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Wiper Simulator

Discussion in 'SimTools compatible interfaces' started by Cesario, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Cesario

    Cesario New Member

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    Hi,

    I just found about this site and think it is great. Congrats to everyone that is a part of it. I am a newbie in the simulation world. I have been reading everything I can for the past two days about different techniques and implementations but there are some things I just can't quite understand. I think the windshield wiper solution is a good bet because of value. This is what I have understood so far:

    I need 2 wiper motors to move the seat..
    I need ForceSender to send the info from the running game to the Force Profiler....

    Then this is when it gets foggy.....

    1- I need Force Profiler to analyze the info that it receives and transform it in a serial signal?? But I haven't been able to understand how the AB~255~a01 and S~0~a01 format works... I already read the manual but wasn't able to understand (sorry for being a bit dumb to say the least). I can't also understand where exactly the signal goes to (pin1, pin2 ?? of the serial).



    Thank you so much in advance,

    Cesario
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. Frakk

    Frakk Active Member

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    Hello Cesario and welcome!

    You are right about the Profiler. It is the program where all the fine-tuning takes place. You take your inputs from the Sender and create movement axis from these inputs. You can mix, scale, add effects and so on in the Math section. For example: you take the lateral force from a game (turning left/right - side forces) and you create a simulator axis for a roll movement that will simulate side forces.

    After you have your axis set up, you need to transmit this data to an actual controller board that will take care of the motion, for example the AMC1.5. Each controller has their own language so to speak, a specific way it is expecting data to be sent to. This is where that AB~255~.... stuff comes in. AB is only to signal the start of the data package. ~255~ is just the value 255, and ~a01~ is your first, ~a02~ is the second axis in the Profiler.

    If you image google rs232 or serial port, you will quickly find a pin layout for the serial port. Pin 2 and 3 are the RX and TX pins, so this data is getting sent out on pin 3.
  4. Cesario

    Cesario New Member

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    Thanks Frakk,

    That helps a lot in understanding. I have also just used a program called Advanced Virtual COM Port. It is only the trial version but I can already see the TxD port blinking when I use the ForceProfiler so I believe this is where the info is going (although the port and of course pins are virtual).


    One thing I didn't understand is the format of the info that is being sent from the ForceProfiler to the serial port. I am asking because in order to create a program to capture and parse the info ( in C or other language so I can later transform into a .hex), but without knowing the format, it is almost impossible to do. Is that where the AMC1.5 enters?? Or am I totally not seeing things the right way??

    Cesario
  5. willynovi

    willynovi Member

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    As Frakk said, the USO format to send data depends on wich board are you using.
    For example, if you send AB~255~~a01~~a02~ means that your board needs first two bytes to be AB, then 255 is a constant value, then one byte for axis 1 and finily one more byte for axis 2.
    You can also specifie the precision of axis 1 and axis 2 selectin 1 byte, 2 bytes or 4 bytes, wich means 8 bits, 16 bits and 32 bits precision.

    I think you first need choice the board and then start studing the USO format.

    regards,
  6. Cesario

    Cesario New Member

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    So basically you are saying that the ForceProfiler will send something like 1º byte- AB 2º byte- 255 3º byte- value_of_a1 4º- value_of_a3??? and the values_of_a1 represents the value of RPM ou Gforce or anything else?

    About the precision I had already seen on the interface but didn't understand the concept. Thank you for referring that.

    Any reason for 255 to be 255 and not another number???

    Any suggestions on a board??? If it is not too much money even better....

    I have heard about using PICs to control servos and other motors....I have a few 16F88 from Microchip and a 18F2550. Do you think it might be to complicated to go down that road?

    Cesario
  7. Frakk

    Frakk Active Member

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    Ok, I think you are mixing things up.

    The .hex file is for the firmware on the microcontroller and it has nothing to do with Profiler. You can download that for the AMC if you build one, use PonyProg to burn the AVR chip.

    Once the AVR chip on the board is programmed, it can handle the positional data, control a DC motor with a feedback pot and the LCD screen. The positional data is the data that comes from the Profiler, in which you set the protocol AB~255~~a01~~a02~.

    Doesn't matter what 255 is, can be any number I believe. If you write a firmware for those chips and design a board, sure, you can use the PIC's. :thbup:
  8. Cesario

    Cesario New Member

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    Thank you. I know understand the .hex file has to be put in the chip (AVR, Microchip, etc).

    Is there firmware already made for the AMC?
    Because basically what the firmware will do is convert the protocol into the correct signals that will make the motors run right?
  9. Frakk

    Frakk Active Member

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    You are correct, the controller moves the motors in the position you want them to. It is a proportional only controller if you are familiar with PID, you can google it for details.

    In this very same forum, X-Sim compatible hardware the AMC1.5 thread is a sticky. You can read about 70 pages on it.

    You can download that for the AMC if you build one, use PonyProg to burn the AVR chip. So yes, there is a firmware already made for it. The whole circuit with the firmware is built for this purpose.
  10. Cesario

    Cesario New Member

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    I was not aware of the concept of PID. The things we learn!

    AMC looks a bit complex in terms of electronics. I have a Degree in Computers but not in Electronics so I do not feel comfortable with so many wires :-(

    Is there any alternative?

    Cesario
  11. Shkvarka

    Shkvarka New Member

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    Hi Cesario!

    If I would ask you.. what is more difficult for you, to build the frame for joyrider or solder electronic parts, what answer will you give?
    I bet you will answer - electronic parts!))
    This is the question and the answer that I had in my mind when i was starting the project!
    But it was a surprise for me, when I realized that soldering of AMC and DSMhb is so easy!
    Give yourself the task! to buils prototype like Thanos did http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5RaAWBxb08

    Start from AMC: tronic-s-amc-motor-motion-controller-with-pwm-servo-output-t559.html

    then you need driver for motors: tronic-s-diy-dual-mosfet-h-bridge-dsmhb-t820.html

    And that's all! you can test it with toy motors like I did!
    The most complicated part is find all electronics parts... (in my city it was easy, anyway there are a lot
    of on-line shops!)
    To motivate you more.. I build AMC and DSMhb in a moth, but im studying in marine academy.. and my studying isnt connected with electronics at all!:)
  12. Frakk

    Frakk Active Member

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    The AMC is not complex. All the parts and PCB plan is listed, there is a manual to use it, and there is lots of help here on the forum. So far, it is the most effective and probably the cheapest to do. You said you want to use 2 wiper motors, so it will be perfect.

    If you are not comfortable with soldering, I could make a board for you, test it and send it out. It would be on a pre-made perfboard and not a PCB because that is the cheapest and simplest way to do it for me. Also Check out my thread AMC Compatibele H-Bridge. I will have updates by no later than the weekend!
  13. Cesario

    Cesario New Member

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    Thanks for all your help. How much do you think it will cost for the AMC Frakk?


    General:
    I will still need a H-bridge to control the motors right??? Is there any buyable motor driver that I can buy online that is already made and compatible with AMC??



    Cesario
  14. jimiTES

    jimiTES New Member

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    You can try the Pololu board. It´s on the AMC wiki
  15. Frakk

    Frakk Active Member

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    I do not know the price, it will depend on what you need. When I get some free time on the weekend I will PM you with the details.

    Yes, you will need a h-bridge to drive the motors.
  16. Cesario

    Cesario New Member

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    I have been reading more about different simulators and hardware and wanted to ask:

    Is it possible to create a simulator by hooking up a Pololu Serial 8-Servo Controller and a HB25 together?

    Is the Pololu able to read the signal from the Profiler and simply transmit it to the motors through the HB25?

    (In my point of view there might be problems with motor calibration and also with the motor going around and around without control??)

    Cesario
  17. Frakk

    Frakk Active Member

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    Some sort of feedback will be necessary, with the servo controller you can only control the speed and direction of the motor, but not position.