When I built the Simucube direct-drive wheel to replace my Fanatec CSW v2, I used Bluetooth as a temporary solution to get the paddle shifters working, but what about a permanent solution? And getting the rest of the buttons and LEDs to work?!  Enter the Bodnar-Fanatec USB Conversion PCB…

When I disassembled the steering wheel, I noticed a bad soldering job on the circuit board — pins 3 and 4 are lumped together.  🙁

Oops! Bad soldering at the Fanatec factory.

Oops! Bad soldering at the Fanatec factory.

Fixed! Thank you solder wick.

Fixed! Thank you solder wick.

 

Step 1:  Add Pins to the Bodnar PCB

My goal here was to make it so that I could return the Fanatec Formula Rim to factory condition, in case I ever upgrade the wheel or decide to sell it.  Bodnar does sell a solderless version of the board, what what fun would that be?!  So, step 1 was to add some pins to the Bodnar PCB so I could connect some cabling.

Bodnar board with pins soldered for top, bottom, and USB.

Bodnar board with pins soldered for top, bottom, and USB. Be warned, he top pins are a smaller spacing than the USB and bottom pins.

 

Step 2:  Fix Connecting Wires to the Bodnar PCB

I used a couple off-the-shelf components for wiring, plus some simple 1-pin wires I had laying around.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember the specs on the 8-pin connector (smaller, closer pins than the bottom and USB connections).

Using an off-the-shelf USB connector

Using an off-the-shelf USB connector

Apologies for the blurry photo, not sure what happened there.

 

Wires connected and a little hot glue to keep things from shaking loose

Wires connected and a little hot glue to keep things from shaking loose

Step 3:  Fix Connecting Wires to the Fanatec PCB

I used some 1-pin jumper wires for the 6-pins at the bottom of the board. For fit and finish, would be nice to find a 6-pin connector, but the biggest I had in my spare parts bin was for 5-pins.

6 wires connected and hot-glued in place

6 wires connected and hot-glued in place

 

Careful, make sure that the correct pins are connected

Careful, make sure that the correct pins are connected

Step 3:  Re-assemble and Test

My 70mm-52mm adapter is too big and prevents re-installation of the plastic covers.  The  bottom one would be nice because then I could put a bung in and that would make the USB connection cleaner.  Instead, (not pictured) I passed an electric tie thru one of the spare bolt holes to cinch it into place and prevent stress on the wires & pins.

Reassembled, could be a bit tidier, but not bad

Reassembled, could be a bit tidier, but not bad

 

Suppliers:

  • Bodnar-Fanatec USB Conversion PCB: http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=236