Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Friday, 17 March 2017 3:11 pm.
I recently finished off a controller that came to me part-built by Gav Tan for SpecialEffect. It was a Thrustmaster T150 Ferrari Steering Wheel (for PS3/PS4/PC). The aim was to transfer the analogue foot pedals to steering wheel mounted controls.
Perhaps because I wasn't as methodical as I might be, it was a bit of a horrible job. For anyone considering it, here's some tips that I wish I'd better followed myself.
1. Install the firmware updates and PC/Mac test driver from http://ts.thrustmaster.com.
2. Test everything is working up front, especially so the pedals.
3. Make a note of where the screws go, as you can damage the case with overlong screws in the wrong place. Open up the main steering wheel shroud.
4. Order some custom 12 core curled cable from CurlyFlexDirect.com or the like. The specifications I inherited that worked well are 12 x 0.14mm Curlyflex Pur Black. Closed 75mm extends max 300mm. Cable diameter 5.6mm. Curlyflex diameter 20.20mm. This was not cheap but worked very well internally in dealing with the amount of turning possible with the controller from full lock to lock.
5. Very carefully take note of the wiring to the pedals left and right-side potentiometers. You will have to replicate this exactly with the additional wiring you'll be taking from the main-unit and threading through to the steering wheel.
6. With the pedals attached, test your soldering to the steering wheel extra wiring. If good, disconnect the pedals as they'll no longer be needed.
7. Within the disassembled steering wheel, cut a clear path for the extra wiring to go to the 10 to 2 o'clock position where you'll be fitting the triggers. Make sure nothing is snagging, such as on the paddle-shifters (which should click nicely when put back together).
8. Use a salvaged Xbox 360 standard controller cut in half and shaved down as small as you can, but still with space to fit two bolts through into the controller. I used M4 standard nuts and bolts and a drill to make big enough holes for them. Use hot-glue to keep things tidy and secure.
9. Recalibrate the steering and "pedal" controls within the game to suit. For steering, consider only turning a small way of the possible range for the lock to lock calibration. Otherwise it's very hard to keep hold of the triggers if turning 360 degrees to get a hard left or right turn.
Alternatively, there's a fantastically engineered alternative via SimAbility.com as pictured below. This uses a pair of metal rings that allow for full analogue hand controls with a greater range of movement allowed for.
Added to the OneSwitch Accessible Gaming Shop Various section.