2.

If you are a somebody who rather buys a fully build and tested system with warranty and support, go with the G-belt.
 
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RCHeliguy

Premium
I think most rigs are a process and you will likely eventually have both.

Given that, the G-Belt is a simple bolt it on product that works well out of the box and it stands alone well on a static rig.

I very much like it's cornering effects and shift effects in addition to the braking feel which is excellent. The bump effects also work well combined with tactile.

I would even suggest adding tactile to your rig before motion. The G-Belt and tactile are a very powerful and immersive combination without motion.

When you are braking the G-Belt will give you progressive tension and when you lose traction the G-Belt will loosen and if you have a good tactile progessive wheel slide effect combined with the FFB of your wheel, you have a lot of information to work with.

The G-Belt is based on something SimXperence has developed a solid background in. They've had iterations on the G-Seat and have software that can very easily provide a number of G force effects.

Personally I think the G-Belt is the best bang for the buck in immersion you can add.

I would just suggest that you get it first.
 
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I was going to get the G-Belt.. but I recently upgraded my SFX100 to 150mm, so decided to repurpose the old 100mm actuators to do surge and belt tensioner. Very impressed with the result by the active belt and I think it's a great "addition" to a motion system. I personally would not add a belt system without having the motion first. So my suggestion is to start with SFX100 and a "passive" seat belt, then add another actuator later on to switch to "active" belt at a later stage.
 
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metalnwood

Premium
I originally had my belts going over a roller with bearings both ends and ended up removing it when doing some modifications. there really isnt enough resistance or wear coming from the corner of 4040 profile to worry about it.
 
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RCHeliguy

Premium
I think it's important to have a reality check and separate the excitement someone gets from building something themselves and having it actually work with the performance of a control.

I enjoy building things myself as well, but when something is your baby, there is a certain amount of self tied up with the creation and there is very little than can prevent that.
 
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I originally had my belts going over a roller with bearings both ends and ended up removing it when doing some modifications. there really isnt enough resistance or wear coming from the corner of 4040 profile to worry about it.
I don’t have a roller because I wasn’t even thinking of doing an active belt! I was going to use the push&pull to replace the actuator that I’m using for TL, but thought I might as well give active belt a try with the exact same parts. Very glad with the result so it just stayed there ever since :)

also I like having the belt controlled and tuned by the same software (I use SimRacing Studio via the Thanos controller).
 
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Clover11

Premium
Looks like I need to look into building my own active belt system more. I had peeked at some of that before and kind of thought it was all a little beyond me and it still seemed like it was being sorted out still. I really like that the G-belt has the side to side independent from each other. The little I had seen of the DIY bely systems just used one motor, which would be great for braking feel but not a replacement for a motion platform. which I am looking for.
 
Upvote 0

Clover11

Premium
I was going to get the G-Belt.. but I recently upgraded my SFX100 to 150mm, so decided to repurpose the old 100mm actuators to do surge and belt tensioner. Very impressed with the result by the active belt and I think it's a great "addition" to a motion system. I personally would not add a belt system without having the motion first. So my suggestion is to start with SFX100 and a "passive" seat belt, then add another actuator later on to switch to "active" belt at a later stage.
I had seen that a lot of builders seem to be doing the 150mm now and I have seen others say that the longer range it is more suited for flight sims and that type stuff and not really needed for driving. Would you recommend just building 150 from the start though? It does not seem like it would cost much more to do the 150, so I guess I was just going to do that.
 
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Absolutely! If you are going to build one now, build it with 150mm. The effort is identical and cost only a tiny bit more, but the benefit is huge. With the correct tuning, the Roll and Heave effects should have no difference than the 100m on most tracks. But when you go over big banks and steep hills at tracks like SPA and Nord, that's where the additional Pitch angle come in (and additional Roll for oval).

Those who said 150 (or even 100mm) is not needed probably have never driven on such tracks in real life. So they only think about the dynamic of the cars and ignore the characteristic of the track which has direct impact to the "motion" of the car. I've also seen people needing to "tune down" their motion system because the visual (on both triple and VR) would get too far off if the rig's motion distance is to much. But now with motion compensation feature available (SimRacing Studio) for VR, it keeps the visual to your POV regardless how much the rig moves. This brings motion to a whole new level!
 
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I have an sfx100 with the thanos board and also use simhub (wind and transducers) and simtools (motion). I would love to add a belt tensioner. I have a 3d printer and assembled my sfx100, what is the current best bet for this configuration to get a 4 belt tensioner?
 
Upvote 1
Tactile and G Belt for me, as Heliguy suggests. Had SFX, was cool for a bit but G Belt will act as a driving aid if used correctly. Tactile will add immersion with some slight driving aid. But motion just makes you slower, it’s distracting and when it fails it’sa nightmare.

Won’t be a popular opinion but I’m all for tactile and a tensioner over any sort of motion. I couldn’t be bothered with a DIY tensioner so I thought I’d try the G Belt and I’m pretty happy I did.

Edit: Nice to see my post downvoted for having an opinion.

WEAK. Tactile DESTROYS motion.

Come at me.
 
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rikirk

Premium
I see @anton_Chez prospective, but if you are in VR, motion is a must to my ears. I remember starting an enduro stint at Bathurst without motion for some tech issue and I almost got sick.

What is the good motion, that is a different story. I had motion seat with transducer, 3 actuators and now 4 and each solution has pros and cons.

A good friend of mine has it all D-BOX, GS5 and more recently the tensioner from Simxperience and is very happy with the whole system.

Would like to add that results are depending on the telemetry of the game and at least for D-BOX, iRacing is the king.

For now I have a passive tensioner and I am ok with the little cues coming from the movement of the rig without any compensation for VR and D-BOX does a decent good job for the tactile part.

Without motion and VR at 150 degrees of visual, I would not seat in any rig.
 
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RCHeliguy

Premium
I'm definitely a VR only person.

I will also say that people who are new to VR tend to not get nausea when I have a motion system working. However I've turned off my motion system with no ill effects. Then again I started out in VR without motion for over a year.

The only time I miss motion is in Rally when I'm landing from going airborne or when flying where a little bit of motion goes a very long way. For track use, I think I could be completely happy with just a G-Belt and tactile effects.
 
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HoiHman

Premium
I could never drive again without my SFX100 motion, but same can be said for all my other systems.

The SFX100, the 4-belt tensioner, my tactile solution, the GS-5 and the windsimulator are all chipping in for a combined immersion factor. Ever single device is great on it's own, but when correctly combined 1+1 equals 3 or more.

If i had to start over with a limited budget, i would invest in a SFX100 first and use it with the passive seatbelt solution as @DJ_Psymon suggested.

You can read all about my initial experience about this here:
 
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