DIY Racing Sim shift box

diy_pc_racing_shiftbox

Ask anyone who has ever owned a car with a manual gearbox – in real life and in video games, nothing beats stick shift. Rather than shell out gobs of money to purchase a pre-made shift box, forum member [nikescar] built his own for about $20.

Using some scrap wood and a plastic cutting board, he went to work building a prototype. The “H” shift pattern was designed in CAD and laid over the cutting board, which was hand-cut with a Dremel. Using some tips found online, he constructed a simple shifting mechanism, then wired in a cheap USB game pad found on Ebay. Using safety pins as temporary micro switches, he ran a few laps, and was quite happy with the results. Once the switches arrived, they were fitted to the shift box and it was off to the races.

[nikescar] reports that the shifter works extremely well, allowing him to row through the gears with the greatest of ease, sans any fear of breaking things. Keep reading to get a better look at the shift box internals.

Comments

  1. biozz says:

    its hard to find a good shift box for racing wheels of the market (even tho i prefer paddle shifters)
    general there built in to the wheel ocwardly close to the steering wheel

  2. frosty says:

    Manual cars are more fun but a modern automatic can shift just as fast and just as firm or soft as a manual gearbox. With perfect shifts every time. They even get the same gas mileage with locking torque converters. I prefer a stick shift myself but just wanted to put my $0.02 in.

  3. lettervore says:

    Nice concept and I like the results. However I would miss the feel of the gates, all the little feedback I get.

    ‘Clutch? Who needs a clutch after starting?’

  4. Jehu says:

    One thing that is a little more harder to do with an auto or a sequential manual for that matter is if you want to miss a few gears when shifting down, like from 5th to 3rd. With a ‘H’ pattern it’s easy. would be interesting to see a controller and game that can support this technique.

  5. Foxdie says:

    Well done Nikescar, for too long I’ve believed that H-shifters for games are either crummily made or horrifically overpriced, you just proved that a good H-shifter can be made for peanuts and these $500 kits are all just mark-up.

  6. gyro_john says:

    Bravo! Nice build.

  7. monkey boy says:

    I’d add a bass shaker to the internals to replicate the vibrations from the engine, which would be automaticaly rev related.

  8. Philip says:

    Manual all the way, its the only way to have true control of your car.

  9. Aero says:

    Now you need an analog clutch…

  10. mungewell says:

    I always wondered whether it would be possible to build a gear shift from a force-feedback joystick. You could have lots of fun coding in the ‘H’ complete with missed gears,etc…

  11. nikescar says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    @Aero
    You can see my Fanatec ClubSport pedals in my forum post. The analog clutch works great in GTR Evo, Forza, LFS and iRacing.

  12. xenocide says:

    @mungewell:

    I used ffshifter for awhile, but it burned out the PWM motor driver in my logitech wingman pro.

    @nikescar: This is a fantastic build. I will be stealing this idea for my own shifter setup (If I do a writeup I will of course credit you).

    Thanks for sharing!!

  13. Tiago2O4P says:

    Hello i love your shifter, nice work, but how can i made it work whit an xbox360 and forza 4?

    Thanks

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