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Thread: Building The Most Immersive Elite Dangerous Simulator - An Extensive Guide

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    Building The Most Immersive Elite Dangerous Simulator - An Extensive Guide

    I've spent a lot of time researching various ways to make Elite Dangerous as immersive as absolutely possible. Personally I play in VR so a large part of my goal is to never need to take my Rift off to keep from breaking immersion. While I feel VR is a HUGE addition to this game this guide does not necessarily require you to use VR nor is it meant to be a discussion about the merits of VR. Hopefully each section should benefit players on an individual basis, while some compliment others you certainly don't need them all to enjoy their benefits.

    Of course let's first start off with a picture as we all like pretty pictures, right??

    NOTE ABOUT VR - Yes, of course I use VR, if you'll look closely my Rift if hanging off my right rear speaker and the camera is above my center monitor.





    Let's start with a table of contents to make this easier. NOTE: If someone knows how to use internal anchor links for each of these please let me know, as I can tell that has to be added to vBulliten by the admins.


    • Computer
    • Software
    • Displays / VR
    • Chassis
    • Motion Platform & Systems
    • Flight Controls
    • Racing Controls / Button boxes
    • Audio
    • Storage
    • Cooling / Miscellaneous
    • Costs
    • Questions / The Future
    • Pictures




    Computer
    While my PC is fairly nice it was built a few years ago and there are far too many options to fully discuss the best computer setup for Elite Dangerous. You could spend far less or far more on your PC than I have, that said here are the main specs of my system:
    • Asus ROG Hero VII Maximus board
    • Core i7 4770k 3.5ghz
    • 32 GB DDR3 RAM
    • 2x Zotac AMP!Extreme GTX 1080 GPU in SLI (SLI disabled while in VR)
    • 2 Smsung EVO 850 SSD RAID 0
    • 1TB 3.5" SATA HD
    • Intel Gigabit Ethernet
    • Onboard 5.1 Audio





    Software
    There are many small pieces of software that I use to make things not only easier to use but add significantly to immersion while playing Elite (and other sim games such as racing). Here is a list of all the various things I use specifically for Elite
    • ED Engineer - If you're doing or plan to do Engineering you owe it to yourself to use this little gem. In short after an initial sync where you tell it what is in your cargo/materials/data from that point forward it tracks everything you acquire and everything you use/sell/jettison. It then uses that information to show you what you can craft with each Engineer and what you need to acquire for the blueprints you can't. You can add the blueprints you want to do to favorites and build a shopping list where it will show you how much of what item you need to obtain for that modification - oh and it will give you information on where best to find that information. I could go on about this for an entire post, I've gushed about it to a few friends but none were doing any engineering at the time. Finally a buddy said "okay, damn were you right, EDEngineer is amazing". While you still have to grind a bit to acquire some items this makes the planning of that so simple that for me I went from never touching engineering to doing it quite a bit. Every so often I'll glance at it to see what I'm close to being able to do that's on my favorites list and when I see I'm close I'll stop and go get the needed items. Again I could gush about this for days, please PLEASE go have a look! - NOTE: I've put this first on the list as if you try one thing here this is the one to try. Trust me now and thank me later!
    • Windows 10 Enterprise (I use Enterprise instead of Pro simply for work which while I do so seldomly I do use it for that)
    • Oculus Debug Tool (to set 2.0 Supersampling - more on this later)
    • Windows Media Player (for tunes while flying around)
    • WMP Keys - allows hotkey control of basic WMP functions
    • JoyToKey - This FANTASTIC little application is KEY for HOTAS/Joystick players. In short it lets you take any joystick or button box input and turn that into any kind of keyboard or mouse output. I use this extensively - one simple example is the "Brake Bias" knob on my dash button box (to the right of my steering wheel) can be mapped so that each click to the right executes "Ctrl+Shift+U" and to the left "Ctrl+Shift+D" then those hotkeys are added to WMP Keys allowing me to have a physical volume knob for WMP separately from the main system volume. It also allows you to use any joystick/button input into games that can only read from a single device or don't support Joysticks at all (like say No Man's Sky) TRULY FANTASTIC
    • VoiceAttack - You must know what this is. I've built many many custom commands for myself, such as "Share Screenshot to Discord", etc. There are MANY threads on this fantastic piece of software, must have for Elite
    • EDDI (Elite Dangerous Data Interface - This is easily my favorite free app/mod for Elite and is one of my favorite immersion apps that I use. It's a free app that either runs as a plugin to VoiceAttack or standalone. It does a wealth of things, a few are: Logging all your jumps/trips to EDSM (Elite Dangerous Star Map), responds to questions about ship status "damage report" and my favorite it will give you a ton of stats about the upcoming system while you're jumping in Witch Space. As you jump you'll get "You next destination is the SOL system, you have visited this system 14 times. SOL is home to 9.8 billion souls and is currently in a state of boom, as such there may be great trading opportunities found here". Those are just a few little examples of what this wonderful app does - you owe it to yourself to give it a try, oh and did I mention it's free?
    • Ivona Voices (Emma) - I'm a huge fan of all the vocal feedback you get not only from Elite but from tools like VoiceAttack and EDDI. While the standard Windows 10 voice Zina (IIRC) is rather good the Ivona voices, specifically Emma are rather incredible. It's extremely hard to tell it's not a human, I get questions on it all the time while streaming. People don't understand how I got someone to record all the dialog and are rather impressed when I point it out. It is $45 for a voice and while expensive that's a rather small drop in my rather large bucket.
    • ShareX - Simply put the greatest screenshot application out there. Highly scriptable and customizeable, if there is something you want to do with screenshots you can do it with ShareX. Per above in combination with VoiceAttack I can say "Share Screenshot to Discord" and ShareX snaps a screenshot of Elite, selects Discord, moves my mouse to the chat input box, right clicks, moves to "Paste", clicks (ShareX uploads the screenshot to Imgur and puts the URL on the clipboard automatically) and then presses enter - pasting the screenshot into Discord to share with friends. I can do all this without ever taking off my Rift and without breaking immersion.
    • Discord - Again you must know what this is, currently the most popular voice chat application out there
    • JoyFocus - This is a simple little AutoHotkey script that watches for Joystick/Throttle/Pedal input and when anything is moved focus is set to the Elite window. When playing in non-fullscreen mode (very common for VR players) this is key as it's common for other applications to steal focus. When this happens your view in headset continues to function but your controls go dead until you get the keyboard/mouse to regain window focus breaking immersion badly (and if it happens during combat your life!) It does require AutoHotkey to be running but that's a fairly small price to pay for this little gem
    • OBS Studio - Another app too large for this guide, OBS allows you to stream to popular game streaming services like Youtube Gaming and Twitch. You can also use it to record high quality local videos. Note: Using this in VR isn't great as every tiny movement you make with your head is recorded and the output video is *very* shakey, just is what it is.
    • VoiceMeter - This is a small audio mixing application that allows you to route different audio sources to different output devices. This allows me to have OBS record audio from the game and not from other applications like Windows Media Player or Discord. Very handy if you want to produce a video while playing but still want to listen to music or chat with others online
    • Motion Systems ForceSeat - specific to my Pagnian 2DOF motion system. Unfortunately Elite doesn't support external telemetry like racing titles (and some flight like War Thunder) but it can track my flight stick input and act accordingly. More on this later.


    Games
    I also thought I'd list most of the games that I play on this system. I'm excluding shooters and other non "simulation" games, only including racing and flight. Basically those games that take advantage of a large portion of my system.

    Flight

    • Elite Dangerous Horizons (duh)
    • DCS World
    • Descent Underground
    • House of the Dying Sun
    • Eve Valkyrie
    • MechWarrior Online
    • Star Citizen
    • Void 21
    • War Thunder


    Racing

    • iRacing
    • Assetto Corsa
    • Project Cars
    • Dirt Rally
    • F1 2013
    • rFactor 2
    • Euro Truck Simulator




    Displays / VR
    When I first built my system VR wasn't available so I went with 3 27" Asus curved 1080p LCD monitors. I chose them due to the curved display with the hope of creating a wrap-around effect adding to immersion in racing titles. While they are nice monitors the curve is essentially useless and at the distance they are and way they are mounted I have to point it out to people for them to even notice. I wish I'd instead gone with high refresh rate gaming monitors instead, that said they are still nice displays. I actually prefer them to VR for racing titles as the field of view is wide enough for what I need to see and the image quality is so much higher. While you do look left or right at times in racing for the vast majority of the time your looking forward so VR is far less important than in flight titles with combat.

    For VR I have the Oculus Rift. Discussing the difference between the Rift and Vive is way outside the scope of this guide, I chose the Rift as I was a Kickstarter backer and prefer it due to the lighter weight. I also game sitting down (duh) so don't need nor care about the hand controls. That said when Oculus releases them I'll likely pick up a set to see if I enjoy using them for other styles of gaming. While there are many disadvantages to VR, again outside the scope of this guide, I will say the immersion it adds in Elite is incredible. For me it is the difference in playing a video game and flying a spaceship, it's that huge. It's easily dismissed by those that haven't lived with it for at least a short time, when my Rift arrived I was so disappointed I posted it online within hours of opening it. Once I got an offer I thought "I should try it and my Warthog with Elite at least once just to see" and from that point on I was sold and told the buyer sorry I was keeping it. VR in Elite is simply incredible, plain and simple.

    A note on Oculus Debug Tool mentioned above. Again there are many guides on getting the best quality out of the Rift while playing Elite Dangerous. As my Zotac AMP!Extreme is one of the fastest of the GTX 1080 series I run Elite in 1.0 Supersampling then run the Oculus Debug Tool in 2.0 Supersampling. I find that this combination along with Elite set in full Ultra settings makes everything very crisp and easily readable. Is it as crisp and beautiful as on my 1080p displays or 4k - of course not but the trade off for immersion to me is well worth it. In fact saying it that way doesn't even remotely do justice to what VR adds to Elite

    Recently an application was released that allows for an application overlay inside the VR environment. This allows you to bring virtually any other application into the VR world and place it anywhere you please. A few examples would be overlaying a web browser just below your scanner/dash or to put a small video window up on your dash like having a TV in an RV. At the time of this writing (9/21/16) the application is fairly new with primary support for SteamVR and the HTC Vive. Oculus Rift users have to go through several steps to get everything working but it is definitely possible. There is also a commercial application in the works titled simply "V" from hellov.io These applications can add greatly to immersion as they allow you to use additional resources without removing your HMD and breaking immersion. I've also used this in conjunction with VoiceAttack to create scripts such as "Launch Overlay" to open an overlay window with a browser and "Close Overlay" to then close that window. Using this means you need only grab a keyboard and touch-type to keep the immersion strong.

    UPDATE ON HELLOV Currently HelloV only supports control from an Xbox controller so if you're a HOTAS player it's a pain to have to keep your controller nearby as you can't just use the hats/etc. on the HOTAS to control HelloV. Well I finally "fixed" that by using some emulation software that does allow me to use my stick. In short I use JoyToKey to send keypresses for individual hat/moves on my stick, that then goes to vJoy that converts those keypresses to a virtual joystick which then sends that to a feeder app called vXbox. While a bit convoluted once I got everything configured properly between those apps and Elite it works extremely well. I glance up to the top left to bring up it's menu and then navigate everything having never taken my hands off my stick and throttle. Immersion on top of immersion.




    Chassis
    The chassis / cockpit system I use is the Obutto Ozone distributed in the US by Main Performance PC (who also build custom gaming PCs, etc). It's an extremely well built system with high quality tube steel that is all powdercoated black. The system is very modular allowing you to customize the various addons you'd like. The seat is very comfortable, even for long gaming sessions and it on sliders allowing forward/back adjustment with an adjuster for seat angle, just like a car. I have the following modules for mine


    One last thing to mention with the chassis is that as I hope you can see I'm a complete freak when it comes to cable management. When I added the motion system recently I decided to pull apart the entire system, every cable and part and put it all back together with great attention to detail paid to hiding any and all cables. There are easily 50 zip ties back there (pictures below) and likely many more than that. When looking at the system you can see the main power cable, a power/network cable running out my window to my network upstairs (old house, only way to do that) and the cable for the Rift headset. Everything else is either zip tied to the chassis or routed in cable management tubing (between the chassis and chair base). While I can't see this while in VR knowing it's so clean adds to my immersion.




    Motion Platform & Systems
    There are many many different motion systems on the market and as such discussing the various choices are far outside the scope of this guide. I chose the Pagnain V2 Motion Platform sold in the US by Next Level Racing. I chose this platform because it is very small and compact making it extremely easy to integrate into my Obutto seat. I simply detached my Ozone seat base from the main chassis and bolted it directly to the top of the V2. This raised the seat by about 4" making me raise the rest of my system (pedals and wheel base) to match. The other main reason I chose this system is someone was selling it locally still new in box for a drastic price reduction making it far easier. It is a 2DOF system only supporting Pitch and Roll. As Elite doesn't support external telemetry applications the software for the V2 (which is excellent) allows you to track Joystick input. If I stick left the seat rolls left, pull back and it pitches back. It took quite a bit of fiddling with the extremely customizable software to get it to feel natural but now that it does I can barely play without it. When I turn it off it feels like my ship it broken in some way!

    I also use a ButtKicker Gamer 2 tactile transducer to add "feeling" effects to the game. As Elite doesn't support telemetry applications I have to run the ButtKicker off the subwoofer output of my soundcard using a simple splitter. By listening to the bass channel you can set the ButtKicker to only respond to very low frequency sounds adding a vibration effect. When using my Discovery Scanner to honk a system the vibration effect is extremely intense since that's such a low frequency sound. When my shields go down and I get a hull impact I can feel it in my chair. I have it bolted to the front of my Ozone seat chassis which is then mounted to the V2 from above. The two systems together add an incredible dynamic effect to the game and while the motion system is quite expensive a ButtKicker is under $150 and is a HUGE addition to immersion, I highly recommend them.




    Flight Controls
    Ah yet another topic that can be and has been discussed to death. Rather than discuss all the various options from various manufactures I'll simply discuss what I have, the Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS. With the main negative to the Warthog being his high price and lack of twist-to-yaw (you must use pedals) the extreme build quality and attention to detail is incredible. There is nothing that matches the feel of the metal stick and throttle and quality of the buttons and switches. While it is daunting to learn the immersion it adds to Elite is nothing short of amazing. I have every button, switch and hat mapped for Elite and still have to use VoiceAttack for some commands as there just aren't enough inputs for Elite!

    As I mentioned the Warthog doesn't have twist-to-yaw like many of the other sticks that are just one tier down, such as the Saitek X52 which is an excellent HOTAS, especially for the cost. For this reason I have the VKB-SIM T-Rudder Mark IV pedals which are fantastic. They are extremely well made with a number of adjustments. They don't offer toe brakes like many other pedals on the market but while they have that limitation the extremely high all-metal build quality matches the Warthog perfectly. They are very easy to move around using a breakout box to conver USB to Cat5 (which attaches to the pedals). This makes it very easy to move them so I can put my racing pedals in place.




    Racing Controls / Button Boxes
    As this is an Elite forum I won't spend too much time on these other than a short list with a little bit of detail on each.


    As for the button boxes while they were originally purchased and designed for racing I use them extensively for Elite. For example I use the 3 large safety switches on the left (the type you lift the cover the flip the switch) for Deploy Hardpoints / Super Cruise / Frame Shift Drive. Other buttons and knobs control ship lights, music volume, set throttle to 75% (for coming out of Super Cruise), etc. While I obviously can't see these while playing in VR I know them by feel well enough that they add extensively to immersion.

    One last note on my racing control - as you might have guessed I use them in Elite to drive my SRV. While Elite doesn't support force feedback to my steering wheel, making it feel rather dead, it's still far more immersive to use it instead of the stick. As it's too difficult to switch out my pedals for driving I simply use yaw right for forward and yaw left for reverse making them feel like driving throttle and brake. I have several buttons on the wheel mapped to things like turret fire and use the shift paddles for left and right thruster (with another button for upward thrusters). A toggle button on the wheel and stick allows me to jump between cockpit and turret and I do use the stick to operate the turret. Driving with my left hand, turret with my right and forward/reverse with my pedals is a bit tricky to learn but it does work pretty damn well and once again adds greatly to my immersion.




    Audio

    So my audio setup is fairly advanced as well. I use 3 different audio cards, the motherboard 5.1 audio, the Rift audio and a SoundBlaster Live USB audio card. This allows me to separate the audio between game/primary, Discord/voice and ButtKicker (rumble effects). I primarily built this setup for racing sims as all the major titles support external APIs to allow apps like Sim Commander 4 to take road/impact/bump data and convert it to a low frequency audio signal so a ButtKicker amp can create the effects for a transducer (like a ButtKicker transducer). If you're not familiar with this it is basically a "speaker" that is a metal shaft with a piston in the center. The amp moves the piston using magnets like a speaker but a very low frequencies and very high amps so it creates a strong vibration effect. You drive over a rumble strip and you FEEL the rumble strip in your body. Generally the transducer is bolted to your seat (or on an arm which magnifies the effect). In racing sims with Sim Commander you can customize this effect extensively, setting individual properties for various objects (wind noise, road noise, suspension bumps (per-wheel), engine vibration, impacts, etc). However games like Elite Dangerous don't support these APIs so to get the ButtKicker to produce effects for them I use a small switcher that takes the .1 (sub) channel from the primary sound card and directs that to the ButtKicker amp. That way when there is a very low sound - like say the impact of a missile - that sound is sent to the ButtKicker amp which in turns "plays" that sound to the transducer and voila, you "feel" the impact. I really can't understate how much immersion this adds. It's one thing to use headphones that sounds great but quite another to have a 5.1 system around you at high volume. Even with a great sub it just doesn't compare to having a ButtKicker/transducer bolted to your seat. The other great thing is ButtKickers/transducers aren't "loud", a person standing next to you would barely hear or feel the effect but you in the chair feel like someone just hit the frame of your seat. When I give demos I turn it off at first and when I turn it on I get huge oohs and aahs over it. While many people can't afford a motion platform (at $1500 minimum) a ButtKicker setup with an audio card and switcher is around $200 (certainly if used). I've seen some racing setups without motion that use 7 transducers. One for each of the 4 wheels, brake pedal, front of frame (engine) and shifter/transmission. The software supports that many and with a 7.1 soundcard and enough amps for the transducers (one amp per transducer) the effect is incredible. You can feel the difference in the front right and rear right tires as the vibration comes from those locations. Personally I found that to be overkill at $1500 or more for a setup that complex - which is what I paid for my motion platform (slightly used).

    Here's the details on how I have things configured. As mentioned I use 3 audio cards/devices.


    • Game Audio Only (Default Windows audio card)

    • Rift Audio Card (Rift is the default Windows audio microphone)
      • Discord uses the Rift as it's audio. I remove the left Rift headset and only leave the right, feels like I'm wearing a single/mono headset. The sound quality is fantastic and the mic is also rather great.

    • SoundBlaster X-FI Pro USB


    Audio Switching
    ButtKicker (between SimCommander for racing and .1 (Sub channel) for non-racing)
    2 Channel Audio Switcher

    • Input 1: SoundBlaster RCA/Analog output
    • Input 2: Split from the Motherboard .1 (sub channel) (I use a little Y adapter right before it plugs into the sub so the .1 (sub) channel from the motherboard can feed both the Sub AND switcher at the same time
    • Output: ButtKicker Amplifier


    That way when I playing a racing sim I switch things so that the ButtKicker amp is getting a feed from the SoundBlaster USB card so that all the road effects are perfect (after a LOT of tweaking them, if you need help there let me know and I can explain the best way). But when I play Elite I switch it to the feed from the sub so that any big, loud, low noises make the ButtKicker rumble. It's not as accurate as having the data for a rumble channel but it definitely adds a TON of presence. When someone hits me with a missile I physically feel it in my body (dropping from Witch Space / Supercruise is the same).

    I'll also mention VoiceMeter again as this little piece of software lets me route various audio sources to various applications/speakers so I can split out my voice (Discord) and music (Windows Media Player) from game sounds when recording or streaming with OBS. There are several apps that have this functionality, I simply found VoiceMeter first and it works just fine for my needs. While I do recommend VoiceMeter, especially if you don't/can't use multiple audio devices/cards personally I don't use it as it was just too much of a pain in the butt for me. There's no doubt separate audio devices works better but you can make VoiceMeeter work similar to above if you need to, save for using Sim Commander with racing titles.



    Storage
    While this isn't really directly related to Elite I get questions on it since my Drobo 5N NAS is sitting in the picture. I use this for both backup storage and for my rather extensive media collection. I'm a huge HUGE fan of Plex and while I won't gush about or discuss it in detail here if you are a fan of media consumption do yourself a favor and check it out. Think of it as Netflix with your own content. My Drobo has 2 4TB drives and 3 3TB drives giving me a usable 12TB of space (as it uses RAID 5). I originally started with 3TB drives but have had 2 fail over the years so I replaced those with 4TB so in the future I'll eventually have all 4TB bringing my usable space to 16TB. I currently have 11TB of media, made up of 2500+ movies, 19,000+ TV Episodes (120+ shows) and about 175,000 MP3s. I cut the cord over 8 years ago and use Plex for 95% of my media consumption with Youtube and NPR making up the rest.




    Cooling / Miscellaneous
    Ah cooling - while this is setup in a rather small bedroom in my basement where it's cooler than any other room in the house after about an hour or so of gaming between the CPU, Motion system and me it can get somewhat warm. I'm the type of guy who sweats when I think about getting hot so cooling is key for me. Currently you'll notice two small fans hanging below the monitors on the left and right. I'll admit the placement isn't ideal as they blow toward the dash blocking air from hitting me in the upper body or face. Instead I have them blowing on my legs and as I generally wear shorts this is usually enough to keep me cool. I have a third larger fan off camera that I can plug into the system if it's especially hot, if I have friends over the small room and heat up very quickly. I have all the fans plugged into a variable controller knob which is generally used to dim lights but works wonderfully to adjust power output to the fans allowing me to adjust how strong they blow. This controller is mounted next to the steering wheel base on the left side and is easily reachable in VR, it's like adjusting the fan speed in your car.

    Other random things off camera are a small refrigerator, small square stools with tops that come off for storage and in the closet is my high-end Denon receiver, power distributor and Xbox One / Xbox 360 for the projection theatre room that is next door. I have a DisplayPort / HDMI splitter connected to my center monitor that takes that output and feeds it to my Denon so that the main screen is mirrored into the theatre room for both watching games or movies, etc. (but generally I use the Xbox One via Plex for that). Finally one wall to the left has the various steering wheels hanging and some custom art on a few walls. While it's a very small room it's the perfect size for this system and most importantly it has a door. This is key for me as I'm currently single and dating - as I'm in my early 40's the last thing I want is for a date to see this room as she would sure run through the door faster than Wile E Coyote leaving a woman shaped hole in the door in the process!!!!




    Costs
    So let's finally get to the big question - what did I spend on this entire system. First let me say I'm the type that doesn't really mind discussing money and income, it's just never been a big deal to me. I'm not jealous of those that make more than me, that's great for them and I try to be as generous as possible to those that make less. I just want to be clear again that the point of this post is not in any way for me to brag or show how much better I have it than others. We all have those things we spend our disposable income on and clearly this is mine. Okay, with that said here's the number you want to know

    Roughly $14,000

    That's all in, for everything I have if I had to replace the entire system. All the different cables and little bits I didn't list. Realize that I built this system over about a 2 year period from when I purchased the main chassis and PC to my more recent addition of the motion system. My PC is far more powerful that necessary for Elite, I use it for far more than just gaming as I work in IT myself and as such wanted to build a PC that would last me quite a long time. I should also note that the price above does not include my Drobo NAS and it's disks as while that's in the picture and I discussed it in reality it has nothing to do with the Elite or other gaming experiences.




    Questions
    I hope this short post (wait, I don't mean short, I mean incredibly long!) has been educational and has possibly inspired you to add some of the same elements to your Elite Dangerous experience. I think Frontier has done an amazing job with this experience, I can't bring myself to call it a game as we all know it is so much more than that. It's a space life experience as when I play I feel like I'm living in this incredible world that David and his team have created. I couldn't be more excited to see where it goes over it's lifetime.

    So please ask away - clearly I hate discussing these things so I'll obviously be unwilling to answer any questions you have - HA! Please let them fly, if there are topics that come up that I haven't addressed here I'll certainly add them to keep this "guide" as up-to date as possible. If you like what I've done great but more importantly if you think I've made mistakes in various places please point them out. I still have a lot to learn about the options available to me and hope you will share your experiences where they differ from mine.




    The Future
    Well I'm not sure. As you'd guess there is little I want to add to the system at this point but like modifying a car you're never really done. The next small project I'm working on that I'd like to add is a speed based fan - something that would mount on the wheel base so the faster you go the faster the fan blows. This obviously wouldn't be for Elite but for my racing titles (when driving open cockpit or playing Roller Coaster simulators, etc). I've built a simple test system using an audio amplifier, the ButtKicker audio input and a case fan. As speed increases the road surface effects get "louder" and as they are at a low frequency using an audio amplifier a good deal of power it output to spin the fan faster. I sampled this with my Denon but don't want to risk using such a high end AV receiver so I'm exploring other options. As you might guess I spend quite a bit of time reading about various options in this space and I look forward to other VR additions such a suits that add tactile vibration on various points on your body, heat/cool fans so you can feel temperature, etc. It's a rather exciting time to be a gamer as there are so many great products out and on the Horizon (see what I did there.....)



    Thanks for your time, I know this was an extremely long read, if it was beneficial let me know and if it was an utter and complete waste of time hell, let me know that too!!! I'll end with a quote from quite possibly my favorite Elite player


    I'll catch you guys and gals next time.
    -- Obsidian Ant



    CMDR Exigeous
    -- AKA Ross





    Pictures

    Oh yeah, we all know this is why you're really here - these were all taken with my phone so sorry for the somewhat low quality.









    [IMG]blob:http://imgur.com/2fb2d9aa-0c4a-401c-ab43-5c61ca8031da[/IMG]


  2. #2
    Nice pit commander I have the Volair sim pit and I love it

  3. #3
    Very nice setup there CMDR! +rep

    I recently headed this direction myself with a RSeat RS1, and a single 55" vs your 3 screens. No wheel etc yet but racing comes next. For ED though the Warthog and MFG Crosswinds bolted on.

    Few more mods yet .. I see this whole cockpit thing becoming addictive!!

  4. #4
    This user was unable to follow the forum rules and ended up banned or suspended! :(
    OP that is wonderfull....for me that's how the game should be played....

    We're in that era where we want matrix style cockpits around us aswell in game..

    Imagine playing this with just a mouse and keyboard lol....it would be bland and boring..

    It's all these toys that make games like this fun.

    You pip me by 2 monitors just to let you know.....but our setups are pretty much the same....I have 5 tabs around me aswell with roc cat and other ED trade tools and other apps.


    Nice to see another gamer that wants to be in the game.....it's the future.

    Excellent work and passion OP

  5. #5
    Hey Exigious,

    Consider taking a look at this free EQ - https://sourceforge.net/projects/pea...apo-extension/ Compliments my BKGamer nicely , you can use it to fine tune the feedback from the tranducer. It really helps with immersion, even basic things like feeling the rumble from the SRV chassis whilst you blast across a desert

  6. #6
    Great work here ! +1

  7. #7
    First thanks for the kind words all - it really has been a blast to build it and even more fun to fly it. When I try to explain it and ED to friends they just don't get it, when they come try it they flip as they just have no idea this stuff even exists. And while I've spent a great deal of money and time on it it's not necessarily a rich man's toy and can be done fairly modestly as well. For those that have posted about similar setups please do share pictures and/or details, I love stealing ideas from other commanders and racers, that's how I put this thing together!

    Originally Posted by 777Driver View Post (Source)
    Hey Exigious,

    Consider taking a look at this free EQ - https://sourceforge.net/projects/pea...apo-extension/ Compliments my BKGamer nicely , you can use it to fine tune the feedback from the tranducer. It really helps with immersion, even basic things like feeling the rumble from the SRV chassis whilst you blast across a desert
    Thanks my friend, I will definitely take a look at this soon. Just finished up some hunting with another VR friend and am heading to sleep finally - as some have put it we get to enjoy flying IN our ships vs. the keyboard/mouse/monitor guys who get to dream about flying in a ship. Don't get me wrong, not knocking those guys at all but I will say that I wouldn't be into this game if I didn't have this setup, it makes a world of difference.

    Hope to see you all somewhere in the bubble soon....

    -Echo Xray Indigo signing off....

  8. #8
    It's a really good rig, and probably feels great to.

    Nice work indeed, it's very impressive.

  9. #9
    To bad you make an immersive simulator in order to play an arcade game wih many "instant" options

    Seriously, a very impressive good work ! I'd like playing in your setup cmdrs ! Fly safe and have fun !

  10. #10
    Why the steering wheel?

  11. #11
    My controls and second monitor are over empty cardboard boxes! LOL nice pit!

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Exigeous View Post (Source)
    Roughly $14,000
    Call it commitment! Call it crazy! Call it... honey, what are these papers from the divorce attorney?

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Artemis Zodiac View Post (Source)
    Imagine playing this with just a mouse and keyboard lol....it would be bland and boring..
    Hey! I play with M&K + single monitor haha actually still enjoying the game very much.. I can't even imagine what it would be like with a setup like this.. It looks incredible!
    Is that a hydraulic handbrake on the right!? Nice!
    Man this setup just looks amazing, seriously nice job there!

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Andovar View Post (Source)
    Call it commitment! Call it crazy! Call it... honey, what are these papers from the divorce attorney?

    Yeah, as you'd guess I'm single at the moment! I do mention in the post that it's in a small room with a key feature - a door. That way when I have a date over that door stays shut - "oh, that's just a small storage room", she's not allowed to see in there until after the "third" date.....


    Originally Posted by Splosives View Post (Source)
    Why the steering wheel?

    As I'm a performance driving instructor and race a Lotus Exige (hence my commander name) I originally built the system for racing. I then realized I was a Warthog and pedals away from a great flight setup. I then thought "what "space" games are out there" and found Elite. The rest is history....


    Originally Posted by Spaceburger View Post (Source)
    Hey! I play with M&K + single monitor haha actually still enjoying the game very much.. I can't even imagine what it would be like with a setup like this.. It looks incredible!
    Is that a hydraulic handbrake on the right!? Nice!
    Man this setup just looks amazing, seriously nice job there!

    Obviously I meant no offense, if you enjoy Elite that's great in my book! I tend to enjoy sim or experience games the most, for example the only game I play on my Xbox is Rock Band and that's because I have the Ion Drum Rocker drumkit for it, the one that's basically a small, low end real digital drum kit. I have no interest in playing with toys but if I can simulate the real experience them I'm all about that.


    And yes, that's a handbrake and while it's not hydraulic it's very well made and the way the spring system is setup it damn near feels hydraulic. I keep debating on what control to map it to in Elite, obviously it's the handbrake for the SRV but for my ship I can't decide. I waffle between my cargo bay, landing gear and my curren favorite deploy/retract hardpoints. I also use the "safety" switches on the dash for hardpoints as that "feels" cool too, but grabbing that big handle and pulling is very satisfying ;-)

    - - - - - Additional Content Posted / Auto Merge - - - - -

    Oh and BTW I'm not sure if there's enough value here to warrant a sticky, I'd sorta hate for this to get buried in the threads at some point given the few hours it took to put together - if someone knows a mod/admin that they could forward it to and see if they think it would warrant a sticky somewhere that'd be cool. I'm happy to maintain it over time as I add new things and as new options come on the market....

    ~E

  15. #15
    WMP for audio??? Heathen! We can no longer be friends. Winamp d[-_-]b

    Very nice pit. I have a similar Obutto pit, with older racing gear than yours, but same Warthog and CV1 setup for Elite. Game blows my mind regularly. Really wish more games would support telemetry to make motion more usable. Never bothered pulling the trigger on that because of the limited support.

    Looking at your game list, let me recommend Sublevel Zero. One liner: Procedurally generated perma-death retro Descent. With VR support. Its a blast for some arcade 6DOF action.

    Is the Fanatec 6spd still the best one? I really love shifting and heel/toe, gotta have gears even if its not the fastest. Have the old fanatec cheap 6spd, which is a bit of a step up from a logitech shifter, but bottom of the barrel now-days. Haven't kept up w/ racing gear for a couple years.

    /edit
    Try putting FSD on the handbrake! Maybe not the most accessible, but you get the Han Solo feels.

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