Sim Frame Description
Basic Design Criteria:
We first started with a modular, fully adjustable Extruded Aluminum Frame that is incredibly strong for it's size and weight and then actually engineered it as a system using the same 3-d cad that we use for industrial product design. Although there are others that use a similar approach and are reasonably strong, we have found them to be severely lacking in overall rigidity and adjustability; they flex and bow and generally wobble when a 6'6 240 Lb driver really gets after it.
This is partly because of the fixing hardware that they use, the reluctance to machine the extrusions for proper frame joining, and the size of the base frame rails (we use base frame rails twice the size of the competition); we can only assume this is to keep the cost down or because they don't anticipate large drivers using the system. The result? We can offer much greater stiffness and a much more stable platform at a very little added expense.
An additional reason for demanding the rigidity is that we anticipate that ultimately the user may mount seat motion actuators or other things to the frame; you don't want your sim dancing all over the floor if your seat is replicating the harsh track conditions at, say, Mosport or the dirt at Pikes Peak.
The frame is split into two sections, front and rear and allows the user to tailor a system for just their requirements, or to be able to grow into a full sim platform over time as money (or momma) will allow.
The front half contains all the mounting for the wheel, pedals, shifter, computer shelf and monitor(s). The rear half mounts the seat, sub woofer amplifier and ultimately the motion package for the seat.
First as Racers and Coaches, we understand that not everyone drives the same car. Some of us drive multiple cars throughout a season, and we train drivers that shoe everything from a Spec Miata, to a Formula Atlantic. So being able to simply adjust for the fellow (or gal) driving a Porsche and then being able to emulate a Miata, or just being able to adjust everything to find the sweet spot to go out and crush the online competition is of great use and importance.
We used a race car approach to this design issue, meaning that when you are fitted into your car, the wheel usually stays in the same location, and the seat and pedals are adjusted to suit the driver. The pedals are on a lockable sliding tray and the seat is also on a lockable and sliding sub frame; yes your short stuff can reach the wheel and pedals even if you are 6'6. In addition, although the wheel stays in the same location along the length of the frame, it is adjustable in overall height; same with the shifter, it is adjustable for height and lateral distance from the wheel centerline if you choose to use a commercial shifter.
Driver Interface Devices:
Although you can order a frame from us bare and mount your own pedal / wheel / shifter, we have found that for now from our testing, the Wheels and Pedals we offer are the best overall value for training or hard core racing. and you won't find them at Costco. They are simply stated very rugged and precise. We modify the hardware to attach them to our frames simply and securely. Although we can use whatever a customer wishes, ISE is proud to recommend the ECCI line of Wheels and Pedals for use on our systems; these are "battle tested" in our systems by "real world" and Sim racers alike and there is no compromise in quality. That being said, most every commercial wheel and pedal set can be mounted to the frame.
Steering: The wheels are available in a standard rotation adjustable from 180 - 240 degrees, or a multi-turn 820 Degree unit. Both are equipped with a six button paddle shifter and viscous damper, however the multi turn unit does not have the centering spring as does the standard unit. Size and type of wheel is also optional.
Pedals: The standard pedal set can be optioned to add a clutch pedal. Again, they are very rugged steel units and are also very adjustable for separation, height and angle. And it might be added that they are better than in some race cars we have driven!
Shifters: For Shifters, we offer a choice of our rugged sequential type, a "W" style gated units more for sim racing slap shifting, a straight gate , or a configurable gated unit that can also act as a sequential. We mount these units with our own custom powder coated steel plates.
Seats: Yes a seat is an interface device! Especially with the acoustic actuator (rumbler) bolted to the bottom! We use real aluminum racing seats that are available in a variety of butt widths, cover colors and layback angles of 20 to 50 degrees. When we spec out your system we will get the particulars you require. Custom seats such as a Sparco, Momo or Recaro can be ordered and mounted for an additional charge.
We offer only mounting for flat panel displays, and the standard frame comes with a mounting arm for a single unit up to 24". Although any size can be used, for single screen setups, we prefer a 24" unit, and for multiples 3 22" units. The single 24" is awesome, but the 3 screen setup is, well, you have to experience it to believe it. An optional add on package with all mounting hardware, arms and electronics to support 3 monitors is available, as well as custom mounts for larger displays.
Computer Hardware and OS:
While we provide "Turn Key" systems with computers and Sim Software loaded up and ready to run for customers, we are not in the computer or peripheral business; for that we have established a strong alliance with one of the best in the industry, Maingear Computers. Their stuff just plain rocks, and their support is second to none, so if you order a complete system from us they will be making the box for it, and if you are looking to build your own package give them a call and tell them you are working with us; they'll treat you right! Regarding the OS we are still pretty emphatic about XP Pro at this time for a whole lot of reasons.
The sim software is up to the user and we do not recommend one over the other, and just about any software that you can run on your computer will work well, but we have had stellar results with certain software packages (which we can't mention at this time due to licensing restrictions) that have a large online community making cars and tracks, and when coupled with the Data Acquisition tools that are available, the user will have a truly powerful race training system that has impressed even the most jaded racers we have worked with. Coming on line quickly and we are happy to mention is iRacing; we feel that given a while to develop more cars and tracks, they are going to be part of a very powerful training tool.