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Showroom Full frame 2DOF G-Seat with Wind & Vibe

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by MarkusB, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. T R Para

    T R Para i make stuff up Gold Contributor

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    Hi Marcus,
    The G-seat looks like a good next project. I am thinking about ordering 4 of the super 500's.
    2 on heave and 2 for the surge. I see you used 6 servos for the surge but 2 of the 500's would be cheaper and less hook-up.
    What would you advise for servo's???
  2. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Hi Tom,

    the Super500 servos are ok for me, although they are really really slow. You can see them move in the video of my first post. Since my focus is on flight simulation, this slow 'heave' motion is ok for me, but it would be totally worthless for simulating road bumps. So I will keep them for now, but my long term plan is to replace them with a bowden cable mechanism.

    My surge/sway servos are much faster and have a torque of 30 kg/cm each, so three of them per paddle should actually have enough power. However, for some reason the force they apply to my back is not sufficient for me, and I feel them stall quite often. Since other members use similar servos and seem to like the effect, I am sure that I did something wrong.
    Anyway, I am currently working on a different approach that does not require backrest paddles. Hope that it will work.

    I know that @Spit40 also uses high-torque servos. The torque is a bit less than that of the Super500, but they are much faster.
    Here is his build thread, and here is some information about the servos.

    And @early_m seems uses multiple RC servos per paddle. Here is his build thread.

    Maybe these two can tell you about their experiences.

    I in turn will report about my new approach very soon (hopefully this weekend).
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. T R Para

    T R Para i make stuff up Gold Contributor

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    Thanks Marcus. I am beginning to realize there may be no end to this madness.
    The DIY addiction leads to a never ending quest to achieve Sim Nirvana.
    I am pretty happy with my 2dof and game vibe. But I know there is more.....
    Spit40 says he is going to redo some things on his G-Seat..
    I always have a sharp eye out for your mods.
    I looked around for some type of pneumatic airbag device as that would be light,fast and maybe noisy....
    You have mentioned Bowden cables several times.
    I understand what that is but not sure how it would be hooked up.

    Good luck with your new design.
    Us copy cats are lurking .....
  4. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    My Medieval G-Vest

    4 months after my second rig went alive, I have finished another fundamental improvement.
    As I wrote 2 days before, I was not satisfied with the backrest paddles of my g-seat. They simply did not apply enough force to my body. I had three 30kg/cm servos mounted to each paddle, but still the motors stalled quite often.

    Inspired by the forum's main innovator @SeatTime, I had already been doing some research on building a g-vest for some time, but without much success.

    In my current build I just had one bowden cable installed, which was meant for negative surge (i. e. braking).
    The following 2 pictures show the outlet of the bowden cable and the motor that was meant for pulling the cable.
    00 Surge_BowdenCable.jpg 00 BowdenCableMotor.jpg

    The cable worked quite well, but the problem was to find a suitable harness that allows the cable to pull my torso forward.
    My first approach was a belt that was originally meant for supporting the upright posture of neck and shoulders (left image below). After this I tested a saxophone carrying belt (middle image), and then a motor bike protection vest (right image).
    01 Back_support_belt_02.JPG 02 Saxophone_belt.JPG 03 Chest_protection_belt.JPG
    All these flexible belt systems did not work. Instead of the sensation of my torso being pushed forward, I just felt the belts squeezing my body.

    Finally I found this: A medieval knight armor.
    04 LARP_Armor_01.JPG 05 LARP_Armor_02.JPG 06 LARP_Armor_03.JPG 07 LARP_Armor_Back.JPG
    As it turned out yesterday, this one does the job!

    I just had to modify it a little bit. At first I removed all the leather parts and replaced them with strong fabric belts, supplied with velcro for connecting them to the armor.
    Then I applied 5 tension belts with buckles, one for each bowden cable.
    The next pictures show how the knight's armor became my medieval g-vest:
    08 Modded_g-vest_front.JPG 09 G-vest_belts.JPG 10 G-vest_belts_02.JPG

    And here is how it looks when I wear it:
    GVest_FrontView.JPG GVest_SideView.JPG GVest_BackView.JPG
    As you see, the vest reaches quite far to the side of my body. This is important for mounting the cables that pull my body sideways ('sway' force).
    Besides it has turned out that I have the exact size of an average medieval kight, so that the armor fits perfectly and very tight.
    This is essential because I want my body to move rather than the armor to move around my body.

    Now to the rig: I mounted two more wheelchair motors, which are controlled by a new Arduino/Sabertooth2x32 couple.
    Instead of a lever, I mounted a pulley wheel to the axis, in which the bowden cables lie. Her are some pictures:
    BowdenCableWheel_01.JPG BowdenCableWheel_02.JPG IMG_9012.JPG

    The next one shows the rig from behind, where you can see all the cables.
    Seat_BackView.JPG
    The left motor is meant for 'surge'. One cable goes to the front, so that it pulls me forward when braking, and two lead into the left and right side of the backrest for pulling me back when accelerating.
    The right motor is meant for sway. It has one cable going to the left and one to the right side of the rig.

    In order to avoid the surge and sway cables to interfere and act against each other, the end of the sway cables go into a metal rail that can freely move forward and backward. Originally these rails were used for adjusting the position of a car seat. Still had them lying around from an early version of my first rig. Here you see the output of one sway cable and a part of the rail.
    MovableSwayCables.JPG

    Since it is essential for the force sensation that the body can move in each direction, I replaced my former backrest paddles with a sponge cushion.
    CushionedBackrest.JPG
    In this way the surge cables can now pull my body back into the cushion. (The forward and sideway movement was already possible before.)

    This is my test setup: I connected all 5 cables with a thin board.
    TestSetup_00.JPG TestSetup_01.JPG IMG_6249.JPG

    And so it looks when I sit in the seat with the vest connected to the cables:
    GVest_Connected.JPG

    Here is a detail view to how the surge and sway cables are connected to the vest. As you see, the sway cable comes from the side and is then redirected to the tension belt.
    IMG_6254.JPG IMG_6255.JPG

    Getting into and out of the seat takes a minute, so that I need to check beforehand if everything I need is reachable. (Yesterday my Oculus headset was out of reach. Maybe I should write a check list.)

    I also made two new videos.
    In this one I moved the surge and sway cables via SimTools Output Testing:

    And this one shows a rollercoaster ride with the bowden cables in action:


    Yesterday I also made a first test with myself strapped to the rig. During my first rollercoaster ride, I permanently had one hand lying on my newly added emergency stop switch.
    EmergencyStop.JPG
    I added this switch specifically because of the bowden cables, since they already finger-cuffed me once while I tested their movement with one finger in each of the surge cable loops.

    The result of my first test run was really really promising. Due to the rigidity of the g-vest, its very tight fit, and due to the fact that it goes so far do the side of my body, I now feel my torso being moved, very similar to real surge and sway forces.
    I think my rig has at last reached a status in which I will keep it for now. Now comes the time of enjoying it.

    @SeatTime: Thank you very much for all the groundwork you did on such g-systems and the information you posted in your build thread, which inspired me to also go for this approach. It was worth every minute of the work I did.
    May the G-Force always be with you!
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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  5. Spit40

    Spit40 VR Flyer

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    Brilliant. I love this forum! Such creative madcap ideas and innovation.
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  6. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    Nice work :thumbs. Yes, as shown in my old build thread the G-vest works well and can apply high/realistic forces to the body. It's also the only system I have found so far that can best mimic the centrifugal forces that you feel when rolling into a turn in a aircraft. Unfortunately not easy to commercialise and could be improved in some areas, so I am currently building a different version of the system.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  7. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    In regard to the G-vest, for your information if you did not notice it in my build thread, the rear/surge cables also run through sliders and the front/surge cable comes up through a articulated arm, as the 'straight' pulling cable will get in your way when using a steering wheel -well it did for me.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. T R Para

    T R Para i make stuff up Gold Contributor

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    Hi Markus.
    Is the Bowden cabling you are using similar to the brake/shifter cables used on a bicycle?
    If not could you share the source?
    Thanks
    Tom
  9. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Again a step ahead as usual. Looking forward to see this new version some day.

    Thanks for these hints. Yes, I noticed the sliders for your rear surge cables and was thinking of mounting an additional car seat rail to the back of my seat. Unfortunately this caused conflicts with my up/down-movable backrest. But it would indeed be good to have this slider to further eliminate interference. I will think about a solution.

    About the front surge cable: So this articulated arm leads the cable around the steering wheel?
    At the moment, the outlet of my front cable sits rather low and the cable goes in an upward angle to the G-Vest. In this way it does not touch the steering wheel. Having the outlet at the same height as the connection point of the vest would be good though. I see there is still room for improvements. (Fortunately! I already started to get afraid that there is nothing more to do on my build.)
  10. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Yes, these are original bicycle brake cables that you get in every bike shop.
  11. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Again some time went by, and again I did not spend it with sitting in my rig, but with changing it once more.
    The major change is that I went away from my g-vest and returned to old-fashioned paddles mounted to the backrest of my seat.

    The good thing about the vest was that it applied sway and surge forces by pulling my upper body forth and back and sideways. However, at the end the effect was not perfectly convincing, and besides it had the following disadvantages:
    • The major drawback was that it was rather cumbersome to put the vest on and strap it to the five(!) bowen cables. Especially in the case that - as soon as I was strapped into the seat - I noticed that my keyboard was out of reach or the door bell rang.
    • Another problem was that - although the vest had the correct size for myself - it did not fit at all for my daughter and some friends whom I want to spend a ride from time to time.
    For these reasons I am now back to the paddles, but with a major improvement compared to my first paddle approach. This improvement is more torque.

    At first I was using three 33kgcm servos per backrest paddle and they were stalling quite often, especially when the seat was leaning back and my upper body was pressed against the backrest. Now I am using one wheelchair motor per paddle instead, and stalling went away completely.

    The motors moving the backrest paddles do also pull the shoulder belts of my harness when they move into the other direction. In this way I am simulating surge acceleration and braking.

    About the 'heave' paddles: Originally they were moved by Super 500 servos (see the first post of this thread). One problem with this approach was that these servos are slow (0.5 sec per 60 degrees). The other problem was that I burned one of these servos. I just forgot to power the Arduino before powering the servo, so that the servo did not get a defined signal and moved randomly until the lever hit the frame.
    Now I have replaced the servos by another wheelchair motor, which moves both 'heave' paddles synchronously.

    Here are some pictures of the recent changes:

    This is the motor moving the 'heave' paddles. You can see the two bowden cables that go around belt pulleys and the outlets of the cables.
    Bowden cable motor heave.jpg

    Here is the opposite end of he cables. The vertical one is mounted to the right 'heave' paddle and the horizontal one to the right 'surge' paddle.
    Bowden cables surge & heave.jpg

    The next photo shows the harness tensioner cables. It also shows that I have mounted bass shakers directly to the backrest paddles. Another two of them are mounted to the 'heave' paddles.
    Harness Tensioner.jpg

    And here are all five motors: 2 for the 2DOF seat movements, 2 for the backrest paddles and harness tensioning, and 1 for the heave paddles.
    Motors.jpg

    Up to now I have set up my rig for P3D, and it works really good.

    I just did not configure the "sway" force, because this one feels unnatural.
    The reason is the combination of backrest paddle movement and harness tensioning.
    Example (sway force on turns to the right): The left backrest paddle moves forward (OK) while the right shoulder belt tensions (not OK).
    I need to find a solution for this, and my current plan is to continue using the backrest paddles for 'surge' only and to add pneumatic bladders for the sway force. These bladders could be applied to the sides of the backrest and heave paddles. Let's see how this works.
    • Like Like x 5
  12. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    Tinkering is obviously in your blood, thanks for the latest incarnation and update.
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  13. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Nice work. I have never been convinced by the g-vest idea. It seems to me that in order to move the body in the correct direction the force felt from the vest against your body would be on the wrong side. That may be a wrong impression but it is at least how it appears to me.
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  14. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    Agree the vest can be a pain to use and will not easily fit all sizes.
  15. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    That's probably one of the reasons MarkusB stated at the end the effect was not perfectly convincing. But if you don't try you'll never know and motion simulation usually involves trade-offs in one way or the other.
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    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  16. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for replying to my thread @SeatTime. I imagine you get tired of repeating things over and over, I know I do. But this is more what I was hoping to learn besides whether you can still use a stick in the middle so thanks again ;).
  17. principiamacb

    principiamacb Member

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    Theres some serious work gone into that!
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  18. Pierre Lalancette

    Pierre Lalancette Lalancelot Gold Contributor

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    Really nice work MarcusB. I'm far away from a g-seat in my build, but, looking at your work (and SeatTime), I get all sort of crazy ideas. Maybe one day...

    Keep on the good work!
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  19. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Hi Guys,

    thanks for your feedback.

    Well, actually the g-vest is a great idea, and it seems to work perfectly for @SeatTime.

    The thing is that the vest as well as the rig need to fulfill a number of requirements, like the following:
    • The vest needs to fit very tightly to your upper body, so that you don't feel the vest move against your ribs but instead only feel your torso being pulled. I did achieve this quite well with my modified medieval armor.
    • On the other hand the vest still should enable you to breeze normally. This was only partly fulfilled in my case. I felt it all the time, which was a bit uncomfortable.
    • The rig needs sliding mounts for the bowden cables. I added such mounts, but they were in the way of my arms when I tried to grab my HOTAS controllers. I always had to put my arms around the sliders, which was uncomfortable. The photo below shows the right-side slider with the outgoing cable. It is built from a car seat rail.
    MovableSwayCables.JPG
    And the next one shows the left slider any myself seated.
    GVest_Connected.JPG
    • Strapping yourself to the bowden cables and freeing you again should be possible as quick as possible. My construction did not fulfill this one.
    • If you want to let other people take a ride, you either need a one-size-fit-all g-vest (don't know if this is possible) or build vests of different sizes.
    If you manage to solve these things or at least those that are important for you, the g-vest has great potential. It moves your upper body into the same direction as the "real" forces would, and it can apply sustained and really strong forces.

    Yes, correct. At the end all available options (2DOF (roll instead of sway), 6DOF (real sway, but non-sustained), g-seat paddles, g-vest, ...) are just approaches to the real forces.

    Thanks!! I think you are much closer to a g-seat than I am to a 6DOG simulator. I really like yours and congratulate you that you got it moving.
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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  20. cfischer

    cfischer Member Gold Contributor

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    Awesome work Markus.
    Did your vest setup pull your body into the chair making you feel strong forces between your ribs and the chair? If not where were the really strong forces felt?