Building a custom wheel setup for your Sim Racing duties is something a lot of guys eventually want to do. It’s nice to have options when trying to decide what you think you want or need. And here is a company that may have what you are looking for. The 27lc button box is a well sorted build I think. Made from stiff and durable G10 plates, and 3D printed PLA filament, it is light and strong. And weight is one of the things to consider when putting together a wheel that will match well with the power levels your wheelbase is able to deliver. The buttons used on the 27lc seem to be of pretty good quality. I have tried many different buttons in this style, and these seem to be among the ones that have felt good to me. I like the way that Brion has maximized the functionality of such a small space. Using a selector switch paired with 2 buttons to deliver 24 separate functions is a great idea. The shifters on this plate are of the spring design. While they don’t deliver the level of tactile feedback we get from magnetic style shifters. They do get the job done without any dramas. And they do bring their own benefits to the table. If you need a quite shifter so as not to disturb those around you while racing, then this is the style that will meet that requirement. At a price of 300.00 I think this button plate deserves a look if you are looking to build a custom wheel setup without breaking the bank.
I’ve been using my P1 cockpit for almost two years now. It has yet to fail me in any way. So, when I heard that Sim Lab was going to bring out an updated P1, now called the P1-X, I was at first concerned that some of the changes it would bring to the table would not be to my liking. But, when I saw that the P1-X was essentially going to be a P1 with a new pedal tray configuration I breathed a sigh of relief. As too many manufactures change things that already work great and the result is less
than what they had before. My P1-X kit was delivered in what I consider to be as good a packaging solution that one use to minimize the potential for damage. Of course when shipping such heavy materials there is always the possibility that damage can occur if not handled properly. The P1-X kit I received had all the required hardware to complete the assembly process. So, no last minute trips to the hardware store to source some missing bolts or screws. I think once you become familiar with the way the fastening system works with aluminum profile, you won’t want to construct a cockpit any other way. I can’t think of a more easier or versatile material to use here. As most of you know I am constantly changing things on my cockpit to accommodate various review material. And my former P1 and now the new P1-X,
certainly shine in this respect. Making my job a lot easier. The new pedal tray that the P1-X sports is a very heavy duty unit that finally gives us the ability to raise the pedal tray to different heights ensuring you can get a proper ergonomic seating position. If only other cockpit manufactures would take notice of this much needed but
mostly missing pedal tray feature. The wheelbase mount solutions offered by Sim Lab cover any of the existing wheelbases currently on the market. And the Direct Drive wheel mounts offered by Sim Lab are rock solid solutions that in my opinion are essential to realizing all the fine details your Direct Drive wheelbases is capable of delivering. Now buying a profile cockpit in kit form is not the only way to go when looking to build an aluminum extrusion cockpit. But I have to say, it is a great way to go when you want to minimize the drama of sourcing all the hardware and fastener bits you will need. And the Sim Lab P1-X kit will make you life much easier in that regard. As everything you need is in a kit that is delivered to your door. The Sim Lab P1 and now the P1-X, are the cockpits to have if you want a rock solid racing platform that is easy to customize to your own personal requirements. And I’m not the only one who thinks this, as there is currently a three week waiting period to get one shipped.
The stock paddle shifters that Fanatec uses on their wheels are all metal affairs that certainly get the job done. But don’t offer the driver much tactile feedback when making shifts. The magnetic shifters the APMs are using are a good way to add this feel to your Fanatec wheel. And one that personally prefer when using paddle shifters. The improvement in shifting feel is quite noticeable here. And once they are on your wheel, you won’t
want to ever take them off. That is of course if your wheel is on this currently rather short list of compatible wheels. I’m sure that most future wheels coming from Fanatec will support this upgrade. If for no other reason than it will allow them to sell more of these modules. Of course the Advanced Paddle Modules bring more than just a great set of shifters to the table. The pair of analog paddles also bring a good amount of added functionality to your wheel. You have several different ways to use these paddles. And are easily changed from one function to the next by using the Paddle mode switch. I was happy to find no real issues making these paddles work in dual clutch mode. It was easy to set the bite point and worked well once you get the bite point dialed in. Using the paddles in the throttle, brake mode was also easy to set up and use. And once I got used to using them, I was able to put in some surprisingly good lap times. You can also use the paddles as a handbrake, or assign them to some other analog function in game.
Installing the APM’s is a rather straight forward affair that most should be able to do, with minimal dramas, if you take your time, The overall quality of these units is very good. But I would have rather seen a least a 3mm paddle thickness for the carbon units instead of 2mm. And, I think it would
have been better not use cutouts on the GT paddles so close to the ends. Other than that I think Fanatec has done a good job on the Advanced Paddle Modules. And is a worthy upgrade for your wheel if it is compatible. The only thing you have to decide is if all this functionality is worth
the 180.00 plus shipping, that they will cost you.
When a new version of an existing product comes out. Sometimes people can feel a bit left out in the cold. Especially if the new version offers something that they would like to upgrade on their existing product. There are some manufactures who do not have a path forward for the person who bought the original product. Only by buying the new product can the existing customer get the new parts. I happy to say the Sim-Lab is not one of those companies. Now you can upgrade to the newer parts offered in the P1-X cockpit by purchasing this upgrade kit. The kit only has two new bits of hardware. Which is a testament to how right they got the original P1 cockpit. I received the kit because of the new pedal tray unit.
The heavy duty feet that comes with the kit are quite nice. They add both a sturdier stance to the P1 and what I think is a nice aesthetic or look. The feet are capable of providing your cockpit with a level stance even if your floor is not. Now on to the piece I wanted for my P1, the pedal tray. It seems that most cockpit solutions out there today just don’t have enough elevation available in their pedal trays. Not sure why manufacturers continue to ignore this issue. They don’t have any problem engineering a tilt element to their pedal trays, but miss on the fact that we would like to be able to raise our pedal sets higher without having to build a pedestal to do it. This is an ergonomic issue. The more level you pedals are with you seat, the more comfortable a Sim Racer will be. Thankfully Sim-Lab has addressed this issue with this new tray. For the first time since I can remember, I didn’t have to raise the level of my pedals by building a profile platform under them. All I have to do it raise the pedal tray. Brilliant! Hopefully other cockpit manufactures will get a clue and follow suit. I really like this pedal tray. Made from heavy duty materials and weighing in at around 17lbs. It provides a very solid platform for you pedals that has no perceivable flex. Just a treat to use. Now not is all is perfect here as with most things in life, I had to lose something to get something. And that is ease in adjusting the fore and aft position of the original P1 pedal tray. Now I have to loosen eight M8 bolts to make that adjustment. So something to consider if you have other people using the same rig who require an adjustment to pedal tray location. Also, you can get the upgraded foot kit by itself, but not the pedal tray on its own. Something I would like to see changed. Overall I think you do get yours moneys worth with this kit if you are looking to upgrade you P1 with these new components.
Heusinkveld Engineering – Car Steering Forces Explained
Force Feedback is a much discussed topic within the sim racing scene. Debates about the actual realism of the forces felt when driving a virtual car, often end in a small war between believers and non-believers. Reading many of these discussions, we sometimes get the feeling that not only everyone is a DJ, but also a self-taught engineer.
Assetto Corsa Competizione Hotfix V1.1.1 Deployed
Two days ago, Kunos Simulazioni released the V1.1 update for Assetto Corsa Competizione. This new version added a healthy list of game improvements, and also introduced the 2019 Blancpain GT Series season’s vehicles, teams, and the Dutch Circuit Zandvoort. Furthermore, the update featured updated tarmac for a selection of tracks and the much-requested triple screen support.
F1 2019 Update Patch V1.15 Deployed
Codemasters deployed update patch V1.15 for the PC version of the official 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship game. Besides some minor fixes, this new patch contains the Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly switch, as well as some F1 2019 Halloween customization items.
The F1 2019 Anniversary Edition is currently available via Steam for 54,99€, while the F1 2019 Legends Edition can be purchased for 64,99€.
Assetto Corsa Competizione V1.1 Released – What’s New
After a week of teasing, Kunos Simulazioni has now released the V1.1 update for Assetto Corsa Competizione. Besides a healthy list of game improvements, the update also delivers the 2019 Blancpain GT Series season’s vehicles, teams, and the Dutch Circuit Zandvoort. The new content is available fo all ACC users free of cost.
Check out the full V1.1 and V.1.0.10 changelog below.
WRC 8 – PC Version 1.3.0 Released
Bigben Interactive and the Kylotonn Games Studio Released update 1.3.0 for the PC version of the WRC 8 official FIA World Rally Championship game.
The newest version of WRC 8 now includes an Online Multiplayer feature. Check out the full changelog below.
WRC 8 is available on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, PC CD and as Downloadable content at the Epic Game Store for €49.99.
JC Godard is man who drives his own race car in real races. So, if anyone is qualified to build a simulator to replicate the feeling of driving a real race car it would someone like him. And I think the resulting immersion you get from the V4 is proof of that. When I first saw videos of the V4 platform in action, It didn’t look as though the driver would feel much more than some good braking effects as you
are pressed into harness, and that would be it. As with many things in the Sim Racing hardware world, pictures or videos are not
a good way to judge how a motion system is working. Selecting D-Box to provide motion elements in the V4 was a wise choice. In my
opinion it is the best actuator motion system when you want a seasoned, fully developed, turn key system. With an intuitive and easy to use user interface, it will also be an easier solution to support and service once the system has been deployed and is in use by the costumer. The V4 platform uses the 4 actuator Gen 2 4250i kit from D-Box as the base motion element providing the usual awesome tactile, pitch, roll, and heave motion elements. With a single 1250i 3 inch actuator to provide the forth DOF motion element, Surge.
The build quality of the V4 chassis is certainly at a commercial level. Very well laid out cable management and heavy duty corner brackets are use throughout the build. The very clever slider system that JCL has developed here works a treat. The thick cockpit
slider brackets mount to an hour glass shaped rail which looks to me to be made from a Delrin like material. The actual slider mechanism houses two opposing rows of ball bearings riding on the upper ridge of the rail. Providing a very slick movement, while
requiring minimal effort to move. This system is also used, on the quick controls adjusting elements adding a locking system that is so well made it only requires minimal effort to release and secure. Speaking of the quick controls feature on the V4 I am testing here. If you have the need to quickly change between different sized drivers, like in a game center environment, or a simulator that a race team use. The quick controls feature is a must I would think. Making control location changes could not be easier, or quicker. Now let’s talk a bit about the Surge DOF that this system delivers. JCL and D-Box have been collaborating on this result for more than two years. And the
final result is something that will change your mind about how effective the Surge effect can be. It is much more than just a chassis that moves forward under breaking. It replicates the varying amount of G force you feel under all braking conditions. Continuing to squeeze you against the harness belts as you reach the end of you braking threshold marks. It does this with a surprising amount of finesse and accuracy that you need to experience fully appreciate. Then there is the awesome effect of engine braking the system delivers. This is the first time I have been in any motion solution that can do this. To actually feel a race cars engine braking while feathering the throttle in a corner is quite an eye opener. And allows you to learn a certain cars handling characteristics unlike I ever have before. The shifting queues the V4 delivers are also the best I have felt to date. Having your whole cockpit pop forward during up shifts is of course much better than just pitch motion, or what a tactile solution can deliver. Overall the V4 D-Box solution that I received has made me change the way I look at motion simulation now. The configuration that D-Box and JCL has developed for this V4 system is spot on. Not hard to see that there were many hours of development being put in here to deliver something so convincing. This is the first time I had other drivers ask me when would be the earliest they could come back to the SRG and have another session in this V4 full motion platform. Now, you can buy this platform in many different configuration levels. The V4 is a very flexible design that can be used with a cockpit
of your choosing. Like a Sim Lab P1-X. All you have to do is tell JCL how wide you cockpit is and they can build the V4 platform to fit it.
Then professionally crate it up and ship it to anywhere in the world. If you have the means the V4 would be an awesome motion system
to own no doubt.
I asked fellow sim racer Ben Konick to stop by on Saturday morning, October 19th to talk about his experience in our VR Motion Labs 3DOF simulator.
The informal discussion touches on his experience with Sim Racing and my experience the night before with my first 1 hour race ever with the PCA sim racing series in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car at Mosport.
The Bilster Berg Circuit Is Coming To RaceRoom Racing Experience
Sector3 Studios announced that the Bilster Berg circuit will be available in RaceRoom very soon.
The Bilster Berg Drive Resort is a permanent road course in Bad Driburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The 4.2 km ((2.6 miles) circuit is situated on a former NATO ammunition depot facility and has been designed by the famous Formula One circuit designer Hermann Tilke.
iRacing – 2019 Season 4 Patch 2 Release Notes
iRacing deployed the 2019 Season 4 Patch 2 for their online racing platform. As usual, this hotfix update focuses on fixing issues that popped up after deploying the main 2019 Season 4 release.
- – Fixed an issue with motion blur that could cause crowds to render incorrectly.
rFactor 2 – Roadmap Update September 2019
Studio 397 published the September 2019 Roadmap Update for rFactor 2 letting us know what is going on behind the scenes at the Studio397 headquarters and letting us take a brief look at what the future of rFactor 2 will bring.
GRID Official Launch Trailer & Screenshots
Codemasters published the official launch trailer for their upcoming new GRID racing game for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Codemasters promised fears racing on four continents, in different game modes such as Circuit, Street Racing, Oval, Hot Laps, Point-to-Point, and World Time Attack. You will be able to drive a variety of cars including GT’s, Touring cars, Stock Cars, Muscle Cars, Super-Modified and more.