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X-Plane 11 6DOF motion platform

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by SixDegreesOfFlight, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    AC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 6DOF
    Yes, I know I'm not being very PC :rolleyes: I think the PC pendulum has swung too far - especially were it has effected men and in my opinion the world is worse off for it. Not really a subject for this forum - I could talk for hours about my experiences :rolleyes:.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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  3. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Got a bit done this morning before household chores had to be done. The modules are now wired (I am still waiting for one replacement power supply but all the wires are crimped) so the next step will be mounting the actuators to their u-joints and bolting them to the frame. I hoping to get those welded tomorrow morning.

    I would have liked to do more load testing but the centre of gravity is so high - if anything goes wrong it could cause some major damage. I will leave further testing once they are bolted securely to the upper frame.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 7
  4. mariano68

    mariano68 Active Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    @SixDegreesOfFlight thank you very much for post a lot of pics of your electrical modules, I learnt a lot from them as I'm a total newbie in that matter and that's the mayor concern part for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Thanks everyone for your encouragement - it is really appreciated :thumbs
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  6. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
    AC motor, Arduino, Motion platform, 4DOF
    I did end up welding the u-joints to the washers to stop them from twisting. I will post images of them once I have cleaned them up a bit with the grinder. While the MIG is fun to use that doesn't mean it's easy :oops: and I am too embarrassed to show my effort in its 'raw' state :blush

    I also tacked the triangular frame up to the angled corners where the rose joints attach. I hope to do some more welding tomorrow. I found that the undercoated steel acts as a nice insulator, causing me to burn a small hole through one of the bars before I realised what the issue was. Not too drastic but I need to be more careful.

    To prepare for the seat 'box' I used the grinder to remove the paint as shown. The two longer bars should be around 550mm but I have left them longer so I can weld them to size then cut them. The measurements come from @wannabeaflyer2 blueprints :thumbs

    At least a little progress

    Attached Files:

  7. wannabeaflyer2

    wannabeaflyer2 Well-Known Member

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    HI Ya @SixDegreesOfFlight Same here with the Mig welding LOL ( lets just say my welded joints are functional but ugly as sin) they say a bad workman blames his tools that being the case with my welding then lets just say im a Beaaaad workman LOL ... an angle grinder is my friend after mutilating so called welded joints ....Def need more practice on my part .. Those close ups wont be seen in any future pics I post just could not handle the abuse about weld quality :) again congratulations on another milestone and Great progress with you project exciting times ahead ..
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @wannabeaflyer2
    I got a 'bit' (not much) better with my welds as the top frame came together but with so many things to consider I ended up tacking the triangular sections on the wrong side of the line on the corner L sections ... so out came the grinder again :confused: Still it did prove one thing that the welds do have good penetration! I think I have nearly used one small grinding disc so far :p Unfortunately it took valuable time and not much else got done.

    The top section is now definitely welded so just the smaller pieces below which hold the seat. I am going to try for a final push today but I don't have much shielding gas left which might delay things quite a bit.

    I am still waiting for that missing power supply to arrive and the Arduino prototype boards which anchor the pot wires. In the meantime, I can at least fit the bottom u-joints in the next few days.
  9. wannabeaflyer2

    wannabeaflyer2 Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Def need the shielding gas not worth trying to weld without it ( another impatient lesson learnt LOL ) .. one thing I did end up adding were some L Bracing to supplement my duff welding skills ( I use the term skill in its loosest context :) ) I figured that due to most of the weight ( i.e Me the lard arsed Pilot) being suspended it would not hurt and not have major impact on the overall weight frame. So Got lucky and found some 20mm x 70nn x 1.25mm strips which I bent in half to form the corner Braces , in doing so I was able to seam weld ( there's that term again ) theses in place to give greater support at joint .. mind you if you manage to get decent penetration at weld then that step wont be required .. Good luck with the rest mate your almost there :)
  10. DEADBEEF

    DEADBEEF New Member

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    Worth getting a reel of flux-core for when you're out of gas and are desperate.

    At a pinch you can also stick weld using a couple of car batteries in series using jump leads to ground the work piece & hold the rods.

    ...why I always have welding rods, jump leads & a sheet of welding glass in my off-roading rig. They've come in handy more than once.
  11. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @DEADBEEF
    Ingenious ;) When the desperation reaches fever pitch - as it has at the moment - got to pull out all stops.

    Things are not as desperate as that at the moment. I went and checked the Argon bottle - and rookie mistake - I was not looking at the pressure but the flow gauge :eek: When I tweaked the flow valve up jumped flow needle :thumbs I think the flow valve has been in the same position for so long it seems to have developed a type of 'dead spot'. So it looks like I might be able to finish today after all (if I can remember to actually turn the gas on when I start - I have been turning it off after each weld in a desperate bid to save every molecule)
    • Funny Funny x 1
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  12. DEADBEEF

    DEADBEEF New Member

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    MIG welding aluminium is a bitch at the best of times. You must have been super desperate at the time to even attempt giving it a go without gas.

    It'd be interesting to see the results of your 'experiments' :)
  13. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @DEADBEEF
    Actually it's steel. I wouldn't have dreamt of trying to weld aluminium ;) I think you are spot on with the word 'experiment' :D
  14. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    The top frame is finished! Well it's welded - it still needs to be cleaned up with a grinder but happy with how it turned out. I welded all the places I could, at least the ones that I wouldn't burn a hole through. The welds themselves are strong. I know that because I had to grind a few off and make some adjustments. So for the moment I am going to simply clean it up and paint it. Once the seat has been fixed I will think about the extension for the pedals. Time will tell whether I need to add braces like @wannabeaflyer2

    I've added a few images with reduced resolution so you can't zoom in and see the welds :p

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 3
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  15. OZHEAT

    OZHEAT Active Member

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    Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34

    I could be cynical and just let you just imagine me laughing each time the rig crashes.
    I am not like that, but I did wait to reply to see if the "experts" & "experienced" could see any other flaws in the way you handle hard limit and panic switch.

    Lets paint a picture.....
    Imagine a straight steep hill with a car going up & down it.
    the game - track, simtools is the driver, smc is accelerator and brake pedals, sabertooth is the engine and transmission, there is a transfer case which represents your relay, finally the diff is the motor
    Now imagine your car has a problem like brake fade, the brake light comes on(this is hard limit switch).
    What do you do?
    Well, in your scenario when a problem happens you immediately put the transfer gearbox in to neutral.
    You now have now have a car that the driver, accelerator, failed brakes, engine and transmission can't do anything to the diff.
    You now have NO control of the diff on.
    The car is free to do what it wants be it... continue up the hill slowing due to friction, it can slowly come to a stop due to friction or it can go down the hill, hopefully friction will stop it but doubtful. God forbid if the car was at full speed going downhill when fault happened.

    Being that there are 6 actuators all at different positions and velocities when the fault happens there is a high chance one or more are heading downwards. What do you do? well nothing but wait till it all settles on the bottom.
    Then you are left with the situation they are resting on the bottom limit switches, what to do now? wind em up manually while trying to hold the rig up?.
    Well OH&S and me might say "GET YOUR loving HANDS OUT OF POWERED MACHINERY!! "

    My suggestion for limit switch for sabertooth system would be S2 terminal.
    For MM or IBT-2 limit switch overrides dir pin on h-bridge.

    The only reason to put a relay on the motor is for power loss and maybe panic stop. Both + & - terminals switched so when power is lost you brake the motor by shorting or via braking resistor.

    Maybe you can partiality experience what can happen by using the 6kg test rig, activate your limit switch when going downwards. bet you will only do it once....
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. SeatTime

    SeatTime Well-Known Member

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    Hi @SixDegreesOfFlight - Looking good , just be super critical of your joints and add gussets were necessary, as in a 6DOF (or any suspended rig) there will be allot of load on them when your rig is in motion (often over 2G). You don't want this to happen :p. I have a 'catcher' (doubles as a equipment cabinet), likely you won't - it's a big drop to the floor :eek:!

    • Like Like x 2
  17. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    @SeatTime
    I have seen that memorable demonstration before and it was certainly in my mind when I was welding. I don't think I am skilled enough to weld gussets without blowing holes in the steel tube. However, it wouldn't hurt to cut and screw triangular pieces to all or most of the corners. Thanks for the advice - I will pick up some plate tomorrow.
  18. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    Small update. I cleaned up the welded u-joints and painted them. These are my first attempts at welding with MIG (actually any welding) so don't be too critical :)

    I started with welding in four spots but thought that this was overkill seeing as it only has to stop it from twisting (1st image) so the remaining ones only had two welds (2nd image). I then gave them a coat of paint.

    I'll mount them on the frame this afternoon then turn my attention to the top frame. I have some time now so the progress should be quicker.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  19. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Mounted the u-joints using a M12 nyloc nut to prevent it coming loose. Just realised that the diagonal holes that connect the top washer to the bottom plate of the actuator should have been a particular way around otherwise they won't line up. I might have to take off the bottom plate of the actuator so they line up.

    That's about all I can do today. Tomorrow will be dedicated to the top frame.

    Attached Files:

  20. SixDegreesOfFlight

    SixDegreesOfFlight Well-Known Member

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    I spent all day on the top frame and really I don't have a lot to show for it o_O I spent a few hours playing around with the helicopter controls and getting measurements together with a lot of pencil chewing and head scratching. The final position will mean the cyclic will have full motion in all directions except for full forward pitch - the cyclic handle hits the cross member just at the end of its travel. This isn't a deal breaker. If I need full forward pitch I am likely in a death throw anyway :p

    It also took time to accurately measure the mounting holes for the SAAS seat.

    The bulk of the time was drilling the holes for the M6 'insurance' bolts with nyloc nuts at every intersection where the frame was welded. I also found some triangular 8mm aluminium pieces in the scrap bin at work which I used for corner braces. These four were fixed with 10G 25mm self tappers. Finally, I gave it a once over with the grinder. It should be lot stronger now ;)

    Tomorrow, I will rub it down with turps and spray it.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 3
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017