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Showroom RiftFlyers G-Seat Project

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by RiftFlyer, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Hi all. I have been a member here for a long time but not very active since I abandoned my earlier plans to build a 6dof platform. I have been beavering away at a G-Seat for the Oculus Rift in my spare time. I am finally getting to a point where I am ready to see some motion so I decided it was time to share with the community. I will also likely need to call on some of your expertise when it comes to the software stage. The design is very similar to that of Bergison whose work inspired the build.

    I have previously experimented with the other free motion software but I am finding it very hard to get my head around. I have decided to try the tools here so I can make an informed decision on which one to use.

    This project has been very slow. I have had to learn a lot of new skills and push myself to keep going. I have never used a welder before or done any fabrication in metal for example and like many of you, finding time for projects like this can be difficult. I also made a fundamental mistake! I will get into that further down after some pictures. Nobody likes a wall of text.


    I am using wiper motors, MM and arduino for the actuators. Power is from two 47 amp 12 volt power supplies.

    IMG_0262.JPG

    Dont Laugh! My first attempt at welding

    IMG_0263.JPG

    The centre hinge support braces are not fixed in place yet as final adjustment will be needed.

    IMG_0264.JPG

    IMG_0265.JPG

    This was my first test bench setup for the actuators. I had to modify slightly for the final arrangement in the seat but this served as a good exercise.

    IMG_0272.JPG


    I decided to separate the base from the seat using rubber engine mounts. This will serve to reduce noise and also isolate the seat from the sensitive controls.

    IMG_0301.JPG

    IMG_0302.JPG

    As you can tell my primary use for the seat is with helicopter flight simulation. This leaves me only one title to really enjoy. DCS. Although FSX could be used it is a terrible representation of helicopter flight dynamics. The other option - XPlane will not support the Oculus Rift.

    Now to the big mistake! I moved this setup from my garage to my PC. Two bits of MDF later I had a flyable but completely static simulator. It took a lot of motivation to strip it down and get it back to the garage and finish it. The lesson - don't put your seat in the same room as your PC until it is ready to be connected :)

    Attached Files:

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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    I finally took the seat apart and got back to the garage. I finalized the actuator arrangement and positions for the rear flaps. I had to add a new platform behind the backrest to get the mounting geometry correct. Sorry for the size of the images in this post. Pots are not fixed in place yet.

    IMG_7513.jpg

    I also took the opportunity to redo a lot of the welds and add paint to hold back the rust.

    IMG_7514.jpg IMG_7516.jpg

    IMG_7517.jpg IMG_7518.jpg
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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  4. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Next I added a few more layers of paint and took the seat back to the PC to start on the electronics


    IMG_7529.JPG
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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  5. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    For the electronics I decided to use a separate power supply for the base and backrest. That will mean one MM and arduino for each.

    I want to be able to easily stop the actuators if the need arises. The result would be a kill switch situated within easy reach between my legs at the front of the seat.

    I placed the power components inside a plastic housing. I have two switches to turn on each power supply. Power is then supplied through two relays which are activated by the kill switch. Fuses were also added for extra security.


    Internals of the power box


    Power-box.jpg


    Switches to trigger each supply.


    Switches.jpg

    Proposed location of the kill switch.

    Installation-of-Power-Syste.jpg

    This is where I currently stand with the build. I am currently making up two more boxes for the Arduino and MM boards with active cooling. I am also not happy with the belt tension on my pulley system for the pots. I have purchased some idler pulleys to ensure the belt wont skip on the smaller pulley. Next will be to turn my attention to the base of the seat and create two more actuators. More to come!
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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  6. RacingMat

    RacingMat Well-Known Member Gold Contributor

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    Great job! I have added your post in the gSeat FAQ ;)
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  7. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    I am really enjoying following your innovative project, great concept and execution.

    One request, can you please insert the images as thumbnails because on my very slow net connection most of the images don't actually load.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  8. Wanegain

    Wanegain Active Member

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    Very good project indeed.
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  9. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement guys.

    @noorbeast I will edit my posts to use thumbnails once back at my PC. I am currently on mobile. I had resized the images to make them smaller but now see I should have used thumbnails instead.
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  10. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    I hit a snag when tuning with smc3. The belt and pulley arrangement I'm using on the pots aren't up to the task. The mxl belts skip on the pulleys during quick direction changes. I fitted a couple of idler pulleys to increase the contact surface area but it didn't help. The belt teeth just don't have enough purchase on the pulleys. If I increase tension further it increases drag in the system considerably and I can see it in the amp draw of the motors.

    I have been looking for a pinion gear arrangement that will allow for better mesh. It's difficult to find the correct ratio which also allows for the 8mm bolt in the larger gear and a 1/4inch bore for the pot. I found some mod1 gears but they are very pricey.

    Things are going to be on hold for a little while.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. MAYA One

    MAYA One Member

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    Good idea, look forward to the video.
  12. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    @RiftFlyer: I found your project when searching for "oculus" within this forum. What you did up to now looks great!

    About connecting motor and pot: I did it with module 1 gear, and I am really satisfied with the result. You can find some photos in my thread which show the connection.

    http://www.xsimulator.net/community/threads/jrk-12v12-based-2-dof-seat-mover.7684/

    The only thing I had to do was widening the hole within one pinion from 6mm to 1/2 inch, because it sits directly on the motor axis.

    Best regards,
    Markus
  13. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Thanks @MarkusB

    I have purchased some mod1 gears to test.
  14. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Ok Guys I received my Mod1 Gears and sorted my issues with Sim tools and DCS not talking! Thanks to @noorbeast for his help with links which lead me to figure out what I was doing wrong :thumbs


    I completed an electronics box to house the Arduino and MM and provide active cooling to the board. USB and other wiring will be tidied later.

    IMG_7636.JPG


    I installed the mod 1 gears after first removing a slot for the bolt which drives the harness tensioning pulley

    IMG_7632.JPG

    I now have motion from DCS for the first time and I am starting to get the hang of Sim Tools

    Here is a quick video I did to show the progress. Sorry for the low light. I will make a better video at a later stage in the build.

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  15. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Now that I've had a chance to use the seat with some movement I've decided to make an alteration to the flaps in the backrest. @MarkusB this may be of interest to you ;-)

    As you can see in my pictures due to the positioning of the hinge point as positive pitch is applied I feel pressure on my sides and sink back into the seat. This works really well. The issue is with negative pitch. As I transition back to a nose down attitude in the helicopter the flap pressure outbound of the hinge recedes and the flaps straighten out. This unfortunately also applies pressure to my back in the inbound section of the flaps. Due to the fact I had sunk back into the seat I now get pushed back out. This Pressure feels unrealistic. With lowering the nose all back pressure should be removed and I should only get pressure on my shoulders from the harness (once fitted).

    I'm going to move the pivot points closer together so I don't actually sink back into the backrest. I've watched some more gs4 seat videos and notice that all pressure seems to stem from the flaps pushing against the user. Rather than the user sinking back into the seat it is the seat which pushes the user forward. The pressure applied is similar but this method works better when pressure is removed. To the user it's the pressure that gives the sensation not the slight movement in body position.

    It should be a straightforward modification. I'll report back on my findings.
    • Informative Informative x 1
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  16. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    @RiftFlyer: Thanks for these interesting observations. This is indeed interesting for me, and it sounds plausible. I am looking forward to reading about your experiences with the modified design. And I am also curious about the "heave feeling" caused by the seat flaps, once you have them connected.
  17. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Here is the tuning flight which I created to test the force outputs. I can just replay the flight in game to have a repeatable baseline output for tuning my settings.

    As can be seen the stationary pirouettes, which should have a lateral force component, data from the existing plugin forces are not of any use. I've sought help with this in the dcs plugin thread where I think I've found the required extra output that is needed. I'm also struggling to see what the sway force is actually doing.





    Moving the pivot point of the flaps in the backrest inward has made a huge difference. The forces now feel much better. Especially when the flaps are moving back. The inbound section of the flap is no longer exerting pressure during this process and in the rift it actually feels like you are falling forward out of the seat rather than being pushed forward as it was before.
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  18. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    @RiftFlyer: Would it be possible that you provide a sketch with the dimensions of your seat, like length, width, height, angles, etc.? (Nothing sophisticated; a freehand drawing would be completely sufficient.)

    I know that there is an own thread dedicated to rig dimensions, but the rigs mentioned there don't have a DIY seat.

    Best regards,
    Markus
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  19. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    Sure Markus. I'll do up a sketch this evening. It's a generic seat loosely based on the dimmensions of the bell 206 jetranger helicopter.
  20. Adrianstealth

    Adrianstealth Active Member

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    Agreed,

    Will the base have movers on too? Or is it moving from behind the back only ?

    Nice compact design/setup
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  21. RiftFlyer

    RiftFlyer Active Member Gold Contributor

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    @Adrianstealth Yes the base of the seat will also have two flaps and belt pulleys. Then I will fit a four point harness over the wooden pulleys which will also apply tension across the shoulders and waist when the flaps retract (negative G).