I have always wanted some sort of motion simulator for playing games, especially racing games and flight sims. But once I got my first VR headset, that want became a need!
I looked around on the market and as you can imagine they are not cheap. So I started looking into DIY options. The way the simulators work is actually quite simple after all.
So after a few days reading the xsimulator forums I decided I was going to give it a go. My biggest issue however was space. I can’t have a massive motion simulator sat in the middle of my lounge! So I decided to try and build a basic 2DOF (Pitch and Roll axis) motion simulator with the footprint of my normal desk chair. That way when not in use it would just be my seat that I use to sit at my computer.
At the time that I built this, metalwork wasn’t really an option so the simulator is built using wooden parts, a car seat, two wheelchair motors and the electronics (based on an Arduino).
Once it was all constructed I then just use the Simtools software to control it. The end result is really good. In VR games it really adds so much to the immersion. Once I had got the basic simulator setup I then also decided to add a wind simulator using two high powered ducted fans. For racing games, I use this when driving open seater cars such as the KTM crossbow. Now when you accelerate, not only do you feel the forces of the car pulling away, but also the wind in your face as you speed down the track!
So what’s next? Well In recent years I purchased a Mig welder and have actually made some attachments to my current seat to hold the HOTAS joystick in place. I keep looking at my seat and thinking that I could probably make a nice metal frame version now and also have a detachable section for mounting the foot pedals and steering wheel. Let’s see what happens in the future 🙂