Build Guide SFX-100 Motion Platform – Part 4 Bolting up to the rig and testing

By January 5, 2019 January 9th, 2019 SFX-100, Sim Rig

Note this is part 4 in a five part series : 

  1. Sourcing and printing – https://www.rowanhick.com/2018/12/09/building-the-sfx-100-motion-sim-platform
  2. Electronics and motor testing – https://www.rowanhick.com/2018/12/09/build-guide-sfx-100-motion-platform-part-2-electronics-and-testing
  3. Actuator Assembly – https://www.rowanhick.com/2018/12/28/build-guide-sfx-100-motion-platform-part-3-actuator-mechanical-assembly
  4. Mounting it all and final testing – this page
  5. Detailed review – in progress

In my previous posts I went through sourcing the parts, wiring the electronics, and building the actuators… now we’re getting to the pointy end – software, testing, and final assembly to the rig.

Software Setup

Well that was easy. It installed ran, flashed the firmware of the arduino without problems, and got telemetry output from Assetto Corsa Competizione without problems. No errors, no hiccups. Well done !

Testing

Having had a motor wired up and seeing how much it moved around without being hooked up to an actuator…

… I quickly realised this thing could do some damage if it went haywire. So erring on the side of caution I “bench tested” the actuators before bolting to the sim rig.

Given the videos I’ve seen I’m sure everyone’s had the same theory. I got a green light from the telemetry, a green light from the motors, so all systems go – press the start button. The actuators moved to their “holding position”. Fire up ACC and start seeing them move… exciting stuff.

After verifying they were going to work it was time to think about mounting them.

Rig mounting

Mocking them up next to the rig :

I *had* this beautifully finished MDF rig, had, and then it met a variety of cutting implements. I should have taken a bit more care but there was a bunch of wood between me and trying out my motion platform. Not entirely sure it would work (the rig that is) I just went for it, the beauty of wood being you can come back later and finish it off.

Basic theory was, get as much weight out of it as possible, I can always stiffen it up later on. The big things were removing all the mounting areas for screen/electronics. And taking out wood from areas that were obviously way too overbuilt.

Kinda like cosmetic surgery

After a good few hours of hack and slash I had a platform ready to mount the actuators too. But first, I had 64 little bits of alloy to file off. Damnit. The brackets I’d ordered to mount the actuators onto the platform had these little locating thingys that needed to go…

Finally done

Checking and re-checking wiring I nervously pressed “Start” on simfeedback – the rig immediately cycled up to ‘ride height’. We’re in business ! I fired up ACC, and then watched the rig move around….

Oh o, were my immediate thoughts. This thing is brutal.

The rig literally jumped off the ground when going into the ACC Setup screen. Mind you it probably weighed about 30kg at this point and didn’t have seat/wheel/pedals/me in it. However – this definitely isn’t a toy.

I then *had* to get everything else bolted in and setup some kind of monitor mount. Luckily it was now holiday time so it looked like a mid night mission was on the cards.

A couple of hours later everything was setup for the first test.

Initial test run

Tracks come alive. There’s no other way of putting it.  Visually you can’t see much/if any difference on the tracks, with this platform you can feel bumps, hollows, crests, you can tell a shallow curb from a sausage curb. It’s absolutely incredible (and I’m a harsh critic).

I fired up Hungaroring – coming down the front straight it got bumpier and bumpier into T1. “Whhhaaaaat” I thought to myself. “No way, it’s actually replicating this”. With the motors set to 3000rpm, the “1” intensity level on the standard AC profile the rig was moving quite significantly.

I’ve tried an older/original DBox, a Next Level Platform, and a Sim Experience platform – now obviously you’ve got to take the “I just poured xx hours into this” with a grain of salt, that said the SFX is pretty damn incredible. It’s quiet. It’s quieter than SCN-6’s and it’s brutally fast.

Here’s one of my first tests..

After about 2 weeks of running it I’m putting my thoughts down into a separate post…. coming shortly.

2 Comments

  • Ben Kay says:

    Love these guides Rowan…just a tip. Those brackets with the groove tabs….stick a flat head screwdriver behind the tab, against the body of the bracket. Lift up and they snap off easily (they’re designed to do this)….significantly faster, and much less messy than filing them off!!!

  • Ben Kay says:

    Eugh. Ignore that comment. Just zoomed in and realised the tabs on yours are cast onto the solid-face…nightmare!!

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