Archive for June, 2010

Sim Update – Shifter paddles and a better seat

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

With the basics now sorted I’ve moved on to some more asthetic and convinience items for the sim.  I managed to pick up a seat from a local DIY car wrecker from a Suzuki Swift Gti for $28!  It’s got a couple of very minor rips but over all it’s in great condition and super comfy.

I’ve also recently added some F1 style shifter paddles to the wheel.  This enables easy use of cars that are only sequencial shifing in LFS.  It’s odd – a ‘H pattern’  gearbox based car can be driven as a sequencial but not the other way around.  I guess it’s because most commercial wheels do not have H shifting (or a clutch for that matter) so it keeps compatibility. I’m still considering what i can do to make an add-on for the H shifter to convert it easily to sequencial and back again but it’s less important now and it would only be for realism.

The paddles are constructed very simply. The orangy brown stuff is a silicone rubber.  The bolts support the flaps on the main bolts and give it a spring effect.  The gap between the microswitch and the paddle is only a couple of mm and it works really well.  The original design for the paddles were a little short and were not easy enough to reach so i extended them with another bit of aluninium rather than make new ones – hence the addition of the second set of bolts.

Sim pretty much finished now

Monday, June 7th, 2010

I completed the shifter not long after the last post and also made some slight mods to it.  The main change being that the shaft is now much shorter than the original one.

This is the shifter in it’s current state:

Also, since completing the shifter, I broke one of my design rules – the ‘Small/Storable/Dissasemblable” rule.  There were various reasons for this but the main one was that i just could not get the ergonomics right when sitting at a desk/table.  It mean that regardless of how i laid it out, it just didn’t feel right.  Not only that, I decided to utlise an old 32″ HD CRT TV that i had and it weighs about 50kg.  It’s not something i wanted to put on a rickety desk.

I proceeded to make a metal frame placing the pedals, shifter and wheel at comparable distances to my real car.  The seat came later….

With the basic frame complete, I was in the hunt for a seat.  Ideally i wanted to use a real car seat.  Not necessarily a real racing seat but perhaps just a slightly bucketed seat from a sports car (something still nice and comfy).  That is still the intention but for now, i’ve mounted an old school style plastic chair to it.  It’s not overly comfy and still doesn’t feel quite right but does the trick for the time being. I also added some adjustable feet to the frame.

This is pretty much how it is today:

The only change i have made since this image was taken is the addition of a handbrake.  This helps immensely for drifting and offroad driving.  It uses an extra axis on the mjoy.  It’s noting spectacular and ideally needs more sprung force on it but is very functional.