Review – Sim Racing Hardware Type-R Tach Stand.
As many of you might know I am a big fan of hardware that enhances the immersion when I am behind the wheel of a Simulator.
While these days, simulators have grown up, and are widely used in the Real Racing World, and many drivers are doing virtual miles to practice and create mind maps of new tracks, and locations they have to visit for the first time, also the physics part of the Simulators seem to mature. That said, more and more hardware becomes relevant for analytic and performance purposes. On the lighter side, when using simulators as a pure fun part of the overall Motorsport hobby, we all like the immersion factor to be as fulfilling as it can be.
On-Screen gauges can help you in both worlds, but when it comes to immersion a hands-on piece of hardware kit will beat the software versions any day. That’s how I got interested in the Sim Racing Hardware [SRH] Tach Stand.
Because SRH hardware is being shipped from the UK to basically all corners of the globe, the packaging is more important than we would think. As I already own a few SRH products, I had no doubt the Tach Stand would arrive in good condition.When you open the carton box you will notice the unit is wrapped in multiple layers of bubble wrap. The Tacho comes as a ready and fully assembled unit, with the power supply and USB cable, included.
Assembly is straight forward. Since the unit comes fully assembled, the only thing you have to worry about is where you will put it. The Tacho is already housed in a sturdy carbon look stand, that can also double as a mounting unit.
The tacho can be rotated within the stand, making it basically possible to angle it to your own liking. The foot rest is pre-drilled with four holes, so if you need to screw the unit into position, it can be done with no effort.
When shipping the unit SRH already sends you a mail containing the software and installation instructions. So you will have time to have a look at it, even before receiving the unit. The Rev Counter is powered by a small adapter type power supply, and the unit is connected with a included Mini USB/USB cable to your pc.
The software that controls the unit is the trusty SIMDASH package. SimDash is the software SYMPROJECTS designed for the Rev Burner, GI Pro, GI Max, SPI-D, Pro Shift, SimScreen and DLC-247 boards. More info at www.symprojects.com.
This is very straight forward to install on windows. It is compatible with all windows versions from XP up to Windows 8.
Once fired up, you will see you can select the “REV BURNER” part of the software. That selected, you will be able to configure the Tacho in detail, and set its max rpm. The Tacho supports movement up to 11,000 RPM. You can import or export the setting to an XML file, so you can have multiple easy to use setting.
You can configure the Tach, but rest assured, you will not have to do that. SRH has already custom calibrated your unit in detail, so the only thing you have to do is import the supplied XML file, and you are ready to go.
How does it look:
While it has to be functional, Sim Racing Hardware units should also add to the immersion of a virtual racing session. So looks are important.With a massive diameter of 13 cm, the unit looks rather impressive. The black semi-gloss metal housing and clear acrylic front match the carbon look of the foot rest/ mounting plate.
The RPM dial itself has a carbon background and the white print of the readout makes it both pleasing to look at, and clear to see when watching the unit in the middle of a race. I did like the little TYPE-R logo in the center. Visually it is as pleasing as a REV counter can be. Next to the REV counter, you have the big 4 cm diameter Shift light. It’s a red colored lens that will notify you when to change gear. The quality of the shift light matches the rest of the unit.
On the RPM dial, you will find a few buttons named MODE, SET, UP and Down. These are used to set the Shift Light. Usage is as easy as it gets.
When you push the mode button a LED will light up. Now when you push the UP or Down button you will see the needle rise or drop. Just point the needle to the RPM you would like to see the Shift Light flash, and hit the mode button again. That’s it. The shift light will now flash bright red, whenever you hit the configures RPM.
Next up is a nice feature that lets you match the look to your rig setup or mood. You will notice a push button called” Light”. Pushing this button the Rev counter back plate can be lighted with a choice of colors to your liking. Ranging from Shades of red, purple, yellow, blue and green, or just illuminate it with regular white light. This proved to be very useful and esthetic when using the sim with dimmed light.
Last but not less important, the unit comes with a master On/Off switch. That way when not in use, the unit will not use any power, making it unnecessary to unplug the power supply.
I can say I have had some experiences with Sim Racing Hardware support.There is absolutely no negative point I can come up with when it comes to that.
SRH supply support using email and Skype, When you have a problem, it seems not to matter where you are a hobby or professional client. In the end of the day, you will have to find out for yourselves, but I for that matter can recommend SRH hardware and the support behind it.
The main reason why Sim Racing and Professional users would want a Rev counter of this quality…
Overall the Tach Stand has its usage in both the hobby and Professional Sim world. Having a hardware hands-on unit does help create a bigger immersion factor, but also makes you more aware of the telemetry we now have in most sim titles. The overall look of a racing rig has also become a separate part of the hobby for many Sim racers out there.
Hardware add-ons are a big part of the “Bling” factor in Racing rigs these days. In the professional training/Simulator environment we also get accustomed to digital displays and on-screen data so it is important to train the driver’s awareness of all the other gauges, and indicators in a racing car. Adding hardware based telemetry units helps the trainee to be aware of all indicators in a car while multitasking and having a focus on his HUD when available.
You might not necessarily need a Sim Racing Hardware Tach Stand, but this unit has proven to be one of the more attractive add-ons on my racing rig.
It helps me shift more accurate in simulators that have an accurate physics engine, and it sure helps me to get in an immersive state when sim racing. It adds fun, looks and functionality to my Simulator unit. Isn’t that what we expect from Simulation hardware?
Price and content:
- Type-R Tach unit
- Power supply
- USB cable
- Usage Instructions
Sim Racing Hardware [SRH] retails the Type-R Tach Stand for £134.95. (That is €149,55- or $176,00 at the current rates.)
Make sure to check out the SRH website for shipping cost and promotions
For info and Purchase check out – simracinghardware.com