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Logitech G27 Mod/SteelSeries SRW-S1


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#1 Lambo

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:08 PM

I know it's a little strange to post a mod/build that's basically just finished, but It's still a mod that I'm quite proud of and certainly one that I've been getting alot of requests to post up, so what the hell here goes.

About 6 months ago, this came across my desk at work.
http://steelseries.c...-steering-wheel

So I snapped up the opportunity to give it a little review. You can read about it on our humble little website (http://www.atomicf1....ies-srw-s1.html)

Anyhow, to summarise above it was basically a flawed idea, but a good looking and sturdy device that lead me to think it could make the perfect steering wheel to mount to a base. So my first effort was more about a proof of concept and weather this would even be a good idea to do. The first attempt was about 8 months ago and basically was just about bolting the thing to each other and seeing weather it gelled together. The end results were surprisingly good as seen here:

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It was very comfortable and very useful. Suddenly going from 6 buttons on the wheel to over 20 within fingers reach transformed most games and not to mention the now total immersion in F1 2010/2011. So I raced with this setup for sometime and it's been great, but there were some severe limitations to my implementation.

Firstly because I had basically bolted to controllers together, it mean that while the G27 was handling the steering and the pedal imputs. The buttons were from the SRW-S1. It meant that the cool REV counter, which you can see me demoing in simraceway here (), basically didn't work in anything else because all the games were looking for the G27's LEDs to use.

Secondly, I had a USB cable dangling out the bottom of the device. While this didn't cause any problems in game, it did mean I had to give it plenty of slack when the PC was booting up as not to interfere with the G27 when it did it's 900 degree calibration test.

So I made the decision to really do a full out conversion mod with a new LED display, and Rev counter that I could use in basically any game, and really give it that F1 style feel. From this point onward is that build log that finished up last night!

So first things first I got another SRW-S1 from my work. Unfortunately and I've been asked many times, no, you can't buy these in Australia. As the sole disty of SteelSeries we decided that it was not a viable product to bring in. Almost all the questions I've had regarding this product are in relation to modding it, not as a device on it's own, so with some forward thinking SteelSeries have a market for this, they just gotta put it on a base!

So first step was to take the SRW-S1 and gut it.
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The internals. Originally the photos were going to be a guide on how to mod the thing, but it got so complicated so quickly that I was really kinda working it out as I went so alot of what I was doing was trial and error.
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So a fully gutted SRW-S1 shell.
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So one of the things that I didn't do well on the first attempt was the bracket that sits between the wheel and the steering column. It was very adhoc, and not well thought out, but it was functional and did the job. So this time a little more thought and planning.
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The above is just 3MM MDF and yes, I could have used any number of materials such as metal plate ETC. This wasn't about making it stronger, it was about giving the wheel something to mount to. Plus I was going to cover this anyway with some fake carbon fibre stuff. And speaking of carbon fibre rip off, here is some I bought off e-bay. It cost $7 including shipping and is actually vinyl. Has a great textured feel to it and very easy to cut and apply. I think I'll have to use this stuff in future builds.
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#2 Lambo

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:32 PM

Next up, I ordered one of these:
http://www.leobodnar...products/SLI-M/

This guy makes LED/Button PCB's that are amazing. They are used in many commercial racing products too.. The only catch is that there is little to no schematics that I could easily find and alot of the configuration and wiring is a bit vague. At around $90 to buy including shipping, I think it's actually great value tho. Some ask why I didn't get the SLI-PRO instead which also has the digital readouts. It's simple, it simply doesn't fit in the wheel. As much as I wish I could have gone that one, it simply wouldn't work out, plus this one is more than adequate for the job. One word of warning tho is that it's just the hardware. You have to go out and buy the supporting software as well from these guys: http://www.eksimracing.com. Luckily tho it's only $7 USD so it's not expensive at all. Total comes to around $100 for this so not so bad.

So here is the SLI-M after it just arrived in the mail.
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I couldn't resist as well giving it a test in F1 2011:


So as you can see from this pic, it's a really good size and fit for this wheel. Really it couldn't have worked out better for the spacing.
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So next I made a small bracket for the SLI-M to sit in. It's going to sit slightly above the wheel surface, and that's mainly to give it enough clearance inside for the pins. This was probably one of the longest parts of the build as I couldn't find any schematics on the SLI-M to get the spacing on the LED's. So alot of trial and error and very slow filing to get it to all fit. After a few hours I had this simple little plate. Once again made of the same 3MM MDF.
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Here it is fitting snugly in it's new home:
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Next I covered it with some of my fake carbon fibre:
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The only tip I'd have for the above, is try and cut your holes before you put the covering on. I thought it would be a simple process of piercing a hole and sort of trimming away the excess. But it's quite difficult to do as it's vinyl and it can tear so watch out for that.

#3 Lambo

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:00 PM

Here it is fitting snugly in it's new home:
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Next I covered it with some of my fake carbon fibre:
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The only tip I'd have for the above, is try and cut your holes before you put the covering on. I thought it would be a simple process of piercing a hole and sort of trimming away the excess. But it's quite difficult to do as it's vinyl and it can tear so watch out for that.

Next part is cutting a home for the SLI-M to sit in:
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From the above pic you can see I'm going to loose 6 buttons. That sounds like alot but you have to remember that it already had over 20 buttons. Loosing 6 still gives me plenty of buttons, and if you think about it a G27 only has 6 buttons anyway. You could relocate them if you wanted to but I didn't want to bother doing that.

#4 Lambo

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:30 PM

So here is what It looks like sitting in the frame:
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From the image above you can see that I opted to get the SLI-M with a USB port attached. In hindsight it was pointless, it's too big and takes up room, and you don't want to have a USB cable poking out the side anyway. You can see the 4 small contact points where you can hardwire your own USB connection anyway, and that's what I will end up doing.

The next part was by far the most frustrating and complicated one. I choose to keep the rotary dial switches and try and keep them functional. But obviously no wireing diagrams exist so it was purely trial and error to get them to work. In the end some functionality to work, but I'm limited by the number of inputs the SLI-M will accept, so unfortunately two of the rotary dials are non functional. Honestly tho, I never used them before and the one I did keep I doubt I would use either, but hey might as well leave it.

Next was probably the two most important buttons, the thumb buttons at the top left and right. Gotta have these, in F1 they are your KERS and DRS and are much better to have at your finger tips then having to move your hand off the wheel to active them like you do if I kept the G27 wheel (Yes I know if you keep your hands at 9 and 3 you can reach them, but I have small hands and I like 10 and 2 placement so I have to move my hands to use KERS and DRS on a normal G27 wheel)
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As you can see above I basically kept the micro switches from the original steelseries PCB and well just cut them off, soldered new connections and glued them back in. So after much work and riggling to get all the cables in, here is the end wiring result. It's very messy and I'm not that gifted at soldering, but it all works so that's the main point.

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#5 Lambo

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:59 PM

Next I covered the front in my carbon fibre vinyl. This is really where it will start to look like the final product.
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The above picture I tested to see how it would look as a whole and not too bad so far, just needs some shrinking. Be careful if you need to use some heat to shrink up the vinyl a bit, it's very delicate when it's warn, it can even expand rather than shrink and destroy the finish.

I couldn't help myself but put some buttons in and see what it looks like moced up. This is picture before all the wiring went back in:
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The result is really coming along, really happy with the finish and look.

#6 Lambo

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:38 PM

So after putting the electronics back, I took a deep breath and fired up the configurator hoping that all the electronics still worked. Phew, they did which for me is surprising.

So next mounting it to the G27 base. Firstly some disassembling. I took the opportunity to buy another G27. And really it wasn't necessary, but hell why not have two, one GT and one Formula. Cost $195 from the Logitech store. Tho only a few days later catch of the day were selling them for $169.00 so could have saved even more.
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The above pic is really as far as you need to go. You can see the array of mounts that the wheel will mount to, and the original logitech USB cable connection. You need to keep this as it still controls the flappy paddles.

So the final product. Mounted to my G27 and plugged into the USB ready to be mounted into my rig:
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I'm already thinking about a new mod for the two G27 wheels I have now, something that will suit GT type cars/games.

#7 Devilsmurf

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:32 AM

Wow, that's one slick modification. Nice job.

#8 Opy

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:04 PM

Very schmick. Can you show a video of the end result in action?

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#9 Lambo

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:22 PM

Very schmick.

Can you show a video of the end result in action?


Here you go:



#10 nobody813

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:10 PM

Wow, wicked job there lambo

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