In sympathy with ZZ's purchase of a Thrustmaster T300 a week ago, I bought a similar one (TX Ferrari edition) with a two-pedal setup. In my first three days of ownership I set it up and put it back in its box four different times. Until that device arrived I had probably been the last person on Earth still using a M/S Sidewinder wheel/pedals. I have never used anything else. I own three sets of them, one still new-in-box with FFB, because I like continuity and familiarity in my sim life. This new TX wheel manifestly was delivering neither of those comforting feelings to me in the otherwise happy afterglow of Christmas. I have struggled to find out where I have been going wrong, so for the benefit of others who may still be inhabiting the primitive world in which I formerly lived --- a world inhabited by birds with teeth, non-linearity, and other obscene terrors --- permit me to give you my new and improved Cheat Sheet for Steering Wheel Success.
As nearly as I can tell, the entire reason for using a modern wheel is to gain more degrees of rotation (DOR) over earlier (e.g., M/S Sidewinder) models, which had been limited in the range of 180 or 270 degrees. New ones deliver 900 DOR, maybe more. With more DOR, you can reduce the steering ratio of the wheel from (as an example) 18:1 to 9:1 or less because DOR and steering ratio are mathematically linked by what is known as Simpson's Constant (yes, that Bob Simpson). I could explain this in further detail, but Mr. Simpson already did in this thread: http://srmz.net/inde...?showtopic=8807. And, as I was saying, you want a lower steering ratio because not only does it make your fine touch with the wheel even finer, it helps you get through hairpins in Monaco without using the "steering hack" setting in the core.ini file.
Summary, so far: Your M/S wheel has a fixed DOR of 270. Simpson's Constant tells you that your likely ideal steering ratio is going to be 18:1. Unless you're using the steering hack, you're not getting through the Grand Hotel Hairpin except with some pulleys and pig grease. But the Constant also tells you that if you double your DOR you can halve the steering ratio. So hello 540 DOR and smooth sailing through Mirabeau; bye bye pulley and piggy. Is this a great game or what?
It sure would seem that way, but then why did I keep sticking the new wheel back in the box with a few well-chosen oaths every eight hours? Because I'd forgotten about one other little detail concerning steering, this one called steering linearity. It's the setting you make in the wheel/pedal calibration page of GPL. I think it may have been part of the original game design when players were more likely to be using joysticks than actual steering wheels. I won't go into the math here, mainly because I think it's not so much math as it is magic juju, but in essence you want linearity with steering wheels and non-linearity with joysticks. There is at least one exception --- a big one in my case, of course --- and that is with a M/S Sidewinder wheel, where you want that linearity slider pegged almost as far as it can go in the non-linear direction. The reason for this is obvious: Any company that can design a product like Windows Vista is non-linear by definition. So in the entire 20+ years I've been playing this game, I've never moved that slider anywhere but w-a-y to the right almost as a religious ritual when calibrating my toy.
At about 0100 this morning I picked up an email from Bo --- I'd been pounding him and ZZ for three days with my hot, salty tears of frustration --- who advised that until I moved that linearity slider to the left with the Thrustmaster wheel I was going to continue having trouble driving the car to my psychiatrist's office. He was right. A couple of hours ago I put the M/S wheel back in its box, set up the TX wheel and pedals for the fifth time, and within an hour had PBs in the Cooper at Mt. Juic and the McLaren 289 at Magny Cours.
Anyway, that's my Happy Holiday story. Perhaps some of the technical details have suffered a bit in translation, but I cannot be expected to take responsibility for that. Besides, I've been drinking quite a bit lately, but you probably knew that already.
One last thing: Would anyone like to buy a fine set of three M/S Sidewinder wheels/pedals? These have been only lightly used and never with much force, determination, direction, or skill.