SAP – refocusing

The Lawnmower Man (1992)
Still from The Lawnmower Man (1992)

It’s been too long since I put some time into this project, so I’m going to outline goals broadly and then narrow into smaller components.


  1. Enumerate SIM software options, noting:
    -DK2 compatibility, Retail rift (CV1) compatibility (which has many moderate advantages over DK2), environmental data output capabilities, associated existing environmental data hardware.
  2. Enumerate environmental data hardware options. Most all options are for motion platforms, will these work for my full 3D system?
  3. Options for motion actuation, look into various high torque motor options. Variables include torque, rotation accuracy, rotation speed, control interface and compatibility with environmental data hardware.
  4. Physical design. Design different styles, noting size requirements, mass, portability, aesthetics, structural design and stress tolerance calculations. Construction may need some legal/insurance considerations.

Steps 1-3 represent the bulk of the electronic challenges. Step 4 is the physical challenge Continue reading “SAP – refocusing”

Special Access Project part 5

14 Sep 2015

DK2 support has increased tremendously in the last couple weeks, with Betas of Flyinside (a DK2 driver for FSX) being released aswell as a new DK2 SDK with la de da fancy GPU support corresponding with a new Nvidia driver release. Thats 3 drivers all playing nicely for 75fps FSX in head tracked DK2 VR (virtual reality) (albiet with all the terrain and other effects turned down).

Now looking into the hardware software interface

error: terradactl support not found

No but really, umm here

  • From the DIY 6DOF Motion Platform, quote
    "The first one was with the thanos board, the second one with the dimension engineering kangaroos."

    So theres 2 hardware solutions, thanos board which I believe works with x-sim as a PID and the dimension engineering kangaroos which are also a PID for DC motor controllers

  • There is x-sim, which is a data interface for FSX, although the DIY 6DOF Motion Platform above doesn’t necessarily say good things about the thanos board, which also has like 0 support on its website, get on that thanos. Which leads me to look for a hardware interface which will work with a quadrature encoder since thats a requirement
  • Also, this 6 DOF Motion Software, referenced at the DIY 6DOF Motion Platform entry with the dimension engineering kangaroos, although specifically for 6dof platforms
  • what ever the fuck this is.

So I figure I need to learn about X-Sim and what it outputs, I need roll and pitch output, then I need a PID to work with the quadrature encoders to output to a motor driver. Then I can work out mass of the cockpit and torque requirements. How plane pitch/roll data aligns with torque requirements, then I can look into motor and gear selection, then I can look more seriously at motor driving PID firmware.

Looked into motor frame design with a horizontal roll motor:


Special Access Project part 4

21 Sep 2014

I could possibly put the center of rotation axes behind the pilot, in order to make the sensation of lift when pitching up or down more real (requires a lot of torque for the pitch motor though, especially if not counter weighted).


I need to understand how the motion hardware will work with impossible angles, such as if I pitch straight down, roll 90 degrees, then I am unable to pitch up (this problem exists for all designs seemingly)?! Not sure how this is dealt with at the moment.

I’ve been looking through forums and youtube to try and find people who have made similar projects and until just now I was only able to find one example of a home built flight sim with full roll and pitch, the viper


I spoke to one of the makers of the Viper, Sam, who told me they were having trouble with torque requirements. So I’m weary of the weight of my design, I may need to lose my previous work of the electric seat adjuster, which alone weighs a few kg’s.

Continue reading “Special Access Project part 4”

Special Access Project part 3

Stand off bracket connecting racing seat to seat rail.

7-7-14, Seat bracket:

Balancing the person in the sim will be done using an electric seat motor and rail set. The rail set provides balancing on 2 axis, vertical and horizontal. The rail set has mounting holes for a different seat, so I needed to design a bracket.

First Design, mild steel rectangular tube.

Attachment to rail set is by nut within the bracket, the nut is custom machined as described in the image below. Planning to implement a bar going across joining the two brackets as an anchor point for the anti-submarine 6 point harness. Also, tonight I watched lawn mower man. I all have to say is hrmmmm, about that

seat bracket big

11-7-14, bought metal at the wrong length.

Continue reading “Special Access Project part 3”

Special Access Project part 1

Started designing a fully 3d flight sim, with Oculus Rift as vision.

Challenges include:

Flight Sim
-> Motor Control (Motor selection, Motor controllers, software interface, Emergency stop + reset)
-> Sim Software (Needs to work with Occulus + head tracking + motors)
-> USB joystick (+ rudders)
-> Hardware (bearings/shaft electrical connections/frame design + construction)

technical stuff:
having the graphics computer rotating with the seat or outside the apparatus:

inside (most likely):
-HDMI direct to occulus.
-Only motor data and power connections from computer through rotating electrical contacts.
-possibly requires SSD for computer due to motion.
-Motor Control hardware either inside or outside frame connected to computer via (x-sim?!) USB industrial motor controller? + Secondary motor backup control outside frame.

-requires running HDMI and USB through rotating electrical contacts
-only require 1 computer for all controls

Having motor controllers outside Vs 1 in for roll and 1 out for pitch
1 inside (with computer inside):
-mains voltage coming in to pitch motor.
-Roll motor controller connects direct to computer, pitch control signal goes outside.

Both outside (computer inside with motor control signal going through inter connects):
-Roll motor current cables going through interconnects.
-Motor control data going out through slip-ring.
-Also requires power for computer coming in through slip ring.

Initial drawings:

Sketch_1_accrossNote to self: Roll (not yaw…)