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Showroom 6DoF Winch Motor Flight Sim Platform

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by Historiker, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    Success!!

    My other Chinese Monster Moto arrived yesterday so I wired and tested it last night.

    This afternoon I connected all of the Arduinos and motor drivers together and tested them out. The platform moves great!

    After a bit of fiddling I have the 6DoF profile set up and tested in Simtools.
    All DoF work well.

    I need to get some pictures and a video of the platform in testing, etc. Right now I am installing IL-2 Cliffs of Dover so I can test it out with a game. I tried to do so with DCS but things seem very wrong for some reason. I will have to do more testing with that title to see whats up. Rolling left pitches up, yaw gives roll, etc. Very odd. I will see what IL-2 CLoD does. As I mention, the DOFs work perfect in the testing window.

    Other issues that I have to work out:

    I am using three different types of winch motors. Two are physically larger than the other four but do have the same throw. But of course their throw is already sitting higher than the other four by about an inch. Not much and I do not know if it really matters. One of the other four motors has a different tooth pattern than does the other three although all four are the same brand and model, very odd that. Because the tooth pattern on the gear is different it does not mesh with the gear on the potentiometer. I mounted them tight and I do get ok feedback but a quick direction change results in the arm being slightly off each time. Eventually it is way off. I am thinking of a pulley and belt arrangement to replace the gear on the potentiometer.

    All together the six winch motors all need to be tuned so they have the same speed, etc. Using Priliads software makes this pretty simple (as soon as I figure out what I am doing, lol).

    I also mounted monster heat sinks on the Moster Moto drivers :)

    They get a little warm but not at all hot during constant motion. I am sure that with a load on the platform (I actually have about 75lbs of plywood sitting on it right now) it will get much hotter. I do have fans that I can place over them as well, just have not yet wired them to the 12v input yet. Need to get that done as well.

    Pictures and video sometime in the next few days if I get the time. I have a large cabinet job to finish and install this week so that takes up most of my time.

    Thanks for tuning in!
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  2. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK, SimforceGT, 6DOF
    Bump, Bump how did ya go.?
  3. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    I have not yet had time to mess around with it much since the last post. I did come up with an alternative pot mounting system because of the different size sprockets (winch-heli gear) so that is worked out. Still need to tune the winches so they are in sync with one another, also need to do a final mounting for the upper control arm bar; right now it is just clamped on, need to either bolt it or weld it. Once I have that finished I plan on doing some load testing. At 25.00 each I was thinking of testing the Chinese Monster Moto driver shield to destruction just to see what it would do. I also created heat sinks for the Pololu 755s, they never had any mounted to them before but I thought I might while I have it accessible.



    I am running two motors with Priliad's code and utility, two with RufusDufus's code and utility and two with RacingMat's code. All seem to be performing well, but I think I will convert them all to either Prilid's or Rufusdufus'. RacingMat's code works great but with the other two I can fine tune the settings using their respective utilities.


    The heat sinks on the Chinese Monster Moto shields, they are massive. I had an old (and dead) GPU in a drawer, after cutting the scavenged heat sink in twain the pieces fit perfectly over the chips on the Chinese Monster Moto shield.

    IMG_0618.JPG IMG_0620.JPG IMG_0619.JPG
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  4. bsft

    bsft

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    actually I was hoping to see photos of the cabinet you were busy building.........
  5. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    Perhaps after I install them later in the week. The base cabinets are suspended 8" off the floor with LEDs running the length under them. The customer wanted to put rocks in a framework under there and have the illuminated. Those are not the most interesting cabinets in the job though.

    Or do you mean another cabinet/s?
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  6. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    Had a few minutes this afternoon to play around with the platform. Here are a few tests without load showing the 6DoF directions and another in flight with IL-2 1946

    I am going to check for binding at the joints and then bolt the cross braces to the linkage bar. After that comes weight testing.



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  7. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK, SimforceGT, 6DOF
    Looking good, movements seem a little slow out of the winches compared to the movement speeds I have had them running at with Jrks powering them (about 1/2 sec to go from max to min). This is early days Im sure you will get it running very nicely with the current setup.

    This has a lot of potential and feel they will handle to weight fine.

    Another top job , coming along very nicely indeed.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    I was moving the sliders very slow, to accentuate the movement. When I move them fast, and they go very very fast, I have one motor that lags behind. Not sure, yet, where the problem is with that one. I had thought it was the potentiometer but it might be a setting that I did not notice in Prilad's code. I need to run the xcontrol utility again and check it. In game the platform was matching the movement of the plane, except for yaw....with yaw I get full left or full right depending on which side of zero the compass is on.
  9. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Ok that explains heaps , I was commenting on the 2nd video thou, Ok a bit of profiling and adjusting to come, all good then, Still am quite shocked and impressed with your works so far.
  10. bsft

    bsft

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    Looks good dude. I know of a friend of mine lurking at this site as he wants to build a 6DOF.
  11. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    @eaorobbie, gotcha. Yes, it was slow but that was the movement of the plane itself. I was flying a Brewster Buffalo which doesn't do quick turns ;)

    Thanks Dave, have him hold off until I can do some load testing; it might fail miserably at that point.
  12. bsft

    bsft

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    not a problem.
  13. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    I am milling the mounting nuts right now, giving them a 45 degree angle at the ends so the hiem joints have as much throw as possible. Then I hope to find some type of weights to use for the load test.
  14. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Cool and Thanks for the updates, I have stress tested two winches before in a 2dof setup, I was able to have two people standing on top of the seat behind the pivot point, didn't slow or even struggle, so will be very surprised if your fails on weight handling.
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  15. NjMotion

    NjMotion Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Congratulations friend!. Good job. It looks very nice.:thumbs
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  16. boosted-lt1

    boosted-lt1 Member

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    Looking great. Nice work!
  17. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    I have a story of victory and defeat!

    The Victory: I mounted the old sled, from my 2DoF platform onto the 6DoF platform. The total weight with the triangle framework is 90lbs, no problem for the winch motors.

    So, instead of adding weight in a scientific manner I jumped on :D

    Although I did not make rapid/quick movements the winch motors did not seem to have any trouble moving 440lbs! (me, the framework, the sled, 32" screen, chair, etc etc).

    So, a victory right? Hmm.....trouble in paradise though.....

    The Defeat: For some reason my arduinos lose connection to the PC after a few minutes of operation. While the rig was on the table I had no issues whatsoever. On the floor, even before adding the sled, etc, I started to lose the arduinos after a few minutes of use. This is not the fault of SimTools as this also happens in xSimCTRL utility.

    So, is it possible that I knocked something loose moving the rig (including PC) onto the floor? Although I tilted it 90 degrees I did not bump or jar anything....

    One thing that was different between table top and floor is that the second battery that I was using went dead (very dead..I might really have ruined one of my deep cycle batteries) and connect all of the motor drivers to the same battery for testing.

    Pictures later, I need to test my server PSUs and make some connectors to use them with the platform.
  18. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    Update...ish

    I hooked up my two server PSUs and connected them to one set of motor drivers each (one per Monster Moto, etc) and this seems to have fixed the disconnect issue for all but one Arduino. Even then it takes a long time for it to disconnect. Not long enough to play a full round of racing or flying though. This is tested with and without load, it does not seem to matter as far as weight goes. I am going to order another server PSU for the third motor driver pair.

    I have not had time to test it out in game with me sitting on the throne (that is what it feels like...no, really it does! :D ) but I can move the DOF sliders around. Heave, surge, slide, and yaw are a TRIP! :)

    Other wandering thoughts....I think I will rebuild the 2DoF for race sims and maybe add a 3rd DoF for traction loss (I already have the hardware) and keep the 6DoF dedicated for flight sims. The issue is with changing controller hardware. It would be easier, for me, to just have two rigs that share the same PC but with individual monitor,keyboard, etc.
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  19. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK, SimforceGT, 6DOF
    Sounds like a power supply issue, the winches will draw more than 25amps under motion, I have physically measured 45-48 amp draws running them on JRKs, Ard - MonsterMoto combo should be a similar draw on direction change. Have you tried running battery chargers on the DC batteries while they run, found to be effective with my 2DOF Sim. Another note have you isolated the capacitors out of the motors , most winches have them for radio noise suppression. I know ya proberly done this too, check all wiring for loose connections too, plus the feed wire to the Monstor Moto should be at least 4mm or a bad voltage drop will happen as all 6 winchs will be draining around 12-15amps on startup (72-90 amps).
    Hope this might help. Keeping fingers crossed you find the issue quickly.
  20. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    I have 20amp fuses in line with the motors so I am assuming that I have not peaked above that amperage yet. Each set of motor drivers (two winches each) has its own power supply (either a server PSU or a deep cycle battery).

    I am only having trouble with one of the three arduinos since I set them up with their own power supplies (for the motor drivers). I am thinking of swapping Monster Motos on the Arduinos to see if one of them is the culprit. I might also put all three arduinos on a networked computer and see if that is an issue. While they are all worked the ride is awesome though.

    A few things that I have been looking at today for tweaking; I am not sure the heim joints are going to work, there is not enough range. I might have to mount the bolt holes at an angle to help or just make miniature u-joints for each connecting rod; not looking forward to that.

    Also added a HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) rig today so I could test flight sims properly. I picked up a used (and broken) Thrustmaster Cougar set last night, repaired it today, and mounted it on the platform. Here are a couple of pictures. I will have more videos up when I figure out the Arduino issue.


    IMG_0629.JPG IMG_0630.JPG
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