Time to put one of our ISRTV community members in the spotlight. Kona023 posted a forum post today showcasing the progress on his extremely detailed Ferrari SF15-T F1 replica wheel project. Although the wheel is not yet operational, I can imagine seeing this rim mounted in an F1 cockpit simulator such as the Evotek Formula simulators in Italy.
The time and effort involved in actually constructing this wheel is a phenomenal testament to this as yet unfinished project. Kona relates to us in his story here below that he actually worked with the real deal carbon fiber, a material that is notoriously tricky to work with. The level of detail lavished on the project is evident in every aspect of its construction and execution. With his comparison picture of the real thing next to his own wheel, the two are almost indistinguishable from each other.
Hats off to kona023 for an impressive result, whichever way you look at it, it is sim racing immersion at an unparalleled level. Let’s hope kona can finish his project so that we can see it in action sometime soon.
Kona023’s story of his SF15-T Ferrari replica F1 wheel so far:
Today I’m going to share what’s been for me a very ambitious sim steering wheel project. This project started late 2015 but has been on indefinite hiatus since last summer. The amount of money and time that went into this is almost embarrassing but as a perfectionist getting all the details right meant sacrifice. It’s hard to put a number on what percent complete it is or how much additional effort it would take to complete. I have a pretty big catalog of reference photos that I would obsess over to get details that would have me reworking and customizing parts several times over. Additionally some of the best photos show Ferrari wheels with alternate parts or Kimmi’s wheel instead of Vettel’s and the two are vastly different upon close inspection. There’s really no end to it.
The display and led electronics have all been prototyped from scratch and are working but currently do not fit into the wheel so a custom circuit was being designed to accommodate that. Currently this display only works with F1 2016. You can see the PCU-8D housing and working display in the photos below.
The quick release has no matching male hub counterpart yet, nor do I have any wiring set up either. This was where I really ran out of steam and just needed to take a break.
The carbon fiber is, of course, all real and rigid and light as one would expect. The shifter is no exception and provides just the right amount of rotation and spring-loaded tension with a satisfying click when it engages the contact buttons. I’ve played with carbon fiber before but this was a learning process getting it just like the real thing in terms of pattern and finish and I had to devise some of my own techniques to achieve the desired effects especially given my limited tools and resources.
The photos below show the wheel in its current state. I’ve indulged myself with mostly photos of the back as it is the side that the most time was spent on and, for me, a beautiful piece of engineering if you geek out on that sort of thing. One admission, the display is not wired up for the reasons mentioned previously so the display graphics you see in the first photo are superimposed. I’ve provided one reference photo comparison to show the level of detail I went to. Enjoy.