Obsessive hobbies....

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Ronin

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Agree with Brandon. Although the Sim setup above looks awesome and no doubt is a ton of fun, it looks like it costs about what a Miata would and regardless there is no sim in the world that comes close in replicating a nice drive in my GT500 (or a Z06). Much less on a track. But maybe that is not the purpose. Fun is fun and the sim route looks like a fun hobby. I would love a basement with a car sim, golf sim etc.
 

Robert D

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Agree with Brandon. Although the Sim setup above looks awesome and no doubt is a ton of fun, it looks like it costs about what a Miata would and regardless there is no sim in the world that comes close in replicating a nice drive in my GT500 (or a Z06). Much less on a track. But maybe that is not the purpose. Fun is fun and the sim route looks like a fun hobby. I would love a basement with a car sim, golf sim etc.
The best thing about sim racing is you can push it to the very limit on the track, and when you push too hard and smash into the wall there isn't any worries. The event just starts off with a nice fresh car.
Personally, when I race around mid-ohio track I have some fear in me that prevents me from going to the limit around corners and even on the back straight. I guess I'm a whimp! With the sim it's fun to not worry about it. Many guys use sims on a particular track and then do it for real to decrease lap time.
 
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Back in the 90s I was at best a mediocre shade tree mechanic, things in the realm of possibility were changing oil & spark plugs - not much more. Once I was introduced to small displacement forced induction engines, that all changed. I became hooked on torque & velocity plus doing the work myself. In 1993 I bought an all wheel drive Mitsubishi Eclipse, which began the madness. When the turbocharger went out, it took a weekend to do the upgraded parts swap, but I did it myself. The results were fun, but not fun enough. More turbo + more fuel == more fun, right?

One of the memorable cars was a 1995 Toyota Supra Mark 4, which I bought in 2000. That 2JZ-GTE engine is pretty amazing, it took to modifications like wet on water. Blew the engine playing with nitrous, rebuilt it in my garage & added, of course, more turbo & more fuel. Legend.

Fast forward to 2022, after a bunch of turbocharged cars between, there's been a 2016 BMW M4 in the garage since August of 2019. And it's got a 'tasteful' list of modifications. I knew it was strong, just didn't know how strong. A pal set up a private 1/2 day at a local track a couple months ago, and even with minimal traction (spin Spin SPIN) the car ran a 131.9 mph quarter mile. A couple weeks ago it got strapped to a dyno & made 701 hp & 674 foot pounds of torque to the wheels.

Why? Because it's a load of fun, and because I can. :) It's my daily driver during spring/summer/fall.
 

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RCHeliGuy

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The best thing about sim racing is you can push it to the very limit on the track, and when you push too hard and smash into the wall there isn't any worries. The event just starts off with a nice fresh car.
Personally, when I race around mid-ohio track I have some fear in me that prevents me from going to the limit around corners and even on the back straight. I guess I'm a whimp! With the sim it's fun to not worry about it. Many guys use sims on a particular track and then do it for real to decrease lap time.

The fact that you make time to get out to the track makes it an experience!

I'm not trying to take away from real life experience. My comment was more that "I" would never make that time, so a sim is the best that I'm going to experience. I've also been told by a number of real racers that the fear factor is both real and important. Not wanting to get hurt in a crash or damage your car is a real concern and it helps drivers behave better on the track.

What you might find fun about sim racing is the actual racing part. Pitting yourself against other drivers without the potential danger to yourself or your car. What you will notice in sim racing is that because there is no danger to yourself or concern for cost of repairs, many drivers will take risks or drive more aggressively.

FYI, I've owned a Miata that I purchased new in 1991. British racing green with tan leather. I absolutely have more in my rig than that car cost me back then, but I'm not sure I need to qualify that statement. I've dropped $10K on my rig this year alone and I'm looking at picking up a new Nvidia 4090 GPU shortly which will likely be $1600-2000. I'm also looking at the Slaw RH Rotor pedals which would be another ~$600. So it just keeps going and going...
 
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RCHeliGuy

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New Slaw flight pedals from Poland. They feel like they came out of a tank. Virpil CM3 stick base arriving tomorrow with adjustable drag on both axis, a i9-13900K arriving soon and waiting for the next batch of RTX 4090's to arrive to get an order in. After that I've pretty well exhausted what there is left to do. Until a next generation VR headset is released. I can't think of anything else.
Slaw_8657.jpg
 

Robert D

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New Slaw flight pedals from Poland. They feel like they came out of a tank. Virpil CM3 stick base arriving tomorrow with adjustable drag on both axis, a i9-13900K arriving soon and waiting for the next batch of RTX 4090's to arrive to get an order in. After that I've pretty well exhausted what there is left to do. Until a next generation VR headset is released. I can't think of anything else.
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Im using a rtxx 3080ti now and have decided I will just skip the 4000 gen. I did it easily last time going from a gtx 1080ti to what I have now. Im guessing you are building a mostly new computer for the new video card? I know they require more power. I think you want about 1200 watts for that, or 1000 min?
 

RCHeliGuy

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Im using a rtxx 3080ti now and have decided I will just skip the 4000 gen. I did it easily last time going from a gtx 1080ti to what I have now. Im guessing you are building a mostly new computer for the new video card? I know they require more power. I think you want about 1200 watts for that, or 1000 min?

I'm going from a 2080Ti to the 4090 which is a pretty huge upgrade.
I'm not rebuilding a new system. I already have a Fractal Torrent which is one of the largest well ventilated cases available with a 1200W PSU. The Z690 motherboard has a i9-12900K that I can just swap in an i9-13900K without touching anything else.

What I saw was that there was a 15-18% improvement between the 12900K and 13900K when using a 4090 for VR. Lots of sim titles are CPU bottlenecked.

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The new flight pedals are smooth as butter!
SlawMounted_8662.jpg
 

Robert D

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I'm going from a 2080Ti to the 4090 which is a pretty huge upgrade.
I'm not rebuilding a new system. I already have a Fractal Torrent which is one of the largest well ventilated cases available with a 1200W PSU. The Z690 motherboard has a i9-12900K that I can just swap in an i9-13900K without touching anything else.

What I saw was that there was a 15-18% improvement between the 12900K and 13900K when using a 4090 for VR. Lots of sim titles are CPU bottlenecked.

View attachment 23415

The new flight pedals are smooth as butter!
View attachment 23416
Sounds great. It really isn't necessary to upgrade every gen of nvidia card. You will be amazed at the increase in performance. That might be about 4x. I was amazed going from the 1080 to the 3080ti.
 

RCHeliGuy

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Picked up an HP Reverb G2 recently. Out of the box the FOV and in focus area was pretty bad, but after 3D printing a FrankenFOV facial interface for it, they both improved enough for me to think I could live with it at least for sims. The WMR hand controllers are the worst! I did get a couple USB dongles for my Index hand controllers so I could pair them and run them with the G2.

Also setup OpenXR to increase efficiency.

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A bit ugly, but my first TPU print for the nose light guard.
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Then I needed something to drive that resolution.
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The Fractal Torrent case has gobs of space inside. It looks like it's begging me for something even larger.
RTX4090_8738.jpg


I also decided that I wanted to find a way to get my retractable casters back. So I came up with a quick release for them. I just sent all my DXF files off to SendCutSend and they are laser cutting the aluminum for me. Hopefully I'll get the parts pretty soon.

finalBolts_8729.jpg
FinalBolts_8731.jpg
 

RCHeliGuy

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Things haven't changed much. All the 4090's sold out in 5 minutes on October 12th. Most cards that are available today are from scalpers. Mine was. I didn't feel good about it. I hate reinforcing that type of behavior. On the other hand I got a card and wouldn't have otherwise. Someone pocketed an extra $500 for the card I purchased.
 

Robert D

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Things haven't changed much. All the 4090's sold out in 5 minutes on October 12th. Most cards that are available today are from scalpers. Mine was. I didn't feel good about it. I hate reinforcing that type of behavior. On the other hand I got a card and wouldn't have otherwise. Someone pocketed an extra $500 for the card I purchased.
Microcenter here in town was selling the 4090 for about $1600 if I remember right. Saw it online, they had about 6. Sold out fast. I entered a lottery Microcenter had last year and won the right to buy mine. Got lucky. I don't think they need to do the lottery now because they are much less rare. Seems they sold all of their 4000 series fast. It should get better once they aren't so new to market.
 

Robert D

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I wanted to make sure I had it in time for Thanksgiving break and had a moment of weakness.
Yeah, when I bought last year I felt like a fool paying what I did, but my gtx 1080ti was getting long in the teeth. It is what it is for the time being.
 

RCHeliGuy

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I ended up selling the Reverb G2.

The WMR inside out tracking had a number of issues.

1. In Rally with motion if I was turned looking into a corner and hit a bump it would sometimes recenter leaving me turned sideways.

2. For room scale games, the height was never right. With the Index, calibration was simply placing the headset on the floor and from that point on it had the correct height for any player. With the G2 you were supported to hold the headset out to calibrate height and there was no way to get it right. Even the Oculus Rift had you calibrate the height while you were wearing the headset which would also work.

The WMR hand controllers are junk compared to the Index controllers. However I understood that I could pair my Index controllers to the G2. So I purchased a couple USB dongles for my Index controllers and went through the calibration which sort of worked, but was very painful and I could never get it quite right.

The G2 headset was comfortable and lighter than my Index, but the off ear speakers are not nearly as adjustable so it never sounded quite as good because I couldn't get them positioned as well.

The resolution was excellent in the center of the lenses, but the off center blur even with the FrankenFOV insert was very distracting. I lost my feeling of being in the car. It felt more like I was looking at a pretty picture from inside the car. I'm thinking that's because of the narrower field of view and how blurry things got if you looked to the sides of the lenses. I was obviously disorientated wearing them and my driving was faster when I was wearing the Index.

I sold the G2 at a slight loss to someone over seas who also has a pretty serious sim rig, but who had never experienced VR and he wanted try it out. The G2 has gone on sale in the US as low as $299.99, but overseas it is much more expensive and doesn't go on sale. I was very honest about my experiences with the headset and he still wanted it.

I did briefly consider the Varjo Aero on sale on Black Friday for $1699. It gets some excellent reviews and my 4090 could drive it pretty well. However it also has a number of draw backs. I know people who have tried out the Vive Pro 2 and couldn't live with it. There is the Pico 3 and Pico 4 that I'm not interested in. At this point I'm still waiting for Valve to introduce their replacement for my 3.5 year old Index but nothing has been announced and while there are many patents and rumors, there is nothing concrete.

I did recently get a Leap Motion hand tracker that fits into the "frunk" of my Valve Index. It's for use in flight games like DCS and lets you select cockpit controls that you can see in VR and press buttons or turn knobs etc.. I was able to get a small micro USB to USB-A adapter so that it can plug directly into the USB connector in the frunk.

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The video below shows how the Leap Motion works in DCS.

 

RCHeliGuy

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Otherwise I believe I have actually finished off my rig for real this time and took care of the last little niggly things that I've been meaning to do.

I replaced my flight throttle quick release bolted to the side of my seat bracket which worked pretty well and was made from stock 8020 parts, but looked a but unfinished below.

OldMount_8921.jpg


The 3D printed part below was my 4th iteration. It has two 100mm M8 bolts running through it for stiffness and it grabs the profile under my throttle firmly and from the side to prevent any rotation. I also angled it up a bit and rotated it 5 degrees for better ergonomics.

FourthPrint_8946.jpg


I also replaced another stock 8020 pair of brackets.

PedalDeckBrackets.jpg


I designed these parts to be a bit wider so the lever bolts would spin without any interference and to look a bit cleaner.

PedalDeckBracket_8878.jpg
 
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