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Full Frame VS Seat Shaker Designs - Which is better?

It is unlikely that there is or ever will be a consensus regarding full frame Vs seat shaker designs, as it depends a lot on the individual.

Many hard core sim racers tend to favor the seat shaker design, where only the seat moves, and counter intuitively it actually generates some additional motion cues at the wrists and ankles. Many commercial rigs follow that path.

Others favor a full frame, particularly for flight sims, but some racers also prefer them.

Both designs work well and in the end it is a bit of personal preference to which you prefer.

Either way traction loss is often considered as furthering immersion for both designs. After implementing heave I would have to say that it also brings a whole new dimension to how you experience the sim.

There are somewhat similar posts around the same sort of topic, here are some:





Credit @noorbeast: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...vs-seat-only-which-is-better.7713/#post-92445

There are also other design possibilities, such as foot mount, knee mount and compact simulators. @bsft provides a useful comparison here and in summary concludes that a good motion profile can address many of the pros and cons of various designs: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...tion-system-for-a-racing-sim.7298/#post-85795

Comparisons between simulators. Other people will of course differ with this comparison, so please add your thoughts.

First things to consider, angle of actual swing of the frames and the profile written. Also, its a brain trick.

If you want a big swinging frame, go hard, the biggest swing I have had is 14 deg total, but others have frames up to 25 deg. And thats for race, not just flight.

Both frames use same motors and JRK control boards

Seat mover with shoulder mounted motors.

Generally, a seat mover can give more precise motion detail as it has less over all weight to move than a full frame. However, too much movement can make it hard to hang onto the wheel or mash the juice pedal. And yes, the wheel and pedals are stationary, so proper placement to allow you being pulled away and pushed around has to be taken into consideration. But as said, it does give you the feeling of being moved around in a seat in a vehicle, even with a race seat to hold you in more. You tend to shift your body around to compensate for movement and also what your brain thinks you are moving like. You can still feel pitch and roll of track, but maybe a bit less as legs are still.

Some SCN seat movers on videos have HEAPS of throw. It might look like fun, but can be too much and eventually make it tiring to drive the game.

As mine is DIY and has 70mm travel of motor lever and at 600mm from the pivot , total angle is 6.5 degrees. Not much, but then again, too much may make it too hard. Other people will of course differ with this comparison.

I had a seat mover of 12.5 degrees at one stage, so with a good profile, it was nice, but a harsh profile and WHOA! Fun but hard to hang on.

Full frame with motors mounted near feet

Full frames allow you , wheel and pedals to move with you. You dont really get sensation of being pulled, pushed around from pedals and wheels. Obviously not as much as a seat mover, but still there. You tend to feel a bit more of the motion of roll and pitch , when your whole body is getting moved around, I find.

Seat mover can lose this a bit, but not really much.

Motors mounted at feet on the frame in question, may take away some of the finer vibration and motion that shoulder mount gives, but then again, shoulder mounting motors would return that finer detail due to higher leveage point. It may lessen a bit due to the fact that a full frame requires a bit more power to move. But hey, just change the profile and increase the motor power a bit more.

Although, I must say, once again, a good profile can give the same sensation in motion, be it from a different spot. Feet or knees instead of shoulders.

Full frame is about 8 deg total swing. May not sound like much considering 4 deg from centre, but again, throw a decent profile in it and you feel like you are moving a lot more.


After a while I get the same sort of feeling from both my frames, even though they are different in design.

In your choice of motion sim build, It will come down to watching videos of other frames, opportunity to play on sims when they are around to do so. Taking a look at pics, seeing what takes your fancy. Heck, even a seat mover can be converted to full frame later, add the extra bit, move pivot, and off you go. 2 seat movers I have sold, the owners have since converted them to full frames, their choice of course. They enjoy both frames they tell me.

I have played on dbox, and scn simulators and the motion is set tame. Although others whom have such rigs wind it up and get great results. Mind you, I dont have that sort of money to get one.

I have been through 14 different 2DOF designs, starting with joyrider design with about 9-10 deg total swing with screen on it. Good fun, but I found it a bit difficult to focus on a screen moving with you. But thats just me.

I had 2 hire sims based on the Desk Racer for a while and over 100 players though they were immersive.

8 professional drivers have played on those simulators as well, and they admit, its not real, but the immersion of being in game is.

Then I moved onto development of more compact designs, with motors under rear, at knees, out the side, shoulder mount, at feet. Still 2DOF. Screen static.

So thats how I go here. Each frame design is a new learn to drive experience I find. Nothing makes me go faster I think.
Design Considerations & Resources
Nov 25, 2015
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