The Pro Shift Board

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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

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The Shift Lights Indicator (SLI-M)

sli-m

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. This video shows.

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.

DiY Shift Light and Display for Sim Racing

Welcome,

I will do my best to explain the building of this project. It is a simple one, with 3  main physical components;

  • An Arduino nano board
  • a TM1638 led board
  • a mini usb cable, depending on the Arduino you use.

The cassette makes part of the overall aesthetics, so not important item in the function of the Display and Leds.

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There is a need for a piece of software and i will refer to it later in the post.

Let´s say you have the materials to start the building process; you should have in your hand a TM1638 board and a Arduino nano / Uno / Leonardo. Obs: For this to fit the cassette case it had to be done with the arduino nano, due to its small size. It can either be used an Arduino Uno or Leonardo. It is my knowledge this will function correctly with these boards.

Nano Tm1638 done

This is an Arduino nano, arduino nano This is a TM1638 Board, IMG_20160303_165935

Connecting the TM1638 board to the Arduino, (most important part)
TM1638 DONE

  • The TM1638 Display has on its board labeled “DIO” (data pin), “CLK” (clock pin), “STB0″(strobe pin 0), “VCC” and “GND”.
  • The Arduino has labeled on the board “8”, “9”, “7”, “5V” and “GND”.

As is showing in the above picture, you connect “DIO” to “8”, “CLK” to “9” , “STB0” to “7”, etc.

Here is an example of a connector that can be used,

jumpers arduino

Jumpers for e.g. Arduino

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TM1638 Shift Light Project

The last part is the software. For this i have made a short video to present it. Here!

On the video you will find a software that is easy to use comparing it to the DX SLI Manager software from the original video, available too, on my Youtube channel.

The same hardware process but using DX SLI Manager.

For this post i have another software (batrako). The difference between these two software options is that DX SLI Manager is highly costumizable and there´s only the need to check boxes to change settings but its iRacing only!

This software , however, just needs a code in the Arduino and launch the software. It is customizable too but demands knowledge about programming. The information displayed on the code is very evident and easy to give an idea of what each line on the code does but still, it´s not like checking boxes to make changes. So this second version of software can run on Pcars, Assetto Corsa, iRacing, rFactor 1 and rFactor 2.

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For this all to work, as pointed and shown in the short video, you need Arduino software IDE. If you encounter any problem with this software you will have to do your homework. When set up correctly this software runs perfectly.

3 bits of information more,

here is another Shift Light project using an Arduino Leonardo,

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It can run the same software; batrako and DX SLI.

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This is it, fellas. Catch me next time, here or there.