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BFF Bass Shaker Driver

Bass Shaker Driver card for Simulators

(and for general Audio Systems)

 

SEPT '16 - NOW AVAILABLE. Please follow the Order link on the left to go to the order pages.

 

The NEW BFF BSH-DRV-1 Bass Shaker Driver is a direct driver card for Bass Shakers.

 

It can drive both conventional bass shakers (such as Buttkickers), and DIY electric motor based vibration transducers - without additional amplifier or motor driver hardware.

 

It is a standalone card and requires a separate 12V to 36V DC power supply - see below.

 

DRIVER FEATURES

  • Robust and easy to use.

  • Can drive both conventional bass shakers and electric motor based vibration units directly.

  • Can drive multiple shakers in combination. Provides flexibility for pit builders to experiment. Can drive loads down to 0.75 Ohm resistance so allows for connection of multiple bass shakers wired in parallel, or single electric motor type shakers.

  • Dual vibration input sources:
    1. Real physics flight sim vibration feed for FSX & X-Plane using the BFF Shaker Software.
    2. General audio feed (sound card line out etc) for all games and other audio sources.

  • Vibration input sources can be used individually or in combination in same card - to enhance vibration response across the frequency range (with single combined output).

  • Separate on-board volume controls for each input feed - to allow optimised mixing of the dual input sources.

  • Over-current, over-temperature and load short-circuit protection - employs robust advanced electric motor driver technology.

  • On-board clipping indicator - to set input source volume for maximum non-distorted output signal.

  • Option to use two cards in stereo mode; left/right audio input channel is selectable on-board.

BFF Bass Shaker Driver

BFF Bass Shaker Driver
 

Technical Data Sheet

TECHNICAL DETAILS

  • Input Voltage Range: 12V to 36V DC (do not exceed 36V)

  • Non-clipped power output at 4 Ohm load:
    12V supply: 27W peak, 14W rms
    24V supply: 109W peak, 55W rms
    36V supply: 245W peak, 122W rms
    (Power values roughly double for 2 Ohm loads)

  • Minimum load resistance: 0.75 Ohm

  • Typical max current draw: 6 Amp rms, can be as high as 12 Amp peak with very low resistance loads driven hard

  • Software Input - Frequency Range (3 dB bandwidth): 0.5 to 50 Hz

  • Audio Input - Frequency Range (3 dB bandwidth): 2 to 88 Hz

  • Audio Input - Sensitivity: 176mV pp (62mV rms). Sensitivity can be controlled using on-board volume pot.

TYPICAL SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

 

BFF Bass SHaker Driver System Configuration

 

Typically the Bass Shaker Driver would be used to drive a single Bass Shaker or an Electric Motor vibration unit. However more than one shaker can be connected to a single card to provide a more distributed vibration output in a sim pit. The vibration feed would be from the BFF Shaker Software for flight sims, and/or from a PC audio line-out for other sims or from other audio sources.

 

BFF Bass Shaker Driver

Testing with a ButtKicker Advance and 36V PSU

In the case of FSX or X-Plane flight sims the two vibration feeds can be used together. The card has on-board volume controls for each feed so allowing optimised mixing of the inputs. The allows the vibration output to take advantage of the strengths of each source to give more complete coverage across the frequency range.
 

The output current capacity of the card allows loads as low as 0.75 Ohms to be connected. This makes it possible to connect more than one bass shaker wired in parallel. The vibration feed to each shaker will be the same in this configuration and can provide a more uniform distribution of vibration across a structure.

 

Dual cards can be used in a two "stereo" channel arrangement - see the image below: the cards have on-board left/right input selectors for the audio feed. Additionally the BFF Shaker software (V1.2+) can be run in dual-instance mode (two copies at once) and can therefore drive each card in a dual setup with different vibration tuning but from the same flight sim source.

 

BFF Bass SHaker Driver System Configuration - Dual cards 

 

 

Power Supplies


The range of bass shakers and electric motor vibration transducers that the card can drive is wide, and so the power supply requirements can vary considerably from setup to setup. If you are only driving single small/medium sized bass shakers then fitting a full size PSU may be unnecessary, driving low resistance electric motor type shakers may need more current at normal voltage, whereas driving larger higher resistance shakers may need more voltage to generate the output current and so power required..

 

The following are suggestions for PSU’s..


Meanwell NES-150-24:


This is a 24V 6.5Amp PSU suitable for driving single or small numbers of the smaller to medium sized Buttkicker units or similar sized bass shakers.


Meanwell NES-200-24:


A 24V 8.8Amp supply which will give a bit more current capacity for driving single lower resistance electric motor based vibration transducers.


Meanwell NES-200-36:


This is a 36V 5.9Amp supply. The higher 36V voltage will allow bigger power outputs to be generated for larger 4 Ohm (or higher resistance) transducers.


Meanwell NES-350-36:


This is a 36V 9.7Amp supply which should be able to cover most of the power requirements for the BSH-DRV-1 card in a range of set-ups. Overkill for smaller systems though.

 

 

 

SOFTWARE

 

For more information on the software see the on-line user guide. The existing BFF Shaker software is being upgraded for the new card, and I hope to look at providing racing sim versions of the software in addition to the current flight sim version.

 

The BFF Shaker software drives the vibration output of the system. It extracts live flight data from MSFS or X-Plane and calculates the vibration amplitudes, frequencies and mixes to send to the Bass Shaker Driver card. The vibration outputs change as the flight state changes.

 

It is important to note that the vibration output is not derived from the audio output of the flight sim as it is in conventional rumble units. Each vibration component (engine, runway, bumps, shudders etc) is calculated by the software in response to live flight conditions and events. This allows better definition of individual vibration effects and greater control of the relative strengths of the effects.

 

The tuning for the vibrations is set using the software (click image below for details). Typically each continuous effect (eg engine running vibrations, runway rolling vibrations etc) has a basic gain (strength) and frequency setting. Additional settings provide control over the mix of waves used for each effect, randomisation of frequencies etc, Where appropriate, settings for max and min levels and scaling effects are provided. In addition settings are provided for one-off or repeated discrete events such as touch-down bumps, engine start/stop shudders, semi-random runway bumps etc.

 

The settings are saved in .cfg files so your setup for particular aircraft models or types of aircraft can be kept separate.

 

Pop-up help tips are provided in the software which can be used to learn more about a specific setting.

 

V1.2 or later of the Shaker software can be run two copies at once - this allows two vibration feeds that can be used to drive separate Shaker Driver cards but with different vibration settings.

 

The software can be used free of charge for personal, non-commercial projects. For use in commercial projects please contact me.

 

 

 

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