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Building Resources

Building Resources

Here you will find tips and tricks designed to save you time, money and frustration

Wormdrive Backlash

All worm gearboxes are going to have some backlash, for lubrication purposes, and the longer the lever CTC the more noticeable the free play is.

A slight positive weight pre-load on the levers, rather than a perfectly balanced rig, will help make the backlash a little less noticeable.

Linear actuators are an alternate and are more efficient and you can build your own: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/faq/diy-linear-actuators.248/

This is about average wormdrive backlash and the greater the lever CTC the more noticeable it will be:

Credit @noorbeast: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/bastiuschas-2dof-project.10083/page-4#post-146320

Protecting PSUs

Most use one PSU per motor to avoid issues.

Some use diodes to protect PSUs: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...er-supply-dps-2000bb-a.6709/page-3#post-76105

Here @BlazinH suggests using a bridge rectifier instead, with @insanegr kindly confirming the wiring: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...ors-mms-and-arduinos.6948/page-31#post-117116

You can alternatively wire a bridge rectifier to double its stated amperage capacity with the only trade off being that the power supplies are no longer protected if you mistakenly connect its power leads backwards: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...ors-mms-and-arduinos.6948/page-31#post-117151

How to choose potentiometer

Both standard potentiometers and Hall Sensors are commonly used in DIY motion simulators.

With Arduino, prefer 10k pots


See the comments here regarding choosing a potentiometer or Hall Sensor: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/how-to-choose-potentiometer.8251/

See here for different ways to mount and protect potentiometers and Hall Sensors: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/faq/how-to-connect-protect-a-potentiometer.13/

Modify electric jack motors for sim use

How to attach levers to wormdrive gearboxes

Wormdrive gearboxes can be hollow shaft or solid shaft, so the approach to attaching levers is different.

For solid shaft gearboxes that are keywayed @noorbeast suggests the easiest way to attach a lever is to grab the correct sized and length Mild Steel, Black Oxide Plating Rigid Couplings, which have the keyway and grub screws, and just weld the lever on the end: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/using-chinese-actuators.7304/page-3#post-86033


As @Nick Moxley explains with hollow shaft motors you can use the correct sized threaded rod through the hollow shaft and weld nuts to it to secure the levers: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/using-chinese-actuators.7304/page-2#post-85902


Traction Loss

Traction Loss (occasionally referred to as Drift Axis) refers to a motion simulator mechanical implementation of sway using a pivot point at the front of a frame and wheels or rollers at the back, which allow a controlled motor or actuator to move the back of the frame left or right through an arc.

For games plugins that support Traction Loss it is normally set in SimTools as Extra1, see here for eaorobbie's summary: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/axis-settings-for-traction-loss.5847/#post-61523

If you are looking for some inspiration then here are some example build threads that incorporate Traction Loss:

Pitt linear traction loss: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...wip-surge_sway-table.5276/page-28#post-163879

Boomslangnz: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/traction-loss-slow-break-out-fast-return.5999/

Pit: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/2550w-3dof-seat-mover-traction-loss-finished.5276/

Nick Moxley: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/2dof-to-3dof-diy-seat-mover.5271/

SeatTime: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/seattimes-dc-motor-sim.5024/

See here for ideas for different types of pivots for a traction loss frame: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/different-ways-to-pivot-traction-loss-frame.6641/

@SeatTime uses 150mm each way from centre - so 300mm total, @Nick Moxley uses 100mm each way from centre - so 200mm total and @SilentChill uses a 200mm lever: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/how-much-movement-in-drift-axis.6837/

Tweaking traction loss - slow break out, fast return: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/traction-loss-slow-break-out-fast-return.5999/

Cable Management

Cable management is one of those things that can get overlooked in our excitement to get our rigs moving, but is vital to both safety and ensuring we are not creating problems for ourselves with shorts or crossed wires when hooking up PSUs, control boards and motors.

Here is a handy thread on different member ideas to make cable management as easy as possible: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/chaos-wiring.6310/#post-82068


DC winch motors for motion simulators

Access to affordable DC motors for motion simulation can be problematic in some parts of the world.

One possible alternative to popular worm gear DC motors are DC winch motors. Winch motors are generally universally available and affordable. Check out @Pit's advice regarding the Pros and Cons of using winch motors: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...raction-loss-finished.5276/page-12#post-79142

@Pit has also provided information and this video to show the noise level and responsiveness of winch motors, go to 1:10 in the video where the sound of the simulator is compared to spoken words: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/how-loud-are-winches-video-inside.6934/

Winches can be noisy, here @xytras provides an example of a 2000lb 153:1 winch unloaded, which turns at 32RPM: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...ch-motors-and-steering-boxes.6937/#post-79556

@Ben V took a different route and tested using just the winch motor in conjunction with 25:1 steering boxes with 93 degrees total travel, with the measurered stall torque being 3.5 Nm and the free winch motor speed of 4420 rpm: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...ch-motors-and-steering-boxes.6937/#post-79343


3D Printing

Here is a selection of 3D printing ideas and parts:

See here for 3D printing related threads: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/forums/3d-printing.158/

Quick Mounts For HTC Vive Lighthouses by @Zed: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/quick-mounts-for-htc-vive-lighthouses.11941/

3D printed mount by @CBC_North: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...mover-with-diy-peripherals.12178/#post-163742

3D printed pot mount by @digitalmonk: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/3dof-seat-mover.11103/#post-143599

DIY linear actuator parts by @baykah: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/6dof-sim-linear-actuator-diy-sabertooth-arduino.9392/

Power Entry Module Housing by @Zed: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/power-entry-module-housing.10584/#post-137108

3D printed H-Shifter + shifter & buttons for race wheel: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...shifter-shifter-buttons-for-race-wheel.10379/

JRK underside board cooler mount by @Zed: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/jrk-12v12-overheating.10327/#post-133739

Touch controller mount by @Azel for use with motion cancellation: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...culus-touch-holder-bracket.10355/#post-133717

Pot connection coupling by @Andrew M: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...shield-3d-printed-elements.10325/#post-134013

Wiper motor post mounts by @insanegr: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...ts-sim-related-prints.9057/page-2#post-123997

Vive Tracker mount: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...-vive-and-vive-tracker-a-tracker-mount.10346/

Pot mount, connector and sundry parts by @Azel: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/diy-2dof-made-mostly-of-scrapyard-parts-and-top-quality-electronics™.10326/

Hall sensor mount, mag mount and U joint spacer by @Zed: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/starting-my-own-2dof-rig.10235/page-3#post-132900

And Amp gauge box: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/starting-my-own-2dof-rig.10235/page-3#post-132988

Dsub 15 for OSW builds, submitted by @Nick Moxley: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/dsub-15-for-osw-builds.9385/


Honeycomb fan air straighteners by @Avenga76: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/members/avenga76.10691/


Modified snap on honeycomb fan air straighteners by @HoiHman: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...ermoto-and-arduinouno.6876/page-9#post-114138

Moto Monster ventilated box by @Avenga76: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...ermoto-and-arduinouno.6876/page-7#post-113677


Moto Monster ventilated box with internal fan by @Avenga76: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...ermoto-and-arduinouno.6876/page-9#post-114400


Combined 3D printed Arduino case with dual Motor Monster wings by @stevemontuno : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1510217/#files


Moto Monster slide on 80mm fan holder by @HoiHman: https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...rmoto-and-arduinouno.6876/page-10#post-114424


3D printed file for custom All in one 3 X PSU and JRK Cooler Master Elite Case Mod: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/faq/all-in-one-3-x-psu-and-jrk-cooler-master-elite-case-mod.199/

Download 3D files by @rundmg here: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...f-simulator-conversion.5914/page-4#post-89608


3D quick release steering wheel hub by @RacingMat: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/3d-printed-quick-release.6360/#post-70710


If you like your creature comforts then here is a cup holder and bracket by @HoiHman: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/drinking-cup-cupholder.9103/


Below is a summary of a diverse range of 3D Printed objects made available by @Ville Pesonen in one package: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/2dof-motion-simulator-build.6196/page-7#post-88219

It's basically a mount for a nut that you can screw to somewhere.

Never managed to print this...

Diode Holder:
I used this to keep 2 diodes in place to stop reverse current reaching the PSU's

Gas spring mount:
Part to hold gas spring in place. It clamps around 30x30mm tube

HBridge Holder:
You can screw a cheap chinese H bridge to this

MonsterMoto holder
You can screw monster moto shield to this

Coulus Camera holder:
This part slips inside 30x30mm tube and has a hole in the middle for a camera mount screw.

Potentiometer connector
just a tube that goes over the potentiometers shaft and can be glued to the shaft of a motor

Potentiometer holder:
I used this to mount potentiometers next to the motor. the holes are in line with the motor mount holes. I can't remember the model of the motor that I have...you can find it somewhere in this build thread.
Never used this, but it was meant to hold the psus in place.

little part to hold a power switch in place

What Fuse do you need?

Fuses are cheap insurance.

A simple but effective way to work out what size fuse to use when there are so many different motor, PSU and control board combinations...grab a bunch of different size fuses, started with the larger one and decrease the fuse size until you find the point at which a fuse blows. The one used previous to that is what you should be running.

Credit goes to @Pit and @RacingMat: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...-meter-to-test-current-loads-no-problem.6064/

Or for more precision you can actually measure the current load as @Martin van Hagen suggests with a shunt: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...est-current-loads-no-problem.6064/#post-80950

Guide to setting Feedback on 50:1 and 60:1 gearbox motors


Emergency Stop Switch - Wiring

An emergency stop switch is a useful safety addition to any simulator.

How you wire an emergency stop switch depends a little on what things it is shutting down, see here for details and some wiring options: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/emergency-stop-switch-wiring.5132/

You can also modify a single emergency stop switch for multiple PSU powered circuits, as outlined here by @Nick Moxley and @Archie: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...ountdown-to-2dof-build.6177/page-5#post-71027

For SCN actuators see @nclabs guide to wiring an emergency stop switch: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/scn5-wiring-tutorial.5566/

For VFDs @speedy regards emergency stop switchs as essential, see here for details: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...-ac-platform-it-begins.5141/page-7#post-52043

Find the Center Of Gravity to balance a motion simulator


How to Modify Server Power Supplies as cheap powerful PSUs

Server power supplies are cheap to buy on Ebay and make powerful PSUs to drive DC motors for motion simulators.

The Ultimate Server PSU Thread - cheap and great PSUs successfully tested by members of xsimulator.net http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/the-ultimate-power-supply-thread-for-sim-builders.6793/

This original tutorial by @Slider on modifying HP Server PSUs also contains subsequent posts by @RacingMat and @Nick Moxley on how to modify Dell 2950 PSUs: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/how-to-modify-a-server-power-supply-for-12v.5774/

Even more powerful 2000 watt server PSUs can be modified, as outlined by @Pit, just be aware there are cooling and house wiring safety matters to consider: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/2000-watts-server-supply-dps-2000bb-a.6709/

Some people use 24V DC motors for their motion simulators. Server PSUs can be wired in parallel as outlined here by @benj, but do not ignore the safety warning by @kirk on the same thread regarding not removing A/C ground: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/wiring-server-psus-in-parallel.6251/

How to connect & protect a potentiometer?

You will damage a potentiometer if it exceeds its stops. To avoid the problem @Alexey worked out how to remove the stop and hence potentially save a pot: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/how-to-remove-the-end-stop-in-a-potentiometer.7198/

Another option to avoid breakage is to use highly accurate Hall Sensors: http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/hall-effect-potentiometer.4948/

Keep in mind to prevent applying (shear) forces onto the pot
The best way to achieve this, is to mount the pot's support onto the motor itself.
@dedas made a simple solution to connect the pot to the axle of the motor by using a piece of rubber hose (oil) with 2 clamps.
Its flexible and works fine.

@Pit advises the use of standard "elastic coupling" or "flexible coupler" with @Nick Moxley recommending these:




erwan960.jpeg Erwan960 (2).jpg Erwan960 (1).jpg

@bsft : Also on the back of a motor shaft, I set up in this case a single turn 360 deg pot so if the lever goes over, the pot doesnt break.

or with gears to use the full range of potentiometer
bsft2.jpeg bsft3.jpeg


@eaorobbie suggest (if enough room), a simple lever connection:

or this from this post:

@RacingMat : it's important to avoid applying forces on the potentiometer. The bracket has to be flexible! and mounted on the motor itself
racingmat.jpeg racingmat2.JPG

@noorbeast :
noorbeast.jpeg manually M8 tappered shaft

- with potentiometer, if you wish the best resolution, you have to gear!
- but with hall sensor (contactless potentiometer) like 6127V1A from BI TECH/TT ELECTRONICS,
you can choose 45° (90°, 180°) giving equivalent resolution but without gears
(Resolution: 0.088° for 360° travel, 0.011° for 45° travel )


You can solder connecting wires directly to the pot pins, with a video tutorial being found here:

Alternatively you can crimp a small slotted blade connector around the pot pin then solder, as @noorbeast explains here: http://www.xsimulator.net/community...ttach-to-these-pin-terminals.6892/#post-78217



linear to circular F.B. by @speedy ...
Concept :
converting the linear 2m. tape movement into a circular rotation that can be measured by the 10 turns FB pot ...
Components :
-2 m. spring measuring tape .
-10k Ohm 10 turns pot .
-Suitable dial knob for the pot axle attaching .
-Hot glue gun [epoxy resin is preferred] .
step 1- after taking apart the tape ... make a big hole of a bigger diameter than the knob on the "spring free" plastic side .
2014-09-29 03.51.04.jpg
step 2-
spare the plastic center hole for reattaching the "center spring screw support" back in place .
2014-09-29 04.30.54.jpg
step 3-
[ The tricky part ] cover the center with a little grease [ Vaseline ] ... Glue the knob centered on top of the rotating wheel " Note that the center screw is fixed to main stationary body and will not be glued with the knob " ...
2014-09-29 04.39.09.jpg
step 4-
Attach and Aline the metal tape start point to the actuator mechanism and calibrate the FB pot turns to the motion range correct length ...
Then tighten the FB axle to the knob side set screw ... then you'll have a linear to circular F.B. that can be used in any place
If you like going into corners in your actuator design use an old adhesive wheel support to corner the metal tape .
Use busted measuring tapes for decoration.8_thumb[6].jpg Tejphållare.jpg


Wiper motor => mandatory ground isolation

Follow the advice of @bsft or you will fry your Hbridge
ground isolation is mandatory!

it's mandatory because with 2 motors connected to ground, when the Hbridge will drive one motor reverse and the other forward, the 12V and 0V will be connected together through the structure
-> short-circuit!

@bsft: from here
With wipers, a large passenger car is usually good or a small truck , but use 12v for 12v. DO NOT USE 24v motors on 12v, all you do is half the speed and half the power. Waste of time.
Yes you do need to earth isolate the metal body of the motor as well.

Follow @eaorobbie picture:

@insanegr: from here
in your case as someone said before you have to find which is ground - low speed- and high speed and mark them.(you don't need low speed at all only high speed)[​IMG]
then test with a multimeter(buzzer Ω) that you don't have any contact between the case (body of motor) and three cables.if you don't hear anything you are OK if you hear the buzzer on the multimeter you have to isolate the motors.
1.get your motor [​IMG]
2. open it [​IMG]
3. find the brush that's connected on the body [​IMG]
4. cut it [​IMG]
5. solder a wire directly on the brush [​IMG]
6.close it and you are done [​IMG]

DC motors shopping list

China - 12V24V worm small gear reducer motor 250-350w 25A available in 25:1, 30:1, 50:1, minimum order of 5, FOB Price: US $80 - 90 / Piece, Shipping to: Worldwide



WG73BD76-1 Getriebemotor 73mm 2-24V 80W 30Nm 180U/min
cost EUR 54,95 + Shipping: EUR 16,99 DHL Paket International | More Details Location: Engen, Germany Shipping to: Worldwide

USA Bodine 42A3BEPM-E3 12 Volt VDC 41 RPM 5/8" HIgh Torque 23 Amps
cost US $57.20 + shipping cost


Canada Worm Drive Motors, 12V DC, 150-160RPM 25:1
cost US $99.99 + shipping cost



Canada Worm Drive Motors, 12V DC, 75-80RPM 50:1
cost US $99.99 + shipping cost


UK Worm Drive Motors, available Left & Right hand, 12V DC, 80RPM, Peak Torque: 30Nm, Gear Wheel Material: Delrin
cost GBP 65.00 Approximately US $103.21 + shipping cost




Worm Drive Motor 12V/24V 200W, 180 RPM, 20Nm Torque
cost AU 109$ + shipping cost

SWF VALEO NIDEC ITT 404.458 gearmotor 24V DC 12N.m irreversible
(for reference only because it's discontinued now)

12/24V 350W 22.5Nm Torque Ratio 50:1 (others available)
cost varies depending on specs, see here for some indications of cost and shipping: $155 - $210 depending on specifications.

Winches on ebay
cost 65$ up t0 100$
Do not use winches with more than 2000lb! (750 Watt) = 60A current, 120A peak
IMPORTANT: read here

www.ebay.com search item