OpenSimWheel DIY… or not

This last week has been somewhat unclear. Barry Rowland published another outstanding review with Direct Drive wheels. Three candidates; Accuforce, SimSteering system (AKA Leo Bodnar’s wheel) and a customized version of the OpenSimWheel.
As you may know, people has been ranting and screaming with the final “results” of this review. Barry covered his back with 6 different reviewers to get a generic picture of the hardware/software capacities. If I have to summarize important points in this video, I would say mainly two:

  • Stepper motors (or at least AF motor) are not as suitable as servos are.
  • More Nm (torque) seems to communicate the feeling on the track better. Delivered within a limit of 30Nm.

So, in the test OSW was running a Kollmorgen servo motor up to 29.7 Nm, and Granite Devices’ Argon as a servo drive. Leo Bodnar’s system was running a “weaker” Kollmorgen (like a small Mige, we’ll see later what this means) and not very surprisingly was placed behind the OSW for most of the reviewers.

Note: The little chinese MiGe, is the cheaper motor recommended to make this project worthy.

Since then, people have changed all its preferences. Accuforce has been replaced by an OSW as the most high range desired object. Bad thing is OSW is a DIY project and no one is selling a standardized product, is it?

Ok, not a fully finished product but there is a couple of alternatives if you decide walking this path:

(Outdated) Dennis Reimer:
His newly released site, yet in german, allow you to check different packs and options to plug and “drive”. Different motors and servo drives to choose. Starting on 1599€.

(Not plug and play) Ollie Aina:
IONI based kit with nearly all the mounting done. Plug and “drive” too. Small MiGe as motor and a All-in-one board designed by himself. 725 GBP.

Update summer 2016

(In stock) Tomo Meglic:
IONI HC and Argon kits with a MiGe upgraded with 5000 ppr encoder. Starting at 1220€. Ready to drive and play. You need to add a rim and maybe a QR. My preferred option right now.

(Waiting list) Augury OSW kit:
Made in Spain Argon OSW kit. 5000 ppr encoder.

I started myself on April, two days before IONI Indiegogo campaign was gone. Today I am still waiting for the IONI and for the rim. Almost everything else is already on my hands. All I need to do is put it together in a box. Sounds easy, right? Probably it isn’t.

Let’s summarize what I’ve done:
– Contact with Lisa Zhan and ask for small MiGe and the cables (don’t forget those **** cables)
– Contact with Holger Buchfink an get a Q1R
– Contact with Martin Ascher and get the MiGe mount
– Martin told me to ask Carsten Filmer for a good rim.
– Find a box to accommodate all the electronics. Hello CoolerMaster Elite 110.
– Buy a IONI Pro kit.
– Contact Dennis Reimer to buy PCBs to ease the wiring.
– Pay customs.
– Find an european provider for all the electronics. Mean Well and all these little and expensive things.
– Find a provider for Discovery board.

If you are in a hurry, there is only one choice at this moment; Argon servo drive path and the motor that you want. It is not the cheaper alternative but it is the fastest and most proven one. Maybe one or two months from now on I hope to be driving the little one and I’ll post some impressions about it.

Wish me good luck. 🙂

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