BPi GT Sim Rig
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I have been working on a 8020 GT Sim Rig for a few weeks now. My design will start simple and grow to encompass more hardware and immersion over time. I am designing it in a few phases so as to spreads the cost out over time. Design criteria include but are not limited to being a completely mobile sim rig on wheels. The plan is for the entire rig to roll around on wheels and simply plug in power and network. The design will accommodate triple monitors, fixed back race seat, transducers at the 4 corners, 5.1 surround sound, and the essential pedals, wheel and shifter. I am trying to also make efficient use of the 8020 material, yet still create a rig that is extremely robust.

I believe I am nearly complete with phase 1 of my 8020 GT sim rig design and I have actually submitted the drawings to a local distributor to get a cost estimate. I am targeting $500 give or take for the 8020 hardware on this phase. Remaining components will utilize MDF to build the pedal platform, wheel platform and seat platform. Current gear includes Logitech G27 kit, a new PC I am building, C5 Corvette OE seat and triple 27" Asus VN279Q monitors.

Please take a look at my design. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I get closer to pulling the trigger.

Subsequent phases of the design will include cantilevered shelves to support PC (horizontal case), home theater receiver and amps for transducers, support structure for surround speakers and sub-woofer, as well as replacing out some of the MDF for 8020 hardware. Gear upgrades will include HT receiver, Buttkickers, Fanatec shifter and pedals, Corbeau seat, and if I can pull some strings the Simxperience AF Wheel.

PDF: BPI SPEED SEAT V2.PDF

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One consideration would be to have the monitor stand be separate from the main chassis, so that the tranducers don't have to move as much mass and to keep the monitors from being shaken.  Of course this does require more material and would make it harder to move around as a single unit.

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Yup.. I woud that to.. And I think I wouldn't use wood or something to mount the steering wheel.

 

FYI, im also buying an 80/20 rig. Think I will make something similar to Simons but a bit wider and a bit longer.. I like the fact that the PC is behind the monitors, this will reduce my cables.. Only need something for my keyboard and mouse.. will think of something :)

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One consideration would be to have the monitor stand be separate from the main chassis, so that the tranducers don't have to move as much mass and to keep the monitors from being shaken.  Of course this does require more material and would make it harder to move around as a single unit.

 

That is my biggest challenge now with subsequent phases, as vibration is the enemy of electronics, I am trying to figure out some options to "decoupling" the monitors, PC, HT receiver, amps and processors.  Thank you for the feedback.

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Yup.. I woud that to.. And I think I wouldn't use wood or something to mount the steering wheel.

 

FYI, im also buying an 80/20 rig. Think I will make something similar to Simons but a bit wider and a bit longer.. I like the fact that the PC is behind the monitors, this will reduce my cables.. Only need something for my keyboard and mouse.. will think of something :)

 

Keep in mind that the use of MDF is only for phase 1, which will be G27 wheel, so no worries there.  This will be upgraded to 8020 hardware in subsequent phases.  Thank you for the feedback.  Keep it coming.

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I am trying to figure out some options to "decoupling" the monitors, PC, HT receiver, amps and processors.

 

The usual approach is to basically have two freestanding rigs nested together -- one for the monitors and computers, and another for the seat, controls, and shakers.  You can get rubber feet for the chassis that will help keep the shaking from transmitting into the floor.  I recently saw a cheap and easy approach using tennis balls, which is apparently a common isolation technique for folks with drum kits.

 

A few of us have gone as far as mounting our SimVibe chassis on springs/shocks, but that's a bit of an extreme case.  It would certainly be possible to put all this into a single unit that could be rolled around, for example a rolling frame for the monitors with an attached chassis hanging or sitting on springs.  But I suspect the cost (and size) would rise quickly.

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PC hardware is rolling in and I have slowly started assembling my PC.  Still trying to sort out the final phase of my 8020 cockpit design, so I can make sure the final phases does not dictate any changes in the first phase.  Beyond that, communications with 8020 dealers is dismal at best.  Out of 3 requests sent, I have only heard from 1 dealer and that was after I left a phone message.

 

Few pics:

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The Racing Simulator is starting to come together.  Got the PC built and OS installed.  Fired up the triple 27" monitors yesterday.  Wow! is all i can say.  The immersion from sticking my head inside this array of monitors is getting me fired up.  Unfortunately they are currently sitting on the floor awaiting a rig to mount them on.  My phase 1 rig design has some subtle changes, but the hardware is in order and hopefully should be seeing in in the next couple of weeks.

 

Because I am such a visual person, I setup a triple monitor setup/FOV calculator for optimizing monitor angle and viewing position.  I have attached that for those interested in playing with the worksheet.  Let me know your thoughts.  The intent of this worksheet is to maximize FOVh while minimizing viewing distance disparity between peripheral and forward views.  You only change cells highlighted in yellow.

 

I have finished phase 2 of my rig design, so I will post some rendering of it soon, but this first phase is draining me, so it will be some time before phase 2 comes to fruition.

 

Triple Monitor Setup Worksheet.zip

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Alright, I got turned loose early yesterday due to potential flooding. Shortly after arriving home a few boxes where delivered. My 8020 hardware arrived a day ahead of schedule. Home early, a few boxes of oversized erector set toys, it's a great day. First observations: Holy crap this stuff is robust. I began unboxing the parts and planning my assembly. Crap! Need "ball-nosed" Allen wrenches. Quick trip to Home Depot and I am back in business. As I begin to assemble my rig I begin to recognize my next observation. Holy crap this thing is BIG. Wife: "it's like having a car in the house". I finally get the base structure assembled and the monitors mounted, though not leveled and positioned perfectly. 3rd observation: Holy crap this thing is over built! Yes, this is my first time designing or working with 8020, so perhaps I overbuilt it a tad. I sat on a friends 8020 rig weeks early and it seemed to lack the rigidity. It was an all-1515 build with likely a lite profile. The 1530 and 1545 profiles are insanely rigid for this application. My final observation and tip for anyone building is to think about the assembly process. Because I took a staged approach, I realize now that some of my hardware is blocking channels that I need access to later. Not a show stopper, just means I have to disassemble stuff to add some of those future additions.

I have a few pictures I will upload soon

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I realize now that some of my hardware is blocking channels that I need access to later. Not a show stopper, just means I have to disassemble stuff to add some of those future additions.

 

FYI they make several types of T-nuts (and studs) that can be installed in the middle of a channel without access to the ends. See pages 221-223 in the catalog for an overview.

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FYI they make several types of T-nuts (and studs) that can be installed in the middle of a channel without access to the ends. See pages 221-223 in the catalog for an overview.

Thanks for the tip. Browsing the catalog, I see lots of options.

This is a slippery slope for sure. I decided to pull the trigger on my wheel mount rigging, so I submitted another sales order yesterday for that hardware. For the time being I will use wood for the other structure I need. I threw together a wood wheel mount yesterday and enjoyed a good solid hour of driving, at least until my ass starting hurting from that awful temp seat I have. Tonight that seat is getting kicked to the curb, and I will mount my OE C5 Vette seat, which suck for a track car, but should be extremely comfortable for a gaming seat. Anyway, enjoyed some iRacing last night, and even ran my first sim race. Was running 6th until I DQed from too many 4-offs. I can manage traffic, but trying to push the car on an open track had me going off occasionnally. Most all was due to braking. Distance-based braking pedals sucks! Desperately need a load-based pedal to even come close to real driving. Didn't realize going off would DQ me, so lesson learned.

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The progress looks promising, can't wait to see the finished product. I really like the look of these 8020 rigs :)

As far as the brake pedal goes, I'd get a ricmotech load cell mod for that sucker!

Sim race scene is new to me, so I will definately look into this mod as a short term solution.

The 8020 is great. Easily tweak geometry of everything until you get is just right.

Are these projects ever REALLY FINISHED? I see this as a continually evolving project. :)

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I got the Corvette seat mounted up last night and had to adjust the monitor height and wheel height. Wow, the new seating position is fantastic, with much better use of pedals. Immediately saw a drop in lap times on the order of half a second. The seat is extremely comfortable too. I stumbled onto a alternative solution for adjustable seat position, rather than using an actual seal slider (with a limited range), I just left the gusset bolts loose where they attach to the base and it allows me to easily reposition me seat through a wide range of positions. I will put some felt adhesive on the under side of the seat supports to prevent galling and pick up or fab a couple t-handle bolts to replace the flanged socket head screws. Still lots of work left.

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Progress has slowed with my rig, as I now have to weigh working on my rig or using my rig. The 1st world struggles are real. :)

Yesterday evening I did take some time to cut out and paint a shelf board so that I could actually setup my PC and start organizing some of the wiring. Speaking of wiring, I picked up a 100-pack of Velco cable ties for like $5 as an Amazon "Add-on", and these things are fantastic and I highly recommend them. See link below. I have mentioned this already, but I have no concerns with integrity of the shelf supports, as I was busting out a set of dips the night before. 190-lbs with no noticeable deflection. Shelf supports approved! I also hard-mounted my shifter (with gussets and M6 bolts) after "losing" the shifter this past weekend during a practice session. I was braking and downshifting into the last corner at Summit Point, when my shifter completely came off the support (retained only by the OE plastic bolt). Needless to say, with the distraction, I ended up in the wall. I also incorporated a new Belkin 12-outlet power strip that I also picked up. It has a 10-ft cord, wire organizer and is wall mountable. If interested I included a link below.

Velcro Cable Ties - 100-ct ($5) - http://amzn.com/B001E1Y5O6

Belkin 12-outlet Surge Protector ($20) - http://amzn.com/B000HPX46U

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