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PT-Actuators 3DOF system?

Discussion in 'Commercial Simulators and Peripherie' started by LukeBrown, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. LukeBrown

    LukeBrown New Member Gold Contributor

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    Hi everybody. First time poster here so go easy on me!

    I'm researching the best option for adding motion onto my SimLab GT1-Evo rig. I've already decided that I want full platform motion instead of a seat mover. I've also already discounted the SFX100 route as I'm not really up for a big DIY project and other systems such as the D-Box are way too expensive. The PT-Actuator systems seem good in terms of the performance specs and also the pricing (just over $3k USD for a 3 actuator 3DOF system or $5k USD for a 4 actuator system. Those prices are including everything such motion controller and Sim Tools software).

    However, it's been hard to find many reviews of them online so hence why I'm starting this thread. I'd love to hear from anybody that's used them and in particular their 3DOF system with 3 actuators.

    3DOF using 3 actuators.... http://www.pt-actuator.com/proshow.asp?strID=158
    3DOF using 4 actuators.... http://www.pt-actuator.com/proshow.asp?strID=156

    I also have a few specific questions....

    1) What's the main difference between the two options? The 4 actuator system is almost $2k USD more expensive, but from what I've researched there is no difference in the motion provided (pitch/roll/heave). The 4 actuator system just gives some extra stability to the rig?

    2) If the 3 actuator system is not so stable, then how much of a concern is that? Also what about the angle the single actuator would make to the floor when in a maximum roll situation? I've asked PT-Actuators directly about this and they say it's not a problem at all. However, why does everybody tend to go with the more expensive 4 actuator setup if a 3 actuator setup is basically the same?

    3) If I go with a 3 actuator setup, is it best to have the end with just the single actuator at the front or the back of the rig? From balance perspective it seems to be more logical to have the two at the front and then one at the rear behind the seat (like a reclining bike) but then I'm also thinking that the driver and seat end of the rig is the heaviest, so maybe two at the back makes more sense?
  2. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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  3. LukeBrown

    LukeBrown New Member Gold Contributor

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    Thanks a lot. Yes it's just for a sim racing. I may consider traction loss in the future but at this stage I'm just looking at a standard 3 or 4 actuator system with Pitch/Roll/Heave.

    I believe their packages include a controller. This is what they said is included....

    For 3dof hardware configurations:
    3 Actuator which mounted perpendicular
    1 set of AMC-MDbox controller
    3 set of floor contact cups 3 set of servo actuators ( 250mm/s, 150kg force, and stroke 150mm)
    3 set of U brackets
    1 set of 3in1 MDbox servo driver (750w X 4)
    3 set of power and encoder cables (2meters long)

    Sim Tools software
  4. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    Here is example axis assignment for simtools for 3DOF like that...

    3DOF Axis assignements.jpg

    Thanks
    Thanos
  5. LukeBrown

    LukeBrown New Member Gold Contributor

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    Thanks a lot Thanos, appreciate your input and help :)
  6. Scblacksunshine

    Scblacksunshine New Member

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    Hi there, I am actually in the same situation as you and looking for similar option. Also considering the upcoming Trakracer TR160 8020 rig as well. For stability and overall performance, will it be better to have the single PT actuator at the front or at the back? Reason I ask is because neither the Simlab or Trakracer 8020 have front bracing to mount the actuator. I am thinking maybe two on the front (to the side) and one on the back. If I look at Rseat with 2 Dbox, that's how they have it mounted as well. I am new to this whole thing so any feedback and input is much appreciated.

    Also, noise level is a concern, SCN6 is pretty squeeky loud, are the PT-actuator much quieter? What's the rated durability on them?
  7. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    If you want you can mount two actuators on the front sides, and one actuator in the back. It will work the same. Simtools can be configured for any arrangement of the actuators.

    I recommend the other way around for better load sharing as the back side with the driver usually has the most weight.

    Thanks
    Thanos
  8. Scblacksunshine

    Scblacksunshine New Member

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    Thanks for your help Thanos. How's the noise level on the PT actuators?
  9. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    See these videos:



  10. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    And this video ( I forgot about it)

  11. LukeBrown

    LukeBrown New Member Gold Contributor

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    I also had this same question and had it confirmed that it can be setup either way. The only consideration is the weight load on each actuator. There is a trade-off between weight load and actuation speed performance. The highest weight is most likely at the rear of the sim (frame/seat/person) so with only a single actuator at the rear it may not perform so well with the higher amount of weight on it. With two at the back the heavy end of the rig is spread across two actuators, so they will perform faster/better, and then the single actuator at the front is supporting the lighter end of the rig. The only concern I have with mounting the single actuator at the front is that it may limit the placement of the pedals as they wouldn't be able to overlap the front of the frame at all. Potentially might make it tricky to get a correct driving position, especially if you're tall.

    Anyway, I placed my order for a 3 actuator system and I'll also be ordering the TR160 when it comes out. I'll test around with both configurations and see what works best. I'll keep this thread updated as I progress.
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  12. Scblacksunshine

    Scblacksunshine New Member

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    Excellent, please keep us updated on your final build, very interested since I am thinking of the same thing and strongly considering the TR160 as well, hopefully the price and value is there and not Rseat pricing.
  13. LukeBrown

    LukeBrown New Member Gold Contributor

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    This was shared to me on another thread. First time I've seen a 3 actuator system actually in operation.

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  14. Scblacksunshine

    Scblacksunshine New Member

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    Thanks for posting This. This is pretty much the exact same setup I was thinking of, now just have to wait until Simlab get the GT1 back in stock or wait for the release Trak side TR160.
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  15. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    With the type of data we are using (not really designed to drive a 4 leg system) and the actuators can take the load, it makes much more sense.
  16. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    You can see the driver seat is sitting near the middle of the platform with considerable empty space in the back to better balance the load from the driver and the cockpit between the three actuators. This platform uses 1000watt servomotors, with 500mm/s leadscrew actuators. But same load ability can be achieved with 750watt AASD-15A servos and 250mm/s leadscrew actuators (just not going to have the 3G accelerations that platform can provide!)

    Thanks
    Thanos
  17. Scblacksunshine

    Scblacksunshine New Member

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    Yeah the more I read about this and examine the cockpit I want to get, the more I am leaning towards a 4DOF setup. The two rigs I want to get, looks like both might present a challenge in mounting an actuator at the front due to clearance with the pedals, 4dof shouldn't be an issue since it's side mount to the rig. Will the 4Dof be ok mounting to a rig like below with smaller 8020 than 160mm?

    https://sim-lab.eu/product/gt2-sim-racing-chassis/
  18. Thanos

    Thanos Building the Future one AC Servo at a time... or 6

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    This cockpit is very small, what you can do is to add external frame beams to make it a little longer and have some extra spacing to add the actuators:

    4DOF Frame.jpg

    Essentially, the rig on the link you provided, will be mounted inside the one on the drawing above.
  19. Scblacksunshine

    Scblacksunshine New Member

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    Thanks. Think I am probably better off with this and 4Dof instead. I think there should be enough room for all four actuators on the side without any additional modification to the cockpit.

    https://sim-lab.eu/product/p1-x-sim-racing-chassis/
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