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Hoddem's Aluminum Rig V2 (3-DOF, SFX, VR)

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by Hoddem, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    Thanks man!

    I have to say though, when I found out my OSW was fried I definitely went through the 5 stages of grief.

    upload_2020-10-5_17-37-43.jpeg

    This does turn out to be a happy ending though, more details coming soon.
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  2. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    All right, so I walked away from my rig in defeat on June 9th thinking I would be back at it that weekend. Fast forward 3 months and I get an email from iracing saying my 3 month subscription is ending. So 3 whole months since I brought the simulator out to the garage and not a single lap turned. I was now re-motivated to get this thing running.

    First issue was the dead usb hub, I was able to test each component one by one and determine that nothing was actually damaged. The downside was that I had assumed my MMOS Discovery board was toast and in an attempt to recover it I re-flashed it meaning that I lost all of my wheel settings. I spent a while going back through all the original OSW threads and finding settings that seem close to mine.

    Second Issue, I have an Arduino setup to trigger a relay that turns on my PC when I flip a switch. in turn the pc then turns on a second relay that tells the Arduino the pc is on. This allows me to flip a switch to turn the pc on, but not worry about accidentally shutting it down with the same switch. The whole system was essentially not working and after a lot of troubleshooting It ended up being that my PC bios was changed at some point and now the pc was powering USB ports even when powered off. this was turning on the status relay and keeping the Arduino from cycling the relay to start the pc.

    Third issue, I was running my wind generators off of a mega moto plus, which isn't a common setup. I just happened to have one laying around so I figured why not. A while back I picked up a Sabertooth 2x12 controller thinking it would be a much better and easier implementation. I was mostly looking at the sabertooth because it has 35khz switching frequency and the mega moto after direct port manipulation with an arduino was supposedly 20khz. My fans always made strange noises on speed changes though and I though the sabertooth might fix that. So I pulled my mega moto out and dropped in the sabertooth.

    IMG_2294.jpg

    My plan was to send serial commands to the sabertooth per the manual 0-127 for channel 1 and 128-255 for channel 2. after a lot of struggling I ended up settling for both of my fans wired on channel one because no matter what values I sent both channels were being driven. After talking with Dimension Engineering they said the arduino has known issues with sending serial communications to the sabertooth and that their library must be used. Either way I had working wind generators again.

    Fourth Issue, I have a Pyle 8 Channel amplifier and 8x transducers. It seemed like no matter what configuration I wired the amplifier up I could not get more than one or two transducers to work. I eventually pulled my amplifier apart expecting to find burnt components, but found nothing.


    IMG_2306.jpg

    After more investigation I found that the switches on the main panel didn't seem to be working correctly.

    IMG_2307.jpg

    I disassembled the amp even further to be able to work on the input/output circuit board.

    IMG_2309.jpg

    What I found was that the switches for selecting BUS/AUX/LINE and R/R+L/L were Double Pole Triple Throw switches and not all of the contacts were working when switched. I could wiggle the switch around and make them work, but they were unreliable. I ended up soldering jumpers on the back of each switch essentially locking the switch in the correct position. I also snapped off the actual switch so I cant accidentally change it later.

    IMG_2308.jpg

    I had all of my transducers working on the first try after I fixed the switches.
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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  3. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    With all of my issues fixed I set out to wire everything up in a more usable manner.

    Just a quick overview of everything that needed to be wired.
    Power - PC, Monitor, Amplifier, 3x Servo Drives
    USB - Monitor, Pedal, Wheel, Shifer, Ebrake, AMC-AASD115, Stream Deck, Oculus Sensor x2, Oculus Headset, OSW Discovery Board, Wind Generator Arduino, Keyboard, Wireless Internet
    Video - Monitor, Oculus
    Audio - Amplifier x 2
    Speaker Wire - Transducer x 4
    Servo - Actuator x3, OSW
    Custom - Switch Panel x 2RJ45

    Im sure I am missing a few things, but without my USB hub I almost maxed out my computer and I have 11 extra usb3 ports through expansion cards.

    I spend an entire evening updating all of the software on my pc, windows, simtools, iracing, simcommander, voice attack, etc.

    And after a few evenings of testing and adjusting I was finally able to turn laps in iracing.

    Here is where I am at now.

    IMG_2315.jpg IMG_2316.jpg IMG_2317.jpg IMG_2318.jpg IMG_2319.jpg IMG_2320 (1).jpg IMG_2320.jpg IMG_2322.jpg
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  4. hideki

    hideki Member

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    And I thought I had too many cables...;) Anyway, awesome setup
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  5. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Lots of work, but far less hardware damage than you expected, so a silver lining there ;)

    Seems a rats nest of wiring is often prominent in rebuilds, I am guessing cable management is still on the ToDo list.

    Great to see your rig is back in one piece, safe under its cover after its traumatic sojourn to its new home in the garage!
  6. Lesmore222

    Lesmore222 Member

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    Very inspirational build and as far as cables go I do not think it looks all that bad. I really like the cover is that from a motorcycle?
  7. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    Yes, The cable management is atrocious! I have big plans still, but I wanted to put the entire system through its paces before I start finalizing everything. Ultimately I Will have the entire Rig on that 4x6 mat with only one single power plug required to get it going.

    Lets just say I will be moving on up!
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  8. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    Trust me, cable management will be a priority down the road, I will end up with an extremely clean build when I am done testing everything.

    The cover is actually a UTV cover
    amazon.com/gp/product/B006JMK48G

    It is a little big, but my old rig was taller so I needed something that could accommodate the height.

    Being that its in the garage, dust is going to be an issue. Also I find that my kids are less likely to climb all over it when the cover is on it.
  9. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    @Thanos, I wanted to give a big shout out to you and thank you for the work you have done on the AMC-AASD115A controller. I have tried several motion control systems over the past few years and this has been the easiest to get going by far. I started with 3 brand new drives and a brand new controller and within 20 minutes I had everything setup and communicating with simtools. I was even further amazed that the very first time I did a lap in iracing everything actually worked. I cannot compare to the original SFX controller, but I am really happy with my AMC-AASD115A controller.
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  10. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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  11. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    Here is my first concept for the base of the simulator, I was trying to decide between an elevated platform or inverting the actuators and moving the attachment point up. I really like the inverted actuator design because it is so unique and gets the pivot point much higher on the rig. That should help with any CG/Tip issues.

    2020-10-07 15_26_52-Greenshot.png





    One thing I will have to accommodate is that the distance between the pivot point will change as the angle of the rig changes.

    @cfischer has a good drawing showing what I am talking about in this thread here.
    https://www.xsimulator.net/communit...actuator-and-using-4th-motor-for-surge.14793/

    I have a couple of ideas right off the bat. I could 3d print a tpu insert for a cup that the ball of the actuator rides in and hope that I can get enough flex to accommodate the change. Right now I am calculating about 0.125" side to side and about 0.25" front to back.

    Another Idea is to lock the front actuator in both the X&Y axis, then constrain one back actuator in the Y axis only and leave the 3rd actuator floating. That would allow everything to expand and contract as needed, There would be a slight offset movement to the rig as it goes through the motion, but again its 0.125" and 0.25" so it probably wouldn't be noticeable.


    2020-10-07 15_38_19-Greenshot.png

    Here is the way I could constrain the rear actuator, the front would just be a full cup.

    2020-10-07 15_44_28-Greenshot.png

    Ultimately I want everything tucked underneath so that I can keep the entire simulator to the 4x6 mat. The concept above would push the top of the frame rail to about 20" in the down position and 24" in the up position. I would have an electronics box of 62"x26"x9".


    My last rig was pretty clean when it was all done, I expect this one to be even better.

    [​IMG]
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  12. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    Need a little help understanding the way my rig is supposed to react. I followed the axis setup guide but I am still confused about surge and sway.

    I’m the output testing tab I have the following
    Roll slider to the right rig rolls right.
    Pitch slider to the right rig pitches forward
    Heave slider to the right the rig lifts up
    Sway slider to the right the rig rolls right.
    Surge slider to the right the rig pitches forward.

    So right now surge and sway go the same direction as pitch and roll on the sliders and should go opposite direction in game.

    This is why I am confused. If I am thinking about acceleration. If surge pitches the rig forward you would get pressure on your back initial but then lose it as you reach full pitch. If surge pitches the rig backwards the initial movement relieves pressure on your back but can then hold sustained pressure once it has reached full pitch back.


    I’m in the mindset that the simulated sustained force is what we are after. I guess I need to know which direction the rig should pitch during acceleration from surge only. Same with sway in a right hand turn which direction should the rig roll on sway only.

    appreciate any help on this.
  13. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    My Motion Simulator:
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  14. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Maybe this will give you some inspiration :).

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  15. Hoddem

    Hoddem Well-Known Member

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    HAHA, that looks like the last thing I need. Next thing you know I will be tearing everything back apart if I watch too many videos like that.
  16. cfischer

    cfischer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Nice, inverted actuators for the win. I vote for the cup idea.

    Good luck getting the feeling of sustained forces with chassis motion. On my pegleg rig I greatly preferred only counting on high frequency data coming through the chassis.

    imho low frequency is best left to pressure based systems like gseats and belts.
  17. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    DC motor, AC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    I will keep it short to not pollute the thread, but it looks very similar to my new sim, but without the actuator drive rods - everything therefore sits allot lower. G systems will be re-fitted :).
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  18. calikobe

    calikobe New Member

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    mannn all i gotta say is this is awesome! job well done!!

    im about to embark on my own sfx journey and i cant wait! but yours is mind blowing! hope your having a ton of fun mate!
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