The RealGear RACEpro button boxes are like nothing else available today, looking like it was cut out of a real race car. Starting with its all-metal construction and its race-car-correct buttons and toggle switches, the goal was to build a button box for your simulator that would be true to form to what you could cut out of an actual race car. This switch panel offers up to 36 functions including the brake bias valve knob which incorporates a proprietary friction clutch to simulate the drag of a real bias valve.
Our button boxes allow you to map various functions in the game to any button, switch or knob on the panel. From the in-game controllers configuration screen you simply select the function you want to map, such as engine start for example, and then move the button, switch or knob you want to set it to and viola, that button now starts the engine.
Authentic MaterialsWhen we set out to make the ultimate class of button box for the sim-racing enthusiast and professional we purposely chose to only use materials found in real race cars. This meant we were going to avoid plastic boxes, fake carbon-fiber and cheap miniature buttons. Only materials used in the making of real switch panels were chosen. This starts with the front panel and back housing, we chose aluminum. Specifically, we chose .040 inch thick aluminum because this is the material thickness of choice for the construction of the dash panel in typical race cars. The front panel is anodized in a black finish to reduce glare and reflections, plus it just looks really cool. For the switches we chose large, heavy-duty, high current varieties which are commonly used in race cars for their durability and longevity. Even the pushbutton plungers and knobs chosen for the box are made of phenolic, a material known for its high-temperature durability. Everything about this box has been designed to be and feel as authentic as possible.
Safety Toggle SwitchesThe safety toggle switches incorporate a latching toggle switch just as in a real race car. These types of switches are commonly mapped to functions like ignition or pit lane speed limiter since these are functions that are on or off and you do not want to accidentally hit these. A common problem with these types of switches is they get out-of-sync with the game. For example, you may enter a practice session with the switch in the down (off) position, but the game starts the practice session with the speed limiter on. Other button boxes require you to exit the session and then flip the switch to the up (on) position before entering the practice session again. Our intelligent button boxes include a feature that allows you to correct this without leaving the race session.
One-Way and Two-Way Toggle SwitchesReal race cars commonly have toggle switches for many functions and this button box is no different. By having a combination of both one-way and two-way toggle switches you can map various functions more intuitively. In fact, with a simple programming procedure you can convert any two-way toggle to function as a one-way toggle for even more flexibility. Some toggles are positioned to operate left-to-right to be more intuitive to use.
Heavy-Duty Push ButtonsPush buttons are the easiest types of buttons to use and can be mapped to functions you use often. The buttons have a perceivable amount of travel so even activating them with gloves is easy. As with all buttons and switches used in the construction of the button panel, these buttons are easy to find by feeling your way around them.
Multi-Function EncodersThis is where things become interesting. Encoders are a unique type of knob. We have all used them since most home and car stereos use them for volume controls and many other functions. They are commonly mapped to functions that have opposites such as increase/decrease, next/previous, left/right and up/down. What makes our encoders unique is that they are multi-function encoders. Similar to how a car stereo has one knob that is used to tune the radio station, adjust, bass, treble, balance, fader and other functions, the encoders on this button panel are capable of multiple functions as well. With this new multi-function encoder we can combine chat volume, spotter volume and radio channel all on one encoder knob.
Brake Bias KnobReal race cars use large adjustment knobs to change the brake bias. Whether the knob adjusts a pivot point on the brake pedal or a valve in the hydraulic line, it requires some effort and several turns to adjust. Our unique bias knob has a friction clutch of our own design that replicates the feeling of turning a mechanical adjustment, just like the real thing. In addition, brake bias adjustments typically require several turns of the knob to reduce sensitivity and help the driver make fine adjustments. The knob on this switch panel is no different. We allow the user to electronically adjust the sensitivity of the knob so one increment of brake bias can require as little as just a nudge on the knob or as much as a full turn, and several settings in between. The choice is yours.
Spaced for LabelsThe RACEpro button boxes are designed with labeling in mind. The buttons and switches are spaced apart enough to provide plenty of space for labels, whether you create your own or use our pre-printed labels. Each button panel includes 154 pre-printed labels that fit perfectly into the pockets and make for a professional appearance to the button panel.
Multiple Mounting OptionsWe have designed to button panel to have versatile mounting capabilities. The rear of the panel includes two sets of VESA 75x75 and 100x100 layouts. You can easily attach fixed monitor mounts to place the button panel within easy reach. Ricmotech offers some mounting brackets shown below or you can use whatever fits your application best. The panel can also be recessed into a cutout and secured from the rear with the optional panel mount kit (available separately).
Review by ASiMRacing Experience