Turn Racing TDU5 – Dashboard with RGB-LEDs

Turn Racing TDU5 – Dashboard with RGB-LEDs

Turn Racing, an American manufacturer of simracing equipment, has announced their first dashboard, the TDU5, on their Disorcd server. Otherwise known for steering wheels (test report), button plates and a large DIY community, the manufacturer is logically expanding its range with the dashboard, serving the desire of many for an affordable 5-inch monitor with additional RGB LEDs.

Compatible with Simhub, Z1 and JRT

Turn Racing’s dashboard will be compatible with several dashboard vendors, including Joel Real Timing (JRT) and Z1 Dashboard (Z1).

The free software Simhub is also supported, which is fully customisable by the user. There are thus no limits to one’s own creativity; here, for example, you can find the free dash to match Peugeot’s new hypercar: Peugeot 9X8 dashboard for Simhub

Technical specifications

Not all the technical specifications of the new TDU5 are known yet, but the following features are certain:

  • 5-inch screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels
  • Individually addressable RGB LEDs
  • USB-C port on the back

Availability and price

The dashboard will be available in stores in December, according to Turn Racing, and will be priced at $197. This makes it significantly cheaper than comparable products from other well-known manufacturers such as Precision Sim Engineering and Sim Racing Hardware. For buyers in Europe, the price is only somewhat clouded by the comparatively high shipping costs and additional taxes + customs.


Formula Wheels comparison: Fanatec – Cube Controls – Ascher Racing

Formula Wheels comparison: Fanatec – Cube Controls – Ascher Racing

Prices and order

Ascher Racing F28-SC

Price: 669€ + shipping

Ordering is possible via Ascher directly or various third-party suppliers. In the meantime, there is a successor with the V2 with some innovations.

CC Formula Pro

Price : 899€ + shipping

Ordering is also possible here both via Cube Controls directly and via third-party suppliers.

Fanatec F1 2021

Price : 399€ + shipping

The steering wheel was available in a limited version exclusively from Fanatec.

Diameter, weight and materials

The steering wheels all have a similar form factor. The Cube and Ascher models are slightly larger at around 280 millimetres each (Cube Controls gives a width of 282 millimetres) than Fanatec’s F1 2021 Wheel at 270 millimetres. With the V2 of the F28-SC, Ascher has meanwhile raised the diameter even slightly to 285 millimetres.

When it comes to materials, the three manufacturers go different ways. Ascher relies entirely on aluminium, which is very well made and leaves nothing to be desired in terms of stability; here the F28-SC is probably the front-runner. The steering wheels from Fanatec and Cube Controls, on the other hand, are equipped with a very nice solid front plate made of carbon. In the case of the Formula Pro, this is complemented by a housing made of aluminium, while Fanatec uses plastic.

The three steering wheels weigh around 1400g each with Quickrelease (Fanatec QR / Simucube QR), there are no major differences here.

Rating:

  • Ascher Racing: 5/5
  • Cube Controls: 5/5
  • Fanatec 4/5

Grips

Ascher Racing relies on smooth leather when it comes to grips, Fanatec on Alcantara. Although these materials each offer very good grip, they are very susceptible to wear and tear and, in the case of leather, are also not advantageous for sweaty hands. Cube takes a different approach with their grips, which they themselves call “elastomer moulded grips (via Cube Controls proprietary Technology)” and thus clearly offer the best grips of the three manufacturers. Meanwhile, Ascher has also jumped on the bandwagon with the second version of the steering wheel and now also offers rubber grips.

The shape of the grips also differs, with Cube standing out somewhat here with its very voluminous design. In the end, however, this is more a matter of personal taste; personally, I like this shape very much (this subjective opinion has not been included in the rating).

Rating:

  • Ascher Racing: 3/5 (V2: 5/5)
  • Cube Controls: 5/5
  • Fanatec 4/5

Shifter

All three manufacturers rely entirely on magnets when it comes to shifters, thus enabling an excellent shifting feel. Fanatec and Cube use carbon paddles, while Ascher uses aluminium again. However, this is irrelevant for the shifting process, which only differs slightly in terms of the force required, with the Cube version requiring the least pressure. However, since this can be adjusted as desired using magnets with a different strength (Ascher includes these), this is not a point of criticism.

The aspect that makes Fanatec the winner here is clearly the range of functions. Instead of relying on just two shift paddles, the Advanced Paddle Module was installed, which also offers two freely assignable analogue axes (for a dual clutch or throttle and brake, for example) and two additional paddles for DRS and Kers, for example.

Rating:

  • Ascher Racing: 4/5
  • Cube Controls: 4/5
  • Fanatec 5/5

Buttons

Probably the biggest difference between the steering wheels can be found in the function buttons. The F28-SC V1 from Ascher Racing offers the following input options:

  • 12 x buttons
  • 2 x 7-way switch (up/down/left/right/twist/click)

The next candidate to come into play is Formula Pro Wireless from Cube Controls. This steering wheel offers much more variety in the function buttons and offers the following buttons:

  • 12 x buttons
  • 4 x rotary encoder on the front
  • 2 x thumb encoders (knobs near the thumb)
  • 2 x toggle switches

Totally, both Simucube steering wheels thus come to 26 functions each (the toggle switches of the Formula Pro Wireless trigger the same button press in both directions), whereby the Cube steering wheel has a clear advantage in my opinion due to its clearly more versatile arrangement. What it lacks, however, is a 7-way switch, which is a real relief, especially in menu navigation. The F1 2021 combines the strengths of the first two steering wheels and offers by far the greatest variety of functions:

  • 11 x buttons
  • 2 x 12-way position switches with rotary encoder function
  • 2 x thumb encoders
  • 1 x 7-way switch
  • 1 x analogue joystick
  • 2 x 2-way toggle switch

The Fanatec F1 2021 Wheel decides this chapter clearly for itself, here no wishes remain open.

Rating:

  • Ascher Racing: 3/5
  • Cube Controls: 4/5
  • Fanatec 5/5

Quickrelease

When it comes to quickrelease, opinions differ. Fanatec relies on an internal pin connection and does not offer compatibility with third-party manufacturers. Occasionally there are damaged pins (RMA necessary) and the assembly is not completely free of play, but in my eyes this is absolutely not noticeable while driving.

Simucube takes a different approach here and offers a practically backlash-free connection with the Simucube-QR, which is plugged on and secured with a pin. An additional advantage is that you can switch to any third-party systems such as chaffinch, since no electronic connection is made to the base by the quickrelease. So individually, this chapter clearly goes to the steering wheels in the Simucube system, Fanatec promises to follow up with a revised Quickrelease in the future.

Rating:

  • Ascher Racing: 5/5
  • Cube Controls: 5/5
  • Fanatec 3/5

Data transmission and power supply

All three steering wheels come without an extra USB cable. Fanatec, as picked up in the last chapter, relies on an internal connection via the Quickrelease, through which both power and data are transferred. This means that neither a battery nor a rechargeable battery is required, and there is no need to worry about the signal strength.

Contrast this with the concept of the wireless wheels from Ascher Racing and Cube Controls. Here, they rely on a wireless connection to the SC2 base (one antenna on the back of each) and depend on an external power supply. Ascher has installed a 14250 lithium battery for this purpose, which, according to the manufacturer, should last up to three years with daily use and can then be replaced. Due to the illuminated buttons, the steering wheel from Cube Controls is somewhat more demanding (approx. 40 hours of operating time) in terms of power supply and relies on a rechargeable battery. For this purpose, a high-quality spiral cable was included to be able to charge the battery.

Overall, Fanatec clearly decides this chapter in its favour; a combination of runtime (Ascher) and rechargeable battery instead of battery (Cube Controls) would be desirable for Simucube models.

Rating:

  • Ascher Racing: 4/5
  • Cube Controls: 4/5
  • Fanatec 5/5

Extras

On the subject of extras, the steering wheels differ fundamentally. While the F28-SC from Ascher Racing has to do without anything at all, Cube Controls and especially Fanatec offer significantly more.

Cube Controls

  • Lit buttons, a clear unique selling point in this comparison
  • Toggle switches that are illuminated depending on their position (bottom on / top off)
  • The included high-quality spiral cable

Fanatec

  • Phosphorescent material for glow-in-the-dark button(s)
  • Two integrated vibration motors
  • RevLEDs with nine multi-coloured LEDs (adjustable via Fanatec software)
  • Two FlagLEDs with three multi-coloured LEDs each
  • White 1″ 128×64 OLED display to show telemetry data such as speed or gear

Rating:

  • Ascher Racing: 1/5
  • Cube Controls: 3/5
  • Fanatec 5/5

Summary

 Ascher SC-28 (V2)Cube Controls Formula Pro WirelessFanatec F1 2021
Gewicht und Materialien554
Griffe554
Shifter445
Funktionstasten 345
Quickrelease553
Datenübertragung und Stromversorgung445
Extras135
Gesamt273031
Preis/Leistung7/106/1010/10

Conclusion

Ascher Racing F28-SC:

The SC-28 from Ascher Racing is probably the most solid of the steering wheels presented. Even if the steering wheel has to make concessions in terms of functions (the USB model from Ascher offers significantly more functions), it is still worth a recommendation. At 670€, the price is still at the lower end of the Simucube ecosystem.

Cube Controls Formula Pro Wireless

The Formula Pro Wireless from Cube Controls is subjectively the most beautiful of the steering wheels in my eyes. Its delicate design and the more versatile function keys set it apart from the F28-SC in this respect. Another plus point is clearly the illuminated buttons, the only drawback being the price of 899€.

Fanatec F1 2021

The F1 2021 from Fanatec is the clear price/performance winner in this comparison. The slight sacrifices you have to make in materials and quickrelease are more than compensated for by the built-in Advanced Paddle Module, the sheer number of function keys, the power supply via the quickrelease and the many extras. At 400€, it’s the cheapest steering wheel in the field without even having to stretch.


Fanatec ClubSport Lenkrad RS

Fanatec ClubSport Lenkrad RS

With the ClubSport steering wheel RS, Fanatec has added another round steering wheel to their portfolio. Very similar to the sister model from BMW, here you get a steering wheel with a weight of around 1600g and a diameter of 32 centimetres. The new steering wheel can also be pre-ordered from Fanatec, release date is 27 October.

Features (listed by Fanatec)

  • Realistic 320 mm diameter allows for precision and smooth driving
  • Durable construction made of metal and carbon fibre
  • Wheel rim wrapped in genuine, automotive-grade leather
  • Improved grip shape for increased comfort
  • Improved torsional strength
  • Improved electronics means wheel is firmware-updatable
  • RevLED bar integrated into rim to show engine RPM (game dependent)
  • LED display to show telemetry functions (game dependent)
  • Tuning functions with LED display to adjust settings independent from the game and during gameplay (see description of compatible wheel base/racing wheel for details)
  • ClubSport Magnetic Paddle Module pre-installed:
    • 3 mm-thick, black anodised aluminium paddle plates
    • Paddle module cage made of CNC-machined aluminium
    • Neodymium magnets
    • Paddle module easily upgradable to Podium Advanced Paddle Module (optional)
  • 11 Buttons plus two paddle shifter buttons with ultra-reliable switches
  • 7-way FunkySwitch™: left, right, up, and down directional inputs, push button, and rotary encoder functionality
  • Analogue joystick
  • Racing-style button caps included
  • Exchangeable aluminium quick release
  • Steering wheel weight: approx. 1630 g (subject to production changes)

Fanatec BMW Clubsport Lenkrad V2

Fanatec BMW Clubsport Lenkrad V2

The new Fanatec BMW Clubsport steering wheel V2 is now officially available for pre-order, with a release date of 27 October.

New magnetic paddle shifters

The BMW steering wheel V2, which is a further development of the original BMW Clubsport steering wheel, is equipped for the first time with magnetic shift paddles out of the box. These promise a significantly improved shift feel and eliminate one of the weak points of the first generation.

Now with interchangeable quickrelease

Now with interchangeable Quickrelease, the steering wheel can be upgraded to the next-generation QR2 system (coming soon).

Lighter and without vibration motors

The revised internal design and the omission of the vibration motors result in a weight saving of 30% compared to the original BMW M3 GT2 steering wheel. With a steering wheel weight of approx. 1670g, the steering wheel has become significantly lighter and promises a more direct FFB even with weaker wheelbases.


Fanatec and Gran Turismo partnership announced

Fanatec and Gran Turismo partnership announced

Fanatec and Gran Turismo officially announced their partnership today. The aim, according to the press report (link: https://www.gran-turismo.com/gb/news/00_4979049.html) the joint development of new simracing hardware. It will be interesting to see when and in what form new products from Fanatec will be launched and how they will be integrated into Gran Turismo.

A new entry-level direct drive base for the Playstation 5 is likely to be at the centre of developments, which Fanatec’s latest blog posts suggest is already in development.

The voices of those in charge

For many years, Kazunori Yamauchi has pushed the limits on the software side and played a massive role in making sim racing popular. Now we have joined forces with the shared goal to continue to merge virtual and real-world racing together. We have several exciting projects in the pipeline and I can’t wait to see how they perform in Gran Turismo.

Thomas Jackermeier, CEO of Endor AG

Fanatec has been at the leading edge of simulation hardware technology for many years. While the quality and performance of their products is impressive, it’s their desire to innovate in motorsports that resonates with us the most. Polyphony Digital and Fanatec share this same spirit and long-term ambition, and I’m really excited about what we can create together.

Kazunori Yamauchi, Gran Turismo Series Producer

Trackmania – Summer 2021 – Author Medals

Trackmania – Summer 2021 – Author Medals

The developers at Nadeo have given the current version of Trackmania (released in 2020 as a free-to-play title with a subscription model for additional features) 25 new tracks for the summer of 2021.

The tracks tend to have an increasing difficulty and include some remakes from Trackmania Nations Forever, one of the most popular parts of the series, including B06-Obstacle, B15-Race and D07-Race.

The well-known streamer WirtualTV showed how to get the author medals (Author Times) on all the tracks in a 50-minute video, reflecting some useful and interesting info about the tracks.

For more info on the courses, including leaderboard and downloads, click here: https://trackmania.io/#/campaigns/0/11612

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Simhub Peugeot 9X8 Dashboard

Simhub Peugeot 9X8 Dashboard

Hier findet ihr ein weiteres Dashboard für die Simracing-Software Simhub zum kostenfreien Download.

Features

  • Two dynamic shift indicators left and right (50% to 100% RPM)
  • Gear indicator
  • RPM
  • Speed
  • Position
  • Lap
  • Tank capacity
  • Liter per lap (8 sec. after crossing the finish line consumption of the last lap)
  • Laps remaining
  • Delta
  • Expected lap time
  • Last lap
  • Tire pressures
  • Tire temperatures
  • DELTA-. Screen with delta and expected lap time

Installation

  1. Download dash
  2. Install Roboto-Font
  3. Import dash in Simhub

Download

You can find the download here:


New handbrake from Heusinkveld – old Sim Handbrake on sale

New handbrake from Heusinkveld – old Sim Handbrake on sale

Heusinkveld has announced the release of a new handbrake with a completely new design in terms of hardware, electronics and software. More details regarding this will follow shortly via the homepage and social channels. Additional information can be found here: https://heusinkveld.com/on-sale-sim-handbrake/

Old handbrake on sale

Simultaneously with the announcement of the new product, Heusinkveld has discontinued the old handbrake (link: https://heusinkveld.com/shop/shifters-handbrakes/sim-handbrake-2/) significantly reduced in price. This is now at 156.37€ instead of 235.05€. So you get the proven design at a very low price by Heusinkveld standards.


Turn Racing Button Plate (BP2) – Preorder

Turn Racing Button Plate (BP2) – Preorder

Turn Racing (link: https://www.turnracing.com/collections/stand-alone-steering-wheel/products/turn-button-plate) has opened pre-orders for the new Button Plate 2. This one serves the mid-price range, setting it slightly lower in price from previous products.

The manufacturer states to keep the first batch deliberately small to allow for the best possible quality and workmanship, so it can be assumed that the existing 100 copies will be sold out quickly. The planned launch date is given as the 2nd week in August. Among fen features of the Button Plate are:

  • 6 tactile pushbuttons
  • 2 rotary encoders (Anodized Aluminum)
  • 2 of the 7-in-1 “Funky” switches (Anodized Aluminum)
  • Textured injection molded ABS enclosure
  • Internal frame to make it just as rigid as a billet enclosure (Anodized Aluminum)
  • Turn Gen3 magnetic shifters with 17mm adjustable paddle travel (Anodized Aluminum)
  • Supplied with coiled USB cable
  • Supplied with sticker sheet
  • Supplied with flat Formula paddles and 10mm bent GT paddles which makes it easy to use a flat 300mm wheel or a dished 350mm wheel

A steering wheel is also required for operation, compatible models are listed on the product page.