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Author Topic: Logitech Wingman Formula GP (very mini) review and pedal questions  (Read 3778 times)

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Tiger-Heli

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I purchased the Logitech Wingman Formula GP USB wheel and pedals last Tuesday from www.tigersurplus.com (http://66.216.68.88/ 17 available today) for $18.50 plus shipping, or $26.32 total.  The wheel arrived on Thursday, two days shipping from Texas to Atlanta, which was one day better than FedEx claimed and hard to beat.

The wheel was supposed to be new and retail boxed.  It was in the retail box, but the box had a sticker on it saying "No Warranty, Sold As Is", Also when I opened the box, the wheel and pedals were packed in the original plastic bags and did look new, but someone had gone to the trouble of opening the bags to cover over the Serial Nos. in black magic marker. . .   Hmmmmmmmn . . . .

Anyway, my desk has a beveled edge on it, so when I tried to clamp the wheel down on the desk, it cocked backward and then slid into my lap.  So I didn't get much testing done, just some initial setup -  The pedals also worked fine, but would slide a little bit on carpet, and a lot on the vinyl chair runner under my desk.  I have modifications planned for both problems.

The overall feel of the wheel and pedals is very good (considering the price).  This isn't a $150.00 wheel setup, but it is better than the two other wheels I tried.  (Interact V3 and some cheapo wheel)

BTW, all six wheel buttons (four front and two rear) work independently (six buttons total) unlike some internet reviews I read.

I am running Win98SE, btw.  The software supports Win98, 2000, ME, and XP, but not DOS, Win3.1 or Win95.  This is not as big a deal as it sounds because I don't think any of these OS's (except later Win95) support USB anyway.  I think DOS MAME in a DOS box would work, but didn't test it.

I was surprised to find that the software allows you to set the gas and brake as independent axes (which MAME wants), but I ran into some problems with this, more on that below:

The mappings in MAME are as follows:
Left Rear Paddle Button - J1_Button_0
Right Rear Paddle Button - J1_Button_1
Left Upper front button - J1_Button_2
Right Upper front button - J1_Button_3
Left Lower front button - J1_Button_4
Right Lower Front button - J1_Button_5
Steering Left - J1_X-axis_-
Steering Right - J1_X-axis_+
Brake (combined) - J1_Y-axis_+
Gas (combined) - J1_Y-axis_-
Brake (separate) - J1_Rz-Axis_-
Gas (separate) - J1_Z-Axis_-

After getting separate axis set up in the Wingman software, when I tried setting these inputs in MAME, using the TAB menu, pressing the gas would set "J1_Z-Axis + J1_Z-Axis -" and nothing would work.  Same thing for the brake pedal.  (I think this problem may have cleared up and only occured when I was trying to figure out the separate axis stuff, but dunno.)  However, setting the inputs up in my ctrlr.ini files worked perfectly, except for the following problems -

It is almost like Logitech added separate axis as an afterthought.  It will only work with their Wingman Software loaded.  Windows control panel will say the wheel is in separate axis without the Wingman software running, but it really isn't.  When I loaded the software, I created a profile called Emuloader, set it for single axis, and found a setting to always use this profile regardless of the application and set that.

The good news - Once the wingman software is loaded, the pedals will work in separate axis mode.  Unplugging the wheel and plugging it back in will have no effect on this, and closing the Wingman software with the wheel still connected will have no effect.

The bad news - I don't plan to have this wheel connected all the time, I plan to plug it in before I start a driving game in MAME (desktop PC), and unplug it when I'm done.  That's why I wanted a USB controller.  However, if the wheel is plugged in without the Wingman software running, it is in combined axis mode (even though windows Control Panel says it is not!).  It works fine after loading the Wingman software, but the Wingman software will complain about the wheel not being found (if it is unplugged), so loading this all the time at boot-up is not feasible, and loading it when EmuLoader loads is not feasible either.

I think I can make batch files for all my driving games (load wingman profiler, run MAME outrun, etc.) and have EmuLoader run these, but that's kinda a pain also.

BTW, outrun worked with the gas and brake pedals, but it was still a digital input that mame was converting from the analog pedal input.  System16 was still broken with the MAME version I am running.

Does anyone have any idea how to run this so the pedals are always separate axis, without running the Wingman software (probably a registry hack of some kind)????  (or a hardware hack maybe, I haven't looked at the internal circuit cards, etc.)

Otherwise, I will probably eventually hack these pedals to daveb's analog interface, or buy a set of act labs pedals, which should eliminate the problem and also allow me to use the pedals with my 360-degree wheel (not working yet), but that's down the road.

Until that time .  .  .

Also, if anyone has any questions that I can answer about the wheel and pedals, post a reply.
It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it's what you leave behind you when you go. - R. Travis.
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SpamMe

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Re:Logitech Wingman Formula GP (very mini) review and pedal questions
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2004, 06:03:58 pm »
I've had this wheel for about 2 days now (ebay $1 + $8 s&h. No retail packaging, same crossed out serial number), and wanted to say that I've been very happy with it (especially at that price), but you've clearly done much more extensive testing. I've just been playing Colin Mcrae Rally and Battlefield 1942 with it, no MAME yet. I've noticed the same problem with the pedals sliding on carpet, I was planning on affixing a section of that chair runner you mentioned to the pedals' base.

Tiger-Heli

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Re:Logitech Wingman Formula GP (very mini) review and pedal questions
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2004, 06:48:29 am »
The bad news -  It works fine after loading the Wingman software, but the Wingman software will complain about the wheel not being found (if it is unplugged), so loading this all the time at boot-up is not feasible. . .
UPDATE - I found out that if the Wingman software is not loaded and is then launched from the Start Menu, it will complain about the wheel not being plugged in.  However, if I re-boot the computer, the Wingman software auto-loads (from startup.ini, I guess, it's not in the startup group) and does NOT complain about the wheel not being plugged in.

Haven't done more testing, but I think I'm in good shape.  The software also has an option to hide the systray icon, so other than having another TSR (Terminate-Stay-Resident) running when it isn't really needed, no harm done.
It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it's what you leave behind you when you go. - R. Travis.
When all is said and done, generally much more is SAID than DONE.

Epyon

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Re:Logitech Wingman Formula GP (very mini) review and pedal questions
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2004, 12:26:01 am »
Hi. First time posting.

I have the same problem as you do, kinda.

I can't get the Profiler to acknowlege the precense of the wheel. It acknowlegdes the buttons on the wheel, but not the turning of the wheel or the pedals. If I go to properties in Game Controllers (from Control Panel). The calibration thing says "Game Controller is not responding." But Windows still sees it.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Gunstar Hero

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Re:Logitech Wingman Formula GP (very mini) review and pedal questions
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2004, 01:14:43 pm »
You might wanna hit Logitech's website and see if they have an updated driver. They also have a message board. If you post specific problems, they ususally get back to you with a solution real quicklike.