Thrustmaster F1 wheel mod with SIMR-F1 display, switches and encoders
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IM thinking of doing this but would like to avoid the cable, can you not use the PS2 connection ? Not I will be removing the motherboard completely and using the display to manage all buttons

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56 minutes ago, vicsalt said:

IM thinking of doing this but would like to avoid the cable, can you not use the PS2 connection ? Not I will be removing the motherboard completely and using the display to manage all buttons

The PS2 connection does not carry USB signals: Thrustmaster uses some proprietary serial protocol allowing only a maximum of 16 digital inputs. The only way to get a fully functional SIMR-F1 display through the PS2 connection would be to wire the wheel base side of the PS2 connector to a USB cable and connect it through the base to the computer. But in this case the stock Thrustmaster wheels won't work anymore.

I see many modders trying to avoid an external USB cable. I don't really understand why: using a good quality coiled USB cable will prevent it from dangling around and when swapping wheels it only takes a second to plugin the USB cable in the computer. Many real world race cars use this kind of arrangement without any problem too.

At one point I was contemplating the idea of using a bluetooth connection. But then you need to build in a quite heavy battery to get a decent lifetime and load it frequently with a ... USB cable.

Edited by pascalh

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1 hour ago, vicsalt said:

Thanks for the response,   Just need to decide if i should go SIMR DLX or F1 display,  i don't want to do too much cutting, prefer the F1 but impressions I get is its sits high... 

You are right, the SIMR-F1 is tall (21mm if I remember well) so just fastening it on top of the F1 wheel is really ugly and just looks wrong. In the mod described in this article the dash will stand out 6mm which is exactly the value I could measure on the real F138 wheel.

Edited by pascalh

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Question - Im in the middle of doing this mod, ive intended to remove the Mboard altogether but have a question on how many inputs the  SIMR-DLX has,  im using the following

Encoders

4 x Encoders,  2 x Original thumb wheels = 12 inputs

2 x 12 posn Switches = 4 inputs

8 x Original P/Buttons = 8 inputs

3 x toggles, want to use on/off/on thus need 2 inputs each, total =6 inputs

4 x LEDs

2 x D Pads = 8 Inputs

38 inputs in total + LEDs  , im still waiting for the display to arrive it suggests inputs for 29 ?  is this 29 total ?  

Appreciate if anyone can confirm this,  Im sure i can maintain the motherboard if needed but wanted to get shot off if possible

Another question - People seem to use the 12 posn switches for managing the two displays, can this be done using standard encoders like http://www.symprojects.com/shop/rotary-encoder/

As these take less room and sure i can fit one in the middle (Ferrari Knob) under the motherboard if needed.   

Any help appreciated

 

 

Edited by vicsalt

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On 4/12/2015 at 8:04 AM, vicsalt said:

4 x Encoders,  2 x Original thumb wheels = 12 inputs

2 x 12 posn Switches = 4 inputs

8 x Original P/Buttons = 8 inputs

3 x toggles, want to use on/off/on thus need 2 inputs each, total =6 inputs

4 x LEDs

2 x D Pads = 8 Inputs

38 inputs in total + LEDs  , im still waiting for the display to arrive it suggests inputs for 29 ?  is this 29 total ? 

12 position switches have specific input pins (up to 5 on the SIMR-DLX)

On my mod I grouped both D-pads to save 4 digital input

For your configuration this would bring us to 12 + 8 + 6 + 4 = 30. The SIMR-DLX having 29 digital inputs you will have to have one switch not connected or 2 switches connected together. I would suggest connecting both sides of one of your 3 way swithes together.

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1 hour ago, vicsalt said:

Another question - People seem to use the 12 posn switches for managing the two displays, can this be done using standard encoders like http://www.symprojects.com/shop/rotary-encoder/

As these take less room and sure i can fit one in the middle (Ferrari Knob) under the motherboard if needed.   

Any help appreciated

Standard encoders are not adequate because their output is incremental (button presses) and not absolute. What is needed is an absolute position so that a given switch position would always generate the same variable display.

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On 4 December 2015 at 8:59 AM, pascalh said:

You are right, the SIMR-F1 is tall (21mm if I remember well) so just fastening it on top of the F1 wheel is really ugly and just looks wrong. In the mod described in this article the dash will stand out 6mm which is exactly the value I could measure on the real F138 wheel.

Thanks for the response,   Just need to decide if i should go SIMR DLX or F1 display,  i don't want to do too much cutting, prefer the F1 but impressions I get is its sits high... 

 

4 minutes ago, pascalh said:

Standard encoders are not adequate because their output is incremental (button presses) and not absolute. What is needed is an absolute position so that a given switch position would always generate the same variable display.

Hmm I use to have a "Pro Race" display and this operated using standard encoders, I will have a play once it arrives.  I have had a look at using a standard encoder under the motherboard for the Ferrari knob, it looks like the board fits over the top, a almost made to measure job.   Im leaning towards maintaining the MBoard it lessons the wiring etc.  

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1 minute ago, vicsalt said:

Thanks for the response,   Just need to decide if i should go SIMR DLX or F1 display,  i don't want to do too much cutting, prefer the F1 but impressions I get is its sits high... 

 

Hmm I use to have a "Pro Race" display and this operated using standard encoders, I will have a play once it arrives.  I have had a look at using a standard encoder under the motherboard for the Ferrari knob, it looks like the board fits over the top, a almost made to measure job.   Im leaning towards maintaining the MBoard it lessons the wiring etc.  

The SIMR-F1 is tall, 21mm if I remember weel: this is why I embedded it.

You can of course use standard encoders to cycle through the variables displayed, but then you won't be able to rely on encoder position to know which variable is displayed. 

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Ah now i understand thus the 12 posn switch will allow you to  rotate to a set positions say "Tx"  and display say "Speed", an ordenary encoder will work you just have to rotate around until u get to what your looking for

thanks

Just cut mother board to allow for 12 posn switched anyway.  the standard encoders do just clear the mother board so will utilise the board, i think it will significantly reduce the amount of connections i will need and give me ample inputs spare also allow me to "plug" in gear paddles to aide dismantling etc

 

 

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2 hours ago, vicsalt said:

Ah now i understand thus the 12 posn switch will allow you to  rotate to a set positions say "Tx"  and display say "Speed", an ordenary encoder will work you just have to rotate around until u get to what your looking for

thanks

Just cut mother board to allow for 12 posn switched anyway.  the standard encoders do just clear the mother board so will utilise the board, i think it will significantly reduce the amount of connections i will need and give me ample inputs spare also allow me to "plug" in gear paddles to aide dismantling etc

When using a standard encoder below the circuit board be sure to put some tape on the encoder to avoid any shortcut that could kill the circuit board or your display.

In my first iteration I kept the circuit board but it was a very tight fit with the harness and the connectors although the Ferrari knob had no encoder. I would suggest not using too much connectors or you won't be able to close the wheel!

Edited by pascalh

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On 22/12/2015 at 7:55 PM, vicsalt said:

Ah now i understand thus the 12 posn switch will allow you to  rotate to a set positions say "Tx"  and display say "Speed", an ordenary encoder will work you just have to rotate around until u get to what your looking for

Exactly. The SliMax Manager software has provision to associate each position of the 12-way switch to one variable out of a list of 127. Therefore when you power on your wheel you will find the exact same appeareance than during the last session without having to fiddle around with encoders.

Edited by pascalh

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On 4 December 2015 at 8:59 AM, pascalh said:

I don't plan using connectors will solder direct to save space, yes  i will duct tape across top of encoders,  Just need display to arrive at some point 

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Im using a  SIMR-DLX

Help - 12 posn switch.   Im using 2 but cant get them to work.

 

each has 3 connector 1 - earth/GRD - pin 1 connector 1

Power  - Pin18 connector 1

and the third connected to any input say pin 15 connector 2

 

I the run SIMRDLX Manager

set up switches

I have a option to enable 5 -  i enabled all

then go into TEST Switches

Drop down meno allows me to select 1 to 5 

IM guesing as i rotate the switch something should happen ?

 

 

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On 30/12/2015 at 2:04 PM, vicsalt said:

Im using a  SIMR-DLX

Help - 12 posn switch.   Im using 2 but cant get them to work.

each has 3 connector 1 - earth/GRD - pin 1 connector 1

Power  - Pin18 connector 1

and the third connected to any input say pin 15 connector 2

I the run SIMRDLX Manager

set up switches

I have a option to enable 5 -  i enabled all

then go into TEST Switches

Drop down meno allows me to select 1 to 5 

IM guesing as i rotate the switch something should happen ?

Can't help much here as I don't own a SIMR-DLX and the software only works with a device attached. With the SIMR-F1 there is a menu where the 12-way switch operation can be checked.

If you send me screen copies of the setup software I could maybe help you.

Edited by pascalh

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Well almost done, just getting to grips with software, could be much easier. Waiting for some translucent perspex to go over display, not sure why SIMDISPLAY don't have a cover over this.   A few decals to add once i get printed out.

Seem to be struggling with extra LEDs, I've mapped a button to dim or bright display but can't this to work but sure its trivial.

 

wheel.jpg

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2 hours ago, vicsalt said:

Well almost done, just getting to grips with software, could be much easier. Waiting for some translucent perspex to go over display, not sure why SIMDISPLAY don't have a cover over this.   A few decals to add once i get printed out.

Seem to be struggling with extra LEDs, I've mapped a button to dim or bright display but can't this to work but sure its trivial.

wheel.jpg

Nice and clean build ;). How did you connect your buttons, encoders and D-pads in the end ?

The stock decals are too small for round knobs: I had to print them at a 120% scale for best results.

Edited by pascalh

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I kept the motherboard which reduces the demand on the inputs required. Personally i think this is the better way to go. I have a ordinary encoder for the Ferrari knob which fits under the board. This way the the rim maintains the Thrustmaster compatibility.   Yes I agree with the knobs, i have 5 of the "banana" type like on the original i will fit these and see what i prefer.  I must say a little disappointed with the whole setup stuff. I use to have a "Pro Race " dash which was very easy. from what  a see i have to run  2 bits of software, 

SIMR-DLX Manager 5.2.3.7 -  this is very basic but confirms the 12 post switches are working and will test display and leds. You then have the SLIMax Manager software.

I have the 2 12 posn switches mapped to change LH/RH displays - all works fine

Im also have a encoder set to turn up/down brightness - doesn't seem to work

I am trying to identify the extra LEDS it how do you identify the extra ones to yours. is there a way you can activate each led individually so i can identify each ?

Edited by vicsalt

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2 hours ago, vicsalt said:

I kept the motherboard which reduces the demand on the inputs required. Personally i think this is the beltway to go. I have a ordinary encoder for the Ferrari knob which fits under the board. This way the the rim maintains the Thrustmaster compatibility.   Yes I agree with the knobs, i have 5 of the "banana" type like on the original i will fit these and see what i prefer.  I must say a little disappointed with the whole setup stuff. I use to have a "Pro Race " dash which was very easy. from what  a see i have to run  2 bits of software, 

SIMR-DLX Manager 5.2.3.7 -  this is very basic but confirms the 12 post switches are working and will test display and leds. You then have the SLIMax Manager software.

I have the 2 12 posn switches mapped to change LH/RH displays - all works fine

Im also have a encoder set to turn up/down brightness - doesn't seem to work

I am trying to identify the extra LEDS it how do you identify the extra ones to yours. is there a way you can activate each led individually so i can identify each ?

The configuration software has to be run only once. It basically allows you to specify which digital inputs have to be paired together for each up/down encoder.

If brightness is not working, first try to actuate up/down brightness with buttons. Be aware that encoders being relative, brightness will always take the default value at startup and you will have to turn the encoder to get the desired brightness each time. Brightness is better actuated using a absolute 12-way switch as the brightness will be kept at the desired value even after switching off the wheel.

Concerning the extra leds, I would first use the SLIMAX manager software test mode to check if they work as expected: this mode lights every led internal and external. Leds are easily identified as the extra led pins are numbered on the connector.  

Edited by pascalh

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Most things now sorted , other than a single led which stays on ? running the test all work fine. i use i racing once i get in the car the led lights, not sure what its siginilling, Im sure I will get there

 

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16 minutes ago, vicsalt said:

Most things now sorted , other than a single led which stays on ? running the test all work fine. i use i racing once i get in the car the led lights, not sure what its siginilling, Im sure I will get there

 

Your led must be somehow tied to an iRacing boolean variable. Check the external led section in SLIMAx manager.

Be aware that one led can be driven by several variables. For each variable you specify a binary bitmap representing all outputs:

  • 1 represents led 1
  • 2 represents led 2
  • 4 represents led 3
  • 8 represents led 4
  • ...

To drive several leds you have to add the led bitmaps together. For instance if you want to light led 1, 3 and 4 the value would be 1 + 4 + 8 = 13

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