ARL TV Visits Leo Bodnar – Videos

The guys over at ApexRacingTV recently had the chance to pay one of sim racing’s true hardware gurus a visit – Leo Bodnar.

During their visit, the guys got to try Leo’s high-tech SimSteering wheel and take a close look at his upcoming Formula One wheel prototype as well!

More info on the SimSteering wheel and its impressive features can be found here.

GTOmegaRacing.com

  • Anonymous

    The future for those who have the money!

    • LogiForce

      Indeed. I hope to see the price come down eventually, but I am not betting on it since it’s a very niche product.
      If Leo could make it somehow more ‘approachable’ money wise for the rest of us, it would be bliss.

      • Anonymous

        I think someone else is doing something very similar anyway what is the price if it’s over 5 grand USD I agree that is a bit mutch

      • LogiForce

        Agreed. Though maybe he can find a cheaper motor to start out with and that you can later upgrade to a better motor by just swapping out the motors, thus having the control unit and other bits and bobs remain the same. Thus making it more approachable in such a way.

        As for me personally, £2400 is just too much for me with my current income and so on. So I will have to stick with my Clubsport setup. Which is good but the more torque a wheel can produce the better, as a bigger torque range gives more playroom between weak effects becoming noticeable and arm breaking strong effects.

        Every step forward in sim racing is a good step. So even though I can’t afford this I have to gratefully thank Leo Bodnar for pushing the sim community further into the right direction.

      • Anonymous

        Let SMS buy you one with your profits!

      • LogiForce

        If I get enough with a senior account, that’s a great idea actually.

  • Anonymous

    Just as we are now able to fairly faithfully recreate car physics, we now can recreate FFB at the real strength levels! We now need to do research in terms of real strength. F1 actually has much lighter steering than people think because it’s assisted. Other high-downforce formula cars don’t have assisted steering and it’s incredibly heavy.

    The reviewer seemed to struggle with the Corvette through Eau Rouge, even unsettling the car because of that struggle. I would think that the real car wouldn’t be such a horrible handful to almost cause a crash purely because of strength.

    Most race cars have lightweight wheels which causes the steering to be light even when unassisted (no power steering).

    I guess it’s just one more thing we can argue about regarding realism. 😉

    • John Beeson

      GP2 cars have very heavy steering and in fact we’ve provided larger motors than our standard one to some of the teams for this reason!

      True that Lee (the reviewer driving through Eau Rouge) did struggle but it was his first time at it and I don’t think he was quite ready for it! 🙂 I can’t remember what the strength was set to at that particular time but of course it can be changed easily depending on the vehicle used. Being based at Silverstone circuit we have a wide range of drivers and engineers from all kinds of racing backgrounds at our disposal to try the system and give us information on forces from the real cars.

      As far as sim racing is concerned, most will just want to get round as fast as possible so it’s all down to the drivers preference I guess as the majority won’t ever drive the real thing!

      • Anonymous

        Many iRacing aliens use almost no force feedback at all. Me? I want to feel like I’m driving the real thing whether I’m slower or not. I get much more enjoyment out of feeling like the real skill is there and the experience more real than eeking out a few extra tenths.

        I’d be a buyer for a system like this at Fanatec ClubSport prices but that’s way cheaper than what’s currently offered.

      • John Beeson

        I’m the same and i’m sure many others agree but the majority just want the quickest lap times.

        We’d all want a car with the performance of a Ferrari at the same price as a Fiat but unfortunately that’s not going to happen 🙂

      • Anonymous

        That’s why I mentioned the possibility of the same type of motor but not as forceful. It seems that this wheel can already got WAY beyond what a ClubSport wheel can do and I would think that wheel is more than enough to replicate most cars. That being said, the whole point of the servo is the speed and fidelity.

        That’s why I’d love to hear if a servo wheel under the 16 Nm peak of this wheel could be cheaper. Something like 12, 8, 6 or 4 Nm peak (not sure what ClubSport is for reference).

      • John Beeson

        Ahh I guess you didn’t see my reply to a post further up. Take a look 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Very impressive wheel but strange they are not offering pedal set. Also addon wheels are mind boggling 900 pounds + that f1 wheel will probably be over 1000 pounds….

    • Anonymous

      Nothing strange about it and Leo’s prices are not out of line

  • GamerMuscle

    This similar system can be achieved for sub £1000 people in the community are working on there own controllers and drivers that will allow people to build this solution for themselves and from what I understand you should be able to buy all the components off the shelf for £700-£1000

    Mind you what what Leo Bodnar is selling as much as anything is a package , his support and all the R&D they have done so £2500 is not really that bad of a price for what you get and how long it will last , If I could hide it from the GF and I had the cash to burn I’d certainly get one tomorrow.

    • Anonymous

      They Motor alone that Leo is using I saw on ebay for $850.00 USD so who’s to say what they cost direct. Then add the controller and the other package parts listed plus add Leo in an honest profit and like you say the price Leo is charging is reasonable.

      • Anonymous

        Do you have a link? i was just wondering what the normal torque rating for his motor is because i have only ever seen the peak torque (16 nm) listed.

        Btw, you can even get servo wheel products with peak torque of 48nm and normal of 24! Meant for professional race simulators obviously, but still! Mental.

        http://www.sensodrive.de/EN/Produkte/Force-Feedback-Wheels/Senso-Wheel-HT.php

        (Very expensive though – in fact the lower spec one that seems more in-line with leo’s spec is a lot more!).

        Interestingly, they do have support for position feedback – see this:

        http://www.sensodrive.de/EN/Produkte/Force-Feedback-Wheels/Senso-Wheel-Optionen-Ueberlagerter-Endwinkel.php

      • Anonymous

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/KOLLMORGEN-30-PM-SERVOMOTOR-AKM42G-ASCNR-02-2-KW-/261199069895
        Is a used motor that looks in good shape. I have no idea on new price but very much assume over $1000 usd
        So that tells a lot on how Leo is making his product as affordable as possible

      • Anonymous

        Are you sure that’s the same one he uses? Or do you just mean any kind of servo motor.

        That one seems to only have 3.53 Nm of rated torque. Bodnar’s site lists the peak torque of his motor at 16Nm, and i know peak is higher, but usually not by such a great proportion! For example, the peak is usually around double the rated torque – at least from what i have seen.

      • Anonymous

        I believe so same company and a motor in the same range if not the same model but a bit older. A Kollmorgen 30 PM

        http://www.kollmorgen.com/en-us/products/motors/servo/akm-series/akm-series-ac-synchronous-motors/ac-synchronous-servo-motors/

      • John Beeson

        Hi John here Leo’s business partner. The motor we use is actually rated at 21Nm peak but we use power supplies that are only enough to provide 16Nm because of the heat that is produced. Running the motor at higher torque levels for a long periods of time can cause the motor to overheat which is no good for driver training sims (for which the system was originally designed for) that run all day long. We have spent ALOT of time looking the best balance between strength, heat and cost between various manufacturers. A motor with half the strength unfortunately does not cost not half the price, it’s only reduced by about £100 so you’re getting a much less powerful system for not a great deal less money (in the grand scheme of things).

        We are able to provide custom systems with smaller or larger motors depending on the application. For example in the past for a tight cockpits we have supplied a smaller diameter motor but longer in length which was able to provide slightly less peak torque.

        I’m glad most people realize the cost of the system is NOT because we are seeking lots of profit. Unfortunately the parts we use are very expensive….because they are very good! We aren’t expecting the average sim racer to be able to afford the system. It was never even intended for you! 🙂

      • John Beeson

        PS. Of course we have also considered the idea of a less powerful system directed more towards the average home user but as I’ve stated, there isn’t a great cost saving on the smaller motors.
        We might have something else in the pipeline though….;)

      • Anonymous

        I’ve seen a lot of people talk about going bigger for their own build but everyone who has tried Leo’s wheel says they wouldn’t go anywhere NEAR its peak torque. Makes me wonder if going with a “weaker” model that’s still way stronger than anyone needs would be cheaper. I would imagine an 8Nm peak torque servo would cost less than 16.

      • Anonymous

        True – although to be truly realistic, I guess you would have to tell the game how much force in NM your FFB system can output and then it can output a realistic level of FFB compared to what you would actually get in real life (which maybe clipping at the top end if your device isn’t powerful enough).

        I’m not sure how ffb is implemented currently as to whether there is any notion of this? For example setting ffb scale to 1.0 in RF2, what does that actually mean? And does the ffb device tell rf2 how “strong” it is?

      • Anonymous

        Most of the modern games (games released in the last 5 years) seem to understand wheels like the G25/G27 have a certain ability and they stay in that. I really couldn’t say for sure but I’m pretty sure the game outputs FFB to the wheel in a given way and the wheel determines how much strength that is. Kind of like GAIN and VOLUME on an amp. You can have Volume (Strength) set low but Gain set high which is in-game effects strength. You could be clipping in game and yet not have strong effects. The opposite could be true as well.

        This is especially evident in wheels like Fanatec’s upper end wheels which allow you to set percentage of strength at the wheel which is independent of the in-game amounts.

        There is some DEEP FFB discussion in the WMD Forums, if you’re a member. A lot more to FFB than I realized.

      • Anonymous

        Yes exactly, in games like nkp and rf2, you have the little bars so that you can see when the FFB is clipping. So you can adjust it so that it does not.

        I just wondered what the values that you adjust correspond to.
        Do games send a specified amount of force to a wheel? Or do they just say “apply 5 % of your capable force” or what. I mean, ideally, you would hope that the game would know the strength of force that the wheel has.
        If it does, then it could in theory, apply the correct amount of force and resistance to the wheel.

      • Anonymous

        What’s the topic on those forums that you had in mind?

        Thanks!

  • Dani .

    I think the price is ok for the kit, but for me it’s unnecesary. I can live with less torque, and i can buy a kart for that money.

    • Anonymous

      True also remember Racing is an ongoing cost that overtime Leo’s wheel system will seem minuscule.

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