Custom Button Box for iRacing
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141 posts in this topic

This is just beautiful, clean and actually looks like its been taken out of a car. i think i might have to build a box i also have a DSD box labeled to rfactor. i might make one for iracing now.My symprojects PSU board needs some use so i might run that with leds and buttons. 

 

Is that black box an electrical junction box?

 

CHEERS! :D

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WOW Bailey.

Your button box turned out absolutely beautiful, I love the faceplate you made for it.

This thing looks professionally done. :)

I also like the wide array of buttons used, as you mentioned, not only the position of the buttons but the feel of the various button surfaces would make it easy to find any one particular button. Very nice!

Excellent piece of work. :)

Take care

 

Regards:  >>>> Jack <<<<

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Rick, The forum removed my links again (replacing them with the %5c) thing so... not sure it will work but here it goes, the box is a plastic Hammond 1599KBK I purchased thru Digi-Key. As I mentioned though, it's a shallow box, a bit of a squeeze if using Derek's No Matrix pin style board so keep that in mind.

 

If I make another (got too many spare parts to not consider it) it will more than likely be with a box that has a flat cover screwed to the box which has the sides on it - instead of the cover having sides. You see a lot of that now. The advantage here is obviously drilling. It's much easier to lay a flat plate on the drill press and manipulate it around than it is this box as it has sides to contend with. I placed wood inside of the box to hold it steady and take the pressure off of the plastic while drilling. 

 

If I had more room in my corner I'd incorporate all my buttons into a center panel (where one would put an arm rest). I'd love to have them out to the side of the wheel but I've got other peripherals that need the spot more. :)

 

Jack, I thought I mentioned that.... "I am a professional". Duh. lol

The tripod buttons are particularly useful as you place your middle finger on the top, larger button and your index and ring finger easily find the add and subtract buttons below. 

Realizing that I could possibly change my mind one day, I put the square buttons directly under the add/subtract so they could be used as pairs... above/below. Hope that makes sense. 

 

There are 31 button functions on this box (board only permits 32) and it really doesn't look like it does it?

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I must say I am IMPRESSED !!!

That has got to be one of the best thought out and looking button box`s I have seen to date.

And that is coming from someone who is a perfectionist to the extreme.

Hell I have been a design engineer and fabricator for over forty years and I don`t think I would have done any better in a home environment.

VERY WELL DONE..

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Just ordered the No Matrix PCB

Trying to understand what buttons / switches you have used and convert them to things that are available in the UK.

Found the cables on Ebay :)

 

I don't want to copy your box exactly, but its so good that I will use it as a base, if you don't mind?

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Awesome layout. Love how you prioritized a unique layout for tactile intuitiveness.

 

I recently made this suggestion in a DSD thread (on another website). Something that would be suitable for VR when the consumer Oculus Rift releases. Something like your layout could be navigated much easier in VR. So I applaud your outside the box thinking on this.

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Just ordered the No Matrix PCB

Trying to understand what buttons / switches you have used and convert them to things that are available in the UK.

Found the cables on Ebay :)

 

I don't want to copy your box exactly, but its so good that I will use it as a base, if you don't mind?

 

Wow, looks like I lit a fire under you ah? lol

 

Here's some pointers on switches, just in case you or someone else needs help...

 

These pushbuttons are Momentary N.O. switches. Momentary would mean they spring back into position instead of staying down when released and that's what you want for a button box. N.O. means Normally Open. When a circuit is open it is broken... that way it's activated (closed/working) when pushed. Wiring these are easy. Either lug can be ground and as long as you connect one of those wires to the outer edge pin (ground) on Derek's board and one on the inner. Extremely simple.

 

All of the toggles I use are SPDT = Single Pole, Dual Throw... these would have 3 lugs/hookups. They obviously do the job of 2 push button switches. You can however use a DPDT =Dual Pole, Dual Throw switch if that's all you can find. It will have 6 lugs, so they can be a little more bulky. Simply use 3 lugs on one side and it will function exactly the same as the SPDT switch.

The ground wire is connected to the center lug and wired to the outer pin on the PCB.

 

The rotary's are Rotary Encoders, not rotary switches. An encoder will spin endlessly in either direction, each turn to the right would equal one button push - the same button being pushed repeatedly that is. 

 

Fortunately iRacing has mappable functions which make great use of rotary encoders. Any time a game includes mappable functions for Add and Subtract or Next and Previous a rotary encoder is a great choice. But take a game like Race 07 or rFactor 1/2... while I could use a rotary in iRacing to cycle thru the Black Boxes (by mapping it for Next & Previous) rFactor does not have it set up that way. Hope that's not too confusing. :( All you need to know is one turn to the right = one button push.

 

A Rotary Switch is entirely different. Each position of the switch is mapped to a particular function/key. So let's say it's in the 3 o'clock position... that position would always equal a particular button being pushed. When turned - position 1 might equal F1, position 2 might equal M (for Mirror) etc. I did not use rotary switches with this box.

 

When calculating what buttons you want bare in mind the controller board is limited to 32 functions, not 32 buttons (well, unless you only used SPST -or single function- switches).

 

A push button = 1

A two way toggle = 2

A rotary encoder = 2

The rotary encoder w/ switch = 3

 

Using 5 rotary encoders would mean you've taken up 10 of your 32 available functions. Another nice feature of rotary encoders and toggles is obviously the fact that you get two functions using less real estate. 

 

Hope that helps.

Bailey

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On 2/3/2014 at 0:53 PM, PaulG said:

Awesome layout. Love how you prioritized a unique layout for tactile intuitiveness.

 

I recently made this suggestion in a DSD thread (on another website). Something that would be suitable for VR when the consumer Oculus Rift releases. Something like your layout could be navigated much easier in VR. So I applaud your outside the box thinking on this.

 

Paul, Thanks, that's what I was aiming for. In the past I created lots of colorful labels and even swapped some of the black buttons for colors to help me find buttons easier. Yah, I'm showing my age! lol

 

YG1I68q.jpg

 

 

It's definitely helpful but I just wanted to try something different and, while I'm probably not nearly as hung up on realism as many here, I wanted it to look a little less like a rainbow box and a bit more race-like. Shucks, it's the same reason I can't stop drooling over Sam Maxwell's wheels. lol

When driving in a real car I can slide my hand over the armrest and easily find the PW switch etc. I like that and wanted to replicate it as best as I could.

 

Bailey

Edited by lopsided

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Derek just called ,he,s jealous , and when i think of it, me too :mrgreen: great job bailey and tnx for the info

 

You guys better not get me in trouble with Derek. He's been so awesome to me and I've bought a couple of boxes from him ( I will never forget the one with the big round lighted Blue Button!, it was so pretty. Gave it to a buddy when I upgraded to the Black Max) I also bought his awesome Sequential shifter, gate shifter plates and now the controller board. He makes top notch components and does so at a very reasonable price.

 

I can tell you from my receipts, a DIY button box is for someone who wants to make something unique/custom, not someone looking to save money. lol You'd need to buy in bulk and even then, I'd never make it myself if I wanted something that was already assembled... too much time, not enough savings.

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Thank you.  The switch info is a great help.

This is going to be great fun.

 

I'm toying with making a full facia over my wheel and placing the switches on that.

Maybe that should be phase two and I should just make a box first as this will be my first switch box.

 

You have me thinking all kind of crazy ideas, but I should focus on practicality first.

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You know razorSimon when I get an idea I look at a lot of pictures and save those I like. It helps feed creativity. When I wanted to build my 8020 rig I Googled every phrase I could think of that might yield pictures of sim rigs made from 8020. :) And even though I went a much simpler, compact route it still gave me ideas.

 

When I started thinking about the button box I started looking at pictures of real race car dashes. Sadly that has planted another seed in my head. lol You have no idea how lucky my husband is that my rig is confined to a small space!! One can find seemingly endless ways to add to their rigs! I'm certain my husband would start charging for his labor. lol

 

You may have access to some even cooler buttons in the UK. I know I started looking at electronic supply sites and bookmarking everything that had bits and pieces that interested me. I almost used a momentary rocker switch for the seat (FOV) but reasoned that cutting rectangular holes instead of drilling round one's would add to the effort.

 

 

Bailey

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I have everything ordered - I think.

 

DSD 32 Controller £21

ABS Project box - 197x113x64 £6.50 (Slightly smaller and deeper than yours)

40 wire female - Female ribbon cable £2.36

3 small push buttons in red £1.69

3 small push buttons in yellow £1.69

3 small push buttons in black £1.69

5 Square push buttons in Green £4.10

5 Square push buttons in Red £4.10

10 Rotary Encoders £4.19

10 Rotary Encoders with push £3.22

2 rocker switches £2.24

4 soft touch knobs with yellow pointer £1.12

4 soft touch knobs with white pointer £1.26

4 soft touch knobs with red pointer £1.09

Postage costs £1.95

 

Total spend: £58.20 or about $96 USD

 

No idea about layout yet, but have plenty of switches (way too many in fact) so should have plenty of options.

 

I would say the cost is slightly cheaper than buying a ready made panel, but this is much more fun and means the switches can go where I want them.

 

I plan on having some buttons on the top side of the box as well as the front, which is why I have gone for a smaller but deeper box than yours.  My space is a little restricted and this will hopefully make best use of a smaller box.

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The DSD 32 Button Controller has software with it (well on their website).

As I understand it, It will just been seen as a Game Device in Windows and hopefully be accessible within the various games so I can just allocate buttons to game functions.

 

This is all new to me and that rather adds to the fun.

 

Going to take awhile for the Board and some of the bits to arrive as I'm in the UK and the Board comes from the US plus one lot of switches I ordered are coming from HK.

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