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Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by super_gt, Jan 5, 2015.
Yes - it does. Fitted to my FANATEC csl seat in the thrust master bolt patterns
hi Dean - I want to post to personally thank you for taking my accuforce to the next level. With your advice, I downloaded your "best" setup from the AF owners forum via the SC4 software - what can I say - it blew me away ! The detail from the road and from steering was so clear - I ran some laps on the nordschleife In the pagani a zonda r and knocked a massive time off my previous best. What was more , the difference between full race cars and road versions was so evident . Love the setup and If you have any other variants to share, I'd be happy tester. Btw, I have to wait till Monday for P Cars here in aw,since some adverse weather delayed shipping to Western Australia, but I hope you have an AF set up loaded to to SC4 site.... And if you happen to have an rfactor setup to share, I'd be further in debt, as I still run some fave mods - V8 super cars and Historix and whilst all settings blow away my old G25, I'd love to have the finesse I have enjoyed from your AC setup, in some of my old rfactor favourites.
Anyhow - thanks Dean our or sharing - your setup has helped me realise the true potential of the Accuforce wheel - and for that, I am extremely grateful. Cheers and have a good weekend, Paul
Thanks for the kind words Paulo1966. One thing to watch for using the AC game setup from the Owners Club is that I was getting some odd behavior over time. The FFB quality began to degrade and spikes then made the setup unusable. I can't 100% rule out issues specific to my system being the cause but, there is the known issue of AC's telemetry signals being quite messy with SC4. Please let me know if you notice any changes over time.
The Pcars setup I sent to the Owners Club is one that I like but, has rather strong bumps on some tracks so you may want to lower those slightly. I have a decent SC4 setup for rF2 but, with GSCE, I'm not getting good results through SC4. I just use the Game FFB with minimal SC4 effects, mostly engine vibes.
Dirt Rally works quite well with the AF, SimVibe & SC4 once a custom control game profile is made, I'm currently really enjoying that.
I've decided I need one of these wheels, just wondering how much to expect to be slugged by Aussie customs for duty....$$?
About $309 when I paid. This thing is something else though - and having used a g25 for eight years and tried my mates FANATEC csw V1 then v2 .... This just blows those both into the weeds - as you might expect for something costing what it does. In the end, I had a windfall last year, decided to go accuforce and it's all I expected...and more. I look forward to many years of happy service :0)
Ouch!! But I know it's going to be worth it... thanks :-)
Is the AF with its tuning captability for each game and bypassing the games feedback worth the extra money over the OSW?
I haven't used an OSW and I don't know what there is on the software side for going that route but, there was a planned direct comparison between the direct-drive options in the iRacing forums. My iR account is not current but, if you have access - you can check there. Based on the reading I have done, I think the AF/SC4 combo is going to be very hard to beat unless it's raw torque specs you seek.
Thanks, from what I can make out the osw only has basic settings like damping, strength, wheel look and things like that and nothing to do with the game feedback which is what I was looking for especially as I have heard good things about using game feedback on project cars and dirt rally.
I checked on the iracing forums and it seems Barry Rowland is asking for volunteers to come to his place and test the accuforce, osw and bodnar so I will be we waiting for that. Besides the accuforce currently isn't shipping until July so I can wait a bit I guess.
I'm not sure if I would use all of the raw torque available on the osw. Do you find yourself wanting more torque on the accuforce or is 13nm more than enough for every game?
Currently I'm running a CSW V2 and I usually run it on the max settings I can without getting clipping. I don't think I would need that much more torque than the CSW but reading the reviews and seeing what people say it seems you get a lot more information and better feel with a direct drive.
Another thing... Is the button box as bad as it looks in the pictures?
I was thinking of selling the button box along with the wheel rim and get a custom one made as I would have to do with an osw. Would save me the hassle if it doesn't look that bad in real life and with a different rim on it...
CS4 is powerful stuff and the inclusion of SimVibe adds even more value. The tune-ability while driving in-game is great and the ability to adjust details is unprecedented. The combination of SC4 and the AF can turn games like Pcars and Dirt Rally into amazing FFB experiences. AC, iRacing, rF2 and GSCE work great out of the box and would likely work well with any direct-drive wheel although, SC4 can layer on some more details or remove some undesirable FFB attributes in some titles. It all comes down to how well the game's suspension data translates in SC4. In most cases, it works really great and adds big value to the AccuForce system IMO.
The bumps can be adjusted to ridiculous levels in Pcars and Dirt Rally while still maintaining great detail. They really come through the telemetry very strong and direct but, a bit of smoothing in SC4 takes the edge off and gives the the FFB a rubbery feel that has to be experienced. The smoothing of the various effects is vitally important in achieving great immersion IMO. Being able to do that on an individual level per effect takes things to new levels again over game-provided FFB; being able to do it real-time in the game is the ultimate way to tune FFB and Vibe effects.
Regarding the Torque; I usually run in default mode at just over 50% strength. That's enough for me unless I want to really work out the shoulders but, some say that higher forces add to the immersion for them. I just want the details to come through and that provides great immersion for me. Even at about 55% in Pcars or Dirt Rally, there are times where a big bump or crash could probably hurt fingers or wrists if you don't have a strong grasp of the wheel or aren't prepared to let go cleanly. The wheel strength ramps up pretty quickly from there but, if you feel the need to man-handle the wheel, 100% force strength is certainly doable.
The button box seems okay to me, and while the wheel does display some flex when torque is applied to and fro, I don't see those as major issues at all. The Quick-release seems very stout and I haven't noticed any play what-so-ever.
@Aksta I would expect the SC4 ffb to be a really big deal......
...... and that's why. While everyone else is running DiRT Rally dreaming of decent ffb being added, AF owners are already reveling in not only far superior, but also far more customisable ffb right now. A wheel can only give feedback through clockwise/anti-clockwise movements, along with speed and strength as variables - that's pretty limited without some magic being thrown in. I know from configuring motion that any subtle ways of differentiating between indicators that may otherwise feel very similar and mashed together is extremely valuable. So, running with the example Dean raised, using a wheel one may want to set suspension effects as more elongated and smoother than tyre grip effects to help the brain instinctively register the difference. Then adjusting compressions and curves one could I would imagine tailor those suspension effects further so that bumps of an impact level that would be more likely to affect control of the vehicle would be felt stronger than the "safe" bumps. For me it's a matter of tempering realism with what's most valuable within the confines of the movements available.
One thing I do with rear traction loss (using motion), is have it move fairly slowly and grainy for rally driving. The physical limits of the actuator mean that I could be still sliding around a hairpin turn and suddenly reach the end of travel, ruining the immersion, and the indicator, if movement is left too responsive and fast. With my way, even if I reach the end of travel it's not a sudden jolt that would not be representing anything real at all, and the grain lets me know that my back end is still sliding. There may be a better option again, but that'd only further the point - it's the options that make it.
I tried to find the output torque of the ECCI 7000, as that's the wheel I own, but couldn't find it. Not sure therefore where a comparison would sit me on strength levels.
It's a very interesting point you make about the slower reactions of the traction-loss. I think I might enjoy using a GS-4 seat in place of motion but, some degree of bump movement would be nice too. One thing is for sure, when one gets the FFB at the wheel working in concert with SimVibe, and then we can add in some immersive VR, it will really take the Sim experience to a whole new level.
Thanks for the explanation and to Dean as well. I am leaning towards the accuforce now with a custom button box and wheel. Seems to be just what I am looking for after playing pcars and dirt rally with poor ffb.
For the Iracing Forum:
There were several factors involved in the decision to go with 13Nm.
-Point at which we would/could easily break fingers
-Most sim racers drive more than real drivers so we requested a lot of stamina based feedback
-Polls regarding whether or not sim racers wanted to be sort/hurting after driving
-Determination of the point where details would be compressed but not lost
As many of you know, we're under driving the AccuForce as it is today, never really getting it over room temp.
We'll conduct yet another user study of this given the current state of iRacing FBB, which has evolved a but since the AccuForce project started. Over the next few days, I'll sort out a Force Boost option that we can experiment with in the Owners Club forum to see how sim racers feel about wrestling more force.
i cant bring myself to install the accuforce pro. I need to sell my CSW v2 first, or sell the accuforce. ooor i need to make a few thousand dollars fast.
You probably won't be happy with the CSW once you have used the AF. If you're seriously thinking of passing on the AF, better to do it now and enjoy your bliss while you still can with the CSW. Going backwards is over-rated.
that's another reason i'm not sure i want to touch the accuforce. i think I'll install it tonight though.
Primary reason must be to keep the cost down? The reasoning there don´t make much to much sense to me I am afraid.
-If you are afraid of the torque you tune it down. No 5 year olds can afford buying an accuforce those that do can read disclaimers.
-Driving more. Stamina will differ from person to person and how physical we want it. I love the physicality of my HE Sim Ultimate pedals many do want the option of stomp the brake. Few like g27 spring brakes so what kind of focus group did they go for? You can always turn down torque you can´t just raise torque when the motor is under dimensioned.
- So you have a poll saying do you want to feel hurt after racing? Nobody want to get hurt answering such a poll. My HE pedals is physical I can feel it in my abs, brake leg etc. I like it phsycial just like real F1 drivers complains F1 isn´t physical anymore. But I don´t think yes is the most natural answer when you get a poll do you want to get hurt while racing When you feel to much fatigue you rest and give the muscles a chance to come back stronger next day
So essentially why not have a motor that can make everyone happy. I am sure a G27 is less fatiguing to operate then an accuforce anyway unless you tune it way way waaaay down but you can tune it down if you want to. You do grow with your stuff. My brake leg and abs is so much stronger after getting my HE Sim Ultimates. I do 24h races no problem with some 60 kg in brake force at least and I have the body build of a computer nerd .
I can tune it down that is not a problem. I can tune it up to 135 kg but you really need to be a body builder to run that without the aids of G-forces during braking
So why would the focus group work on limiting the wheels abilities rather then making it as good as possible. High powered servo motors is not cheap so I assume that was the real reason. They wanted to keep it within a price point which is understandable. As much as I would want a Leo Bodnar or equivalent priced wheel I will probably never feel I can afford one
Berney has stated that the untethered motor specs are in the 22-24Nm range IIRC, so the motor is capable of much more. Of course, they play it safe and they have to allow headroom for the peak effects to come through the sustained ones. If you build a car engine capable of very high horsepower but, also near its physical limits, it's life will be shortened and reliability sacrificed. They want the AF to last so I can see why they are conservative with the setup.
Personally, I don't see the need for more force strength than the AF currently makes but, I'm not a big burly hulk of a man either; 50-60% output force is fine and far stronger than what I've used with other wheels but, to each their own. If the overall torque is a major concern, then the choice to go with an alternative system is an easy one if one has the funds.
If I build a DIY wheel one day and compare it to the AF side by side, I may feel differently but, at this point - I'm totally thrilled to have the AF as part of my rig. It surpasses the other wheels I've used by miles and the software adds a ton of customization options.
The only thing missing is proper DD wheel support for all game titles as developers would ideally adapt the game FFB to the new hardware in order to fully maximize FFB potential IMO. Some titles don't have clean telemetry output to drive proper SC4 FFB effects to full potential and others have force effects that are out of balance when using any DD wheel.
Perhaps the wheel software will adapt over time to allow improved results but, once you experience the best FFB that the hardware can provide, one quickly finds weaknesses in other titles FFB.
Yeah the AF is a great wheel. Strong enough, but it never hurts to have extra power available.
At the moment i'm really loving Pcars with it. In 2 years i was never able to find a good FFB setting in the game.
With the AF it only took me about 30 minutes. It really has transformed PCARS for me.
Last weekend i had a die-hard Iracer and comming over to check-out the AccuForce. He really loved it and the way the wheel felt in Pcars using the FFB from SC4. Later that day, when he got home, he bought the game immediately and was really disappointed when he tried it with his CSWv2.
He could't even get close to having the same feel of the car with the CSWv2.
Software & SimXperience : That's the real power of the AF
@Dean Ogurek Could please share the link where you got the info about the 22-24Nm specs.
Hi HoiHman, interesting about the iRacer experience - not surprising to me though. It's amazing how good the AF and Pcars work together with SC4.
Regarding the link, I don't recall where I read that - sorry but, it was most likely in the iRacing forum/Accuforce thread. It was quite some time ago and I'm not currently subscribed.
For me as a developer something like sim commander is a pure nonsense. The opposite way of a simulation. And the sim garage direct drive wheels review confirm what I think about using telemetry to "compute" wheel torque : it is not appropriate.
You are forgetting something very important about the SRG review: It's Iracing only.
It's doesn't confirm anyting about sim commander. It only confirms that IF the game has very FFB output (which Iracing has) some people might prefer the game FFB over the FFB from sim commander 4.
However i'm 100% sure if you try almost all other racegames yourself, you will actually feel how much better the FFB from SC4 actually is.
Hang on. Major copy and paste some impressions from Bedo and Naid.
More comparison here. http://members.iracing.com/jforum/posts/list/825/3316105.page#9032447
If you don´t have iRacing
TL;DR: The ranking order in Barry's review is correct!
Today, Naid, who was one of the reviewers in Barry's review, let me have a go at his 20Nm OSW Lenze wheel. I also brought my AF with me...tools, cables, setups, profiles, and even my racing gloves. That's right, no excuses.
First, and I think this is important.
Naid's Lenze OSW, as tested is a ~$4000 package.
AF Pro, as tested is a $1800 package.
Right off the bat, I'll answer the big questions:
1. Was Barry's review correct, and did the AF indeed fall last in the comparison against an OSW and Bodnar?
2. Was the AF misrepresented and tuned improperly?
The answers to both of those questions based on my personal experience is YES!
I am confident, that if I were one of the reviewers there that day, I too would have probably put those wheels in that order, and while I did not try the Bodnar, I can tell you that the AF would have come last. Naid confirmed for me that the differences between the OSW and Bodnar were marginal. He actually had the Bodnar and showed it to me, just no cables for it, so I wasn't able to try it today. Considering the wide array of hardware he had and the ridiculous D-box motion simulator, and that he knew everything inside and out, and because he is also a very highly qualified technologist, I took his word for it. The difference between the OSW Lenze and AF however, was *NOT* marginal. It was very noticeable for sure.
I was able to provide a tune for the AF which Naid drove with. His feedback confirmed to me that what he experienced at Barry's was most probably clipping and over saturation of certain effects, which made the wheel feel dull in certain scenarios. With my tune, no detail was lost according to his feedback. However, that wasn't enough.
Now, let's explain this seemingly shocking confirmation in more detail for current and potential AF/OSW/Bodnar owners.
The reason why the AF falls short in this comparison is because it simply doesn't have enough power. Period. That's all. It's the only reason, and it turned out to be a pretty big reason.
Does that make it a bad wheel? Certainly not. That's like saying the CSW or the G25 are terrible wheels because they don't generate enough torque.
The AF tuned properly is capable of delivering detail and information in any scenario in the game, as long as there is enough available torque bandwidth. Even tuned properly, and even with the new responsive mode, the AF did not even come close to the torque output of the Lenze, which was 15-20Nm, depending on how its configured.
Why was torque the deciding factor?
Because when you jump a curb at 150mph in the Lotus 79, your Jimmies are so rustled, you swear you were there. That in itself is what distinguished the AF from all other wheels and put it in a league of its own. Also, because you get a much more dynamic range in the types of forces you experience on the track. If you want a proper "experience" driving the DW12 at Long Beach, the AF cannot deliver it as well as the Lenze. That extra headroom in torque is actually quite extra. Is that true for all cars and series? Absolutely not. The AF covers the majority of the cases perfectly fine. However, it won't disorient you if you misjudge and hop a tall curb... or deliver a noticeable level of feedback if you hit a curb while under full tire load. With the higher torque, curbs become a thing you have to respect. That in itself puts a bit of fear into you and drives the immersion up.
Let me illustrate on a relative scale where the wheels fall into in terms of being able to feel the torque:
G25 --> CSW --> CSWv2 -------------> AF ------------>(Bodnar?) --> Lenze
Most cars don't generate that much torque, so why is the extra torque needed?
While all of these wheels operate well below their range 70-80% of the time (confirmed with telemetry many times many posts ago), when you get into those situations in certain cars where the forces get on the higher end, with extra torque, and we're talking additional 10Nm of torque here, give you a much more immersive picture of what the car is doing under load and what the corner actually feels like at speed as if you were experiencing g-forces.
What about the AF tuning capabilities and its new responsive mode?
Even with all of the tuning in the world, and the increased responsive mode, the AF wasn't able to match the torque of the Lenze. Especially when hopping over curbs and all of that. Also, despite the AF giving much detail, it didn't deliver some of the nuances present in torque differences toward the higher end of its power (it was tuned properly, trust me! The only person who can tune the wheel more correctly is Berney himself, and only because he can change the source code. ) Kind of like when there is a camber change, or the wheels alter their grip under load. Not that it doesn't deliver, just that with higher torque, those nuances are more pronounces as there is more torque to differentiate.
However, the AF's tuning capabilities are unmatched by any wheel. Within its available torque, the tuning capabilities allow you to completely alter its behavior and really dial out most things you don't like. Ok, you can't dial in more torque, we went over this, but you can tweak everything from noise, smoothness, inertia, dynamic oscillations, to additional effects from game physics, or even override a game's FFB completely! You can even mess with the torque equalization!!! The list of tuning capabilities is crazy and impressive.
What the new responsive mode did was just intensified the overall delivery of what the AF can deliver. What it doesn't do is add more torque.
Oscillations ARE an issue with the high torque wheels. Are they a deal braker? No.... or at least if you don't drive with one hand on top of the wheel with your chair reclined and drive real slow blasting hip hop music. There are things in these wheels you may not like that you may not be able to tune out period, whereas with the AF you can.
For example. You cannot modify the clarity or chattiness of the higher end torque wheels. With the AF, you can really change how certain forces and effects are delivered. With the Lenze specifically, the small detailed forces were rather muted, however still present and detailed, but smoother.
Imagine that the FFB delivered looked like a sinewave. Imagine that with the AF, you can modify the frequency, how close the peaks are together, and how sharp or dull they can be. What you can't modify in the AF is how tall they are, and that's torque.
More torque yields less detail though, right?
No. That's #%&*$#, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise with "science". What is proven in theory, and which may be true if you paid enough attention in math class to verify it, is actually not felt in reality. The Lenze, which I tested at 19 Amps, did not suffer from ANY detail loss. Going over the high frequency curbs at Zolder produce crystal clear feedback. Nor did it suffer from being able to feel nuances of forces which slowly ramp up as you drive over big humped curbs at 2mph.
But the AF features a 2000Hz super duper encoder/decoder, and the others don't, so why do they produce detail that is just as good as the AF's detail?
I guess maybe you don't need big numbers to feel small bumps. I don't know. All I know is that the only difference between the ability in being able to feel detail is that with the AF you can tune that feel, and with the other wheels you can't.
Whoah, whoah, whoah. If the AccuForce's tuning capabilities are so dope, why isn't that enough to make it a better wheel?
Depends on what you understand from better. I had a more enjoyable and immersive experience with the higher torque wheel. In addition to that, we didn't spend any significant time fine tuning the feedback from the other wheels. It just worked. Out of the box. Like magic. With the AF, I had to get my degree in engineering first, figure out what all the options do, and start messing around until I dialed out a bunch of stuff I didn't like.
As far as a user's experience is concerned, the fact that the Lenze just worked, delivered detail and offered much higher torque variation and as a result more immersive experience, made it a more enjoyable wheel than the AF.
The AF's tuning capabilities did not increase the immersion factor of the simulation, but the added torque of the Lenze certainly did. Torque FTW!
I'm not satisfied with your analysis on detail, please explain further...
The AF is capable of delivering very chatty and high frequency details. With the Lenze, the details were much smoother and more muted. They were definitely not as jolting as in the AF. The kind of detail we're talking about is, being able to feel road seams, road texture, small bumps, and the ruble strips over curbs. The ability of the AF to relate that information and in a way where in the way they're being related can actually be customized, is simply not possible with the Lenze. However, that doesn't mean that those details weren't felt or didn't come through in the Lenze. Yes, that's a huge advantage for the AF, but at the end of the day, the other wheel showed that if you didn't have the advantage of being able to tune that detail, everything was still fine.
The AF is also not as smooth as the Lenze. By smoothness I mean the subtlety of the way the small forces are delivered. The AF can be of course tutned to smooth out bumps and whatnot, but because of its limited torque range, even a little bit of smoothing soon starts to eliminate detail.
So if you want the detail in AF, you can't have it as smooth as you would get it in the Lenze. That's all. Doesn't mean you can't have smooth detail in the AF, but it's just the nature of how different those wheels are.
However, the fact that you CAN customize the detail of the AF, and be able to add so much more other effects, like bumps, engine RPM, make it immersive in its own way even though it can't deliver that high torque.
Sooo, the AF is rated at 13Nm, and the Bodnar at 16Nm, and you said that Naid said that the Bodnar feels more like the Lenze which is 20Nm?
...uhh, yeah. In fact, different motors may be rated the same torque and feel completely different, apparently. So I'll make it simple. Don't go by the numbers, but go by what you feel.
What about safety?
With the AF you can probably hurt yourself a little.
With a wheel like an OSW, especially since it doesn't have any controls around oscillation, you can SERIOUSLY INJURE YOURSELF! Seriously, and that's not a joke. Just like in a race car, and another point for immersion, check! <-- that was a joke.
Should I sell my AF and trade it for an OSW or a Bodnar?
Whoa, whoa, slow down there champ and let's revisit:
AF is an $1800 package, while the other two are $4-5K delivered.
Do the other wheels offer twice the performance for more than twice the price?
I don't know if its twice the performance, but definitely more than one and half times the torque for sure. Torque, it turns out, makes a significant difference to the amount of immersion you get from the wheel. Just because you can tune and refine the hell out of the FFB in AccuForce, the added torque is significant enough to give a player a much more exciting and immersive experience.
So in reality, if torque really is such a deciding factor for performance, then the AF delivers the great performance for its price with the added bonus of being able to tune it like no other wheel before. The other wheels deliver more torque, but for a significant price increase. So all wheels are good value, you just have to decide which is the right one for you.
So are there really any losers in this? Absolutely not.
Should you feel disappointed you got an AF instead of an OSW or Bodnar?
I don't know, do you normally feel disappointed you didn't have to pay an extra $2-3,000?
Do you #%&*$# about owning a $200K Lamborghini instead of a $500K Ferrari? Poor you.
I'm not, and mostly because I can't afford an OSW or a Bodnar, or a $15,000 motion simulation package form D-Box that makes my balls pack up and go inside of me when I crest the hill at the Skyline corner at Bathurst in a Lotus 79. ...and even if I could, my wife won't let me, because believe me, she's had it with my car #%&*$#. We all have one reason or another that limits our wants and forces us to instead satisfy our needs.
The AF is enough. The others just give you MOAR, and you need to pay for it.
But I could build an OSW for the price of an AF because shipping an AF to my country is assrape
Unless you value tuning capability more than torque, then your choice is clear... and I'm jealous. As Naid said, it's not like Berney is running a charity here. He has a business to run, salaries to pay, and invested years of his life to bring something to market for those of us who can't afford a Bodnar and have a great experience. Is he wrong to charge you a premium... you selfish #%&*$# who only throws stones at him every chance you get? Have some respect for the community and capitalism. Unlike communism, It #%&*$# works!
Are the OSW and Bodnar in a different league than the AF?
Yes. The torque difference alone puts them in different leagues. So maybe, perhaps, this wasn't a fair comparison? Then in that case the AF is in a market segment all on its own. Unrivaled!
What is the ideal wheel then?
A 25Nm AccuForce with SimCommander which is FREE. Berney, it's time to make a wheel with a stronger motor. Do it!
The great thing about all of this, as Naid pointed out to me, if Bodnar didn't come to market, we wouldn't have had such a significant change in the landscape of SimWheel controllers so quickly. All of this is great stuff. We are living in the Golden Age of Sim Hardware. Rejoice, don't hate and insult each other, hug all the children you see on the street (they might be yours for all you know), and enjoy this revolution in SimRacing hardware!
Another input from Naid Naydenov who owns the Lenze and was one of the three in the barry test
Well this was a fun afternoon. Bedo, thanks for bringing your complete AF setup! It was nice to once again tinker with some cool technology.
I wanted to share some thoughts on the AF testing, as it was a very different experience from what we did at Barry's during round 1. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with either method, but it goes to show that the software tuning on the AF can make a huge difference in feel, and that there is no substitute for torque.
At Barry's, we took the recommended approach: started with a default profile, did some laps, auto-tuned, and tweaked things from there based on my preference (subjective). The end result was a very smooth wheel with defined but somewhat weak details. Yes, I could feel curbs, grass, and road surface variations when driving in a straight line, but they were being overpowered mid-corner by the spring effect, and that did not feel how a real car feels.
Then Bedo comes over and while we play with the Lenze, he mentions that the AF is lot harsher (chatty). I was like, REALLY? Since my observation was completely opposite.
Then we swap over to the AF, and he does his tuning magic. I asked him to configure it exactly how he likes to use it at home. So, a lot of effects are then disabled in Sim Commander. We start with a very basic and very raw profile, far from the defaults. Then we tweak from there until it feels "right". The result? Well defined effects that don't get overpowered mid-corner. But also VERY HARSH. There is constant chatter in the wheel and this sandy feeling. And I thought the Lenze was chatty?! This is like that, but times 10. The Lenze actually feels super smooth compared to the AF when tuned this way.
So which AF setup was better? If I had an AF and no other wheel choices, I would tune it somewhat towards the smooth side, because I don't like harshness. The constant knocking in the wheel can get on my nerves. The AF with its very raw setup is a good example of that. The Lenze also does it, but to a much lesser extent. I could not feel it in the Kollmorgen, so that may be the ticket, just need to figure out if the Kollmorgen sacrifices detail in order to achieve that. If it does, then this would be equivalent to damping, in which case the Lenze would make more sense, since you can always add damping or smoothing in the software.
Another thing was very apparent too. Regardless of the wheel settings (smooth vs raw), there is a huge difference in torque between the AF and the Lenze. The numbers are irrelevant, 13Nm vs 20Nm doesn't even begin to describe it. The Lenze feels literally 3-4 times more powerful. That's while running 19A in the Argon. And the experts can correct me, but I don't think it's pushing 20Nm at 19A. Maybe closer to 18Nm. I can only imagine what a handful it will be at 29Nm when properly powered. All this extra torque makes the whole experience a lot more alive. The small details are there, in a straight line, in a slow corner, fast corner, low forces, high forces, doesn't matter. I can be turning a corner at 150mph with the forces cranked up to the max, hanging on for dear life, and still be able to feel any small bump, or precisely when the tires are starting to lose grip.
And finally, preference can be very subjective. Low forces vs high forces, smooth vs harsh, people will like different things. Seeing how Bedo likes definition and harshness, I offered him to try the Lenze in its raw form: no effect filters, no damping anywhere, no setpoint smoothing in Granity. And he loved it. Apart from the crazy oscillations in the pits. I prefer a more toned down experience: overall effect filter at 5, 20-40% damping with 10% saturation, and setpoint smoothing, although lately I've been driving without CIS and it is starting to feel good. Maybe it's time to bring a Kollmorgen back into the picture
Point of the story, what a fun way to spend half a day! At the end, it doesn't matter which wheel is better. What matters is that we have plenty of choices, and that we can have a good time with this hobby of ours.
So let's do this again. Maybe someone in the area has a Mige? Speak up and we'll make sure to invite ourselves to your house.
hang on even more
I would say this. Within the torque range of the AF, the AF can outperform any other wheel. I say "outperform" only due to the fact that you can tune how the AF relates those forces, because on the same scale up to 13Nm all motors should be able to reproduce that torque. You can adjust the volume and intensity and the smoothness, as well as add/subtract any effects and even override what the game is doing. Hence you get more choice, and with more choice you can tailor to your personal taste. If that makes you faster, or more comfortable, then you outperform a scenario where you don't get to choose and tailor.
Most cars with power steering should output steering rack forces that the AF can easily capture and let you tune to your hearts content. While with the OSW or Bodnar, you get what you get. Thus with the AF, you can achieve the same, or at least very close feeling, and change it to suit your taste.
For forces over what the AF can capture, you can easily compress those with the AF and still get the information and all of the detail, but the feeling of torque range will certainly not be the same as the more powerful wheel.
The latest torque related improvements in the AF (force boost) aim from a technical aspect to boost forces past clipping (13Nm) up to 20%. I personally did not notice this as a major or even obviously noticeable difference. Others are reporting the opposite and really like it. I like it too, but I can't say that its close, or even closer to the torque ranges of the more powerful motors when steering rack torques start to exceed what the AF can map to in a 1:1 fashion.
Perhaps to help you in your shopping, ask yourself this:
Is the ability to tune and dial the FFB more important to you within a 13Nm range than being able to feel even wider sensation of forces? Remember, with all wheels you will get the same information, except the stronger motor will deliver it in a more expansive range.
Or you can think of it as following:
The AF is a very technically advanced wheel and can really cater to anyone who is serious about competing and winning because of the advantages the software tuning provides. Game specific plugins, telemetry feedback, etc... Key here is potential advantage, not necessarily complete immersion and realism.
A more powerful motor will give you a wider range of feeling which can be felt in fewer cars (high downforce open wheelers without powersteering). However you have no say in customization, and if there are FFB issues, like oscillations you have to use the limited dampening tools to dial those out. Limited in comparison to the AF of course. Though, whose say is it that wider torque range is more realistic or not? You're pretty much bound to the accuracy of the simulation's FFB output, and few sims do it the right way because most of them have to cater to wheels that don't even come close to even capturing anything in a 1:1 fashion. You're probably safe with rFactor 2 and iRacing. I don't know about the others. Plus iRacing seems to exaggerate steering forces on some cars. Nobody seems to really know how accurate they are. So maybe a more powerful wheel will better reproduce something that might be wrong and you can't really change that. Maybe?
Is technical support and the advantages of a vendor product important to you? Do you trust that years of R&D, and custom components that were engineered together and paired with software tailed for them will yield a more favorable experience for you?
What about price difference?
one of the great benefits of an open source project is that if you're not happy with something, you can just fix it yourself!! ..that's the theory at least. However, given the amount of freedom available in pairing hardware, I can only see interest in this project increase. On top of that, because it is open source and volunteer based, the total price for a DIY package should reduce, or match up to vendor pricing but with more expensive components. Whether or not that means more in terms of quality or performance, it's hard to say.
At this point, I can't say you can go wrong with either choice.
While AF's tuning abilities are nice, as I've mentioned before there are usability issues associated with it. It's little things that add to a lot. You will have to live with the SC software like it or not, and probably invest a good amount of time in tuning it and tailoring it. At the moment Berney is working on some cloud based auto-tune feature, which I hope it uses some super advanced math formulas with statistical analysis to figure out the optimal settings, and not just an average of what everyone is doing. I don't know, but the point is, he's working on improving the tuning process.
At the same time, the barebones OSW driver settings just seem to work fine without any significant investment of time to make the wheel feel just right.
So is all the tuning effort and magic software really beneficial? Will it make you faster? I don't know, but it certainly gives you the option of choice.
In my opinion, the killer feature of SC is the ability to read telemetry from a game and supply its own FFB. So if you play a game with crappy FFB, but that game outputs good telemetry, then SC can work wonders for you. The only game I've encountered where this is applicable now is Assetto Corsa. Though I haven't exactly met anyone with an OSW complaining about AC's FFB being crappy or noisy.
Again, the software offers more choice.
Now for my own personal speculation, because after trying to stay as objective as I can, I think I'm allowed to speculate a little bit....
I think most users will not like to tinker with settings, and if the user experience of SC is not polished, where profiles are applied automatically, etc... most people will just grow tired of having to set settings. The primary goal of a sim user is to race, not tinker with wheel settings. There is no known paradigm to date where this has been the case. No other wheel on the market has allowed users to tinker with so much settings until their heads explode just to get the wheel to feel right.
I say this because I have over 10 years of experience designing user interfaces for applications, and my personal experience in observing and watching users has been that they generally just trust a default option. If defaults need to be tailored and customized by the user, most people are just going to ignore it. This is a very common paradigm when studying UX.
If the OSW project just works out of the box, then it will be more user friendly and more people will just like it better, even if the AF can be configured to outperform it.
So, is there a perfect wheel here? I don't know, but with all of these options of DD wheels there definitely doesn't seem for anything to be serverly lacking, DIY, or non-DIY.
So buy whichever. (Plus, the more competition, the better. ).
You make some great points and yours seems like the most fair comparison of the DD wheels I've read to date and it's very well done with some useful analogies and insight that helps us draw a better picture of just how the wheels feel in comparison. Thank you for your take on this subject.
Regarding SC4, I generally prefer the results I get when using telemetry-driven FFB over most game-driven FFB but, it's obviously very subjective for each person. I will say that once one is familiar with the software and knows what can be achieved and what results are desired, it gets much easier and faster to tune. Early on in the process, it can take quite a while to find the limits and accept the results as being the best they can be using the hardware as configured.
I don't understand why torque and FFB is so important to most people. I always turn down the FFB as much as possible. I don't want those annoying and fake forces coming through the wheel. It's not realistic and ruins the joy when I'm using a wheel.
Why do I want an OSW? Well simple, because it the most realistic feel one can have using a wheel, the low latency etc... but definitely not for the FFB.
It is for me personally easier to catch a slide in pCars and AC with low FFB and centering spring off than with much FFB and centering spring on.
About the Lenze. I read on the AC forum that owners of the OSW say that the difference between the small MiGe and the Lenze is marginal, not enough to warrant the expensive Lenze servo drive.
@Dean it´s not my quotes I have not got a chance to put my hands on any directdrive just spreading the word for non iRacing members.
@kikie If you don´t want the OSW for the ffb you should look for an ECCI 6000?
Ah yes, I see; I appreciate you sharing none the less.
All I want is a wheel able to output a wanted torque so the input from the sim will not be "subjective". The car movement give a torque and force on the tire contact patch and the reaction of the rubber create a Mz torque and a Fy force that is the only thing you should output to the steering column. We need a FFB protocol revolution