Important pedals upgrade

Here’s what has been done to the pedals:

  • adjusted electronics housing dimensions so screws will fit correctly
  • added nut sockets to the main frame part
  • redesigned magnet and SS495A Hall effect sensor mounts (IMPORTANT!)
  • changed inclination of apertures for a rectangular pipe in the main frame part to 40 degrees for easier fit of the pipe
  • the frame was lightened to reduce chances of warping during a long print
  • files renamed to fit the new naming scheme
  • everything published to GitHub

This is a very important upgrade! Along with mostly cosmetic stuff, it includes new HE sensor and magnet mounts, that are really game changers. New mounts work the same way as in cyclic or collective levers, and add A LOT of precision! It have been really noticeable when I spooled up the Dreamfoil 407 for a quick test ride. The heli felt unusually stable! As a nice bonus, these mounts noticeably simplify calibration and add some mechanical resistance to drops or accidental hits  (this happens to pedals from time to time as the unit usually lies under the table).

Download an upgraded version from GitHub:

 

Simchair models are now on github!

I’ve been thinking about a good way to organize stuff recently and decided to use GitHub to store models. This is cool because every single change I will be doing to stuff will be instantly available to you guys! I will be adding peripherals to the simchair_models repo one by one in the process of set building.

One more important change: I have added part numbers and renamed everything, so it follows a unified naming scheme now – peripheral_name_part_name_part_number! That means that if you don’t have a 3d printer and want to order spare parts from me, it will be easier to do that.

You can download an updated version of the stick gimbal right now!

The download section of this site will still be available in the current state until all models will be transferred to the repo. and will contain a daily repo snapshot after that.

Changes to cyclic gimbal

As I’ve been writing earlier, I am now building two complete sets for my friends. Time to hone things to perfection! First thing I decided to build is the cyclic gimbal. I have printed it and noticed that X and Y frames nut sockets are too tight, a lot of effort was needed to press fit nuts into them. Another problem was the gimbal mount (the one on the bottom lid of the enclosure). It was too tight, so I’ve spent around half of an hour widening it. This is not how it should be, so I finally decided to redesign the thing. It consists of two parts, connected by M8 bolts now. I think this mount will allow for more flexibility (especially for those who don’t use IKEA GUNDE chairs). Here’s how it looks now:

 

The lid with an old mount will still be available as a mod.

Take a look at the next post for a download link!

Improvements for helicopter pedals

While printing the pedals frame for my friends, I found that the built-in support part I designed to counter printing issues is too close to the rubber bands holder. This is bad, as it is very hard to remove. I redesigned the holder a bit, so it will be easier to print and added a new built-in support part with 0,4mm distance to the holder. I have also added M3 nut sockets to the cover mounting holes. I will update files in download section as soon as the design will be perfected. I also think of changing the magnet mount, as the current design, while good enough and simple, is kinda sensitive to falls.

Stay tuned!

What’s next?

I have been testing stuff for a while now, flying across the US west in an X-Plane Dreamfoil 407, and everything feels and works fine, no hardware failures so far, after a few months of everyday flying =) This means, it’s finally time for refining documentation, which I will do while building two complete Simchair MKIII helicopter controls sets for my friends. Expect major improvements! =)

I’ll start with making a cyclic gimbal.

Cheers!

Attitude trim with B8 stick hat switch option added

You can now move cyclic around while trimmed with a hat switch of a B8 stick.  This is how it works in a real 407. You can do it in X-Plane with key assignments as well, but Simchair handles this in a better way with its adaptive force trim option. This option will not release trim until cyclic would be in a vicinity of an initial trim position with a given deviation. You can disable this feature when it’s not needed by setting B8_HAT_SWITCH_MODE to “HAT”.

Please update your master controller firmware!

UH-1 collective head release

UH-1 right seat collective head mounted on the single-engine collective lever

I have printed and assembled the Huey collective head and corrected some errors, here’s the release version. Designing scale stuff is quite hard, its often too little space to fit things into. You will have to use some cable management to build this 🙂 Switches used are 3-way KN3(B)-223A-A3 (spring-loaded),  KN3(B)-203A-A3 (toggle) and MTS-103 A-2 (toggle). The last one is mounted in place of a light bulb and acts as a mode switch. The thumbstick button is used for collective hold mode activation. This new feature is for those who would want to use this lever in a motion simulator, where a rubber band based tensioner will not work, or maybe for people who prefer flying with a very light tension on their collective.  Basically, its an independent adaptive force trim for the collective. The latest software on GitHub fully supports this head, you can use the DCS Huey compatibility mode (which allows for proper engine start and shutdown procedures) with it.

Download it here

Latest software on GitHub

 

Software update

Today there’s been an important software update, master controller firmware now supports both Huey head and twin lever (corresponding peripheral files were added as well). No DCS Huey idle stop compatibility mode for twin lever yet – will add it later.

An interesting function was added that may be useful for those who prefer flying without tensioners on the collective (or just use some kind of a motion chair!) – collective hold. It works just like an adaptive force trim mode (to disengage it, one needs to press the button and return the lever to the position where the hold mode was activated with 5% deviation), except it is an independent function and is activated (by default) with a collective head thumbstick button press.

Cheers!

Download latest software from GitHub

Simchair MKIII in X-Plane

A very short (replay) video, showing precision maneuvers in X-Plane 11 with Simchair. This is the Dreamfoil 407. Not sure what happened with the engine, all gauges were green during the flight, only noticed the smoke on landing.