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6 DOF from scratch

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by Pierre Lalancette, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    The bridge diode is a good Idea. Thanks @Gadget999
    @SilentChill have you the model of your LED PSU, just in case, so I have an idea of what could work (and I am too lazy to look it up in your thread. Come on, it`s my birthday. :) )?
    • Funny Funny x 1
  2. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    I know @SixDegreeOfFlight did, but he's not active anymore on the forum. These are the information I could get about it.

    What he used:

    X-Plane 11 6DOF motion platform

    How it's wired:



    Final result:

    X-Plane 11 6DOF motion platform
  3. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    Today was Chaos!

    I started yesterday, when I got some fixture for the wires and diode's bridge to prevent back current. The bridge are rated 1000v and 50A. They should do.

    IMG_2116.JPG

    Unfortunately, it did not prevent the power supply from tripping, but the fixtures made nice wire bundles.

    IMG_2117.JPG

    The 31th of December, I was waiting my brother in law to check on the quad. It didn't want to start lately. And I told myself that I would be going to check LED power supply at a local distributor after. But just before my brother in law arrived, I got this:

    IMG_2118.JPG

    I told myself that if I received it in 2019, I would be happy. I am happy. But since my computer is set up for the rig, I won't be able to test it after I tested LED power supply.

    IMG_2119.JPG

    The Quad needed a new spark plug and it was just beside the LED power supply distributor. I spend an hour to get them.
    I was looking for 2 x 12V 25A when the vendor told me their was already a 24V 12.5A, and it was the same price then a 12v 25A ($69 CAD). Same thing, half the price. By all means, bring it to me! Three of them!
    Once home, the first one blew out. It turn out to be only the fuse. Still, I had to go back and replace it. Don't want a defective unit.
    I tested only 2 actuator with one LED power supply. I did unspeakable things to it. Still, once I turned the batteries off, it was still giving me 24V. It did not trip! I know now this will work.

    IMG_2120.JPG

    So it was decided. Its time to say goodbye to the other PSU.

    IMG_2121.JPG

    I will keep one for the 12V, but the rest goes in the miscellaneous pile.

    IMG_2122.JPG

    Like it was not enough on the new year eve, I decided to install my new 1T SSD on my computer. Re-installation of window. I did succeed to play a little bit with the Pimax. It's really nice.
    The cat is there for size references.

    IMG_2123.JPG

    I'm still fighting with steamVR. It doesn't like my 1080 ti. I got my Elite Dangerous to start at least.

    Today, it was Chaos. Happy new year 2019!

    Attached Files:

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  4. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    I think I know why my power supply was not good at all. I had so much hard time to solder the wires at the back, that I used way too much heat and the wires simply carbonate inside the insulation. They dissolved like ashes.

    IMG_2124.JPG

    So I decide to redo all my connection with my new LED power supplies. And I decided to do them properly. I had look before how to do it, but decided it was to hard for my little hands to use the pliers to squeeze the connector. Foolish me. Now my hands hurt like hell, but the connectors are all well done, with just a bit of soldering.

    IMG_2125.JPG

    I stacked the 3 power supplies and I have found a new use for my pucks. They now serve as spacer for my PSU, so air can pass through when I'll add the fans.

    IMG_2126.JPG

    Here it is in action, running 2 actuators. Of course, in the process, I burn another relay. Apparently, there is a direction to the 12 volt connection. You learn everyday, and I've been a lucky son of gun before. I did many run with Live For Speed, hitting walls and tires, the power took all the punishment. I even had a run without the batteries, and the power could not care less. They performed way over my expectations.

    IMG_2127.JPG

    Man, there is so mush connectors, I must have spend about 200$ just for them (but I destroyed half of it). And I need to get some more! But, I like this layout much better.

    IMG_2128.JPG

    It looks messy, but its because the cables are big. It's now a hell of a beast.

    Question: How much power do you guys provide to your motor? From the 255 max power, how much do you need to provide to your rigs? I'm just looking to see if there's much difference between builders, or do we have a pattern that people tend to use.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    Those LED PSU's are bullet proof , I have not had an issue with mine since I swapped over to them.

    I use to run at 235 but recently upped it to 255 just because it did no harm to do so.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Here it is again, with all actuators up and working.

    IMG_2133.JPG

    And here it is when you want to impress the ladies at night. Grrrr!

    IMG_2136.JPG

    And here it is no holding back. Motor power at 255 and no limiting axis. I only set 4 forces. I did not implement yaw and surge, and sway reacts like pitch in this test. Live For Speed, driving almost like in real life and hitting a wall so hard, the car flipped on its side.



    I must learn to set those forces because the way it shake, I kinda scare of even getting close to that thing. I not yet sit on it for sure. This is the next step, making a platform to that booty shaker.
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  7. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    Awesome work @Pierre Lalancette finally maybe light at the end of the tunnel .

    If you can i would use FlyPT's 6fod interface plugin it will save you heaps of time setting axis up. And it works sooo much better than trying to set the axis up yourself :D
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  8. pmvcda

    pmvcda aka FlyPT

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    Well, I was going to suggest the same... :blush
    If you can, give it a try.
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  9. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    I sure will @pmvcda, where can I find this interface plugin and learn how to use it? (I am way too lazy to look for it myself in the faq or anywhere else).
  10. pmvcda

    pmvcda aka FlyPT

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  11. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    My goodness! What is that thing? Good think I can only test it this weekend. I'll need the whole week to learn how to use it. :)
    Thanks. Can't wait to test it.
  12. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    It's so simple I could use it so I'm sure you will be fine e @Pierre Lalancette , it does everything for you. Just get your rug measurement about right and you will be on your way :D
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    Where do I start?

    I got wood (mmm, I think I said something that was not intended), I got metal corner and I tried to figure out how to put this all together. Mechanical, somehow, is as easy for me than quantum physic. This is why I try to do anything else before the mechanical aspect of the rig. But now, I have no choice, and my brain is melting at commit to a particular design. Don't worry, the cover over the batteries is only temporary.

    IMG_2137.JPG

    After a few hours and bad decisions, I finally got my ugly result.

    IMG_2138.JPG

    So It was time to test it out. I use the fantastic tool of @pmvcda aka FlyPT. More on that later as I have only partially succeed to calibrate it. It's not to scale and I have not understand how to get smooth results. But all the forces works great and I had nothing to do for that. I tried to run Live For Speed and just to get out of the garage, the rig was lifting of the ground. I when to the profile and put the main force to 10%. The rig started to behave like a space sim with slow and wide movements. Really strange. I have no idea yet how to set this rig for a rig.

    So, I decided to try it with only the force. Sorry if the video is long, but I was really careful. Also, my screen was just far away enough to make everything hard to see. All this together and you get choppy movements. People may think that I look scared, but really, terrified is more descriptive of my state of mind. I have the mouse in one hand the the panic button in the other. At 3:06, the rig almost start to fly and I hear a strange noise. One of my actuator breaks.



    Also, pulling on one actuator, the tube got out of the middle part. It one of the old white one, when my glue mix was as bad as now. I will fix it later. The weight keeps it in place. The other one, had to be unmounted . After a small panic cardiac arrest, I kicked my but to repair it. It turned out that the ball joint got out of its socket.

    IMG_2142.JPG

    Fortunately, nothing broken. I was able to get it fixed without having to touche to the strap gear system. Great! Here's the system as good as new.

    IMG_2144.JPG

    I also had to repair one relay that had a connection problem. Servicing electronic with or without a seat overhead make quite a difference. I must be wanting that simulator really bad, because with so many problems, I should have quit a long time ago. Pushing on!

    Now, I need to understand the way FlyPt calibrate his rig.
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  14. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    @pmvcda , A few note about Exapod Interface. Great tool by the way. Thanks a lot!!!

    In the installation (Configure Simtools):
    "To install, just drop the plugin dll over the plugins update."
    Maybe say that it is another program. I was trying to find the plugin update into Game Engine, since all images were about Game Engine. I was confuse until I finally found the other short cut.

    In Step 2:
    "Certainly, world orientation should have washout applied (not in the figure) since the rig can't rotate 360º."
    Can you elaborate? I enter something in the washout, and my sim did not explode. I was lucky, cause I have no idea how it works (maybe I should finish to read Simtools documentation).

    You should not add the lastConfig.PlyPt file in the installation folder. I had the same error than SilenChill, with the program refusing to open. No error, no program, nothing. Fortunately, I remember reading about it and I deleted the file. Exapod Interface started right away after that.

    In Step 3:
    "For the FlyPT mode, we can press the "C" button next to default height to perform a rig calibration and obtain the middle extension and range automatically.
    The advantage here is to compare values between actuators and use the smallest one for safety, since all the actuators have small differences."
    I did not dare to press that button. What does it do? Does it drive the actuator until it reaches the limit switch? How can it measure the rig?

    I know we cannot put everything in a interface, but having Middle Extension and Range in the Dimension interface would have been nice.

    What the percentage
    P %
    I %
    D %
    Stand for?

    I guess now, all I have to do is adjust the forces strength for the game with Game Manager and the ranges in Hexapod until it feels right, isn't it?

    Extra cocky demand:
    It would be nice to have a drop down menu to select a game name and get the adjustment for it. I know we can save many configuration under different name, but wouldn't a drop down menu be nice?

    Thanks again for your excellent tool. I still do no have a perfect match from measurements to actual distance, but I still need to adjust the Resolution. We'll get there eventually.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    I had another run with my rig and this time with Live For Speed. Unfortunately, I did not had time to film it. It was smooth and ... Still frightening. I had reduce all the ranges by half in Exapod and set the main force at 50% in Game Manager. I was looking at the static screen on my laptop and not all the forces were set right. I need to test all forces one by one to see how it should feel, and if they are set properly.

    I get the feeling that all there is to do now to adjust is to calibrate the strengths in Game Manager and the ranges in Hexapod. Fligh sim, little force in wide range. Car sim, strong forces in little ranges.

    Then I repaired the unglued actuator. So, no more ride until next weekend.

    As for my design, it is already on the list of changes. It's heavy, ugly, and I get the feeling that the supporting rod for each actuator are starting to bend.

    IMG_2145.JPG

    But, I will use it for now. It's much easier to improve when you actually see everything you screwed up. This what you call experience I guess.
    • Like Like x 4
  16. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    Hiya matey,

    Well done finally after all this time you have a moving working rig :D

    I can send you some screenies of my setup later if you like, might help you out with FlyPT interface.

    You deffo need to shorten the length of the connection rods at the top actuator they will not last long at all. If you can look at some of my pictures in my build thread you can see how I attached mine they have been fine for years now as the old design and the new one.

    Well done your on the final straight :cheers:thumbs
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  17. pmvcda

    pmvcda aka FlyPT

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    I have to update the guide and make it more clear.
    When it's done by the same person that created the software, it's easy to forget that others don't know what we are speaking of.
    Also my English is not good enough to make it clear, but I will try.
    I'm working on the new version with some more features, and I will update the guide when it's done.

    What I mean is that the kind of rig we are using is unable to rotate left/right 360º (Yaw, but also the other angles).
    The games usually use Yaw as the world orientation, so if you are in a car going north and then turn right, and start going south, the rig would have to rotate 180º to the right.
    That's not possible in our rigs, so we have to use washout.
    What washout does is to make the rig return slowly to 0º without you perceiving that movement.
    For example you turn 45º right, the rig would rotate 45º. If you continue in that direction, the rig would slowly rotate left until it reaches 0º so in the next turn right you have the 45º available again.
    In the example I give, I was thinking of car games. I use extra 1 to get the traction loss, more important in driving games, but also use a bit of yaw with washout.
    Using only 20% yaw would produce 9º rotation for 45º in game...

    Yeah, I'm a bit lost here, I have no problem in my PC's. I have to make more tests and see what's the problem.
    I will remove the file from the zip, because she's created automatically, it was just to have a starting config instead of hard coding values on the program.
    Maybe you could see if the file is created on the same folder you have the program.

    The FlyPT mode is only for my rig. Just ignore it.
    I made the software for my rig and then adapted it for other solutions.
    In my rig, I calculate the speed of the actuators on the interface, not on the hardware. That's why you have access to the PID tuning there.
    That calibration button is used only on that mode. I send a command to the hardware and the hardware calibrates the rig and sends back the range of the actuators that are updated on the interface.
    In your case, you have to select: Type of output = Custom binary
    Selecting this, calibration button and PID are not usable.
    PID means: P=Proportional I=Integral D=Diferencial
    You calculate the speed from these components. In your case, you have to adjust this in the SMC utilities


    In Simtools, we just need to pass the pose to the interface.
    You can mix something there and apply washout filters or other filters, but keep it simple.
    Axis1a will always be sway for the interface, so any mix you put for Axis1a will be considered sway for the interface.
    I was mixing Extra1 to sway to make the traction loss in car games produce a rotation around a point in front of the rig.
    The idea was having extra1 in yaw, produces a rotation on the rig, if I add extra1 in sway, besides rotating, it moves left or right, so the rotation point will be at the front.
    Just making it confusing..... You have to try for youself.

    Now in the interface you can change ranges and filters live. I'm adding gain also on the new version.
    For a racing game, I would be using short ranges and no filters.
    For a flying game, longer ranges and maybe smooth the actuators applying a low pass filter.

    Hmmm, Ok.

    It's in the interface.
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  18. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    Thanks.

    Shorten the connection rods is squeduled asap. The rest of the platform is squeduled for a full change when I'll know a bit more about what I'm doing.

    Any information on how you do thing is welcomed. My rig is greatly influenced by your. Sorry for the poor immitation.

    Also, detail pictures on how you attach your seat to the top of the actuator would be really nice. Those long arm are tricky, my seat is lower, no place for joystick... Grrr! You don't become a charpenter at your first try. I'll keep on looking at the picture on your thread, over and over again.
  19. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    @pmvcda Thanks for the detailed explanation. It is really helpful.

    Adding the gain in Hexapod's interface will be a blast!
    Can't wait to get back to it.
    Great work!
  20. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    Simtools Settings

    upload_2019-1-21_18-22-37.png
    upload_2019-1-21_18-25-22.png
    upload_2019-1-21_18-25-32.png
    upload_2019-1-21_18-25-52.png
    upload_2019-1-21_19-19-45.png
    SMC3 Utility

    upload_2019-1-21_18-26-39.png

    FlyPT Hexapod Settings


    upload_2019-1-21_18-27-12.png



    I dont think yours will be a million miles away from mine in terms of dimension settings but all your other settings should be the same :)

    Hope it helps somewhat :)
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