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Topic: Diy helicopter controls< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
yoreh
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Posted: Nov. 26 2013,09:10

Hello Helicopter lovers.
My name is Yoreh and I'm from Israel. I have a passion for helicopters as long as i can remember! I build plastic helicopter models, I also fly RC helicopters on weekends.
I've been reading in this forum for a week or so, and simply amazed to see what people had come up with. let me give you all cockpit builders a big thumbs up!!!
So i decided to try and build my own helicopter controls. collective is almost done, all metal structure. still need to paint it and rig it to a joystick board using hall effect sensors. I'll post some pictures soon. cyclic is at work also. all metal as well. for rudder pedals i bought ch pro pedals witch i'm going to modify to suit a helicopter pedals assy.

Now, i have a few questions regarding my build:

1. i'm using a steering ball joint for my cyclic base. i know people here used universal joints for their bases. did anybody used a ball joint on his/her setup? if so, how did you set the hall sensors to get the cyclic readings?
2. collective idle release button - is it suppose to prevent me from fully closing the throttle twist grip while flying?
3. I would like in the future to add an electric motor to my twist grip, and set it up so that the governor will actually rotate it to maintain RPM (just like on the R22 collective) is that possible? can i extract governor data from FSX and send it to a motor controller? (using FSUIPC?)

I have some hardware witch i've collected over the years -
- master card (opencockpits)
- realys card (opencockpits)
- ke72 encoder (hagstorm)
- joystick board (leo bondar) - on the way...
- hall effect sensors
- rare earth magnets
- ch pro pedals
- thrust master hotas stick
- dc motors, step motors, servo motors and controllers.

thanks in advance for your interest in my post,
keep up the good work.

Yoreh.
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Shawn
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Posted: Nov. 26 2013,15:49

I would love to see some photo's of what you have built so far, might make it easier to offer some advice as well. I have built a cyclic using a universal joint and I'm currently working on a second cyclic using a homemade gimbal. With the steering ball joint, does the socket rotate? If it does you will have to figure out a way to stop that otherwise it will be difficult to maintain alingment with the sensor and the magnet.

Your right about the idle release button keeping you from closing the throttle completely during normal operation.

I don't know anything about piston pounders but I was surprised to hear the throttle actually rotates on the collective in response to the govenor? Are you sure this is correct.

Looking forward to seeing your photos.

Shawn
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yoreh
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Posted: Nov. 26 2013,18:04

Quote (Shawn @ Nov. 26 2013,15:49)
I don't know anything about piston pounders but I was surprised to hear the throttle actually rotates on the collective in response to the govenor? Are you sure this is correct.

I'm pretty sure it is correct as i took a ride on an R22 last month. the grip is rotating inside my palm...

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of my collective handle. the wider tube is the twist grip. the red button is the idle release. the threaded rod sticking from the back is the rod that transfer the movement of the twist grip. in front a switch box will be installed.

collective open -



collective closed -



idle switch locked (throttle closed) -



idle switch released -



As for the steering joint, i have checked. it is not rotating. the shaft moves in any direction like a joystick, but it is not rotating inside the base.

Thanks for watching  :)
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Shawn
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Posted: Nov. 26 2013,21:10

You could very well be right about the R22 collective, I was just surprised. The collective looks awesome, very nice work. The Hall effect sensors and magnet placement should be relatively easy, you just need to install them so that one rotates in front of the other. I thought I had pictures of the HE sensors and magnets on my collective but I guess not. I will post a few tonight when I get a chance so you can see how I have mine setup.

Shawn
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bladeheli01
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Posted: Nov. 26 2013,22:19

You're right about the R22. When you turn the governor on with a toggle switch on the end of the collective the throttle will open and close and will twist the throttle on the collective. This was one of things I had to warn students about when instructing on the 22, to make sure they didn't grip it too tight and override it. Especially when increasing collective, you could end up stopping the throttle from opening and losing rotor rpm.

BR

Rich


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Shawn
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Posted: Nov. 26 2013,23:03

That was why I thought it might not be the case, I could see someone in a pickle making things worse with a tight grip? Learn something new everyday  :D
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yoreh
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Posted: Nov. 27 2013,14:56

collective painted black, front switch box installed. sorry for the bad quality photos... I'll post some good ones in the future.







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Shawn
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Posted: Nov. 27 2013,22:29

Here is my HE setup on my collective





Shown in full down and up positions.

Shawn
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yoreh
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Posted: Nov. 28 2013,17:13

Thanks for the photos Shawn. looks like a very simple setup with the hall effect sensors. i'll give it a try.
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allenj
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Posted: Dec. 01 2013,20:35

Quote (Shawn @ Nov. 27 2013,17:29)
Here is my HE setup on my collective





Shown in full down and up positions.

Shawn

Hi Shawn,

How did you set that up voltage wise? I haven't tried any Hall effect sensors as a slider type control yet. Do you have the down position adjusted to -2.5v or 0v or?? Thanks.


--------------
UH-1 Fan
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yoreh
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Posted: Dec. 02 2013,17:22

started to build the base box for the collective. i suck at woodwork but luck the materials to fabricte it from metal. maybe in the future...








rear part



cheers guys.  :)
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yoreh
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Posted: Dec. 03 2013,16:08

Cyclic base.

I decided to drop my first idea of a cyclic base made out of a steering joint. although the joint movement is ok, i couldn't come up with an idea on how to attach the hall effect sensors to it. so i moved on to making a simple x/y gimbal. here is what i've come up with -



the gimbal base is an aluminum 3" fire hose fitting. the rod is a scrap of 1" steel tubing. the middle section is a piece of 2" steel tubing. everything is connected with 1/4" threaded rods. there are two nuts on every rod end with a washer and a rubber disc. tightening the nuts will increase tension on the stick rod.



under side -



In those short videos you can see the movement of the gimbal -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMlDq7jddEA&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI_Bxkq6WrI&feature=youtu.be

With this design it would be much easier to install the sensors.
(or at least that's what i hope for...)

i would be more than happy if you share your comments. thanks.
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Shawn
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Posted: Dec. 08 2013,06:03

Nice design Yoreh, I was just starting a new design for a gimbal but this is a simpler more appealing approach. I just might have to borrow this idea and start again. Keep the photos coming please.

Shawn
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yoreh
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Posted: Dec. 08 2013,15:38

thanks Shawn. sorry for causing you some extra work  :). anyway i had a thought last night... would it be easier to build the same gimbal out of square tubing? one could benefit from that as the square tubing is much easier to measure, find center... you get my point. also there would be much more room to play with the hall effect sensors setup. i think i'm gonna try and build one just to compare between the two.
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yoreh
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Posted: Dec. 21 2013,18:57

I'm having trouble setting up the hall effect sensors to my cyclic gimbal. i tried to set it up just like Shawn did in his collective. (pictures up this post). it's a sliding sensor over a fixed magnet. no matter how i set it up i can't get it calibrated on the windows control panel. do you guys use the windows calibration program or is there another way to do it?

I have also noticed that some people have placed the magnet directly on the pivot point of each axes (rotating magnet) and fixed the sensor just in front of it.  what would be the better way to your opinion, the "rotating magnet - fixed sensor" setup or "fixed magnet - sliding sensor" setup?

last question, what would be the best side of the sensor to work with (front, back, top side?) i use the allegro sensors.
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splash_one
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Posted: Dec. 22 2013,12:44

Quote (yoreh @ Dec. 21 2013,13:57)
I'm having trouble setting up the hall effect sensors to my cyclic gimbal. i tried to set it up just like Shawn did in his collective. (pictures up this post). it's a sliding sensor over a fixed magnet. no matter how i set it up i can't get it calibrated on the windows control panel. do you guys use the windows calibration program or is there another way to do it? .


A little more information would be helpful.

When you say you can't calibrate your controller, do you mean you can't see any movement from the windows game controller slider bars when moving the cyclic stick or you see movement but it is erratic or goes to zero and starts over again?  I'm assuming you have it wired correctly to your USB interface and the interface shows up in the game controller?


Quote (yoreh @ Dec. 21 2013,13:57)
I have also noticed that some people have placed the magnet directly on the pivot point of each axes (rotating magnet) and fixed the sensor just in front of it.  what would be the better way to your opinion, the "rotating magnet - fixed sensor" setup or "fixed magnet - sliding sensor" setup?


I think the design determines the best way. The sensors and magnets can be placed in a variety of ways but you want your final design to be able to take advantage of as much of the 5 volts that is available to you for the travel of your stick.

You might want to use a volt meter to adjust the Hall effect sensor distance from the magnet when moving the controller through it's complete range. The meter will also tell you if you are exceeding the limits of your design.


Quote (yoreh @ Dec. 21 2013,13:57)
last question, what would be the best side of the sensor to work with (front, back, top side?) i use the allegro sensors.


Here again the design determines the best side, hope this doesn't confuse you even more, but I actually use the thin side of the sensor and rotate the magnet in an arc because of the limited amount of travel in my cyclic.


--------------
BELL 206 JETRANGER SIMULATOR - www.computerrepairs.ca
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yoreh
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Posted: Dec. 22 2013,14:25

Quote (splash_one @ Dec. 22 2013,12:44)
A little more information would be helpful.

When you say you can't calibrate your controller, do you mean you can't see any movement from the windows game controller slider bars when moving the cyclic stick or you see movement but it is erratic or goes to zero and starts over again?  I'm assuming you have it wired correctly to your USB interface and the interface shows up in the game controller?

Thanks. the sensors are wired correctly to my BU0836A board. i can see it in the game controllers tab on control panel. let's take the x axes for example. when i move the stick to the right, the "+" inside the square moves to the right, then,  when i reach the end of the movement the "+" jumps back to the center of the square. same thing happen when i move the stick to the left. i did not try the Y axes as i'm trying to get one axes to work correctly and then follow the same design for the other axes. i use two 1X1cm magnet cubes attached to the moving part of the stick with the sensor fixed just in front of them, with stick centered -the sensor is in the middle of the magnet pair. the space between sensor and magnets is aprox 1mm. the sensor is stepping out of the magnet range on both stick ends... should that be avoided?
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splash_one
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Posted: Dec. 22 2013,16:11

Yes, that has to be avoided, that's where the multimeter (or volt meter) comes in. You will need to experiment with magnet size and distances from the sensor to keep the cyclic range within the 5 volts allotted.



EDIT;
Essentially you want the center of your stick position to be close to 2.5 volts. Then move the stick to get as close as possible to 0 volts and 5 volts without it starting over. Even with the best sensors you will not see 0 or 5 volts probably, but you can get pretty darn close. When you get outside that range that is when you see it jumping back in the game controller window.


Edited by splash_one on Dec. 22 2013,16:26

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BELL 206 JETRANGER SIMULATOR - www.computerrepairs.ca
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yoreh
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Posted: Jan. 01 2014,16:42

Success!!

Cyclic is working  :)  :)  :)
next mission is to setup the collective.
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yoreh
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Posted: April 20 2014,10:55

Well just had a visit from a Canadian friend who is a helicopter pilot. we had a lot of free time to play with my test rig, and actually he was quite impressed with it. we flew the uh-1 on DCS world. lots of fun flying this machine with someone who actually knows what he's doing  :D .he really motivate me to go on with the project and start building a two seat setup with panels and switches. challenging, but i think i'm up for it  :) .

here's my test rig -





doesn't looks so much right now but it's quite functional.
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55 replies since Nov. 26 2013,09:10 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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