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Getting Started

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

  1. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK, SimforceGT, 6DOF
    That is good news in all, If it comes down to it I might be able to lend a hand to recode to vb.net, still learning myself but like to play.Cross me fingers it shouldn't need this.
    Please in your write up place a Interface Setting file for Sim Tools so others may download and insert it to help them on the way, You will learn simtools does quite a few nice things to make it easier for everybody.
    Again thanks, Im want it too work for my 24v creation I have been dreaming about for the next build.Cheers for the News.
  2. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Again can't wait to see the full release of simtools and what @BlazinH and @eaorobbie have in store for us ;)

    I've been busy with work and other things but the project is still cooking as I just acquired a welder and will be solidifying a frame design shortly.

    Thanks for everyone's input on this kangaroo issue.
  3. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but I don’t have good news for everyone as of now with the kangaroo interface.

    @eaorobbie @yobuddy @value1 or anyone that can shed some light! I have a couple of problems getting the kangaroo to work with SimTools. In the Startup and Shutdown output I can get the simulator to center itself with the kangaroo. But I can’t get a delay to work long enough so I can wait for centering to take place and then do something else, like powerdown in shutdown output after centering. It powers down before it has time to center. I also had planed in Startup output to allow centering at a slower speed and then bumping the speed back up once centered. But, it appears that I can’t use a [delay] of a second or two that I need in my code because I can’t set the output rate in startup and shutdown to more than 50ms. Is that right? However, the kangaroo does take the start up and the units command issued it through SimTools. And you can center or powerdown at shutdown, just haven’t been able to do both.

    However, the bigger issue is that SimTools doesn’t appear to be sending out the <axis> value so it will work with the kangaroo. I choose decimal output assuming that SimTools outputs the digits in a text form. Is that correct or is the axis output formatted as a number? The kangaroo needs everything to look like a line of text, including numbers. When I replaced <axis> with a hard number, my interface output code worked. If necessary can you also add a text output option for the axis?

    I need some help please!:sos

    Note: I tried SimTools with LFS. I was just testing the roll axis. Default min/max was 19. I set it to 2 but still not getting any movement. Everything in axis output set to 100%

    edit: I was using axis1-1dof-roll-100% with the checked box on. I used <axis1> in my code. It takes the form 1,p<axis1> where axis1 value should be in text also.

    edit2:I got the interface output working. I realized the Capitol A is need in Axis. It would be better if SimTools would accept <axis> regardless of cap status so such a minor error isn't so fatal. Now I just need to know how to get a [delay] to work correctly in the startup and shutdown fields. What does the value of delay represent, milliseconds? In any case, it's working good enough it appears even if I can't implement all my ideas.

    I will try to get the information out to everyone what will be tomorrow for me. :grin
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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  4. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    if we need a higher delay than 50ms to make them work, that is no problem!
    and 'decimal output' does sent the output of an axis as text.
    if <Axis1> = 50 then a '50' is sent.

    I would not mess with the Max/Min limits until you have movement.
    are you typing <axis1> or <Axis1>? try <Axis1>
    have you got the axis assignments filled out for the game?
    It seems that you do, but make sure LFS is filled in too.
    One way or the other I bet we can get it to work!

    maybe also try the Output Testing in Axis output mode and see what happens.
    Let me know buddy!

    yobuddy
  5. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    Thanks yobuddy. The capital A hit me a little before your reply and that worked.
  6. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    No problem man!
    And yes the pause is in milliseconds.
    How long of a pause should be the max do you think?

    Maybe after 50ms we could have scaling increments?
    (100 200 400 800 1600 2400 3600 5000)
    The SimAxe has a soft centering feature built in so it probably needs more time too.

    Anyway, thanks for your efforts BlazinH!
    Its people that try new things and then share their results that makes this place great!

    yobuddy
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  7. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    Great idea! I would think 3 to 5 seconds would do. Better to have more options than we should ever need than not enough though!
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  8. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    @StebanJigs @eaorobbie I have posted the code to get your kangaroos working with simtools in a new thread. The key was to research how a terminal program operates. Then I emulated it. Keep me up to date on your progress please.
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  9. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Will do BlazinH, today I'm working on seeing if I can pull a 20A circuit to the garage to do some frame welding. If I get time tonight ill check it out for you.

    Great progress again, thx guys.
  10. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear your making progress!

    @StebanJigs @eaorobbie @Historiker @everyone_else Wanted to update you that I edited the tutorial to include the changing of the controllers baud rates. You can set SimTools bits per sec rate to 115200 now.
  11. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    Thx again for your help, last night I got simtools working again and with your suggestions got the unit moving at 12bit and the 115200 baud rate and man is that thing fast now ( im also using 2ms for startup and 4ms for input).

    My only issues again seem to be the positioning and recognition of the range my unit has, 1V range as the high is 3000mV and the low is 2000mV (again not ideal but what I have on the test rig). It seems that if I use 4095 for the bit units then I have to use 5000 as "my units" since it seems to only find the halfway point of my unit (@2500mV) when I do this, but when I do and try to test them in the axis output, the sliders max the rig movement out at +25ish and -25ish. I am wondering how I get simtools axis sliders max min to match my rigs max min and still use 2500mV as its center.

    I have the axis movement set to %50 in both the game profile and simtools, Im wondering if this has anything to do with my issues.

    The movement is FAST though, maybe quicker than DEScribe atm.
  12. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    @StebanJigs It didn't work when you replaced the 5000 in units with 1000?
  13. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    @StebanJigs Also you need to make sure Startup and Shutdown have time to work so set those to 50ms. Set Interface to 10ms or even more. Thats enough for now. Once you get things worked out you can try faster speeds. And I see no reason why you can't use the 16 bit code I posted with your setup. Can't answer SimTools questions yet. Sorry.

    Edit: The only issue you should have with the pot range is resolution. But you should still have about 250 to 500 positions with that range if your pots is a higher tolerance ones. It would be better however if you can rig gearing or something to give them a higher resolution!
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  14. StebanJigs

    StebanJigs Member

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    When I use 1000 as my units at startup both motors dive to their max down position and stay there. They sound like they are trying to move further down but wont go and no other command will work with them at that point. My reasoning is that simtools is taking 1000 as the range and trying to go to a center of 500mv. When I use 5000 it seems simtools finds the 2500mV center but the range of physical travel does not match the axis slider travel.
  15. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't matter. The kangaroo knows the min and max mv of your pot so it calculates the center based on that. Since your not using the 16 bit code I posted, I need to see what code you are using.

    Edit: Actually if you use 4095 = 1000 in the code I posed that should work. I was thinking the centering command may be the problem but I forgot that I took it out of the code for now.

    Edit: You can also replace the <Axis1> and <Axis2> in the Interface output in SimTools with a hard number to test. For 12 bit replace <Axis> with 2047. When SimTools starts output, it should center. Change the number to 0 or 4095 and it will move to one end or the other.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  16. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    @StebanJigs I made an error in my tutorial in determining your pots values. Read the note at the bottom of the tutorial for information. This could be where your problem comes from. Also, if you reverse the polarity of your motors connections after tuning, they will not work unless you reverse them back or re-tune.

    Edit: I've been testing my kangaroo and motor with about a 1500mv pot range and I am having problems also getting it to respond to its full range correctly. In DEScripe when you use the Live Position to operate the motors it asks if you want to use the nominal range and it works. But it doesn't work when used in the units command as expected. I need to call DE to find out what the problem is.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  17. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    Tech support at DE was unable to answer my questions regarding the units command. They said they would have an engineer call me tomorrow.
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  18. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    I talked with an engineer at DE today and he told me what needs to be done to make the kangaroo work with SimTools correctly when we are not able to use the full pots ranges. It has to do with setting the Machine Zero setting in DEScripe and uploading it to the kangaroo. He confused me at first but after some conversation I think I have deduced the correct formula required to calculate the machine zero setting based on varying setups. It would have been nice if he could have given me a formula to start with but I had to come up with it on my own based on what he told me as we went through some different scenarios. I will try to find time in a few hours to test the formula so I can let you all know if it works and how to do it.
  19. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    No go. Machine zero changes center but not how it was described to me. I was not at my computer when we spoke so I will try again tomorrow if I can find the time when I can be. It seems they are more familiar with people using these with incremental encoders for robots because I can't seem to get definitive answers. Very frustrating!
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  20. BlazinH

    BlazinH Well-Known Member

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    I didn't have time to call DE today. But if they can't help I may have a workaround. I'm checking with yobuddy to see if SimTools can help us make some adjustments so it will.