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Spec'ing out a new rig. :-)

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Dear Forum Members,

I'm a car (and plane) nut interested in setting up a sim rig. I'm not a modern Formula 1 fan; I'm more in tune with historical open-cockpit cars and rally cars. I have some questions associated with these preferences as well as on general sim rig hardware.

I have a Reverb G2 on order and presume I'd use VR much of the time. I have a good computer (and flight controls), but I'm starting from scratch in the car sim world. Money is not a big obstacle, but I'm not going for an all-out rig either. I prefer a simple system, so I don't plan on swapping wheels, and definitely no motion.

First, a newbie question: What is the main purpose of button boxes, and what compromises must be accepted if one does not have a wheel with buttons, etc? E.g., how crippled would one be if one did race modern F1 cars without easy-access (in VR) buttons, etc?

So, unless the button-box issue pushes me in a different direction, let's assume I'm going for a classic setup: round (or D) wheel, full pedals, stick shift, solid (non-quick release) connection. I'd prefer a direct drive base, with say Fanatec's Club Sport 2.5 belt system as the lower-end option.

Now, it seems to me that Fantatec's 2.5 heavily pushes one to use a Fanatec wheel, few of which appeal to me. Frankly, given my retro-aesthetic I'd prefer just getting a simple Momo or the like on a plain bolt-on 70mm hub, and Fanatec's hub option here ($300!?) seems ridiculous. I presume that someone, somewhere, makes a plain adapter, but who? Is this option still worth consideration? Otherwise:

Pedals: I'm leaning towards Heusinkveld Sprints.

Shifter: Thinking Heusinkveld sequential as a compromise that might reasonably-fit historical open-wheel cars.

Wheelbase: Leaning towards Accuforce Pro V2 "your way" (no wheel), or possibly the CS 2.5.

Wheel: Something like a Momo Mod 30, which I believe should bolt straight onto the V2, but not the C.S. 2.5 without a crazy-expensive adapter?

Platform: A dilemma. Sim-Lab something? I don't like how much room these things (in general) take up, but it doesn't seem that a desk-mount option would be satisfactory. Also, it would be awesome if I could set up one rig for both flight and driving, and this feels like an important goal. It seems to me that the pedals are the biggest problem here, as they would likely need to be swap-able somehow. Sounds quite irritating, actually. Any ideas?

Finally, I'd like whatever system I get to have the broadest expected compatibility across the most games possible for as long as possible. I'm not sure what compromises the above choices, or others, may imply in this respect.

Thank you for your kind comments and assistance!
 

stigs2cousin

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Hello R8pilot,

welcome to the forum.

Your plan to combine a flight and drive simrig is possible and has been done before.

Get yourself a brew and browse through the forum.

Some hints:



Regarding the use of an aftermarket rim you should research the "universal hub" system.
From what if read here the Fanatec wheelbase will only output forcefeedback when it detects an Fanatec wheel rim.
That combined with "some doubts" about reliability and customer service drove me away from fanatec.

DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!

To get you started:


MFG Carsten
 
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Thanks for the welcome.

Don't worry, I obsessively research endeavors like this, and I've read many hours worth of threads already, with many more to come.

OK, Fanatec's "our rim or no FFB" is disqualifying. So that's settled at least (I did see the concerns about support, too). I'd also consider a SC 2 Pro if the net cost of the whole system grows enough to make it seem more appropriate.

As for drive+fly, maybe that's more ambitious than needed for now, and it's a little outside the scope of this forum. Though it's not ideal, I "fly" from my desk at the moment anyway.

I forgot a hand-brake. I don't use one in real life except for actual parking (no drifting my R8!), but perhaps that's a welcome accessory for rally-style driving. I suppose Heusinkveld's may do for that as well.
 
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I, as well as some others here, have a "convertible" fly+ race rig so it is doable. I would absolutely go with a 8020 type rig in that case as it affords you the ability to mount "anything, anywhere" as needed. It's simple with that type of rig to come up with your own mounts.
 
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Thanks for the encouragement. I think I'll start with a car-only rig, with the plan of expanding it to flight later.

I agree that an 8020 type should be a good platform. I'm presently thinking of the Sim Lab GT1-Evo. That looks to be good enough for an upper-mid-range system, especially given that motion is not anticipated. I'll also order a full Heusinkveld kit (sprint pedals, shifter, brake).

Beyond that, there's the wheelbase. At the moment, I'm still thinking of the Accuforce, which seems like a good match with the GT1-Evo. I wonder if they will run another black Friday sale?

I am still wondering about what the down-sides are of using a plain wheel, without buttons? Again, I'm curious about what compromises that might entail if I did run modern F1-type cars? I see people using buttons while driving, but don't know how necessary they are. Would a lack require the use of a keyboard while driving?

Thank you all.
 
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Alex Townsend

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I am still wondering about what the down-sides are of using a plain wheel, without buttons? Again, I'm curious about what compromises that might entail if I did run modern F1-type cars? I see people using buttons while driving, but don't know how necessary they are. Would a lack require the use of a keyboard while driving?
Sounds like a great project and I have to agree with @Wmacky about going with 8020 for this. Even if you only want to start off with a driving cockpit for now, as your ideas happen the rig could be adjusted and enhanced to include more than you thought possible before.

To discuss about the buttons on the wheel, or lack thereof, I can only talk to having them. And I cant imagine life without them really.
But then again, I only really race GT, Prototypes or Formula cars.
Having the buttons on the wheel allows me to start the car, cut the power, adjust brake bias/engine mapping/traction control, lights steady or flashing and indicators, call for a pit and adjust the pit conditions, push to talk and of course the shifters are on there too.
So to go from all that functionality to nothing, for me at least, would be challenging. Using a keyboard whilst driving at the limit, again for me, would be almost impossible. I'm sure I could learn and adapt, but I don't need to with the functionality I have with buttons, switches and rotary dials etc.

Hope that in some way helps. Although if you're going to only drive classics without all that shenanigans required then I doubt it's really needed.
 
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Thanks for the feedback!

I've begun the ordering process, starting with Sim Lab's GT1-Evo and the full Heusinkveld kit. I'll wait a short time to see if the Accuforce goes on sale.

I suppose restricting myself to classics isn't ideal, so based on people's advice I've started to think more about wheels / button-boxes. An Ascher Racing B16L-USB (or its M brother) looks to fit nicely enough with various standard rims. It's a pity about the wired USB connection, though. (Another thought was for a DIY button-box, as I'm experienced with electronics.)

I have been expecting to use VR mostly (I have an HP G2 on order), but I'm sure I need a monitor anyway. I was thinking of that LG 48" OLED TV/monitor, though I do have a 55" one (albeit only 60 Hz) around.

Haha, now I wonder if I should have gone full P1-X + SC-2!

Thanks again.
 
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