My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Interested in building your own home grown cockpit?

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gonzogilbert
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Location: Derbyshire

My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by gonzogilbert » Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:43 pm

Having recently moved house and still gutting and re-building I haven't yet got a permanent place to setup my "sit in" simulator so I decided to build a desktop solution which I can use in the office.

I have gone through quite a few versions to get to this stage and now I have a working prototype I am ready to run off a new version with the improvements I have put into my design. But I thought I would share my current version.

I fly in VR so visuals aren't really on the agenda but I did my best to make it look OK (keeps the desk looking tidy). I did run out of green PLA so until a new reel arrives tomorrow I used black for the trim tab (again, no relevance as I cant see it!). Obviously I fly various gliders in condor so I made it quite universal.

This is hopefully one of 3 desktop components, I want to add Gear and Water Release to the right of me as well as a simple tow release system just to to the left of my stick (FF2).

I'm using Arduino to interface with condor for now & standard electronics (pots ETC). I don't have any real mechanical engineering experience other than growing up building stuff. I am software developer with circuit electronics background. I've learned quite a lot on the mechanical side of things doing this little project, seemed so trivial at the start! My Sit in sim had much simpler controls so that will also be getting an upgrade when I finally have a place for it.

I will post a video of me flying using in the next few days.

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Andy

k6chris
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by k6chris » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:55 am

Nice work! Can we see the other side please to see the mechanical bits?!

Chris

gonzogilbert
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by gonzogilbert » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:57 pm

k6chris wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:55 am
Nice work! Can we see the other side please to see the mechanical bits?!

Chris
HI Chris, sorry didn't want to show the ugly side! :|

As I said, next run will hopefully have all the little bits ironed out, rather than scrapping and starting again which I did quite a few times.

The trim pot is a basic linear pot.

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Andy

Guy757
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by Guy757 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:16 pm

That's cracking stuff Andy, thanks for sharing.

I'm quite lazy in VR - everything either mapped to my HOTAS or actioned through VoiceAttack. I'd quite like to give 3d printing a go but must avoid that rabbit hole at the moment as I've run out of places to hide my hobbies from the missus! :lol:

Guy
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gonzogilbert
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by gonzogilbert » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:00 pm

Guy757 wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:16 pm
That's cracking stuff Andy, thanks for sharing.

I'm quite lazy in VR - everything either mapped to my HOTAS or actioned through VoiceAttack. I'd quite like to give 3d printing a go but must avoid that rabbit hole at the moment as I've run out of places to hide my hobbies from the missus! :lol:

Guy
Thanks Guy, if there is anything good to come from this lockdown its projects such as this.

I really love the immersion you get from VR so I just want to try and match the physical control immersion as much as I can.

3D printers are great, and appear to be getting cheaper and better these days. Once you have one and you have it dialled in and know the tolerances you can really develop some great stuff. Certainly made use of mine, a lot!

The wife appears to have got used to all my hobbies (I think) :shock:

gonzogilbert
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by gonzogilbert » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:12 pm

A quick video :)


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BOD1
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by BOD1 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:36 am

That's a very nice build! I'm really impressed!
Do you have an idea of the hardware cost? (not counting the 3D printer, only the suff used here, including Arduino)
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gonzogilbert
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by gonzogilbert » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:59 pm

BOD1 wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:36 am
That's a very nice build! I'm really impressed!
Do you have an idea of the hardware cost? (not counting the 3D printer, only the suff used here, including Arduino)
Sorry, missed your reply.

In terms of cost, not a huge amount really. Its difficult because of all the plastic mounts are 3D printed and I had a lot of the stuff already knocking around. Design and time was where all the effort was consumed.

But rough costs of parts only:

Linear Shafts (Pair) - £10
Pulleys and belts - £10-£15
Turn Pots (pair) - £20
Linear Pot - £5
Metal bits - £5
Handles - £5-£10
Arduino (genuine) £20+ / Non Genuine £5
Carbon Wrap - £8
Clamps (Pair) - £10-£15

There is also cables, wires & plugs ETC. The structure was wood as its easy to work with when "prototyping". I am already on with changing this out to plastic panels.

Hope that helps. I did my first 120km task the other day with it and it was awesome. So much better!


gonzogilbert
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by gonzogilbert » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:54 pm

Just thought I would share "version 2", it is basically the same as the previous only this time I have made it using acrylic and not wood. Its laser cut so the holes and cut-outs are much more accurate and cleaner. Unfortunately I only had gloss black acrylic which is a nightmare as it just attracts every bit of dust in a mile radius!

Anyway, I wanted a more finished version which this definitely does feel. Now to make an enclosure to cover up the belts, pulleys ETC and mount the Arduino somewhere in a box and I will have a near finished project.

The next version I am going to build will be matt finish in either grey or black (when it comes in stock) and will also feature my new tow release mechanism. I did plan to build it in this one until I cocked up and forgot I needed the plastic to be slightly bigger, after It had been cut! :roll:

Oh and I printed off some decals :mrgreen: (although I fly in VR so not much use... :roll: )

glider_controls_v2_1.jpg
glider_controls_v2_2.jpg
glider_controls_v2_3.jpg
Andy
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tiberius
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by tiberius » Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:02 pm

Looking great Andy!
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BillPennock
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by BillPennock » Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:09 pm

So the Arduino is used to take all the inputs and turn them into USB flight controller inputs for the PC. Is there documentation somewhere on what the computer is expecting? Is there open source software somewhere that would be a starting point?

alioth
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by alioth » Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:31 am

You can find a lot of info here: https://www.instructables.com/Create-a- ... ick-Libra/
You should have some arduino code knowledge to build and program your controller exactly as yo want/need.

BillPennock
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by BillPennock » Wed Jun 02, 2021 4:36 pm

thanks. I've been a programmer since the early 80's but the vast majority is business database programming. I did 6502 assembler ages ago though and it gave me a basic understanding of serial ports and registers and such so I'll grab an Arduino and find some docs on the web or from the site and have at it. It seems like a fun diversion. Hopefully at almost 70 my brain hasn't been party burned enough to make it hard :D . I love your setup by the way

alioth
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Re: My Desktop VR Glider Controls

Post by alioth » Wed Jun 02, 2021 6:55 pm

BillPennock wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 4:36 pm
thanks. I've been a programmer since the early 80's but the vast majority is business database programming. I did 6502 assembler ages ago though and it gave me a basic understanding of serial ports and registers and such so I'll grab an Arduino and find some docs on the web or from the site and have at it. It seems like a fun diversion. Hopefully at almost 70 my brain hasn't been party burned enough to make it hard :D . I love your setup by the way
So you know more than you need to make your own controller!
My setup is in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=20668

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