One of my favorite area’s of our website is the Sim Rigs / Cockpits section in our forum. It’s a great place to get ideas for your sim rig and check out the variety of builds. It’s like going to a car show only there’s sim rigs being shown off instead of cars. Building a unique sim racing chassis or rig is like building your own hot rod. It seems that just about everyone is completely unique and we have some pretty awesome rides being shown off in our forum.
Todays Sim Racing Chassis showcase is featuring a build I came across from a forum member that goes by the name “Switchface“. His real name is Chris Chiappinelli and he resides in San Diego, California. He loved coming to our forums to check out the sim rigs and decided he wanted to build one of his own. His color scheme is based on the Martini Racing team. Before we get to that, here’s what he started with.
Here’s what he had to say about his “humble beginnings and how he got the bug to go all out !
I had a lot of fun on this, but once I tried CXC’s setup, I knew I had to have motion. That meant stepping up to PC sims. I bought my first home last year, which meant more room. In fact, I had a perfect sized sim racing room that just happened to be an inch bigger than SimXperience’s setup. I’ve been obsessed with having traction loss and got super lucky when a setup was for sale locally, so I jumped on it without really thinking (thanks Mark!). Once I had all the equipment in my living room however, I was concerned I had made a mistake. There was no way this would fit. I almost sold the setup, but thought I’d kick myself if I didn’t at least try.
Here’s the empty room he started with.
He lined the floor with padding to soak up the vibrations and then went to town ! The next gallery shows off how he got started.
From there he continued to go to town and built a curved screen setup to handle three projectors !!
Here’s another show that shows off the projectors a little better. He did a great job of placing and hanging them from right behind the Corbeau racing seat.
Someone in our forums asked if he was using “warping software” to blend the images from the three projectors and this was his response.
I suppose thats the neat thing about the arrangement I have, I’m not using any warping software at all. I have the projectors lined up right on the edge of where the next one starts. There is a little bit of white hobby tape (similar to what a white-out stick/tape would leave behind) to blend the seams of the screens. I can still color correct them a bit further than they are, but to be honest, I only notice before I start playing…once the racing begins, I’m completely enveloped.
I remember reading a few people saying one of the issues they ran into with curved setup was that a lot of titles have triple screen FOV calculators built in based on the degree of your screens. Since there is no ‘degree’ with a curved screen, this caused issues when trying to get a realistic FOV, since the whole thing is constantly bent around you. I’m sure that’s what the warping software is designed to tackle, and I bet its pretty sweet once dialed in.
Beyond the cool curved screen, projectors and SimXperience Stage 4 setup with traction loss, here’s some other items he has on his rig.
The rest of the gear besides the screens, projector array, and computer include:
SimXperience Stage IV Racing Simulator with Aluminum Floorboard
Corbeau FX1 Racing Seat with 5 Point Racing Harness and dual ButtKicker Gamer 2’s mounted on each side
Derek Spears Sequential Shifter
Derek Spears Track Boss Button Controller
Logitech Z-5500 Surround Sound System
8” Touch Screen to control SimCommander
RevBurner/AutoMeter Carbon Monster Tachometer
Other gear he currently has that he is in the process of selling to upgrade are:
ECCI Trackstar 6000 GTS Steering and 3 Pedal System
Momo MOD 26 steering wheel (with 2 button, Paddle Shifters, and NRG Quick Release)
Custom carbon-wrapped Ferrari F1 steering wheel (with all working knitter switches, SLI PRO, and NRG quick release)
Sim Gear Lightning SST Shifter
Track IR Pro
You can check out his for sale post in our forum section here: Switchface For Sale Item
His future plans include an Accuforce wheel, which is why he is selling the ECCI setup. With the rig already being controlled by SimCommander, he says the wheel will be a perfect addition. The pedals will likely be replaced by the HPP 2 pedal setup. He’s found that he prefers left foot braking and using either the sequential shifter or the shift paddles, so he doesn’t really have a need for a clutch or the Lightning SST H-Gate shifter.
To round things out, here’s his specs on the computer he purchased to handle this monster !
Intel Core i5-4670K
Asus Maximus VII Hero Motherboard
Corsair H105 CPU Cooler
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB Memory
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD Drive(OS)
Seagate Barracuda 2TB Storage
EVGA GTX 780 Ti 3GB Superclocked ACX Graphics w/backplate
Corsair AX860 Fully Modular Power Supply
Corsair Air 540 Cube
2X Corsair SP120’s for the Rad
3X Corsair AF140’s for the case airflow
NZXT Hue RGB L.E.D.’s with Controller
Here’s what he said to close things up during our correspondence.
The room and the rig are both 8’X8′, making it a perfect fit. I have a glass display case in the back corner showcasing a variety of wheels, racing shoes, gloves, and my helmet (I’m a Porsche Club of America autocross instructor and class champion). I collect vintage Porsche racing posters, so they will soon adorn the walls around the rig.
I have to give thanks to your show and the sim racing community for making videos and posting their build threads. It is a tremendous inspiration as to what crazy setups are possible. A special thanks specifically goes out to Mark, Shaw, Meliza and my dad.
Special thanks to Chris for providing me with some extra images and detail to go with his forum post. Speaking of, you can check out his thread HERE and join in on the conversation about it and say hi to Chris.
Before you go, check out this video he created when one of his buddies came over to give it a test drive.