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Author Topic: My Racing Rig 2.0  (Read 2781 times)

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Howard_Casto

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My Racing Rig 2.0
« on: July 27, 2019, 03:10:48 am »
Warning, wall of text incoming....

Ok I go to get lumber tomorrow.  The new rig will be full sized and loosely based upon the ricmotech rs1 plans:  https://www.ricmotech.com/RS500_DIY_Cockpit_Plans_for_Thrustmaster_p/rmt-rs500-diy.htm
Honestly I just like those 35 degree angles so that's probably all I will use.  Instead of wrapping the base in auto carpet I've decided to use self-adhesive carpet tiles in jet black.  There are two reasons for this.  First off if any tile gets badly damaged or soiled I can just remove it and stick another on.  Also I might have some removeable elements for flight sim games and an easy way to hide attachment points is to just put them under a portion of a tile that isn't stuck down.  Instead of that floating gearshift thing in the plans I'll do a proper center console as I want things a bit lower.  Unlike my last build, the pc will be stored in this center console, which should make it easy to work on.  I'll also make a heavy duty gearshift to interface with my thrustmaster tmx as I found Arduino code on the net that mimics the gearshift.  My dash will be similar to my old rig... I'm keeping the buttons, but this time they will be mounted on removeable panels so I can unplug them and bring them over to my desktop when programming.  The dials will probably be ditched, but I might put some sort of shift indicator on there later on.  I see a handbrake mod in my future as well... nearly every xbox one title uses one.    I might try my hand at homemade pedals, but I haven't gotten that far along yet.  The rig won't have a monitor on it BUT The dash will be flat and big enough to accommodate one if I change my mind later.  Since I'll be running it both on the pc and my xbox one I'm going to run the hdmi cable to a coupler in the front along with the usb hub that all my stuff is plugged into so I can unhook those two things and route them to my xbox or loop them back into the pc on the rig easily. 

*Whew*

Ok if you are still following me there are a few things I'm undecided about so I would appreciate some advice.  The color of the cab is the main thing I can't decide on.  The carpet will be black, so keep that in mind.  I could do something exotic like Ferrari red, maybe some muscle car yellow or play it safe and make it black.  I also have some silver vinyl I need to get rid of.  Also should bother with t-molding or not?  It's certainly easier to do than seal the edge of the plywood, but it might look better as one solid color piece.  Finally what about seats?  As I mentioned in the post-mortem of the last build that seat is pretty heavy and it's becoming a pain to move it around.  All the junkyards close by seem to have shut down or no longer allow the public in.  The only budget conscious option I've found are the JEGS seats:  https://www.amazon.com/JEGS-70200-High-Back-Race/dp/B078WHSVMG/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=racing+seat&qid=1564210738&s=gateway&sr=8-9  They don't look particularly comfortable and if the rails and padding are required to get them up to snuff I've just spent $100 on a seat and there are better options in that price range.  I'm open to suggestions on that one.    One way to fix the seat problem would be to put the whole thing on casters this time.  If I did that do you think I'd have to worry about sag with a 2x4 base?

Thanks guys and hopefully build pics will be incoming this weekend. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2019, 03:27:26 am »
If I was doing this it would be Red with Chrome Tmolding.  Use the Silver vinyl round gear stick, button area etc.  Maybe a black leather like Vinyl for the rest of the dash area. I would love to build one of these, but doubt I ever will. 

Howard_Casto

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2019, 01:50:16 am »
Believe it or not I've got some chrome t-molding lying around.  I'll see what it looks like. 

Got my stuff today but this stupid heat sapped the strength out of me so I haven't started yet.  Somehow I managed to purchase the most perfect piece of plywood I've ever seen.  I thought it was me but even my father in law commented that it was gorgeous.  Seems a shame to cut it up, but then again at $50 a sheet it better be perfect.  Wood has went up another $10 a sheet here since the last time I built something.   :angry:

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2019, 07:53:04 pm »
Believe it or not I've got some chrome t-molding lying around.  I'll see what it looks like. 

Got my stuff today but this stupid heat sapped the strength out of me so I haven't started yet.  Somehow I managed to purchase the most perfect piece of plywood I've ever seen.  I thought it was me but even my father in law commented that it was gorgeous.  Seems a shame to cut it up, but then again at $50 a sheet it better be perfect.  Wood has went up another $10 a sheet here since the last time I built something.   :angry:

$50 a sheet! I'm paying AUD$100 a sheet for 2400x1200mm formply! i cannot imagine what any plywood that could possibly be described as beautiful would cost down here :)

Howard_Casto

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2019, 11:23:30 pm »
Yeah but video games are like $100 down there... everything is expensive down under.  It's probably the cost of shipping.

I cut out the 2x4's for the base but that's about it.  Going to try and at least get the base done tomorrow so I can start laying stuff out.  I saw a design based on the ricmotech that allows you to move the wheel forwards and backwards.... I think I'm going to try that and along with an adjustable seat it should be enough to accommodate most people. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2019, 10:18:22 pm »
Screwed the frame together.... I still need to cut out and attach the sides and floor.  Hopefully I'll have something worth taking a picture of tomorrow. 

Howard_Casto

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2019, 10:59:50 pm »
Things are progressing....  I have the floor put in.  There should be enough to take pics of tomorrow.  I also picked up the materials needed for the new shifter.... that's going to be a fun build and I might do that as a separate tutorial. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 02:26:09 am »
Hey Howard, I've been reading  through your project topics over the last few nights here and there...

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,160656.0.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,132490.0.html
...and this one.... and you know I'm a big fan of using scrap and whatever you've got at hand to make stuff... then spend money on what you have to... 'cause, like Buttersoft said, things are a bit more expensive down here... so I'm right with ya there man  :applaud:

I'm curious to see inside that gearshifter you've mentioned (and pic posted ??? is this the one you're talking about??)
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=132490.0;attach=378275;image

...also interested in getting some "Dashboard" ideas for a four link Model 2 in the future someday.

By the way, I like the idea of the T molding 'cause I reckon it'd be less prone to knocks and chipping...
And the carpet replacement option, 'cause there's always a can of bourbon or something gunna be accidentally tipped one day :-\

Anyway, lookin'  forward to the next batch of pic's mate.
Cheers  :cheers:
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 04:46:57 am by XSFDriver »

Howard_Casto

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2019, 01:16:49 pm »
That's the old gearshift yeah.  Not too much to it really, it's an old pc-raider joystick with the handle removed.... a lamp rod will screw right down into the shaft of the joystick so it's mostly software.  Like I said though, it's thoroughly worn out from use, so it's time to make something a bit more robust. 

I was looking at videos to get inspiration when I ran across this one:



Yes you are looking at that correctly, the inner workings for a $185 dollar gear shift are a pipe with a bolt in it.  Yeah it's a little more complex than that, they use hall effect sensors, I'm sure there are some bearings inside that pipe and there is a rather clever latching mechanism, but this is something we can make without much fabrication.  Of course again, once you are done you essentially have an analog joystick, so software is needed, but there is already an arduino sketch floating around to convert the Logitech shifter (which is also just an analog joystick) to show up as a th8a so I'll just modify that a bit and release it.  The point of this one is the thrustmaster compatibility so it'll work on consoles. 


I'm making progress on the build, but still no pics because I'm out of room so I'm having to pile all my tools and electronics on top of the platform when I'm done for the day.  I'll make a note to take the time and get some pics this evening. 



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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2019, 08:04:02 am »
Man that's pretty cool. Thanks for finding and posting that vid, food for thought for sure.
Sure beats my "low tech" worn car ball-joint and micro switches ;D

Howard_Casto

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2019, 10:37:48 pm »
Well I did snap a pic... too bad I forgot to make sure it was in focus.  Eh you get the idea though.... still tons more to do and the fact that my router trim bit broke on me meant I cut both of these out by hand which took frikkin forever.   I'll got get some paint tomorrow and try to cut out a dash.  Need to disassemble and cut a t-molding groove as well. 


Howard_Casto

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2019, 07:50:09 pm »
Well I went to Lowes to replace my trim bit and buy paint and pretty much destroyed my budget.  The paint guy told me that I'd have to buy additional primer for red, even if I bought the paint that's supposed to also be primer.  So a quart of red, a quart of black and a quart of primer ran me around 40 bucks.... not too terrible.  My trim bit was 20 bucks.. It's worth it but that still stings for a single bit.  I also bought better casters (which I might take back as I'm not sure if they'll fit) and painting supplies for a grand total of 84 bucks. 

So how did getting that wheel for a mere 40 bucks in actual cash save me money again?   :blowup:

Other than 14 bucks to t-molding.com I think I'm done in terms of spending though.  I think it was around 65 for the lumber, so 150 for a new rig that should last me from now on.  I've even seen a guy convert one of these to a motion sim rig so hopefully this will be it.  Considering how much I've spent I might splurge on a new seat later on. 

No pics tonight as I spent all evening shopping.  Unfortunately I have limited hours that I can work on this... I'm hoping I can get everything cut out and primed tomorrow. 

Something that has me concerned now that I've got enough of it assembled is actually getting in and out of the thing.  Mind you I wanted it low to the ground so I could use the living room tv but the clearance is super tight.  I might end up cutting those dash panel pieces off of the sides and mounting a different dash design a little higher up.  I can make it work regardless. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2019, 09:57:08 pm »
That's the old gearshift yeah.  Not too much to it really, it's an old pc-raider joystick with the handle removed.... a lamp rod will screw right down into the shaft of the joystick so it's mostly software.  Like I said though, it's thoroughly worn out from use, so it's time to make something a bit more robust. 

I was looking at videos to get inspiration when I ran across this one:



Yes you are looking at that correctly, the inner workings for a $185 dollar gear shift are a pipe with a bolt in it.  Yeah it's a little more complex than that, they use hall effect sensors, I'm sure there are some bearings inside that pipe and there is a rather clever latching mechanism, but this is something we can make without much fabrication.  Of course again, once you are done you essentially have an analog joystick, so software is needed, but there is already an arduino sketch floating around to convert the Logitech shifter (which is also just an analog joystick) to show up as a th8a so I'll just modify that a bit and release it.  The point of this one is the thrustmaster compatibility so it'll work on consoles. 


I'm making progress on the build, but still no pics because I'm out of room so I'm having to pile all my tools and electronics on top of the platform when I'm done for the day.  I'll make a note to take the time and get some pics this evening.


 Thats actually a pretty robust shiftter design.  Far better than what was used in Daytona USA... from what I can see.

 In fact, most arcade shifters themselves, were often made fairly inferior to this.  The one exception of note... was Hard Drivin sitdown.


 Ive see the current price at about $150.  Not cheap, but its actually decent, when compared to other offerings.   Most MFG at this or below this price point,
are using all-plastic designs, that creak and flex, wear down, and have poor sensors / failing switches.


 The most robust shifter design that Ive seen / felt... is in the hard-drivin / race-drivin  sitdown cabinets.   Its basically a door hinge, that has welding
to a center pivot shaft.  With one end of the hinge, having a welded coupler for the shifter shaft to be inserted into.

 The X and Y, are read via pots.   The pots are driven via little lever arms, attached to the assemblies.

From fuzzy memory...

 The bottom of the unit has a rolling bearing on a spring-tensioned bar.  There are two or three divits on the shafts circular disc, that the bearing can snap into.


 The cabinet went one step further... with a locking mechanism, that could be activated in the service menu.  I believe it used a coil, to prevent shifting unless
the clutch pedal was depressed.  Might have just been to make it harder to shift in this case.  Cant recall exactly... as it was usually just disabled.

 Crazy enough... the seat itself, had a magnetic plate system, to lock it in place via electromagnetic force.

 The Pedals were equally amazing.  The gas was kinda standard.. but the brake, used a high-level strain gauge pressure sensor, in addition to its
different spring and rubber dampening system.  Looking in the service menu, and one can see how far the brake values can shift.  Its much greater than a typical
gas pot, for example...  and Far more sensitive / accurate.

 The Wheel used something like a washer motor.  Very powerful.  Huge, heavy, a lot of magnetic stop points, for smooth positional control.
No gearing.  All driven via the main drive shaft.  If you turned the motor settings to max strength... you probably could lash a small child to the wheel... and it
probably would have no problem spinning them in a full circle.   Assembly used a 10-turn pot... and the wheel could spin something like three full rotations.

Howard_Casto

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2019, 01:00:55 am »
I didn't say it was a bad design, it's well constructed and very sturdy and that's why I'm going to copy it, I just don't understand how they can charge that much for what it is and sleep soundly at night. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2019, 03:21:59 pm »
Sorry... I'm bad about not documenting things.  Let's do another update. 

One of the more annoying things about the tmx is the fact that there aren't any hard mount points for the wheel.  The go to solution is this thing:
https://www.ricmotech.com/hard_mount_adapter_for_T150_tmx_wheels_p/rmt-t150hmp.htm

You know me, I looked at that and said "Well that's just a board with a hole in it."  So I just cut out some board and drilled a hole in it as seen in the pic below.  I then centered the whole thing on the dash and screwed it down, mounting the board permanently.  Then I drilled a 3/8" hole in the bottom of the dash so now the whole thing comes out via removing that bolt.  It's in there pretty tight.  Cutting around the wheel base for the upper dash was a pain... It isn't exactly up to my standards.  I might go back and cut out a new one that fits the profile a little tighter, it all depends upon how much wood I have left after I cut out the center console.  I should be able to paint this weekend if I'm lucky. 

« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 04:09:19 pm by Howard_Casto »

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2019, 01:04:22 am »
Ok I've been having real life issues that are slowing me down but I'm determined to get at least all the building done by the end of this weekend.   

I put together the bottom half of the center console yesterday.  I know it looks like I over did it with all the screws, but the reason there are so many and they are drilled into the side instead of pocket holes is the fact that the right side of the console will be removeable.  I did this since the pc will be stored there and that will make it easy to work on.  I learned my lesson from the last rig.... you need to be able to get at the pc.  Some well placed cabinet latches hold on the right side pretty well.  Notice the lack of mitered corners?  Well those 35 degree angles that I loved so much meant that a 55 degree miter cut is required to match things up.  All of my saws, even the table saw maxes out at 45 degrees and I'm not building a jig, so I'm just making sure it looks ok on the outside.  The front angle, which I can't fake, has been removed and I'm putting screen in there for ventilation for the pc.  The console still isn't complete... a 2 inch tray will sit on top along with a proper arm rest, the gear shift and maybe a cup holder if there is room.  Gonna try to build that this weekend. 

Sorry out my feet being in the one shot, I was tired. 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 01:08:14 am by Howard_Casto »

Howard_Casto

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2019, 01:29:23 am »
No pics this time because there isn't much to see.  I properly mounted the sides and dash to the base with carriage bolts along with the center console (drill died on me so I'm only halfway done with that part).  Things are pretty hectic right now and my back is in consistent pain, but I hope to build the 2 inch tray I mentioned sometime this week.  I test fit the t-molding and unfortunately I might have to order more.  Wish I would have known that earlier.... I guess I'll have to eat an 8 dollar shipping fee again.  I saw some cool stuff over on the arcade renovations side of t-molding.com, so I guess it's fine. 

I'm still waiting for a pot so that I can built the gas pedal add-on I had planned.  The gear shift is probably a project for a later date... I'll leave a space in the console for now. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2019, 12:02:13 am »
So I finally got to resume progress.  Put the first coat of primer on it today, hopefully I can get the color on there soon.  I actually ended up painting it indoors due to the bugs.  It's getting late in the year for projects. 

I still have to make the arm rest for the center console, the gear shift and the metal panels for the dash. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2019, 11:35:33 pm »
I started putting on the red.... it was supposed to be more of a Ferrari red, but it's drying more of a rose color.  I'm going to have to wait and see on this one.... if nothing else I have enough paint to paint the whole thing black.  Put the first two coats on and it's still splotchy in places, so I'm guessing I have two more coats in my future for tomorrow.... then comes the black and re-assembly. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2019, 09:53:47 pm »
I like the design.

Red and black driving cabs for life.   :cheers:

I'm using Behr "100mph" P170-7 on mine and it is pretty Ferrari.  I'd give it a thumbs up, if you end up looking for a replacement red latex paint.

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2019, 04:41:13 am »
I ended up going with it.... looks pretty good once the black was applied. 

Spent all night doing some of the fiddly stuff, re-assembling and applying the carpet tiles.  Those things are great btw... they have a large amount of give in them, so if you don't cut something exactly right or get one mis-aligned you can stretch it to fix it.  I've still got some t-molding to apply, the center console needs a couple more coats of paint and of course the seat has to be mounted, but I'm about there. 

The two rooms are worked on it in are now certified disaster areas... I'll have to spend a couple hours sweeping and organizing tomorrow. 


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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2019, 05:58:19 am »
I agree, that looks pretty good!

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2019, 06:03:07 am »
I like it.

 :cheers:

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2019, 08:04:55 am »
Nice work.  :cheers:

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2019, 12:04:28 am »
Wow! Very nice

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2019, 01:52:10 am »
Thanks guys.  No progress tonight since I was wiped from last night.  Hopefully I can get a second wind tomorrow night and finish up everything but the dash... that's going to take some metal work. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2019, 12:53:25 am »
I mounted the seat today and that's about it.  Been too busy/tired to work on this except a little bit at night.  I'm hoping I can work on either the dash or the center console tomorrow night.  iCloud is having a hissy fit so pics will have to wait until then as well. 

XSFDriver

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2019, 03:05:16 am »
That's lookin' pretty good man. I like the balance of the black and red. The wheel looks good too... blends in nicely and perfectly positioned. Can't wait to see the next steps, but I know you can't rush these things.
Cheers  :cheers:

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2019, 03:19:37 am »
Thanks, I appreciate all the positive comments..... it's been quite a while since I built a traditional arcade style cabinet so I was afraid I was getting rusty. 

Well icloud decided to cooperate with me tonight, so Let's look at some pics:

That first strange looking pic is the front of the center console stood on it's end.  That's my vent slot so the pc can breathe.... it's made out of reinforcement mesh for bondo work painted black.  I intend to cut a round hole in the back to mount a cooling fan and use the same mesh to cover it.  The second pic is a closeup of the brackets I use to mount the seat.  I'm not sure where you can buy them.. I got these off of an old waterbed, but if you are mounting a seat with an unconventional mount, they are perfect.  It's slotted so if I want to take the seat off I just remove that one set screw and the whole thing slides out.  The last pic is the seat.  I've painted the wooden mounts black, which helps a lot in terms of making things look better.  It's a sloppy paint job, but I'm actively looking for a new seat so I didn't want to spend a lot of time on it.  That seat cover has to go... black with red piping would probably look good, or just remove the cover and go with that tannish brown similar to naturally colored leather.  Regardless all the plastic bits on the seat need to be painted black... again though I hate to spend too much time on it. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2019, 03:31:38 am »

I love what you created! although it is only one step to hook the monitor LCD

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2019, 04:49:35 pm »
I'm not sure what you are asking there.  I've got a 4k 50 incher in the living room I'll be rolling it in front of, but if you notice there is a lot of real estate behind the dash.... I can just sit a computer monitor there when I don't want to fool with that. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2019, 12:15:06 am »
After a week of pure unfiltered hell I finally got to work on this a little more.  I cut a hole for the fan in the center console as well as the plywood for the top.... I'm still debating over the eternal question.... cup holder or no cup holder?  I also installed a shelf behind the dashboard on the front of the cockpit along with a removeable panel to cover everything up.  I intend to store all the accessories in this area to keep everything clean even when not in use.  I'll post some pics when I get a chance. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2019, 12:45:46 pm »
It looks very cool man. And your question is easy---cupholder

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2019, 11:08:10 am »
It's looking good Howard, I like the idea of having a driving cab on casters that's separate from the monitor that you can wheel in front of your big screen TV. Would be ideal for someone who's a bit limited space-wise in their living arrangement like me.

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2019, 11:55:57 am »
A very nice rig Howard. Looks very sturdy!  :cheers:

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2019, 02:08:48 pm »
That's a fantastic project. It looks so professional. I might have to borrow a few ideas when I move to my new house.

Now you just need to add one of these next to it to cover all bases (for racing games:

https://newatlas.com/leangp-home-motorcycle-simulator/54010/

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2019, 08:21:18 pm »
Thanks.  I just hope I can finish the one I'm working on before it gets cold.  No heat in my shed so all my projects hibernate for the winter. 

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2019, 03:27:58 pm »
What sort of tools do you use to cut those side panels? Do you have a CNC router in your shed or was it cut manually?

I just finished building a CNC mill with a 31" x 16" work envelope. I'm starting to wish I would have made it bigger now. I'm thinking a double wide version of your design (for two players) should be my next project. It has so much potential. It looks like there is even room with that design to add a second slide-out control panel for other types of games. Maybe a couple of fixed guns and a flight stick etc.




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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2019, 04:45:08 pm »
No cnc machine but I do have a router.  I first cut the straight lines with a portable circular saw, then I do the curves with a jigg saw.  I also have a trim bit for my router so if I want to copy a piece or straighten out the cuts I can set it to use the uppermost side of the plywood as a guide and cut out any imperfections as well as cutting the profile onto another piece of plywood below it.  I've actually got a second, older router with a t-molding bit that I never remove and it's set to be centered on a 3/4 inch piece of plywood.  It's well worth it to get a cheap-o router just for this so you can just zip it across your plywood when you are done and don't have to worry about getting the bit centered each time. 

I made my platform. 2 feet wide at the back and about 21 inches in the front.... that's probably the bare minimum width you can get away with.  If you are a big guy you might want to make it a little wider. 

I've already got plans for a flight stick and maybe guns.  ;)

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Re: My Racing Rig 2.0
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2019, 04:43:13 pm »
The spindle on my cnc machine is basically a router. It's a 7.5hp 24,000 rpm motor. I got it for cutting aluminum but it will zoom through 1" thick plywood in a single pass. Still, I think your method with a manual router would probably be quicker than setting up the CNC machine for a large and one off project.

You will definitely have to mount at least one fixed gun on your rig for lucky and Wild. Do you own some already?

 If you haven't got your guns yet, I recommend a Gen X gun above all others for a home project. They are reasonably small and light (for a fixed arcade gun) and they have a large range of movement which makes them easy to set up. Their recoil solenoid is outstanding and, working guns are usually very cheap on ebay compared to others (probably because they are so ugly). I got mine for around $25 a piece.

Other midway guns like T2 would be same (except more expensive) but I would avoid all Taito and Namco fixed guns. I got 3 before I realized they don't have enough rotation for any decent size monitor. It makes it hard to aim at both edges... which was frustrating.

The gen x guns double as a fairly nice analog flight stick too. It gives a new lease of life to games like Afterburner which are just more fun with recoil. It should be small enough to mount alongside the wheel on your rig.