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Old 6th May 2021, 12:52   #31
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Default Re: The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread

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Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
T300 may be better, but G29 is going to be more reliable & VFM for sure, especially with Logitech's excellent after sales support. Belt driven wheels like the T300 can be more finicky. I'd save the money on the wheel and go for a wheel stand that really helps get a great driving position. I can vouch for the build quality of the one below.
Also, the choice of game is equally as important as the wheel itself. Some games are too arcady and don't offer good Force feedback support. Other ones like Project Cars 2 & BeamNG feel very close to the real thing.

https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B07VPV9BH8/
Thank you D3mon, been watching plenty reviews and most of them echo the same with Logitech with regards to support and quality.

Games I plan to play for now are :
1. GT Sport
2. F1
3. Dirt
4. Project Cars 2

I am yet to buy the PS4 console too, right now in research mode and will mostly either go for a pre-owned or a new one.

Thank you for sharing the link for the wheel stand, have added it in my wish list.
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Old 13th May 2021, 16:05   #32
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Default Re: The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread

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Posting a query on racing wheel, I am looking at purchasing the Logitech G29 and have also considered Thrustmaster 300gt. Not a pro for now but I wish to get serious on online sim racing. It has always been my dream to play the racing games using the steering wheel set up.

Members who are using a racing wheel already would you be able to advise which one should be ideal for a starter like me. I am also looking at reliability, budget friendly and experience.
I was in a similar position around a year back in the initial stages of the epidemic and went for the G29. Never regretted my decision.

Yes the T300 may be the slightly smoother wheel with marginally better FFB, but that didn't really justify it costing 1.5x more. Especially with its unreliability vs the G29.
No point having a better wheel if its broken or under repair most of the time.

Over the past 14 months I've accumulated around a 1000 hours of driving across GT Sport, Project Cars 2, F1 2019 & Assetto Corsa. The G29 has been bulletproof (Touchwood).

Nonetheless, some cons of the G29 given its gear driven are;

1. It's louder than the T300 (which has infamously loud fans and are a annoyance to some). I play with earphones so the sound isn't an issue.

2. After you reach a certain level, on rare occasions, the FFB & brake pedal can feel slightly artificial.

However, some of the quickest gamers in India use a G29. It's a great starter wheel in to the sim world.

That being said, if you are not in a hurry, Fanatec has announced their DD 0.5 last month which will be a game changer.
For around $600, you're getting a direct drive wheel setup + pedals (upgradable to load cells), which is what the pros use and normally would cost about $1800 for a basic setup.
Its expected to release by the end of this year.
Not sure when it will come to India or how the Fanatec service would be though.
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Old 4th September 2021, 07:25   #33
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I guess this one of the best simulators.

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Old 11th September 2021, 09:37   #34
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Default Re: The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread

Sim Racing: At the edge of reality

Dear BHPians,

Let me update you on the current state of sim racing technology. Over the past 5 years sim racing has been growing in leaps and bounds and jumpin' around. Sim racing hardware and software is now so advanced, it will make you hate your car, curse the roads and middle finger the service-due indicator. And of course, you can drink and sim race without consequences (liver health be damned).

I will be mentioning a bunch of companies and products but I am in no way affiliated with them and there is no way for me to profit from this free publicity I am giving them, since most (all?) of this drool-worthy gear is not available in this holy land of bovines. With the disclaimer out of the way, let's get started.

Image: Example of a sim racing setup. Are you drooling?
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-00.jpg

Wheel Base:
At the heart of a sim racing setup is something called the wheel base. This is the equipment to which the steering wheel is connected. The most advanced and realistic feeling wheel bases use Direct Drive (DD) technology for force feedback. A Direct Drive wheel base is basically a powerful DC motor with a steering wheel connected to the shaft. There is also a rotary encoder (generally a Hall or optical sensor) mounted on the other end of the shaft that helps track the degree of rotation. The motor is controlled via a controller board using pulse width modulation and a bunch of software magic. The wheel base has its own power supply and connects to the computer or console via USB.

The DD motors are really powerful with torque figures ranging from 5Nm on the low end to 32Nm on the high end. That's enough to cause wrist injury. Most people find the feedback to be sufficient around 8-12Nm. The motors need to be powerful because they are mostly opposing the torque put on the shaft by the user via the steering wheel. This opposition/resistance varies in accordance to what's going on in the game. It is by varying the duration, magnitude and direction of the motor's torque that a feeling of realism is created, this is called force feedback.

Image: Accuforce Base and controller
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-01.png

The leader in DD technology is Fanatec, a German company. They recently launched an affordable direct drive wheel base called CSL DD. They also have premium offerings in the podium series - the DD1 and DD2. The CSL DD is priced around USD 480 with the boost kit. The primary difference between these bases is how much torque they can generate. The CSL DD is rated between 5-8Nm while the DD1 and DD2 can go over 20Nm. The CSL DD will suffice for most enthusiasts. It has been received very well and Fanatec's output is sold out for months.

Image: The CSL DD
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-02.jpg

Image: Podium DD
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-03.jpg

Unlike Fanatec, which designs and manufactures its own wheel bases, other manufacturers of direct drive wheel bases use off-the-shelf industrial grade DC motors with custom controllers and firmware. These include Simucube, VRS, Simxperience, and a few others.

Image: VRS base and controller, Simucube DD base
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-04.jpg

There is a DIY version of a direct drive wheel base based on using industrial grade motors called Open Sim Wheel. In my opinion it is not really worth it to DIY the wheel base because the result will never be as good as a commercial offering using custom tuned firmware and the savings will be negligible.


Steering Wheels:
Next up is the steering wheel. There are plenty of styles, choices and customization options available to suit every taste (including licensed wheels from BMW, Mc Laren, Porsche).

Image: Steering wheels collection
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-05.jpg

Steering wheels with buttons, paddle shifters and displays need to communicate with the wheel base and often the socket and communication protocol are proprietary. You therefore have to buy your steering wheel from the same manufacturer as the wheel base. Most manufacturers have multiple options available, you will be spoilt for choice. Many sim racers eventually buy a second and third wheel. The wheels connect to the wheel base (motor shaft) via a quick release mechanism; this makes it very easy to swap wheels.

Image: Fanatec QR
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-06.jpg

Image: Accuforce QR
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-07.png

Fanatec makes very sophisticated and technologically complicated wheels. Their wheels use through-shaft connectors with inductive coupling and wireless communication between the base and the wheel.

Image: CSL DD - shaft and back
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-08.jpg

On the other hand, some other manufacturers make you connect a wire from the steering wheel to the base.

Image: Accuforce - wire connector
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-09.png

Steering wheels with on-board displays can be customized to show the information you want via provided software. Fanatec and some other manufacturers also sell the button and shifter assembly (called button box) and quick release connectors separately so you can buy or build you own steering wheel and just mount the custom connectors and button box to make the wheel work with the base.

Image: DIY custom wheel from parts
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-10.jpg


Pedals:
Pedals come in many varieties ranging from cheap, plastic, toy-like things with potentiometers to hydraulic pedals made from machined aluminium with load cell sensors. Good quality pedals make a world of difference to your driving experience.

Image: Fanatec Pedals
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-11.jpg

Higher end pedals are generally made from steel or machined aluminium and can be configured for travel and position. You can buy 3 or 2 pedal setups. Load cell pedals contain strain guages and can accurately measure the pressure applied, just like the pedals used in F1 cars. Pedals connect to the wheel base. Quality pedals cost a lot. Pedals with hydraulics cost the most and feel very realistic; mid range pedals with load cells and springs should suffice for most.

Image: Simtag Hydraulic Pedals. Cost: ~USD 1800
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-12.jpg


Shifter and Hand brake:
Commercially available sim racing wheels generally come with paddle shifters but some people prefer to buy a separate H-shifter. The more metal and machining required, higher the price.

In the sim racing communities, handbrakes are more of a must-have than a manual shifter. Like pedals, hand brakes also come in various quality and price brackets. Hand brakes with hall sensors and hydraulics cost more than simpler ones with a spring. It is also possible to diy a decent enough handbrake from scrap parts.

Image: Handbrake.
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-13.jpg


Cockpit:
The cockpit is the skeletal framework to which the above components are mounted including the driver's seat. On low-end setups with a Logitech G920 or similar you can get away with mounting the wheel base to a table, not so much with a direct drive wheel. A DD wheel generates enough torque to rip out screws and splinter a wooden table. You need a heavy, reinforced metal frame to mount the base. A good rig also has proper mounting points for pedals (inverted or normal), points to attach handbrakes and shifter and mounting points for the driver seat.

Image: Cockpits from NextLevelRacing
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-14.jpg

There are many companies selling steel cockpits. Some come with seats attached, some expect you to buy it separately or provide your own. Some people also fabricate their own rigs from steel or wood. Again, multiple options are available when it comes to seat types. For many people the most cost effective option is to get a real car seat from a scrapyard or their old vehicle.


Motion Platforms:
To take the realism to another level you can purchase moving cockpits called motion platforms. These contraptions physically move you around like the simulators used by professional drivers and pilots.
Motion rigs can simulate roll, pitch, yaw and even traction loss (skidding) with the right hardware and are sold in upgradeable configurations based on the degree of freedom required. Over the past couple years prices have come down a lot thanks to increased competition. You can get a motion platform with roll, pitch and traction loss for under USD 4000. These aren't as popular due to the cost involved. Most sim racers have a stationary cockpit.

Motion rigs are powered by their own motors, controller and powersupply. The metal frame, motors and power supplies are a lot beefier since they are designed to support and jerk around (heh) an adult human. These rigs are meant for PC users since they require PC only software to function. The companies that make these use off-the-shelf industrial motors and hydraulics with custom designed firmware for heavy duty controllers. There is a DIY option for a full motion platform called the SFX 100.

Image: P3 Motion Platform
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-15.jpg


Bass shakers:
To simulate the vibrations of a moving vehicle, tactile transducers called bass shakers are used (also called butt kickers). These are low frequency speaker like devices with a moving weight attached to a voice coil. Bass shakers are driven by an amplifier connected to a PC/sound source. These are generally attached to the seat and cockpit frame.

Image: Bass Shakers
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-16.jpg



Display:
The choice of display depends on the graphics capability of your console or PC. These days there are 3 popular options:
3 monitor setup
Single Ultra wide monitor
VR headset

Of the above three, a VR headset is the most immersive. All three display options require a PC with a good graphics card. Console racers and those without a beefy graphics card have to limit themselves to one monitor and lower graphics settings. Personally, I prefer the VR headset option, or in the absense of a headset, a 40 inch TV placed close to the wheel base running at 1080p resolution. I don't think there is much to explain here, the images below should suffice.

Image: Triple monitor and ultrawide setup. Also refer topmost image.
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-17.jpg



PC/Console and Games:
Goes without saying, the PC /console is where the magic happens. The PC is the best sim platform by virtue of being an open platform. All PC sim games have tons of mods and dedicated communities to join and race with. If you are getting into sim racing, go with PC as your platform. Older games like Assetto Corsa have mods that have pushed the game beyond even what the developers imagined. It has a thriving community, tons of free cars, tracks and racers to race with. It also goes on sale regularly on Steam for less than Rs 300. Also, being an older game it runs well on older hardware (GTX 1650, GTX 1060 and above) and even on the latest generation of integrated GPUs at medium settings. Other popular sim racing games include: Automobilista 2, Assetto Corsa Competizione, Dirt Rally 1/2, Project Cars 2 and rFactor.

Racing sims are getting pretty realistic these days. Sim Racing games have laser scanned tracks, accurately modelled handling dynamics for licensed cars and realistic physics. And I mean REALISTIC - the games factor in tyre wear, tyre temperature, track conditions, weather conditions and a bunch of other variables to generate the signals and force feedback for the wheel base. Graphics have also improved to such an extent that a lot of people, prima facie, have trouble telling apart a game capture video from a real race video.

Image: Gameplay screenshots. Pretty realistic, yes?
The Sim (simulated) Racing Thread-18.jpg



Parting Words:
Sim racing has never been more popular, realistic or affordable. The currently available consumer grade hardware is good enough even for training pro drivers and pilots.
The CSL DD has brought high end DD technology to the budget segment and the competition is now heating up; we are going to have lots of new launches in the sub USD 500 range. Unfortunately, most of this gear is not available in this land of holy bovines. I hope some chinese manufacturers get into this industry (since they already make those industrial motors others use) so we can finally have something available here. Most of the above photos of racing setups are from the subreddit - simracing, you should check it out.

I started looking into sim racing because driving on our roads is a constant headache and more of a chore. Not to mention the strategically placed cows, jay walkers and superb roads studded with pot holes and speed breakers. Driving is no longer fun if you have to deal with all that. I would rather spend a couple of lakhs on a nice sim racing setup and drive/race for hours in the virtual world than deal with the chaos and filth of this reality.

Want to drink, drive and relax? Race a Caterham 420R through Donington Park and leave a mark
Want to bend some fender? Crash a F1 car on Suzuka circuit, with your evening tea and biscuit
Crotch spawns causing crotch pain? Take a Porsche 911 GT for a spin in the rain
Wife nagging too much? Also causing crotch pain (!)? Floor a Ferrari on the Nordschleife again and again

That's all folks! Thanks for reading.
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Old 12th September 2021, 23:26   #35
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Sim Racing: At the edge of reality

Dear BHPians,

That's all folks! Thanks for reading.
Cool write up man.
Seriously thinking of getting the DD.
Just waiting for them to announce a PS compatible wheel.
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Old 13th September 2021, 11:56   #36
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Cool write up man.
Seriously thinking of getting the DD.
Thanks. Hope more people on this forum get interested in sim racing.

Do you mean the CSL dd? It is never going to be officially available in India. Fanatac is a small company and they are having enough trouble fulfilling orders in the western world. India is a tiny, insignificant market.

You will probably have to import it and that means paying an extra 30% in customs. That's a rip off.

Thrustmaster has announced plans to launch a DD base, so that might be available in a year. Not sure if it will be cheaper than the CSL dd though. Probably not.
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Old 15th September 2021, 23:33   #37
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Thanks. Hope more people on this forum get interested in sim racing.
Do you have a setup or play anything?
I'm part of one of India's biggest sim racing groups, can add you if interested.
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Old 16th September 2021, 10:51   #38
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Do you have a setup or play anything?
I'm part of one of India's biggest sim racing groups, can add you if interested.
I had a Thrustmaster T150 setup. Gave it to my cousin. I am planning on getting a full direct drive and cockpit setup within the next year. Looking to import Simucube DD from Singapore and get my local welder to build me a cockpit, probably going to get the oculus quest too.

I play AC and Dirt Rally 2. I am not currently racing, but thanks for your offer to add me.

Last edited by Electromotive : 16th September 2021 at 10:55.
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Old 16th September 2021, 11:49   #39
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Sim Racing: At the edge of reality
Lovely writeup mate. Sim racing is surprisingly unpopular in India, cost would be the primary reason I'd think. I've been using a Logitech G29 with H shifter setup for a few years, great fun. No cockpit or anything fancy, just a ghetto table setup. Haven't even bothered to get a proper screen, play directly on my HP Omen laptop Hundreds of hours spent on ETS2, ATS, Assetto Corsa, Dirt Rally, Race Room, and finally since a couple of weeks, Snow Runner. Not into racing or anything competitive, which is why I think I'm enjoying Snow Runner so much. Hope sim racing gets the popularity it deserves in India, mainly so I can finally buy a cockpit on the cheap.
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Old 16th September 2021, 11:57   #40
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... mainly so I can finally buy a cockpit on the cheap.
Why buy a cockpit? The cockpit is the easiest part. Get your local welder/fabricator to make one for you. You can also make one out of wood and plywood. Search for free DIY blueprints on the web, tons of options.

There are also some sites selling detailed plans. Like this one.

Getting a good DD wheel, now that's a problem. But competition is heating up, so keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 4th January 2022, 15:17   #41
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Do you have a setup or play anything?
I'm part of one of India's biggest sim racing groups, can add you if interested.
Hi mate. Good to know that there are sim racing groups here. I play on PC and have G29 Wheel(I used to play on Logitech Driving force GT). I play DR2, F1, Project cars2. Not an expert though.
Can you let me know details of this group ?
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Old 4th January 2022, 15:27   #42
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You could buy a dashboard from any junkyard and build a frame! The dashboard can be mounted to the frame and the speedometer can be wired accordingly to display data from the game using something like a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino. The monitor can rest on the dashboard. Attaching links to the same, one person in Latvia has made an E46 sim setup all by himself!

All about the instrument cluster-


The E46 sim setup-
https://www.instagram.com/e46sim/
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Old 4th January 2022, 18:42   #43
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Hi mate. Good to know that there are sim racing groups here. I play on PC and have G29 Wheel(I used to play on Logitech Driving force GT). I play DR2, F1, Project cars2. Not an expert though.
Can you let me know details of this group ?
Not sure how to pvt mesg you here, would've shared the group link.
Just search & DM "Sim Nation India" on Instagram. They will add you to the group.
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Old 4th January 2022, 21:01   #44
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Not sure how to pvt mesg you here, would've shared the group link.
Just search & DM "Sim Nation India" on Instagram. They will add you to the group.
OK! What do you play on ? Console or PC(Steam) ?
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Old 9th January 2022, 17:50   #45
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OK! What do you play on ? Console or PC(Steam) ?
Bit of both.
On Console, I mainly play GT Sport, a little but of Assetto Corsa & F1.
But gradually moving to PC, with Raceroom & Assetto Corsa.
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