Well, the time has finally come. I’ve wanted a simpit for a very long time now. I have drawn up many a plan, and considered the intracacies of all of my, potentiall, conflicting demands. Worked out that my DIY skills are sadly lacking, but my ambition knows no bounds…not a good combination! I’d even started saving materials for a potential home build cockpit. In the end I recognised that I was never going to be able to do it myself. Back in January 2017 I was stuck in bed, sick, Googling simpits. YouTube gave me some interesting videos to watch and I discovered the Obutto Ozone, R3volution and a number of different Playseats. I weighed them all up, I decided that I wanted the R3volution, but that it wouldn’t fit and it was out of my price range. I looked at the Playseats and they just didn’t do what I wanted them to. In the end I decided I’d leave the idea as, with still young twins, it was unrealistic and not a priority.
11 months later and here I am, having meaured up and worked the room so that it will fit, I have an Obutto Ozone with the Thrustmaster Warthog mounts and the Acryllic desktop. I’ve managed to find a wall-mount for my Apple Thunderbolt Display on eBay and I’ve got my Gametrix Jetseat. I think I’m all set for, what I hope is, the most immersive experience I can get.
What were my requirements?
I wanted a simpit, primarily for flight simulation with a secondary interest in racing games, but it needed to be versatile enough to be used for FPS type games and as a workstation. I wanted to be able to centre mount my Thrustmaster Warthog stick and keep the stick extenstion attached. I wanted a seat that would be comfortable for extended periods, and I wanted a better seating position than being at a desk in a normal office chair. It had to be sturdy enough to last me for the long-term and a lot of use.
Why did I choose the Ozone?
As I mentioned above, I had looked into a range of options, not just on the one day on YouTube either. I had e-mailed a couple of the companies to clarify a few points – which meant I ended up ruling them out. I’d found as many reviews as I could and read excruciatingly long forum threads to glean every scrap of information that I could find.
In the end the Ozone would fit in the space that I have available, it would allow me to mount the monitor on the integral stand, it came with a racing seat, it was adjustable and it had mounts for the Thrustmaster Warthog. The final selling point was the ability to be able to use it for work, especially with the desktop. The only alternative that I could find that offered more was the Obutto R3volution; and that wouldn’t fit in the space I have available. While the R3volution would have been a better workstation it would not have offered me significantly more than the Ozone. Although I have an interest in racing games it is not my priority and the upgrades that make the R3volution stand out, such as the articulated keyboard and mouse tray, are available as upgrades for the Ozone.
The Ozone seemed to tick all of the boxes I had from my list of requirements.
What can I say about the packaging? Other than there is loads of it! Everything is wrapped in bubble wrap, lot of it. I think I have a life time supply now. It is very well protected and there is little change of damage to your simpit.
In all honesty the assembly was very straight forward. The printed instructions aren’t worth the paper they are written on, but the YouTube video more than covers it. However, it’s pretty easy to work out without any instructions. I would say, though, that my build isn’t finished. I still think I need to move bits around to make it the finished product. That’s the great thing with the Obutto simpits. They are customisable. I have been able to mount my warthog throttle and stick, I have also attached the CH Products Throttle Quadrant to the ‘shifter mount’ and got it out in front of my throttle.
The seat is excellent and I have found the foot position to be really good, though I think I need to adjust the pedal tray still. I have found the Ozone to be far more comfortable to sit at than a desk, even for working. The monitor is at the perfect height, the seat is adjustable and it, almost, feels like you have your feet up. It’s not the easiest thing to get in and out of when you have all of the peripherals attached, but that’s because I have put so much on – and I don’t really want to have to put them back on and off each time I want to use them.
Having bought the mounts for the Warthogs throttle and stick the Ozone is very compatible with my set up. I have been able to mount my 27″ Apple Thunderbolt Display to the VESA mount without issue, I have managed to fit my pedals – though I don’t think I will ever get Crosswinds to fit…so they may have to come off the wish-list! It’s also been really easy to sort out cable management. I bought a load of Velcro cable ties and they’ve keeping everything in place. If I hadn’t done this I have found that it is easy to get a foot caught in the cables and pull something by accident!
The biggest issue for compatibility was for my room…It fitted in the space that I had made for it perfectly; until I added the keyboard tray. That made it a lot wider than I had allowed for (when it was put to the side). The keyboard tray has to be pushed to one side while I have my stick attached as it is a centre mounted, not only that it can not go completely across when the throttle is attached as it hits the throttle. These are minor points (as I don’t use the keyboard while flying, but it did mean having to shift everything in my room around. I may look into getting the Revolution keyboard arm as it is more flexible, but this is a way off yet. I would also say that the acrylic desk top sits closer to you than I had expected from the photos. It is also very close to the monitor, so I will see if I can adjust this a bit more – I’ve not had much of a chance yet. I would also say that although the mounting options for the desktop are up to you, I would prefer if it had just come pre-drilled so that it could be screwed on to the wheel mount. I’m not overly confident about attaching it with dual sided tape or Velcro as they have suggested. However, as mine is still stuck in France I have not had a chance to try it out yet…thanks TNT!
This is a first impression, so I will write a more detailed review (with better pictures!) once I have had a chance to use it properly and I have all the accessories in the places that I definitely want them. First impressions are good. The construction is solid, it was easy to put together and it is very comfortable for me to sit it, I will add that I am 6’4″ tall so that’s a massive bonus for me.
It is not perfect, however, I can see why the keyboard/mouse tray was changed for the Revolution. It needs a bit more flexibility in the range of movement. The tray itself is great and it is height adjustable too, but it does not fit well when you are using accessories like the Warthog – I know I’ve not helped myself by having a 10cm extension on it but it gets in the way! I’m unable to give a conclusion about the desktop as I have not received it, this is through no fault of Obutto or the distributors it’s purely the delivery company leaving the package in France – thanks again TNT! What I will say is that the wheel mount is closer to the bottom of the monitor than I had anticipated and I think that, if I put anything on it, it’ll be in the way of the screen; I don’t know this yet though. One thing to add is that I have not adusted the position of the monitor yet, but I will be aiming to raise it. The biggest downside to it is that I am unsure how to mount it yet. I have not decided. I would like to be able to bolt it to the wheel mount, but that means drilling both the desktop and the mount. This is where I would prefer it to arrive pre-drilled. When I write the full write up I will be able to pass on a proper conclusion on the desk mount.
All in all I am happy with the Ozone, I think it will enable me to sit at my computer for longer in more comfort, it’ll add to the immersion in flight sims, with the proper seating position and support for the peripherals that I have. Combined with the Rift and the Jetseat I think I’ve just about got to my perfect set up (as home technology currently stands!)