Sim Racing Glossary: A List of Terms
, par Alex Myastan, 16 min temps de lecture
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, par Alex Myastan, 16 min temps de lecture
Explore the intricate world of sim racing with our comprehensive glossary, ensuring you're in the driver’s seat when it comes to understanding the nuanced terminology of the sim racing universe.
Welcome to the Sim Racing Glossary, where we define all the jargon and technical terms used in Sim Racing, specifically in relation to hardware. All these terms can come across as confusing, right?
An Aluminium Extrusion Profile is surely a detailed sketch of our metallic racing chariots, exuding strength and durability in every pixel.
And envision a Belt-Driven system, where a series of belts are perhaps used to tow broken-down virtual cars off the track, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted racing experience for all. And oh, the Button Box, a magical container where we store all the buttons we use on our sim racing outfits, right?
In our whimsical world, the Cockpit isn’t just a driver's seat but a place where our virtual chickens come to roost after a long day of pecking around the racetrack. And Damping, that’s the secret sauce to making our virtual tracks moist and muddy for an added challenge, isn’t it?
FIA-Approved must be a stamp of culinary excellence, ensuring all snacks and meals enjoyed during our racing adventures are of the highest quality and flavor! And the Ecosystems, lush, green environments where our virtual cars can take a breather and recharge amidst nature between high-octane races.
And finally, let’s not forget the most important term, the Encoder, encoding secret messages to our drivers, guiding them to hidden shortcuts and secret paths that ensure a surefire victory.
Well, enough with the nonsense, let's look at what these terms actually mean!
4080 Profile: A type of aluminum extrusion profile used in building sim racing rigs, 40mm x 80mm in size.
8020 Profile: A type of aluminum extrusion profile often used in sim racing rig construction, 80mm x 20mm in size.
Actuator: A device that converts electrical signals into physical movement, often used in motion sim rigs.
Aluminium Extrusion Profile: A generic term for profiles like 4080 and 8020, used in constructing sim racing rigs.
Angle Sensor: A device that detects the angular position of an object, such as a steering wheel in sim racing.
Belt-Driven: A type of force feedback system in wheel bases, using belts to transmit motor forces to the wheel.
Bolt Patterns: The arrangement of bolts on a wheel or wheel base, crucial for compatibility with other components.
Button Box: A device with additional buttons, switches, and dials used to control various functions in sim racing.
Classic Car Rim: A steering wheel rim styled after those found in classic cars.
Cockpit: The driver's seat area in a vehicle, or a sim racing setup designed to resemble one.
Compact Rim: A smaller, typically round steering wheel rim suitable for various types of racing.
Counts Per Revolution (CPR): This is a measurement of encoder resolution in a direct drive. Encoders often generate quadrature outputs, where each pulse consists of four counts: two for each channel (A and B) in both their high and low states. Therefore, dividing the CPR by 4 gives you the PPR. Don't confuse Counts Per Revolution with Cycles Per Revolution, the latter is some times used, but it is less rigorously defined, so raise your eyebrow when you cross it.
D-Shape Rim: A steering wheel rim with a flat bottom, providing more leg clearance and a sporty look.
Damping: The reduction of oscillations or energy absorption, often adjustable in sim racing wheel settings.
Deep-Dish Rim: A steering wheel rim with a pronounced concave shape, often used for drifting or classic cars.
Direct Drive: A type of wheel base where the steering wheel is directly attached to the motor, providing precise force feedback.
Displays: Screens or LEDs used to show data like speed, gear, or lap time in sim racing setups.
DOF (Degrees of Freedom): The number of independent ways an object can move, often used to describe motion rigs in sim racing.
Drift-Style Rim: A steering wheel rim designed for drift racing, often deep-dish and easy to spin.
Ecosystems: A group of compatible products from a single manufacturer, ensuring interoperability in sim racing setups.
Encoder: An encoder is a sensor that converts the rotational position of the steering wheel into digital signals.
Encoder Resolution: Encoder resolution refers to the degree of precision with which an encoder can measure and report the position of the wheel. This is usually measure in PPR or CPR.
FIA-Approved: Certified by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, indicating compliance with their standards. Most applicable to seats.
Field of View (FOV): The extent of the observable world seen at any given moment, adjustable in sim racing software.
Firmware: Permanent software programmed into hardware, e.g., a wheel base, which controls its functions.
Fixed Wheel Rim: A non-removable steering wheel rim.
Flange Centering Hole DIA (Diameter): The diameter of the centering hole in a wheel rim, crucial for compatibility with wheel bases.
Flat-Bottom Rim: A steering wheel rim with a flat bottom section, often used in racing for better leg clearance.
Flat-Top Rim: A steering wheel rim with a flat top section, often providing better visibility of displays.
Flight Ready: A term indicating that a piece of equipment, like a rig, is suitable for flight simulators.
Footprint: The amount of floor space a piece of equipment, like a rig, occupies.
Force Feedback: Technology that simulates the forces experienced when driving, transmitted through the wheel base. Measured in Nm.
Formula Style Seats: Seats designed to resemble those in Formula 1 cars, often used in sim racing rigs.
Formula-Style Rim: A steering wheel rim designed to resemble those used in Formula 1, often compact with numerous controls.
Frequency: The rate at which a direct drive wheel base updates and sends force feedback signals.
Friction Filters: Settings in sim racing software or wheel bases that adjust the feel of friction in the steering.
Funky Switch/7-Way Switch: A multi-directional switch often found on steering wheels, used to navigate menus or adjust settings in sim racing.
Gear-Driven: A type of force feedback system in wheel bases, using gears to transmit motor forces to the wheel.
Gloves: Special gloves used by sim racers to enhance grip and comfort on the steering wheel, and to prevent sweat from wearing down the wheel rim.
GT Style Seats: Seats designed to resemble those in GT (Grand Touring) cars, often used in sim racing rigs.
GT-Style Rim: A steering wheel rim designed to resemble those used in GT racing, often larger and round.
H-Shifter: A gear shifter that resembles the letter "H," used to manually shift gears in sim racing.
Hall Effect Sensor: A sensor that measures changes in a magnetic field, often used in pedal sets and wheel bases.
Hybrid Servo Motor: A motor that combines features of servo and stepper motors, used in direct drive wheel bases, although rarely.
Hydraulic Dampeners: Devices that use hydraulic fluid to absorb and dissipate energy, often used in motion rigs.
Hydraulic Pressure Sensor: A sensor that measures the pressure in a hydraulic system, often used in brake pedals.
Immersion: The feeling of being physically present in a non-physical world, often sought after in sim racing.
Input Lag: The delay between making an input and seeing the effect in software or hardware.
Latency: See Input Lag.
Leather Rim: A steering wheel rim that is covered or constructed with leather.
Load Cell: A type of sensor used in pedals to measure pressure applied by the user.
Luxury Rim: A high-quality, often leather-covered steering wheel rim with a premium feel and appearance.
Max Torque: The maximum twisting force a motor can provide, often specified for wheel bases in sim racing. Measured in Nm.
Max Torque Slew Rate: The maximum rate at which torque can change in a wheel base, affecting force feedback responsiveness.
Momentary Push Button: A button that is only active while being pressed, often used on steering wheels for various functions.
Monitor Mount: A fixture that holds a monitor in place, often attached to a sim racing rig.
Monitor Stand: A stand-alone structure designed to hold one or more monitors in a sim racing setup.
Motion Compensation: A feature that adjusts the visual display during motion to maintain a consistent visual experience in sim racing.
Motion Platform: A rig that moves in response to simulated forces, providing a more immersive sim racing experience.
Motor: A device that converts electrical energy into mechanical movement, used in wheel bases and other equipment.
Motor Types: Various kinds of motors used in sim racing equipment, e.g., stepper, servo, or hybrid servo motors.
Mounting Hole Pattern DIA (Diameter): The diameter of the circular pattern of mounting holes, often specified for wheel bases and rims.
Mounting Holes: Holes provided in equipment to allow secure attachment to other components or structures.
Natural Damping: The inherent resistance to oscillations or movements in a mechanical system.
Nm (Newton-meters): A unit of torque (twisting force), often used to specify the strength of wheel base motors.
Oval Racing Rim: A steering wheel rim designed for oval track racing, often with a specific grip or shape.
Paddle Shifters: Levers mounted behind the steering wheel used to shift gears without a manual shifter.
Paddle Switchers: Alternative term or misnomer for paddle shifters, used for gear shifting on a steering wheel.
Pedal Mount: A structure or fixture where pedals are attached in a sim racing rig.
Pedal Plate: A flat surface or platform to which pedals are attached in a sim racing rig.
Pedal Set: A complete set of pedals, typically including throttle, brake, and clutch, used in sim racing.
Pins: Electrical connectors used to transmit power and data between a wheel rim and wheel bases
Pitch Circle Diameter (PCD): See Bolt Patterns.
Potentiometer: A type of sensor commonly used in pedals to measure position, and to digitally convert that to pressure.
Pulses Per Revolution (PPR): This is a measurement of encoder resolution in a direct drive. Encoders often generate quadrature outputs, where each pulse consists of four counts: two for each channel (A and B) in both their high and low states. Therefore, dividing the CPR by 4 gives you the PPR.
QR Adapter: Quick Release Adapter, a device that allows for compatibility between wheels and wheel bases of different sim racing brands.
QR Hub (Quick Release Hub): A type of hub that allows for quick attachment and detachment of different steering wheel rims.
Rally-Style Rim: A steering wheel rim designed for rally racing, often featuring a specific grip or material.
Refresh Rate: The number of times per second a display updates its image, measured in Hertz (Hz).
Response Time: The time a system takes to react to a given input or change, often measured in milliseconds.
Rig: A setup or station used for sim racing, including components like seat, wheel, pedals, etc.
Rotary Button: A button that can be turned to select different options, often found on steering wheels.
Round Rim: A steering wheel rim with a fully circular shape, common in various racing disciplines.
Seat: A component of a sim racing rig where the user sits, often designed to resemble a racing car seat.
Seat Mover: A device that moves the seat in a sim racing rig to simulate g-forces and enhance immersion.
Security Chip: An official chip used in sim racing equipment to ensure authenticity and compatibility with Playstation or Xbox.
Sensors: Devices that detect changes in physical properties and convert them into signals, used in various sim racing equipment.
Sequential Shifter: A type of gear shifter that selects gears in a linear sequence, often used in racing i.e. up to shift-up and down to shift-down, with the shifter returning to the middle between shifts.
Servo Motor: A motor providing precise control of angular position, used in direct drive wheel bases.
Single Monitor: A single display used in a sim racing setup to provide visual output from the software.
Spring Rate: The stiffness of a spring used in a vehicle's suspension, often adjustable in sim racing software.
Static Force Reduction: A feature in some sim racing software that reduces force feedback when a vehicle is stationary.
Steering Wheel: A device used to control the direction of a vehicle in sim racing, often part of a wheel base.
Stepper Motor: A type of motor that moves in discrete steps, used in few wheel bases.
Stick Shifter: Another term for a gear shifter, used to manually select gears in sim racing. Called so because one uses the stick to shift.
Suede or Alcantara Rim: A steering wheel rim covered in suede or Alcantara, providing a specific feel and grip.
Swappable Wheel Rim: A steering wheel rim that can be easily replaced with others on a wheel base.
T-Slots: Grooves in aluminium extrusion profiles used for attaching various components in sim racing rigs.
Toggle Switch: A switch that maintains its state (on or off) after being activated, used in various sim racing equipment.
Torque: A measure of twisting force, often discussed in the context of wheel base motors in sim racing.
Torque: See Force Feedback.
Torque Generating Types: Various methods or systems used to generate torque in wheel base motors.
Torque Reconstruction Processing: A method used in wheel bases to recreate the feel of torque through force feedback.
Torque Slew Rate Adjustment: A setting that controls the rate of change of torque in a wheel base, affecting force feedback.
Transducer: A device that converts variations in a physical quantity, such as pressure or brightness, into an electrical signal, or vice versa.
Triple Monitor: A setup using three monitors to provide a wide, immersive visual experience in sim racing.
Ultra-Wide Monitor: A monitor with an ultra-wide aspect ratio, providing an expansive view in sim racing.
Upgradability: The ability to add or change components in a sim racing setup, like swapping wheel rims or upgrading pedals.
USB Hub: A device that expands a single USB port into several, allowing multiple devices to be connected.
VR Headset: Virtual Reality headset, providing an immersive 3D environment for sim racing.
Weight Limit Grading: The maximum weight that a piece of equipment, like a seat or rig, is designed to safely support.
Wheel Styles: Various designs and forms of steering wheels, such as Formula-style, GT-style, etc.
Wired Wheel: A steering wheel that requires a physical connection, typically via USB, to function.
Wireless Wheel: A steering wheel that connects to the base or platform without physical cables, using wireless technology.
Wireless Wheel Support: The ability of a wheel base or platform to connect with wireless steering wheels.
In our peculiar pit lane, Torque isn’t just a force but perhaps a talkative entity, narrating tales of races past to every driver that zoomed by, while Sensors sensitively navigate the emotional landscape of our speedy competitors, ensuring a mentally healthy racecourse.
Shifting gears back to reality, if you have any questions feel free to comment, and check out our other articles... they are more to the point.
We aim to create a comprehensive repository to help you make your sim racing gear decisions. Check out some of our other detailed articles:
> A Beginner's Guide to a Sim Racing Setup: This article provides an overview of your entire setup.
> Best Sim Racing Cockpits:
This article recommends the top ten cockpits for all budgets and
compares ~70% of all the cockpits on the market in a simple table.
> The Wheel Base Guide:
A comparison of every single wheel base on the market. We show the torque, platform compatibility, price and other relevant information in tables. We also have an article that analyses the value of entry-level direct drives, and one that recommends Xbox wheel bases.
> The Wheel Compatibility Guide: See the bolt patterns and QR Hubs of all the major wheel and wheel base brands.
> The Rig and Seat Guide: See the two types of rigs and the other considerations when buying one.
> The Shifter and Handbrake Guide: A comparison of every sim racing stick shifter and handbrake on the market.
> The Pedal Guide:
A comparison of all the budget and entry-level pedal sets, and the most
popular mid-range and high-end pedal sets on the market.
> How to Earn Money in Sim Racing: An overview of the various ways in which you can get income from your favourite hobby.
We also publish sim related news, like analysing the value of the Fanatec ClubSport DD, reviewing the Fanatec QR2 or looking at the latest WRC updates. You can also find articles about us, like this article about our visit to the recent ADAC Sim Racing Expo.