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NEW PRO HARDWARE SYSTEM FOR MOTORS!! READ!!

Discussion in 'SimTools compatible interfaces' started by racerg, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi everyone:

    I have been a member for a while but have not had too much time to contribute here.

    I am an electronics engineer and myself and my software partner have been looking at X-Sim and doing a lot of reading and testing for some time now.

    We want to offer our expertise to further our sim hobbies and make it easier for all of us to have fun with this...

    We will soon offer a full hardware platform, which you can program based on the Arduino system.

    It will be a single board that contains:

    1) An arduino compatible microprocessor section.
    2) 3 high power DC motor controllers.
    3) LCD display
    4) Encoder inputs, etc.
    5) As well as other hardware... :)

    We will sell the complete hardware platform, fully assembled and tested at a low cost (it is all surface mount technology).

    Our new company website is not complete, but you can see the start: www.elec-fun.com.

    Development of this hardware has not been cheap, and we will soon take orders (and have a full description with pictures) on the http://www.kickstarter.com/ page. Note, not there yet...soon!

    The Kickstarter system allows you to order safely and assures us that we can recover our modest investment for hardware development, software development and prototypes.

    We will also provide, at no cost, the software drivers for it to work with X-Sim, or another software platform if someone designs it...

    So, what I am saying is...we will be your COMPLETE hardware solution to easily drive up to 3 large DC motors, as well as provide the software drivers for it...

    Our new system, takes the best ideas we have seen here and, hopefully, integrates all of them into a really great hardware platform that should make talking to motors very fast and easy!!!

    Now, someone needs to tell us WHICH software to make it work with...X-Sim, or??

    I hope all the fighting can stop and all of us can get back to our hobby!!

    -Gary
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. bvillersjr

    bvillersjr Active Member

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    In case you missed it in the other thread, my two cents:

    I attempted to have a business based around X-Sim and provide DIY parts to the community. I invested alot of time and effort in the products and this community over the years.

    The future of X-Sim was always in question and to be brutally honest I felt like the developer may be a bit unstable, as the project was always in the process of being cancelled, then revived, as you can see. It nearly gave me ulcers because at that time, my business relied on X-Sim existing.

    I finally had to divorce myself from the insanity and make my own software. My suggestion to you is to do the same....control your own destiny, do not leave the future of your investment in unstable hands.
  4. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi Berney:

    Thanks for your reply! I don't know your deep history here and I don't know SirNoName at all.

    I only know that many, many people have invested a lot of there monies and time to build sims, as a hobby, based on X-Sim: I have deep respect for you and the others that contribute so much to this forum and I hope I can as well!!

    What I said is, we have developed some great hardware for simmers to use. We are happy to support ANY software development, X-Sim or otherwise with free drivers, example code, etc. to run on the product we will sell.

    We are not doing this to get rich, we are doing this because we WANT to contribute to this exciting hobby anyway we can...

    You said on another post, that you wanted to develop some sim software to work with various games: maybe we can work toward that??

    It tears me up to see the problems and i hope I can understand more and I hope it can be solved for EVERYONE's benefit, I really do!!

    -Gary
  5. bsft

    bsft

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    Have you got any photos of your setups you can share as a start?
    That is until your website is up and running.
    How big a DC motor are you talking about , 50w, 100, 200, 500w?
  6. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi BSFT:

    No photos yet, we did protos (hardwired) then straight to fabrication for the surface mount parts.

    Soon, I hope!

    It can handle up to about 500 watts.

    We design electronics as our business, with the sim stuff as our hobby...

    What we are trying to do now, is to get an idea on interest...

    As I said before, if X-sim goes away, we will want to work with someone who can do new software, to make sure our product will work...

    -Gary
  7. kubing

    kubing Member

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    you need to develop your on software for good. i already throw a lot of time and money for hardware research to be used with x-sim. :D
  8. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi Kubing and everyone:

    Thanks for your reply.

    Your systems looks great by the way...!

    I should be more clear when I talk about software:

    1) Our system is a full 3 DOF system and will include the software to get up and running (PID code, etc.).

    2) If the system is to be used with X-Sim, we will also provide the USB drivers for working directly with X-Sim.

    3) What I was saying in my post is, IF X-Sim goes away and someone else develops something similar to X-Sim, we want to work with that person to make sure our system is compatible...

    We want to be your long term hardware solution for DIY motion sim electronic hardware.

    Our solution is a fully integrated hardware solution, one board, nothing external, other than power, encoders and motors required.

    -Gary
  9. RaceRay

    RaceRay Administrator Staff Member SimAxe Beta Tester

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    My Motion Simulator:
    2DOF, DC motor, SimAxe, SimforceGT
    Hi Gary,

    developing a universal motion simulator software is very complex piece of software which needs hundreds /thousands of man-hours to create it. Creating a free fork of the software is not foreseeable in the next time i think

    If sirnoname is not willing to integrate the driver for your 3DOF system you can´t do anything to make your system fully compatible.

    Btw. Is there already end-customer price range of your project?
  10. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi Raceray:

    Thanks for your comments. We want to support X-Sim, assuming it's going to be around. We will develop the drivers for our board to be compatible with X-Sim, that is not so hard for us to do... :)

    I know something such as X-Sim takes many hours of work... I hope X-sim can continue!

    But, the point I was trying to make is: IF someone else, as some people said, are going to make another software system, similar to X-Sim, we want to work w/them to make it function with our hardware.

    We will have pricing soon...we will try and make it as cost effective as possible to support our great hobby here...

    Still confused as to what the fight between SirNoName and others is about and if I can help resolve it somehow, or help you...let me know!

    -Gary
  11. tronicgr

    tronicgr

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    Will be open source? Assuming you are using arduino...
  12. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi Tronicgr:

    Regarding Open Source, we will follow that as much as we can...

    -Gary
  13. cthiggin

    cthiggin Active Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    racerg,
    I'm brand new to this and any other motion simulator forum. I just happened to see the CKAS Thruxim and really like the small footprint. At 65, and very mechanical,
    I know I can build a similar unit, but as far as the motors/pots/links/interfacing/ well, all of the electrical stuff, I'm lost. I have read so much at many of the forums that it's all starting to flow together into one big mess. I saw on this post one person that built a CKAS and it looks good, however, the motion and response leaves a lot to be desired, in comparison to the CKAS video. I will only be using for FSX and Prepar3d.
    When you folks are up and running, can you put my issues to rest? - I would buy the CKAS Thruxim, however, with shipping to AL, USA, I can't stand the 8000 range. Know I can build it for 75% Less.
    Good luck and I'm looking forward to your opening.
    Tom, Montgomery, USA
  14. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi Tom:

    You are exactly the kind of person our product is focused towards...as long as you are using a DC motor: our system will not work with AC motors (that may be another upcoming product).

    If you don't mind, so that we can keep track of interest, please go to the prelim site: www.elec-fun.com and send a mail. Others interested please do the same and we will keep you updated here as well!

    -Gary
  15. bsft

    bsft

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    Your system would want to have some grunt to it.
    Some of use use JRK's at 30 amps continuous with either boat winch motors or big 200w worm gear motors with great success, and of course different configurations of sim design.
    What are your planned sim designs. Are you going to customise or stick with one design.
    Are you planning to make a control board - hbridge setup for people to put on their existing frames?
    Are you going to use the current x-sim 2 or the x-sim 3 software?
    How versatile are you planning this to be , or is it restricted to a small source.
    Regards, David.
  16. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi David:

    We will have fully integrated high power drivers on board, 30 amp should be OK.

    Regarding what type of sim designs: it is an up to 3 motor (3 DOF) controller at this point. We will only offer the electronics at this point. Perhaps later we will offer motors and encoders...but, too many possible motors in the world!

    Regarding which X-Sim version: I hope both, although I have not played with version 3 at all...kind of waiting for the X-Sim 'disputes' to settle down now, and hope SirNoName comes back w/us!!

    We want to be as versatile as possible...we really want this to be a universal sim controller.

    Great questions, David, keep 'em coming!

    -Gary
  17. bsft

    bsft

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    Electronic boards, thats good. Considering jrks are $99 each and you need one per motor, I hope your setup comes near that sort of figure.
  18. tronicgr

    tronicgr

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    I don't expect lower price than three times the price of jrk's ... even if its based in arduino. Motor drivers cost more than anything. Go figure...
  19. tronicgr

    tronicgr

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    So, since nothing else than the output watts for the motors announced... I should ask for some specifications then:

    1. What the PID period would be in milliseconds?
    2. Is it going to be USB emulating COM device? What is the poll rate of data from the computer in milliseconds?
    3. What is the highest speed of capturing quadrature encoder pulses (assuming some motors give more than 8000 cpr)
    4. Will be option for the control section to use different external motor drivers or will be fixed like jrks?
    5. What will be used for power of the board and/or the motors? Should I assume that is only for 12volt motors?
    6. What arduino compatible chip will be used? How many MIPS?

    and last but most important what motion software will be using?
  20. racerg

    racerg Going too fast... SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor

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    Hi Tronicgr:

    My software partner is still sleeping, so I will try and answer your questions:

    1: I don't know offhand. It's now using a derivative of the Arduino PID library. It's fast!

    2: Yes, standard USB using standard USB chip.

    3: Again, not sure, but very, very fast code...

    4: Yes, we have the option on-board of internal motors drivers, and connectors for connecting to external drivers.

    5: Great question...for now 12 volt, although I want to ask here...24 volt and 48 volt?

    6: AtMega 2560 chip...not sure offhand how many MIPS it is...but more than fast enough for this purpose.

    When you say what motion software...not sure of your question...you mean like X-Sim, or which Games?

    -Gary
  21. w3woody

    w3woody New Member

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    Some of the questions here can't really be answered until we get our first prototype hardware in hand. However, between racerg and I, we've probably about half a century combined hardware and software experience, so I anticipate that we should be able to optimize the code and hardware experience to be fairly solid and reliable in a variety of circumstances.

    - Bill