Tactile for the Playseat-- My Solution

  • Thread starter RReed43
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404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
I had been thinking about adding tactile to my Playseat. I originally was just going to add a Butt Kicker but two things changed my mind. The first was that Butt Kicker's are "sold out" so I would have to wait.

The second and most important was that I read Mr Latte's comments about a less expensive soluton and his strong suggeston to go two channel on the tactile drivers.

I followed this advice. I purchased two Aura AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shakers.

I then read about the various approaches two installing the Shakers on the Playseat. I read comments on this forum and the installation instructions and comments on the Parts Express website.

The key elements were 1) install the Shakers so they are firing up/down in the seat 2) the Shaker mount needs to be rigid to better transfer the vibrations and 3) isolate the seat from the floor.

To accomplish this I purchased a 3/4" X 7 1/4" (2cm X 18.3cm) solid oak board at Home Depot. It is sold as a "table board". Oak is a very hard and rigid wood ideal for transferring vibrations.

I removed the seat from the Playseat.

I drilled five holes in the seat rail on each side of the Playseat, slightly back from the center of the holes that are used to attach the seat to the rails.

When I had finished it looked like this.
plankinplace8381.jpg
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
I then added folded carpet padding to cushion the board from the bottom of the seat. There is only a small gap between the bottom of the seat and the board and as suggested by Mr. Latte, filling this gap will prevent discomfort as well as prevent direct contact between the board and the seat.

It looks like this.
padding8382.jpg
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
I then reinstalled the seat and then turned the Playseat on it's side to install the two Pro Bass Shakers to the bottom of the oak plank. I located the Shakers in the center of the board each as close to the end as was practical to gain as much separation as possible.

They look like this mounted, looking from across the bottom of the Playseat.

I also added three sponge rubber grippers to the bottom rail to keep vibrations from being transferred to the floor from the seat. They are visible on the bottom rail in this photo.
mountedshakers8388.jpg
 
3,446
Mexico
GTP_Coxis
Coxis
You don't need to make a post per picture, in case you don't know. Just hit edit and add the new pic. Looking forward to the whole story.
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
To amplify the Shakers I purchased two Dayton Audio SA 70W Sub Woofer Amplifiers from Parts Express. The audio output from the Multi AV on the PS3 is fed to the amplifiers, right channel to one amplifier and the left channel to the other amplifier. You need two sub woofer amplifiers because they combine the left and right channels and you lose separation.

These are pretty big units and I haven't figured out where I'm going to put them permanently so for now they are sitting on the floor in front of the pedals.

amplifiers8390.jpg


One of the advantages of these amplifiers is that they contain both a volume control and a frequency cut off control. The cut off frequency is critical to isolating the LFE from the music in the audio feed. They seem to be doing a pretty good job but I purchased a used audio equalizer on ebay which I will try out a a front end to the amplifiers and see if they improve performance.

This is the control panel on the amplifiers.
amplifierpanel8392.jpg
 
Last edited:
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
I tried it all out yesterday and was pleased with the addition of tactile to my set up.

I cut the music feed out of the racing because some bass notes will be amplified and are not pleasant. If you like music with your driving I don't think this will work for you.

It greatly enhances the sound of the exhaust although when you drive close to other cars it enhances their exhaust as well.

It gives an increased sense of what the car is doing as engine and road vibrations are fed back through the seat and wheel. The Playseat frame will sometimes vibrate in resonance with the Shakers and produce some strange sounds and vibrations. This can be a little distracting but its not unlike what happens in cars when they are driven hard.

It cost about $230 for everything that I purchased to install tactile in my Playseat. I feel it was a worthwile investment to my rig.
 
2,586
trk29
My question is. If they are mounted that close together do you feel left, and right? I was thinking of doing something like this but I wanted to mount them on the outside of the seat on the left and right side.
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
My question is. If they are mounted that close together do you feel left, and right? I was thinking of doing something like this but I wanted to mount them on the outside of the seat on the left and right side.

It's hard to say as it's pretty subjective. I get a sense of side from the vibrations but it could be influenced by the surround sound and the visual information which is also flowing.

I did everything I could do inside the Playseat and with the electronics to maintain a stereo effect. I didn't think of taking them outside the Playseat but I know that you don't want to mount them vertically on the side of the Playseat.

I would welcome other peoples experience on the subject whether there is a side effect on the LFE channel with GT5. In the Home Theater world no effort is made to provide stereo LFE. All the subwoofers are mono and the seat thumpers are mono.
 
2,586
trk29
Can you tell a difference if you mount these vertically? I was under the impression that it doesn't matter. Atleast that is the way it is with the buttkicker. I have mine mounted horizontally with no issues.
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
Can you tell a difference if you mount these vertically? I was under the impression that it doesn't matter. Atleast that is the way it is with the buttkicker. I have mine mounted horizontally with no issues.

The research that I did was quite clear that they need to be mounted horizontally, but most of that involved furniture for home theater not on a metal frame Playseat.

I'm certainly not an audio engineer and it may be fine to mount vertically. That's what I like about this forum, the opportunity to share information and experience with the hardware. The fact is that racing sim technology is still being developed.
 

Mr Latte

Underpowered Overdriven
Premium
4,815
United Kingdom
N Ireland
Nice work and well thanks for placing such trust in what Ive been saying regards tactile.
I think you would get even better results if you had a new larger board cut that is to the full length of the seat supports.

The more the tactile feeds into the metal sides of the cockpit the better it should work enchance the stereo effect.
Is it possible to fill the Playseat with playsand or stuff it with something like tissue paper to help reduce the metal echo from verberations.

One last tip I'd say is worth trying is if you can connect to a 5.1 receiver is consider a wooden platfrom for the Play seat to attach to (use isolators to lift it from the floor) and have a LFE tactile attached to this board. You will find adding a LFE tactile with stereo improves the overall tactile performance. A bit like how adding a subwoofer to good stereo speakers gives a more pleasurable audio experience.
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
I just completed a driving session and paid particular attention to the tactile sensations and whether they had a left/right component. The answer is YES, it is particularly noticeable when you run over rumble strips with the left and right wheels or when you pass a car and hear the exhaust on the left or right side.

One of the comments from the Parts Express feedback page for the Bass Shakers was that they get better as they "break in", maybe it was my imagination but I thought the effect was really great tonight.
 
2,586
trk29
One last tip I'd say is worth trying is if you can connect to a 5.1 receiver is consider a wooden platfrom for the Play seat to attach to (use isolators to lift it from the floor) and have a LFE tactile attached to this board. You will find adding a LFE tactile with stereo improves the overall tactile performance. A bit like how adding a subwoofer to good stereo speakers gives a more pleasurable audio experience.

This is what I want to do. Get a 5.1 receiver and put shakers everywhere! Can you tell a difference in "shake" by going through all the channels of a 5.1 vs using the amps like Reed had done?

I just completed a driving session and paid particular attention to the tactile sensations and whether they had a left/right component. The answer is YES, it is particularly noticeable when you run over rumble strips with the left and right wheels or when you pass a car and hear the exhaust on the left or right side.

One of the comments from the Parts Express feedback page for the Bass Shakers was that they get better as they "break in", maybe it was my imagination but I thought the effect was really great tonight.

Thats good to know thanks.
 

Mr Latte

Underpowered Overdriven
Premium
4,815
United Kingdom
N Ireland
Good news that your starting to notice the benefits...

Enjoy some music, you may be surprised how good with proper settings music can be enchanced with tactile too.

Ive noticed with recent testing for my own that with music as a source test many tunes use LFE really well. Without the LFE you dont get the effect from the stereo only tactile. Also sometimes its the opposite the L/R will have tactile effects the LFE do not produce or in the same way. I expect this is a factor of source/studio mix/dsp setting used on your reciever as to how the tactile will react.

Part of a good tactile setup is also having the tactile at a volume that doesnt distract from the audio level volume.
Experimentation is all part of the fun so enjoy the experience.
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
I have added a graphic equalizer to the rig. It takes the output from the PS3 AV connector and modifies the amplitude of various frequencies being passed to the tactile amplifiers. With a little experimenting between the graphic equalizers and the band pass filters on the amplifiers I have been able to produce a strong tactile response in the Playseat without clipping or a passing through extraneous higher frequency content.
equalizer8904.jpg
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
I purchased and will be receiving the Fanatec CSR-E Wheel on Tuesday. One of the reasons for purchasing the wheel was so I could play Forza 4 in addition to GT5.

I really, really like the way the tactile setup performs on GT5, so in preparation for the arrival of the CSR-E, I purchased an XBox 360 to integrate into my driving system.

My Yamaha AV Receiver had another HDMI input so I simply added an HDMI lead from the XBox to the Yamaha. It is a simply manner to use the Yamaha remote to switch between the PS3 and the XBox. That left me to integrate the XBox into the tactile system.

The XBox doesn't outwardly provide a multi audio output as is provided on the PS3. In fact there is a plastic protrusion on the standard AV plug provided by Microsoft which prevents pluging the AV lead and the HDMI lead into the XBox at the same time.

I did some internet research and found someone had encountered this problem and modified the XBox plug. I decided to try the same thing. I used a saw and cut off the protrusion on the AV plug. I then plugged both the AV and HDMI leads into the Xbox. It worked just fine. I get the digital audio and video feed from the HDMI into my Yamaha receiver and I get an audio feed from the AV lead for my tactile system.

The graphic equalizer makes it easy to handle the tactile signal. I use the tape monitor button to select either the PS3 feed or the XBox feed and the output is fed to the amplifiers for the tactile units.
 
3,446
Mexico
GTP_Coxis
Coxis
Reed, nevermind the stereo effect for now.

I have a question. Could I run two shakers off of just one Dayton 70W amp like the one you bought?
 

Mayaman

Premium
2,224
You don't have to cut the plug, they sell a dongle specifically for that purpose with dual output of right and left. I suggest buying that. They are regularly on Ebay for around $10

Nice work
 
RReed43 thank you for the great tutorial. I am new to sim racing and just recently purchased a Visionracer. I was also thinking of adding two buttkicker gamer 2's to my seat but after reading your post here I am thinking otherwise.

However, I've tried searching for Mr Latte's review about using two channel tactile drivers but I could not find it. Can you please tell what the benefit(s) are?

I have a Logitech X-530 5.1 surround system I just bought for it. I haven't installed it yet. I play my racing games off my PC and have a 5.1 sound card in my computer. I know for the buttkicker you connect it to the "center/sub" out. I don't know much about audio electronics, amps, speakers etc. How could I connect the two amps you speak of to my 5.1 sound card...would it work?

Sorry for so many questions but I'm still learning.

Thanks!

Jeff
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
The advantage of two channels of tactile is that you feel separate tactile on each side of the seat. For example if you put your wheel on a rumble strip on the right side you will feel the tactile on the right side of the seat.

I don't know about your amp but to have two channel tactile in my set up I fed the audio channel to my audio amplifier from the normal audio output (5.1) and used the multi output on the PS3 to feed the tactile amplifiers and drivers. As explained you need to make sure you have two ampliers or a stereo LFE ampllifer because while lots of these amplifiers have duel imputs they only have mono output.
 
I, too, am not much an audio guy and I have a stand-alone cockpit in my office. It'd be nice if the right stereo amps were pointed out and such. I'd like to have stereo tactile feedback, too.

Thanks,
Mike
 
The advantage of two channels of tactile is that you feel separate tactile on each side of the seat. For example if you put your wheel on a rumble strip on the right side you will feel the tactile on the right side of the seat.

I don't know about your amp but to have two channel tactile in my set up I fed the audio channel to my audio amplifier from the normal audio output (5.1) and used the multi output on the PS3 to feed the tactile amplifiers and drivers. As explained you need to make sure you have two ampliers or a stereo LFE ampllifer because while lots of these amplifiers have duel imputs they only have mono output.

Thanks for the quick reply.

I guess I'm still a little confused. On my sound card I have 1-sub out (mono), 1 Front L/R out (stereo), and 1 Rear L/R (stereo) out that make it a 5.1 system - How do the transducer's become "stereo" for the low end frequency when there is only 1 connection for the sub on my card which is mono?

Would I have to run the Aura's out of the Front L/R or Rear L/R in order for it to work?

I believe this is what I would have to do in order for them to be stereo but I don't want to sacrifice my rear speakers or front speakers in order to have the tactile effect. Am I correct on this?

I plan to follow your steps and get the Aura's and the same amps. But I'd still love to have all four speakers working AND the tactile effect.....if possible. :)

Again...thanks for the help
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
You use the output from your amp to drive five speakers and have full surround audio including the sub woofer. You then hook up the multi-audio jack to the PS3. The left and right audio outputs from the multi-audio are then connected to the tactile amplifiers.

You don't lose any audio and you have two tactile channels.
 
355
Canada
Canada
FuzZMcAwesomE
I've bookmarked this for later... some good information here. I think tactile has to be my next step in my rig. I'm not sure if I should just go with the ease of a butt kicker kit, or do a manual setup like this.
 
404
United States
Aubrey, Texas
The Buttkicker is exactly the same setup. You attach the Buttkicker amplifier to the output of the multi jack on the PS3. If you want stereo tactile you buy two. The advantage of the Aura's is that you can go stereo for just a little than a Buttkicker mono system.
 
Yeah, I was looking at the SA100, too. Will that allow me to use two Aura Pro Bass Shakers in stereo? How did you wire it up? Also, what's the red/black wires coming out the back?

Thanks