Selecting a FFB Wheel Question

Discussion in 'Hardware Building/Buying/Usage Advice' started by smbrm, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. smbrm

    smbrm Registered

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    I just finished listening to the latest Sim Racing Garage review of the Sim Steering2 Wheel. I think I have read about or watched video reviews of almost all of the current wheels available at the moment.

    One element that strikes me as little discussed with clarity is fidelity with respect to torque and cost.

    The prevailing thinking appears to be that more torque results in more fidelity. However there seems to be an element little discussed in this dynamic.

    One justification for ever greater wheel torque is the quest for torque level realism. There is suggestion that this has to be as high as 26Nm or drivers are just not experiencing real world conditions for some vehicles. I can appreciate the interest in realism.

    After recently watching a video of Niels Heusinkveld testing a 26Nm wheel, and listening to his exertion, I wondered how many out there have the "Popeye"(assuming everyone knows who Popeye is?) arms required to manage long term operation with this realistic torque? How many don't have "Popeye" physical capabilities, or will be even capable of developing them over time? Will a quest for being able to manage 26Nm of torque lead to longer term injuries?

    There seems to be suggestion that torque can be dialed back for whatever reason which may include: to suit the user's physical limitations. Fair enough.

    What is not clear however is how does dialing the back the torque for whatever reason actually impact the fidelity of the FFB?

    If you take a 26Nm capable wheel(eg. Sim Steering2 26NM configuration) and run it at 13Nm(eg. like a Sim Experience Accuforce) how is fidelity affected? If you take a 13Nm Accuforce wheel and run it at 7.7NM like a Fanatec CSW2 how is fidelity affected? There are of course other elements in this equation, like the influence of Sim Commander Software, or motor types and belt drives vs. direct drive.

    The question remains, that if one is trying to understand the fidelity/cost equation, how does a dialed back high torque wheel actually compare to a native lower torque wheel? If we set aside other influencing factors like software or drive configuration, is the fidelity value of the high torque wheels set at lower(more manageable for whatever reason)torques worth the extra cost of the more expensive high torque wheels?

    Do we even have a way to measure and/or appreciate the difference?

    Every review seems to suggest that a Fanatec CSW2 is way better than lower cost options, an Accuforce is way better than lower cost options, and a Sim Steering2 is way better than lower cost options. How do we decide how good is good enough?

    I just thought this question might benefit from enlightened discussion for the benefit of those trying to make an informed decision on how to set the budget expectations for their next wheel. Whatever we have available today will surely be superseded by a next generation of technology. Hopefully our arms won't have fallen off before we get there!

    Appreciate any thoughts

    cheers
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2016
  2. Korva7

    Korva7 Registered

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    I have 20 Nm OSW set (Argon+small mige) and my previous wheel was Thrustmaster TX. IMO after tightening belts TX was very good fidelity wise. Changing to OSW wasn't too big jump in that regard. Just more torgue with that same good fidelity. But that torgue made it feel more like driving a car instead of playing a game. Finding good damping/friction settings also had lot to do with that.
    Btw. I very rarely use more that 3/4 of that 20 Nm.
     
  3. Led566

    Led566 Registered

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    I have a diy OSW with the small MIGE.
    While I can run it at more than 22Nm I never do it.
    Because the vast majority of the mod I run DO have a power steering system in real life while rF2 doesn't simulate it, but transmit to the FFB wheel the total steering torque before the power steering effect takes place.

    Torque is just ONE side of the coin.

    The real deal with direct drive systems is the fact they ARE FAST.
    Twice (or more...) as fast and half the lag than ANY other FFB system on the market.
    Faster and less lag means better "transparency", you feel much better what the sim is calculating at any moment in time.
    And DD systems remains FAST even if you reduce the delivered torque.

    IMHO direct drive systems are, at the moment, the sole systems that permits the simdriver to "fight" a tin top wheel just like the real deal:


    How about a system that could cost as low as a CSW V2 ad perform on par with a Simsteering V2?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2016
  4. smbrm

    smbrm Registered

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    Thanks for the replies so far. These provide interesting insights. While reviews are useful, I think user perceptions/experience add additional value. They transcend the specs and can reflect what the wheels mean to their user experience. Hopefully there will be some more sharing to this post as these devices start to get used more in the RF2 world. Yes, a system delivering Sim steering 2 performance at CSW V2 cost would be a real game changer! Makes you wonder what Fanatec might be working on next?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2016
  5. davidporeilly

    davidporeilly Registered

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    I am in the final stages of an OSW kit build. So while I cant comment yet on performance (LED566 did a good job already) I can make some remarks.

    The things that attracted me to the OSW were as much the direct drive and the expectation of a much faster cleaner response. This is why for example I didnt travel the "more is better" route and specify the larger Mige. Iwas more interested in the lower rotor mass in the smaller one. This combined with a light and low diameter Fomula rim should make it very "crisp" indeed. Wheel weight and size has a great impact. The effect of leverage by the drivers hands is increased by wheel diameter. So the wheel must work much harder to deliver the same feeling in a large rim.
    The other thing is that I have the feeling that when the system is working at say 50% of its peak capacity to deliver say 10nm, with such head room it should do it very cleanly.

    Value: A similar commercial product (say Bodnar wheel which BTW is 16nm mostly) is circa £3000. So an OSW kit at £900 or to build an OSW complete for £1300 certainly hits the "bang for the buck" sweet spot.

    With my last wheel, the Fanatec CSW V2 I did have to adjust the FFB down from 100% in certain sprint races to avoid clipping. So more than 7nm would be nice.
    However in endurance races I found after say 2 hours plus I would have shoulder fatigue. So I was not unduly let down by that wheel. If someone said do you need 300% of that power I would say No. Possibly +50%. In fact I was very happy with it. I still emember the first laps I drove with it, it was Albert Park turn 3, I corrected a small slide b4 it had time to appear on screen, just through feel of the car. I just want more of the same.

    So it wasn't about the torque number.
    However I sold high performance road cars for many years. There is a big difference between driving a 400 hp car and a 200 hp car at a given lap time. The one that is well within its engineering limits is always sweeter.

    I also just liked the idea of bolting all that stuff together and having the sheer technical/industrial look and such performance rather than buying a shiny box.

    The Fanatec Brand has secured a strong place in the market. If you look at the jump from say CSW + to the OSW ("base" only)its not that big now. circa £600 vs £900.
    As the OSW is a kit form they would struggle to commercialise an equivalent product at a competitive price. Having said that, I guess many people who ont want to get their hands dirty, risk smoke in the cockpit and learn all about soldering and various electronics terms like multimeter and ohms might feel that a premium of 25% over a kit quite reasonable (so £1125) to have it all arrive in a box with a warranty and a fully functioning formula rim available. So maybe its do-able.
    They have the Accuforce to contend with however. Which is effectively the same price as the OSW but with an inferior motor. I think it will be easier for this coy to upgrade the product from stepper to a server motor and score some potential OSW buyers. In fact I will be shocked if they dont. At this price, one shouldnt have to feel you have compromised.

    Where fanatec has a competitive advantage is
    1) Brand recognition
    2) Full range of peripherals they can offer
    3) ability to do a package deal
    4) Established Service network.
    5) Simplicity and appeal of a plug and play package.

    We shall see,
     
  6. Korva7

    Korva7 Registered

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    I went from normal car steering wheel to g27 rim. That lower mass definitely made ffb feel more crisp. But i want to remind that rotational mass differences of motors like Lenze and small mige are quite small compared to differences between different rims.

    One thing to take in to consideration is longevity of these things. I would guess OSW wins fanatec products on that with a good margin.
     
  7. davidporeilly

    davidporeilly Registered

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    One would think so, using a fraction of peak power most of the time and no belts. I will be dissappointed if I dont get 5 years plus.
     
  8. Led566

    Led566 Registered

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    Motor (even if it is Made in China...) and inverter are built to reach several thousand hours of MTBF while runnig h24 in industrial ambient.
    Much probably they will last forever in our houses.
     
  9. Spinelli

    Spinelli Banned

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    smbrm, if you have the money then just get it, man. It's awesome. You don't even need the extra power to feel the better FFB. Not all cars hit 26 Nm, most probably don't I have doubts about even the V8 SC's hitting 26 Nm based on the fact Niels said that he was sort of "simulating a loss of power steering".

    I have read maybe 2 or so reports of people going with larger motors (Lenze, Large Mige, etc.) and they said it did give them that little bit more dynamic range compared to a 20 Nm system but, seriously, these are the hardcore of the hardcore, not only that, but there's so much detail as-well as range of power in a Small Mige / IONI Pro non-HC kit that I honestly think that extra bit is meaningless to 90% of people - sort of like how a car that goes 370 km/h is meaningless to 90% of people who have a car that already goes 340 km/h - like, 370 km/h instead of 340 km/h, no one cares lol, good for you buddy, lol (unless you're in a racing competition, obviously).

    Honestly, Small Mige @ 5000 PPR, IONI Pro non-HC, PSP-600-48 PSU, and you're golden :)


    P.S. Don't expect miracles with the games. Yes, the FFB changes but the vehicle behavior obviously doesn't regardless of how amazing or terrible a given game is; you're still playing the same piece of software regardless if you use a Logi G27, TM T300RS, Fana CSW V2, SimX Accuforce, or DD Servo. IR will still drive/behave like IR, RF2 will still drive/behave like RF2, same with AC, PCars, GT Legends, Super Mario Kart (magic PC version only I posses), and so on and so on. Everything will be 10x more fun/engaging/immersive/tiring though :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2016

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