Bento Box Bits of everything

31Jan/120

Dayton 240W Sub Amp + Clark Synthesis TST209 = omg

The old Yamaha amp couldn't handle driving the two transducers at 4ohm anymore- it just clicked off when any signal starts to feed the shakers. It's ok though- it was only a matter of time till I wanted a proper amp to drive them. What a huge difference the Dayton Audio SA240-B 240W makes. I had to wire the transducers in series in order to get them to work (great tech support from parts-express)- no more L/R effects- L/R was too subtle to make the distinction anyway since they were both mounted close together.

The chair is now pretty much a body massage chair now. Songs with thumping bass feels like a punch to the kidneys. Awesome to sit it in it and let the music wash over me. Have yet to try it with a driving game, but I'm sure it's just as amazing.

19Mar/110

More transducing

I swear I'm finally done with the race cockpit. No more. Total embargo on any other accessories for it. Cacao to race seats.
Added another Clark Synthesis TST209 for full left/right channel effects. Now I feel effects from both sides of the car when playing GT5. Another bonus is how thrilling it makes playing FPS games. Grenades and explosions are really jolting and startling. More people should experience this 'third dimension' of sound; gamers and home theater enthusiasts especially. It's pretty cheap and gives great bang for the buck.

5Mar/113

Final piece of the project – Clark Synthesis TST209

I thought I was done with the race seat and would be satisfied but then I read about tactile transducers and I caved. This whole race seat thing has become an obsession/addiction. Like a never ending project where I'm trying to get the immersion and fun factor as high as possible without breaking the bank.

For any one who came here via Google looking for information on the Clark Synthesis TST209... just buy it. Especially if you're looking to add it to some kind of gaming chair/setup, it's a no-brainer. This thing kicks ass. I haven't tried a Buttkicker yet but I'm completely blown away by the Clark unit. More impressions below.

During my research I didn't find any pics of a Clark unit being installed so here's some.

Comes in a plain box:

Unit is heavier than I expected. It's a little over 5lbs and feels very sturdy.

I used the mounting plate to attach it to the bottom of my race seat:

Stripped the wires and added banana plug couplers to the seat (attached using velcro)

All put together, view from the inside:

Final set up (coincidentally finished the game and got the end credits):

Setup notes:
Installing the unit was a breeze. I ran into a configuration snag where I couldn't figure out why the pre-outs and audio-outs on my Yamaha RX-V667 weren't sending any signal to my older Yamaha receiver. I suspect it may be a decoding issue where the receiver won't decode the signal to the pre-outs or audio-outs. The work-around was to use the optical out from the PS3 to the 2nd receiver and also set the PS3 to do multi audio output (HDMI & Optical). So now the 2nd receiver is getting 2-channel audio which is fine by me since I didn't want to use the LFE (I read on GTP that many game related audio frequencies were higher than normally carried by the LFE channel). Another snag. My receiver is capable of a 4ohm load, but only on the main speaker channels. The Clark unit would only be plugged into the right channel speaker output. Work-around was to turn the balance knob all the way to the right channel and hope for the best. Works decent enough. Tweaked with the treble and bass knobs as well to get the desired feel. Some effects were a little weaker on the left side due but barely noticeable.

Conclusion:

So after all this setup, what was it like racing with the Clark Synthesis? Glorious. A huge grin came over my face when I first chose a car in GT5 and the engine roared through my body. It felt like I was really inside the car starting it up. I immediately disabled all BGM sounds in the game so I would only feel the car sound effects and not any thumping bass or jazzy melodies from the music. (A side note, I tried listening to some music before gaming and while it was kind of cool, it felt a little gimmicky. Like sitting on a huge speaker, because some frequencies are audible from the unit, not just felt). During the race itself, I was able to feel the road and the bump strips when driving over them from either side of the car. I could "feel" the roar of the engines of other cars around me. The constant buzz from your own engine adds to the immersion. And slamming into walls or other cars is jolting enough to want to avoid doing again. Adding this unit to a race seat adds a whole new level of immersion to the game. I actually felt a little more tired than usual after playing an hour, probably due to all the new sensory feedback I was getting. Once you get this transducer in your home theater or gaming seat, you'll have the same feeling I have where you want to tell the world and show all your friends.

Update:
Added another transducer

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17Jan/110

DIY IKEA TV Riser

Needed to raise my TV about 6-8" and did tons of research online and it seems most HT guys make their own out of MDF. Since I'm not very handy, I decided to try to look for an IKEA solution. I got some inspiration from how other people made monitor stands out of shelving and legs so off I went.

I used Ikea's NORRTORP shelving since it is solid pine (the EKBY JÄRPEN was my second choice, but it is MDF), and 6" CAPITA legs. With the shelving and legs, the TV was raised 7", which is perfect for my GT5 set up and for general viewing. The total cost was $70, but the NORRTORP set comes with another shelf so I can use that for another project.

I temporarily fastened a second set of legs in anticipation of getting a new center channel speaker to place under the TV. This way I can rearrange the legs later to make sure the legs don't get in the way.

The next project will be to route the cables cleanly. Here's how it looks now: