Twin engine collective


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)

Available mods

  • 5x5x5mm magnet holder
  • pneumatic mod

Special features

  • aircraft compativility modes support
  • collective hold support


STLs / sources


Please carefully follow the steps of this manual! It will save you a lot of time and nerves.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Insert lever connector to its frame (cable channel slot must be on the top), press-fit bearings to their sockets.
  4. Insert two screws into the lever frame part. Do not overtighten.
  5. Attach the magnet holder part with 20mm screw,  insert magnet into it.

  6. 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.

  7. Attach pot to the throttle 2 frame part 1
  8. Press fit M4 nyloc nut to the throttle 2 frame p1
  9. Attach rubber bands holder to the lever connector (press fit onto the alu pipe)
  10. 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!


  12. Route two throttle pot 3-wire ribbon cables and one 4-wire I2C bus cable through the lever, solder throttle 2 pot

  13. Route first throttle pot and I2C bus ribbon cables through the cable channel in throttle 2 frame

  15. 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

  16. Insert a piece of alu pipe into throttle 2 p2; drill holes and insert screws.
  17. Route wires through cable channel and press fit throttle2 p2 onto throttle 2 p1

  18. Tighten throttle frame parts together with m4x80mm screw, choose a straight one

  19. Press-fit m4 nyloc nut to throttle 1 p1

  20. Route cables through and attach throttle 1 p1

  21. Drill holes, insert screws into throttle 1 p1
  22. Pull throttle 1 pot wire out of the cable channel and solder it to the throttle 1 pot
  23. Attach trottle 1 grip

  24. Insert alu pipe into throttle 1 p2; drill holes and insert screws
  25. Pull I2C ribbon cable through throttle 1 p2 and attach throttle 1 p2
  26. Insert an M4x80mm screw

  27. Pull a piece of ethernet cable through the I2C connector part, cut and solder I2C ribbon cable wires to it

  28. Crimp the ethernet cable as usual (as per T568B standard)
  29. Attach tensioner halves and secure them with nuts, insert 4 M3x50mm screws into halves.

  30. Put bolts through the bottom lid of the enclosure, fix wih nuts

  31. Solder pin headers to an Arduino Pro Mini so they would face up (not down as they are facing normally)

  32. Solder all 5V and GND wires together correspondingly
  33. 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

  34. Solder SS495A signal wire to A0, throttle 2 pot signal wire to A1, throttle 1 signal wire to A2
  35. Connect arduino to the programmer; open the firmware
  36. Comment “map” lines and uncomment Serial.prints in firmware file
  37. Flash the firmware
  38. Check numbers react to lever movements
  39. Adjust magnet holder position for max collective lever range
  40. Enter min and max values to corresponding map functions; uncomment maps and reflash the firmware
  41. Check all axes are in range 0 -1023; if not, adjust map functions values again
  42. Comment Serial.prints and reflash firmware
  43. Crimp ethernet cables and plug the lever into the master controller
  44. 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
  45. Secure arduino in its socket with a piece of 2 sided tape, glue wires with hot glue
  46. 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):

Now, it’s time to choose which switchpanel you will be using, for now it’s either Huey head or Bell 412 head.

Also, I strongly recommend you to have a look at the pneumatic mod, I really can’t imagine flying without it now.

10 Replies to “Twin engine collective”

  1. Hi Alex,
    how do I contact you? (Email?)
    I’d like to ask about extending the firmware so I can build an AS250 stick which has a lot of buttons etc.

    1. Hi Matt! No problem with extending firmware, we will figure something out =) Would be also great if you share the design of the stick grip with the community!

  2. Hello hc625ma,
    I follow your projects with great interest – amazing staff!! Actually I am printing your reinforced cyclic gimbal, but as I have to use 5x5x5mm magnets I cannot use your magnet holders . Is it possible for you to provide a magnet holder for those smaller magnets as well? I would do it by myself but unfortunately I don´t have SolidWorks.

    Many thanks in advance!


    1. Hi Guido! Thanks for your kind words!

      I will publish a mod for you in a couple of hours, however, won’t be able to try it myself, so please tell me how it worked for you =)

    2. Btw, I have not published assembly manual yet, so please look at the assembly using some viewing software: (I think eDrawings can open these files). Now when I know you’re building it, I will hurry with a manual =)

      1. Hi Alex – version “a” has not sufficient clearance, we need at least version “b” . Due to printing tolerances I would recommend to add another 0,2mm clearance to version “b” – this would be perfect!

        Many thx for your extrem fast response!


        Btw: When will be the assembly manual ready?

        1. Okay, the “A” version is now what has been the “B” one, and the “B” one has 0,2mm increased clearance =) Try it. I hope to finish the manual as fast as possible, maybe today in the evening =) You’ll need M8 hardware, bolts, nuts, spring washers, and strengthened washers, and a lot of M4x40mm screws and nuts.

          This pictures should give you a basic idea of how to assemble stuff meanwhile =)

          Two most important bolts are those that hold magnets, Y one is 30mm, an X one is 55mm (you can cut it from a longer one). You have to add washers (spring washers are fine) between bearings and plastic parts. Make sure everything fits tightly, adjust nuts if necessary.

          Please let me know if you encounter some problems =)

    1. Hi Rowan! Can’t say for sure. It looks like it will fit the socket, but I can’t say anything about its precision or whether the distance between a magnet and a sensor will be appropriate.

      However, you can use a regular SS495A (not A1) without any noticeable difference. Can’t say for sure, but it looks like they are available in AU:

      If you decide to use an A3213, please let me know how it worked!

      Cheers, Alex

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