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Author Topic: What Wheel?  (Read 2145 times)

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EssexMame

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What Wheel?
« on: May 08, 2013, 11:31:00 am »
Hi

I'm looking at steering wheels, what's available and the features of each. Thus far, I'm leaning towards a Logitech G27/G25 over various Fanatec ones and Thrustmaster T500, but am happy to be persuaded otherwise.

Now, originally I thought G27. However the G25 appeals over it as it has a switch to change the 6-speed "H" to an up/down shifter which would be great. They both have paddles for this but the up/down would be more realistic I'm sure (and I like how they've done it like a heater switch too!). It does mean there would be no LED rev counter but then that. However I'm not sure its much/at all cheaper than the G27 and any I get will of course be older equipment. What do people think? There are 6 (over 2) buttons on the wheel also but again I don't see that as a problem either way.

Fursphere

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 11:40:34 am »
I have a G27.   Steering wheel buttons on somewhat useless in most games, due to the fact that they are tiny and most games require a lot of wheel movement, so finding the "right" button is difficult.  I normally only use the top two.

The G25 is discontinued, but I've seen them on craigslist locally for $90.  (I should have bought it)  I think you'll be fine with either one.

I don't know what you're budget is, but you can get a G27 for $200 new.  The Thrustmaster is like $500+ *without* a shifter.  And it doesn't have the Logitech profiler software (or an equivalent, although there is a home brew solution available).

The Thrustmaster has more options though.  (the F1 wheel for example). 

There are also ultra cheap options if you search ebay for like a Logitech MOMO or something. 

EssexMame

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 11:47:50 am »
A friend actually has a MOMO for sale, but I wasn't sure - only an up/down shifter and I don't think it separates from the wheel? most I will play though will be up/down BUT I might want Hard Drivin' and PC/PS2/PS3 games also so a 6 speed shifter would be good for them.

I had discounted Thrustmaster for the cost, which is why I was G25/G27. Thanks for your info. Can you tell me on the G27 - can you set it up to be up/down shifter (without using paddles)? i.e. can you set, say the middle gears 3 as up and gear 4 as down without any problems (via mame for instance?). The only reason I'd go G25 is for the up/down switch. It doesn't seem much cheaper if at all second hand and I expect the LED's are cool!

Fursphere

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 11:55:31 am »
You can use it as an up down sifter, but it doesn't ratchet / return to center.   Each shift point is a separate "button" in Windows, just assign them out as needed.

The LEDs are neat, but small and few games support them.  And they are in the wrong visual location - you look at the screen, not the wheel while playing.  :)  And above and beyond that, a lot of games don't' even support the shifter (see Logitech's list of officially supported games that support ALL of the G27's features:  http://www.logitech.com/en-us/game-gear/articles/6475 )

I'm assuming you've read this?  Badmouth has put a lot of effort into defining the challenges with driving games (and cabinets)

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,105961.0.html

BadMouth

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 12:43:02 pm »
Go with Logitech.  The profiler software it comes with is helpful when it comes to setting up various games and emulators that require different settings, such as separate/combined pedals which you have to manually change in the windows controller config panel for other wheels.   I really like the design of some of the other wheels on the market, but until they come with similar software, I'm sticking with Logitech.

I don't know the specifics, but from what I read online there were some design flaws on the G25 that were corrected on the G27.
On the G27, the shifter can't be set to Up/Down (sequential) mode like the G25.  If the game allows, you could map the gears to use it that way, but it isn't going to return to center without you manually pulling it back.

I still like my little MOMO wheel, but I think the current prices for used ones are way too high.  I paid $40 shipped for mine brand new from Logitech when they were discontinued.  If you get a wheel without an H shifter, you can always add an arcade one wired to a keyboard encoder.  I haven't come across a game yet that doesn't accept input from both the wheel and a keyboard.

There is also the Driving Force GT for around $130, but I'd recommend spending the extra on the G27.  You'd get MUCH better pedals, a nice metal wheel trimmed in real leather, and a 6 speed shifter.  I'm not the biggest fan of the shifter because it feels more like a game controller than an arcade or real shifter, but if you want plug and play the G27 is the way to go.  Newegg.com had it for $204 a couple times last year, but I haven't seen it for too much less than $230 lately.

Keep in mind that none of the old arcade games that originally had wheels that spun all the way around are going to play very well with a PC wheel.  In the case of pole position, it resets the center position of the wheel when you crash, so if you had the wheel turned all the way left when you crashed, that is the new center...and you can't turn any farther left.  I keep Ivan Stewarts Offroad on my cab and it's playable, although far from ideal.

Howard_Casto

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 01:44:30 pm »
I'm a lot newer to this than the other guys, but I've always liked Logitech wheels.  Even back in the day the Logitech ones always came with better software, which is much more important than you think.  It seems like you get more for your money with the Logitech stuff as well. 

Btw on the optical wheel route, I was thinking of converting my wheel to be detachable and putting a shaft for an optical wheel just below my regular one.  I actually think you can get the parts to build one from lowes, so if I ever get time I'll throw you guys a tutorial. 

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 02:23:31 pm »
A friend actually has a MOMO for sale, but I wasn't sure - only an up/down shifter and I don't think it separates from the wheel? most I will play though will be up/down BUT I might want Hard Drivin' and PC/PS2/PS3 games also so a 6 speed shifter would be good for them.

I had discounted Thrustmaster for the cost, which is why I was G25/G27. Thanks for your info. Can you tell me on the G27 - can you set it up to be up/down shifter (without using paddles)? i.e. can you set, say the middle gears 3 as up and gear 4 as down without any problems (via mame for instance?). The only reason I'd go G25 is for the up/down switch. It doesn't seem much cheaper if at all second hand and I expect the LED's are cool!

I use the momo wheel. The shifter is attached to the wheel (up/down) but for 4-6 speed games i just map the buttons on the wheel. I paid $40 on CL so I cant complain

BadMouth

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 04:25:58 pm »
Btw on the optical wheel route, I was thinking of converting my wheel to be detachable and putting a shaft for an optical wheel just below my regular one.  I actually think you can get the parts to build one from lowes, so if I ever get time I'll throw you guys a tutorial.

The new dashboard for my cab (that was 95% finished, but not installed in the cab) uses a steering wheel quick release for this purpose.
I have most of the parts(and not much of a plan), just haven't gotten around to it.

Fursphere

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 05:27:35 pm »
Btw on the optical wheel route, I was thinking of converting my wheel to be detachable and putting a shaft for an optical wheel just below my regular one.  I actually think you can get the parts to build one from lowes, so if I ever get time I'll throw you guys a tutorial.

The new dashboard for my cab (that was 95% finished, but not installed in the cab) uses a steering wheel quick release for this purpose.
I have most of the parts(and not much of a plan), just haven't gotten around to it.

Pics!! 

BadMouth

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2013, 06:02:18 pm »
Btw on the optical wheel route, I was thinking of converting my wheel to be detachable and putting a shaft for an optical wheel just below my regular one.  I actually think you can get the parts to build one from lowes, so if I ever get time I'll throw you guys a tutorial.

The new dashboard for my cab (that was 95% finished, but not installed in the cab) uses a steering wheel quick release for this purpose.
I have most of the parts(and not much of a plan), just haven't gotten around to it.

Pics!!

2nd video in this post: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,105003.msg1218793.html#msg1218793
Steering wheel detaches at 1:35
I picked up some new parts for the 360 degree wheel last week and have been collecting parts to build the same dash for my second cab.
Two other projects to finish first though.

EssexMame

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 05:00:40 am »
Thanks all - it seems Logitech is the choice. I might even get the MOMO initially from a mate as it'll be something cheap to use for now and will give an idea of the pitfalls and can be used on my PS3 once/if I get the G27.

Why does the shifter need to return to center? Is it not up for HI and down for LO on most games like Out Run? Or will it leave the button ON and therefore not working as its a single button on the keyboard for SHIFTER isn't it?

For the 360 degree games, I've got a lot of information from your thread BadMouth, however I don't (yet) understand it all. Can a 270 degree wheel never be used for 360 degree games? If so what's the best wheel to get so I can play 360 degree and 270 degree? Games I want are Out Run, Champ/Super Sprint/ Ivan Stewarts, Pole Position but there are plenty others like Hard Drivin, Continental Circus, Super Monaco GP, Spy Hunter, APB, Chase HQ and others that I'd love to have all working as well as later PC games like Dirt 3 and I expect many more.

I know this is a lot of work but is it possible with one wheel/shifter (6 speed and up/down) /pedal (2 or 3) setup? I assume you have it, or is it all swappable panels?

Initially I will have a simple upright panel but would like to have a wheel to use with it in some form. Later, I will aim towards a sitdown/seat driving cab (and flight stick) but I know it'll be a lot of work and I'm not making fast progress with the simple one :-)  On top of that I loved Super Hang On, Enduro Racer and Paperboy but I can't build a bike cabinet too! Paperboy is fine on joystick at least...

BadMouth

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2013, 09:48:33 am »
Why does the shifter need to return to center? Is it not up for HI and down for LO on most games like Out Run? Or will it leave the button ON and therefore not working as its a single button on the keyboard for SHIFTER isn't it?

It doesn't.  Maybe I misinterpreted something in your earlier post.  I thought you wanted it to like the G25 does.
I have a 4 speed H shifter on my cab and use first and second gear for low and high.
The author of Racermame has a utility that will make paddles or a sequential shifter work for most things.
It's linked in the driving cab info thread.

Can a 270 degree wheel never be used for 360 degree games? If so what's the best wheel to get so I can play 360 degree and 270 degree?

It will work on most games(not pole position), just not very well.  I've never been able to dial in the analog control settings in MAME to get the games to what I consider acceptable.  As a result, the games are frustrating to play and I always crash and burn because of poor control.

To my knowledge there is no commercially available 360 degree wheel, unless you count the groovygamegear and ultimarc spinners with the steering wheel attachment.  That is probably the most common route, followed by getting a used arcade wheel including its encoder and wiring it to an Opti-Pac or Opti-Wiz.

You can use a 360 degree wheel on 270 degree wheel games, but it involves some complicated software workarounds and won't work on all PC games.

If you want to play the 360 degree wheel games, I'd just plan on having a separate wheel for them.
There is a spreadsheet linked in the driving cab info thread that tells you whether a game had a 270 degree wheel (pot) or 360 degree wheel (360).
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 09:51:06 am by BadMouth »

Fursphere

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 11:16:01 am »
Btw on the optical wheel route, I was thinking of converting my wheel to be detachable and putting a shaft for an optical wheel just below my regular one.  I actually think you can get the parts to build one from lowes, so if I ever get time I'll throw you guys a tutorial.

The new dashboard for my cab (that was 95% finished, but not installed in the cab) uses a steering wheel quick release for this purpose.
I have most of the parts(and not much of a plan), just haven't gotten around to it.

Pics!!

2nd video in this post: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,105003.msg1218793.html#msg1218793
Steering wheel detaches at 1:35
I picked up some new parts for the 360 degree wheel last week and have been collecting parts to build the same dash for my second cab.
Two other projects to finish first though.

Ahh, I thought you were swapping out the entire control panel.

That really is my only compliant about the G27 - the damn cables and their stupid mounting point.  Why put them UNDERNEATH the damn controller so you have to unclamp (unbolt) the wheel to unplug the shifter, pedals, and AC power supply?  Makes no sense to me.  Sure, it looks "cleaner" - but totally not functional.

I wanted to build a 2nd control panel for my cabinet (360 wheel), but wiring of the G27 pretty much kills that idea.

EssexMame

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2013, 07:05:39 am »
Is a pot wheel always a 270 degree wheel then? i.e. Any listed as pot will work on a 270 wheel and I can get a spinner (or 2) for the 360 degree games like Pole Position and indeed Ivan Stewarts though this one (and others) will work "ok" with the 270 degree wheel?

So, in summary if I got a 270 degree wheel (Logitech MOMO or G25/27). BTW, the last 2 of these are listed as 900 degrees (2 1/2 turns) so would this not work as a 360 degree wheel for pole position to some degree? At least as long as you didn't let it recenter on crashing!

On spinners, I have a mini-pac which will connect to the Ultimarc spinner. However, the groovygamegear has a 7" wheel attachment (only 6" for ultimarc) but will it connect to the minipac in the same easy way the ultimarc one is supposed to?


BadMouth

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2013, 09:11:59 am »
Is a pot wheel always a 270 degree wheel then? i.e. Any listed as pot will work on a 270 wheel and I can get a spinner (or 2) for the 360 degree games
98% of them that say pot are 270 degree.  If you want to get real technical, a few may have been slightly more or less, but it won't make any noticeable difference.  The only real outliers are Hard Drivin' & Race Drivin' which used a 10 turn pot.  If I remember correctly, the wheel was limited to 7.5 turns.

So, in summary if I got a 270 degree wheel (Logitech MOMO or G25/27). BTW, the last 2 of these are listed as 900 degrees (2 1/2 turns) so would this not work as a 360 degree wheel for pole position to some degree? At least as long as you didn't let it recenter on crashing!

The G27 allows you to set the amount of rotation to anything you'd like as long as it's less than 900 degrees.  This can be done on a per emulator or per game basis in the Profiler software I mentioned earlier.  So you could have it automatically limited to 270 degrees when it detects MAME is running and 900 degrees when a PC game is running.

When it comes to Pole Position, 900 degrees still isn't endless spinning like the original was.  It will work better than a wheel limited to less rotation, but it's still limited.  If you keep crashing with the wheel turned the same direction, you'll run out of rotation.  I tried it and wasn't happy, but that doesn't mean you can't give it a shot.

On spinners, I have a mini-pac which will connect to the Ultimarc spinner. However, the groovygamegear has a 7" wheel attachment (only 6" for ultimarc) but will it connect to the minipac in the same easy way the ultimarc one is supposed to?

I'm not familiar with the minipac.  If you're buying a spinner for this purpose, the one from groovygamegear comes with the interface and you only save $7 by ordering it without the interface.  If you already have the Ultimarc spinner, I'd just go with the wheel meant for it, even if it is smaller.
If you can pick up an old working 360 degree wheel control panel for cheap, the Opti-Wiz interface is only $15.
I just picked up one from the game badlands off ebay for $1 + $11 shipping.

I'd recommend going ahead and getting the G27 and trying to set up all the games you want to play with it regardless of whether they are 360 degree or not.
I haven't tried all of them.  The ones that don't reset the steering like Pole Position might not be too bad.  It might play well enough for your tastes.

Maybe someone will come along and patch the pole position driver to work better with 270 degree wheels.
The author of RacerMAME has it listed as one of the supported games.  Not sure if he's done anything with the steering or just fixed the shifter.

EssexMame

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2013, 11:03:41 am »
Christ, you're good BadMouth! You answer all the questions I have and then others before I've even realised I needed to ask them :-) Excellent info, thanks.

I've got the MiniPac which will connect to a ultimarc SpinTrak but as you say, the GroovyGameGear TurboTwist comes with the interface (optiwiz) and so it'll just mean I'm leaving the connection on the minipac clear so no biggie. I'll go with the TurboTwist and wheel I think (I wanted a spinner for Arkanoid anyway so it can double-up).

I'll look out for a 360 degree wheel on ebay now I know I can connect via Optiwiz and I think get this MOMO off my mate (cheap??). If all works out I can get the G27 later, or stick with the MOMO if I'm happy with it. It'll let me see if I get on with a wheel and see the pitfalls and benefits first hand.

Thanks once more.


MartinJames

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What Wheel?
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2013, 11:34:00 am »
The jump in quality, feel and involvement between the bottom of the range wheel and the G27 is NOTHING compared to the quality and feel jump from the G27 to the fanatec club sport base. I own 2 for my sims and worth every single penny.

Fanatec all the way imho.

Fursphere

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2013, 11:41:02 am »
Fanatec all the way imho.

Except you're looking at around $900 US to what the G27 gives you for $230 WITHOUT the Logitech Profiler software.  :)

The Fanatec stuff looks awesome - but rich for my blood.

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2013, 12:47:16 pm »
The jump in quality, feel and involvement between the bottom of the range wheel and the G27 is NOTHING compared to the quality and feel jump from the G27 to the fanatec club sport base. I own 2 for my sims and worth every single penny.

Fanatec all the way imho.

I considered the club sport wheel base for my next cab, but as far as I know it can't automatically change the pedals from combined/separate and adjust sensitivity based on what .exe is running.  If they would do that, they'd get another customer (and I'd buy two).  I just don't understand sinking all this money into developing a nice wheel and then not having software to make it useable.  I also wish they'd sell a cheap adapter to use my own steering wheel instead of having to buy a wheel with a gazillion buttons on it from them.

I really wish an end user would make a profiler knockoff that works with ANY controller
....or a hack to fool profiler into thinking other wheels are Logitech wheels  >:D

Fursphere

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2013, 01:07:07 pm »
I really wish an end user would make a profiler knockoff that works with ANY controller
....or a hack to fool profiler into thinking other wheels are Logitech wheels  >:D

Pinnacle http://pinnaclegameprofiler.com/

Although its buggy, not free, and not exactly straight forward to use.

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Re: What Wheel?
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2013, 01:41:35 pm »

 I also wish they'd sell a cheap adapter to use my own steering wheel instead of having to buy a wheel with a gazillion buttons on it from them.


+1 This ^^

I can't understand the goofy wheel design.  I want to play Outrun, not pilot the Space Shuttle.  I'm sure somebody will chime in about how it's necessary for sims, but note that this is Build Your Own ARCADE Controls, not build your own racing sim controls.  ;)