Finally, it’s time to post my simpit project.
It is a 1:1 replica of a Tyrrell P34 6-wheeler tub, as true a copy as I could manage.
Here’s the dealio.
For a long time I’ve had a desire to build the ultimate simracing cockpit.
I started simracing 14 years ago, moving from games to sims over the years and upgrading my hardware along the way. My first hardware mod was to stick two buttons onto the wheel of my Thrustmaster T2. Back in 2003 I designed and built my own H-shifter in a primordial attempt to enhance realism in my sims. It was quite a success, and an obsession with simracing hardware was born!
Five years ago I built an aluminium raceframe to house my new controls: Logitech G25, custom 3-pedal set with 50KG load cell and a new, custom shifter. The pedal set and all steel shifter were designed by a friend, engineer and simracer Niels Heusinkveld.
I placed the unit in front of a projector screen and established simracing heaven.
While the rig was pretty sweet, I was constantly looking for ways to improve it as I found that working on the rig was almost as much fun as driving it! You know how it is..
Much of my efforts went into creating ever more realistic parameters to work with; more pressure on the brakes, realistic wheel rotation and FF settings, even reversing the H-pattern assignments to better emulate the ZF gearbox on the Lotus 49.
My efforts to achieve maximum realism soon revealed flaws in the raceframe I was using.
50KG on the brake pedal began to weaken the structure, even bending the 28mm MDF base plate! I was looking to increase the brake pressure (GTP cars often required up to 120KG!)
and this frame just wouldn’t cut it anymore. Besides, the €100 ‘racing ‘ seat proved rather uncomfortable and highly unsuitable for endurance efforts.
It was time to get serious.
I decided to get REALLY serious.
Fall 2008 I started researching what I felt was the perfect simracing cockpit: a Tyrrell P34 tub! The iconic 6-wheeler from one of the coolest teams and driven by one of the coolest drivers (Depailler), as featured in one of the coolest onboards ever:
In this endeavour, there would be no compromise. Every single detail was to be perfect.
Talk about setting yourself a challenge
It would involve building the tub, the seat, A-frame, new pedals and a new shifter.
All would have to be made using the correct materials:
Steel subframe, pedals and A-frame, aluminium tub and fibreglass seat.
You must know that I didn’t even know how to weld at this point! But, I had always wanted to learn and this was the perfect opportunity! Again with the challenges
First things first: I converted the bike shed into a DIY heaven. Isolated the walls and floor, threw in laminated floor boards and built wall to wall working surfaces. Dismantled all old electrics, installed fresh ones and added heating, gas-extraction and, of course, a PC with 5.1 sound, Internet and all available P34 reference material.
I threw away all old tools and bought everything new.
Ready to roll!
Edited by Remco Hitman, Aug 29 2011 - 07:36 PM.