I’ve wanted to give making a dashboard for my sim a go for ages. As it turns out it’s really, really easy to get started. All you need is a tablet or a mobile phone, your sim PC and Simhub.
SimHub is a clever bit of software where you can add external hardware to your simulator including dashboards to bass shakers, and lots of homemade stuff with Arduino. It’s actually pretty mindblowing how powerful Simhub is, and how many problems it solves.
Here’s a quick demo of an old Nexus Android tablet running Simhub:
Actually doing this is so easy it’s almost unbelievable.
How to make a quick sim racing dashboard with Simhub and your tablet:
To make a sim racing dashboard with your tablet, install Simhub, select your simulator platform, then head to Dashboards and click start on whatever dashboard you want to run.
Simhub auto detects when the simulator starts to run.
Then open a browser on the tablet (being sure that it’s on the same network as your PC) and head to the IP address that Simhub gave you when you started the dashboard.
Here’s the step by step:
Once you’ve installed Simhub, open it and select your racing simulator software from the “Games” list:
Next, open Dash Studio. There are lots of available dashboards, all free. So it’s easy to get started. Choose one and click start:
When you start a dashboard, select the “To a phone or tablet option” in the drop down. This popup appears:
Take the IP address including the “:8888” (the port number) and open it in a browser on your tablet. It might not work the first time (which is OK we’ll get to that). If it does work you’ll see a screen like this:
From here, just select your dash and make the dashboard fullscreen with the options that appear at the top of the window. Your dash is now ready and will sprint to life when you open iRacing (or whatever sim racing software you use).
If the browser can’t open Simhub it’s probable that Simhub doesn’t have the permissions to open an external network connection. The fix is simple: open Windows Firewall and click “Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall”.
You’ll be given a list of apps in Windows and a set of checkboxes next to each app name which gives permission to access the network. Find Simhub and click both checkboxes to the right:
If you’re running a slightly older version of Windows, your firewall options might look like this:
Once you’ve OK’d the firewall settings, return to your tablet and refresh the browser. That’s it – a quick and easy racing dash for your sim. If you’re having any further issues, try this useful troubleshooting guide.
RGB Rev lights and gear shift indicators
Of course, Simhub is extremely powerful and can do an awful lot more than dashboards on a mobile phone. Here’s how to make a DIY RGB rev light cluster for your sim racing simulator using Simhub and an Arduino.
Here’s how to make a DIY gear indicator display for your sim again, using Arduino and a dot matrix display: