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[DIY] Introducing my new rim

Discussion in 'Chit Chat Room' started by aotto1977, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. aotto1977

    aotto1977 Hardcore Simmer

    (Hopefully this topic is AC related enough. :cool:)

    Hey guys,
    after some work, waiting and also some frustration I am happy to finally show off my new rim.
    Up to now, I used a TM Leather GT Wheel, which I like, but always missed some knobs and buttons to assign.
    So, when I stumpled upon the kits offered by 3drap.it, I decided to build my own one. I found it handy the kit comes with an optional TM1638 cover per request, so my already existant display (powered by @Wotever's simhub software) could be integrated aswell – more as a matter of principle, tho, for I use VR 99% of the time. :rolleyes:

    I spray painted the kit parts in matte black and wrapped the handles in nappa leather. (Fiddly, fiddly work! I hated myself for that decision, although it turned out quite nice.)
    I also glued little pieces of felt into the magnet shifters, as they were very loud.

    One big mistake of mine I wouldn't recommend to you guys: I missed the fact that 3drap offer most of the switches in their online shop and acquired the parts by myself on ebay and in electronic stores.
    Apart from the waiting times for items from china to arrive, this included a lot of frustration. You won't believe how many of those extra short or long and coiled USB cables are for loading purposes only, although declared as data cables. :mad:
    Also bear in mind that most of those black rubber caps for the switches have metric threads, while the switches themselves are fine threaded.

    But enough with the moaning and on with the build! :)

    I decided to use an arduino pro micro with amstudio's 32 button box sketch, which I pimped a bit: It now acts as a big-*** 64 button joystick.
    I added a switch to the top left of the wheel's back (along with an additional encoder on the right side), which I can flip with my index finger. This switch shifts the button output (apart from the shifter paddles) by 32, so I can choose whether to use buttons 1-32 or 33-64. Thankfully both AC and ACC can handle all 64 inputs.
    This comes in very handy, especially when playing in VR, to map menu navigation functions and stuff to the wheel without sacrificing any buttons used for driving. I left the shifter paddles to their initial output, so I won't be totally helpless when I forget to flick the switch back after chosing pit strategies etc. ;)

    I originally planned to put a tiny USB hub right into the wheel's housing to supply both arduinos with only one cable, but apart from the hub that arrived broken, I ran out of space, as I was quite (read: too) generous with cable lengths and soldered a diode to every switch to prevent ghosting issues.


    … see? :rolleyes:

    So I said F*** it and let two short USB cables run from the housing, and handle this issue externally.

    Well then, last night I finally put it all together. To my big surprise I got all the soldering right and everything worked as expected right out of the box.


    … aaaand I'm happy. The 26 cm diameter is not much smaller than the Leather GT's 28 cm rim, but to me it feels like it adds way more precision to the steering. The magnet shifters are a huge step up compared to the original TM shifters. Having rotary encoders instead of (rotary) switches to adjust values is also a big improvement.

    Conclusion: I am happy i did it. With a strong emphasis on "did", for I have to admit I underestimated the efford, although I've done quite a few DIY projects before. :D

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
    mikendrix, Mr.Mugel, Schnipp and 9 others like this.

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  3. Levelup1

    Levelup1 Rookie

    Looks very good!
    aotto1977 likes this.
  4. Mr.Mugel

    Mr.Mugel Alien

    Thanks for the report and well done!

    I'm currently considering to built a similar wheel, using parts from 3drap.it as well. So you bought the complete kit from there?
    I was looking at getting the shifters and building the wheel from sturdy wood myself.

    Quality of the kit is ok? Things fit together, etc? Getting a kit might save me from a lot of hassle, but it also limits the options as well. For example I was thinking about using an analog stick for looking around.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  5. aotto1977

    aotto1977 Hardcore Simmer

    Thanks! :)

    I bought this kit. It came pre-assembled, I guess that way the 3drap guys make sure everything fits and no part is forgotten. The housing, if you will, is the "worst" part in terms of 3D print quality, but as it does not serve any structural purpose, that's no issue. Both the paddle shifters and the wheel mount are high quality, solid and sturdy prints.
    You can tell the metal parts are laser cut by the holes not being perfectly round like drilled ones, but you cannot see that once your switches are mounted.

    I thought about an analog stick (or at least a POV hat switch), too, but I failed to find one that would fit into the front plate holes. But if you have access to the required tools, there's no real limitation in the kit, as it's totally your decision, which kind of electronics you throw in there.
    Mr.Mugel likes this.
  6. Mr.Mugel

    Mr.Mugel Alien

    Thanks for your feedback!

    I started yesterday to design my own wheel, but I´ll need to check where I can get things manifactured. I have a friend who might be able to print the plastic parts, but the aluminium laser cutting isn´t that easy.

    3 hours just went by while I designed the paddle shifters. This might even be more fun than driving ;)

    Edit: Make it 4.5hours:


    Next part would be consideration of how to connect the back plate with the adapter for my wheel. And than switches and everything.

    P.s.: I don´t want to highjack your thread, it´s an interesting topic anyway. Maybe I should create my own thread if I´ll seriously go on with this.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  7. aotto1977

    aotto1977 Hardcore Simmer

    You're very welcome, mate. A collection of DIY wheels should be way more interesting than just one build anyway. ;)

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