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SMC3 based DIY 2DOF from NZ

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by James Robbie, May 25, 2017.

  1. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    This might sound silly but I am grasping at straws with finding the cause - if the arduino isnt plugged in (have power applied) and or the wiring is incorrect, could this be the cause of not getting any output power from the MM? I am sure I have double and triple checked the wiring. I have tested with turning the POT's one way completely and then the opposite way completely. Can I be sure the POT's are functional if they are responding correctly in the SMC3 Utility software?

    Grasping for advice/reassurance/direction...
    :sos
  2. Zed

    Zed VR Simming w/Vive

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    Replied in other thread but posting here too in case I'm wrong. I don't have experience with the MM and Arduinos for motion (do have for wind) but I bet the MMs need to be commanded to energize the outputs.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  3. dr.feelgood

    dr.feelgood Member Gold Contributor

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  4. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    Hi @dr.feelgood, thanks for the response. Trust me, I am trying to do everything as incremental as possible so that i can learn and understand. I have only gone as far as the initial setup and it failed on me hence the attempts to fault find the MM. The only difference is that I have unsoldered my motors and have a mutlimeter across the output terminals measuring DC volts

    I have got a 5v and GND from off the arduino to the POTs and the MM and the POTs are working/responding in the Utility software so I would like to assume the MM is getting adequate power and signal. I am using a Arduino Nano so maybe I need to try with an UNO and run an external supply to the arduino? I havent seen people mention this as a requirement though.

    One thing I was a little unsure about was step 6 - Set Clip to 255 (you need to do this first) and Limit to 255 (This will give you plenty of margin if something goes wrong while setting up). In the software, I am assuming this means Clip is referencing the "Clip Limits" and the Limit is referencing the Max Limits"?
  5. dr.feelgood

    dr.feelgood Member Gold Contributor

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    Sure you can measure voltage from MM, it is safe thing, but you could also tests with motors while they are not connected to any metal or each other -> you won't burn them when changing polarity....

    Clip thing is important when you have pots fixed good to mounts and/or you have chair-moving levers connected to motors (so mechanical collision is possible). I felt safe doing tests when my pots were mounted with flex-tube and no levers connected...

    MM's don't get anything from pots, only Arduino does....

    And yes, you are right with limits.
  6. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    Thank fully I have spent the time and effort to completely ground isolate both of my motors so I very much hope that I wont have issues with connecting them on the same metal frame.

    Completely understand and agree

    Excuse my ignorance but do i need to have the POTs mounted to the motors to test and carry out the "initial test" setup utility?
  7. dr.feelgood

    dr.feelgood Member Gold Contributor

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    Well, yes you can drive motors by turning pots by hand CW or CCW and see if they follow.

    But initial idea is that motors get feedback from pots when doing tests with SMCUtil.
  8. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    Just an update on my troubles with my MM board and proving its quality... I sent off my board to a man with proven skills and knowledge and this is the response I received tonight:

    "I got your board today.

    Yup, she is totally fraked
    "

    Positive (clockwise) getting about 11.6V while negative (anti-clockwise) was getting about 9.6V! Time to source a new board!
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  9. armpit

    armpit Active Member

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    Welcome to the world of bad MM boards.... I finally got ONE good one after 5 bad ones! By far the most frustrating part of my build, hope you have good luck on your next one
  10. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    Yip, frustrating for sure... I am arguing with myself as to whether to listen to advice and steer away from MMs or whether to take another chance with an MM and have to wait another 3 weeks for one to arrive from Asia Or try to justify buying one at $100+ NZD locally
  11. armpit

    armpit Active Member

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    The one I finally got that worked was from ebay seller alice1101983.
    I bought two and one had issues similar to what you saw with low reverse voltage for one output, the other seems to be working perfect so far for me. For the price, it may be worth trying a handful more ebay specials (paypal/sellers have been good to me refunding for bad boards) before spending that much more local, but the wait sure will stink...
  12. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    *** UPDATE ***

    So, it has been a little while between updates due to the board issue. BUT now, i have a confirmed 100% working Monster Moto board on its way to me thanks to help and testing skills/knowledge of @Avenga76! I am pretty excited that things have now started moving again. And now with a board confirmed, the steel has been uplifted and is now waiting for a grinder and welder to gently touch it with lots of love. :grin

    In the mean time, I have been tinkering with electronics and wiring and making naff things to help make myself feel better. This includes making a nice little simple switch panel to power 3 x fans, butt kicker and master switch of motion system.

    File_000.jpeg

    I have also been burying my head in Fusion 360 and designing little board holders to 3D print for no other reason other than I enjoy designing things. Below is a holder for the MM board so that its not sitting on a metal base.

    MM Base holder v5.jpg

    IMG_0730.JPG
    • Like Like x 1
  13. PARNIS351

    PARNIS351 New Member

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    Hello, I am currently making my first simulator as a school engineering assignment, and have finish the frame and mounting all of my bits to the frame and have found my self stuck upon installing the software. I have purchased the DIY Code for Simtools and have installed it however, found my self stuck with setting up the plugins to run Rfactor 1. Would some one be able to give any tips on where i could download a plugin, and any tips for installation and patching the game? Thanks much apreciated,
  14. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator

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    You need to start your own project thread here and post your questions on it, rather than the build thread of another member: https://www.xsimulator.net/community/forums/diy-motion-simulator-projects.22/
  15. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    Thanks @noorbeast...

    Nice little 30-40min print for my arduino nano holder.

    Nano base holder v5.jpg

    File_000.jpeg
    • Like Like x 1
  16. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    So 0 - 100 in very quick time!

    My new magical working MM board has arrived from its testing bed and I am in process of soldering that back into my setup. Hopefully achieve some bench testing tonight if everything goes well to prove set up with SMC Utility software.

    And my frame, the frame is over half done. The pictures below are of it ready to be tidied up and a couple little add-ons for it to attach to my existing rig without too much drama. In theory, I will add some tabs on the side of the base/platform and then only have to drill some holes in the side of my rig for this to bolt through. My existing rig will sit directly on top of this so that i dont have to rebuild everything and it should make it easy to use with/without the motion side of things. So yes, the welds are untidy and the its still in bare steel but once all the welding is it, it will be ground down, tidied up and painted.

    File_000.jpeg

    File_001.jpeg

    File_002.jpeg

    This thing is solid and should last a long time. The ground frame is 25 x 25 box which is the same as my existing rig. The motion platform is 50 x 25 and the two plates are (i think) 6mm.

    Hopefully do bench testing with Live For Speed and then get DIY license in time for when frame is finished. Hoping to get motors and armature mounted late next week.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  17. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    And with excitement comes the other side of the coin and the lows. I managed to solder everything back up tonight and spent time making it nice and tidy with heat shrink and doing it right to find I can't get my motors moving with SMC Utility... The tutorial seems easy enough but I still feel as useless as a males nipple and can't work out what I'm doing wrong!

    Board tested, motors move when 12v directly applied, POTs showing response. Only thing not 100% is MM and POTs are only getting 4.6V and am not sure if that would cause issues.

    Will come back to it in a day or so with a fresh mind but I am determined to get things moving.
  18. MarkusB

    MarkusB Active Member Gold Contributor

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    I may have overlooked this, but how did you determine the position of your universal joint? Your static rig with its 3 monitors (which looks really nice by the way) as well as the movable steel frame look quite heavy, so that balancing everything out (with you seated) seems a good idea. But maybe you have done this already before welding the joint to the frame?

    And good luck with getting your rig moving!
  19. James Robbie

    James Robbie Member

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    Hi @MarkusB , you are correct in that i have already done it. To find the center of gravity of my rig, I got a broomstick handle, put it underneath my rig about where i thought was close, hopped in, assumed my racing position and then rolled my rig over the broomstick until i found a "close enough" balance point. When seated in the right position, the COG is not too far in front of my bum hence why the offset position of my uni joint.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. mariano68

    mariano68 Active Member

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    Your frame is ok as long as you flipp it 180 degrees...
    The U joint has to be as near to the seat as possible.