Top Sim Racing Cockpits on Profile Aluminum

7 SimRacing Cockpits from 4 Brands

Presentation on standard cockpits as they are sold.

I have bunched some rigs and made a presentation as short as possible.

 


Heusinkveld – Sim Rig GT

The most expensive from the ones listed, but with a twist. It´s fully equipped! It comes with almost all the parts one wants. A steering wheel bracket,  a pedal baseplate and heel bracket, a monitor mount and VESA brackets (triple screen support), shifter and handbrake bracket, seat and feet Brackets. Can handle any gear that one can attach to it. Superb Rig!

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Heusinkveld – Sim Rig GT

 

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Heusinkveld – Sim Rig GT

 

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Heusinkveld – Sim Rig GT


JCL To Be Faster – Black To Be Faster V2

The Black To Be Faster V2 from JCL is one of the more robust cockpits, visually appealing and can handle any powerful wheel and pedals on the market. Top plain rig.


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Black To Be Faster V2

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JCL Black To Be Faster V2

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JCL Black To Be Faster V2

The Black To Be Faster V2  is one good cockpit but, at its price point, one might consider the SIMLAB´s P1.

Remember,  black finish cockpits are always more expensive… if the system was not disturbed by a sale or something.


SIMLAB – P1

One of the best looking cockpits on the market. Robust and can handle any powerful wheel and pedals. This is the top of the line from SIMLAB, now with a black version.

Fantasy rig.

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SIMLAB P1

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SIMLAB P1


Custom Cockpits

Another brand that shows attention to detail. The top of the line is the KR135 Evo.  Any powerful wheel and pedal set can be attached to this unit.


Custom Cockpits – KR135 Evo

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KR135 Evo

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KR135 Evo


SIM LAB – GT1

GT1, from SIMLAB.  A solid piece with good adaptability for the pedals and wheel base. With a nice look this unit sits well on this presentation. Can handle any wheel and pedal set on the market.

Solid rig.

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SIMLAB GT1 (photo 1)

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SIMLAB GT1 (photo 2)

 

 


JCL To Be Faster – JCL Seat

JCL Seat it´s JCL To Be Faster entry-level cockpit. Similar to the GT Cup, the base model from SIMLAB, i would say this one is closer to the SIMLAB´s GT1 then it is from the CUP. This is a simple, clean look cockpit that can handle most of the wheels on the market.

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JCL Seat


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JCL Seat

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JCL Seat


SIM LAB – GT Cup

The entry level cockpit from SIMLAB with simple mounting options and can be improved over time. Good adaptability for the wheel but not recomended to use a powerfull wheel or pedals on this one. It might handle it, but will reverberate.

Watch out rig!

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SIMLAB – GT CUP

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SIMLAB – GT CUP


Other Points… 

The presentation follows the order below with all the links;

Heusinkveld – Sim Rig GT

JCL To Be Faster – JCL Seat  Black To Be Faster V2

SIMLAB – P1

SIMLAB – GT1

Custom Cockpits.com – KR135 EVO

JCL To Be Faster – JCL SEAT

SIMLAB – GT CUP.

Now on the models of each house

HeusinkveldSim Rig GT

SIM LABGT Cup, GT1, P1.

Custom Cockpits.com – Cockpit KS90Cockpit KR135 CUPKR135 EVO.

 JCL To Be FasterBlack To Be Faster V2JCL SEATGeko & F1.

Well i hope you had a good time. I think next post will be on…or maybe not.

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Lmp1 Style Custom Wheel

Volante

A WORD OF CAUTION

QUOTE:

“The document states that “optical radiation detected by the retina impacts an individual’s behavior, psychology, and perception of the environment.”

What is being talked here is that the LED light on the eye retina is bad for health! The LEDs on this wheel are so intense, as they are configured, that sickness can be felt after the first minute. 

Keep this in mind when using yours too bright.


On The wheel

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The rim is a Sparco P104 replica,

 

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the box on top of the wheel is a rectangular plastic (ABS) one,

 

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the board that holds the little multicolored buttons the display and the leds its a generic board that holds a Tm1638 chip.

 

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the Leds on the 1638 board are 5mm, 3.2V, Pink. It´s an arduino Nano to connect all this apparatus.

 

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There´s a singular push button on the wheel and  it´s a NKK MB2011 with a GB13B guard.


The board inside the BOX

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I desoldered the default leds and buttons. It was then used the 5mm pink leds and longer push buttons. With longer push buttons i could fit the colored caps (photo above).

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You can connect this board to the arduino nano in the same manner as in the project of DiY Shift Light and Display for Sim Racing

As in here, below

TM1638 DONE

I use this wheel on one of my G27´s and it works fine. Can´t show a picture because i have none.

You can make different arrangements with the DX SLI Manager software regarding the displays and Leds configuration.

Converging shift lights is an example

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On closing…

This was a  quick made project. It came as a solution for a display on the wheel and it turned out just fine, with room for the full degree of rotation of the wheel, 900º.

As this was a project that was almost all built in my garage, extreme attention to tolerances in measurements on the cutting of the box was not taken into account.

A reminder is that it can be used in other wheels because the software runs independent of the wheel.

More information can be found on my video.

Custom Wheel

 

See you soon on the next project.


Bibliographical References for LEDs Studies.

 

http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/2010/11/light-and-human-health-led-risks-highlighted.html

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5618050/

The Pro Shift Board

Visit my Youtube channel!

This is Pro Shift
by SymProjects

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What it does…

You can connect LEDS to it, any size and shape, and it will make them flash when a car is revving, when a car is out of fuel or when damage is present. There are lots of possibilities here

It can command up to 16 leds and 8 push buttons. The dimensions are 66mm x 33mm, it powers itself by USB so it doesn’t require any external power supply.


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Connecting LEDs and Push Buttons

In the picture can be seen the numbers “1” – “3” – “5”…”15″ : That´s the positive row for Leds and where the longer pin/ leg of the leds are connected.

The numbers “2” – “4” -“6″…”16” are the negative pins, where the short leg from the LED connects.

The “B1” to “B8” are the inputs for the push buttons.

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 LEDs and their Types

Type 5050 LEDS below, RGB ones

 

Some common LED sizes and types are; 3mm, 5mm, 10mm, hat type and rounds. The characteristic for all of these to work properly with this board is that they should be up to 4V.

There is the possibility this board can work with other voltages but with the one´s i have tested with 3,2V everything worked as it should/ as expected.

Options for the use of the leds

For Traction Control, Pit request, Hand brake, Turn lights or Fuel level,  Engine temperature, Neutral gear, Rev. Counter, Water temperature or Oil pressure.

Also, through the software the LEDs when connected to this board can be used as blue, red and yellow flags.

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The Software

http://www.symprojects.com/downloads

 

 

Software is easy to set up. The device is automatically detected by Windows as an USB Game Controller, so no extra steps needed.

This is the Pro Shift available at www.SymProjects.com

If you want to connect 8 push buttons the firmware of the board should be updated. Please read.

Bits of handy information: When the brightness is set to 100% the LEDs receive a 15mA current. Each LED can be configured to blink at three different speeds when switched on. More than one Pro Shift controllers can be connected at the same time. This board works on a large number of titles, here is a list of games and available functions: Docs

Heated Foot Warmer

Sain baina uu?” (“Hello” in Mongol)

I have a HOT topic today: This is an Ergonomic Heated Foot Warmer.

The device connects to a wall socket and works as a heater for the feet.

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With this version, shoes can be used. It has 3 levels of heat Minimum, Medium and Maximum.

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It also works as a 1 hour option and shuts itself off after that time.

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The version on the photo has some bumps so that  you can massage the feet.

The main surface is a plastic material as in the main body. The whole unit is very light.

Next is…

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 Ergonomic shape with a wide area for the feet,  with elevated sides to keep the feet inside the warmed area.

Low electrical consumption:  36W-40W.

 RoHS compliant, that means: Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances like Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg) and other 8 substances.

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When Gaming

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For people who sit at a desk for gaming the foot warmer is great, helping them in warming their bodies.

For people that use cockpits is awesome too, as it provides heat for at least a foot when driving. We should agree that cars with sequential gearboxes make the foot a lot warmer!

Let´s remember that in the winter metal pedals can get really cold after a while!

 Closing Post…!

  1.  Amazing product for people who spend a lot of time on the computer and have their feet on the ground.
  2. Almost no need for another type of heater in the room.
  3. Around 30€/ 32$.
  4. Easy to clean.
  5. No deformities detected from heat.
  6. Using a blanket on your lap can help keep the knees warm.

–  This was my best buy from the last couple of years. –

See you soon!

 

Logitech MoMo Racing Wheel

Hallo! (“Hello” in Norwegian)

Today we have a one of a kind. A brand new Logitech MoMo racing wheel. It´s somewhat rare to see one out of the box.

Let´s check this

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Humm, that smell to brand new!


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The steering wheel is rubberized all around.

6 buttonsshift paddles and a sequential shifter.

240 degrees of rotation.

Force feedback.

No hard mounting for the base.

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Lift to reach table clamps!

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The sequential shifter works on the right side or the left side of the wheel.

Unscrew the nut and change the side.

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Leds can be used as shift lights…and

Left LED:

On = The wheel is receiving power from the AC Adapter.
Off = The wheel is not receiving power from the AC Adapter.

Right LED:

On = The wheel is in a force feedback game.
Off = The wheel is not in a force feedback game.


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No hard mounting for pedals. They have a decent weight and the known Logitech spikes to better grab carpets.

Decent pedals. Short throw of both accelerator and brake.

The brake has almost no resistance. For people that are used to more heavy duty brakes they will have to be gentle.

Plastic all around.


The user manualimg_20161214_160144

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Closing Post…!

  • Force feedback is there.
  • Sequential Shifter can be placed on one side or the other
  • Steering wheel feels nice. Rubberized.
  • Nice materials (with solid construction)

Perfect for younger audiences. You have a 5 or 6 year old nephew? This is it!

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The Shift Lights Indicator (SLI-M)

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Reference photo by Leo Bodnar´s website

These units (SLIs) are prepared to control LEDs in game, almost any game (racing related).

This particular model has been discontinued.

What is this?

This gives you the optimal point to change gears in racing games. The leds start turning on and when they reach a certain limit, by flashing, that is the best time for shifting!

LED Displays;

  •  13 bright RPM LEDs across the top (4 green, 5 red and 4 blue)
  • 6 bright warning LEDs  (clusters of 3, below main array of Leds)
  •  Central gear indicator
  •  5 additional LEDS can also be connected.

Inputs;

  • 16 button / 8 rotary encoder inputs

Dimensions;

  • Length – 4″ / 102mm
  • Width – 1.2″ / 30mm
  • Height(with USB and pin headers) – 0.84″ / 21.3mm
  • Height(without USB and pin headers) – 0.48″ / 12.2mm

Mounting Screw Hole Size;

  • M2.5 or #3-56

SLI- M will NOT work on PlayStation or Xbox.

Recommended Wire Size;

  • 24AWG to 20AWG

Powered by USB  (+5V – 500mA) so no external power supply is needed.

It will be recognized as a generic game device named – SLI-M. No drivers are required.


Software:

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Fanaleds & SimSLI

You might find more software applications that work with this unit.

Fanaleds:

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You cannot assign any functions to the main LED array; the 13 across the top.

11 of them can be changed: the cluster of 3, on each side of the gear display and the 5 extra leds that can be connected to the board; these can be assigned for flags, KERS, etc.

For the 13 main leds, you can select the revled style, with 8 available options on Fanaleds.

Global brightness can be adjusted for all the LEDs. Global, not independent LED brightness.

SimSLI

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SimSLI is not as detailed as Fanaleds because it seems that its development is stationary,  but either one will work fine.


Hardware / Connections;

  • Pushbuttons / Rotary encoders
  • LEDs
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Push button

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Push button (NKK)

  •  Push buttons up to 16 of them.

or

  • Rotary encoders up to 8 of them.
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Rotary Encoder (Leo Bodnar´s reference photo)


SLI-M Works on: See the list here, on “more details”!


Now that the unit specs are done, let´s address functionality:

Just plug and play!¹

¹ you need a program being run, ex. Fanaleds or SimSLI. It is quite probable that if you are using Fanaleds or alike program it boots with windows so it´s always ready to play. There is no need to launch other programs just for a specific item. That is nice.

SLI-MWiringDiagram

Photo by eksimracing.com

Five (5) extra LEDs can be connected to this unit; any size as long they are up to 4v.

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10MM Leds

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RGB 5050 Leds

 Above 2 pictures serve as an example of types of leds used.


Enclosures;

The most difficult part of this item is the not so abundant enclosures for this unit.

There was one from Sim Racing Hardware for the Fanatec Porsche GT3 Rs V2 and GT2 racing wheels. Watch a review here.

Remember, you can connect up to 16 push buttons and 5 extra LEDs: What kind of enclosure will you be using in front of you, or on the wheel? 

It might get big, the enclosure, if you intend to make use of all inputs. It is also a pity to leave those inputs unused!


On summing;

Good quality board (shift light array and display). It features ultra bright leds, a good chip, compatibility with most games and easy to use software for controlling the leds. It costed 50 pounds (shipping not included).

Bringing it it all together:

  • Additional inputs available (16 button / 8 rotary encoder inputs) + (5 extra Leds)
  • Free, good software available for controlling Leds and other functions (Fanaleds/ SimSLI)
  • High quality components
  • No external power supply needed
  • No drivers required
  • Small dimensions of the unit

  • No decent enclosures available

Shift Light Indicator (SLI-M) from Leo Bodnar´s website.

The Logitech G27 Base

Hello!

The review year for this wheel it´s long gone but my input regarding Logitech G27´s is not!

My experience with Logitech wheels has not been the best. These wheels exist by their own right; they look good, it´s a complete package with steering wheel, pedals and a gear shifter, all decent quality; lots of metal, a clutch, 900 degrees ¹, rev lights on the wheel.. .

I have a problem with G27´s. They have always failed me one way or the other. Force feedback fatigue and the constant need for dead zone corrections, the optical encoder…,they have always felt to me with less force, less mechanical and not fun to enjoy.

A friend once lent me his G27 and i tested it on a Ps3. Force feedback was there but it felt too electrical, like the steering on a road car when it´s electric instead of hydraulic. It seems not as satisfying. After that, the 3 ones i used felt more awake but, not satisfied, i tested a friend´s G25 and this one felt a lot better, more mechanical, more energized. Was this particular shipment of G25´s? G25´s are known to be more “metal- on – metal” when it comes to steering. Maybe me?

I have had three G27´s. I´ll focus on the wheel base itself for this review.

Peoples Choices

I can´t seem to understand the number of people that have cool and costly setups (rigs) with neon lights and stuff and uses a stock G25 or G27, with G25/27 pedals!

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My argument is that Logitech G27 is a “fantastic wheel”…, for the bundle price, only!

It´s a good package: “good package” is not the same as a good wheel.

Now, let´s imagine;

i see a Logitech G sale, with pedals, gear shifter and wheel, for 349€ (new, release day); I´ll take it, it is a good deal, no one can say the contrary, but let´s assume these parts are sold separately: Would i buy the wheel base alone for 150€?

Or the pedals, 150€(?)

The shifter, 49€ ?

Meh, probably.

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With this in mind i know people know by now some things the Logitech G´s  (the wheels) are good for: Modding and Intensive usage.

 – Not in Favor

Now, to me there is a greater setback than the mods available or the usage this wheel can stand: It is Dead zone and Force feedback.

Dead zone will translate in failure related to driving precision and lack of force will lead to nonexistent road feedback. These two failure points are mostly hardware related, by the relation and disposition of the internal physical components; design of the materials, materials used, the chosen electrical components, dispositions of components with attention to performance, etc.

 ¹ I have experienced that my G27´s do not have exactly 900º. To reach this mark the wheel has to be forced to turn more. I have watched numbers in the order of +860º – 875º.

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From my blog post Logitech G27 with MoMo Prototipo – Custom Built

“you can game on a 300$ computer, but is not the same as gaming on a 1000$ computer… . The same with the wheels: you can drive in a game with a 300$ wheel, but it is not the same as driving the same game with a 1000$ wheel… .”

This quote is to make the point that the wheel is decent taking into account other variables, like price tag, targeted users and the view on what´s included in the package. You see, there are some wheels that no matter the cost or if are sold alone or in bundle they are always good wheels.


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The Optical Encoder

As pointed in the intro, the optical encoder is a fundamental piece of the wheel dynamic.

It “reports” where the wheel is and where is going to, to it´s electric components.

img_20160727_160535With the two G27´s i opened, the optical encoder wobbled when turning the entire cycle of the wheel. Careful, It can break easily and it does in some cases. Anyhow there are people reporting success in this area too.

A replacement to this problem should be changing the plastic encoder for a brass one.

Durability is the key feature here. This provider is a trusted source according to users ;

http://www.cmlaserservice.com/brass-optical-encoder-info.html


Force feedback,

One option to force feedback increase and maintaining it is a mod by ARC Team, where  the electric current on the wheel is boosted making it a beast of force. Measures to prevent overheating or exploding components are taken into account with this mod. Reports regarding this particular mod state it as a worthwhile mod for the G25´s and G27´s. Check the internet for various descriptive reports (Logitech G27 ARC Team Mod).

img_20161021_175509The Logitech G27´s in General:

There are a lot of mod providers for the wheel: custom shift paddles, wheel adapters for custom wheels just to name a few; there are also mods for the G series pedals; springs, load cells, inversion kits and so on. Mods for the gear shifter can be found online too.

I am almost arriving my destination: Can i point some factors regarding G27 wheel base only?

Manufacturer related; +

  • Overall the Hardware is built to last
  • Features a good hard mounting solution

Community Related; +

  • Availability of mods (on wheels, pedals and shifters)
  • Help and tutorials

Overall setbacks;

  • Wheel center Dead zone
  • Force feedback a bit shy (my opinion, not to be regarded as factoid)
  • Optical encoder susceptible to break (there is no official replacement)

Closing the post,

I don´t believe a brand deliberately want´s to make a 2nd generation of something worst than the previous version. The question here could be: “Was the G27 polished enough on the flaws G25 had?”

The same for the Logitech G wheels from 2015. There are some fundamental problems that have not been resolved regarding wheel center dead zone.

Please, opinions closed!

Have a nice week!