CSL DD issues
in the most recent Le Mans 24 in iRacing my CSL DD motor locked with max torque randomly as I was racing. I was able to turn the base off, back on and it would work with limited FFB and no lights on my wheel working. Once I restart my computer, everything would work normally till it would happen randomly again. I was on driver 439, updated to beta 444 and the issue continued.
Support response was to disconnect the shaft and reattach it. This worked for a few day or practice, updated to driver 445 based on feedback from support and the issue happened all over again last night.
Has anyone experienced this issue? Have any suggestions?
Sounds like you might be experiencing issues similar to what I've been experiencing:
Basically, if your equipment is mounted to any kind of metal base or frame, there are EMI / ESD issues that can occur and cause all sorts of strange things to happen while playing, due to metal-on-metal contact. There are a lot of good tips in that thread to help eliminate (or at least diminish) such problems. Might be worth it for you to have a look.
Hi Gregg. I read through most of the thread you attached and your issues sounds fairly similar to mine. My problems started 3 days ago in a league on iRacing. Was driving around under caution and then suddenly my brake and throttle both went to 100% and came to a dead stop on track with the engine revving fully and brake pedal applied with it. I had no steering inputs as well. I had to "get out" of the car and reset my base to get things working properly, but even trying to reconnect it was difficult as it was a bit finicky getting back to the PC setting on the base. This issue doesnt seem to happen immediately, as I've been able to do other races throughout the day without issue. It seems to be something that happens after longer periods of use.
I've contacted support tonight and am waiting to see if they can provide any help, but was just curious if this sounds like a similar issue to what you've been dealing with.
I guess I should also specify that I have the GT DD wheel base, not the CSL DD. Not sure how much difference that makes in the situation but better to have all the data right to compare :)
For all intents and purposes, the GT DD and the CSL DD are the same wheelbase. From what I understand, their internals are identical, save for the PS chip in the GT.
What you describe does sound pretty similar to the issue I've experienced. I've nearly eliminated it occurring by following the suggestions in that thread. I wish I could say I've eliminated it completely, which I thought would be the case after isolating my base from the metal rig. Doing so does seem to have helped, but it happened again a few weeks ago. I suspect this may have had something to do with my swapping USB cables/ports around for some devices, as it occurred the same day I did that. After I swapped everything back to how it was previously, the issue has not returned.
It's a frustrating thing, for sure. The only thing mentioned in that thread that I haven't tried is attaching a ground wire to the rig. Theoretically, it shouldn't be necessary since I've isolated the base already, but this whole situation seems to defy logic. I might try that if I notice things starting to get worse, but for now I'm pretty pleased with how things are. I do tend to race mostly single player against the CPU, so even though this issue is annoying as hell, at least I generally don't have to worry about ruining someone else's day as well. I figure since doing all those fixes, I've had it happen to me *maybe* once a month? If that. And I tend to use my rig probably 10 hours a week or so, on average.
Thanks for the response Gregg. Im going to keep using it like normal to see if it happens yet again. The initial incident occurred on Monday and didnt happen again until Thursday (yesterday), and I did about 1-2 hours worth of driving each day in between with no issue. On both Monday and Thursday, I had done a bit of driving before each occurrence, so this seems to be something thats happening after elongated periods of use - and honestly thats not a huge deal, but I obviously would just love to race and use my stuff without the looming fear of it occurring again at an important time.
I have a metal stand, so theres definite metal on metal contact. Im having a kitchen table delivered tomorrow and my thought was to take a piece of the packing foam (assuming it comes with some, and that it will be thin enough) and cut out a section of that in the shape of my stand with two holes to allow for mounting and see if I can find a little DIY solution to separate the base from the stand that way. The other thing I thought of was to just simply purchase the mount that Fanatec has and just simply mount the wheel to my desk whenever Im using it (I use my PC for gaming too when Im not sim racing).
Either way, I hope to find a healthy solution to this as I upgraded to Fanatec for its quality and performance. I've been happy with it thus far, but this issue continuing would really make me regret that decision quickly if I cant find a fix..
One thing to keep in mind when attempting to isolate the base are the metal screws you're using to connect everything. It does no good to put whatever you're using for shielding between the base and mounting plate, but then still have bare metal screws touching the plate while they connect and secure the base.
In that link I mentioned, it shows how to use a thin piece of electrical tape wrapped around the screw, and then use either rubber or nylon washers.
I hope that works for you. Good luck, man. I know how much it sucks to just want to use your new kit and constantly have to worry about impending failure.
I actually just saw the parts about the rubber washers and electrical tape around the screws - that actually makes way more sense lol.
You say you feel like this solved your issue, or at least remedied it greatly? I know you've got some clamps around your cables as well, but if really all I need to do is just use rubber washers and some electrical tape, then I think I'd prefer just to do that if it solves this issue.
Its wild to me that an issue like this exists, considering that nearly all sim rigs are made from metal..
Oh I agree. I'm not sure how more people don't seem to be having similar problems. Or maybe they are, and the issues go unreported? Or they're attributed to faulty hardware/ software etc.?
Anyway, regarding solutions, it's difficult for me to point to one particular thing and say, yep... that did it for me. Nothing seems to have 100% solved it, but a number of things do seem to have helped greatly. I personally noticed the biggest improvement after attaching the ferrite beads, but that could just be because it was the first thing I tried which actually gave me some positive results. If I had done the rig isolation first, who knows? Maybe that would have been enough.
Like I said though, it seems like a number of things have contributed. For me, it's the ferrite beads, isolating the rig, making sure the power and USB cables are not overlapping or intertwined, and also which USB ports I use on my computer all seem to play a part. Through all the headaches and cursing and gnashing of teeth, I managed to find a combination of everything that works, and now that I have, I'm not touching a damn thing. lol
So, just keep that in mind, I'd say. It all feels like voodoo magic at this point. If one remedy doesn't work or doesn't work as well as you'd hope, keep trying some of the other things mentioned and hopefully you'll find a combination that works for you too.
Electromagnetic induction is the basis of the operation of every electric motor or transformer. Whenever a current passes through a cable it generates an electromagnetic field, which can induce currents in nearby metal objects. For example, a motor or a transformer is formed by windings whose superimposed turns function as a multiplier of this electromagnetic field. In motors, one of these windings is fixed to a rotation shaft, and the field induced by the winding is exploited to generate a magnetic attraction force that causes the shaft to rotate. While in the transformers the different number of turns of the two fixed windings, primary and secondary, is exploited to modify the voltage and current levels.
Electromagnetic interference is a side effect, for this reason every electrical appliance must be adequately shielded and grounded so as not to emit or receive electromagnetic disturbances.
Now, to understand the phenomenon, we know that electric current is a flow of electrons. If we connect a conductor to a generator, battery or power outlet, it will supply "new" electrons to the conductor.
Another way of delivering electrons to a body is through rubbing. Cars rubbing against the atmosphere as they move accumulate electrostatic charge. When we get out of the car we often feel the spark. Even our sofa can charge our clothes with an electrostatic charge.
In our case none of this happens. The plate of our rig is isolated, the currents induced by the wheelbase motor are due to the movement of electrons. The motor attracts or repels free electrons from the metal, which causes eddy currents. This flow of electrons lasts very little, after which the electrons return to "rest" (the electrons never actually stop, but I simplify). So while we are playing the ffb will produce this "hustle" of electrons, but when we stop playing, no electrostatic charge builds up in the rig.
It must be said that the paint or the anodizing of the aluminum are insulating, so the induced currents do not go around the cockpit, but remain inside the plate on which the wheelbase is screwed. Either the pedals, or the gearbox, these too can generate disturbances when working with magnetic sensors.
However, if a sufficiently strong current is generated, the insulation provided by the thin layer of paint can fail. If this happens near the screws, and it is likely due to the ffb creating friction between the contacts, these currents propagate towards the USB cable, and can give rise to an inconsistent signal. Disconnections, crazy inputs, or little jokes can be caused by interference.
Sorry, I've written a lot, but understanding the problem helps a lot to find the solution.
That said, the best way to get rid of this problem is to ground the rig, or rather the platter the steering wheel attaches to. As soon as the motor begins to create a shift of electrons, the induced currents will go through the most convenient way, that is, they will discharge on the ground system, rather than returning back to the USB port. Don't worry, it's not that the electrons escaping to the ground plant will be lost forever. Only the ground plant itself will take care of replacing them with "quiet" electrons. I know, it sucks as an explanation, there are no "quiet" electrons, but have mercy on me. The ground system levels the currents, instead of circulating them on the rig's plate alone, sends them around the world, and when they go around the world, they become ... nothing.
Otherwise, by isolating the rig from the wheelbase, the induced currents will be blocked, but will continue to circulate inside the platter. It will be very difficult for them to trace back to the USB port. However, it will remain the only way forward. Sooner or later they will.
Gregg, really appreciate you taking more time to further explain what you've experienced with me. Im going to start with the electrical tape and rubber washers first I think to see if that helps. I've also ordered the table clamp just to see if I can simply just get away with mounting to my desk whenever I want to race. If I can, I just wont even bother trying to make it work on the stand. (Only reason I bought the stand was because I stripped the bolt on my Thrustmaster table clamp years ago and needed a way to mount my TM gear)
My only worry with a table clamp is how much the ffb will shake my monitors, pc tower, and all the other things sitting on my desk. If its very little, then its a problem solved for me! (I saw the part in your thread where someone on reddit said they experienced zero issues with the table clamp. I've also got a friend with the same gear who races on a clamp and hasnt had any issues ever, so thats what Im basing my hopeful expectations on.)
Alessandro - wow. Talk about a throwback to science class LOL. Honestly, thank you SO much for taking the time to explain exactly what seems to be happening to cause this issue. I kept seeing talk about EMI and I had NO idea what that meant. Now though, Im able to understand this much better and Ill be able to try and find a solution with a better understanding of whats going on.
Once again, I just find it to be wild that this is a problem that Fanatec didnt anticipate and just hasnt seemed to come up with any solution for.
This is actually a bit of a childish explanation on my part. Electromagnetism generates induced currents, but only if it finds a closed circuit, otherwise it generates only a difference in electric potential. But since all our devices use the electrical ground of the plant, the ring closes with the ground, a so-called ground loop is formed, and the currents circulate on the cable shield. However, this should have no consequences if the internal circuits are properly isolated. Otherwise no appliance would work, we are surrounded by electromagnetic fields of all kinds, and all our appliances are connected to the same earth system.
A bit difficult to understand even for me who studied these things at the time. And even more to explain for me as I don't speak English.
However, it appears that when the outer casing of the wheelbase, which should be grounded for safety reasons, touches the metal cockpit, a potential difference is created, which closes with the ground, and circulates these currents. As if the outer casing of the wheelbase were no longer at potential 0 (on the ground) but assumes the potential of the cockpit. And so it circulates its own induced currents.
It is likely that the internal circuits of our PCs, or Playstations are not adequately shielded and isolated from the metal casing and therefore themselves close the circuit with the Earth. This would explain why not everyone suffers from EMI, or why those who have received a new replacement wheelbase from Fanatec have not solved their problems.
Despite being in the trade, I'm an electrical technician, I didn't realize it was EMI until I read Gregg's discussion.
The first thing I did to solve the problem was to mount a PCI Express card with 2 additional USB sockets on my PC. Evidently the circuit of that card was sufficiently isolated to prevent the ground loop. And that's a good way too, especially if you have a slightly vintage PC, like mine. On Gregg's advice, I purchased and applied ferrite clips to all cables. I don't know if this helped, because I had already mounted the new card.
So CSLDD no longer disturb my PC. But he began to disturb himself. Suddenly During the game, the steering wheel settings changed to AUTO. For example I was on S-1 setup and itself switched to AUT. This I solved definitively by grounding the rig. It immediately restarted when I unplugged the ground wire, but also when I plugged the wire into a different spot on the rig, not on the steering wheel plate.
Then the Fanatec pedals started to go off for 2 or 3 seconds during the races. I could steer, shift gears, but no input from the pedals.
I put the pedal plate on the ground and it disappeared too. I also grounded the shifter plate, it also never gave me any problems. And yes, if you are asking, the gearbox is not Fanatec.
This makes me believe that however the Fanatec equipment has its fair share of responsibility in these phenomena. But even if not, Fanatec service technicians should recognize their customers' EMI problems, and give guidance on how to fix them. I believe that Fanatec personnel have a serious lack of technical training at the moment.