Today I got a new steering wheel for my computer! Logitech Driving Force GT. This is actually an accessory for the Playstation 3 console. But Logitech, as usual provides excellent driver support for Windows support as well. It is USB 2.0, with an additional power supply connected to the main unit to drive the force feedback motor.
Some improvements in this model from the one I had years ago: The connector for the pedals part of the rig is a small D-sub plug that looks like a VGA connector. This is much sturdier than the RJ-11 plug that older models had. The clamping system is also much improved. The older wheel had to have a couple holes drilled through the main body, and screws run into the tabletop to hold it firmly in place. No such problems here, I added a piece of non-skid rubber under the main body and it clamped very nicely to that piece of 1/2” plywood. I added zip ties around the body and through the plywood just for good measure.
I then drilled two 1/2” holes in the plywood, and two 1/4” pilot holes in my desktop. And attached the panel with 1/2” lag screws. Putting it slightly back on the desktop lets the lower part of the clamp to sit on the desk instead of hanging off the front as it was designed. The result is that the wheel is slightly tipped up toward me. That’s good, as I always have the tilt steering in my car as far up as possible. And its a solid mount, this thing does not move! I can get rough with it as much as I want, with no worries about it sliding off the desk. A few turns of a wrench and I can set it on a shelf to the side. As far as game compatibility goes, I really don't expect any trouble. I only have “Need for Speed: Shift” installed right now, and it worked on that by simply selecting “driving force gt: separate pedals” from the game menu.
In “Shift”, their are customizable options for steering response, and throttle response, and how much force feedback you get from the wheel. I still have to play around with those settings and be sure I got them as best I can. And I have to learn how to race all over again!
The only problem remaining is to find a way to secure the pedals so they aren't sliding around on me. Maybe I will build a wedge shaped box down there that can do double service as a footrest and a pedal-stand.
Many other people have posted blogs about building car seats into desk chairs. Some for racing games, others simply because a car seat is designed for sitting for a while with minimum fatigue and discomfort. That may be my next project! This cheezy thing I am sitting on now causes fatigue just looking at it, and if I sit here too long, my legs go to sleep. Then again, perhaps that is motivation to get out from behind this monitor and do something for real………