1. #1
    Well folks, Forgotten Battles has indeed arrived, and it should for me soon as well. That means that, in addition to but not at the cost of my other running projects, it is time to fashion a home-made throttle quadrant! In the interest of others who might like to do the same thing but aren't sure they'd know how to do it, I'm going to chronicle my efforts in this thread, much in the spirit of Burnin's cockpit. I plan to go into as much detail as necessary and answer questions as well as I can, updating with photographs as it progresses. Maybe someone will want to build one along with me, who knows? [img]/i/smilies/16x16_robot-happy.gif[/img]

    I'll be taking the article at http://www.simpits.org/articles/thro...throtquad.html as my guide. However, I'm going for something more like what's in the P-39 and P-40 cockpits, so I will deviate from that plan as necessary. I also hope to add the functionality of a press-button for activating the microphone for programs like Roger Wilco on the throttle lever, so that I don't have to use voice activation, but I'm not too sure about it so this will come last.

    I took the first steps this Saturday, stupidly convincing my wife to come with me to the hardware store while on a trip to her home town. Let's just say there was some miscommunication and I should have been more patient. That's a bad start and I don't recommend it. Anyway, I got most of the parts I thought I would need:

    <ul>
    <LI>brackets to mount the potentiometers
    <LI>a strip of aluminum to cut up for the levers
    <LI>balls of wood for grip on the ends of the levers
    <LI>wood for the base and sides of the unit
    <LI>strips of rubber to give mechanical resistance to the levers, so that they don't fall (I might work in a kind of friction on the axis of the potentiometers)
    <LI>various nails and screws appropriate to the brackets and wood thickness[/list]

    Stay tuned for the next update. This may take a couple of weeks or a couple of months, depending on how I distribute my time...

    Cheers,
    Mike

    <script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("table ");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    <script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  2. #2
    Well folks, Forgotten Battles has indeed arrived, and it should for me soon as well. That means that, in addition to but not at the cost of my other running projects, it is time to fashion a home-made throttle quadrant! In the interest of others who might like to do the same thing but aren't sure they'd know how to do it, I'm going to chronicle my efforts in this thread, much in the spirit of Burnin's cockpit. I plan to go into as much detail as necessary and answer questions as well as I can, updating with photographs as it progresses. Maybe someone will want to build one along with me, who knows? [img]/i/smilies/16x16_robot-happy.gif[/img]

    I'll be taking the article at http://www.simpits.org/articles/thro...throtquad.html as my guide. However, I'm going for something more like what's in the P-39 and P-40 cockpits, so I will deviate from that plan as necessary. I also hope to add the functionality of a press-button for activating the microphone for programs like Roger Wilco on the throttle lever, so that I don't have to use voice activation, but I'm not too sure about it so this will come last.

    I took the first steps this Saturday, stupidly convincing my wife to come with me to the hardware store while on a trip to her home town. Let's just say there was some miscommunication and I should have been more patient. That's a bad start and I don't recommend it. Anyway, I got most of the parts I thought I would need:

    <ul>
    <LI>brackets to mount the potentiometers
    <LI>a strip of aluminum to cut up for the levers
    <LI>balls of wood for grip on the ends of the levers
    <LI>wood for the base and sides of the unit
    <LI>strips of rubber to give mechanical resistance to the levers, so that they don't fall (I might work in a kind of friction on the axis of the potentiometers)
    <LI>various nails and screws appropriate to the brackets and wood thickness[/list]

    Stay tuned for the next update. This may take a couple of weeks or a couple of months, depending on how I distribute my time...

    Cheers,
    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  3. #3
    Yes, I had seen that article, and was looking for it, too. Could prove useful, thanks. [img]/i/smilies/16x16_robot-happy.gif[/img]

    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  4. #4
    marmusman,

    That's covered at least in part in the article I referenced. I'll be finding out a lot more, but my idea is that when you plug it into the 15-pin connector and test it as a new device under Game controllers in Windows.

    Extreme_one,

    It would be much cheaper to buy a throttle quadrant than to pay somebody to make it for you...

    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  5. #5
    RedShift1 has already gone over my head. I'm aware of these kinds of issues but don't have answers. Yes, I have heard of people using steering pedals as flight-sim pedals, but don't know details of the setup. I could only suggest a forum or Internet search.

    As for using two game ports simultaneously, I'm not sure I understand the issue. Is there normally a conflict? Am I allowed to answer your questions with questions?

    As far as the 15-pin plug goes, it is likely to be similar to the one in my reference article ( http://www.simpits.org/articles/lego...quadrant.htm):





    You could also refer to this one, which also comes from simpits.org:



    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  6. #6
    Deathsledge,

    The mechanical resistance of the potentiometers is a concern, but only a small concern. I'm going to address this in more detail later. Of far greater concern are the mechanical stresses the lever places on the pot, because they're only so sturdy.


    Pourshot,

    Now that is a good-looking project. Wow, good work! I might have to alter my plan somewhat to include the bevel gears. Even after looking at the lego site with bevel gears I didn't catch on to the idea of using them for turning the potentiometers. This prevents having to connect the levers directly to the potiometer axes, and makes it possible to add a friction knob to tighten or loosen tension on the controls (or even lock in place, practical in aircraft). It also ought to make it much easier to have the handles closer together without having to bend them.


    Dangermouse has a good idea too, but I don't have a spare joystick with 6 axes lying around. [img]/i/smilies/16x16_robot-wink.gif[/img]


    Ham,

    Thanks for the links. The throttlequadrant.com site is the one I was looking for to show someone about what it might look like. I just can't make out why they want $550 for that.

    Now for an update...

    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  7. #7
    AaronGT, you can test the controls individually for resistance before plugging them into the computer. Test them directly from the 15-pin socket...


    My update is quite small, but it's best when each step is small, makes it easier to follow, right?

    One important point is that I'm only going to be rotating my handles through a small fraction of their rotational range, which is about 270&deg;. I plan to make it so I can rotate them about 60&deg;. Since the computer expects the potentiometers to give about 100k&Omega;, that means that I need about 60/270 = 22% of the full resistance to be 100k&Omega;, so the full resistance should be about 100k&Omega;/0.22 = 450k&Omega;. The standard value for potiometers in this range is 470k&Omega;. Close enough!

    Of course, if I implement bevel gears, I can easily obtain the full range of movement for the potentiometers, and in fact would have to design it so that they aren't overstressed.

    The elbow brackets I bought to hold the potentiometers (pots, since I didn't say that before) may or may not do the trick. I'd need something else for bevel gears, but am still undecided between bevel gears and directly attaching the levers to the pots. (See pourshot's webpage and compare to my reference page: http://www.simpits.org/articles/thro...hrotquad.html) The problem is that you really ought to know in advance what you need, or else you might buy the wrong stuff. I don't mind so much, but it is slightly annoying.

    I guess I should fess up and admit that I have fantastic resources to do this project. This is one of the reasons I thought I might organize a thread about it. I am doing work at a university and our department has its own machine shop and experienced technicians. These guys have great ideas and know how this kind of stuff works, and are helpful in getting parts. In any case here are the potentiometers and a few other parts:



    The potentiometer with the metal axis is 470k&Omega; and the other 100k&Omega;. Their axes can be shortened. The metal objects might be useful for attaching the lever to the pot axis if I don't use bevel gears. The knob on the left is what I plan to use for trim; I got it before lunch today just by asking around at the machine shop, but I don't think such old things are too hard to find. I'm considering mounting it on the side of the quadrant for trim. The piece of aluminum could be useful for mounting, but also to install a spring-loaded ball that bumps a hole when the knob is centered, so I can have a reference (or several references by making more than one hole) for setting the level of trim.

    Stay tuned... same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. [img]/i/smilies/16x16_robot-very-happy.gif[/img]

    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  8. #8
    I don't know about the self-calibration stuff. True I'm studying electrical engineering, but it's not exactly my specialty... sorry.

    DangerMouse,

    I think I'll wind up not using the gears, just because I don't know where I would find any. I can't picture what you mean with the wheels and belt, sorry man. I need a picture or illustration of some sort I guess, or a more detailed description.

    I'm very interested in the programmable comm button. I have no idea what bondo is, I'll have to do a Google search later. I'm not using an existing stick, but rather making everything "from scratch" or cheaply available material. I figure if it works for a normal joystick it works for the quadrant, although I don't want to get into an IC chip. [img]/i/smilies/16x16_robot-surprised.gif[/img]

    Not much other news for the moment, just been slowly looking for material...

    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  9. #9
    I think I addressed this earlier. I will attach them directly since it seems less complicated than the belt-driven system, although now I do see what DM means. It's not a problem of obtaining movement in the 100k&Omega; range of a potentiometer. You just don't have to use the full range of the pot. Instead of using a 100k&Omega; pot, use a 470k&Omega; or other appropriate value. No.1RAAF_edin (say that 10 times fast), you say you use 77&deg; of rotation. I plan to use 60&deg;, so it works out as follows for a pot with 270&deg; of movement:

    60&deg; / 270&deg; = 22.2% of the full range of movement

    (% movement) &times; R<sub>full</sub> = R<sub>desired</sub>

    R<sub>full</sub> = ???
    R<sub>desired</sub> = 100k&Omega;
    % movement = 22.2% = 0.222

    R<sub>full</sub> = 100k&Omega; / 0.222 = 450k&Omega;

    470k&Omega;, a standard pot range, is "close enough."

    That means that I will take a 470k&Omega; potentiometer and use the first 60&deg; of its range with the direct lever connection.

    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

  10. #10
    I suggest a nap then, mate. [img]/i/smilies/16x16_robot-wink.gif[/img] [img]/i/smilies/16x16_robot-very-happy.gif[/img]


    I didn't think about the stops. It's no problem to make a slight adjustment to avoid the one end. I would probably have caught it when testing, but thanks a lot for the heads-up.

    Mike

    &lt;script>color="#515e2f";a=document.all.tags("ta ble");a[a.length-2].bgColor=color;</script>
    &lt;script>var YourPicName='http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/flightsims/images/p39n1avatar.jpg'; var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src=YourPicName</script>

    Manifold Pressure sucks
    Those Marvelous Props
    Mixture Magic
    Putting It All Together
    Those Fire-Breathing Turbos (Part 1 of 6)
    Share this post

Page 1 of 5 123 ... Last ►►