The installation went smooth, it took about 5 minutes to mount the motor, the rim and the software. The new SQR ( Simucube Quick Release ) system is so refreshing to use after the well known previous systems. You slide your wheel on the shaft, and lock it with the pin. It is quick and secure connection, yet a little bit unorthodox in it's approach.
You get both the wheel side and motor side quick release pieces with your motor. The system itself is for 50.8mm hole spacing, that is traditionally used on small formula style rims. In order to make sure there is enough space to use the release pin you also get a 30 mm spacer and an adapter plate for the full size 70mm bolt pattern.
You got to watch out when mounting your rim to have the right size M5 screws available because the adapter plate does not allow nuts to be used. Both the wheel side SQR and the 70 mm adapter plate is threaded to accept the mounting screws, but your screws has to be the exact size.
In order for the motor to work, you have to plug in your safety button, and on the back of the motor you find the power switch.
True Drive Software
Software installation is an easy copy+paste followed by a quick firmware installation. It all goes quick and smooth, and within a minute or two you have a working game controller in windows.
It is a pretty familiar interface for those who used the original simucube systems:
After some investigation i have quickly figured out that the "old filters" namely the Damping/Friction/Inertia works on a different scale. What used to be 1% now represented at 10%. It is much easier to control, you do not have to use decimal spaces anymore.
The new software comes with a very a important safety feature.
The normal mode is a sort of safe mode to be used by inexperienced users, the torque of the motor in case of the sport is about third of it's full capabilities. It is a smart thing for new Direct Drive users, kids, relatives and for public events where most people are not prepared for the savage power these motors can put out when high torque mode is enabled.
The software is under constant development. My pre-release version comes with one new filter to experiment with and it is most likely the most important one:
Static Force Reduction Filter!
The static force reduction filter was a much requested solution for the most burning problem that simracing titles had in the past. These "games" are usually written and optimized for the mass market where the standard is a low torque probably belt or gear driven motor provides a modest amount of power. The software developers in order to make the cars feel better usually overdo the cornering forces to match and fully use whatever power those systems has.
With a direct drive motor this approach results in a whole lot more torque under normal cornering than comfortable or realistic to use, and you end up with fighting the wheel or turning the power down and loose overall dynamics on the curbs and transitions.
With the new Static Force Reduction Filter you can leave your motor turned up all the way up for maximum dynamics under all conditions, but you can scale down the static forces under cornering in order not to get worn our in a matter of minutes. Having full control over this is a huge step forward and very welcome change.
First driving impressions:
After finding the high torque mode, and spending a few weeks with driving different simracing titles i have to say the limited power of the Sport motor is perfect match for my driving style and most likely will suite most competitive drivers.
This is the first Direct Drive motor that does not feel completely intimidating and out of control to begin with. I used to own most of drive and motor combinations starting from Argon all the way to the latest simucube equipped systems using small & lage mige motors, and i have experience using the Kollmorgen motors.
Granted, my experience with original simucube helped to get the software up and running quickly, but it is hard not to notice how much smoother and controlled the new system is in general. With the Mige motors you had some cogging at all times, and under full power you could feel significant cogging/ripple effect and it never really felt naturally smooth unless you used a lot of filters.
This time you get the very familiar feeling effects and filters, but someone has removed the digital blanket and replaced it with silky smooth yet highly detailed force feedback. It is hard to tell if it is the advancement of the motor design or the 4 times more powerful CPU that handles the filters, but it simply feels like it has much much higher resolution and refresh rate compared to what we had with original Simucube and competing motors
The new electronics removed from the back of the motor.
Many driven hours and days later, we have tried most of the simracing titles worth to try today. Simucube 2 has refueled my passion for simracing in so many ways.
It was extremely refreshing to spend my time driving instead of tweaking and adjusting and even more tweaking. I have very quickly found a comfortable setting that was usable on any software and felt so natural, crisp, detailed, powerful but not terrifying, that i could instantly feel more of the road, the transition from understeer to oversteer like never before.
Overall this motor drive/motor combination even without all the new features like manufacturers warranty, certifications, wireless system, SQR, ease of use, ect would score very highly on build quality alone.
Having this extreme level of detail and fidelity while driving easily puts it well above anything else that was available before.
Pure driving pleasure!
The pre-orders are still open, Simucube 2 PRO is a hot seller! Get yours while it lasts, but do not under estimate this compact little Sport motor, it is powerful enough for anything but the craziest old formula cars and Indycars and most likely will be the perfect companion for esport and simracing competitive use.
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