Are there any Lifetime problems with Simucube 2?

I was very happy with my change from Fanatec CSW 2.5 to SC2 Sport after long waiting end of last year. It was easy to install and working fine, until I got increasing problems with a flickering electrical contact and no wheel function. During warranty I had to send it back to my dealer, he confirmed the problem and sent it to Granite Devices for repair.

But now I am already more than 4 weeks out of wheelbase and the only information from Granite Devices to my written questions is, that “with the summer holidays there has been some accumulated backlog in our factory’s service queue”. And with my request number 269 now I fear, that too much devices are still waiting for repair and I can’t use my simulator.

Should I go back to Fanatec to their new DD, it would be available for me and for their price I could buy two parts so I would always have one spare part available? Although I did not have such problems with Fanatec in the past.

Every experience and comment welcome!
Michael from Germany

Technical problems are always a possibility, but reacting by buying two units of the same kind only means, that you pay for something that you don’t need most of the time (and probably/hopefully you will never need it). So basically, you spend money on nothing.

In general, the SC2 is not known for causing many problems. And the thing for you obviously is not, that you should be worried about the lifetime, but that right now you have to wait for a maybe quite simple repair. Nothing points towards similar problems in the future.

If you are not willing to wait any longer, you can replace the SC2. But be aware that you could have issues with whatever you buy instead as well and right now nobody can tell, how reliable the CSL DD Base will work over time. Furthermore, it offers a lot less power, so you would get a “smaller” wheelbase.

If it was my decision, I would be impatient as well, but besides this I can’t see a reason to give up on the SC2. Not yet, after a single problem. If the Fanatec base will satisfy you, if you will like it as much, as the SC2 Sport, is uncertain.

Wow sorry to hear this Michael and If you are number 269 in a queue and GD have a backlog because of holidays that has left you without your wheel for 4 weeks then that is very poor business planning on their part. The Simucube wheel comes at a premium price and I would think they should promptly hire more staff to deal with the workload to shorten the turn around times on repairs.

I don’t think you can define how long the waiting queue is based on your ticket number… who knows how many of those tickets have already been finished, it’s porbably just a continous number since the start of their system. And it might also include tickets for their other business parts as well, so it would say nothing about the SC2 quality either.

Having to wait several weeks still sucks of course. How long did you already own the wheel? Was there no possibility to change it for a new one?

Hi Michael

I noticed your message here and thought to investigate with our Support about this. It seems to be that for some reason your product and one other product that arrived to factory on the 4th of June 2021 have not been yet inspected and repaired/returned. There are 2 products that are delayed in the process (and those now have increased priority).

We have from time to time noticed this issue and we will fix this issue in our rma process so that turn around times will have fixed time window in which the product must be returned (calculated from its arrival to factory).

Just to clarify a bit, the RMA cases are in the big picture rare and for quite some time we have unfortunately had our blind eye turned to the matter, but we are improving the situation and have hired more personnel to the support and RMA issues to handle those cases in order to improve support experience. In the near term we will focus on standardizing the turn-around times from factory to the client / distributor. Once the standardization process is done, these sort of variances in the service are expected to if not completely disappear to be very rare instances / nuisances to the end-user.

Also about the RMA number tied to your case, it is support case number, it does not mean that we have hundreds of devices pouring in to be fixed. Support ticket number can be created for several reasons that a customer wants to contact our Support. Also for those who wonder that how the number can be so small, well, the support system was recently changed / updated and numbers started (after the platform testing period) from a small number.

We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this has caused to you.

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Hi Tommi,

thanks a lot for your explanations which are well noted. Even Marko from your support team just emailed to me about the progress in this matter and now I become optimistic a little bit.

After my change from Fanatec to SC 2 last year I sold all my Fanatec equipment and suddenly I was out of wheel base and missed iRacing’s Season 3. And when my SC 2 arrived to your factory on the 4th June my delivery date to my dealer had been 2 weeks earlier. This is SRB and unfortunately they are no longer your dealer and their service for my orders had been so excellent in the last years, that I didn’t want to keep them too busy in this case …

My proposal to you or your dealer in such warranty cases for the future is not only an incoming conformation to the end user, but an estimated service date too and if necessary (delay) a short weekly update.

Everyone knows the delivery problems for electronic parts currently and some times you have to wait for month for devices. And than short informations to the customers keep them nearly pleased …

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You are describing almost exactly the pieces of the puzzle that we are now establishing. It is not a good situation at the moment, but via the new support workforce and the new support ticket system, we are already well on our way to improving things.

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Given the nature of the poor service to Michael_Grellmann and the market segment of the sc2 line I really would hope for better customer experiences than this.

I expect many customers take sim racing very seriously and after this level of neglect the minimum I would expect would be some small gesture to try to rebuild customer trust.

Michael, I currently have a DD1 and a CSW2.5 - A friend has a Simucube.

Within a week of getting the Fanatec DD1 I noticed issues with vibration and notchyness. I’ve now had the DD1 for a year, And there are still issues with the firmware - the DD1 has a fancy screen, which was supposed to show things like actual force values during use, but the firmware has been broken for more than a year and fanatec advises not using those screens to avoid erratic jolts in the feedback. All of this is really not something the average consumer should have to deal with in a $1000 product - can you imagine getting a new iphone and finding major flaws in it’s design and broken software that still isn’t resolved a year later?

The DD1 was so bad that I picked up a CSW2.5 AFTER I had the DD1 to see if I would prefer the smoothness of a belt drive. (Thankfully the CSW is very smooth and doesn’t have the notchyness nor the vibration problems the DD1 has, but at the same time it’s not as ‘quick’ either and the force feedback lacks the precision you get from a direct drive)

I’ve only just gotten to try the Simucube Sport this past weekend - It was everything I thought DD should be. As smooth as the finest belt drive system, with quick, immediate feedback of a direct drive. No sense of vibration when gripping the wheel tightly. Force Feedback was as good or better than the DD1.

In my experience, going from a CSW 2.5 to a simucube would retain all the smoothness of the CSW and add the immediacy of direct drive. Going from a CSW 2.5 to any fanatec DD would be a tradeoff - your wheel will vibrate, you’ll feel notches as you steer down straightaways.

I’ve always heard good things about Granite’s support - and I like the response they’ve given here - no company is perfect - but openness and honesty go a long way to me. I’d advise you to stick with them - I believe your simucube is better than anything fanatec has to offer.

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Hi Jack,
thanks for your reply.

From technical point of view the SC2 is benchmark for me too, no doubt, but being without wheelbase for nearly two month frustrated me totally.

However today I got Granite’s confirmation about finishing the service. And the failure is a broke of the female plug probably due to stretching the e-stop cable too tightly. If so, this would not be a warranty case but Granite will send it out without charge due to this long service time. Now it seems to come to a good end for me until end of next week …

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Love the honesty and non-corporate typical canned responses.

Ultimately I didn’t have a lifetime problem, only the service took a long time: Outsending the defect SC2 on 25th May to the dealer, getting back today from Granite.
However looking forward to use this excellent wheelbase and I will close this thread.

I have been doing long-term reliability testing for Granite Devices for more than a year now, on a base Ultimate controller, which uses same electronics as R1 SC2 Sport. SC2 Pro had small additional circuitry for the 2nd psu, but drive-electronics was also identical.

Tero and Mika made a custom firmware so I could test the electronics on a very big AKM 65L servo, but driving electronics up to 40A POS, ~50% higher than on Sport, about 40% higher than Pro, and close tom30% higher current than on Ultimate.

I designed adapter plate for the electronics, and other than custom firmware to accommodate my non-standard servo, it is what you would find on the SC2 back then. I have been abusing these electronics as much as I could, it has never even derated torque, not to mention any failures. Admittedly, the big servo runs cool and acts as a massive heat sink, but even after t-6 hours continues operation around Le Mans during the 24hr, it never went more than 5deg C over ambient.

The SC2 series has by far the best electronics I have yet tested in DD wheel world, and I have tested all. Servos are also very good quality, highly efficient and actually very much under-driven. If Granite wanted to, they could have added vents to the design, and even convection cooling would have allowed extra torque to be realised.

Active cooling would raise the upper limit a fair bit.

Together with Mika, we once tortured a SC2 Sport servo for some hours at full torque, I think it was scalding hot at the end of my driving, but it performed as expected. Of course, as with everything else, there will be some premature electronics failures here and there, but MTBF for these devices will be the benchmark for the rest. If I could not break it, I doubt anyone else could.

Here is my test-horse with 65NM capability, from standard SC2 controller - click for larger photo. Servo shaft visible behind the QR coupler is 32mm dia, to put it to scale….

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Yes yes, yours is bigger than ours … now zip it back up :rofl:

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Very impressive test results, no doubt. Electronic and function are benchmark.

My thoughts are going now to the mechanical interfaces: If you are using only one sim rig for race and flight, you have to switch between flight yoke and wheel base quite often. And plug and unplug power supply, estop etc. every time. For these cases one short common fix cable with circular vibration-proofed plug outside the SC2 with industrial quality could give more mechanical safety against broken plugs. But maybe this using case is not so often, but then an additional adapter cable could be offered by Granite to avoid too often interface plugging/ unplugging. How do you think?

Lols @SiPo - been a long time, what’s up?

@Michael: For sure I would not recommend regularly connecting/disconnecting the power and e-stop cables, those are molex-style connectors, good quality ones at that, but they have a finite life-time. I am not sure what that is, hopefully Aki Korhonen can chime in on that.

But for your use case, if it was me, I would certainly be tempted to make up cables as you have suggested, but the connectors between both sets will be sacrificial, so be ready to replace them at some point. Because of very low volumes, I would think one will have to diy.

This brings up a good point - is the only real use case for these in a rig? I’ve been thinking of getting a simucube but it will be for desktop use - It will need to be disconnected and re-connected each time.
Is this a bad idea?
Any rough guess as to how many connects/disconnects the power cable can take before causing issues?

These can be used on a desk as well, if it is sturdy and well secured, many guys are using the Sport this way.

Let’s ask Tommi or Aki to answer on the daily connect/disconnect matter, as I suspect longer term it will be problematic, doesn’t matter which dd wheel you buy. The quality of components used on the SC2 series is high-end, but at some point, you will have issues with the mechanical connections on the power and e-stop pins.

Like mentioned earlier, if I was you, I would make sacrificial cables.

@Tommi/Aki?

In my case I’m using a sim-rig not made from profiles, but having a CFK body similar a real race car but with only one race seat and moved body with triple screen. The space between screen and wheelbase is limited. Because I’m racing (iRacing) and flying (MSFS 2020) I had been changing SC2 against Logitech Flight Yoke once per week (as well as Heusinkvelt against Logitech pedals). And after app. 6 month I had a broken plug at the SC2 which was serviced from Granite on a goodwill base now, but I am afraid without design change this could happen again.

I wasn’t able to buy SC2 Pro or Ultimate because of limited space. But I’m really pleased with the shortest SC2 Sport and even use static force reduction with full torque. And I would like to invest with the “saved money” in a additional sacrificial cable as already discussed, which could be replaced as often as necessary. This cable should end into a connector similar to a car/ trailer connection and in my opinion then could be used without any life-time problems. And because there is already some flex between male/female plug interface on my SC2, I would prefer to stick together such a sacrificial cable with 2K-glue on my wheel base side.

Would be great, if Granite could offer such a cable for special uses in the future.
How do you think?

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Unfortunately, whatever you buy and has a problem that you can’t solve yourself will take time to get fixed. When I was looking for a F1 wheel I had the luck to run into VPG Simlab Ltd. I then asked what they recommend me towards DDs. I was lost, maybe Simagic? Their answer was: Simucube2. I know you want to keep on racing. But if you rush now you throw your whole philosophy over board and, on top, spend extra money we which you could use for a top wheel instead. Because of summer holidays you would be in the same misery with almost all companies, regardless of the business they are in. Wish you luck :four_leaf_clover: