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Thread: The driving version of Zwift

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    Default The driving version of Zwift

    Anybody else here do any sim driving/racing? I was NEVER a video game guy but we ordered and received a super fancy SimCraft multi-axis motion rig here at work and holy cow was it cool. It was also $100k, so yikes!

    So decided to see what I could do in my basement for reasonable cost.

    Most of the fancier ones are PC based (like the SimCraft), but I found a PS4 Pro used for $120 which will run GranTurismo 7 and the PS4 version of Assetto Corsa. iRacing is a no go, but for $120 it seemed like a good start for me and my kid. The BIG score was an expired Recaro seat from a work demo many years ago with mounting rails and sider - bingo (but FBook marketplace around here is always ripe with cast off racing seats of some sort). Then I bought some used stuff off marketplace, the wheel and pedal stand for $40, used belt drive Thrustmaster T300. The stock pedals (potentiometer based) were terrible so I tracked down a lightly used T-LCM load cell pedal box which is AMAZING.

    I then discovered that having the driving stand and the seat not connected was sub-optimal (you can really gank on the brake pedal with the load cell, especially after I spent hours experimenting with different spring combos), so I built myself a platform out of extra wood in the garage to lock everything together.

    sim photo.jpg

    wow - so much better than sitting on an office chair with the wheel clamped to a desk! You can really stomp on the brakes now!

    My dad visited last week and had a blast on it too:

    dad driving.jpg

    Added a shifter from eBay over the weekend which feels terrible out of the box, but have a 3D printed magnet mod kit on the way from Italy:

    shifter small.jpg

    Next thing to fiddle with is peda spacing so that heel and toe works reasonably well, but this pedalbox is pretty adjustable (position, spacers and even dead space and stroke).

    Anyway, I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out, especially running on that old platform. And it's been a good father/son bonding experience with my 14 year old - which has been the best part. The Gran Turismo "licensing system" has been great fun to help coach him though and he's interested to watch racing more now since he's "raced" on many of the tracks in the game.

    Anyone else into this stuff? Show your rigs! Ask questions (although I'm still a newb)!

    RP

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    The DIY set-up you have is super-cool. Though I think with less experience (and skills), I might be spending $1k per simulator (wheels and pedals, bolted to a table).

    I loved playing driving sim games when I was growing up in the 90s. Instead of GT1, I bought NeedForSpeed, as silly me didn't know any better.

    But I thought NFS, even with its lower level of realism and played using controllers, was a good pedagogical tool on how to drive a car in the real world. Things such as setting up for turns and how one often needs only minute inputs. I never took lessons at a driving school, and two hours in an empty parking lot, with my dad in the passenger seat, was all I needed. I personally found driving at highway speeds and staying in lanes quite intuitive because of time spent playing NFS.

    Hope you and yours get many hours of joy from this.

    As an aside, I never realized one could spend ~$100k on a super fancy set-up. I think I'd prefer to have a Panamera were I to spend something that much.

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    You're living one of my dreams, rm. When the world locked down, IMSA in particular did a great job of transferring real world racing to iracing and I began researching rigs. Forza is ok on an xbox controller but not OK enough to play for long, and I want to try better racing sims.

    In my mind, my wife will see a sim rig as a very reasonable proposal when compared to a real 911. I realize this is man math and I could be deluded. We've a bit too much going on right now for me to act on this urge but I do have a dangerously half-formed plan.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    With the few spare dollars I had left from my Christmas bonus, I got myself a PS5, Thrustmaster T300RS wheels + pedals, and NLR wheelstand.

    I've never had so much fun playing a game. And never, ever enjoyed racing games prior to this.

    I have a couple friends that are deep into iRacing. One of them teaches people how to actually race their real 6-figure super cars (especially Porsches). Same guy is the one who first introduced me to Steve Matchett where all of this racing stems from. I chatted with them a lot about a sim setup, but was hugely turned off by the prices I was seeing. So, I went 'cheap' to see if it sticks.

    PS - absolutely love my tuned GT3RS on Nurburgring.
    -Dustin

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    If I wasn't spoiled by the $$$ SimCraft at the office this probably would have been cheaper, although as an auto test engineer for 20+ years I'm also pretty picky, so maybe not.

    The gear drive steering wheels (most famously Logitech) are REALLY loud. I have a belt drive wheel which is not the ultimate (direct drive) but I've deemed it good enough. A good brake pedal makes a huge difference because the learning curve to judging speed on one of these is the biggest hurdle. The only problem is that once you get a good brake pedal, anchoring it sufficiently is crucial.

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    Quote Originally Posted by dashDustin View Post
    I chatted with them a lot about a sim setup, but was hugely turned off by the prices I was seeing. So, I went 'cheap' to see if it sticks.
    Dustin, as someone with the luxury of access to both rigs, my back of the napkin math tells me that my home setup shown is 70-80% as good as the $$$$ simcraft. I have zero FOMO now. Once I get my shifter tuned this week with the magent kit I'll be done modding until the PS4 croaks and I'm forced to get a PS5. I'm pretty over the moon with how mine turned out. Anyone in SE Mich that wants to have a go is totally welcome to try it.

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    You two are not helping my self control.

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    Looks like good use of a barcalounger.
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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    Way OT-ish but are there any good racing games on Nintendo Switch I should know about? The kids got one for Xmas and yes Mario Kart figures prominently but as a guy who had fun playing Forza and Gran Turismo with buddies back in the day, something that allows you to choose real cars rather than cartoon plumbers would be fun to have in the house.

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    Quote Originally Posted by rmplum View Post
    Dustin, as someone with the luxury of access to both rigs, my back of the napkin math tells me that my home setup shown is 70-80% as good as the $$$$ simcraft. I have zero FOMO now. Once I get my shifter tuned this week with the magent kit I'll be done modding until the PS4 croaks and I'm forced to get a PS5. I'm pretty over the moon with how mine turned out. Anyone in SE Mich that wants to have a go is totally welcome to try it.
    My other pal built his rig out of 80/20 extrusions. He's done everything up to 24hrs in this thing. Only reason I'm not more seriously considering that right now is because my NLR wheelstand can be mounted to a seat/frame add-on.

    Seems like a good time to mention that yesterday I slogged enough after work to buy the 88 McLaren Honda MP4/4 which made me all sorts of giddy.
    -Dustin

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    Way OT-ish but are there any good racing games on Nintendo Switch I should know about? The kids got one for Xmas and yes Mario Kart figures prominently but as a guy who had fun playing Forza and Gran Turismo with buddies back in the day, something that allows you to choose real cars rather than cartoon plumbers would be fun to have in the house.
    I sort of looked into this same thing because prior to December the Wii (and my son's switch) was my only interaction with video games and never really found anything. There were a few racing games (F1, Dirt and a Monster Truck game) that we had for our Wii, and even with the Nintendo steering wheel they were not great. I'm a little less familiar with the switch though the Mario Kart graphics are pretty great. MarioKart 8 was/is still the preferred method of "killing time" in the pit garages during all of the rained out track sessions at VIR/Lightning Lap.

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Looks like good use of a barcalounger.
    Not kidding, my first mockup up involved an old easy chair with pillows behind my back, the steering wheel clamped to a TV stand and the pedals sitting on the floor being held down by a few dumbbells. It was pretty janky.

    first setup.jpg

    My son still was having a blast before his dad's OCD set in and things got serious

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    Quote Originally Posted by rmplum View Post
    Anybody else here do any sim driving/racing? I was NEVER a video game guy but we ordered and received a super fancy SimCraft multi-axis motion rig here at work and holy cow was it cool. It was also $100k, so yikes!

    sim photo.jpg
    Nice setup!

    I used to organize championships for the French sim racing federation 15 years ago. We were racing on Grand Prix Legends, Nascar racing season 2003, rFactor, iracing and some others. I even figure in the credits for the rFactor racing game as I served as a test driver for one mod that was eventually integrated to the main sim. We had some pretty fast aliens in our championship that were competitive and were setting lap records alongside some of the legend of the sport like Greger Huttu. We even had Formula 1 and rally driver Robert Kubica joining us in our rallying championship on Richard Burns Rally. Dude was super fast obviously and really friendly. I also met Jacques Villeneuve in some online sim races. I think nowadays all pros drivers are racing sims but back in the day it was still not yet common as the old guard was not necessarily into computers.

    I still have a wheel and pedal set and some licences for sims such as Asetto Corsa, Beam NG.Drive and a few others but my current computer is a bit underpowered for these and I am lacking a bit of room to build a proper setup but that is still in the back of my mind. A few years ago I build a foldable setup seat + wheel older out of old wood and a plastic chair, it was kind of a Go Kart setup. No the best comfortable setup but good enough for 1 hour.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    https://www.velocipedesalon.com/foru...83#post1114183

    Y'all should peep this. I have a love/ hate relationship with Mount Panorama. But it's crazy to see the track in a real video.
    -Dustin

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    My son built his own flight simulator. We share an Amazon account so I saw much of what he bought and I was impressed. He is in flight school and can simulate the aircraft he'll be flying in the training pipeline. I might poach his design for a race car simulator.
    Retired Sailor, Marine dad, semi-professional cyclist, fly fisherman, and Indian School STEM teacher.
    Assistant Operating Officer at Farm Soap homemade soaps. www.farmsoap.com

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    I like the way Robert Kubica seems to follow his curiosity and try different things. I like to think Id do the same with his level of talent.

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    Default Re: The driving version of Zwift

    Quote Originally Posted by dashDustin View Post
    https://www.velocipedesalon.com/foru...83#post1114183

    Y'all should peep this. I have a love/ hate relationship with Mount Panorama. But it's crazy to see the track in a real video.
    yeah that's wild. That downhill section is pretty challenging - the speed he carries is amazing!

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