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Newbie adventures

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by occhiso, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. occhiso

    occhiso New Member

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    I've never done anything like this before but I am a software developer and thought I could use this project to learn some new skills and have fun along the way!

    I've started identifying some steps for a simple 2DOF setup, which I'm half expecting not to work for my first attempt.
    I'm also planning on proving the concept before lashing out and spending money - I know others have done this but this is all new to me!


    First iteration - Learning Arduino (new skill: C++):
    - Buy an arduino and a couple of model servos (~$20)
    - 3D print a universal joint and a spaceship model from Thingiverse
    - Blu tack them to my desk :p
    - Write a sketch to control the servos and make it move
    - Download SimTools, use the test output thing to talk to the arduino

    Second iteration - Learning 3D design (new skill: Fusion360):
    - Design and 3D print a box for the model

    Third iteration - Learning SimTools (new skill: SimTools)
    - See if I can get the plugin for Elite Dangerous to prove the concept (before spending too much money)

    Fourth iteration - Scale up! (new skill: mechanical, electrical mods):
    - Buy some car wiper or power window motors and a real universal joint
    - Modify an old office chair with a universal joint
    - Work out power supply, motor drivers, potentiometer, etc.


    That's the rough plan! :D
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  2. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    My Motion Simulator:
    3DOF, DC motor, JRK
  3. occhiso

    occhiso New Member

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    I've been busy chipping away at this project - I should have posted more!

    Arduino

    I ended up buying a cheap NodeMCU ESP8266 ($10) and 2x SG90 RC servos ($5 each) from eBay and I've been messing around with Arduino programming.

    @noorbeast, I know you said I didn't need to write my own sketch but I kinda wanted to learn it myself :)
    I found example code for:
    1. Serial IO
    2. Wifi
    3. Servo control
    4. UDP server

    I did learn a lot from this post though, kudos to @BlazinH:
    https://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/data-from-simtool-to-arduino.8459/#post-105546

    Then I mashed them together and eventually came up with two variations of a sketch for this job:
    1. Using a serial connection (the one I'll likely use)
    2. Using a wifi connection with UDP (for fun)

    I configured SimTools to output like this:
    [​IMG]
  4. occhiso

    occhiso New Member

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    3D Printing

    After that I started looking on Thingiverse and found models for:
    1. A case for the Arduino
    2. A universal joint
    3. A ship from Elite Dangerous (Sidewinder, starter ship)

    In the slicing software I was able to merge one half of the universal joint into the bottom of the sidewinder which will give me a good pivot point for the universal joint.

    Printed them out, temporarily blutacked them together and they look great!

    [​IMG]

    The next step is to make a small modification to the model so I can attach some rods to the back of the ship.
    I've been playing around with Fusion 360 and have started (and finished) another project (modifying Oculus Rift Sensor Mounts) with that since so I'm definitely getting more confident with it!
    • Like Like x 1