Time for a sim rig, something to mount an OSW mige to that isn’t a table. The biggest reason for wanting a rig is to have a proper seating position, currently I need to prop my pedals against water bottles so I can reach them!
Which doesn’t work because once I apply pressure to the load cell brake the entire pedal base lifts up.
First thing I did was look online at what was available retail in my area. By “my area” I mean a quick Google search for places in Thailand that sell sim racing gear.
www.coregamershop.com is pretty good, lists most things you can buy.
The cheapest would be a half cockpit stand for about $150. Then you can go all the way up to a playseat for about $450… and even up to $1600 for a play seat F1!
Imported components are generally more expensive than RRP in USA. Duties and shipping must be part of the reason why.
The cheaper items are made locally like the Xrace stuff.
I thought about a half cockpit for a while, especially if it was foldable. All I had to do was securely attach my computer chair to it. However the problem is the FFB strength from the mige, most likely the entire stand would move around or flex. The mige motor itself is a hefty 12kg.
Its the Human Racing GT Chassis, for about $650.
Googling for reviews, it seems that this particular cockpit is very old. In fact it was retailing at over $1000 in the US market when it was first released.
Human Racing is based in Thailand and based on their dead website, I’m assuming they either went underground or the company folded.
With that said, the GT Chassis seemed to fit the bill. However a couple of this worried me.
- The price (omg $650)
- The wheel mount doesn’t seem sturdy for a mige
- Bucket seat, I want something with more adjustability
- Pedal mounting for CSL Elite
It was then on my searches I came across the idea of building my own custom sim rig using something called 8020 or aluminium extrusion.
The usual google search in english turned up nothing. There is basically no online Thai retailer that has SEO their site to be english friendly at all. The only sites that came up are B2B companies.
I had to ask for help on a sim racing forum where a thai member had posted a work log of his custom rig using 8020. He kindly pointed me to http://www.dojogarden.com.
Finally success! Further more prices seem very reasonable considering how much the stuff costs in america.
A couple of things I wish to say to the company though:
- Your domain name sucks, at least have the words aluminium or extrusion in the url.
- Have at least one page in English with the words, “aluminium (8020) in Thailand Bangkok”
Finding the plans
Now I got the parts, I need the plans.
The only 2 plans that came freely on the internet that I found very useful are:
At the end of the day I decided to go with Kens rig because it had a shorter base length of 1.4m vs the 1.6m on the KPCR rig. The simple design of it also won me over and the keyboard tray was a very interesting idea.
With the plans downloaded, the next thing to do was to get a parts list together. The parts list in ken’s corner is perfect, however I wanted to make sure I understood the build before investing in any hard earned cash.
I also tested the waters by sending kens parts list to a local supplier and the bill for the alum extrusion itself came it at around $200. Not bad, with pricing for bolts, brackets and nuts it might be possible to build the entire rig for only $400, still cheaper than the $450 Playseat evolution. Add on the customization, rigidity and potential for upgrades I was sold on building my own rig.
CAD for Noobs
If you are like me, you want to test fit, experiment and play around with the build before committing to anything.
I’ve built an arcade machine before entirely out of 26mm MDF so I know how important it can be to fully understand what parts go where so that you waste as little time when it comes to the final build.
Many times online plans should be “vetted” individually by yourself so you know what “gotchas” there are.
The simplest way I found to do this was to use maycad.
You can download it from here.
Basically its a simple 3d drawing tool that you can use to build your rig “virtually”. It really helps to understand how everything fits together. Especially if you have never used alum extrusion before, just like me.
The best thing about maycad?
- Make sure all lengths fit
- You get a bill of materials that you can send to your supplier for a quote.
- Explore the thing in 3d
For someone that has never used any form of 3d modelling or CAD software before, this tool really was very easy to pick up and play.
In some ways its kinda fun and addictive process, kinda like playing some form of bridge design game!
If you do go on this path, just some tips to get you the most out of the program.
- Turn off “autosave” in the options menu. Why? The undo in the program is not 100% accurate. It won’t completely undo all operations so some brackets/extrusions will keep the new position instead of reverting to the old position. If you autosaved, then it means your incorrect edits are saved and you can’t revert back at all.
- The program likes to autoinsert connectors. Annoyingly, especially if you want to use brackets instead. I couldn’t find a way to turn it off. So after you finish placing the extrusions, you need to click on “Edit Connector” and remove each connection manually.I guess you could ignore the connectors, however just be aware that they will appear in your “Bill of Materials” later on. For a slightly OCD person like me I had to remove them to feel satisfied.
Other than installing the thing, you just have to be aware that the program takes a good 1 minute to start up. It hasn’t crashed… its just slow. Also the editor seems un-optimized as even on an expensive 1080 TI card frames would dip in 30s regularly. Maybe its the intense auto connector algo at work crashing my frames!?
Getting ready to order
Before I make the final plunge and order up the alum extrusion, the only thing left is to find a racing seat and get that in house so that I can measure its mounting holes exactly.
I can then go back to the virtual plans and edit it as I see fit.
For reference, I decided to get this reccaro seat.
The interesting thing is how cheap this seat is. Its under $100. Which means 1 of only 2 things…
- Its 2nd hand
- Its a fake
Since I’m in Thailand I’m willing to bet its most likely a fake since the same real seat retails for $300 in america.
It doesn’t matter to much, only that the seat better come with rails and a sliding mount, which according to the picture it seems to have.
Everything else is in Thai, so I only know how much it costs and how much it is RRP.
Side note, this site blocks “right click” so Google translate is a hassle to use.
Seriously guys, Fuck Off with your BS copyright announcement. Nothing stops me from pressing “ctrl-a, ctrl-v” to copy your content.
Luckily in Chrome, you can toggle google translate as a small icon appears in the url bar on the right hand side where you would normally star a page.