Building your own Racing Simulator Dashboard with some Arduino and VB.Net

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Today's Hardware Friday post is kind of thing that many gamers lust for, a hardware extension for their simulator of choice, be it as complicated as a airplane cockpit in their garage or something a little more approachable like a DIY hardware dashboard for your racing simulator.

DIY Dashboard


The dashboard I’m posting here have the following features:

  • RPM lights
  • Gear indicator
  • Pit limiter, rev limiter and low fuel indicators
  • 5 general purpose switches and buttons
  • 1 rotary encoder for dialing

I bought all the components that I needed (with the exception of the Arduino itself) in a regular electronic component shop. You can see the parts list below and it’s also included in the RAR file at the end of the post. The total cost of this project was about U$ 27,00 excluding the Arduino (43,00 brazilian reais) and was really fun to do it. For it to work, I had to assemble everything into a perfboard, code the Arduino firmare to receive the data from the computer and light up the whole thing and also code the server software that grabs the data from the iRacing API and send it through a USB serial connection to the Arduino.


In the pictures below you can take a look on how it looks like inside the dashboard. I don’t have much electronics and soldering experience so it turned out not that beautiful, but hey, it works! You can also see the schematics for all the electronic components.



I’m releasing all the schematics, parts list, source code and firmware for this project. In the RAR is included:

  • VB.NET source code for interfacing with iRacing API, Arduino serial port and PPJoy DLL
  • iWrapClient.dll and PPJoyDLL.dll (I coded it too, but I’m releasing only the DLL)
  • Arduino source code ready for upload to the board
  • Schematics
  • Parts list

You've got to love the Windows 95 cup. I've got one of those somewhere I


As he promised the rar includes the schematic, parts list and the code;



If you've wondered what it would be like to add a "real world" interface to a game this might be a good weekend project for you...

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