Have questions? We answer some of them here. If you've got a question that
isn't listed, get in touch and we'll answer that one too!
(Note: Since many of the questions are the same for the 401, the "frequent questions" page in the 401 section also leads here.)
Why does it tilt so much? Cars don't have that much body roll.
The 301 doesn't only recreate the position of the car in space—it
recreates what you feel when you're in the car. Since we sense motion with our
inner ears, we can't tell the difference between tilting and accelerating
without a visual cue. When you're in the simulator and you turn to the right,
we tilt the machine to the left; because the image on the screen tells you that
you're not tilted, your brain interprets the tilt as acceleration.
What does it feel like?
The 301 can generate about three quarters of a G of sustained acceleration, and
double or triple that for short periods like bumps and impacts. For reference,
the feel is about five or six times as strong as spirited street driving.
Unlike most motion systems, the 301 responds very, very fast; you can feel
each bump in ripple strips and sometimes the texture of pavement and gravel.
That seems pretty intense; can you change the intensity for kids or people
who are uncomfortable with lots of motion?
Sure. The 301 comes with easy-to-use Windows-based control software that lets
you scale motion output with a slider. You can save setups for different games,
and Force provides suggested settings with the software.
Our on-site training package includes detailed information on setting up your
301 to get the most out of it, as well as tips on driving and getting the most
out of features like online racing and Internet leagues.
What about safety?
For the driver, there are lexan panels preventing your arms from getting
pinched, and safety interlocks on the door and seat belt.
If you open the door or take off the belt, the machine will stop. In fact,
when the door is open or the belt is off, brakes clamp down the motor shafts
and power is cut to the motors, so the machine physically can't move. In the
event of a power failure, the same motor brakes prevent the 301 from
"crashing", and an external emergency stop socket is available to freeze the
machine in the event of a fire or other alarm.
For spectators, Force Dynamics offers a full range of external safety systems
as options, including physical barriers, light curtains and weight sensitive
mats. Please contact us to arrange a safety system that meets your needs.
How hard is it to move? Can it be operated from a trailer?
It's easiest to move the 301 with a fork lift, but we've had customers mount
wheels so they can roll the machine around. The 301 is 55 inches wide; if you
have doors wide enough to accomodate that you can bring it in in one piece.
Otherwise it can come in disassembled. It can usually be operated with no
problems from any trailer with enough clearance to provide entrance/egress and
allow for machine motion.
How much ceiling clearance does it need? What about side-to-side?
Eight feet of ceiling clearance; you'll want at least a
foot of clearance on each side, plus room for any other equipment like
computers or extra displays.
Does it need to be bolted down? What about surface preparation?
The 301 weighs about 700 lbs, and on most surfaces it won't slide around. If it
does, it'll be a little bit at a time. Due to the loading and the weight on
each foot, you should be careful on loose surfaces or construction that's iffy.
If you're worried, it's best to have a building inspector check it out. If you
need to run a 301 outdoors, a metal decking surface or platform would be
perfect to make sure you don't end up with a sunken simulator!
What's the warranty?
One year on parts; most parts are user-installable. If you'd like us to do it,
installation is available from us or one of our partners in your area.
What kind of power does it need?
The 301 runs on regular 110 v power, but it needs a special plug and its own
line, which an electrician can install. If you have an extra circuit in your
rec room or basement it can be converted easily. We can also supply machines
which run on 220 v.
What kind of cars / tracks / other games does it support?
One of the biggest strengths of the 301 is its flexibility. Force Dynamics
keeps close tabs on the "mod" community for racing simulations, which is
constantly producing new cars and tracks for existing software. For instance,
several hundred user-created tracks are available for just one of our supported
simulations, NASCAR 2003, and more are coming out all the time for one of the
newer games, rFactor.
You can think of the 301 as a peripheral for a PC. Unlike other motion systems,
it's not locked into specific software. Right now we support simulations that
include rally, rallycross, sports car and GT racing, NASCAR, and Formula One.
We also support Microsoft Flight Simulator, with appropriate hardware.
Of course, we'll be adding support for more and more games as time goes on, so
the machine won't be out of date in two years, and all software updates, unless
you specifically request them, are free of charge (you just buy the games).
Because the 301 isn't attached to one computer system or console game system,
you don't have to worry about your investment getting out of date. Computers
and hardware from ten years ago are antiquated; the 301's hardware platform,
however, won't be—and it's built for the long haul.
Can I get (a higher resolution projector / bigger sound system / virtual
reality display / other racing seat) as an option?
Absolutely. Force Dynamics can custom configure your system for you—from
different colors to totally custom systems, just let us know! We've even
designed and manufactured completely custom control and display sets in less
than 8 weeks.
Can you build custom content?
Sure! We work directly with developers and content creators, and can help
define and produce content that will match your needs or audience, whether it's
a replica of your vintage sports car for personal use or a dirt track and cars
for a promotional tour.