March 11, 2005
Steering Feel in icy conditions
Very slippy out this morning. It's 7am and I'm about to head to work. It's been snowing lightly all night. I take out the 911 and back out of the drive way. Immediately, I know it's slippy, the car doesn't feel right. I start moving on the road by my house and I'm nervous already. I can feel the car is moving ever so slightly even at 15 mph. I turn the corner and start towards the highway and still, the car tells me it's nervous, hard to explain but it communicates every sensation from the wheels through the steering wheel to me. I know it's slippy before I apply gas or brake.
I see a car in front overshoot and nearly exit the road. I'm closer to the highway now and then I decide, take it home. Someone is going to hit me with it like this. So, I do a U turn and head back.
I take my 98 Explorer and no sensations. Feels fine. No idea at all it's slippy until I hit the brake. The thing slides along, ABS chirping until it stops. The point is, you can't feel anything in that thing. I knew it was slippy but you don't feel it until you do something silly. You know it's slippy in the 911 because it tells you that something is wrong, i.e. it's not stuck to the road like velco and you notice this immediately once the car starts moving. I guess wheel feel is a big factor in driver safety thats lost on 99% of all car drivers because they don't have it.
March 08, 2005
Spring is time for tires
Looking at getting Michelin Pilot Sport 2s for it in April. My local porsche dealer will order them from tire rack and install them. It's a safe bet letting them do it, a friend of mine used a local discount tire place for his Ferrari and then damaged the Magnesium rims, lots of money and hassle to fix. Easier to just pay a little more and let the dealer sort it out.
March 06, 2005
GT4 and the Logitech Steering Wheel Review
I bought GT4 for my playstation 2 (PS/2) during the week and the new Logitech Driving Force Pro steering wheel. US210 dollars in Best Buy. Expensive but I bought them. I previously had GT3 and the older Logitech Steering wheel, the Logitech Driving Force. I found that with GT3, the Driving Force was unusable. It was aweful. The Force Pro was supposed to be realistic and as the owner of a Porsche 996 Carrera 4, I was interested in seeing how real it really was.
First, the Force Pro works amazingly well with the game. A friend of mine (Ferrari owner) and myself have been playing with it for a couple of days now and we both agree it's awesome. I found driving the RUF GT3 detuned to 300hp and at max weight was very close to my car in terms of feel. The new wheel is a leap ahead in driving simulators.
Then, I had a nagging feeling, whats the old wheel like with GT4? Oops, it's the same, it's awesome now also. The problem wasn't the wheel, it was the game. We can't tell any difference between the Pro and the old wheel. You don't use the full lock etc on the Pro. So, good news, if you have the Logitech Driving Force then try it out.
The main difference between both products is the switch locations. I found it was very easy to press the controller buttons when using the old wheel. One of the buttons (circle) is full brake so it's interesting hitting that by accident.
The old wheel has paddle shifters, the new one has a sequential shifter, like tiptronic on a Porsche. I'm now liking the shifter more than paddles but it'll be a personal choice. Recently, I reprogrammed the buttons to let me shift using the buttons rather than the shifter so it's like my car which has Tiptronic.
So, is the new wheel worth 150 bucks and tossing your old one, probably not. It's clear now that the problem wasn't the wheel, it was the game. You'll get loads of enjoyment from GT3 and the old wheel. The new wheel moved the buttons away from the wheel and so I like that as you can't hit the buttons by accident. The 2.9 turns lock to lock doesn't make a difference for us. You never turn the wheel that much anyway.
So, GT4 is awesome and both the Logitech Driving Force and the Logitech Driving Force Pro are incredible with it.