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Getting Started

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Building Q&A / FAQ' started by StebanJigs, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Hey there fellow sim folk, I'm getting into the planning stages for a 2dof rig and have a few outline questions for you.

    First out I am planning to base my rig around 12v power as I have a great 80A unit that was acquired at a store renovation (ETA USA FHH12SX-U-L). With this in mind my next step is deciding on a motor, I have seen things such as winch, wiper and worm gear versions that seem to be in the price range I'm looking for. The winch motors from what I can tell are fairly noisy and that would be nice to keep at a minimum, from experience what would you guys recommend?

    Possibly to help with the first question, the setup of the rig will help. After seeing some other posters rigs, having the motors mounted to the front looks like an equal way to move the rig while possibly simulating bump effects better as they are taken in as in real life. Any insight into the pros and cons of the two different mounting styles would be appreciated.

    Next comes my inability to program anything but a simple excel cell 0_o. From the sounds of it the JRK 12v12 will help alleviate some of this as it is a direct control via USB to the computer and x-sim. Other than the JRK is any other esc type hardware needed for the motors to get them moving?

    I have plenty of other questions but ill leave it to that for now. Thanks in advance for any advice or tips.

    Best Regards,
    Stephen
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. bsft

    bsft

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    Hello Stephen and welcome.
    12v12 JRK the simplest thing to get going for sure, a few on us can guide you to setting up it once you are near there.
    Ive used 12v big worm gears. Great motors.
    Rob and others used 12v boat winch motors, they can advise further on this. Also great motors.
    Motors, 12v big worm gears, nice and quiet and fast, 12v boat winch motors, noisy, but great lifting power.
    Frame design, have a think about what would suit you or you would like, especially if screens are to move with the frame, or screen still
    Motor mount.
    At shoulders at rear by far the best for moving weight as it uses leverage above centre of gravity, but the frame can be quite big.
    Motors at front, done that heaps, and as long as you are not overly a large fella or plan to make the frame top heavy, like with heavy car seat and or screen on it, there is no issue there. Done that about 8 times through various builds. Frames can by compact in width and length.
    Any further questions just ask,
    Cheers, David.
  4. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Excellent, thanks Dave. So the 12v12 is basically an all-in-one deal, this would help me from going the adruino and programming way.

    As for base design, I'm thinking about worm gears, as being quiet is a desire for this build. Most likely for the first go the screen won't be mounted as I would like to get my feet wet first and possibly adapt from there. From yours or anyone else's experience with the front vs rear mounting would you know which has a more accurate roll without inducing any pitch?
  5. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK, SimforceGT, 6DOF
    Rear is what you require at the shoulders mate, the most efficient way to transfer power, further you move from the pivot more inaccurate motion will be but with clever profile writing this can be overcome.

    Forget about xsim mate, there is better (internet free) software being beta tested and if your sim is ready for testing, you can gain access to setup your sim, 24 games supported so far and is growing weekly.

    There is another driver on the horizon too, Kangaroo from Dimension Engineering, which will allow you to drive 12/24v Motors at 60amps with peaks up to 100amps. I need to buy a sabertooth before I can confirm this is a viable driver for Sim Tools. In theory and research it all points to being a good of the shelf alternative for DIY Sims.

    An example of one running , Jrks, 12v 200W DC Worm Gears on Sim Tools.

    Cross Section of Seat Mover.png

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6cAcTn5Blg
  6. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Lots of helpful info, thanks eaorobbie. The kangaroo/sabre combo looks like an amazing combo especially if the kangaroo sorts the pid stuff and its just a matter of setting and configuration instead of hard coding. Looks like the kangarooX2 is already available for shipping, just a matter of knowing if it interfaces with software properly. I'm new to the indie side of this software and am game for anything that works and has a community behind it.

    As to the positioning of motors I'm still in the air with which one to choose, and I can narrow that down the closer I get to the build and sorting the electronics end of things (which is my main hurdle). I'm going to go to the scrap yard this weekend and see what I can come up with for wiper motors but with that, if I do use the 12v supply I referenced in my first post do you guys recommend any capacitance or battery's for reserve discharge?

    Back onto the kangaroo, after going through the manual, it seems the connection to the computer would be done through serial? And if so how exactly does the software/serial connection to the comp, work?

    Thanks again for all the input, you guys are great.

    Stephen.
  7. bsft

    bsft

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    If you are going to use wiper motors from cars as a start, then make sure you earth isolate them.
    car wipers are usually earth to the case and feedback voltage with bugger any controller.
    Power supply, usually a PSU and car battery in parallel is good as it gives extra current when its needed.
    Ive been using that config for years.
    Although, some of the Chinese high current PSUs are good as well. I run 2 on anther sim successfully with JRKS and big motors. PSU are 12v at 40 amps each.

    Attached Files:

  8. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK, SimforceGT, 6DOF
    The Kangaroo is untested in Sim Tools but we send info to serial devices in our interface output, so by what I have read and have done the same thing for the Jrks , I comfortable we can sort the interface out.
    And have an easy for begineers to use , and off the shelf, nothing to solder, and comparable to the Jrks.

    Yes using limit switches and pots for feedback, its as easy as manually moving the arm from high to mid to low, press the button again and it spends 10mins search for the best pid to use, big +++ Auto Tuning.
  9. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Thanks again for the replies guys,

    I have some 12v deep cycle batts around so I can use one of them on the power side of thigs, I'll also make sure before any electronics connections are made whatever motors I pick up will be isolated as well.

    I'm really liking the sound of that kangaroo board and think I might order one with a 2X25 saber tooth at the same time, it seems like the only other option at the moment would be a saber and JRK to fulfill my zero programming needs.

    If you guys would be willing to answers a few questions when I get them in I would be more than happy to be a guinea pig for the serial connection/communication.

    It's a slow day at work here so I'll be on and off throughout the day.
  10. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    No worries mate , that what we do here.
    Once ya ready ask away.
    I run a 12v (13.8v) car battery with my jrks plus a charger hooked in as well. All good.
    This will work with the sabertooth as well.
  11. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Hello again, so I have the kangaroo and sabertooth in the mail atm. I am thinking of going to the scrap yard today and was wondering if there was a particular type of wiper motor or make of vehicle that has good ones that I should look for. The main reason I ask is that wiper motors are listed as $25can per and If I don't get good ones then I might as well have spent a little extra and possibly buy new online at the spec I desire.

    Looking forward to any feedback, thx again guys.
  12. bsft

    bsft

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    Again, if you are going to use wiper motors, refer to my post above about earth isolate them.
    Usually with wipers, large passenger car and cheap does the job.
    I suggest though , in motors, use a 12v 200w big worm gear from Motion Dynamics http://www.motiondynamics.com.au/worm-drive-motor-12v-24v-200w-180-rpm-20nm-torque.html
    , or ebay Dayton equivalent. They are 3 times as fast, very strong. And should set you back about $100 each. I have had 2 on a sim for nearly 2 years, they have been way overdriven in power and never failed.
    Others use them as well with great success.
    Wipers can tend to chew gearing out after time.
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  13. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    The wiper motors, from what I have found, use plastic gears. The teeth sheer pretty easy under stress.
  14. bsft

    bsft

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    car wipers yes, big worm gears use plastic as well, but a heck of a lot stronger
  15. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    They use composite gears, look like plastic yes but no where near as brittle.
  16. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Well I went to the junk yard today and got 2 decent wiper motors, although not ideal for the final version as a learning experience I feel they will be fine. They work with the sabertooth 2x25 I just got and I am in the process of talking to Rene about getting a copy of the software to try out the kangaroo with, I still have to go out and get some limit switches to go with the kangaroo and some better pots ( any recommendations as to type and ohms?). Soon I will be getting down on the frame after getting a seat this week hopefully. When I really dig into the software I'm sure I'll have more questions, just a little update.

    Edit: quick update as per Bsft's advice I isolated the motors, I cut off the lead inside the housing going to the slow speed brush and used a soldered jumper to power the negative side. This allows me to use the one single connector to the motor and isolates it at the same time.

    Thx for the help guys, now comes the software interfacing. (beta invite maybe?)
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  17. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Coming along nicely mate, yes wipers serve as a good test unit but lack the power for a nice fast sim.
    Isolation is the key.
    Once all setup, Kangaroo - Sabertooth, next step is to make the software here drive the unit.
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  18. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Thanks, yea isolating em wasn't that hard but glad you guys are here to help ;)

    I'm thinking this weekend I will probably pick up some limit switches and encoders/pots for feedback and make up a little test base with everything mounted so I can actually run it close to how it will be in the final build. (Quick test with just a single pot and motor let me move properly back and forth)

    Quick question if anyone knows or has a suggestion, with the kangaroo/sabre combo I'm thinking it would be best to have the limit switches and all hooked up so I can use its auto tuning feature before trying to get it to communicate with simtools?

    Adding to that the combo offers packetized and simplified serial for communication and was wondering if both are supported by simtools? I also have a few specific questions about axis communication on the com ports within the software but am unsure if I should be asking those types of questions in the beta forum?

    Thx again for all the help.
  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
    Yes I would have limit switches installed as the Auto Tune feature uses them to set the max and min settings and to me they are the safety factor that i adore in this driver, not allowing your sim to spin out of control in a pot fails. Or if using encoders they are a must to serve as stop points.

    Ok you will notice in the interface section in sim tools is where we send the data to the driver via serial communication.
    Dont be afraid of questions mate in any section, whether small or large, or not sure, fire away and we can all help.
  20. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Alright, things are coming along it seems. I have a hacked together test bed and so far with 5k single turn linear pot, the limit switches and kangaroo auto tuning it seems to be working fine. Motion control within the DEScribe program works good and I'm actually shocked at how steady the mV feedback on the pots and position control is. Now comes merging it with simtools. I was having issues selecting my second interface as the same COMport as the first as per the tutorial. Or is this were a second usb to ttl converter is needed? I have only the one that came with the kangaroo?

    Edit: http://imgur.com/a/jbgZU#3 Some pics of the test build, it's a horrible mess I know but it was mangled together yesterday afternoon and will serve only for testing purposes.

    Edit2: I thought packetized serial was over a single transmit receive line and believed I was correct in this assumption as with the DEScribe software I was able to manipulate both motors, although not at the same time yet.

    Edit3: Just rambling here, I believe what needs to get done now is to use the DEScribe software and assign units to the range of travel that the motors will move in to be compatible with the output numbers from simtools. If I am right here then it shouldn't be to hard from here (assuming using only com3 for both axis but labeling them "1<Axis1>2<Axis2>" since in DEScribe chan1 is labeled "1" and chan2 "2" would this assumption be correct? Also a little better explanation of the "startup" "interface" and "shutdown" fields would be appreciated.

    Edit4: heh last edit before I make a new post, another quick question would be if this should be running in mixed mode or independent? I would think independent as simtools should be talking to each motor separately.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  21. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Ok the dip switch settings should be as follows 1=on 2=off 3=on 4=on.
    Command needed in Sim Tools is on Interface 1 only as you have setup. 1,<Axis1><10>2,<Axis2><10>.
    Both axis needs to be setup in the default of axis assignments ie the std one should work ok where axis one has roll and pitch and axis 2 should have the same except roll is inverted.
    Startup commands can be 1,start<10>1,home<10>2,start<10>2,home<10> which equates to motor 1 start then motor 1 to home(centre) then motor two start then motor 2 home.
    Shutdown should be simular 1,home<10>1,powerdown<10>2,home<10>2,powerdown
    <10> is for a new line.