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Fanatec 911 Turbo wheel: Test

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by knowledge123, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. knowledge123 New Member

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    Hello.

    I got back from my holiday today, and this was waiting for me; I had been chosen to give this baby a whirl.

    unpacking process.
    [​IMG]
    The main box

    [​IMG]
    opening it up

    [​IMG]
    the main inner box

    [​IMG]
    The quick manual, bars for the shifter and template.

    [​IMG]
    seeing the pedals inside

    [​IMG]
    the wheel in its bag

    [​IMG]
    all of the accessories included, note the two keys, one of which has manuals and drivers on, the other is for the wireless connection, you can differentiate between them by looking at it from the key chain side, as the utilities one has a sticker on saying '1GB DATA'

    Installation process.
    Because I have Vista the drivers weren't on the memory stick. I went to www.fanatec.com and downloaded the latest version available.
    One problem I encountered is that you can only get to the options screens (shown below) by going to control panel > Game Controllers > Porsche Wheel Properties. Which gets a little bit tedious when you want to play around with the options.
    Here are some pics of the options screens

    1
    2
    3

    Upon initial powering up, I was impressed by the lights on the wheel. (pic) The bottom 4 way joypad controls (pic) the options on the LED and options can be changed in real-time, which is nice.

    I tested it on GTR2, and as I don't have a desk, the lap mounting option is a necessity, and it's another great idea that Fanatec has decided to include this in the box as well, as apposed to buying it separately *cough cough Driving Force Pro*, but this leads to another slight problem, it's not really that comfortable to use, and you need to apply some force onto the wheel in order to use it correctly, some padding on the underside of the lap mounts could solve this, or making it smooth, as apposed to the ridges. (pic)
    There are lots of little nice touches, wireless, LED screen, grippy underside to pedals (pic) gear shifter implementation, and the template (should you need to make a mounting section)


    edit 1.2: I used it to play RBR (Richard Burns Rally) and the pedals kept slipping away on the floor, I have a fairly deep carpet, but the wheel did work very well in RBR. On the forums the Fanatec people are current discussing/testing a weightier version, which should solve this.
    I will be working on this, updating it and adding thoughts, feel free to ask any questions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
    Hawk1 says thanks.
  2. jakoleros New Member

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    buy one

    where the hell did you buy this fanatec 911, :cool: and how much is it
     
  3. AphexDreamer

    AphexDreamer

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    Review it man... If its good, see if you can get it up on TPU.:)
     
  4. knowledge123 New Member

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    I'm a tester for it atm, they need feedback on how people find it. The price is roughly 300 euros, afair :twitch:

    Sounds like a plan ! I am going to do a comparison against my other wheel the Driving Force Pro tonight. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  5. ktr

    ktr

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    You need to compare that to the G25...
     
  6. knowledge123 New Member

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    I would love to, but unfortunately i don't have one. :p So a DFP will have to do. :ohwell:
     
  7. Hawk1 New Member

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    Wow, looks very nice. If it comes to North America, hopefully the price is a little better (ie - closer to G25), or it might be a difficult sell to all but the biggest enthusiests (but I definitely would want one:D)
     
  8. I'm impressed by the design, it screams porsche (i once drove a real 911..).
    Also the the design looks more like it could handle better, i.e. built to last.

    What are the materials used? It looks like leather on the steering wheel, is it? And how about the pedals, is it Aluminium? The shifter/s however looks a bit plastic, but don't get me wrong.. Germany and Austria are well known for making things look like plastic when it is infact compound material (i.e. Glock etc.).

    The led is rather nice, almost reminds of them Saitek keyboards with backlit buttons.

    <edit> What other games do you plan to test it with? NFS-Carbon??

    And one more thing.. What's the price tag on that wheel? I think I must buy one and test for myself!

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2008
  9. Hawk1 New Member

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    Post #4. Will probably be $300US if/when it comes (just my guess).

     
  10. knowledge123 New Member

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    Visual and material comparison/review with Logitech Driving Force Pro.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As Technicalfreak asked, it is actually leather on the wheel. As you can see it is a fair bit bigger than the DFP wheel. Without power you can turn the wheel all the way through 900 degrees, whilst the DFP locks at 180 degrees, but when on it will turn 900 also.

    [​IMG]

    The pedals are indeed made of metal, the black parts on them are plastic. The accelerator has less resistance than the DFP and equal travel , the DFP has more travel and resistance on the brake, and this is being discussed on the forums, as some people would like more travel on it. A nice touch is the easy remove for the batteries, a white pull cord, which will pop them out.

    [​IMG]
    The underside of the pedals, is where, currently my main beef with the 911 wheel is, on my carpet it is just too slippy, but as said above, this is being remedied by a weightier pedal set. The DFP wins hands down underneath, as it just doesn't move. The carpet spikes give this one a definite win.

    In terms of looks and materials the porsche would do it for me, but is let down by some flaws, which should be resolved, but the wirelessness, adjustable and changeable shifter, good materials and clutch can be it's saving graces.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  11. The pedal set for the Porsche wheel, does feel like it has any "weights" in it? I know some companies do that to i.e. joysticks and rudders..
    Full size steering wheel aswell, 900 degrees? Isn't that almost like a "real" car could do?

    I know that some modern cars (Audi A3 Sportsback, I own one) have a "digital" accelerator and it feels strange compared to other cars. For an example, when I drove my Saab900i, it had a conventional accelerator - so I had to put a little bit of weight on the pedal.
    But on the A3, I can use my big toe if I would like to. Makes it difficult to "feel" how much I press the pedal down (I sometimes take of my shoes even).

    When you say the brake has less travel, does it respond faster instead then the DFP's brake pedal?

    Nice price, looks more expensive than I thought it would be..
     
  12. knowledge123 New Member

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    It does already feel pretty weighty, but not overtly so, the one that Fanatec is working on will be a fair bit more weightier that this, which will be better.

    It is indeed, depending on the car, it was a very big selling point of the DFP, that ability.

    It does do, yes, but you can do manual adjustment if you take it apart~ :eek: Maybe I'll try it....

    the 300 euros one was the price it was quoted to me at, but this could very well change if Fanatec decide it is too high priced.
     
  13. Ok you know what, now I must get my hands on one of them.. Just to take it apart and see what's inside. Everything about it has left me clueless.. I just need to know things like how, why and what.

    What would be a nice feature on the pedalset was if the "tension" was adjustable, also the travel of the brake pedal. I know some more expensive brands have that feature, and I guess that's why they are more expensive..

    When you say that it with power off it can be turned 900 degrees, and with it on not as much. How much can it be turned with the power on?

    Perhaps it's the Immersion/ForceFeedback "engine" that are telling the wheel how many % it can be turned when the electrical engines are on? I once had a Guillemot FF Joystick, and when I set the "tension" to full via the software it was almost impossible to move the stick in the X/Y axes fully. And ofcourse I took it apart and looked inside.. I have never ever seen such complicated setup:

    1.ForceFeedback engines connected to "belts" and to the various axes.
    2."Digital" potentiometers connected to the axle of each engine.
    I wish I had a camera back then, it was an amazing piece of machinery. Can only imagine how the Fanatec "Porsche" looks like inside...

    (Now I want one more than ever!)
     
  14. knowledge123 New Member

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    well, I managed to get the thing opened :roll:

    here it is, the pedals, in all their glory.

    [​IMG]

    Note that they all have different mechanisms for working, from left to right they are accelerator, brake and clutch.

    the wheel itself, I can't open, they use (I believe) hexagonal screw heads, of which I don't have a screwdriver for, unfortunately.
     
  15. Nitro-Max

    Nitro-Max New Member

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    These things add to the whole gaming experience.But theyll never replace a good pad:)vry nice btw u came closer than e to owning a 911 :laugh:
     
  16. knowledge123 New Member

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    It's all down to personal preference, some like pads, some like wheels, and some don't like either. :cry:
    The wheel is interesting because it shows how a company has looked at the competition and short-comings of the market, and adapted their product to suit it. Fanatech and the guys over at www.911wheel.com have done an excellent job. :D

    Thanks to Taurus over here, we are able to show you inside the wheel.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  17. knowledge123 New Member

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    Just to let you guys know, the wheel has been completed and there are 40 changes that have been made to the product. They are:

    Wheel:
    Button illumination is disturbing -On PC the illumination can be turned off by driver
    Wheel is moving to one side if you stop a game -Firmware change
    Battery warning for pedals not working correct -Firmware change
    Select / Start button not strong enough -Design change
    some buttons shaky -Change Injection and assembly quality
    Start/select illumination not easy to read -Add silicon light cap
    Wheel is shaky on wheel axis -Adapt axis diameter to Wheel rim

    Base:
    Fan is too noisy -Change in Firmware. Fan operates at 50% speed and only increases to 100% under extreme conditions
    RF dropouts -Change antenna design
    Screws falling out -Secure screws with glue
    Plastic caps on steel screws falling off -Change design of plastic caps
    Cable to shifter falling out -Change quality of PS/2 plugs
    Off centering issue I: Wheel is always a little bit off center -Change design and assembly of auto centering sensor
    Off centering Issue II: Wheel looses center after fast movements -Change firmware / Improve quality control for optical sensor
    Off centering Issue III: Wheel looses center after normal gameplay -Change firmware
    Sparks when connecting power -Change PCB design. Long term: add switch
    The position of the wheel rim is too high -New Wheel clamping system available as an optional upgrade.
    Clamp system does not fit to some tables -New Wheel clamping system available as an optional upgrade.
    Wheel angle is not adjustable -New Wheel clamping system available as an optional upgrade.

    Pedals
    RF dropouts -Change Antenna design
    Pedal cannot be mounted on simulators -Add screw holes
    Pedals too light -Add steel plate (1,1 kg)
    Pedals slipping on flat floor -Add big anti slip mats
    Brake travel too small -Increase brake travel 100%
    Brake resistance not big enough -increase brake resistance 300%
    Gas pedal resistance not big enough -Increase gas pedal resistance 50%
    Cosmetic problems -Add rougher texture
    Pedal falling over during heel & toe -Add steel plate which makes the pedal longer
    battery difficult too install -Change design of battery contacts
    cable to pedals too short -Increase length to 2.5m
    pedals only reach 50% of the travel -improve assembly
    brake spring not working smoothly -Change from extension spring to compression spring

    Shifters:
    2GS not working because spring jumped out -Change design
    Appearance of shifter does not match the wheel standards -Apply soft touch rubber surface on all black parts of shifters
    4th gear shifts too early / not possible to find neutral position -Change design
    Electronic misshifts -Change design of potentiometer holder
    Shifter attachment not stable -New Wheel clamping system available as an optional upgrade.
    Possibility to mount the shifter to a simulator New Wheel clamping system available as an optional upgrade.
    2GS mapping on Playstation is wrong -Inverse button mapping
    Shifting to reverse is too heavy Change shape of PU foam to reduce resistance

    even down to:
    Packaging:
    Shipping carton not neutral enough -Change artwork
     
    MikeVictor says thanks.
  18. MikeVictor

    MikeVictor New Member

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    Field Engineering

    Is there a template to mount the pedals unit? If so, they could be mounted on a piece of plywood that would grip the floor better. Or perhaps putting a heavy object (a brick or two) behind the pedal unit on the floor?

    Perhaps some padding of some sort could be placed under the lap wing set up to make it more comfortable and secure, even just a towel might help.

    Mike
     
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  19. knowledge123 New Member

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    There's no template that i know of :confused: But, as said above, they did significantly weight it down.

    yeah, I agree with this, this is one of the few issues i still have with the wheel.
     
  20. EastCoasthandle

    EastCoasthandle New Member

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    Interesting but I would have liked to see gear shift flaps under the wheel as an option. Or whatever you call them.
     
  21. MikeVictor

    MikeVictor New Member

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    Paddles

    The wheel has those flaps, they are called paddles.

    I've reviewed the user manual to confirm this. I will probably use the paddles to shift to start with, maybe I'll use the shifter if I can improve my performance using them.

    Mike
     
  22. SilverEagle New Member

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    PS3 firmware update

    My question is, Will a PS3 firmware update be developed for the Fanatec 911 turbo wheel that does'nt require you to set the date back to 2008? It's very inconvenient to constantly reset the date to play non racing games, or go to Playstayion Home where the date has to be correct. I know this Thread is old, I dont see where I can make a new post.
     

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