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I am so excited! Need help with 2DOF restoration

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by Lawwolf7567, Mar 12, 2021.

  1. Lawwolf7567

    Lawwolf7567 New Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Motion platform
    FB64B69E-40EE-4E03-92EC-AD060A554D7B.jpeg 9E9FC198-5950-4E42-B567-E74786CDAB6D.jpeg AA8E359C-03F8-4EE0-90AB-A8D219730049.jpeg
    The photos show how the motors were previously control through a ribbon cable that has been cut. I have no idea what software used to run the system but clearly this was the interface between the Motor controllers, the motors, and the computer. Presumably software sent signals to the motor controllers. For now I just want to get this thing hooked back up. I need to figure out how to reconnect the simulator to the computer interface and that is why I tested the Arduino. The test worked so I was going to initially set it up as a car with live for speed because there is already available set-ups and plug-ins for this configuration and from there Once I learn, I can migrate it to flight simulation software. A car will just need a usb wheel and pedal set-up without all of the instrumentation the aircraft need. I eventually may mount my full cockpit on top of the platform
  2. Gadget999

    Gadget999 Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, 6DOF
    It looks to me that you have 2 controller boxes and they have 3 wires each

    My guess is

    +v
    -v
    Signal voltage

    See if you can find the make and model and if there is a manual.


    Right now I would try and apply a variable voltage and see if you can get them to move

    But you need to find out what pins does what and how many volts it is rated at !
  3. Lawwolf7567

    Lawwolf7567 New Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Motion platform
    Any system I finally end up with I want to keep the fuselage because of the accurate dimensions that can use to make all of the switches operation in the correct positions. 3058C367-11CA-46B4-AB24-448F22398A20.jpeg
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Lawwolf7567

    Lawwolf7567 New Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Motion platform
    It appears to be scratchbuilt, do you mean like a simple circuit with a potentiometer?
  5. Zed

    Zed VR Simming w/Reverb Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, JRK
    If you are looking to make the switches, knobs, and levers all work, The Leo Bodnar stuff might be a resource - http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/. They are in the UK but have USB interfaces that are pretty versatile. I’m sure there are other good ways of going too but I just started work with Bodnar boards to get better controls in my sim cockpit and they make it easy. I had parts in hand within days though shipping is a bit steep to the US.
  6. Gadget999

    Gadget999 Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Arduino, 6DOF
    The wires may be pwm and direction

    Is this is the case you maybe able to use an arduino and the smc3 code
  7. cfischer

    cfischer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    You're absolutely right. I apologize for offending you. I see how my response comes across like I implied you said they are pathetically low wattage. I have always enjoyed your posts over the years and you've had a lot of great contributions to many people's projects. Please forgive my lack of tact.

    I too quickly responded, partially because I just saw some others close to me get confused by the voltage on a stepper motor plate costing time and money.


    I agree it will probably be slow, but upgrading the motions won't fix the sweeping motion you mention.
    Unless I'm missing something? He is still confined to the 2dof pendulum motion with better motors.

    I don't understand this. Looks to me like he has 2 steppers, one for pitch, one for roll. This is exactly what simtools or flypt mover can control directly. Maybe I'm wrong.


    Isnt that blue box just a stepper driver? Hes already controlling it with an arduino using step and direction I think. Nearly all the work is done. No need to invest in any motors or drivers. He can feel for himself how the 2dof system will provide data into his body.

    All he has to do is upload the code I linked and setup his favorite flight sim in simtools or flypt.


    Again, sorry for my words coming across like an attack.
  8. cfischer

    cfischer Active Member Gold Contributor

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  9. Zed

    Zed VR Simming w/Reverb Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    @cfischer - Yeah, it will always be a 2 DOF (without a bigger rebuild) but what I was meaning was the current motors are low torque and geared way down so will likely be very slow and gentle as they move the top frame. But with more typical motors, that can speed way up since that’s the major difference between the sim as is now and the sims people build here. He can strip down to the pivot and add some worm output gearmotors in the traditional configuration to get the motion upgrade, but the “actuators” he has now are similar to linear actuators and with fast and powerful motors would also work. That’s why I mentioned the slop - if the current screw drives have a lot of end play, he might want to just go to worm output gearmotors (or whatever is most suited). But the pivot can still be an issue too since it looks like two orthogonal axis pillow block bearing sets make the pivot now. Using “sweeping motion” may also not be totally correct but is how I think (so just a guess) the thing runs stock. As is, it looks like most coin-op rides and they kind of just wander around, pitch, and roll.

    I made the assumption he wanted to upgrade the motion to SimTools control while staying with the already-present 2 DOF base. To go to higher DOF means building a whole new frame for the most part. Yaw/traction loss could be added/tacked on pretty easy but anything else, especially a six, is going to be about like building from scratch aside from the cockpit stuff. I based everything I said on a desire to just upgrade the motions on a standard 2 DOF instead of something more ambitious especially since he was trying to get the existing motors to work with an Arduino.

    And what I meant was it would be difficult or impossible to make the existing motors work with SimTools and not the rig. Just swapping motors for more powerful versions and putting in some kind of feedback to be more responsive would be easy. Sure, you can use an Arduino to sort the steps and direction but SimTools is constantly sending new commands. A controller would have to start ramping and then would get another command and need to re-evaluate the ramp and by the time it starts to act, it gets another command. Maybe not impossible but the sim would possibly feel like it was just locked up or quivering for all but sustained moves in one direction. Constant reversals might also make it easier to lose steps since there doesn’t appear to be any independent way to know top frame position (no feedback). Motor controllers like most here use just spike the motor PWM to get motors going. Instead of gentle starts or stops thanks to ramps, they go the other way and hit hardest when the errors are greatest between current and desired positions. Unless the steppers are really powerful, they can’t respond like that and the steppers it came with don’t look anywhere close to being able to do that. It might work, and I’m saying this with experience with steppers but not in applications like this, but I tend to think all he will get with these steppers is trouble. Again, I’m guessing somewhat, but as a ride, the motors were possibly just cycling back and forth between limits. I don’t see any feedback mechanism other than a microswitch that looks like it activates at a limit so it was either counting steps and relying on that for positioning, or it was just cycling and using the limit switches to know when to reverse. Either way, I don’t see using these motors with SimTools. Maybe it will work. I could be wrong.

    The one way it could work for testing would be in SimTools using the sliders to test the signal chain and drive the motors. That should work fine. But I think in practice, if the ramps were even just a second long, there would generally be small movements that never get out of the ramp so the sim would kind of sit there except for the big motions. Those ramps would act a little like time constants and lop the peaks off motions. It could still work but I tend to think it would be only to learn from and no real progress would be made to a rideable sim. And maybe it doesn’t need ramps but I still think (saying this without ever seeing the rig in person) it will be at best a situation where you say, “Ok it works. Now let’s gut it to make it really work.”

    At best using the steppers to evaluate it as a 2 DOF would give a very stilted view of 2 DOF motion which really isn’t bad. The only time I’ve ridden 6 DOF sims is in full scale military motion sims and they are very convincing and I think always will be better than 2 DOF, but OP never asked for help choosing between a 2 DOF base or others. There are also reasons not to build a 6 DOF in spite of the superior motion - money, space, power among them. None of this was mentioned so I assumed we were only talking about making his sims work as proper 2 DOF units (though I would consider shakers and wind).

    And no big deal. I just felt I was being used as a strawman. Carry on.
  10. Lawwolf7567

    Lawwolf7567 New Member

    Joined:
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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, Motion platform
    325A109F-A583-47D5-A417-C39031983204.jpeg D97FAF62-C4A0-4116-B90E-95B42368460C.jpeg I am learning the Arduino and have run a test with a potentiometer. I can vary the speed of the stepper motor through the potentiometer connected to the Arduino. Now I know the Arduino will accept input and convert it to output and the power supply, motor drivers, and stepper motors all operate correctly in response to the input. Logically this seems like progress! Simultaneously I am building a small model and circuit with small stepper motors so I can connect my model to simtools can learn how the software and the arduino work together to create output the Arduino can send to the motors. It seems like the motor has a lot of torque with the stock set-up. It appears to e a matched set all by the same manufacturer, but it has not been tested under any load. I am just happy that I seem to be closing in the last few steps link the software to the arduino.