time to renew my rig
Over the last 24 it has become clear that I need to renew my driving rig. I was putting in some better computer tech, but while doing so I realised a couple of things
1) it is nine years old.....
2) the Cobra racing seat I used is absolutely knackered, all the padding is gone and it now feels like sitting on iron rods
3) it is way too big, like twice the size it needs to be
4) the G25 wheel has a lot of side to side and up and down slop, so I think that the bearing at the top end is either loose or worn
5) the control panel at the front is largely useless due to changes made over the years
6) the buttons on the front stick due to using crap quality ones
7) the attachment of the mini keyboard ended up breaking it so now it's useless
8) I look at some of the design choices and construction and mentally do a facepalm
9) the wiring to the Leo Bodnar controllers is embarrassingly bad, and probably a fire hazard too
I could go on, but I think you can see that I am pretty much convinced that I need to start again. One issue will be the main structure, that was made from welded steel tubing and cannot be changed, which means either starting completely from scratch or working around that. Not sure which way I will go yet. Working from scratch will be difficult, I don't have my TiG welder with me here (stupid decision not to bring it) so a new design will have to use different construction techniques.
I made my own pedals and using hall effect sensors plus some varying strengths of rubber foam made them work really well, at least for most games - rF2 was an exception, but not sure whether that is the pedal's fault or something else. I will probably keep those.
I have a double H pattern 'gearbox' that frankly works brilliantly in all but one respect - the side to side movement is too loose and could benefit from having some R/C car dampers attached to give a little weight to it. However that change can't be done without a complete manufacture, so back to the machine shop for those. I works so well in fact that I would not consider buying anything, as (loose side to side movement aside) I have never come across better.
The new computech parts I have are perfectly adequate for a racing sim, however how they are fitted into the rig will be one of the biggest changes. By incorporating the PC differently I think 50% of the size issues will be addressed in one go.
The peripheral construction is also going to be a major change, I can use better materials and also package better all the components that led to the current one being so big, and use modern connections and parts to make the electrics better and tidier.
The last question mark then is the wheel, and this is where I would invite suggestions and comments. I only need a wheel, so what wheel(s) would be the current suggestions for use? I do like FFB, if it is correctly controlled and calibrated, and one that has more than 360 deg movement would be preferred, if not essential
Any suggestions as to other bits and bobs welcome, as you may know of some bit of kit I have not considered