$20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby mayhemjordy » March 13th, 2011, 2:47 am

Hey,

I love ur setup!

Im making one myself and am wondering what games u play with it?

Im looking to play games such as Live for Speed and need for speed shift and am wondering how you get this to work, as in, does ALShift automattically sync with ur game and work?

Hopefully, this ALShift will support all my games and allow me to use a h-shifter
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby nikescar » March 13th, 2011, 3:02 pm

Thanks. :)

I use it in Live for Speed and iRacing just by assigning the buttons to the corresponding gear. These games go to neutral when a gear button isn't currently being pressed. For games like GTR Evolution that won't shift to neutral without a designated key press and for less-sim-y games I use ALShift. I'm gonna build a sequential shifter with a handbrake for rally games like Richard Burns Rally.

With ALShift you assign the up and down shifts to keys ('a' and 'z' are what I chose) and the software takes care of keeping track of everything. It doesn't sync with the games though as that would require a plugin that doesn't exist. If things go out of sync you can get it back on track by hitting the 'a' or 'z' keys until the game matches up with the shifter. This doesn't happen with sim racers because the game never takes over the shifting. In some more arcade-y racers the game will auto shift you down or up in some situations like crashes or in the pits.

You should also look out for the poll interval, key down time and shift delay settings in ALShift. If these are happening faster than the game can handle then you are going to get messed up shifts. There's a fine line between the game not keeping up with shifts and sluggish shifting. My settings in the original post should be a good starting point.

Let me know how it's working when you are up and running.
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby mayhemjordy » March 16th, 2011, 2:43 am

Thanks that helped heaps. some more mechanical questions...

1) how are the microswitches attached. did the little screws hold securely enough in the chopping board? im 5mm pice of acryclic and am considering hot glue aswell.

2) how exactly are the cupboard "locks" held into place

Cheers
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby nikescar » March 16th, 2011, 7:44 am

The microswitches I bought came with screws and I used two for each switch. They are pretty solid. The cutting board I used is probably a bit softer than acrylic so you may want to pre-drill holes for yours. I would test on a piece of scrap first. There isn't a lot of pressure exerted against the switches since they press pretty easily so you shouldn't need hot glue.

The cabinet clasps came with screws also. I made sure to place the screws so that the clasps cannot slide any further back when slamming the lever through shifts. To get the engagement angle right, there is a shim under each clasp. The board they are attached to is some scrap laminate flooring I had laying around. It's very dense so the screws hold the clasps very securely. The clasps are also placed so that when the shift lever is fully engaged the shift lever is almost touching the limits of the gear slot in the cutting board. This way when you shift, the clasp takes the beginning of the force and then the cutting board takes the rest if it's a hard shift.

here's a pic of the clasp:
Image
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby mayhemjordy » March 19th, 2011, 4:10 am

When you soldered to the board. You need one wire leading into switch(from board) and one leading out of switch (into board). I see on ur picture u only soldered one wire to each contact pad ( on the PCB) so did u use a common ground for all switches?
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby rjajmr0221 » April 12th, 2011, 7:33 pm

trying to duplicate this project and i was wondering if someone could help me make sense of the pcb on the controller i have, its a logitech dual action. having a hard time figuring out the grounds because there doesn't seem to be a common ground.
http://i42.tinypic.com/fxfkgh.jpg
and
http://i42.tinypic.com/2hf6ypy.jpg
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby nikescar » April 12th, 2011, 9:23 pm

Can I get higher res pics?

Without being able to make out the pictures very well I would guess the parts highlighted in red are negative and the green is positive. Better pics would help though.
Image

In my experience, the better quality the controller the harder it is to work with. Everything on that board is so tiny. My advice would be to buy a cheap $5 controller from eBay or one of the straight from China websites. If you are in the US checkout this auction: Here. For that price you can't go wrong.

Also, the same eBay shop that I bought my switches from are still selling. They took about 10 days to arrive (link).
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby rjajmr0221 » April 12th, 2011, 10:22 pm

its actually a pic i found on the web. i dont have a working camera, other than on my phone and that pic would be even worse. also don't have a mm, so i have been using a jumper to see what pads trigger what. from my testing so far i have confirmed that you are correct, other than what would be the d-pad down and d-pad right. those 2 are reversed for some reason.

also what is the best way to scrape of the solder points on the back of the pcb, this is my first attempt at such a project. i normally am too lazy and just buy something off the shelf, but this is turning into a fun project
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby Doomtooth » May 23rd, 2011, 5:18 pm

Can anyone let me know if this works "well" with Dirt 2? I don't play my GTR Revolution much and I usually stick to Dirt 2 and F1 2010 and since the F1 wouldn't use a gated shifter...

Anyway, I miss the gated shifting ever since I stopped driving about 9 months ago, and would love to embark on a DIY like this if it will work.

Once I finish my own DIY to fix my Thrusmaster wheel...damn nut for the table clamp was cheap and completely stripped after tearing three separate bolts to shreds...now I gotta find a new way to clamp this sucker down!
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Re: $20 DIY H-gate PC shifter for sim racing

Postby nikescar » December 13th, 2013, 2:59 pm

VIDEO

So, after my final year of schooling and the release of my first mobile video game, I decided it was time to finish some of my hardware tinkering projects. This shifter, now a $30 project, was used quite a bit in the form shown in this post (with the addition of a shifter knob off a Toyota MR-S). The shifter software was always a problem though. It was a hacked solution anyway so that is no surprise.

I thought I could do better so I swapped out the USB controller board for a Teensy 2.0. This board benefits from all the Arduino libraries, but is small, cheap, has a lot of pins, and a great layout.

Instead of simulating a game controller I'm using the Teensy to emulate a USB keyboard. This should mean greater compatibility with PC games since there are quite a few that do not allow controls to be mapped to two, and some cases three, different controllers (ie Steering Wheel, pedals, shifter).

I gave it two modes, "Sequential Shifting" and "Non-Sequential Shifting". Sequential maps only two keys for shifting up and down (A and Z for instance) and non-sequential maps a separate key for each gear lever position. This should allow compatibility with virtually any racing game. When the mode select button is pressed it switches between these two modes and the mode is indicated via the LED. The last selected mode is saved in EEPROM so that next time the shifter is plugged in, it loads that mode.

There is also a "Reset to Neutral" button that you would press if the gear selected on the Teensy goes out of sync with the gear in game. Just put the stick in neutral and press the button and the in game gear will set to neutral. *this is just a precaution and shouldn't be problem most of the time*

I'm reluctant to post the code for this shifter just yet since I haven't tested it in but a few games. It needs a bunch of testing but it does work now so HERE is the sketch. In a day or two, I'll follow this up with a post that updates the original post and gives the finished source.

It just so happens that I started thinking about this project again around the time theFubarino contest was announced. My entry is pretty simple but still cool (I think so at least :p ).

When the shifter is in non-sequential mode, shift through the following gears: 1, 3, 3, 7 and then wait a couple seconds. The Teensy will launch IE and type in the HaD web address. While each character of the address is being typed, the LED flashes the corresponding Morse code using the great and easy to use Morse EnDecoder. Why does it use Morse code? Why not?

Coincidentally, since each character takes a different length of time to complete its Morse code, the "typing" of the characters isn't at a constant speed and it gives a pretty good illusion of a human typing. I'm not sure what uses that might have but I'll keep it in the back of my mind.
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