This is a very simple project to do over the weekend.
All you need is some cardboard, a mouse, and a few other things you probably already have at home to start playing racing games like a pro!
[This is just a prototype. I plan on painting it later on:)]
I'm sorry I don't have pics of the making of this project. I have tried to explain the best I could using diagrams. If you didn't understand anything, please feel free to ask me in the comments section below.
Fasten your seat belts guys, Here We Go!
Step 1: The Principle
This steering set works using mouse steering. Using softwares such as PPJoy, you can easily control the car in racing games with just your mouse.
This project takes it a step further, adding a steering wheel attachment to the mouse for realistic driving.
The mouse is placed near the steering wheel such that the rotation of the wheel translates into right and left movements of the mouse.
The same thing is done for the pedals. The up and down movement of the pedals is converted to Y Axis movements of the mouse.
You'll understand fully after this instructable :)
Step 2: The Software
I used PPJoy. Check out this awesome tutorial to enable mouse steering on any game using this software:
If you have Windows Vista or 7 64bit, you might encounter some problems with the installation.
Follow this tutorial for installing PPJoy in your PC:
Now that you're set up with the software, let's jump to the hardware.
Step 3: What You'll Need
Cardboard (lots of it)
Mouse (preferably optical)
For Brake and Acceleration Pedals:
Elastic Band or something similar
Another Mouse (yes, another one)
I haven't given measurements in this instructable. Feel free to use any size. Be Creative! There are lots of things you can improvise, and maybe even make better!
Step 4: The Wheel
To make the wheel, start off by drawing a rough sketch on a piece of cardboard.
Once done, cut it out and make a square shaped hole in the center. This is where the axle will go.
To make it more 3d, crush some newspaper and wrap it around the wheel. Secure it with lots of tape.
See pictures for further help.
Step 5: The Axle
Take a long piece of cardboard and fold it into a rectangle (see pictures).
If you want, you can fill it with newspaper for strength.
Insert it into the hole in the steering wheel. Secure the connection with tape. The Axle should now rotate along with the wheel.
Step 6: The Box
Now, take a cardboard box/carton big enough to put your steering assembly in. Make holes on either side of the box for the axle.
I would suggest making one hole higher than the other just to give the steering wheel an elevated angle.
If your steering wheel keeps moving forward , roll up some newspaper/cardboard and stick it between the wheel and the box (see picture).
*Try to keep the holes about 6-7 cm from the bottom, as your mouse will be kept there. Chances are that the bottom part of your Steering Wheel comes to be lower than the box. If there is no space left for the steering wheel,
OPTION 1: keep another box below it for elevation (see pics).
OPTION 2:Another option would be to make the holes towards the top and place a platform below it for the mouse. This will provide enough height for the steering wheel as well. But for this you need to have a bigger carton.
Step 7: Making the Axle Bigger
At this point. Your axle is not big enough to easily be detected by the mouse.
To make it bigger, just roll a few newspapers around it and stick them with tape. Make sure that the entire thing moves with the steering wheel.
Repeat till you are happy with the size. It took me about 2 newspapers.
Step 8: Done!
Place your mouse below the axle as shown in the picture. If all goes well, rotating the steering wheel should cause the mouse on screen to move left and right.
If this doesn't happen, your mouse might be too far away from the axle.
Try keeping a few pieces of cardboard beneath the mouse.
If your mouse keeps moving to the side, try making a fence-like thing with cardboard on either side of the mouse.
Congratulations! You now have your very own steering wheel for cheap!!!
Test it out if you want.
To configure this steering wheel, follow the instructions given on the 13th step.
Step 9: But Wait, There's More!
You can stop here if you want, but what's the fun of driving if you can't control the speed!!??
To make the pedals, start by cutting out two wide strips of cardboard and folding them as shown.
Try to keep one larger than the other to differentiate between the gas and the brake.
Now, cut out two smaller strips and fold them in a zig zag pattern. These are your springs.
*Note that these Springs are short lived and will not maintain their force for long. Use real springs if possible. IMPROVISATION IS YOUR ALLY.
Step 10: Nice Band Bro!
Take your elastic band and tie a rope on either side. Make sure the knot is tight.
If you don't have an elastic band, make do with whatever you have!
Whatever you use needs to have a width of at least 1.5 cm. It has to be recognized by the mouse.
I used an old friendship band. You can use a hair band or something as well. Lots of rubber bands maybe??
Step 11: Another Box!
Take a box which is taller than your pedals and wide enough to accommodate the stretched elastic band.
Make grooves on 2 sides of the box for the rope. Pull both ropes one by one to test whether it is working properly.
Now, tie the ropes to one pedal each. Make sure that the rope is taut, and pressing down on each pedal causes the elastic to stretch. This is important!!
Step 12: Place the Mouse
Place the Mouse below the band such that the band is directly above the red light. The mouse should be in the same orientation as the band (i.e. the top and bottom ends of the mouse should face towards each groove).
Test this arrangement by pressing down on the pedals with your feet. The on-screen mouse should move up and down.
Step 13: Almost Done!
Connect both the mice to your PC and open up a racing game. I used NFS Most Wanted.
Go to the controls menu and select Parallel Ports Joystick 1 (assuming you've already made a virtual Joystick. If not, follow the first link given in Step 2).
Now, go to the start menu and open PPJoyMouse.
I found the best values of x, y, and z to be: 10, 50, and 0 respectively, but you can always change the sensitivity according to your preference.
Go back to your game and change the controls.
For example, select Acceleration and press the Gas pedal.
Select Steer left and Steer the wheel towards the left.
And so on.
Step 14: Enjoy!
You are now ready to race!
Reward your hard work with a fun drive!
No more wishing you had one of those expensive driving sets.
Be sure to share your steering sets in the comments section below.
Go crazy with a custom paint job or something!
I would love to see what you've made.
Please feel free to ask me if you couldn't understand something, or if you have a suggestion.