Sim Hub Bass Shakers
Base shakers will take you a big step closer to full immersion without the expense and complication of motion. Installing them on the four corners (one for each tyre) is pretty optimal although two can be situated front and rear. I started with two shakers (one front and one rear) before moving to four TT25-8 Pucks – one in each corner. When appropriately mounted its possible to gather feedback from the vibrations – this isn’t just immersion. In order to increase the range of feedback I have since upgraded to four BST1 shakers.
The four aspects to this system are: Audio Input > Amplification > Output > Positioning.
How you position the shakers is going to determine the level of immersion and accuracy of the feedback for example a single shaker located under your seat responding to wheel lock up will not indicate which wheel is locking whereas four located in corners will.
I found this the easiest end to set up. With my pedals inverted I used a sheet of 12mm plywood sat upon rubber anti-vibration bobbins and mounted the shakers to the underside. You don’t have to have inverted pedals but it gives you more freedom in shaker position. You will now get feedback via each foot.
The rear is a bit more challenging as it depends on seat and rig design and how they are mounted together. I have found that 12mm plywood securely attached directly to the metal frame provides a reasonable solution. UPDATE – This is not the way!
Zip Ties for the Win! After some experimenting I did away with the plywood and zip tied my shakers to the springs. First to those on the back and later to those underneath where they remain. This is the way – zip tied to the springs. If you get some unwanted vibration/noise then felt on the face (standard on the BST-1) is ideal insulation between the speaker and spring.
Dayton produce three options across a reasonable price range.
Mini Bass Shaker
Tactile Bass Shaker
High Power Pro
|Power||15W RMS @ 8Ω||35W RMS @ 4Ω||50W RMS @ 4Ω|
The amplifier you choose will most definitely be determined by the shakers. According to the forums the Behringer EUROPOWER EPQ304 is the gold standard in bass shaker amplifiers and gold is expensive! Its often on Amazon in the £160-£200 range. It provides 4x75W @ 4Ω or 4x50W @ 8 Ω with a frequency range of 20Hz – 20kHz and is perfect for the BST-1.
If you want to mount the EPQ304 to your rig I have mounts available for download from Printables. In addition to the amp you will need audio splitters, 4 pin Neutrik Audio Connectors and some speaker cable.
The Nobsound NS-10G Digital Amplifier available from Amazon for around £40 provides a good entry level choice providing 2 x 50W @ 4Ω (2x25W @ 8Ω) making it perfect for the TT-25-8s. It uses the TPA3116 Chipset which has an excellent reputation. TNT-Audio completed an excellent analysis of this amp and its chipset in 2019 – its worth noting that at the time the PSUs being supplied were at the lower end of the rating and performance could be increased by running at 24V. I had a PSU fail shortly after purchase on one of the amplifiers and was able to get a replacement from Amazon. If you are running quad shakers with two of these amps you may also run into USB clashes.
I have designed a mount that can be downloaded from Printables, printed and makes it easy to mount the amplifier to Bosch Rexroth style extrusion.
If you opt for the Nobsound Amplifiers above you can run 2 x USBs to them and use their on board sound cards. However, comes with an intermittent problem – USB clashing.
In the adjacent image below each entry of USB2.0 Device is the result of a USB Clash.
When a clash occurs one of the amplifiers will not connect or it might assume the identity of the other one.
Once you have got them both connected, which might require a restart, you may need to reconfigure the outputs.
Its worth exporting the settings for each speaker for if and when this occurs. The solution is below.
Motherboard soundcards are typically the default for the system but Simhub will complain if you are using the default system soundcard and it can have complications with other programs such as crew chief etc.
Best Solution – A cheap PCIe soundcard such as CREATIVE Sound Blaster Audigy Fx 5.1 PCIe Sound Card available from Amazon for ~£35 is one possible solution. It gives you 2 x stereo and 1 x centre outputs which could translate to 4 wheels and 1 under-seat shakers. This has been a robust solution with the NobSounds and is effectively the only solution if you are running the 4 channels into the EPQ304.
Self Note: green is front and black is rear.