Wesley Kagan’s PorscheKart project returns with a new Arduino-powered F1 steering wheel
As part of his ongoing PorscheKart project, YouTuber Wesley Kagan wanted a better way to steer his V12 custom-built race car, as the previous wheel was simply a mechanical linkage to the front steering. Instead, this new version would closely mimic the layout and functionality of an actual Formula 1 wheel, complete with all of the buttons, dials, switches, and the central screen.
The base of the wheel was formed from a laser-cut sheet of aluminum while the surrounding grips were painstakingly 3D-printed out of TPU filament. For the electronics, Kagan decided to use a pair of Arduino Micros, which were split between handling button inputs and driving the display, while an Arduino Mega 2560 gathers sensor data and sends it as a string to the two boards. Because of the limited number of pins, he wired each of the three rotary switches’ output pins to a differently valued resistor, thereby letting the analog input on the Micro know which position is selected by the incoming voltage.
The final steps of building this upgraded steering included connecting the 3.5” LCD screen to one of the Arduino Micro boards and wiring everything together with the help of a couple harnesses to minimize the mess. However, creating the graphics program proved to be a challenge due to the limited space in ROM for storing all of the draw function calls, which is why Kagan plans on eventually swapping it out for a static image that has the values filled-in. To see more about the project, you can watch his build log video below and read this blog post.