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Seat shaker design... Realistic for racers???

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Building Q&A / FAQ' started by Just_Wanna_Drive, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Just_Wanna_Drive

    Just_Wanna_Drive New Member

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    Hi guys, I'm Jody...

    (Disclaimer: important facts or questions will be in bold, I get a little too discriptive sometimes...) :tape:

    (A little personal intro and background)
    I've been looking at building a motion sim for about a year now. I bought a 2yr suscription to iRacing, but I can't really get into it b/c of the lack of feel when I'm used to real driving, and never really being big into gaming before (besides Forza 1 2 & 3, F1 2010, ect). I have a decent collection of fab tools in my home shop (drill press, cnc plasma table, tig & mig welders, roll bender, tube bender, band saws, grinders, ect) and I handle [most of] the electrical side of the automated packaging machines we build at work. I also have access to manual and cnc lathes/mills at work, so as far as the electrical and construction of my project, *time pending,* I should be able to construct a quality sim with a little guidance from some of you more experienced guys.

    My #1 concern is finding the best realism for the buck. I have about $2k usd [max] to spend on this, and I want to use it as a trainer for me and my two boys that are coming up and want to race karts (8 & 6yr olds), so a 3DOF w/ yaw is almost mandatory. We also like flight sims. I want it to be fairly mobile so I can take it to special events like church youth camps and meetings for autism awareness.

    It's hard for me to believe that the stationary pedals, shifter, and wheels feels like a real racecar... I've raced different forms of grassroots motorsports for about 8 yrs, and I've never driven very long with a loose seat. :eek: Last year I lost the bottom two bolts out of a kart I was racing for a guy, and that was very uncomfortable to put it mildly. :censored: That ended in a wreck. I've never driven a sim like this, so it may be the best thing ever, but I'm very skeptical... I'm sure a lot of youguys race in real life too, so how would you compare it as far as realism?

    Thanks for your input, and apologize for the long winded intro/questions.
  2. bsft

    bsft

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    Hello, just one persons opinion, the forces from a 2DOF and or 3DOF are not exactly like a real car, but they trick the mind into thinking so. I know when I play dirt2 and I drift into a corner, my body moves in the seat to compensate for the drift, even though my frame does not have yaw in the rear.
    Have a dig through the threads and look at projects like Aldoz for more 3DOF ish motion viewtopic.php?f=22&t=3823&p=38366&hilit=#38366 , especially for flight.
    Otherwise, a 3DOF with yaw swing in the rear could be done for $2,000, just a bit of planning. Try this thread 2dof-motion-simulator-with-a-rotation-axis-t1531.html?hilit=drift
    For cost saving and simplicity, try these boards http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1393 , one per motor, 7 wires, one usb cable and boy do they handle some abuse. I run mine at 28-34 amps continuous with a heatsink on the big chip on the board and a fan on it, never failed.
    Motors can be of any choice, two suggested are http://www.motiondynamics.com.au/worm-d ... orque.html , and or 12 volt winch motors http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/online ... escription .
    There are 24volt options as well, however, you'd best dig through the threads for that.
    Start drawing some designs and guys here have knowledge above mine on frame set up.

    As for Autism awareness, well they can be classed as a sensory device for sure. I have 2 boys with different levels of autism, they like playing on my simulator, but not as much as me. ;D

    Cheers, David.
  3. Just_Wanna_Drive

    Just_Wanna_Drive New Member

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    Thanks for the info and links, there is a lot of really good information in there... I started reading through last night but it was late and I was watching another super boring NASCAR race, so I was 1/2 asleep... :D

    Also, as a father of two autistic boys myself, you definitely have my respect. :cheers:

    I wish I could find a sim setup locally that I could try out before I drop that kind of coin! The guys from Simcraft have invited me to go try there's out, but I'd feel kinda bad about doing that b/c even their diy kit is out of my price range, not to mention that would make this way too easy for me! Simcraft is based about 4hrs away from me, but I'd want to be honest about my intentions before I went up there; if they're still cool with that, then I think it would be worth the trip.
  4. Just_Wanna_Drive

    Just_Wanna_Drive New Member

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    Decisions, decisions..... I want to go ahead and order the parts needed to get started, but the more options I read, the more I question the route I want to take.

    Mainly on the motor/controller side...
    Snc5 or 6 vs the larger dc motors like what's posted in the above links w/ a timing belt setup??

    Also on the software side... What is the difference in the x-sim program vs the controller software the commercial diy kit guys (Simxperiance and Simcraft respectfully) offer with their starter kits? From what I've read, they all have special programming that is supposed to make the sim more 'real' than the next option, but I am ignorant of the details...

    I'm actually not totally against buying a kit at this point, I just don't want to over-pay or waist $$$ on a unrealistic simulator.
  5. bsft

    bsft

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    ok then, heres some answers - sort of.
    Firstly, you would need to have a firmer idea of what sort of simulator you want to build. The design will then allow you to know if you need scn5-6 at$500 to $600 each or larger decent DC motors , in the 12 volt range at $100 to $150 each. Motors, especially winches will move more weight than any scn5-6 and still give you solid motion, granted maybe not 400mm per second, but still very good motion. The 12v large worm gear motors spin at 150 rpm with some load, that aint slow by any means,
    If you stick to the 12 v range, the pololu JRK 12v12 for sure, easy to setup, no code to write, 7 wire, one USB cable, and ready to go. Just one board per motor. And easy USO commands.
    For 24volt option, dig through the threads, but something along the lines of an Arduino Controller or Tronic card and 24 v bridges.
    Commercial software, simexperience is re-skinnned and slightly re-written x-sim. SImcraft, I am not sure, probably the same source code as original x-sim.
    X-sim 3 is free, has support and is being set up to do a heck of a lot. Dont discount the free stuff first.
    Work out what sort of simulator design may suit you first.
    Cheers, David.
  6. JimSim

    JimSim New Member

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    HI....I've done a lot of the same reasearch and personally landed on a simxperience kit (I know lazy), but I casn tell you from experience that simxperience no longer has anything to do with x-sim and is a huuge improvement performance wise.

    When I 1st bought my kit, I used the Commander 2 software...It was just an interface the layed overtop x-sim software. It made it easier to use which was nice.
    I got a key to upgrade to Commander 3 for free a couple weeks ago and the difference is crazy..No x-sim anywhere to be seen..I'm guessing for a reason.
    http://www.simxperience.com/OurSoftware ... fault.aspx
  7. bsft

    bsft

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    Yes you are right and I am wrong about simexperience software , my apologies.
    I should have been more specific, x-sim 3 suits varied applications of motor, actuators and drivers, not just actuators.
    There is nothing worng with simexperience equipment. If you have the money, its a good place to start.
    This is a DIY forum, so if you would like to build your own, you can. And use the existing software.There are simple baords to use as I have suggested and plenty of frame designs to borrow :lol: . Not to mention motor conbinations that are cheap and effective.
    But anyway, back to sim building.
  8. Roadster2

    Roadster2 Member

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    Hi David. Only a quick query. I don't want to intrude too much on another member's posting but hopefully any response might be useful to others.
    I am contemplating a DIY D-Box type platform setup as used on the Vesaro rig (http://www.vesaro.com/) but can't afford anywhere near the money that the D-Box solution costs.

    Although Leo Bodnar and others have given some info on D-Box Actuators there doesn't seem to be enough to know exactly what might be used instead and even then any alternative actuators may be expensive anyway. My thoughts are therefore running to DC motors, either worm drive or motor + right angle reduction gearbox, and some form of rotary to linear mechanism. One motor/mechanism at each corner as four will lift a greater weight. Hopefully the four units could be mounted on the floor with each one lifting a corner of the platform. This will save having to lift the weight of the units themselves in addition to the platform. My F1 cockpit is fairly light as it's constructed from GRP so no heavy MDF or metal chassis.

    Am I correct in assuming that the four USB connections required for the Pololu boards could be driven by a USB Hub, particularly if powered. Also, do you have any idea of the X-Sim software would be capable of driving such a configuration.

    Sorry to run this past you but you do seem to be particularly helpful to other members.
  9. bsft

    bsft

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    Hello, from what I have seen, for a sim design like this, perhaps 12volt boat winch motors on each corner. They are designed to lift 900kg on their own, so 4 would happily to the job. You could use large worm gear motors as well, they should be fine, but may need a spring. A motorcycle strut may do the job, as they are relatively short. This would take some experimenting perhaps.
    Just look at Aldoz sim, he uses 3 and a big spring underneath, mind you , he has some serious movement . For a design like the vesaro, you may be fine using 4 winches and no spring underneath, thats if you keep the movements at about 100mm travel.
    As for JRKs, once again Aldoz runs three so four would be fine. The software handles up to 6DOF and you are considering 4DOF, no issues, just profile sorting. Yes you could use a hub, or just plug them straight into the motherboard at the back.
    Hope that helps, and just PM me if you have any further questions.
    Cheers, David.
  10. Just_Wanna_Drive

    Just_Wanna_Drive New Member

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    By all means... Discuss away! :yes:

    I do have a slight update to this thread also.... My wife and I took a trip this weekend for our anniversary and I got to try out a 2DOF platform-type sim running Rfactor at a burger joint/game room. The steering FFB was totally dead, it didn't pick up left turns accurately at all, the movement was too slow, and the single screen was flat, too small, and too far away; but I still liked it enough to want to go through with building one! 8) Granted, a MUCH better one....

    I *almost* placed a order for one of the simxperiance kits before we left, but I wanted to feel a sim first... I feel much better about buying or building one now, but I don't believe a platform is the way to go *for me*(looking for most realistic possible for the price), it was way too umm, arcade-ish.

    I wish I could try a seat shaker, or something like the Simcraft Apex before I commit to a design, but I haven't been able to find either style within a 4hr drive (and that is the Simcraft HQ). Have any of you guys compared the two setups vs actual driving?
    After running the platform style sim, I can kinda imagine how the seat shaker may actually be better... It looks to me like the traction loss approach of the SimX kit would be a lot more realistic b/c of the front pivot point, but there are a TON of racing teams giving positive reviews on the Simcrafts too....
  11. bsft

    bsft

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    Have a look at the videos of the projects here (you probably already have), and see what may suit you. Another thing to is design a sim that can expand. A seat mover can have the pivot point moved forward underneath and then you can adapt a frex frame to that, so wheel and pedals move.
    As for testing a sim in the first place, I feel your pain, here in Sydney, the nearest sim to try was 2 hrs drive and $400 for 2 hours use. Bugger that! I ended up having to build my own and went from there.
    Cheers, David.
    P.S. can anyone else input on this?
  12. Just_Wanna_Drive

    Just_Wanna_Drive New Member

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    Well, after sending 38 emails Friday afternoon, and the excellent service I received in doing so, I ordered my simxperience 150mm starter kit and universal seat mount last night! I wanted to order the 3rd actuator also, but the wife and I splurged a bit too much on our little getaway this weekend..

    I bought the universal seat mount and starter kit because after pricing everything out, and including build time, r&d, sourcing parts, not having a warranty, then trial and error, it simply did not make sense to build my own. Sometimes just biting the bullet at first will save your butt later! I believe this is the case here... He offers and supports a proven setup, for pretty much the same cost of building a single unit. I'm a pretty stubborn diy guy myself, but his seems to be pretty hard to beat...

    I appreciate all the info offered in this thread! I'll update this and offer a review/after-thoughts on my decision after I get everything setup and running smoothly.
  13. Just_Wanna_Drive

    Just_Wanna_Drive New Member

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    Quick update...

    I finished the first stage of ky simulator project, and I have to say that I am very pleased with my rig! I was shocked to feel how detailed the output from the seats are... After a few laps I was clicking seconds off my lap times ( from a 1:06 to 1:03) and for once I could save the car if it broke loose a little bit. I can react to the feeling of the tires, and that is exactly what I've been missing from iRacing. I can finally hit my apexes with precision, and drift out to the edge of the track while clicking off consistent (for me anyway) laptimes...

    I'm very happy with my purchase, and I'm really looking forward to adding other features (3rd actuator for rear traction loss, better front end, 3d video, butt kicker, better pedals, real 300mm steering wheel, ect) in the near future.
  14. bsft

    bsft

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    Cool well done. Hope to see a video :thbup: