Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dirt Rally VR, Shon's Car Mechanic Simulator

Dirt Rally VR

  • One of the main reasons that I bought a Rift was to play driving games and they finally released a patch to add VR to the game.
  • I can easily say the best VR game that I've played.
  • They took their time and fully added VR support, this isn't some half-baked addon, the update was over 10G so it touched nearly every file in the game and it shows.
  • When you start up the game you are in what looks to be a tire with a huge screen in front of you showing you the intro video and the menus.  It's really slick, Codemasters has always done a good job with their menus.
  • Since this is VR there is a possibility that you may get a little motion sick so they rate each track with a comfort meter.  I tried the lowest level and after 2 races I did feel a bit of motion sickness but after I played the game more I haven't experienced that feeling again.  Your body should adjust to VR it might take a bit of time.  
  • Once the race begins and you are in the cockpit of the car it just feels awesome.  Looking around and seeing your co-driver with their cheat sheets as they start telling you about the race is just cool.
  • While I was revving up the engine I looked down and they drivers leg was matching my motion of the gas pedal.
  • The actual racing feels perfect, I'm able to really get a feel for the track and can hit corners much better and also the sense of speed and motion is greater so you can make subtle gas/brake adjustments quicker.
  • My first race I hit a water puddle and it completely obstructed my view and as soon as my wipers swept across my screen I saw a fence post and plowed right into it.  It was an intense moment as I thought I was really there.
  • The graphics look really nice, it still has the screen door effect but I really don't notice it at all since the tracks are full of curves and the environment envelopes the track.  I noticed it much more in Assetto Corsa since you can look far off into the distance.  There is a trick in the Oculus debugger that will allow you to increase the pixel density that will make the games look better with the cost of performance.  I haven't tried that yet but will in the future.  
  • I am really impressed with this version of the game and it has made my track times much better.  
  • Kudos to Codemasters. 

Serpentine Belt

  • Speaking of cars my serpentine belt broke yesterday and I attempted to fix it myself.
  • I had been hearing scraping noises recently and thought I was me running over something in the road.
  • Nope it was my belt just shredding to pieces.
  • I can say that I am grateful for a praying mother as the belt finally broke when I was backing out of my driveway returning to work from lunch. If this happened while I was driving.....
  • I had to walk to the parts store and luckily one is really close but the Levy hill is a bear to climb. 
  • I picked up my belt and got a 19mm socket for the tension rod but bought the larger socket version, First mistake.
  • On some of the videos they mentioned that you can take off the front passenger wheel to make it easier.  As I was taking off the lug nuts one of the bolts broke off. Yay!  Second Mistake.  
  • There are 6 different pulleys that I have to wrap the belt around so that takes some time to get the cable on 5 of them. Once that is done I tried using the larger socket and just knew it wouldn't fit.  I was right, I could get the socket on but not the ratchet.  
  • So I walked back down to the store and exchanged the part, No price different though!!!
  • Get the socket on and pull the tension bolt and there is not enough torque to get the belt on.  I find a curtain rod that fits over the ratchet and use that to help pull down the ratchet, but it's still not enough as the rod hits the car frame. 
  • Now I'm wondering if I got the right belt.  I walked to another store which was farther away and the belt I had was the right one, but I was able to rent a serpentine belt toolset. Third Mistake. 
  • I carry that back home and it doesn't even have a 19mm socket, so much for a complete kit.  It does have a larger bar that I can use, but it's too long and just like the curtain rod it hits my car.  
  • I did try a small wrench that I could attach to the ratchet but it was difficult to grip but I did press it down quite far but just not enough.  
  • I did this for about 2 hours and still wasn't convinced that I had the right belt.  It just didn't feel right that I had to press down that hard.  I knew it had to be tight but this was ridiculous.  None of the videos seemed this tough.  
  • I look over at my battery and notice that one of the arms of the  positive post clamp has broken in two.  Third Mistake. 
  • One video I found mentioned taking off part of the engine bracer so that I could get a better angle at the tension bolt.  
  • As I was trying to remove the bolts the car came off the jack.  Fourth Mistake.  
  • I get it hoisted back up and now probably I messed something else up.  
  • It was around 6 at this time and I was tired so I got cleaned up and was going to get a pvc pipe to use as better leverage the next day.  
  • I just couldn't stop though, my girlfriend came over and took me to another part store and yes I did have the right belt,  Arrggh.
  • I went to Lowes and got a PVC pipe thinking this would be the finisher.  
  • Got back and used the pipe and it's still not enough leverage.  I am really pressing down this tension bolt and fear I might break it, Fifth Mistake.  
  • JK I didn't break it. 
  • It was 10pm now and I'm just about to give up and I thought I'd try one more time with a different pulley I hadn't tried.  
  • It was under the car but somehow I managed to get a lip of the belt over the pulley and from there able to get it fully on.
  • I started the car and the belt moved the parts and I was ecstatic.
  • I put the tire back on with 4 lug nuts hoping that would be enough.
  • I fixed the battery clamp barely.  The fly nut in the package was too big for the bolt provided.  Luckily I still had the old one. 
  • It was 11 now and I took anouther shower and just sat in my recliner listening to music and drinking water for about 45 minutes.  Half falling asleep I dragged myself to bed and was sore all over. This had been a long day.
  • The total cost.  $60 and 10 hours of hard labor.  
  • I love my job.

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