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2DOF Compact Seat Mover Using Winch Motors and Steering Boxes

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by Ben V, May 31, 2015.

  1. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    Thanks @bsft, I'll proceed with that aluminum frame for the seat as planned.
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  2. bsft

    bsft

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    Hang on, you asked about fibreglass integrity of a seat, not the aluminium of a frame?
    I only use steel on my frames, aluminium too expensive for me
  3. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    I use 5mm aluminum plate as my seat base and that is OK for the pivot and 3DOF connection supports, but it is supported by the substantial built frame of the seat I use.

    Check what you are doing for flex once fully mocked up. If there seems to be any than add a reinforcing base plate, which would add substantial rigidity to your existing angle aluminum frame.
  4. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    @bsft I currently work in a fab shop that deals with mostly aluminum, so it's easier for me to get than steel. I had aluminum in mind primarily for the weight savings on the moving parts of the simulator. My concerns about strength were only for the seat itself when using just the 4 bolts near the bottom to attach it, for the aluminum frame is easy to reinforce if it flexes too much.

    @noorbeast is your 5mm plate just a flat piece to transfer load from the seat frame to the pivot? I'm hoping my 3mm plate will be stiff enough with the bends and added aluminum angle which will all be welded together.
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  5. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Yeas mine is flat plate but my seat has a substantial frame so that adds a lot in terms of rigidity, including the front bolts of the uni passing through the flat steel of the seat frame and the aluminum plate.

    Seat frame:

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  6. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    The simulator is just about ready to start moving! Thanks for all the help I've gotten along the way, this project would not have been a success without it.

    I'm having some difficulty getting a USB to DB9 serial adapter that works with Windows 10. Has anyone else had trouble with this? Most of them seem to only be compatible up to Windows 7.

    The motor couplers worked out quite well. I just marked the holes by holding a hex driver up to the end to be able to judge 120 degrees. I had to drill a couple holes in the winch motor to be able to tighten the screws on the couplers and align the shaft with the gear boxes.
    20150823_163451.jpg 20150823_163459.jpg 20150823_163557.jpg

    I used epoxy to attach some small pieces of 1/4" bolt to the output shaft of the gearboxes. I'm going to be clamping on a piece of quarter inch hose to couple the hall effect potentiometers to the shaft.
    20150823_181015.jpg

    The aluminum frame fits nicely over the u-joint. I drilled the mounting holes out to a large size so that I could put rubber washers in there and isolate the vibration of the Buttkicker to the seat as much as possible. I haven't figured out how to mount the Buttkicker to the seat yet, as I got the gamer edition and it just has a clamp.
    20150824_183612.jpg 20150824_183643.jpg 20150824_183737.jpg 20150824_183957.jpg

    My test pilot is ready to go, and I'm ready to move my focus to the electrical portion of this project!
    20150824_194834.jpg
    • Like Like x 8
  7. momoclic

    momoclic Active Member

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    Construction très robuste, bravo...

    Construction robust, well done ...
  8. Daguru

    Daguru Rally drivers do it in the Dirt

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    I do love me some Ali Tig:thumbs well done
  9. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    Thanks @momoclic and @Daguru. The TIG is my favorite way to weld when it comes to aluminum!
  10. mariano68

    mariano68 Active Member

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    I'm looking forward to hear it working :):cheers I really like the idea.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    The seat now moves under its own power! The auto-tune cycle on the Kangaroo x2 went through without any problems. I rode along for a second auto-tune, and I am quite happy with the speed and power of the motors. However, I am having some serial communication troubles.

    Dimension Engineering provides DEScribe software for manually adjusting the parameters of their Kangaroo x2 controller or Sabertooth 2x60 driver, but I can't get serial communication working between them. I have connected it according to their documentation:

    Kangaroo ----> DB9 serial port
    S1 ----> Pin 3 - TX
    S2 ----> Pin 2 - RX
    0v ----> Pin 5 - Gnd

    My DIP switch settings are:
    Kangaroo
    1 - ON
    2 - OFF
    3 - ON
    4 - ON

    Sabertooth
    1 - OFF
    2 - OFF
    3 - ON
    4 - ON
    5 - ON
    6 - ON

    I ended up finding a USB to serial converter from Startech that is Windows 10 compatible. I also tried connecting a serial port directly to the COM1 header on my motherboard. Neither one worked for me. I tried inverting the TX and RX pins as well, just in case.

    Additionally, I tried using SimTools to send serial data to the Kangaroo using this tutorial by @BlazinH, also with no luck.

    Any suggestions what to try next? I have emailed tech support at Dimension Engineering, but I haven't heard back yet.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  12. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    One more update.

    I swapped out the Kangaroo x2 for an Arduino and used @Wanegain's code to get things up and running for now. I'll get this thing parked in front of my wheel to do a bit of tuning and then upload a video for everyone to see the progress!
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    Here is the first in-game test of the simulator.



    I haven't spent much time with the tuning yet, but this is what my axis assignments are in the video, with the addition of DOF 4 set to sway. The axis are currently limited to 50% of their travel.
    Axis Assignment Screen.png
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  14. mariano68

    mariano68 Active Member

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    Congrats! Looks powerful!
    I think it would be better to start tuning from sway and surge instead of roll and pitch.
    Looks like there is no sound from the winches and that is great by itself!
  15. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    Thanks @mariano68. I'm glad I ditched the gear train that came with the winches; they were very loud when I first tested them. The clanking in the video from the linkage came out louder than it seemed in person. If I have the volume in the game turned up to a comfortable level, I hardly notice the noise.

    I'll play around with surge and sway some more. The bumps felt about right, but I was expecting the chair to lean more with acceleration, braking, and cornering. Do you know if there's a way I can turn that up without also making the bumps feel a lot harder?
  16. mariano68

    mariano68 Active Member

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    I'm not an expert at all, but iirc, usually, bumps comes from heave, cornering from Sway, acceleration and braking from Surge.
    motion_surge_sway_heave.jpg
    images.jpg
  17. ferslash

    ferslash Active Member

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    why did you use the sterring boxes??
    to improve you motors toque?
    is'nt the motors alone enough?

    -- by the way, how did you solved your pedals ans stearing wheel, are they mounted in a separated table or inside your gimp?

    best regards

    fer :D
  18. Ben V

    Ben V Member

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    @ferslash The winch motors came with a 153:1 planetary gear set when I bought them which would have had plenty of torque. However, my noise concerns encouraged me to ditch the entire gear train and start over with my own. The motors alone had 3.5 Nm of output torque, with the steering boxes I got that up to about 75 Nm.

    I haven't set up my wheel and pedals with the chair yet (I used an Xbox 360 controller in the video), but I have a plan where to go next.
    Enclosed Sim.jpg

    I'm figuring on building a wooden frame about 20 cm high that will be a base to support everything. The steel frame of the seat assembly will be bolted directly to the frame, and the wheel and pedals will be on some kind of a slide system. I'm leaning towards using one of those worm screw type car jacks and a power window motor for power adjustable pedals, but I haven't figured that part out quite yet. The screen will be on a separate stand or possibly wall mounted.

    With some vent holes and a fan, I figure I can mount all the electronics in the base part out of sight. I'm planning to enclose the power supply, motor driver/controller, a subwoofer, usb hub, Buttkicker amp, USB sound card, and power bar. My goal is to have only two cables exiting the simulator, one power and one USB.

    Once all that is operational, it'll be time to wrap all the exposed surfaces in carpet or vinyl to pretty it up a bit!



    Back to a couple of earlier concerns...

    I heard back from tech support at Dimension Engineering. Their DEScribe software does not get along with most Prolific USB to serial converters, which is the chip that is in my Startech adapter. Also, it requires TTL, which motherboards usually don't support. So, I have ordered the DeLink 2 directly from Dimension Engineering. Hopefully in a couple weeks I can put the Kangaroo x2 back in and see how it works.

    I hooked up an amp clamp and an oscilloscope set to graphing multimeter mode today. I was surprised how low my power consumption was! Using Dirt Rally, under very similar conditions to the video, these were my observations:

    10 A / 120W - Driving along a gravel road with minor bumps
    20 A / 240W - Hitting obstacles along the road (bigger bumps, small fences)
    42 A / 504W - Driving off a cliff at full speed

    I've read in other threads about simulators overheating server power supplies. However, according to what I measured today, I should be able to run this off a 600W desktop computer power supply. Do these numbers seem right?
  19. Nick Moxley

    Nick Moxley Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Why are you Limiting so much travel on the Engine ?

    Have you read about the 20% and tune it method ? 60% on the actual Axis and limiting it 50% in the filter's doesn't make much sense.
  20. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    I like the design very original and with some tweaking you will get it moving well :) Well done :)