Review – Sim Racing Hardware GT Wheel Plate for the G25/G27
As most avid Simracers will know, the first piece of extended hardware needed is the steering wheel. With a broad selection of products on the market, it is safe to say that the Logitech G25/G27 must have been the most popular wheel out there. For most starting and even weathered sim racers it is still the best value for money when it comes to having a solid working steering wheel while keeping the price in check.
When G25/G27 owners see the wealth of high priced steering wheels on the market, they usually envy the owners of such wheels for having more buttons and in allot of cases a Led bar rev counter. Let’s face it, apart from the functional side of these additions, there is also the fun and show factor, that tickles the imagination. The solution to overcoming this shortcoming on a standard wheel is the third-party wheel plate.
Having looked at many wheel plates in the past, it’s pretty clear that the Quality/price comparison is the one to keep in mind. Wheel plates basically all perform the same functions but come in all shapes and sizes, and as far as usability, build quality and looks are concerned, they are not all priced realistically. One of the wheel plates that caught my eye was the “Sim Racing Hardware” GT Wheel plate for the Logitech G25/27.
What some might see as a basic plate may be limited functions should be the perfect product for others. So it was the case for me. I am not a real fan of big bulky wheel plates that usually have an overload of buttons and functions. I was on the lookout for a good looking compact wheel plate that would supply me with a Rev counter, and extra buttons. The “Sim Racing Hardware” GT Wheel plate just had all the features I wanted, and boy did it look cool.
Surfing to the website of SRH the purchase was a pretty straight forward task. First, create an account. This is pretty straightforward. Fill in your name, email, and password. Hit register and an activation email will be sent to you within minutes. Now you can log in. Don that, I selected Wheel plates from the menu. Then scrolled down to the” G25/27 GT wheel plates” section and hit the “add to cart” button. When viewing your shopping card, it will show you the price and quantity.
The wheel plate is sold for 99.95 British pounds. That is about 128 euros at the time of writing. When you push the Order button, the system will ask you to select a Shipping area and will add the shipping cost. For the UK, this is 4 British pounds. For Europe shipping, it will add €11.50 and all other regions will add 10.50 pounds. That is 16.50 American Dollars. SRH will preferably have you paying for the product using Paypal, but you can arrange a different paying method, should you want that by contacting them using email or Skype. Purchase done! You will receive a confirmation mail and with that a link to the system software for your product. SRH immediately supplies you with the contact info and lets you know that you can always contact them in the case of questions or issues.
The postman always rings once. Because of the fact that SRH supplied me with a delivery tracking link, I could pretty much see when the package would arrive at my door. When the package arrived, I noticed the brown carton box had a rough ride during transport. Fingers crossed that it would not have harmed the content. When opening the box, to my relief the wheel plate was neatly secured in thick bubble wrap and taped accordingly.
Show me the stuff.
Unboxing always had this special effect on me. I may be an adult, but still, after all these years, it brings back childhood happiness to my face. ( I guess that goes for allot of us ) The first impression immediately shows me we are talking build quality and detail here. While not on the wheel, but in the hand I could straight away tell this would look awesome on my G27 Every single detail of the plate looks high quality. The Carbon (look) wheel plate is surfaced by a clear shiny acrylic plate that just looks the works. 4 high-quality push buttons in the famous Red, Green, Blue, and Black color selection.
I notice they look like being exactly the same buttons used in allot of real world racing wheels I have seen. The back plate and acrylic top seem to be laser cut and are perfectly aligned. Everything is firmly secured with shiny screws that add to the quality look of the plate. The entire plate comes pre-assembled and is therefore, ready to be fitted straight on the wheel. The package also included some spare screws and a pigtail USB cable. (Micro USB) I have to say that this is not stated to be included in the package. So I can’t assure the readers it will always be shipped with the product.
Get it on.
Installing the wheel plate should be easy for most people out there. You defiantly don’t need a degree in engineering to get it fitted. In my case, the plate was going to be placed on a G27 wheel model, but the assembly for the G25 should be exactly the same. Unscrewing the 6 screws that secure the wheel on the base unit is just about the only thing that needs to be done to get the wheel installed. Once the wheel is removed, you still have to disconnect the cable connector that connects the wires of the original wheel buttons. It is by no means hard to do, but make sure to be careful so you do not damage the connector itself. With the wheel removed, it’s time to place the wheel plate behind it.
In the case of a G27, you will have to remove the little acrylic window that sits on top of the original small G27 rev LEDs. This can be done by just lifting it up. It’s will have no negative effect whatsoever, and can be placed back on should you ever want to remove the wheel plate. The original L.E.Ds are of no further use because your new wheel plate sits neatly over it. Unsurprisingly the laser cut holes fit snugly behind the wheel spokes. Routing the original G27 cable through the center hole of the plate and connecting it back on the original base, was not a problem at all. Time to screw the six bolts back in the wheel and that wrapped up the assembly. A small tip. Make sure you carefully check where the wires are placed behind the wheel plate and the wheel hub so that you don’t crush or damage them while tightening the wheel rim screws.
I could already imagine that it was going to look cool before I had the plate assembled on the wheel, but once I took a good look at the end result, I was astonished. The G27 with the wheel plate on it looked like it was part of an entirely new wheel. It did not look as an add-on at all. The Style matches the wheel and now seems to have a more professional and expensive look. All the screws on the plate seem to be in exactly the correct spot and do not distort the symmetry of the wheel. Overall the wheel now looks as if it was one of the more professional wheels on the market.
Time to install the software and plug in the cable. I already downloaded the SimDash software. This application by http://www.symprojects.com is the core of the SRH wheel plate configuration. I won’t go in detail about the package because this would take too long. However, I can assure you the configuration of the software is a fool-proof task. After clicking the Install exe file, the software was ready to go in a few seconds. When I fired up the program by clicking the provided desktop icon the SimDash software stated without any glitches or hiccups.
When I plugged in the Micro USB cable the famous windows “ Tadaaaa” greets you and the” PRO SHIFT” selection of the program lit up. That is exactly what should happen. The SimDash package is used for all different SimDash products and the detection automatically enables the correct module(s). So far so Good, The wheel plate electronics are detected. The Software sports a vast amount of Sim titles you can select and enable, but as I mainly use the wheel for rFactor and iRacing I checked these first. For iRacing, I did not have to select anything and could go straight to the “Configure” button.
While not going into deep the options of the display, the main function is to give every LED on the plate a function. This can be done by just selecting functions from a drop down menu for every single LED. The REV lights can be set up in either real values or RMP percentages. Every single digit can have a equals, bigger than, smaller than choice, what makes it a breeze to set up, and adjust later on. Another great feature is the fact you can set up the Brightness of the LEDs by just moving a slider. in config mode, the LEDs on the plate will light up, and show you the adjustment in real time. Once you finished setting up the functions, the program will remember your last setting. An XML file can be saved for later import, or to have multiple configurations at your fingertips.
Gentlemen… Start your engines.
Time for the big moment. I fired up iRacing and did not notice any form of a problem as far as the sim was concerned. A good start. The first thing I did was configure the extra four buttons I now had. This went down with no problem whatsoever. All four buttons were detected by the iRacing controls config. When I started a test session, a big smile came on my face.
When revving the Solstice I was in, the quality LEDs lit up and seem to have no delay. When hitting the top RPM the LEDs started blinking rapidly. An awesome sight. The buttons seem to be working fine, with not too much resistance, yet enough to not push them by accident.
All buttons could be reached with my thumbs without letting go of the wheel. After a few laps, I decided to adjust the rev scale of the rev-bar, and set up a few extra functions on the auxiliary LEDs. This was as easy as I want to make it sound. Go to the LED selection, and select a function from the drop down menu. I further refined when the individual rev LEDs should lit and defined when and what should blink. Awesome. It all worked like a charm.
So was it worth it?
Looking for a wheel plate that would be both functional, and have a great look ( let’s face it, we all like a cool looking add-on ) this product has been one of the best purchases I ever did when it comes to sim racing related gear. The quality exceeded my expectations, and the usability was every bit as good as I expected it to be.
Furthermore, I am very assured the service will be ok. It struck me as a small miracle that it was the first time ever, a supplier contacted me, to find out if everything was ok, instead of the other way around. Kudos to SRH for that. I did not need any further assistance, but the SRH staff assured me I could get in contact using email, or even more direct by using skype. I can recommend this product to all who might be on the lookout for a professional relatively inexpensive wheel plate, to make the sim racing immersion even better.
Sim Racing Hardware GT Wheel Plate for the G25/G27 wheels.
- 8 LED configurable shift light array
- 2 LED configurable shift point
- 2 auxiliary LED’s
- 4 extra buttons
- Laser Cut Carbon Look Base plate
- Laser Cut Clear acrylic layered top plate
For info and Purchase check out – simracinghardware.com