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Mommies New Black 8020 Rig

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Some of you may remember my thread titled Mommies rSeat EVO from early 2012. Well, momma's gotta brand new bag, errr, rig.  :-P

I was fairly happy with the rSeat… great finish, very adjustable, no center post and very race-y looking. But as some of us tend to do... I was still thinking of ways to build a better mousetrap. And while I don't mind spending money, I do hate to waste it so I had a lot of thinking to do before I spent money on yet another rig which might have its own list of cons.

 

And then a great little deal came along. More on that later. :-P

Why The rSeat Fell Short For Me

I'll admit that with age* comes the need to choose function over form. And mine* is showing. lol I came to terms with the fact that I wanted a different seat, one that offered more lumbar support, the ability to recline, had sliders and a cloth covering to keep me from sweating in the summer when running Endurance races. But getting that meant I would have to modify the rSeat because it is designed for seats with side mounts.

The next item on my wish list was to have a rig that was truly rock solid. I did not want the steering wheel mount vibrating or the pedal plate sagging or the shifter moving.

We've all read the advertising that goes along with nearly every rig on the market and many of them claim to be rock solid. Then we watch a video of someone racing in the rig only to see it moving. Oh well, maybe I was asking too much or being too picky. After all the T500 has strong FFB particularly if one takes the "scenic" route across curbs and such.

whoops

What Caught My Eye

Like many of you I love to look at sim rigs and often keep pictures of one's I find interesting for future reference. But the one thing that kept drawing my interest was rigs made from 8020 (t slot aluminum). Nicka117 and JogoAsobi have no doubt inspired many who were looking into 8020 rigs with their creative concepts.

Here are some of the reasons I was so interested in 8020:

- I could change my mind without being black flagged! lol This meant I would be able to add, subtract and re-arrange things should I have a better idea or different need. I'm fairly certain this trait is not exclusive to women.

- It's relatively lightweight, especially compared to something hubby would be welding from square bar. I must be able to slide it out of the corner for access to my desktop and other maintenance.
- It has a nice looking finish
- I could create something as solid as I wanted while maintaining the small footprint that's necessary to fit in my little corner.
- I could use the seat of my choice.

 

The Deal or Why I'm A Lucky Lady

So with that tucked away in the back of my head I was checking Craigslist one day and came across a steal of a deal. $200 bought me nearly 30 feet of material and a bonus.

When I showed up to make the purchase I realized it was 45 series 8020! This is the 1 3/4" square and it was the thick walled version. By wait.. that's not all folks! :-o To top it off a new Bride Low Max seat (these sell for about $300 on eBay) was included in the deal. The plans are to sell the Bride seat and recomp the entire investment making it essentially free! Cha-ching! Bonus round.

The First Rendition - Subject To a Woman's Prerogative

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Thanks to hubby's welding skill and our large assortment of tools and material he was able to make a few accessories from steel instead of being forced to purchase additional profile or connectors. This was a bit of an issue because black 45 series is not commonly available on eBay and I would have to special order any items I wanted in black.

Button Box Holder and DSD Sequential Mount

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I loved the mount he made for my button box and shifter on the rSeat so he modified it to work with the 8020. It's made from steel and allows me to move the shifter towards me or remove it altogether. The button box sits in a rigid steel frame which is angled towards me.

 

???  I wish I could come up with a better lighting solution for my button box but for now I Velcro a small florescent light to the top of the box. I blacked out half of its cover so the light only shines down. Any better ideas out there?

Steering Wheel Mount

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This is probably the only area where we disagreed a bit and if anything gets a redesign this might be it.

Since the T500 is very heavy and offers only 2 mounting screws I thought mounting it on a platform/table would be necessary, but we opted for angle iron "rails" here. The edges were beveled to keep their corners from driving into my knees. This mount also slides fore and aft to change the distance of the wheel from the driver.

Unlike most rigs I've seen, I used single 45x45 post on either side of the wheel. Replacing that with 4590 or adding additional support is still an option if this proves to be a weak link. I honestly don't know yet as the test drive has just begun.

 

Seat / Buttkicker Mount

 

RTqkkfM.gif

 

After modifying one of the seat brackets it bolted right up to the 8020. The seat, a $50 junkyard purchase, was from a Subaru Impreza and had manual height adjustment which I felt was a nice bonus. Similar to what I had done on the rSeat, we used the seatbelt bolt for mounting the Buttkicker. A piece of pipe with a fender washer welded to one end served as the "socket" as the seatbelt bolt was too large to go thru a normal deep well socket.

 

Pedal Mount

 

hDT9M23.jpg

 

 

Here's another area where we were actually frugal with the 8020 but still made it adjustable. The black steel plate was scrap we had lying around. It has a bent ledge at the heel end which is invisibly secured to the 8020 with three 10mm t-bolts making the entire platform rock solid while still permitting an angle (rake) adjustment.

 

 

With Old Triple Screen Mount

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When we first began planning the rig we had intended on mounting the monitors on the rig itself. However, as I mentioned before, I have to move the rig in and out of the corner for maintenance. It became quickly apparent that the additional weight and size the triple monitors would create problems and make it less mobile. To solve those issues I would then need to put the entire thing on a platform to add mobility. This was not what I had in mind so we scrapped that idea. Luckily, my current monitor mount still does the job, I just need to adjust its height to match that of the new rig.

??? One difficulty I've always had with the T500 is tweaking the FOV so that my wheel matches what is on screen. If you place the monitors over the wheel so you can bring them closer to you… you are left with an on screen dashboard that is far too high. If you wish to move the monitors down to match the screen you must place them behind the wheel itself, moving the screens further away than most would desire. rF2 is my main squeeze and I have found no solution other than to compromise.

 

What's Missing

Surprisingly we still have material left and will be able to make a mount for my h-shifter as well as a mouse pad and drink holder. I also believe there will be enough to modify the steering wheel mount if that becomes a priority.  

Now For The Test Drive

So having just finished Mommies 8020 Rig V1  :-P it's time to put it through the paces, assess my choices and tweak if necessary.

??? I had contemplated using 4590 for the steering wheel outer post as I've seen many people use double wide material here but I haven't tested it enough to know if that is even necessary. Some other options I've considered is adding a basic "dog leg" of material that runs horizontal and then down to the base frame or perhaps ordering some material that is cut and drilled for a 45* angle attachment. I see this on eBay frequently for the smaller profiles but never for the 45 series and never in black… hence, the thought that doubling the post or using a dog leg design is a better choice here. Thoughts?

 

So there it is, Mommies new black and slimming 8020 rig. Hope you like it, it's nothing earth shattering and doesn't hold a candle to other rigs I've seen but I think we can agree that even though this may not qualify as Sim Rig of the Week, my husband definitely deserves to win Husband of A Lifetime

 

Bailey

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seems like you been busy, bargain and great lookin rig, it must be a joy to be able to just slide that thing back to work on it, I have to arrange my body using every position from the contortionists handbook there is, good work bailey, enjoy

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I think my next rig is going to be 80/20. How sturdy is the wheel support on that? Looks like it would be shaky.

 

Hey BlizzardDUCK, Well as I mentioned, if it has a weak link the wheel mount would be it. These rails are not as weak as they may look as they are heavy angle iron and the wheel base also sits on top of two pieces of 8020.

I raced for about 2 hours tonight and nothing moved under those "normal" driving conditions. However, to put it thru a real test I opened the T500 control panel, put the strength to 100% (I run it between 60-65%) and then hit the button for Explosion I think it was (whichever had the most violent FB) and I got some shaking. While that's not a likely scenario I am still considering changing it.

 

I thought that converting it so that it sat on countertop material or some other heavy duty laminate and making it more like a desktop would help to further stiffen it as well as disperse some of that vibration instead of having it all transmit thru two small mounts.

I really need some input from those with 8020 rigs.

 

But I have to admit... I LOVE IT!  :-P My husband has spoiled me.

I was never once uncomfortable tonight and my back was completely dry. lol It can get roasty sitting behind those monitors you know.

Bailey

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Great work Bailey!!  Looks really good.  It's nice to have a partner who indulges our obsessions!! ;)  I've got my first proper rig coming together now (that I will be posting about...) and my wife has been an absolute saint through the experience.  Granted nothing like the work and effort your hubby has contributed, but the mere acceptance was deeply appreciated!

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Wow Bailey, excellent new rig and again, kudos to hubby for making it all work so you can race in comfort! :)

Looks like the whole rig was well planned and thought out and the results show this. Also, the seat looks great and comfy also.

Great rig, I hope you get much enjoyment from it. :)

Take care

 

Regards:  >>>> Jack <<<<

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Great work Bailey!!  Looks really good.  It's nice to have a partner who indulges our obsessions!! ;)  I've got my first proper rig coming together now (that I will be posting about...) and my wife has been an absolute saint through the experience.  Granted nothing like the work and effort your hubby has contributed, but the mere acceptance was deeply appreciated!

 

 

Yes indeed. In a way I wish he shared my interest but then again... I'd have to share. lol At least he'll listen to all my sim racing chatter, goodness knows I don't have any girlfriends that would not slip into a comma if I started talking about it with them. lol

I did get him interested in F1 so he'll watch Quali and Race with me and he's up to speed on most terminology and knows who's who. 

He's always been supportive, no matter what I was pursuing. My biggest cheerleader, errr, cheermaster. haha

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A great rig you have there and your post was a very enjoyable read.

 

I agree about the T500 wheel base comment it does kinda get in the way.  I'd love for someone to sell a quick release steering column extension to allow the wheel base to move back so that the monitor can be placed in the perfect position between the wheel base and the wheel.

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Bailey,

For the button box light I have a goal zero 14101 usb led light with usb extension on my track boss and black max 2. They are very bright and half of the tube is covered and you can bend it into what position you prefer. Check out Amazon. Awesome rig you have

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Bailey,

For the button box light I have a goal zero 14101 usb led light with usb extension on my track boss and black max 2. They are very bright and half of the tube is covered and you can bend it into what position you prefer. Check out Amazon. Awesome rig you have

 

Thanks stucknmud2, I actually have that same light as well as another, slightly wider one. I needed something with just a wee bit more output though. Ole eye's I guess. 

The wider, silver one I've used in the past had a push button on/off, which was nice as the skinny black one I purchased had to be unplugged.

 

I also tried finding something I could wire right into the PCB in the box as well but no luck, I think it's 5volt if I remember correctly. 

We need some cool lighted button boxes! (Not just one's with a lighted button)

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Well hubby did a little more welding and came up with some brackets we could use to add an angle to the steering wheel post. 8020 actually sells some nice pivot joints but at a cost of $20ea plus shipping those 4 brackets came to just under $100. So he went to work making some himself. 

 

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I'm still thinking of changing the platform the wheel is mounted on but I'm not sure if using a larger, desk like platform would be the right direction or not. I'd like to hear from some 8020 guys on how they mounted their wheel.

 

Bailey

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Well, now Mommie wants to add more Buttkickers and use SimVibe, whatcha gonna do? I've always liked the BK, had one since 2007 I believe. Anyway, the thought of not having every little sound feedback thru it AND being able to choose what effects make a rumble where is very alluring!  :-P

 

So, have any of you used SimVibe and Transducers on your 8020 rig? Although I'm going to test it out with my single BK2 and SimVibe I like the idea of being able to upgrade to 4 or more transducers. Question is... will Bk2's or alternately the Mini LFE SE transducers provide the kind of "kick" I need on my rig?

 

Thanks for you help,

Bailey

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I use SimVibe with a single BK Gamer II, it gets it's signal from a old Sound Blaster Audigy 5.1 ES (PCI). (I use the motherboard's onboard sound for audio)

It works great for me in iRacing, but I'm having difficulty setting it up to vibrate properly in other sims like rFactor (like when going over rumble strips). I'm very fussy as to when I want the BK to vibrate, I have engine vibration turned off and a few other things, I want mostly road feel to be transmitted through SimVibe and the BK. I've not spent all that much time with this yet, but can't figure out how to get the feel I want from it. in iRacing, it seems to be pretty close to what I want with default settings (with the stuff listed above turned off). I also don't have my BK turned up very high, just want a little vibration, just enough to know it's there.

Good luck with your tactile setup Bailey. :)

Take care

 

Regards:  >>>> Jack <<<<

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Hey Jack, I figured after I get the sound card I will at least be able to get familiar with the SimVibe software and learn a bit before spending more money on a yet to be determined number of transducers. Hubby has already stuck his nose in it and said I need more than two transducers. lol He likes it when I spend his money. haha Please, no body wake him up!!  :-P

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I'd have to agree with hubby on this one. It's either one or four (one on each corner). With Hubby's welding skills, he'd be able to make the mounts so whatever transducers you get will work at optimal capacity due to the design of the mounts. :)

From what I understand, if you decide to go with the full meal deal (7 transducers) then you'll need a 2nd external sound card (one runs 4, the other runs 3). LOL

By then, you'll probably sound pretty shaky when talking...... HhHhHeEeEeLlLlLlLlOoOoOo after racing for a while! LOL :shock:

Take care

 

Regards:  >>>> Jack <<<<

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I'm sure 7 would be overkill for me Jack, particularly on this little frame. 5 maybe (one on each corner for Chassis and one under the fanny, whoops BUTT) lol.

Yeah, you do need 2 sound cards (+ your mobo sound) to run both Chassis and Extensions mode though.

I'm also curious about the noise level. Most of my league racing is late evening, after hubby is asleep. I try to keep it down as he gets up at the butt crack of dawn. I'm assuming this will be a daytime only experience otherwise I'll see the dreaded "flashing hall light" haha. This happens when laughing too hard on Teamspeak and startling him awake. And he's too sweet for me to do that too - on purpose. lol

B

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I'm not sure, from what I understand, Chassis and Extension mode require it's own signal source (sound card) but I could be wrong, maybe a 7.1 surround card might work for both? Best bet would be to read up on it at the SimVibe website or ask in the SimVibe section of the Audio part of these forums since a few guys have the full meal deal with external amps to run the whole thing.

As for waking Hubby, that is a possibility depending on how high you turn up the transducers, also maybe putting the rig on a vibration absorbing mat may help in this dept.

I've not read up much on this subject since I have no plans on going any better than I have now.

Take care

 

Regards:  >>>> Jack <<<<

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Great work!  Here's a lighting suggestion:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-SMD-RGB-5050-Waterproof-Strip-light-300-LED-44-Key-IR-Remote-12V-5A-power-/281055672866?pt=US_String_Lights_Fairy_Lights&hash=item4170393a22

 

LED Strip Lights are perfect.  They're bright and the strips have adhesive backing to them.  You can cut to length and simply connect to a small power supply.  I've used all sorts of them. 

 

If you want to build your own strip light system:

 

Wire terminal adapter for connection to PSU:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-pair-Easy-Connectors-For-Led-Strip-Light-3528-5050-to-link-Adapter-Power-29B-/130894344188?pt=US_Lighting_Parts_and_Accessories&hash=item1e79e92ffc

 

PSU:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-100-240V-To-DC-12V-2A-Power-Supply-Converter-Adapter-for-Led-Lights-Strips-US-/141107192898?pt=US_Lighting_Parts_and_Accessories&hash=item20daa4e442

 

Strip lights:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3528-SMD-LED-Cool-White-Flexible-Lights-Strip-Connector-12v-Adapter-power-supply-/321093923460?pt=US_Chandeliers_and_Ceiling_Fixtures&var=&hash=item4ac2b07284

 

Have fun!  NB - you'd need to solder if you cut them to length and use the terminal adapter, but something tells me you know how to do that ;)

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That is very helpful Derek, thanks for the links. But you know... if I end up with ground effect lights on my rig I'm going to have to learn to drift, install aftermarket rims on all my cars and put a 2000 watt subwoofer under the seat! lol

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nice rig, im designing a rig myself using 8020. Here is a video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FRsUtxaFDg

looks like your using 10 series for your rig...do you think that is strong enough or would you rather have gone with the 15 series.

my design is all 15 series but there is some room to cut out some pieces and save some cost.

 

let me know what you think

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