This is a Bell 412-style twin-throttle collective lever. It has a 40mm diameter and 200-degree throttle travel range, just like the real one. The lever works great, supports switchpanels (heads) and feels even better if used with pneumatic mod.
1 * PLA plastic spool
1 * SS495A1 Hall effect sensor
1 * 6x6x4 or 5*5*5mm magnet
2 * 608 bearings
2 * 16K1-B10K rotary pots
8 * M8x75mm bolts
10 * M3x35MM screws
3 * M3x20mm screws
8 * M3x40mm screws
1 * bag of M3 nuts (at least 41pcs needed)
4 * M3 nyloc nuts
1 * 10x10x1000mm aluminum square tubing
1 * ethernet plug
1 * Arduino Pro Mini
1 * Simchair MKIII master controller (1 is needed for the whole set)
- 5x5x5mm magnet holder
- pneumatic mod
- aircraft compativility modes support
- collective hold support
Please carefully follow the steps of this manual! It will save you a lot of time and nerves.
- Attach a piece of aluminum square pipe to the lever connector part. Cut the pipe so it will not protrude from the throttle frame p2 part when attached.
- Insert SS495A into its socket, secure with cyanoacrylate. Wait for it to dry and solder its wires. Glue wires to the bottom of the frame with hot glue.
- Insert lever connector to its frame (cable channel slot must be on the top), press-fit bearings to their sockets.
- Insert two screws into the lever frame part. Do not overtighten.
- Attach the magnet holder part with 20mm screw, insert magnet into it.
- Insert lever frame with the lever connector attached to the enclosure part 1, secure it with M3x40 screws, put nuts on the screws, tighten them. Gimbal assembly is now finished.
- Attach pot to the throttle 2 frame part 1
- Press fit M4 nyloc nut to the throttle 2 frame p1
- Attach rubber bands holder to the lever connector (press fit onto the alu pipe)
- Attach throttle 2 frame p1 to the lever connector (press fit onto the alu pipe); disregard the cable on the next picture – only insert cables after holes in these parts are drilled and screws are tightened!
- DRILL HOLES IN THROTTLE 2 P1 AND LEVER CONNECTOR; INSERT AND TIGHTEN BOLTS; NEVER TOUCH THEM AGAIN!
- Route two throttle pot 3-wire ribbon cables and one 4-wire I2C bus cable through the lever, solder throttle 2 pot
- Route first throttle pot and I2C bus ribbon cables through the cable channel in throttle 2 frame
- DO NOT TOUCH THROTTLE 2 P1 SCREWS AND LEVER CONNECTOR SCREW WITH WIRES INSIDE OF THE LEVER! YOU WILL TEAR WIRES APART (I WARNED YOU!)
- Turn the throttle pot fully to the left (relative to the normal collective position in a helicopter – throttle should be fully opened), then just a bit to the right (it has a mechanical deadzone at its ends) and attach throttle 2 grip (carefully push its inner connector onto the pot with a screwdriver of pliers, squeeze the pot knob if needed
- Insert a piece of alu pipe into throttle 2 p2; drill holes and insert screws.
- Route wires through cable channel and press fit throttle2 p2 onto throttle 2 p1
- Tighten throttle frame parts together with m4x80mm screw, choose a straight one
- Press-fit m4 nyloc nut to throttle 1 p1
- Route cables through and attach throttle 1 p1
- Drill holes, insert screws into throttle 1 p1
- Pull throttle 1 pot wire out of the cable channel and solder it to the throttle 1 pot
- Attach trottle 1 grip
- Insert alu pipe into throttle 1 p2; drill holes and insert screws
- Pull I2C ribbon cable through throttle 1 p2 and attach throttle 1 p2
- Insert an M4x80mm screw
- Pull a piece of ethernet cable through the I2C connector part, cut and solder I2C ribbon cable wires to it
- Crimp the ethernet cable as usual (as per T568B standard)
- Attach tensioner halves and secure them with nuts, insert 4 M3x50mm screws into halves.
- Put bolts through the bottom lid of the enclosure, fix wih nuts
- Solder pin headers to an Arduino Pro Mini so they would face up (not down as they are facing normally)
- Solder all 5V and GND wires together correspondingly
- Route ethernet cable through a hole in the bottom lid of the enclosure and solder white orange wire to 5V, orange to GND, white-green to SCL and blue to SDA wires, then solder everything to corresponding pins of the Arduino
- Solder SS495A signal wire to A0, throttle 2 pot signal wire to A1, throttle 1 signal wire to A2
- Connect arduino to the programmer; open the firmware
- Comment “map” lines and uncomment Serial.prints in firmware file
- Flash the firmware
- Check numbers react to lever movements
- Adjust magnet holder position for max collective lever range
- Enter min and max values to corresponding map functions; uncomment maps and reflash the firmware
- Check all axes are in range 0 -1023; if not, adjust map functions values again
- Comment Serial.prints and reflash firmware
- Crimp ethernet cables and plug the lever into the master controller
- Check axes move as intended (collective up – axis up, throttle left – axis up) in joy.cpl, invert in firmware (swap 2 last numbers in map function) if necessary
- Secure arduino in its socket with a piece of 2 sided tape, glue wires with hot glue
- Check everything again. Congratulations! You are ready to fly with your new collective lever!
Here’s what it should look like at this point (I have used some parts from the pneumatic mod in this build):
Also, I strongly recommend you to have a look at the pneumatic mod, I really can’t imagine flying without it now.