Racing Sim With Real Car Parts

[Alex Rosiu] picked up this instrument cluster from a 1992 BMW. After some trial and error he’s hooked it up for use with a racing simulator. You can see how amazingly well it works in the video after the break. An Arduino Mega takes incoming data from the PC and actuates the appropriate indicators on the module. [Alex] didn’t stop there. He got his hands on a full dashboard and is working on fitting a joystick in as an H shifter. Keep an eye on this one, we think it may one day become a full-blown motion simulator.


[Thank Nikescar]

23 thoughts on “Racing Sim With Real Car Parts

  1. Nice!
    Bit of adjusting still it seems as at least in the higher range the rpm needle seems to jump a little.

    You could also rig the consumption meter under the rpm part as a boost gauge.
    Of course the units would be easiest to leave as PSI instead of BAR so the meter itself would not have to be modified.

  2. Does this run off of the IBUS? Similar to CAN bus, it makes many items off a BMW fairly easy to talk to. I have an instrument panel mounted to a custom car seat (it needs a signal from it to activate the seat memory). My instrument panel is from an e38 1999 BMW – so one generation up from yours. Have you heard of the IBUS hacking project that lets you display lyrics on the HID? Or the IBUS packet sniffer?

  3. I have ultimately wanted to do this with a space simulator, even if I had to ‘pretend’ that it had perfect inertial dampeners (I.E. no motion simulation)

    Anyone know of a good software package to use as a base? I have a very nice joystick and throttle that would fit the part very nicely.

  4. Is it bad that this video doesn’t make me lust it at all, after seeing so many of the same developments in the LFS forum (and my own similar project as well – Wheel mounted gear indicator + shift lights )

    LFS is one of the best though for projects like this, as it has a developer supported, and very available API for Motion Simulators (OutSim), Gauge Clusters (OutGauge) and managing servers/other things (Insim).

    It’s actually so good, that freaking Codies have used the API for a few of their games. Along with a pretty good developer community at the LFS forum, that create libraries for the more popular languages (C++, C#).

  5. @Min My thoughts exactly,

    Maybe it would be a cooler idea of the Gauges had programmable faces on them so it wasn’t restricted to a certain set of RPM range and Speedo range, This way you can get a close to real “sim” on most of the cars in-game that probably go over 7k rpm (which I’m sure they do).

    All and all, great hack ;D

  6. I have wanted to do this for years, my E30 has pretty much the same dash (just a different scaling on the MPG meter =D) again, both electronic speed and RPM so a fairly easy to work with….
    Nice work!

  7. “Dismantling and slight modification of the fender might be neccessary. (b)The wire harness extension is neccessary.The standard indicator at the fender has to be slightly modified or replaced. For vehicles with airbags, the functionality of airbags needs to be tested after the cable is extended.Parts of the original hinges need to be cut off.

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