Cammus 15 NM Direct Drive Wheel Base – Review

Sim racing racing has become very popular over the past few years, which is no secret. Since Cammus entered the simracing market, another intriguing player has joined the already amazing and stunning projects and goods that have just hit the market. Shenzhen CAMMUS Electronic Technology Co., Ltd, also known as Cammus. 

Cammus 15 NM Direct Drive Wheel Base Review

It’s a Chinese firm that specializes in automobile technology. Mr. Hu, a vehicle enthusiast and engineer who established Cammus, began working on an electronic accelerator pedal at the time. Since then, numerous items have been created, and the necessary benchmarks have been attained. For instance, Cammus created the Windbooster Titan, a fully electric supercar, between 2014 and 2016, and in 2017 they unveiled their first totally electric Go-Kart. With a clear aim to create a comprehensive ecosystem with steering wheels, wheelbases, pedals, accessories, and a cockpit for a sim rig, Cammus entered the simracing industry in 2021. The GT1 DD Bundle, which consists of a direct drive wheelbase and a circular steering wheel, was the first piece of hardware that Cammus had made available for testing and assessment. What we did in response to this will not come as a surprise.

The Cammus GT1 DD Bundle that we are reviewing can be purchased at the Windbooster webstore owned by Cammus. The bundle’s final suggested retail price is $999.00, but as of this writing, it can be purchased for $698.00 with a 30% discount.

What's in the package?

FedEx delivered Cammus’ shipment to us in just under a week. One white shipping box held three neatly designed product boxes with the Cammus logo in total; one box included the appropriate button box and fast release, one box had the steering wheel rim, and one box contained the wheelbase. The (big) power supply with a European plug, a bag with mounting supplies and a USB cable, as well as a sizable flag bearing the Cammus logo, are all included in the wheelbase box.

We like to see that all of the parts are carefully wrapped using polystyrene foam. The USB cable is the only thing we might want to change because it now comes in the same bag as nuts and washers, increasing the risk of harm to the USB connectors. Therefore, this cable should have been packed separately. We are overjoyed with the degree of security and the packaging used to convey everything. Even though it is irrelevant for safety, we are always thrilled to see branding on product boxes since it makes you slightly more interested in the beauty that is waiting for you inside. Which is worth mentioning that we paid 25% in import/VAT to receive the bundle because of the origin of the shipping. That adds up price from $698.00 + 25% = $872.5

This completely depends on the country and rates may vary.

What the wheel has to offer?

Unpacking the Cammus GT1 DD Bundle offers a very positive first impression. The steering wheel is quite light but feels very solid despite not having a button box yet. With small finger nooks at 12, 3, and 9 o’clock, the faux leather upholstery fits the steering wheel quite comfortably. The yellow stitching adds a beautiful finishing touch, and the 12 o’clock mark, which is large at more than 1 cm, looks great. This is also a full-size steering wheel, which we measured to have a 33 cm diameter and believe adds value for a realistic experience.

Cammus Features

It initially feels quite wonderful to install the button box on the back of the steering wheel. The housing has a layer of carbon fiber on the front and is composed of black anodized aluminum, which undoubtedly improves the appearance. Two straightforward push buttons are located to the left and right of the button box’s top. A continuous toggle switch on the left and a momentary switch on the right are also present at the bottom, along with a rotary encoder on the left and right that can also be pressed. 

The top push buttons are a little more disappointing than the rotary encoders and toggle switches. Simply put, pressing these push buttons produces no good response and they have a very poor feel. Additionally, the colors accentuate the strange texture of these buttons, which makes them stand out from the rest of the steering wheel and button box. The bright colored buttons give off a slightly infantile impression, despite the fact that the entire steering wheel and button box feel decent quality and appear very slick.

We immediately become enthused about Cammus’ decision to install magnetic shifter modules in the button box. The magnets utilized seem a little on the weak side, the paddles seem rather light, and there is a lot of noise at initially. We also believe that the shift paddles’ 3 millimeter thick carbon fiber construction is a good touch for this button box. The paddles can also be somewhat modified by moving them outward a tiny bit. Unfortunately, the depth, or the distance between the paddles and the steering wheel, cannot be changed. We haven’t driven yet, but our initial impression is that the paddles are close to the steering wheel; nonetheless, we will later test this in actual driving situations.

The steering wheel-mounted Quick Release and the button box feel incredibly sturdy and rigid. An added bonus is the built-in button, which you can press to secure the ring in place after removing it from the Quick Release. For your Cammus GT1 DD wheelbase, you can also purchase separate quick releases from Cammus to enable the use of aftermarket steering wheels. Since this is a standard 70mm Quick Release, your options for steering wheels are not constrained. For those who might want to start within an ecosystem without wanting to be restricted to that, this bundle makes it interesting.

The Cammus DDWB Wheelbase is the last. It has an industrial Direct Drive servo motor with a maximum torque of 15 Nm, but we were unable to locate any comprehensive technical details. What a massive object, at least at first glance, is the wheelbase! We won’t go overboard, but the wheelbase is unquestionably large. Its height and width are also noticeably large, and its weight on the wheelbase is unquestionably enormous. Furthermore, it is challenging to move it from a flat surface because of its weight and the square shape at the base of the wheelbase. The black anodized aluminum housing, however, feels quite sturdy and, in overall, we think it looks fantastic. On both sides of the wheelbase, there is a T-slot rail that you may use to side-mount the Cammus DDWB on your simulation setup. There are four screw holes for attachment on a wheel deck from below at the bottom of the wheelbase.

The push buttons, rotary encoders, and toggle switches on the front are identical to those on the button box, about which we also agree. An advantage is that the wheelbase’s on/off button is discretely placed inside the housing and operates with a satisfying click. There are numerous inputs and outputs towards the back of the wheelbase, including those for additional shifters, pedals, a handbrake, and an emergency stop. This directly supports Cammus’ goal of creating its own full ecosystem. Of course, the power supply input and USB output are also located on the back.

Mounting Cammus Direct Drive

The steering wheel, button box, and quick release are simple to assemble and require only alignment, screwing, and tightening. On the front of the steering wheel, don’t forget the ring with the Cammus emblem. I had to drill a few more holes in the wheel deck because Cammus is a new brand in the sim racing industry and this sim equipment has no mounting alternatives. If your sim rig doesn’t indicate compatibility with Cammus, you might want to keep this in mind. As previously indicated, if you have a sim setup with aluminum profiles, side-mounting using T-nuts is also an option.

It’s time to set up the required drivers and software now that the Cammus DDWB is connected to the sim rig. On the Cammus website, you may find them as well as the instructions for the wheelbase and steering wheel, the PC program, and the firmware upgrade. Although the installation process will include some Chinese texts and pop-ups, such as those for a USB driver, you must blithely accept them because the software is totally in English. Apart than that, installation is a relatively straightforward procedure, and we had no issues quickly updating the wheelbase’s firmware.

Software

The “The Cammus PC App” software developed by Cammus initially pleased us. The software has nice visual appeal and provides only the fundamental features you would reasonably expect. The connected Cammus devices can be tested and calibrated when you launch the Cammus PC App. Additionally, you have the option of saving your presets, allowing you to create numerous configurations for various games, automobiles, or uses. Basically, the software performs the same functions that you would anticipate and may be accustomed to from other steering wheels and wheelbases.

The actual wheelbase settings are OK, but not nearly as detailed as you would find with Fanatec or Simucube, for instance. Of course, you can adjust the force feedback range (Power) and intensity of the effects in the Cammus PC App along with the wheel rotation (Effects Ratio). The Damper, Friction, Inertia, and Idle Spring can all be adjusted using four additional choices. Even if these settings are largely self-explanatory, you can still press the question mark in the window’s upper right corner to read a detailed explanation of the results. You may read here how changing the value of an effect will affect how your Cammus wheelbase behaves as well as what setting would be preferred in various scenarios. These succinct but powerful descriptions are, in our opinion, the perfect supplement for individuals who want to modify the behavior of their wheelbase to their personal choice but may not be fully conversant with the technical side of it. We do believe that in order to make this information more readily available, the button for it could have been more obvious.

The ability to install the Cammus App on your smartphone, scan the QR code on your wheelbase, and modify your wheelbase’s settings all from your phone is a good touch for Cammus. You may first see how to link your phone to your wheelbase and then how to use it in the Cammus App User Guide. As soon as you’re connected, you may access your wheelbase settings and make in-the-moment changes to the settings. Additionally, you can change between the profiles you’ve set up on your computer. If you can’t or don’t want to alt-tab while racing, this technique works well in practice. Our observations suggest that the app or the bluetooth connection to the wheelbase may not always be reliable. Sometimes it’s difficult to access the settings, and other times we do, but after a short while we’re returned to the home screen. The ability to modify your wheelbase’s parameters while racing is undoubtedly a nice addition, and we even find it to be very helpful when creating your initial presets when using the Cammus GT1 DD Bundle for the first time. But if a situation called for it, we personally wouldn’t rely on this app; instead, we’d definitely alt-tab to get to the settings quickly and reliably.

Force Feedback

We decided to drive with the Cammus wheelbase’s factory default settings for our first experience, but we quickly learn that doing so is useless. Due to the high values on the Damper, Friction, Inertia, and Idle Spring on which the wheelbase is set by default, the steering wheel feels very heavy, slow, and sluggish when the settings at default. We consequently come to the realization that we will need to edit the settings first in order to change the wheelbase ourselves and produce force feedback that seems real. Obviously, the subjective nature of the force feedback experience makes it unlikely that everyone will find the same setup to be most comfortable. 

We’ve found a nice arrangement after experimenting with the Cammus software for a while. In general, we set the Damper to zero, the Power and Effect Ratio to maximum, and the remainder to zero. We want a powerful, unadulterated feeling of the wheelbase where we also had access to the complete range to feel the strongest effects and peaks of the maximum 15Nm of force. Then, in Assetto Corsa, we reduce the intensity of the force feedback for each car to avoid clipping and to alter the severity of the effects according to the car. In theory, we change the wheelbase such that the entire range is available for Assetto Corsa to use, and we let the game determine as much as it can of what we experience through our steering wheel. The aforementioned Damper, which we somewhat engaged in the Cammus App to filter out slight vibrations and vibrations felt through the steering wheel, is an exception to this rule.

Conclusion

The Cammus GT1 DD Bundle has pleasantly impressed us. We had a positive first impression right away; the DD wheelbase, with its black anodized housing and hefty weight, feels extremely competent and robust, and the steering wheel has a really clean, polished appearance. All of the material selections are first-rate, and the branding on the boxes adds to the whole Cammus experience.

The DDWB Wheelbase is a little awkward to handle due to its weight and design, but once placed on your sim rig, we think it looks fantastic. Impressive forces can be produced by the DDWB Wheelbase, and with a maximum torque of 15Nm, we believe Cammus has positioned themselves well with this wheelbase. The Cammus wheelbase’s default settings are not very useful, but by creating a nice preset and correctly calibrating your in-game force feedback, you can bring out a lot of detail and precision in it. The power of the Direct Drive motor, the force feedback, and the smooth sensations are this wheelbase’s three main strengths.

In my opinion, the Cammus GT1 DD Bundle’s steering wheel is really enjoyable but not quite perfect. The steering wheel has a 33 cm diameter, which makes it quite pleasant and controllable. The high-quality, incredibly soft fake leather upholstery doesn’t stick to your hands while you’re using it. With red stitching and a red 12-o’clock mark, the steering wheel is beautifully completed. Additionally, the small finger recesses increase comfort a little bit. However, the standard buttons, which are likewise on the wheelbase, are weak and insensitive, and it is clear that there is no D-pad or quirky switch. It can be challenging to work the controls during frantic racing moments because of how far away they are from your thumb due to the size of the steering wheel. When turned and pressed, the rotary encoders feel much better.

The shift modules and shift paddles are our top material picks, and we couldn’t be more pleased with them. We are usually excited about magnetic modules, and the 3mm thick carbon fiber paddles feel extremely good and high quality. Although the paddles feel quite light and generate a lot of noise when shifting, the magnets in the Cammus steering wheel shifter modules are rather weak. Additionally, downshifting (extremely) quickly, as is common in Formula 1 cars, is not optimal. The paddles, in our opinion, are excessively close to the steering wheel, and regrettably, they are only adjustable in width, not depth.

Another benefit is the Cammus Quick Release, which feels incredibly solid and does not bend at all. You can draw the ring toward you and click it into place using the button on the handlebars. Additionally, Cammus sells additional 70mm Quick Releases so that you can mount aftermarket steering wheels on your Cammus wheelbase. This is perfect for anyone who don’t want to be reliant on an ecosystem.

Overall, with the GT1 DD Bundle, Cammus has taken an aggressive move to enter the sim racing market. They are also developing pedals, a handbrake, a sequential shifter, a sim rig and chair, among other things. With our knowledge, Cammus is unquestionably a player to watch, and we eagerly anticipate hearing more from them in the future.

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