AB412 collective test print photos and thoughts on software


Finished the first test print of the head, and it looks good! Seems like it will be quite interesting from a point of software: with 3-way switches, there will be 17 buttons + 2 hat switches, and if we add a mode switch, it will triple this number. The question is, whether the master controller will be able to poll all this stuff and return values to windows without lags (in windows joysticks have weird limitations of 32 buttons, 1 hat switch and 2 7 axes per piece, so it will have to look as several joysticks to work everywhere). In the worst case scenario, it will be a semi-scale head with 2 hats, 11 buttons, 1 rotary axis and (probably) a mode switch.

Master controller software bug fix, please update

When working on a flight test video, I noticed that emergency trim release with SENS_SWITCH function had not been working properly if force trim release button was pressed (actually the case when you may need emergency trim release function most). This was just fixed, so please update your master controller software.

Download it from GitHub

IKEA GUNDE upgrade for better comfort

An upgrade for the IKEA GUNDE chair that serves as a frame for Simchair components starting from MKII version (it was used in MKI version as well, but the frame was a separate piece of steel then). This particular chair was chosen because it’s very lightweight (something around 1 kg), it’s foldable, and it’s cheap. It is important, as Simchair will support flying FPV RC aircraft in the future, so one has to be able to carry stuff to the field.  I use it not only as a flight chair but as a work chair as well, so I decided to make it more comfortable. You can fit two IKEA MALINDA pillows to it, using the 10x20mm aluminum rectangular pipe with new printed parts. I find it quite comfortable and will probably add parts for several back angles to choose from. The current inclination of the back is the same as in the original chair.

I have added new parts to the frame_parts.zip archive.


News on single engine collective with head support

Single engine collective test print

I’ve been working on the new lever for some time, and it’s very close to release now. This lever is a successor of the twin throttle 412 themed lever with some improvements, which simplify assembly process by a considerable degree, yet significantly increase its strength and, most importantly, rotation smoothness. Because of a new tensioner with rubber bands added to it, the lever can hold any type of a head of large enough weight and still feel as light and smooth as the simple one!

I’ve been able to fly with it today for a while, with my old cyclic grip used as a head mockup (to simulate a head’s weight) and it feels just right.  It can be set up so that the tension is barely noticeable even with an object as heavy as this dummy cyclic grip. This lever has 200-degree throttle travel range. After a few days of testing, I will release it along with an assembly and demo flight videos.

I have added support for a new lever to simchair software. Check it out on GitHub!

Simchair MKIII flashing tutorial

A short video on how to calibrate and flash Simchair MKIII i2c peripherals, and how to upload firmware to the master controller. Note that configuration section is documented in sketch comments and on the software page. You can use any cheap Chinese USB-UART  interface like this one to program Arduino Pro Mini boards. Your questions are welcome, if you need help with flashing stuff, let me know.


Force trim now effects pedals as well

I’ve been told by a Huey pilot that in a real helicopter force trim effects both cyclic and pedals, so here’s the hotfix!
It is now a default option, but you can disable it by setting PSEUDO_FORCE_TRIM_EFFECTS_PEDALS to 0

Download an updated .ino file from GitHub.