Adding buttons to an OSW with the MCP23S17 serial chip

Adding buttons to an OSW with the MCP23S17 serial chip

I replaced my g27 pedals with a custom setup, and I also use a custom sequential shifter and handbrake.  I’m running a direct drive OpenSimWheel, which is brilliant, and the G27 shifter is currently connected to it for shifting/button purposes.  I wanted to remove the G27 shifter, which contains a serial interface chip which converts approximately 16 buttons into just 5 wires connected to the Disco USB controller.  On the OpenSimWheel with MMOS firmware, you can connect buttons directly to the STM32F4-Discovery controller board, but you would need one wire for each button which isn’t practical.  A serial converter board connected to the Discovery controller would allow me to remove the G27 shifter, and still connect the sequential shifter and e-brake.  Of course, you could have a separate USB controller, but I like having it all run through the Discovery in my OSW.

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Custom Hydraulic + Load Cell Sim Racing Pedals

Custom Hydraulic + Load Cell Sim Racing Pedals

The OpenSimWheel direct drive steering wheel I built recently has completely outclassed the Logitech G27 pedals and shifter, so I’ve decided to upgrade my pedals.  I’m after hydraulic pedal feel, smooth action, long pedal arms, and a more realistic progressive brake pedal.  I’d like some Heusinkveld Ultimate pedals, but they’re out of my price range.  So I built some pedals with similar features and layout, out of recycled timber.

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Dirt Rally 0.6 Update unofficially supports Direct Drive (OSW) Wheels

Dirt Rally 0.6 Update unofficially supports Direct Drive (OSW) Wheels

Dirt Rally is shaping up to being a solid rally sim, which is pretty exciting considering there haven’t been any good rally sims released in about 10 years.  I was enjoying it with my old G27, but when I moved to an OSW I soon discovered that the game only supported a fixed list of popular steering wheels.  Almost every other driving game allows any direct input compliant steering wheel to be used, except Codemasters titles.  Perhaps they could rewrite their controller setup UI to be something versatile like the menus in iRacing or Assetto Corsa.

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BruteForce2 Direct Drive Wheel is up and running

BruteForce2 Direct Drive Wheel is up and running

My OSW direct drive steering wheel is up and running, with a Granite Devices Ioni servo drive on an Ionicube 1x board.  I’m on a budget, so I built everything possible from timber, with many hours of work.  I used some 100 year old palings from a fence we pulled down, which are a beautiful dark hardwood.  I also made an adaptor for the Momo to clamp onto the motor shaft from timber, I shaped a circular piece of timber, cut a 24mm hole, and cut it into two c shaped pieces, with m6 bolts to clamp onto the shaft.  It works perfectly.  I didn’t need to buy a motor mount, enclosure, and b-com connector for the steering wheel, saving hundreds of dollars.  I’m very happy with how it’s worked out.

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Logitech G27 Load Cell Brake Mod

Logitech G27 Load Cell Brake Mod

Logitech G27 pedals are well constructed, but the pedal feel and the brake response leave a lot to be desired.  The lack of a pressure based brake made it difficult to consistently apply the same amount of braking.  The first upgrade I installed was a GTEye progressive spring, which made the brake firmer, and a bit more progressive feeling.  I think it would actually be better if it was more progressive, it still didn’t feel realistic.  Keep in mind that firmer pedals require a more sturdy rig to mount your setup on.

I figured the braking accuracy would be better with a load cell.  A potentiometer has limited resolution at the point when the brake gets progressively firmer, because the potentiometer reads movement rather than pressure.  So I looked at the load cell options available for the G27/G25.  The APElectrix mod uses a button load cell, which sits inside the red spring housing and limits spring length and pedal travel, which didn’t seem ideal.  You could buy your own button load cell, and work out a spring combination that you like.  I had seen a load cell mod for T500 pedals that used a beam load cell and looked more durable.  I set out to make something similar for the G27.

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70mm adaptor for Logitech G27 wheel

I picked up a leather Momo steering wheel, and made a quick wooden adaptor so that I could mount it on the Logitech G27. The top part is narrower to allow the G27 shift indicator to sit above it, not that it ever shows anything.  It works fine and didn’t cost me anything to make.  The 350mm Momo wheel is great, but it highlights the lack of torque in the g27.

wood g27 standard 70mm wheel adaptor