Fanatec Clubsport Wheel Review

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SKeijmel, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. sg333

    sg333 Registered

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    Whatever way the pCARS build was a few weeks back, it defaulted the CSW to something so strong i couldnt even physically turn the wheel with both hands. Those motors can be STRONG.
     
  2. Marek Lesniak

    Marek Lesniak Car Team Staff Member

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    That must have been before your breakfast? :p
     
  3. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    Yes, exactly!

    And if we assumed for the moment that both wheels were geared to produce the same output RPM and given that the CSW/CSR-Elite wheel has a theoretical max HorsePower output rating of 2.56x more than the T500, then the fanatec wheels would produce 2.56x the amount of torque. That is one hell of a step up in ffb strength.

    For the above, some assumptions have been made including that we ignore any mechanical resistances that exist, such as bearing/gearing/belt losses, mass and diameter of the steering wheel. Since the smaller the diameter and mass of the steering wheel, the less energy is lost/spent having to spin a mass (the steering wheel object itself sucking energy from the output as can be seen in the BMW wheel rim).

    I don't own a T500 or CSR Elite but for the next comparison i think that assuming them to both have comparable steering wheel diameter and mass (to continue satisfying the previous assumptions) will work well, generally speaking ofc take it with a pinch of salt.


    [​IMG]

    Looking at the first picture, comparing only the CSR Elite and T500 and looking to the first ffb input, the CSR-Elite's wheel position travels only 4% more than the T500's. Not exactly much of a big difference in the grand scheme of things. Yet when the wheels are fed the opposite input in succession, we then notice a much bigger difference in the next wheel position. Neither wheel fully returns to its original resting place due to various losses that can be expected in the system, however the next new position is 55% (1.55x) further for the CSR-Elite than the T500.


    [​IMG]

    Looking at the second picture (wheel linearity comparison graph), a single FFB command input @ 100% ffb strength for both wheels, the CSR-Elite's wheel position travels 16% less (!check note 2 afterwards, something doesn't quite add up here!).

    So the CSR Elite's only real difference is seen when responding to 300ms alternating ffb commands in succession, with a 1.55x greater wheel position change. Not quite the 2.56x more based on assumptions and theoretical max HP rating.


    (note 1: I seem to have answered my own early post question here regarding the difference in T500 vs CSR-Elite FFB strength @ 100%, but lets continue on with the analysis).

    (note 2: This second note may make my entire post invalid. I've just spotted an inconsistency with the "wheel position change in 300ms" readings between the first and second pictures. The T500 reading in picture 1 only matches the 60% FFB strength reading of the second picture whilst all the other wheels match correctly between first and second picture readings at 100% FFB wheel strength. I'm rather confused what to think of the validity of these benchmark graphs, so long as I have read them correctly without making a silly mistake (never say never) then their stories don't match up. Let me know what you think.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2012
  4. Marek Lesniak

    Marek Lesniak Car Team Staff Member

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    First of all, CSR-E/CSW have weaker FF than T500RS and it's not just the numbers. With the same settings, you can just feel, T500RS is much stronger.
    Yes, T500RS at that time (with old firmware) felt a bit sluggish compared to CSW. I'm wondering, if the newest fw (500Hz instead of 100) will change anything.

    Also, keep in mind T500RS has 1080 deg. while the rest of wheels you see on the graph, have 900 deg. Position change reported by the software is scaled, so for example, if G25 turns by 3000 within that 300ms and that is effectively a turn by 300 deg (just an example), then for T500RS that 3000 within 300ms will be 360 deg in that case.

    Static friction torque was higher in CSW compared to T500RS: 0.61 vs 0.45Nm but because you can tune, how much friction vs slip you want on CSR-E/CSW, maybe that particular wheel, from that test, was set to have less friction? Just thinking out loud...
     
  5. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    Good thinking, however the wheels degree of rotation was confirmed set at 900 degrees for the T500 wheel in each of those tests.

    I think the CSR-E/CSW may actually have less static friction based on the wheel position readings after the last ffb command sent to all wheels.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, after the ffb is turned-off the CSR-E continues to spin without input, up to it's maximum rotation angle and with what rotational energy remains, it continues to spin back untill it's final resting wheel position that is the same as the T500. Only the T500 did not carry on spinning as far after the ffb command cut-off point, 52% the distance of the CSR-E before reaching it's final resting wheel position.

    Measuring the gradient of the line for each wheel at the ffb command shut-off point, the CSR-E had an instantaneous velocity/RPM measurement that was 31% greater than the T500.

    (Again) assuming this graph to be correct (but as i said earlier, something odd between the consistency of the T500 readings in picture/graph 1 & 2 compared to all the other wheels) the T500 is nearly identical in wheel position response to a single ffb command however this degrades in performance when faced with successive alternating ffb commands. The fact that after the last ffb command, the CSR-E is traveling with 31% more speed than the T500, yet also manages to travel 52% extra distance is likely to be indicative of higher overall internal friction within the T500.

    Else if it's not (all) from internal resistance, then it could also be a caused by the steering wheels design (shape and mass). If T500's wheel has a greater diameter for the same mass, or a greater wheel mass with the same diameter or whichever proportion of mass & diameter that still gives the T500 wheel more rotational inertia (mass*(radius^2)) then it will require more torque to accelerate the wheel up to the same rate of rotation (RPM) as the CSR-E. (fyi, however i have no idea how these two wheels shape and mass differs, just trying to make sense of the graph).

    [edit:] Ok, i was being uber lazy on that last part regarding not knowing the shape/mass of each wheel :p. Both wheels are 30cm diameter and i can't find numbers of the mass of the steering unit alone but I honestly can't imagine them being all too dissimilar. Ofc, i could be very wrong and say that the CSR-E rim's internal structure is made of Aluminium and the T500 of Steel? That sort of difference in mass (Steel ~ 3x Al density) would make a huge difference to the wheel RPM responsiveness.

    For a little side-project, is anyone with a T500 and/or CSR-E willing to dismantle their steering unit and weighing its mass in the pursuit of science? :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2012
  6. Marek Lesniak

    Marek Lesniak Car Team Staff Member

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    Yes, and that's exactly the opposite compared to my tests, in rFactor for example. When both wheels set to 100% and 0% damping, T500RS has much more punch and is really much faster, compared to CSW (even with Formula rim). Than can be easily seen when you catch a high speed spin. You then have lots of direction changes when car is rotating.... but at the same time, T500RS suffered from some sort of a lag, which could also be felt in rF 2 on Monaco track. I couldn't drive near the curbs as precisely as with CSW, but that was when T500RS was communicating through USB at 100Hz. Recently, it has got a new firmware with 500Hz update, so I am really curious, how that affects its performance.
    When I finish working on my cockpit (sort of), I will test both wheels in that wheel test software.
     
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  7. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    Great Scott! You have a T500 and CSW wheel?!? Very nice ;)

    Yes, many people would be interested in your findings. The fact that the reviewer of these benchmark pictures has an inconsistency regarding the T500 at 100% ffb in two different tests whilst the rest are consistent puts it all into question anyway. Ofc though, even the CSW on the lighter formula rim may have different results to the CSR-E's default rim. Another point is the FFB command in these tests were non varying for the duration of a particular direction which I think would mean having the ffb communication ffb update rate increased from 100Hz to 500Hz should not make a difference, right? It might make a difference in a more dynamic ffb case such as in-game.

    Either way, please let us know your findings when you can. :D
     
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  8. davidporeilly

    davidporeilly Registered

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    Gents well done on a thorough discourse.
    I wanted to mention one thing.
    The radius of the wheel will have a greater impact on the perception of force when in the drivers hands than will weight.
    When one considers that the total weight of the moveable mass should really include the weight of at least part of the drivers hands/arms as the wheel has to move them. The wheel does not move in isolation.
    Ergo a very slightly lighter wheel that has a speed advantage will be negated once the mass is increased. In my view its radius/leverage that will have the greatest impact on the force.
     
  9. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    That's a really good point you've made. So the force felt by the user should be the same so long the wheel diameter remains constant then varying the mass is inconsequential (except on its rotational rate of change)?

    edit: and on the point of rotational rate of change, it only affects (by reducing) the total amount of force output felt whilst the wheel is accelerating/decelerating to a different rotational velocity (since more energy is required for larger mass moment of inertia (mass*(radius^2)) wheels?

    IF that's true, that could explain why on the first ffb input, where the T500 wheel requires only a small amount of time accelerating to get up to full rotational speed which is pretty muchidentical to the CSR-E. However when fed the complete opposite ffb command, it now has at least twice the work load in order to accelerating in the opposite direction which is a much greater overall change in velocity than if starting from rest. In fact it looks like more than twice the work load since the CSR-E seems to match its full velocity somewhere between a 1/3 - 1/2 into the duration of the 2nd ffb command, where-as the T500 does not manage to accelerate back up to full speed before the end of the 2nd ffb command.
     
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  10. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    I decided to bite the bullet and purchased a CSR Elite wheel to replace my G25. Arrived yesterday, spent 9 hours putting it through it's paces only to find it was putting me through my paces.

    The wheel is amazing, it's not cheap for sure but it's so worth the money if you want a wheel that delivers unparalleled force feedback responsive and strength (it truly is in a league of its own - as it's many reviews state). I'm finding it somewhat difficult to type right now due to the pain of using this wheel compared to the g25 (but i expect it to soon ware off as i become accustom to it's strength - or so i hope).

    To use the GP2 cars as a reference...

    I can drive it in first gear with a ton more confidence around a corner (should i wish to). It's true that it doesn't make you a better driver as that's a skill-set that exists only within yourself. However, the equipement does feel as if it gives you the edge in terms of receiving a much truer and complete feedback from the ffb which makes your interpretation of how the car is handling better which in turn allows you to respond to most (if not all) situations much better.

    No more rattling! Woo-hoooo! That's not a good enough reason alone to spend the amount it costs for a CSR Elite wheel but it was part-factor for why i looked for a replacement as it is horrific on the modern formula cars using the G25. Well, it turns out that the rattle is on the CSR Elite but as it was meant to be felt (subtle yet pronounced and with good reason - car has insanely hard suspension = bumping against track surface imperfections).

    All-in-all, I am 100% satisfied with the CSR Elite wheel.
     
  11. thuGG

    thuGG Registered

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    Yes, it's a very good wheel:) Until it brakes :(
     
  12. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    Don't all things eventually? Or you talking about your own experiences?
     
  13. thuGG

    thuGG Registered

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    I'm talking about my own experience, with CSW but it's almost the same base as CSR-E. My wheel was replaced recently and I'm not the only one on this forum with broken wheel.
     
  14. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    what was the fault/where was it broken?
     
  15. vittorio

    vittorio Registered

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    Same here with my CSR-E. After two month one motor died or died half. For the past four month it feels coggy due to the died motor. I waited for a replacement till now to give fanatec some time to solve the problem (if it is a design problem, which i suspect)
     
  16. thuGG

    thuGG Registered

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    TBH I don't know, I suspect it was motor, but I'm note sure.
     
  17. DrR1pper

    DrR1pper Registered

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    That's worrying :(
     

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