Category Archives: Sim gear Reviews

SimtechRacing Simucube 2 Wireless Rim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SimTechRacing Simucube 2 Wireless Rim

Welcome to the long awaited review of the first Bluetooth rim on the market.

This is one of two of the first new Bluetooth rim for SimuCube 2 Direct Drive system.

The new way of running your rims. If you are lucky enough, like me to own the new direct drive, review HERE.

Now we all know that rims can be a expensive part of simulation rig.

Just check out my review on the glorious Cube Controls Formula Pro rim HERE.

So this is where SimTechRacing have come up with a rim that is fully Bluetooth and wont break the bank as well.

Like always STR always tries to keep the prices low and the quality high.

So we have two rims to have a look at and the first one.

Simucube Wireless Wheel 320

Full size Authentic FIA Motomec 320mm Diameter Wheel. These are a nice rim and well known in the racing world and I have owned one myself for a while now and comes with in a nice black suede covering.

Good amount of APEM Push Buttons, 8 in total. They feel great to push and no clunky feeling when being pushed in.

This model comes with two Rotary Encoders and they are of high quality and definitely engages as they should.

These are all house on a steel plate that is powder coated black.

nicely designed on steel plate

Now I must say the cable management is excellent. No wires are out of place at all. Neatly done and plastic sheathing on all the backs to keep it all looking tidy and neat.

big thumbs up on doing this so well.

A more closer look at the well thought out design.This has no cover plate on back, you got to agree. Its one tidy rim.

so well designed

Also you can see the rear side of the rim. The Bluetooth unit that is connected between the rim and simucube adapter. Which also shows the on/off switch and on other side, a red diode to let you know its connected along with the audio sound beep.

The small case on bottom of the Bluetooth unit, is where the battery pack lives.

The Batteries will last a good two years before they will need replacing. This is because the rim will auto turn off if not used after a period of time. So a big thumbs up there too.

The paddle shifters are of high quality too and are sourced from sim racing machines and made of carbon.

sim racing machine carbom paddles shifters

Quite surprised by these I must say. Really like the feel of them and the solid clunk they produce when pressed definitely spot on with the high end rims I have.

So now we seen the big version of there new Bluetooth rim that is nicely priced at £395.00 exc VAT. I think this is priced correctly and is within most sim racing hobbyist budget.

The rim is simple to connect too. The new SimuCube direct drive took no more than 10 secs to pair up and you are away. All buttons and rotary’s auto set in the software, so no need to redo do your calibrations.

If you dont own the new direct drive then with the Bluetooth kit sold by STR HERE and HERE you can still go wireless.

FINAL THOUGHTS.

If you are on a budget and wanting to go wireless and don’t want to spend near thousand pounds then this rim is highly recommended.

This will serve you well for a long time.

Price point I feel is on par and reasonable.

No lag has been seen using this rim on sims I use but mostly iracing and rfactor2.

Long lasting battery life up to two years.

inter change rims on the fly and not worry about setting up each one

 Rims are all neatly hand made.

 

Next review coming soon on rim number two from www.simtechracing.co.uk

Shortly I be reviewing there new sim rig GTR1 Sim Chassis. Now been added on there site HERE

 

Simucube 2 Pro Review

 SimuCube 2 Pro Review

 

 

check back soon for the review

Introduction

We are happy to announce that ManCave UK have now took ownership of the latest new product Simucube 2 Pro from Simucube .

We got a call yesterday from  simtechracing to say our pro is ready for collection. Either we could drive to collect or await the courier.

Decided to drive as didn’t want to wait another minute. So we got in the Mitsubishi and drove the one hour thirty minute drive to Birmingham.

The review will be done in two parts.

PART ONE

UNBOXING

So upon receiving our eagerly awaited new simucube 2 pro. There brand new 2019 direct drive. The first thing that strikes you is the design of the box.

 

nice words

Now the old osw never had anything like this unless the reseller adds there own logo onto the box when they ship it you. So this was a nice touch.

 

 

Looking at the outside you can clearly see a few little slogans and words of wisdom to make you feel all excited and wanting to rip it open.

LETS GET UNBOXING

Opening the box you first see a information and quick start guide. This is of a gloss effect and looks to be done really well and looks proffesional.

nice glossy guide

Upon a quick flick through, Seems to be good and explains all that is needed to get going. So be sure to read the instructions prior to installation.

but we know you wont!!.

easy guide

 

THE POWER PACKS.

Soon as you remove brown lid.  You are welcomed with two power pack supplies. If your purchased the sport, you only have one.

not seeing double!! two power packs for pro

Why is there two seperate power supplys ?   (see below)

i know why theres two before I get a dozen emails, Just baffled to why not make it into one unit.

Maybe it could of been done within one unit and one less plug socket. Which to me would make things a little more tidy.

Im sure there is a reason why and I hope simucube will contact me and let me know as that be cool to know.

The feel is of excellent quality and looks and is heavy and solid. Looks like they will last a long time, only time will tell here.

***Just thought I update on the power supply query I had and Mika from SimuCube has gotten in touch and explained the in’s and outs into why they took this route and the response is below.***

Consumer-approved (less than 0.5W no-load power) PSU’s are cutting edge on this voltage and power level. In the US, the DOE level 6 requirements are very strict on this, and its is not allowed to sell products with higher idle power consumption. One of our competitors (you may guess which) is using some Chinese power supplies that are certified. We also tested them (got samples for several manufacturers), but could not find one that would be reliable enough.
Possible faults where any single or multiple of these:
failed after few minutes.
started bad permanent coil whine after first heavy load.
had erratic internal fan behaviour (yes, they have fans!)
Therefore, we decided to settle on high quality fan less Taiwanese Mean Well units.

That to me clears up the reasons behind the two psu’s and thanks to mika for letting me know why and I hope this will help others out there wondering same thing as me.

FIXINGS.

Your Simucube will come with all it needs to get your rim mounted to the direct drive. Including SQR, 70mm adapter and spacer. I am happy they have gone this route and included these as it makes the transition a lot more easier and takes away the hassle of finding the right parts to fit.

 

all the fixings needed here

FAMOUS RED BUTTON

the big red button

If you new and not had the previous direct drive before and wondering what this is about then we shall explain.

These units are not forgiving when in motion and the brute force of one can literally brake your thumb and even your wrist. So bare this in mind when you first get on and ramp up the settings to max and we all do it, whether its a gpu or some other device.

My advice is to start low and slowly build up the strength.

This is why you have a big red button. If you’re rim and direct drive goes mad, you hit that and kills the power from the motor. DONT grab the rim what ever you do. it will only end up with no sim racing for 6 weeks and the embassment of explaning it to your sim buddies.

THE DIRECT DRIVE PRO

Now comes the star of the show.

This direct drive is so sleek and beatiful its hard to put it into words.

Coming from its predecessor where its looks are really industral with its fins all round and its bulky body. Must say we still like the old version too and still will be around for a long time yet as the build quality of these drives are rock solid and will last a life time of sim racing. but if like me like to have the cutting edge of sim gear then read on if not read on anyway as its took me a while to write it!!

Now its time for newer more sleak and smooth looking unit. The edges are more smoother but still keeping its predecessor shape and form. I definitly like that they kept with this shape.

nicely wrapped ready to be released!!

You can tell whats been updated and improved on. They truly have reworked it from the ground up and the build and quality is amazing just like there first model.

You will know when you buy a SimuCube product you are buyng one for the whole life span of your sim racing career and beyond as these are truly rock solid products whether its the first edition or the latest one here.

side view with there logo on

The old spindle is now gone and replaced with this new system.

They have designed this from the ground up.

Really does make it look more futuristic and again very sleek design too. This is a new area for us all and i will do a more in-depth section in the video of this so, you all can see up close on how it works.

top view with warning sticker

The days of the black case that housed the brains to the old osw is no more.

This area has been really interesting for me. Just to see how it was done and they have done it really well.

There Brand new board that houses everything the old case did, Really remarkable how they managed it. Go check out the photos on there site and facebook page.

no more seperate case all built within the direct drive

 

amazing work

 

SOFTWARE

As before I am used to there simucube software and as yet to use there new software called TRUE DRIVE. This can  be dowloaded HERE.

screen shot of the software

So at present i am not able give you a full in depth write up on this part. From what we have seen.

Once True Drive was installed.

First impressions, it Looks like the old version but updated with darker background, better logo’s and layout. Obviously the extra’s that come with the new model that the old doesnt have.

So in all ,thats a good start.

So this about wraps up the un-boxing side of things and to sum it all up…

PROS

Direct drive from a well established brand that has been doing this for many years.

Techenical support and help forum HERE not just simucube 2 but also support for the simucube 1.

Long life span that will probably last for a decade if not more

No fear of losing torque or over heating.

Sleek and excellent design.

Supports bluetooth wireless rims out of the box.

Two year warranty 

CONS( really hard to find any but!!)

price  as always  but good things come at a premium sadly.

Two power packs that require two sockets, Could of thought of this more and merged into one unit but not a game changer either way.

 


PART TWO

Part two will be done once i have had a good few hours of play on the direct drive. as i feel anything less would not be a true review of this in action. This will be a more better  and honest review as i have spent some time with it.

In the meantime why not join us over at our facebook page HERE where you can join in as a community and get help and advice too.

 


If there is a spelling mistake or i missed something or even want to say thanks. Then please be nice about it, just let me know.

It can soon can be corrected.

Thank you.


 

The home of mancave uk

Cube Controls Review

Cube Controls Formula Pro Rim Review.

part one- First impressions

The long awaited Cube Controls Formula rim has landed at Man Cave HQ and the question we all want to know is.
Has it been worth the wait.
Well read on and see what we think of the first impressions of the new rim.

Formula pro pure sensation

Back in march, We got in touch with cube controls as we saw their advert floating around on social media. We started to get interested in their work, seeing designs being shown off at events and on simulators. I just had to get my hands on one.

Nico checking out the rim

So who are Cube Controls.

Cube Controls hand build high end products for the sim racing community and real life professionals. They are a small company based in Italy.

Each rim is hand made and tailored to suit your requirements.

Each rim whether its a GT or Formula rim, Each one is very unique and one of a kind. They also now have a beautiful new rim

called Formula CSX with a 4.3 inch lcd display screen. Which I do like and love and maybe one day review and own one too.

The craftmanship is very high quality, You can tell they are all done by hand and done with precision and care.

cube controls statement

The Perfect choice for Sim Racing
What matter to us, is that you feel like your in a race car
Whether you love Formula or GT sim racing competitions.our rims will change your racing experience.We build top-notch quality steering wheels to take sim racing to the next level of realism.

  Cubecontrols.com

Now when it comes to sim racing, We could go the modest route or the expensive route. From time to time we all like to splash out and get something unique and personal for our hobby.

This was one of the things I like about cube controls, They are. Lets say, your tailor at the suit shop.

many colour choices

So how do we get that unique rim

Once you get in contact with them via social media or email.

They will ask what you would like to have done to your rim.

 I was a bit curious because things like this usually cost a lot of money as usually classed as upgrades. Well this is yet another positive about there products. The Price you pay also includes colour options and naming of the buttons and rotary’s.

You get various sticker options for you rim

You do get a few good colour options to choose from not a full colour spectrum but enough to please, I Seen some really loud and bright coloured ones that really do stand out and some that are all of one colour.

The options are quite endless.

Simple colours for me but elegant

So what happens next.

Once you get introduced to one of the cube controls staff and you have decide which rim you would like to purchase and I must say, They are very patient and not pushy either.

They will answer any questions you may have on your purchase.

After all they want you to be happy with your new rim

The back is elegant too

The next stage will be colour design and what stickers you like on your buttons and rotary’s.

They will of course send you a template and you can go to town in photoshop or whatever design application you use.

My elegant design comes to life

Obviously they will let you know what colours are on offer but I found best to ask first. So you don’t go mad on a crazy design only to find out that colour is not available.

Once you have got the design done and your happy but please take your time and look at it and go away and come back and see if you like it still.

Dual shifters for perfect clutch control

I changed mine a few good times over the day back and forth with cube controls asking what they felt but bold colours were not for me and went with the design you see in the photos.

every part is of top quality

How long will it take till it arrives

Now you heard the saying ‘All good things comes to those who wait’, Well you wont be getting it within a week that’s for certain. Why? These rims are all handmade in Italy and made by a human… Yes actual human!!

So when you place your order with cube controls, They will put you in line with the other orders and await your turn.

This could be a couple weeks, if they are not busy… very unlikely…

More realistically around 5 weeks.

 

come in a nice protective case

Feel free to email them and they will reply usually within a couple hours with updates to your order. All I ask is please don’t go emailing or social media mad like a stalker, Asking for when is it ready and its only been a week or so!!.

Please be patient it will come when its ready and all in good time.

 

Beautiful blue

   SO HOW DOES THIS FEEL

 

Now this is a bit difficult because at present because I have no direct drive on the rig as I am awaiting the new simucube 2  pro direct drive to arrive from SimTechRacing  

      simucube 2 pro direct drive review soon

 

We can at least give first impression of how it feels in the hand and how the rotary and buttons feel.

 THE WEIGHT

 

Upon opening the case and lifting the rim out with my over caring hands. Insuring I was well seated with no chance of dropping it.

 

First impressions are of the weight are:-

 

The weight is really good. I’ve had rims in past that are ever so light and felt odd.

Overall weight is great and feels like a premium product.

When you grasp the rim in the driving position your hands instantly feel comfortable.

The hand mould is perfect on the rim and is the right size too.

They do make two sizes but I felt the standard was good enough.

ROTARY’S BUTTON’S SWITCHES

Simple colours but elegant

When it comes to button’s and rotary’s, you can usually tell the quality of them just by pressing or moving them and cube have definitely got some nice ones here. They feel good to press no squeaky sounds coming from them .

 

First impressions of the rotary’s and buttons and switches are:-

The rotary’s feel like they should firm and a get that nice click when moved.

They also are perfectly cut cnc machined aluminium knobs.

All the rotary’s press down too, so you get another 4 buttons as well, very impressed here.

The side thumb rotary’s can be programmed for also sorts of new ways to control the car or menu’s

PADDLE AND CLUTCH

paddle and clutch feel premium

 

First impressions of the paddle and clutch:-

 

They feel high end as you would expect from this rim.

made with solid carbon and blue anodised they feel really nice and solid and can really tell how well made these are and should last a long time.

The full clutch system is really smooth and nice edition

THE GRIPS

First impressions of the grips:-

Made to high standards and the feel is nice and are solid and not soft, a little different to alacantra I am used to.

Definitely  would wear gloves with this rim or any high end rim just to protect it from our sweaty hands

Not much really to say about a set of grips they are of excellent quality and look like they will last a long time compared to alacantra type materials that wear down quite quick.

In all I am very happy with the design.

FINAL CONCLUSION 

THE GOOD

So if you are in the market for a high end rim and have £899 sitting in your bank then I would highly recommend either this rim formula pro or one of there other rims from the GT to the lastest CSX. Now not everyone will like mine and same for me I don’t like others but this is because each rim is tailored to you and you alone.

Every rotary, push button and switches are literally spot on and feel really smooth the detail and placement has been really thought out here and I can see why they are of a premium price.

There is so much I could go into that I probably end up making a novel about it and I know I praise this rim to high heaven but this is my honest opinion you couldn’t go wrong with cube controls can I fault anything with this rim….anything?

 

THE BAD

Ok so I have praised this Formula pro rim a lot and to find anything negative is one hard thing to do.

when you know this is made so well it is hard too.

There is one little negative or improvement and this is really more a personal preference but none the less.

When I received the box and opened the case I felt a little bit baffled to why the rim was not inside a foam cut out like you see in say expensive camera cases.

Don’t get me wrong it was nice and snug and safe, as the whole case inside is foam and well procteded by the aluminium case housing  but I feel this could be improved and make it a little bit more special in that sense.

I did of course message them and let them know of this and I hope they will take this onboard and try to do it.

Again this was all I could find that could be a negative.

 

So to finish this long review.

I will say thank you for taking the time to read the review, if there is a error or spelling mistake, then I am only human!!

Will of course be doing plenty more reviews and videos on my YoutTube channel.

This will include the SimTechRacing first Bluetooth rim and the new SimuCube 2 unboxing and full review.

 

If you would like me to do a full review of your product then please don’t hesitate to get in touch either via below email or social media groups

 

 

 

 

Wind Simualtion kit

Wind Simulation Kit

There comes a time in your sim racing life that we all look for something a little bit extra. 

So we have Vibrations in the form of butt kickers and transducers. Virtual reality and motion but one thing that’s missing is wind Simulation.

This is something that’s been of interest for a while and getting it right is something we wanted to achieve.

So after talking with my friend Jed freeman from SimTech racing . They looked over the idea and said they would like to help bring this idea to life.

Coming up with a name was a tricky one we banged heads for a while trying to come up with a name that would be great to say and not feel cheesy.

Wind Sim was the final name and it seems to fit the product well. After this was decided we wanted to see how we could get this all looking neat and not thrown together.

The Hub

 

the hub front

So the case was going to be designed by SimTech Racing. It had to look neat and good air flow.

This design has been used many times from their osw range of boxes and performs well. The box will be smaller than the osw boxes as the components for this are smaller.

The backend is well placed out and there is two outputs to the win flow fans, more on those shortly.

backend

These connections are of excellent quality and as always SimTech racing only use top quality components to give you, the user the best experience possible but keeping the price down.

Also you can see the fan to keep the components all cool and is very quite and barely hear any sound from it that you literally have to check to see if it’s on but fear not, there is a light on the front to let you know. Comes supplied with 3 pin uk plug and usb cable to connect to your pc.

side view with air vents

 

 

Sea Flow Fans

When it comes to wind you need some kind of fan to blow over you to simulate this effect. There is some on the market but my thoughts are these fans are only small and barely give enough wind to simulate real wind effects.

original sea flow fans no cheap parts here

So we have to come up with a better solution and this is the Sea Flo Fans. These are probably the best ones to use as they are well designed and can handle a lot of wind and their rating is 270cfm. As they already come in a really decent designed case, we felt we would leave them as they are for now. these come with proper shielded cabling too.

looking sexy

Venturi Adapters

There is two venturi adapters to connect to your table or rig using the provided butterfly clips (4″). Also along with the Venturi’s you will be supplied enough duct hosing in black to give the rig a sleek look and shoot the air up to you in your seat.

Venturi designed by simtechracing

 

These can either be velcro or hard bolted onto your rig or table with some bolts. We managed to connect mine to the simracinghardware dashboard i have with Velcro.

There is other also some wind deflectors being tested at the time of this article and look forward to seeing that soon, These are smaller adapters than the Venturi and can be fully moved about to give the best position possible and the inner fins can be moved round like a real car does to achieve the ultimate experience.

 

SimHub Software

So you will need some software to run this wind sim kit and that comes in the form of simhub.

This is the best software out there for wind sim. With it being fully open source for all to use we decided we didn’t want to make our own as that would cost more money and time which in return will reflect the price. We didn’t want to try to use simhub and change it a little, to then charge the consumer, which I feel is totally wrong in my opinion. After all its open source.

But SimHub deserves something in return right? Well yes and we agree too. So for every purchase made we will donate money to the owner of sim hub and you will receive the donator edition in the kit. Just our little bit as the owner has spent man hours perfecting this brilliant software.

So time to give you a little look wind sim in action and ManCave UK recently made a short video on the wind sim running, take a look and see for your self how windy this can be. All purchases can be made from SimTechRacing HERE

 

 

 

 

 

SimTechRacing Pedal Kit Review

SimTechRacing Pedal Kit Review

 

 

Website -: Pedal kit Here

Fancy a set of SimTechRacing Pedal Kit with a hydraulic braking system with a difference., Well look no further than this kit, Over last year I have been helping SimTech Racing with their progression of these pedals,

A while ago we did a review on the previous set.

Sadly I lost most of my work but I’m sure you can remember the first set I got here below is the video I did. it was one of my first reviews so please excuse me if it not on par!!

So with the new updated version and i must say the old ones are perfect and couldn’t be happier but progress is progress and we like to try new ideas.

This kit combines top end components. These come without the bells and whistles on but the quality is top end also.

With their experience they have in real life motor sports with their sponsorship with ben palmer they can guarantee their work is always spot on.

Now this excellence comes with a 12 month warranty. In the years I have known SimTech Racing I yet to have an issue. If I did I know they would sort anything out either via phone or team viewer, they even help with the installation of any of their products too. 

 

 

So longs you’re not worried about all the bling and fancy pots that you see, which i might add don’t have no real use, apart from looks and the wow factor.

Want a set that works how they should and comes with either direct connection to their osw kit or the usb version if your yet to buy a osw.

A fraction of the price of some pedals out on the market.

Before we carry on there is nothing wrong with the fancy Tilton and alike, they are nice. Yet to try a set myself, so can’t comment on them to compare.

Never know I might get a review set to put up against these ones one day!!.

list of components that go into these kits.

Clutch Brake and Accelerator
2 connection options Direct to SimuCube (X11 Socket) or USB
Billet Aluminium Pedals
Closed loop system, no leaks
Fully adjustable brake feel
Basic Clutch Operation
High Quality components
Optional base plate with heel pad
Easy calibration
Extremely strong custom pedal box

See website at top for price and any questions then please get in touch.  If you want a review of your product you can also find me on our social media hubs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RDTV: Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 Direct Drive Wheel Review

We get some time behind the wheel of the Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 direct drive wheel.

Been fortunate enough to have had plenty of experience with direct drive wheels in our time, in fact We got the SimCube OSW device attached to my rig right now, but we have never had the opportunity to spend much quality time with the Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 wheel… until now.

Having taken hold of the most current in the range of direct drive wheels from Leo Bodnar just prior to Christmas, was excited to get it bolted to my rig and put it through its paces. A number of both old and new racing sims From golden oldies like Race07 by SimBin, right the way though to the latest and greatest on offer from Kunos Simulazioni. The benefits of the DD really did shine through right from the very start.

Immediately before one even spends any serious time within your sim of choice, you are struck by the simplicity of setting up the wheel software.

Unlike the OSW devices of which we more familiar with, the SimSteering2 presents the user with a relatively sparse amount of customization opportunities within its own software.

Initially this caused some concern, as we understandably feared that lack of options would equate to minimal opportunity to tweak the wheel to our liking within my sim of choice.

However these fears would prove to be unfounded once we took to the virtual circuit. Very quickly the minimal amount of tweaking and editing required would become one of the strongest features of the wheel. Without having to spend hours making adjustments and researching on the internet, We found a very solid and satisfying experience almost straight out of the box.

Anyone reading this who’s gone down the rabbit hole of wheel adjustment testing with other manufacturers, will no doubt share my beliefs that driving is far more fun than near endless tweaking and testing.

With setup now quickly and easily taken care of, it was time for the fun to start. As I said earlier, I’ve given this a good test in many of the key sims, and in each and every one the improvements were noticeable and impressive, none more so than with rFactor 2, where using a DD wheel like this lifts the simulation into a brand new range of greatness… pretty much reason enough to go out and join the DD bandwagon all on its own…

Now I’m not going to spend time here discussing the wheel in more detail. You can check the video out above at the head of the article for that, but what I will end on is this:

The Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 is very expensive, but cash is all relative to your own situation and expectations. After all, what price can you put on love at first sight.

Find out more about Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 Direct Drive wheel HERE.


Article first shown on race department.

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief

RDTV: Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 Direct Drive Wheel Review

Next Level Racing GTtrack Cockpit Review By The SRG

 

 

Next Level Racing GTtrack Cockpit Review By The SRG

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