GT3 Style Button Plate Using Thrustmaster Compatible Circuit
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7 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

Figured I'd share my latest button plate project that I'm currently working on for my T300 base. I based the design off the steering wheel used in the Bentley GT3 racecar using a top mounted button plate rather than having the plate behind the wheel. I previously made a behind wheel mounted button plate a while back and wanted to go for a different design.

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After a few hours of drafting on AutoCAD I came up with a plate design and button placement I was satisfied with. I cut a prototype plate from some foam board I had lying around to see how it looked with the buttons. Pretty good if I do say so my self :)

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For this project I am using the TM compatible circuit by Moogen which can be found here:  

The circuit allows for both console and PC compatibly while maintaining the TM quick-release connection and includes inputs for 13 buttons, 4 d-pad inputs and 2 paddle shifters. I was amazed at how small and compact the circuit board is, making it perfect for button plate projects. I used push buttons for all 13 inputs and 2 toggle switches for the d-pad with the left switch being UP and DOWN and the right switch being LEFT and RIGHT directions. The wheel I am using is a 320mm NRG suede.

To keep the plate raised off the steering wheel I'm using 1/2" plastic spacers which gives tons of space beneath the plate for the circuit board and all the wiring. Because of the placement of the DIN connector on the circuit I'll have to leave 1 screw out when bolting the wheel to the DSD adapter.

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For the paddles I tried mounting them to a backing plate using hinges and springs. With the push button I'm using and the tension of the spring the paddles have a nice firm and tactile feel comparable to my 599XX rim even using the foam board prototype.

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I wired up all the buttons and switches and checked each input using the TM profiler to make sure it was working before using shrink tubing to tidy everything up.

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The next step is to cut and drill the button plate, paddle shifters and the shifter mounting plate. I plan on using 4mm polycarbonate sheet for the plate and paddles and covering it with carbon fibre vinyl wrap. Once this is done and the DSD adapter arrives everything will be ready to be assembled! 

I'll post an update when the project is finished.

- Cody

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Looking good!

Im planing to do a similar project on a ~320mm wheel, do you mind sharing your autocad drawing?

At tip for a different shifter solution: https://plus.google.com/photos/116983656794705523182/album/6258961952522701681/6258961953884885362

It´s easier than using hinges but maybe a bit more wobbly.

/Henrik

Edited by henrikk

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Hi guys,

I am planning to make something simmillar ~32cm wheel with compatibiily with t300 base (no usb connection).

My main concern is to make good paddle shifters:) Cody, Henrikk, would you mind share some tips, i mean what exact buttons do you use, what spring? Where can I buy them ( i would need EU delivery ;) )

I cannot find the store/ website where I could buy that Thrustmaster compatable button circuits available? You make them Henrikk? :)  I already have DSD adapter, I can make autocad drawing and share with you guys!

It would be great to make something like universal hub with possibility to mount different rims!

cheers

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As promised here's the rest of the project:

I started by printing the CAD drawing on some sticker paper I found at Staples and stuck that to the Lexan sheet and then centre punched and drilled the holes before cutting. I would recommend doing this to prevent any holes close to edges from cracking. To cut the button plate I used a multi purpose cutting bit with my rotary tool to cut a rough outline of each piece and then used a drum sander attachment to clean it up. Next I did some hand sanding to get everything nice and smooth and wrapped the pieces with some carbon fibre vinyl.

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After everything was wrapped it was just a matter of connecting all the buttons to the circuit and assembling everything! Heres the final product:

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The only change I made was I ended up adding 2 1/4" nuts over each bolt as spacers before I screwed the adapter on because the M5 bolts I used were a little too long and I didn't want to cut them. Doing this it gave me some space to run the wiring for the paddles underneath and also off set the wheel from my base enough that I wouldn't have to worry about the wires on the paddle shifters hitting my tablet.

I ended up sticking with the hinge design for the paddle shifters and was quite pleased with the result. I used 1 spring on the switch and 1 spring on the tensioning screw to give the paddles a nice tactile feel. My only issue with this design is the hinges I used have slight side to side movement which translates to the paddles but I cant see this being noticeable when driving.

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Overall I am very pleased with how the project turned out and how the wheel feels. If anyone wants the CAD drawing for their own project PM me and I'll send it your way!

- Cody

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