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Bought an old Maxflight Simulator! Need some help, thanks!

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by Alex Swann, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Alex Swann

    Alex Swann New Member

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    Ok so I have been looking on this forum for a few months now and have been wanting to build a motion simulator for years. But now I feel like it is time to finally post something. The reason being is because I just recently purchased a Maxflight VR2002 Simulator from craigslist! The machine is huge and weighs over a couple tons! If you don't know what I'm talking about I really recommend looking them up.

    I have been putting it together for the past month now and any help I can get would be greatly appreciated. I bought the machine with a few missing and vital parts but feel like all the essentials could be recreated with a couple arduinos. I am missing the computer, robotics/electronics controller and encoders. However since this simulator was originally intended to be a roller coaster simulator and I want it to be capable of more than that like flight simulation, the computer and software is not really needed. The encoders can just be bought of Ebay or Amazon for not too much and the only part that I believe is going to be a challenge is the robotics/electronics controller.

    The simulator uses hydraulics to lift the machine and turn it on the two axises and the robotics controller is in charge of taking in all the data from the encoders and sensors while also sending out data to the valves telling them when to open and close. The first pictures I attached are of the connections and wiring for one of the two main valves (They are identical). I need to find a way to control these using an arduino (or something better if it exists and isn't too expensive). So I guess my first question would be what's the best way to control these valves and connect them to an arduino?

    I can easily connect new encoders like these ones on Amazon (Rotary Encoder - 1024 P/R (Quadrature)
    if they would work with the arduinos. Making my next question, how should I connect these to an arduino?

    Another problem I have is that the machine uses a counter weight so that it is balanced depending on the weight of the passengers. The counter weight moves back and forward and according to the Manuel the way the machine can tell whether to move it forward or backward is, "When the pitch valve no longer senses a load, the unit will rise to its maximum up position." Therefore how should the counterweight move back and forth according to the weight of the passengers?

    Lastly would be the rest of the coding... This is where I don't know much, I'm not really sure how x-sim integrates with an arduino to control the valves and how it would also be able to read the encoders and valves. Making this my last question for now, what would the code be for the arduinos?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ANY HELP!!! IT REALLY MEANS A LOT!!!

    PS: I didn't pay anywhere close to what a new one of these would cost.;) Also I really recommend watching a video of one of these in motion they really are amazing!

    Attached Files:

  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. Daguru

    Daguru Rally drivers do it in the mud

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    Wow that's a big unit !!

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  4. RacingMat

    RacingMat Well-Known Member Gold Contributor

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    great GREAT project!
    I wish you the best :)

    hydraulic is not an easy way... Are your valves on/off or proportional?

    here are some boards dedicated to encoder reading for arduino

    http://www.robogaia.com/3-axis-encoder-conter-arduino-shield.html

    http://www.superdroidrobots.com/sho...uadrature-encoder-buffer-breakout-board/1523/

    www.amazon.com/SuperDroid-Robots-LS7366R-Quadrature-Encoder/dp/B00K33KDJ2

    http://hades.mech.northwestern.edu/index.php/Using_the_LS7366R_SPI_Quadrature_Counter
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  5. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you obviously like a challenge, that rig looks huge. I would not be able to house, or likely power it:p. Unfortunately don't have a straight answer to any of your questions (too many variables/unknowns), but all the best in working it out:thumbs. Some more info
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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  6. bsft

    bsft

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    Just how much did you pay for it?
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  7. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    Wowzers thats some machine lol
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  8. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    Alex, I may be able to help you. I have 3 Namco Magic Edge flight simulators weighing 4000lbs. each. Not easy to move around. This is the reason to halt restoration and move on to 3 6dof wooden sims. Much research done on the heavy ones. Good luck, it can be done.
    John
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  9. Alex Swann

    Alex Swann New Member

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    The valves are proportional to turn the unit and then there's the on/off valve to raise/lower the unit. Thx for the links:thumbs
  10. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    Alex,you could use ardunno with relays for on off function and need to know if proportional is voltage or current controlled. Also is the servo bi-polar meaning swings negative and positive either voltage or mA.
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  11. Alex Swann

    Alex Swann New Member

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    I believe that the valves are voltage controlled. I attached a couple more pictures of the connections, what model it is and a pdf of the manual if that helps. Not sure what you mean by the second question but I'm pretty sure the answer is in the pdf.
    valve connector.jpg valve info.jpg

    Attached Files:

  12. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    Alex, You are in luck. The driver is inside the valve block meaning it is voltage control +- 10 volts dc. This is easier to obtain than the 4-20mA model with external driver.
  13. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    Read the pdf you posted carefully and understand it's meaning. Do you have any of the control boards that came with the sim?
  14. Alex Swann

    Alex Swann New Member

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    No unfortunately I don't have any of the control boards :(. I know that an arduino can only output 5v, do you know how I could get that to 10v?
  15. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    That's + and - 10vdc. Somewhere at home I think some info is available. I'm traveling now and will look when I get home.
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  16. Alex Swann

    Alex Swann New Member

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    Ok thank you!
  17. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    Alex, excuse the delay in responding. Look online to Linear Technology. You might find helpful information.
  18. Alex Swann

    Alex Swann New Member

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    I just wanted to say thank you for the help @MagicEdge! Just to let you know I actually got the simulator to work! Well it's actually been working for the past couple of months but it is now at the point where it is very enjoyable to ride. Going on with a flight simulator and being able to infinitely rotate 360 degrees is honestly way more fun than I was expecting. Your help with the valves really gave my project a big push in the right direction, thank you for spending some of your time to help me out with my simulator! :thumbs

    Here's a link to a video of what it's like today, the game is digital combat simulator. Inside it's my brother and I with my Mom pressing the buttons and my Dad filming!
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B43BPlVWUJ1wYWh1YVY4R0tWSFU

    BTW the entire project took me almost 300 hours...
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  19. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    Outstanding!
  20. auctionmitch

    auctionmitch New Member

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    I am about to auction a Max Flight VR 2002. Out of curiosity, what do these cost new, and how much have you seen used ones sell for that are in good working condition.