Wheel bases are now a thing of the past, that is if you subscribe to Cammus’ latest innovation.
The Chinese equipment manufacturer has previously entered the sim racing scene with the DDWB21 direct drive wheel base, available with GT1 or GTS steering wheels.
Direct drive within the steering wheel
However, the C5 jettisons conventional thinking, as the direct drive force feedback system is built into the steering wheel itself. It means, technically, there isn’t a separate wheel base.
The net result is an external fan and a mounting bracket which enables the placement of the unit onto a cockpit at a range of potential angles. Desk clamps are also available.
But the main hub of the steering wheel is where the unique features lie, as it packs a motor that is said to output up to 5Nm of force – but the final figure is yet to be confirmed.
As steering wheels go, it looks to be bulky, but as a complete unit, there’s a total space saving.
All buttons, including a small telemetry display, are placed upon a carbon-fibre effect circular plate in the middle. There look to be 20 push buttons and three multi-position switches and a row of rev-indicating LEDs.
Four of the buttons are for menu directional use, and another four look to be nearly identical to the PlayStation symbols – somewhat ironic given that the company only supports PCs to date. Again, compatibility is yet to be confirmed by the company directly.
A thick faux leather flat-bottomed rim is affixed, with a centre marker up top. Around the back, there are also two, tiny, blink and you’ll miss them, gearshift paddles – perhaps a downside to this particular layout.
It does not look like you can switch out the wheel rim as it stands, this is one complete unit.
The advantage of this set-up could be price, alongside potential space and weight savings. Cammus is positioned as a value brand within sim racing. We’ve yet to receive the final costs including shipping and have reached out to Cammus for clarification.
Update, 12th April 6.05 pm
Since the publication of this article, Cammus has released a video entitled ‘Demystifying CAMMUS C5’.
In it, it’s explained that the device holds a constant torque output of 5Nm, with a potential peak of 6-7Nm. There are the rather bold claims of it being “the only truly portable direct drive simulator in the world” and that because there is less mass than with competing systems, it will belie the on-paper output figure.
“So when you experience the C5, it’s not so much that you’re operating a steering wheel, it’s more accurate to say that you are directly holding the motor to drive,” highlights the presentation.
Pertaining to the product’s price, it asks: “How much do you think such… kind of product should be worth?” Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Update 2 13th April, 12.35 pm
Cammus has been in touch and estimates that the C5 will cost in the region of $250 USD and with a desk clamp sub $300.