Pixy and I have been playing a lot of Test Drive Unlimited recently, so we created this spreadsheet to help us make car buying decisions. Enjoy!
The short version: If you can afford it, go get this wheel right now!
The long version: This wheel is simply amazing. The whole driving game experience is completely enhanced by it, to the point where my fiance has become totally hooked on Test Drive Unlimited. (I’m writing this to the sounds of her brand new Ferrari screaming down the highway)
The box contains the wheel, the pedals, the shifter, and the power supply. The quality is simply amazing, with a very solid feel. I should also mention the smell. The wheel and shifter smell like new leather seats. It’s a little distracting initially; I keep finding myself leaning forward to smell the wheel at the end of each race…
Getting everything hooked up was a snap, and the software installed easily. I did have a small problem with it detecting the wheel initially, but it was solved simply by unplugging and re-plugging the wheel at the “Detected Game Controllers” screen, at which point the wheel appeared and allowed me to test/configure it.
THE FEEL OF THE WHEEL:
The first thing you’ll notice about the wheel is the leather, followed closely by the brushed steel. The main unit is heavy, and solidly built. It clamps securely to your desk, and if it were just a tad bigger it would feel like a real steering wheel. The dual force feedback motors provide excellent responsiveness, and provide a very strong effect. This wheel really lets you know when you fall off the road!
The leather feels fantastic on your hands, even after a few solid hours of driving. The paddle shifters are very solid, are perfectly sensitive, and don’t flex at all.
The wheel also has 2 thumb buttons on it. I would have preferred a few more thumb buttons, but that’s a tiny complaint – and also the only one I can think of for the entire rig.
THE METAL OF THE PEDAL:
The pedals are superb. Logitech really nailed the feel for your feet. The gas has light resistance, so it’s easy to hold the pedal at any position. The brakes are heavy, so you really feel like you’re stomping on the brakes. The clutch is somewhere in the middle, and felt a lot like my old VWs clutch.
The pedal unit has a nifty carpet grabbing bar on the bottom that held the unit very securely to my floor. There are also LRFs (Little Rubber Feet) attached that, I expect, would do the same on hardwood or tile.
THE THROB OF THE KNOB:
The shifter knob also has a lovely leather treatment. The six speed H pattern makes it very easy to find the gear you’re looking for, and allows for fun tricks like skipping gears while shifting – something that no sequential setup can really match. There is a sequential mode to the shifter, but if you’re going sequential you may as well use the paddles.
There are also 8 other buttons on the shifter unit, plus an 8-way hat switch. Loads of buttons for controlling whatever game you play – though again, I would have preferred if some of those buttons had been on the wheel itself. Just a personal preference though.
I tested the wheel with three games. In order of realism, they are: Need For Speed Undercover, Test Drive Unlimited, and rFactor.
I found Need For Speed a little too arcade focused for me. It’s physics model (and plot) are too squarely aimed at console kiddies. It’s not that the game is boring, or that it’s not fun. It’s just weak compared to the other games I tested the wheel on. The feedback effects were decent, but the realism of the wheel was hampered by the weak physics. As a side note, I’m VERY glad EA is letting go of the NFS franchise. Hopefully the new owners will drop all the cosmetic customization, leave the free roam, and otherwise return to the roots of the game.
rFactor, on the other hand, I found to be almost too realistic, though it did a great job of highlighting the strengths of the G25. The force feedback effects were exquisite! Hook up to a projector and you’d almost believe you were in the car! I will admin, however, that I spent more time spinning out than I did driving.
Test Drive Unlimited was just right. A solid physics model about half way between arcade and simulation, and a HUGE variety of cars. The wheel totally shines in this game. You can immediately feel how a car handles. You can feel if the steering is loose or tight. You can feel how much traction your tires have, and (critically!) when they’re about to let go of the pavement. I enjoyed the game so much, that I’m planning on writing a review of it in the near future.
If you have the means, get this wheel. You will NOT regret it.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
You’ll be missed. Majel Barrett Roddenberry Passes Away/
What a nightmare!
First things first. I made a logical diagram of the various vlan connections, and documented any special ports that were in use. Then the fun began. All cables were disconnected.
Then we reorganized the racks so that all the switches were on one side, and all the patch panels on the other.
Then we did a logical reorganization of the switches, so that all the servers and routers ports were on the same non-poe switches, and all the workstations would connecting to the poe ones.
After that, it was just a matter of cabling things up – neatly!
Et Voila! From chaos to order.
There are a few reasons you might want a serial port on your router. Maybe you’re a firmware hacker, or maybe you’re running a bleeding edge version of OpenWRT, or maybe you just want to watch the beastie boot up. Regardless of your reasons, here’s how you do it.
- First, you’ll need a 3.3v serial to USB converter. This is VERY important. If you just solder on a serial port to the router’s motherboard you will fry it as soon as you plug it in to your PC. PC serial ports output 5v, and the router can only handle 3.3v. Since you already need a voltage converter, you may as well get one that also converts to USB.
I recommend the Pololu device: http://www.robotshop.ca/pololu-usb-to-serial-adapter.html
The Pololu is currently out of stock, but this one (or any other USB -> 3.3v serial) should work just as well: http://www.robotshop.ca/sfe-ft232rl-usb-to-serial.html
- Crack open your router
- Unplug the antenna leads, and pull the main router board out of the casing.
- Solder some leads (I used some wires from an old ethernet cable I had laying around) from the Pololu to the motherboard serial points. I found it easiest to put the wires thru from the top, and solder on the back.
- Attach a USB cable from the Pololu to your PCs USB port
- Plug the Antenna back in, replace the router’s motherboard in to the housing, cut a hole for the cable, and close it up.
- Install the serial driver if it’s not automagically detected by your OS
- Load up a terminal program, point it at your new serial port using 19200/8/n/1 settings
- Hit enter, and enjoy your new console!
- Clicky on one of the ads that interest you over on the right to throw me a googlequarter.
I will be a reviewing the Logitech G25 force feedback wheel as soon as I get my grubby mitts on one! I should be getting one this weekend! Stay tuned!
Welcome to the start of my new site! Obviously, there’s not much here yet, but I’ll be adding whatever comes to mind in the future.
Many moons ago there was a racing game. Not just any racing game, but a game featuring cars from the golden age of automobiles. The newest car in the game was a 1973 Firebird, and the oldest was a 1932 Ford.
The game had a number of tracks, ranging from cluttered city streets, to small town main streets, to gravel and dirt country roads. Basically, there was something for everyone.
It featured a fairly realistic physics model, and was an amazing amount of fun to play. The best part of the game, however, was tuning your rides. There were thousands of aftermarket parts, licensed and realistically modeled, that you could install on your car. Everything from Holly carbs, to glasspack mufflers, to cams, headers, and crankshafts. These all combined with a physics model of the engine to give you an unprecedented amount of control over every aspect of your ride.
Plus, all the parts were part of a massive dynamic economy that tied everything together with part and car auctions. The price of that high-end turbocharger you want is based on supply and demand, not some arbitrary dollar figure.
I actually had 3 separate 1965 Mustangs. Each of them tuned, balanced, and tested (for hours!) to be perfectly controlled on a specific track type. My offroad ‘stang could barely stay on an asphalt road, but was a joy to drive on the “Hazard Hollow” dirt track. Conversely, the ‘stang I’d tuned for the road wouldn’t have made it around the first corner of the dirt track.
Because of the vast number of parts available, I learned more about how engines worked than I ever thought I’d need to know. It doesn’t take very many mid-race blown engines before you figure out that adding a turbo and nitrous to a 12.0 compression ratio rig is a BAD plan.
Added on to all that was an amazing group of people, racing clubs, and tuners, all happy to give advice, or go for a race at the drop of a hat.
There were problems with the game, such as lag, and a limit of 4 people per race, but those things were minor compared with the hours of joy the game brought me.
Sadly, in it’s infinite greed, Electronic Arts decided that the game wasn’t making enough profit, and cancelled it. It was making profit, but not as much as the sims, so they shut it down. Once the servers were gone, so was the game, and the community. I haven’t paid for an EA game since. They are the evil empire of gaming.
I recently found a brave group of folks trying to remake the game. Check it out at