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#1 Pedro L Ramalho

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Posted Feb 17 2018 - 10:32 AM

Friends,

Today I share with you the project I am developing for my sim racing cockpit.

I would like to have your oppinion and suggestions before I start buying the materials to build it.

It is an aluminium profile based sim racing cockpit, and the two main goals are: maximum adaptability and minimum investment.

I developed it fucused in having distance and angle regulations for almost everything, to permit the perfect driving position for me or for my 6 year old kid.

So, it has 12 different adjustment possibilities, like pedals plate angle and distance, wheel and shifter plate angle, height and distance, monitor height and distance, seat position, backrest position, angle and lenght, head rest position and overall lenght adjustment of the chassis for stowage when out of use (with half size).

Below I share with you some 3D screenshots of the drawing. What do you think? What would you do differently?

Thank you!
Pedro

Attached Files


Edited by Pedro L Ramalho, Feb 17 2018 - 10:37 AM.


#2 Remco Hitman

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Posted Feb 17 2018 - 11:23 AM

Hi, interesting project!

I'm curious why the base is in two pieces, because it will flex like mad this way. Also, 40x40 usually isn't enough for the base anyway.
You might want to look into the seat and pedal base too, I would give the lower seat section an angle like your current pedal base and make the pedal base elevated but flatter.
The support for the back of the seat needs to be way stronger, preferably with some diagonals. It won't be very stable now.
The uprights for the wheel stand need to be thicker but at least need supports on front and back, preferable 80x80 or even 120x120 angle brackets.

Those are some pointers. I'm no engineer but I work with alu raceframes a lot ;-)


Remco

#3 Pedro L Ramalho

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Posted Feb 17 2018 - 12:57 PM

Hi Remco,
Thank you so much for your pertinent comments.

The base in two pieces is only to allow the whole structure to close itself and reduce the occupied space to almost half, in order to pack it up when out of use. The base plates to connect both frames and the rubber feet below it (barely visible in the images) should avoid flexion.

Giving the lower seat section some angle will improve confort, I agree, but will increase cost too. I have doubts if it pays off, but I will rethink it.

The pedal base elevated would probably allow for a driving position more accordingly with modern Formula 1 cars. But my aim here is a classic racing car position, like a kart, or a classic Formula 1, with the seat at the same level of the pedals. Once again, to do that, the cost will increase.

The back of the seat is purposely without frame to experiment. It will be a bit flexible, but perhaps that flexibility is confortable to the back (depending on the thickness of the panel). If not, I will then reinforce it with framing, as you say (but that would block the backrest lenght tuning).

About the uprights for the wheel stand, yes, if I find them weak I can always reinforce them on both sides or use bigger angle brackets.

Thanks again for your useful analysis and tips.
Pedro

Edited by Pedro L Ramalho, Feb 17 2018 - 05:13 PM.


#4 Cookie

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Posted Feb 17 2018 - 03:06 PM

Remember you are not cruising with a street car and so there will be forces you never thought about.

I had to reinforce my wheelstand massively with a wooden shelf after I broke the original plastic plate...

#5 Michkov

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Posted Feb 17 2018 - 03:43 PM

A brace between the pedal and wheel frame is the first that comes to mind. To stiffen the wheelframe up a bit. It's surprising what forces go into what holds the wheel.

#6 Pedro L Ramalho

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Posted Feb 17 2018 - 05:10 PM

Thank you Cookie and Michkov for your comments.

Yes, the forces involved are high, but difficult to calculate as well. So it's difficult to determine exacly the framing needed. Insufficient framing is bad engineering but too much is bad engineering as well. Good engineering is the minimum required to work well.

But in this case we have two factors on our side: first, our body weight adds mass to the structure, that goes against the wheel forces; second, one of the advantages of this type of modular structures is that we can always add elements to reinforce it or upgrade it, like adding a brace as Michkov refers, for example.

#7 Millennium

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Posted Feb 18 2018 - 09:03 AM

I don't want to be rude, but what would building yourself a rig like this cost? GT Omega has some nice rigs for something like €400/500, which is still expensive but they seem to be quite good.

Edited by Millennium, Feb 18 2018 - 09:03 AM.


#8 John Woods

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Posted Feb 18 2018 - 10:08 AM

Raise the whole thing up so seat height is same as typical dining room chair...18-inches would be good.
Makes it all a lot easier to get in and out.

Agree with others whole rig is not substantial enough to withstand normal use and for sure not frantic panic moments.

Have watched friends shake my rig into wobbly pieces and one even ripped the well-clamped wheel off entirely and held it above his head in his locked-on hands after a terminal shunt.

Amazing the forces we can let go when things get scary.

Link to my built-from-scrap race rig.

It is fully adjustable for individual driver. Everything is on sliding panels with hex-head bolts screwed into threaded inserts for adjustment. Plus the BMW seat is adjustable.

Its a 10-year work in progress.

For better ergonomics make the pedal platform adjustable to help with matching pedals to arc of ankle and foot.

Also, it is not a good thing to have the seat and pedals at same level. This puts severe stress on lower back and becomes very uncomfortable. Early XKE Jaguars had this problem and it had to be fixed because it caused too many medical issues.

Pic from Paul Frere comments on driver seat position in "Sports Car and Competition Driving."



:D

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Edited by John Woods, Feb 18 2018 - 11:37 AM.


#9 Remco Hitman

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Posted Feb 18 2018 - 04:12 PM

A super cheap and easy way to stiffen the rig up is to use plywood. You can use it as a sort of dashboard. It will make the upper corners on the steering rack quite rigid.
For the (now very weak) base, you could use two triangles made of plywood, hinged together. Triangles are strong shapes. To pack up the rig, undo the front triangle and fold it back onto the other.

#10 Remco Hitman

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Posted Feb 18 2018 - 04:19 PM

At the very least let the base overlap more (like 30 or 40cm) and use 4 connectors. That should help a lot at very little cost.

At Heusinkveld, our alu rig has a base of 160x40mm profile, so 4x the height. It needs to be super rigid.

#11 Remco Hitman

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Posted Feb 18 2018 - 04:22 PM

Also, if you want to save money, leave out the head rest. You won't miss it!

#12 John Woods

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Posted Feb 19 2018 - 07:08 AM

Maybe try a mock-up version made of cardboard or wood sticks and tape to decide how easy it is to get in and out of it.

Also lengthen seat platform and raise the front of the seat to support legs and take stress off hips and back.



:D

Edited by John Woods, Feb 19 2018 - 07:13 AM.


#13 Pedro L Ramalho

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Posted Feb 19 2018 - 12:01 PM

Thank you very much my friends for your suggestions.

I am making some changes, based in your oppinions:

1) Both Remco and John refer the question of the angle and level of the seat. I agree. It will increase confort. To keep cost down I'm thinking in a simple solution with no height and angle regulation (just regulation in the horizontal). See new drawing attached;

2) Rethinked the flexibility of the back of the seat and decided to turn it to almost 100% rigid, increasing panel thickness. Making the same to the pedals base, allowed to remove 2 transversal aluminium frames and respective connections, which compesated the increase in cost of the ticker panels;

About the possible difficulty of getting in and out of the rig, I experimented a sort of mock-up version to check it, like John suggests, with some furniture, and it's not so difficult. Of course, it's not as easy as seating in the dining room chair, but that is not definitely what I want.

About the overall strenght of the structure I am net very worried about, because in this type of aluminium profile system it's always possible to make reinforcements and include additional elements if necessary. There are lots of different solutions, with framing, connections, etc. The base should not flex, Remco, because it has feet at the middle below the connections to guarantee horizontality. And the overlap of the base shown on the image is in it's maximun position; the normal position will be more overlaped. Didn't understood your suggestion of the 2 plywood triangles (by the way, I prefer to use polyethylene than plywood for the plates - it's cleaner, more durable and as easy to machine).

About the brand Millenium refers, no doubt a very good price, and if I did not like to invent, would be probably my choice. But yes, this project will cost far less (not counting my working hours, obviously). Nevertheless those structures are in painted steel... After some years the paint starts to fall here and there and the steel starts to rust. The anodized aluminium maintains always as brand new.

Pedro

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Edited by Pedro L Ramalho, Feb 19 2018 - 12:23 PM.


#14 John Woods

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Posted Feb 19 2018 - 02:34 PM

Now see this appears to be a nifty system of integrated structural components?

Is it?
What is it called?
Who makes it?

Maybe think about two additional uprights for the monitor/wheel stand with four connectors for the wheel platform rather than two.

You will need another one for LAN racing.



:D

Edited by John Woods, Feb 19 2018 - 02:35 PM.


#15 Pedro L Ramalho

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Posted Feb 19 2018 - 03:11 PM

Yes John, two additional uprights for the monitor/wheel stand with four connectors for the wheel platform is one of those possible solutions in case of the current configuration reveals to be insufficient. Sorry, I am not understanding your questions in the beggining of your last post... (english is not my mother tongue). What do you want to know?

Edited by Pedro L Ramalho, Feb 19 2018 - 03:11 PM.


#16 Michkov

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Posted Feb 19 2018 - 04:41 PM

View PostJohn Woods, on Feb 19 2018 - 02:34 PM, said:

Now see this appears to be a nifty system of integrated structural components?

Is it?
What is it called?
Who makes it?


Looks like 80/20 aluminium tubing to me. You can by the bars in bulk and build your rig to your specs. I've seen these pop up all over sim racing in the last year or two. Have a google for ideas and instructions.

#17 John Woods

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Posted Feb 20 2018 - 04:23 PM

Thanks, Michkov, for the link.

Guessing it is pretty sturdy given its variety of uses.

Also appears easy enough to triangulate struts and reduce flexing.



:D

#18 Remco Hitman

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Posted Mar 17 2018 - 10:26 AM

Hi Pedro,

So how's it going? Have you started or even finished building? Pics!!!!


:lol: :lol:

#19 Pedro L Ramalho

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Posted Mar 27 2018 - 04:06 PM

Hi Remco, thank you for your interest. I haven't started building yet. But the project is finished and ready.





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