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How To Build Your Very Own Kick-Ass Racing Simulator

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1. Choose Your Budget

If you've got a spare £40,000 lying around, then fantastic; buy yourself an all-inclusive simulator and get cracking. For the rest of us, however, we'll stick to the 'built not bought' approach. Before getting started, you'll need to research the price of each component and set a spending limit. That way, you prevent being left with a half completed project. If you’re working with a very low budget, consider using existing pieces for now and upgrading as you go. There’s nothing wrong with mounting your wheel to your desk and sitting in an office chair until you can buy a nice seat and mounts.

2. Pick The Perfect Location

sim set-upThe bedroom is a great place for a racing simulator if you’re single or in a student room. If you have someone in your life who thinks the bedroom has better uses than racing, however, stick to a communal area of the house for your setup. An office or spare room is ideal if you play on a PC or want to use a simple desk and chair setup for now, and the living room area is usually preferred if you play on a console. No matter where you set up, keep in mind that it will eat up a lot of space, and be sure to leave room for friends to watch you race.

3. The Wheel Deal

Picture 24The first piece of the simulator puzzle (and the only piece if you’re following the low budget plan) is your steering wheel. Get familiar with the feedback and control of a good wheel while gathering your other parts. Remember, you can always mount it to a table or desk and upgrade later. Logitech, Mad Catz and Thrustmaster make the most popular and reliable wheel set ups that come with a shifter and pedals. The Logitech G27 wheel is the most widely used wheel among gamers with powerful force feedback, a six speed shifter and paddle shifters on the wheel. When shopping for a good price, be careful buying used wheels because they could have been mistreated or heavily used by their previous owner. The safest choice is to shop around online for a new wheel with a manufacturer’s warranty, just in case you get serious road rage in your first race.

4. The Big Screen

Picture 25Size matters. So does quantity, refresh rate and clarity. Never has there been a better reason to run out and buy a new curved TV, but there are other options. Shop for the biggest screen within your budget. An LCD with LED backlighting and an anti-glare screen will give the best in-game visual experience. A high refresh rate, or the number of times per second your screen projects a new image, will give you less motion blur. Shoot for at least 120Hz and be careful of some manufacturer’s tricky wording and marketing that will make you think the TV has a higher refresh rate than it actually does. Also reference a third party reviewer like CNET before buying. Want even more? Buy three screens and place the outer two at a slight angle to give you a surround screen feel, but be sure to check first if your graphics card supports triscreen output. Again, if you have something you can use already to save money, then do it.

5. Mount It

sim set up 2Whether you’re moving from a desk to a full cockpit or starting with the full setup kit, there are a few things you should watch out for with screen, wheel and shifter mounts. If you chose a large TV, make sure the mount can support it. The new GTR simulator set comes with a one-screen or a three-screen mount and claims to be improved from the earlier, less sturdy model. This kit and similar products come with a screen mount, an adjustable racing seat, steering wheel mount, pedal support and shifter platform. Playseats, Spec-D Tuning and KMJ Performance offer seat and mount sets that include everything but the screen mount. This is the best option for playing on a big screen because you can mount it directly to the wall and use multiple mounts to build a triscreen. If you’re also going to use the TV for anything other than gaming, make sure you purchase an adjustable mount that can slide up and down and set the TV to the right height for each use. If you want to just sit back on the couch and game with your television where it sits, there are also smaller portable stands available that hold just the wheel, pedals and shifter. For a truly built not boughtdesign, build up your seat box first about 10cm off the ground, then center your TV slightly above your natural focal point looking straight ahead and build a shelf for your wheel at a comfortable distance and height. This will take more than one round of sitting and adjusting until you find your perfect positioning. There is no wrong or right placement for each component. What matters is that it feels comfortable to you.

6. The Hot Seat

Picture 28Unless you’re competing to build the slickest simulator, there’s no reason to spend a fortune on a seat. Find your favorite race seat online or head to a scrap yard to see what you can pull for yourself to save some money. If you purchase a seat separate from a mounting kit, you will need to be handy with your carpentry skills to build a seat box. Hint: if you have the space, put in a second seat for your 'passenger' who is guaranteed to enjoy being part of the action.

7. Final Touches

racing simWhy is building your own racing simulator so much better than buying an all-in-one kit? Because youmake it your own. Car enthusiasts can appreciate different models for their performance and design in the same way a gaming enthusiast appreciates their simulator. If you are taking the time to build your own set up, get creative. Give it some unique style: paint your frame, add some decals, make a mock roll cage with painted PVC piping and surround your cockpit with speakers for an incredible sound. When you're all set up (or if you're set up already) share pictures of your rigs below. This article was written by freelance journalist Kelsey Sakamoto.
Sours: https://www.carthrottle.com/post/how-to-build-your-very-own-kickass-racing-simulator/

Despite my deep passion and ambition, two things preclude me from becoming a race car driver: a pile of money and innate talent. While racing is arguably the only sport in which an abundance of the former can help overcome the lack of the latter — many race series require amateur “gentleman” drivers with endless coffers willing to bankroll a season — an imminent financial windfall is unlikely.

I skirted the lack of means, for a while; working as an automotive journalist in the Before Times afforded ample seat time in often unobtainable cars at iconic race tracks around the world. Those opportunities are few and far between now, so the closest analog is a simulator setup.

The goal with any racing sim is realism and the hardest thing to simulate is the sensation of torque and G-forces. Professional drivers and teams use hydraulic platform rigs capable of generating up to 2 Gs, like the multi-million dollar Dallara units in Indianapolis and Italy (to the tune of $12,000 per daily rental). It’s the nearest thing you’ll find to a real race car, per your butt-dyno. Naturally, you have to pare way back for a home setup.

“There’s always something missing in a home sim,” says Felix Rosenqvist, a 28-year-old IndyCar driver for Chip Ganassi Racing. “If you haven’t pushed a car to the limits, it’s hard to explain, but you can get close. From time to time, you can think you’re in a real car.”

Rosenqvist, the 2019 IndyCar Rookie of the Year, built his own home sim from scratch earlier this year when lockdown started and he ran us through chief considerations for sourcing all your sim components and about the limits of these kinds of systems. (And, while substantially more affordable than fielding an actual car at an actual race, a decent simulator isn’t what you’d describe as cheap.)

The Chassis

The foundation of any sim is the rig upon which the various components — seat, wheel, pedals, gear shifter (if applicable), even a monitor — can be affixed. You’ll want something beyond rigid, since it has to support you and also all the forces you’ll be imparting upon it as you jam on the pedals and torque your wheel. Rosenqvist has a 90-pound aluminum chassis frame, the SimLab PX-1 ($703), and bolted a Sparco QRT race seat ($1,375) on top. Sturdy? You bet. Expensive? Indeed.

Photo: Next Level Racing

Other chassis options bundle a seat along with the frame, for less money. I chose one of those, a Next Level Racing F-GT cockpit ($499). The seat isn’t a bucket, like Rosenqvist’s, but it sits on adjustable rails, great for accommodating drivers of any height, and the back is adjustable, too. Optional caster wheels beneath the steel frame make moving it around your house a snap, locking in place when you’re driving.

There’s a dedicated place for a monitor stand, and the Next Level wheel and pedal mounting plates have pre-drilled holes to accommodate major component brands without any modifications, and all have height multiple positions to allow for a widely-customizable cockpit. “Comfort is key since you’ll be spending a lot of time in this position,” says Rosenqvist. It’s a small touch, but Next Level includes a back bolster pillow that goes a long way, especially when you’re learning a new track in a new car and realize that five hours have elapsed since you first climbed in.

The Wheel

“The wheel is the heart of the sim,” Rosenqvist says, “because it’s where you get the most important feedback.” You want a force-feedback motor mount, which means that your wheel is connected to a base that has a motor that can provide force along the axis of rotation. In a real car on track, you’d feel how the car was responding to inputs by sensations going through the wheel, pedals, seat, and your body itself. You can tell if you’re approaching the car’s mechanical grip by feeling the car rotate, slide, or shudder. In the sim realm, all you get is the feedback from the wheel, so choosing the right one is vital.

“There are two kinds of force feedback motor bases: direct and belt-driven,” says Rosenqvist. “Belt driven has a transmission between the motor and the steering rack.” That’s in the form of a pulley and the belt. These are great for novices because smaller, more affordable motors are employed, thus they’re cheaper. They tend to feel smoother because the belt can absorb some of the vibrations. That’s a double-edged sword because that dampening means a loss of vital feedback. Belts can also get worn and stretched over time, exacerbating the loss of feedback while requiring greater input. Should that happen, it may only mean a millisecond of extra work for each turn of the wheel, but add those instances up and you could be seconds slower than someone with a newer unit. In a competitive race, that differential takes you from the podium to tenth place.

Option two is a direct drive unit. “That’s where the steering rack sits directly on the motor, so there aren’t any moving parts,” says Rosenqvist. “There’s no loss in the feeling or details of the road, it’s truer to a real car, and there’s less noise when turning the wheel.”

Rosenqvist uses a direct-drive motor called the Simucube 2 Ultimate ($4,085, and that hefty price doesn’t include the wheel itself, which can be another $300 to $1,000). “The Simucube has so much strength; up to 32 Newton meters [of torque]. To activate it, you need to flick a special button and there’s an emergency button to shut it down because that’s enough torque to rip your hand off,” he says with a laugh.

Presuming you like your hands attached and an extra four grand in your bank account, you can definitely opt for a belt-driven unit, which is precisely what Rosenqvist was using before the Simucube. “I have had a Logitech G25 since I was 15 years old. I loved that wheel and it worked great. I did very well with it, too,” he says.

For my system, Thrustmaster kindly sent a Leather Edition TX Wheel, which included the motor base, the wheel, and a pedal kit ($469). It neatly fits onto the F-GT chassis mount and it’s been wonderful to use. I’m not skilled enough to notice any belt-derived latencies that are costing me time, and it gives me enough of the sensation of when I’m approaching losing grip. I can feel the steering ratio differences between, say, a Mazda MX-5 Cup car and a Ferrari 488 GTE. It’s responsive enough to let me catch the car with some quick opposite lock, should things start to get sideways. It just feels like a proper wheel in your hands, too, from the size, down to the fit and finish, and the alloy paddle shifters make a satisfying clack. My only gripe is that after long, impassioned stints, the locking ring that secures the wheel to the base can sometimes get a little loose, even if I’ve cranked the screw, but that’s a minor quibble.

The Pedals

Threshold braking is understanding where the optimal brake pressure is and using that to brake as late as possible without sloughing off too much speed headed into a corner. It’s a skill that will enable faster lap times but a tricky maneuver to master on a real track. Rail the brakes too deeply and you’ll over-slow the car; hit them too lightly and you won’t have enough downforce on the front wheels to bite into the turn and you’ll understeer off the track, into a tire barrier or wall. Getting a brake pedal that feels natural is the second most important sim facet.

“I use Heusinkveld Ultimate Sim Pedals,” says Rosenqvist. “Everyone I know uses them and recommends them. They feel normal and you can hit them super hard without an issue.” Those pedals ($1,415) have hydraulic reservoirs and dual dampeners so that they can mimic the exact feel of a brake pedal in an F1 or Le Mans prototype vehicle.

Photo: Heusinkveld

My included Thrustmaster TX Leather Edition pedals don’t have any of those attributes. And, yeah, you’ll notice that sim brake modulation is difficult without being able to dial in the pedal’s resistance. But Thrustmaster’s solution is genius and it’s included in the box: a little rubber cone that bolts onto the back of the brake pedal. It imparts a feeling of progressive resistance in the same way a hydraulic pedal would and my braking improved infinitely after installing it. It’s nowhere as realistic as Rosenqvist’s pedals, but I ceased careening off the track every time I drilled the stoppers so I’m pleased.

The Monitor

The key spec when monitor shopping is the refresh rate, or the number of times per second (expressed as hertz or Hz) that the image refreshes. Rosenqvist notes that you’ll want one with a refresh rate of at least 144 Hz.

“If there’s a delay in the monitor, you’ll have slower feedback,” he says. “You need to be micro-adjusting things all the time when you’re driving and that’s easier to do if everything responds quickly.” If you’re planning on seriously competing, do some research before you use your TV: Many claim a 240 Hz refresh rate, but it’s really about 60 Hz.

For those seeking ultimate realism, Rosenqvist suggests going with an ultra-wide, curved screen in lieu of a tri-panel set up. “You want the field of view in a sim, and I never understood ultrawide monitors before, but it makes sense here,” he admits. “Looking through your helmet, it’s a similar view; you can’t see up or down, but you can see forward. If [your monitor] is not curved, then it looks weird. Those triple monitors have a break in the field of vision, which isn’t great.”

Asus loaned me the absolute best monitor I have ever had the pleasure of setting eyes upon: the Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ ($899). It’s a 49-inch, super ultra-wide HDR gaming monitor, and I’m beyond obsessed. The clarity is next level — you can see individual pebbles of spent tire rubber on the tracks — and there’s no lag.

It’s the perfect replica view of what you’d see from underneath a racing helmet and that shallower-than-a-TV-height compels your eyes up, looking through the corners, past the apex to the exit, which is the first thing any decent race instructor will shout at you during a real track stint. The built-in speakers are rich and full and loud enough for my wife to implore me to turn it down from the other room. (Asus also sent along a $103 ROG Strix Fusion Wireless gaming headset that has marvelous sound quality, though the USB dongle that affords the wireless connection kept breaking apart.)

The Console

The beautiful part is that my whole system will work with an Xbox or a PC, so I spent a chunk of time on both. On Xbox, you can easily run Forza Horizon 4, which allows you to sample more than 450 vehicles, including classics, race cars, and new cars, constantly updated as models roll out in real life. Take a spin around the game in McLaren’s ultimate Senna hypercar or try a 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, an iconic Prancing Horse V-12 race prototype that dominated tracks around the globe or try Ken Block’s Hoonigan Ford “Hoonicorn” Mustang from all the Gymkhana films. The Thrustmaster wheel controls have Xbox buttons that make navigating the fields a snap.

Step up to Forza Motorsport 7 to sample race cars at the laser-scanned race tracks. I spent hours battling a buddy around Le Mans and at Miami’s Homestead circuit in a smattering of GT cars that the likes of Rosenqvist actually drive. The car physics are wonderfully accurate, although you can leave enable driving assists like traction control and brake aids to help you keep the shiny side up. You can, as in real life, turn off all the assists and be left with a full race car, right down to the lack of ABS, but be prepared for a large learning curve, full of crashes and smashes as you get used to the finer inputs required in a sim.

Image: Getty Images

However, the ultimate sim software is iRacing, the preeminent, hyper-realistic virtual racing league. iRacing requires a monthly subscription and it only runs on a PC (or a Mac running Windows OS through Boot Camp). It’s where Rosenqvist and all the pros did battle while awaiting the real racing to return during lockdown.

It’s stupidly realistic. Like turn-the-wheel-while-parked-and-watch-the-nose-of-the-car-lift-slightly realistic. Here, your vehicular options are only race cars, all mapped perfectly to the real variants. There’s a braking and throttle assist feature, though even with those engaged, you really have to understand car control to keep from crashing. When you crash, if it’s during a race, you’re towed back to the pits and cannot leave until an appropriate chunk of time has passed while your car “gets fixed,” depending on how severe the damage is. (Stuff it bad enough, and you’re forced to withdraw.) You serve penalties for crashing and errors, and your license grade is constantly adjusted based on the number of incidents you incur during any sanctioned practice or qualifying session, or race.

All of this requires a top-notch PC. Rosenqvist built his own — “because I like technology” — but I tested two loaner PCs that slotted in at different tiers, according to iRacing’s system requirements: an Asus ROG Strix GA15DH ($1,407) that’s considered mid-range, due to a six-core processor and slightly lower graphics card, and a Maingear Vybe Stage 4 Boosted ($2,649), which qualifies as a high-end system, with an eight-core-plus processor.

With most PC games, the graphics processor is the more valued component since you want all the glorious details that the iRacing engineers have painstakingly imbued the game with to shine through. Things like dust clouds if you’re racing off-road, or tire marks when you lock up the car, or even to see where crud is accumulating just off the racing line on the tracks, as it would in real life. And you’ll want either an Nvidia or AMD Radeon (which are used in the Maingear Vybe and ROG Strix GA15DH, respectively). But the processor matters more for software like iRacing because of all the physics and other calculations required to get the car’s handling to replicate, as best it can, the real thing.

Which tower reigns supreme? To find out, I spent hours on each. I tested them with a wired Internet connection and using Wi-Fi to suss out latency issues. I tried all types of road surfaces, in all types of weather conditions, at all times of day, on all the tracks. I drove NASCAR, IndyCar, Mazda MX-5 Cup cars, IMSA GT3 cars, and Formula 1 cars (poorly, for the most part. See my earlier statement regarding talent). And I didn’t notice a $1,200 difference. That’s not a knock on the Maingear Vybe so much as it’s a statement on my rookie gamer status. I simply don’t know better to know what I’m missing, because the Vybe does contain superior innards.

Rosenqvist sums it up better: “All these sim setups, you can get into the tens of thousands of dollars, buying expensive equipment, but good tech doesn’t make you quicker.” This is very true, considering my multi-thousand dollar rig only saw me finishing mid-pack when I was able to complete a race.

“Get a good computer, a good monitor, and a decent wheel and learn to master the game with those,” he says. “Then you can upgrade your hardware and start gaining time.”

Sours: https://www.polygon.com/guides/2021/1/3/22211675/home-racing-simulator-pro-grade-how-to-buy-iracing-forza-motorsport
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DIY Plans

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One of the best DIY designs of all timeThe RS1 is a CAD designed sim-racing cockpit built from wood, but with the quality and design features of commercial rigs. The RS1 is a simplified version of our original Cheetah series of racing simulators, and is designed to be easy to build with common woodworking tools. The RS1 is a "2-post" design, meaning there are no supports between the driver's legs that can interfere with proper heel-toe driving. Also, the RS1 allows the driver to easily get in from the side like in a street car. There is no climbing necessary as with other racing simulators.

The RS1 can be slid in front of a TV or the built-in monitor deck can support a monitor or flat-screen TV up to 40 inches. The latest revision now includes a template for adding a monitor support to the chassis which permits a TV or monitor to be mounted at eye level by using a wall mount bracket. The RS1 has plenty of room underneath the platform to house surge suppressors, power supplies, even a tactile shaker (available here) and its amplifier. The RS1 is designed to be used with the Logitech G25/G27/G29/G920 wheel, pedal and shifter set. There is also a Thrustmaster specific version to use with the T500/T300/T150/TX/TMX wheels called the RS500. Also, the RS1 and RS500 is already set up to mount the Logitech and Thrustmaster T3PA-PRO pedals in an inverted arrangement. The inverted position is preferred over the factory arrangement because it mimics real street cars. Note: The Logitech pedals will have to be disassembled in order to mount the pedals inverted. No permanent damage is done by dismantling the pedals and they can always be reassembled if they are later to be removed from the RS1.

You will have to provide your own seat for the RS1. You can purchase a simulator seat from our wide offering or you can get an OEM automotive seat from a salvage yard.

This revision of the DIY racing simulator cockpit plans includes the ability to build the racing cockpit in multiple sizes to accommodate almost any size driver and a revised 39-page B/W instruction manual with additional detailed drawings of each step, even more photographs detailing the various steps in the process and full-size cutting templates for cutting out all the components. The templates arrive to you full size in an oversize envelope. You simply cut out the paper template and stick it on the wood, then simply cut on the dotted lines. Despite the sleek styling of the RS1, the cutting pattern has been designed to be easy to follow with a basic jigsaw and circular saw. We do not offer downloadable files because printing them to scale is critical and pre-printing avoids errors. The plans are copyrighted and licensed for personal use only. The completed or partially completed RS1 chassis is not permitted to be sold, resold, distributed, mass produced or used in any commercial fashion. The DIY racing simulator cockpit plans may not be reproduced or distributed in any manner.
Sours: https://www.ricmotech.com/build-your-own-racing-cockpit

Build A Home Racing Simulator On Almost Any Budget.

Got the need for speed, but a budget that will only afford you clunkers? Well, being a father of three, and 40-hour a week grunt, that's me. I love racing. I love driving. But, time and budget limits my options for taking the hobby as far as I want to. According to TurnFast.com the average cost to race over one weekend is $1,150.* (Not counting the cost of the car!) So, what's a broke racer to do?

(*Moderate Racer's Typical Costs for a 2-Day Weekend = Club event fees - $300.00, Track fees - $20.00, Oil change (synthetic) - $ 50.00, Racing Brake Pads - $ 200.00, Hotel/Food 2 nights - $200.00, Gas - $120.00, Rotors - $ 60.00, Race Tires - $200.00. TOTAL:$1150.00)

That price is almost equal to building your own racing cockpit for your Den, Basement, Garage, Cave, Middle of the Living Room so your wife yells about it constantly, you know, wherever.

And, today, I'm going to show you a few options, from the bare minimum setup, to a complete package to take your digital racing experience to the next level.

Starting With The Wheel. (~$250 and up.)

The most important part of a car is the connection it gives you to the road. And, that's a good place to start on our setup. The controls. If you already have a PC, PS4, or Xbox, then all you need is to purchase a wheel + pedals, clamp it to a card-table and off you go. So, the only question in this setup is: What wheel do I buy?

There are plenty of choices from $20 "Chinese Plastic Hunks of Junk" to hardcore wheel kits that start in the thousands of dollars for just the base unit. (And, you still have to buy a wheel to attach to it, separately.)

Since this is the first section, I'm going to show you two wheels that I consider "Entry Level" sim wheels, and not just "Gimmick Controllers". These are the very least you should consider, as they give you the full sim-wheel experience. Beware of cheaper models. And, be especially careful knowing the difference between "Force Feedback" and just "Rumble". With a wheel, it's a huge difference.

The G29 Racing Wheel from Logitech - This is a good wheel, one that may radically increase your enjoyment of racing games. It does its best to look and feel like a ‘real’ steering wheel. 27cm in diameter, with a largely metal frame and finished with leather wrap. The wheel itself turns around 900 degrees. This allows two and a half turns before the wheel locks.

The Logitech G29 has great force feedback. Playing without any customizations, the force is strong enough to cause arm ache after 30-40 minutes play, a clear sign that the wheel has powerful motors working for it. If you’ve not used a proper force feedback wheel before, you’ll love it. It gives you a much more direct sensation of control over a car, where with a gamepad you’re left relying on visual and audio cues to judge when a car is about to understeer or oversteer. With force feedback you can feel it, because when properly programmed it lets you feel how the car (and the road) is working against you. It works very with games like DriveClub, and even better with the more realistic Project Cars and GT Sport.

The pedals are actually a high point unlike most kits. While the base is plastic, the board is substantial, needing less securing than the oldest G-series sets. It’s a three-pedal setup: accelerator, brake and clutch. Each has a different tension style, mirroring what you get in a real car. The important improvement in the G29 is the brake. It’s progressive, with more tension at the end of its depression to give you much better control over the force of the brake and a more realistic feel. It’s a big improvement over most other wheels.

And, if fancy paddle shifting isn't your thing, here's a little add-on:

The Logitech G Gaming Driving Force Shifter, is an add-on that gives you a 6-speed shifter with push-down reverse, to complete the total driving feel. "Flappy Paddles" are fine when you're screaming down the track in something like a McLaren Senna, but feel horribly out of place when driving something like a Aston Martin DB-5. In that sexy beast, you need a rod of steel in your hand at all times waiting to drop gears on your demand.

The G29 is specifically for the PS3/PS4/PC, however it's brother the G920 is Xbox One/PC compatible. (The only differnce is the G29 has Playstation Blue Highlights, and PS4 specific buttons such as the PS button and the "Share" button. The G920 is simply black with the XBox Button in the same place as the PS Button.

Both can be found for around $250 for the Wheel and Pedal set, or around $300 with the Shifter included.

The other option I'd recommend is the Thrustmaster TMX PRO Racing Wheel (XOne & PC). The TMX wheel is equipped with a high-performance force feedback motor offering adjustable intensity and the 11”/28 cm diameter wheel rim features a 270 to 900 degrees rotation angle. The TMX Controller operates in 12bit and allows for a 4096 read-out resolution by means of an optical sensor. The rim is made out of plastic but is coated with a rubber layer. Furthermore, the TMX features a set of metal wheel-mounted sequential paddle shifters. The TMX is bundled with the three-pedal Thrustmaster T3PA pedal set, whose pedals and internal structure are all 100% metal. The T3PA is fully adjustable (spacing, angle, and gas pedal with an adjustable height setting), and users can even adjust the push force independently for each pedal. The optional Conical Rubber Brake Mod is also included, allowing for an authentic feel with ultra-progressive resistance at the end of the pedal’s travel.

It too, has a separate shifter add-on. However, it's only slightly better than the Logitech but costs 3x more. The TH8A has a changable plate, that lets you go from 7-way to sequential shifting, other than that, it's not much better than the cheaper Logitech. (Both shifters are compatible with both brands of wheels, at least on the PC platform. So, the choice is yours.)

The Thrustmaster TMX PRO Racing Wheel retails for $250, and the TH8A Shifter Add-On is an additional $150.

This will get you setup with the most important and best starting point towards your cockpit: The Controls. This will allow you to test and use them, and decide if you like the feel enough, to move on to the next step...

The Basic Full Setup - Adding a chair. ($150 and up)

Now that you have a wheel and pedals, (and maybe a shifter) that you like, let's get you out of that desk/dining room chair, and into something more comfortable. Unless, you're driving a Mack Truck or a School Bus, you're probably not driving sitting straight up, with legs and knees at 90 degree bends. And, if you're in a high performance machine, you are probably damn near laying on your back. So, now we need the seat. Once again, the choices are massive. You can buy cheap sub-$100 seats that might last you a few months before they brake, or you can go all out, and slap a real, honest to god, racing seat onto a tube rail frame and call it a day.

Playseat is probably the biggest and best racing simulator seat/cockpit brand on the market. They’re so well-respected in the racing simulator space, that even many world-famous F1 divers use their seats to train.

The Playseat Challenge Racing Video Game Chair (Pic Above) is a good entry level choice. The reason it’s so affordable is that the manufacturer has cut costs on the build quality. Instead of padded cushions and a solid frame, this chair is essentially just a piece of fabric (albeit nice Alcantara suede fabric) draped over some steel tubes. But don’t let looks deceive you. It might look like a glorified garden chair, but it provides all you really need for a basic racing simulator set up. It includes length-adjustable multi-bar wheel support that sits on top of your lap. You can also mount foot pedals to the bottom bar by clamping them to it. It’s incompatible with a screen mount (no surprises there, considering the price) and there’s no shifter mount but, other than that, it’s the whole package.

Up next, another Playseat racing chair – the Revolution. In case the Challenge is a little too basic for you, this is a more robust and sturdy entry point. It provides a very good all-around package at a very good price. It’s one of the most affordable racing chairs on this list while also including all the most important stuff you need for a very basic racing simulator set up: a seat, a frame, and space to mount pedals and a wheel.Playseat consulted professional racing drivers when designing this chair, and you can tell. It boasts superior build quality with a reinforced steel frame that eliminates wobble. The seat itself is comfortable, durable, and has a pretty good weight capacity of 300 lbs. It’s also fully adjustable for height and tension to accommodate all different kinds of users. The only major downside to this chair is that it doesn’t come with a shifter mount.

The package includes the PS/F03 racing-style gaming seat, cockpit frame, and two shifter stands – one for the left cockpit, and one for the right. One great thing about this cockpit is how quick and easy it is to assemble. It features a fold-able design which makes it easy to fold away and store it out of sight when you’re not using it. Like all DXRacer chairs, the build quality is great and the seat is very ergonomic. It’s also fully adjustable for both seat height and recline (up to 180 degrees). Thanks to the sliding rails, you can also adjust the distance between the seat and the foot pedals to account for the length of your legs, just like in a real car.

The next step up, is to get a frame system, that not only accomidates you and your controls, but also the screens as well. This gives you more of a real "looking through the windshield" feel when racing, and is the next step in adding to your immersion. The GTA-F, by GTR Simulator offers a very similar setup to the Playseat Revolution, in giving you a well built and sturdy frame, solid and comfortable chair, and adds an adjustable mount for up to three VESA-mountable screens. Depending on your arrangement at home, and how close you are to your screen already, this may not be needed.

Completing the package, or taking it to the next leve

The last step is up to you. Get yourself a 60" 4K HDTV and a bleeding edge PC to rip FPS to shreds. You want to bring the audio up to spec, with the rest of your setup? There's kits for that, or you can come up with your own 5.1/7.1/Atmos surround sound to really kick up the roar of the engines and squealing of rubber as you shoot down Leguna Seca's infamous corkscrew.

Or now, that you have amazing sight, sound, and controls, what's left? Well, the limit is only your budget and imagination. Now, get out there and race!

(APEX4 GTS, PRO Racing Simulator - $64.950)

Sours: https://drivetribe.com/p/build-a-home-racing-simulator-on-Y-yvmC4QTAemp-ILPVUExA

Racing simulator diy

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