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DIY Ford GTE steering wheel replica with PCB

Discussion in 'DIY peripherals' started by brkN, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. brkN

    brkN New Member

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    Hey guys, I´d like to show you my latest simracing project. In the last few weeks I got back into I Racing and decided to race in the ILMS Series with the Ford GTE. Because my BMW M4 DTM rim kinda broke lately, mostly bc of too many loose wires inside it, I decided to make a new rim for myself based on that of the Ford GTE.
    So I started by importing a picture of that wheel into Fusion 360 and drawed the outline and frontplate with all the critical dimensions. This file, exported as a .dxf, I then send to a laser cutting company here in Germany to cut the frontplate out of 4mm Aluminum, bc I wanted to be wheel as steady as possible. For the quick release I used 70mm spacing instead of the 40mm on ther original to make things easier for me.
    Frontplate.PNG
    I then modeled a bodypart in Fusion 360, just small enough that I could still print it with my Ender 3. I decided to make the screws for the quick release go all the way through without any connection, so that once everything is assembeld it would kinda counterscrew to the body and the frontplate. Worked amazingly and there is literally zero flex what so ever in the design.
    I also added mounting points for a Nextion 3,5 Display, as the original wheel uses a similar one, even though I probably won´t fit one, bc I drive in VR. But if you guys want to add one it will basically just work without any redesign.
    The print took about 15 hours using some generic PLA+ from Amazon.
    Body.PNG

    For the shifters I used this existing design from thingiverse, I just modelled the paddles. Any microswitch with a spacing of around 1cm between the screwholes is going to fit on those, however I decided to remove the little metal arms on mines. For the magnets you are looking at 1cm of diameter.

    One of the most important things for me with designing that wheel was removing as much cables as possible from inside the wheel, as I made bad experiences with cabel mess in the past. So I decided to make my own custom PCB for this project. I used EasyEDA for this. The layout is based on Fox_85´s amazing 650S project, I also used the Arduino sketch from this project.

    PCB.PNG

    After designing and printing the model for the handles and waiting for all the parts to arrive it was assembly time. Assembling was relativly straight forward as all the dimensions just fit perfectly. For screwing the body to the frontplate I used M3 threaded inserts and M3*12mm flathead screws. For the handles I also used M3 threaded inserts on the front and then screwed them together from the back. I will add some suede to them in the future.

    20201019_144714.jpg

    Then I put the carbon fiber vinyl on the frontplate, which was honestly a really big hustle. In the future I will probably paint the whole frontplate black and just put vinyl on the front and leave the edges black. But I thing the finish isn´t that bad.

    20201019_144736.jpg

    Soldering the Arduino Pro Micro, the 2 Pin JST connectors for the shifters and the rotary encoders was a easy task. I then just had to solder the PCB to the already installed 12mm pushbuttons, that lined up perfectly and most of the work was done.

    20201019_144828.jpg

    I sacrified a old micro usb cable and soldered it to the GX12 4Pin connector in the body, plugged the other end into the arduino and used a cable from an old keyboard for the counterpart. After uploading the sketch to the arduino it just worked perfectly. Every buttonpress is read and I had no issues with ghosting or something similar. Also the wheel is very very stable there is literally zero flex what so ever, plus it has some weight to it. Happily my G29 wheelbase can handle that and the force feedback isn´t influenced.

    Other then the suede on the handles I will make some decals for the buttoncaps and descriptions and I am also going to print new heads for the encoders. I´ll share all the files you need to build your own version on my github.

    Atm I have 4 PCBs left, so if someone wants a wheel but isn´t confident assembling one himself just contact me.
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  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, JRK
    A seriously nice bit of kit you have put together, thanks so much for sharing your work and files :thumbs
  4. brkN

    brkN New Member

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    Thanks and no problem, sharing is caring. I am currently planing and sourcing parts for a 2DOF seatmover, which I will document on here aswell. After that the Cosworth CCW MK2 is my next target.
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