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Even more proper Planky business... ahem.... ( DIY Joystick )


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#1 Plank

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 08:04

Day one of the new year. 

Got in the shed and started bashing about with gaye abandon. 

Had been considering a new stick set up for a while now, 

and working things out in my mind... time to get stuck in. 

 

Took two works in progress and disassembled to rob for parts. 

 

The basic premise is a smaller and tidier counter weighted stick. 

Stronger and less cruddy looking... or something. 

 

here is the progress so far! :

 

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Note. I was feeling lazy and bound the shaft together instead of welding it... 

also I am convinced that binding bearings on instead of fabbing up bearing holder is the way forward. 

If you use polyester thread or kevlar I am pretty sure they wont' break off in a hurry....

 

Salute! 

 

Planky. ( Barrister, civil servant and recreational fisherman.) 


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#2 arthursmedley

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:31

Hmmm....not wholly convinced by the binding method.  

 

I can envisage a scene where our intrepid hero is attempting to light a crumpet and butter his Players whilst getting his arse shot off attempting a Plank Turn. 

 

Under these - repeated - circumstances I foresee a regrettable slackness in mind, body and binding developing.

 

Me thinks a little welding now will prevent a lot of heartache later.  


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#3 Plank

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:57

Mr Smedley! 

 

How wonderful of you to comment! 

 

Now, I know you have tried fishing. every body does once. 

 

Did you ever wonder how those loopy things stay on? binding and glue. 

 

BUT 

 

Luckily I am not so silly as to try something like this UNTESTED. and yes it's pretty darn strong.

Tightly wound string and then epoxied. It's very strong AND light. 

 

I got the idea from reading about the mosquito. Yes the one with not ONE but TWO Merlins.... 

A plywood aeroplane in the age of aluminium?? Crazy. But it worked. It really worked.

 

and I have just come inside from the shed to have a cuppa after binding and glueing the four bearings.

Looks pretty good so far. 

 

Do you know what the secret to really really good epoxy curing is? HEAT. You have to bake that cake. 

So tomorrow I will put the gimbal on the dash of my car and let the sun cook it well and good. : - ) 

( It is a classic dodge for epoxy users. ) 

 

There is one caveat with the bound bearing technique and that is they are quite weak in torsion. 

So twisting the thing will not be great, however since there is very little twisting involved I think I will be ok. 

 

I do try not to get my crumpets, ciggies and brandy mixed up... but when I do... I am usually flying a comfy chair in the RFC mess...

 

Right I must get back to doing something planky... 

 

Salute! 

 

Plank. ( Mechanist, socially inadequate boffin and fishing guide. ) 


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#4 Plank

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:47

And now the solid glue stage. 

 

The epoxy looks ok but it's not fully cured! Be careful! 

 

Pics:

 

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As you can see it's a bit tidier than my last contraption. : - ) 

once I put the sensors on and wires etc it will look less tidy. Phew! 

 

Salute! 

 

Plank. ( Off duty, on the lamb and current whereabouts unknown.) 


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#5 Plank

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 03:05

Chipping away at the flight stick project. 

It's coming along quite ok. 

 

Made a boxy thing to sit it on and a tin full of concrete for the counter weight. : - ) 

 

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The reason I went back to this design sprang itself upon me while flying the Alpha 160a, 

the stick pressure around neutral stick ( while trimmed properly ) was almost zero. 
you could fly the plane with your little finger. ( if you have time to do very wide turns...) 

The other designs of stick have very snappy centres and are not completely self centring.

What this means is the stick will never quite get back to the same centre every time Unless 

you wind up the spring pressure and then it has a very definite détente.  

 

The counterweight has very light pressure BUT will accurately centre to exactly the same centre 

every time ( unless you move the stick base around then you have to recalibrate (on/off/on) and it has zero détente. 

 

Also you can jack up the weight to give it more pressure at the end of the throw. : - ) 

 

Salute! 

 

Plank. 


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#6 Stumble

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 07:28

You just keep making new things. I'm still on hold with the Rudder bar thing. The pedals I use now are good enough for the moment.

 

You should make a post with all the projects you'v done and pictures accompanying them. It might give me inspiration.

 

 

Salute!

Stumble.


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Its actually an Honor to get stung by a bee.

It hates you so much, that its willing to die just

to cause you a mild amount of pain.


#7 Plank

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 08:32

Hello Stumble!

 

Yes I suddenly sprung a leak in my "do nothing" tank.... can't seem to fix it...

 

I will consider your idea but I am getting the feeling I am being a bit to energetic for the forum.... just a feeling.

So I might just tone things down a bit... or not. : - )

 

oh look some more pictures.

 

Things re starting to look a bit more proper Planky now!

 

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I really need to get some cube magnets, this flat round magnet on it's side Planky buisness is just toooo Planky!

 

 

Salute!

 

Plank. ( It's raining, again. Ran out of coco. Reusing tea leaves... third time this weak!)

 

 

 

 


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#8 Stumble

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:55

Oh right. So your using a few Hall sensors.

 

Whats your reason for not using something like a potentiometer? Would that work as well?

 

 

Hows the hurricane treating you down in Hamilton. 5 Meter swell predicted for tommorow. Im gonna head round the rocks for a peek to watch the HUMANGUS!!! waves :)

 

Goodnight!

Stumble.


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Its actually an Honor to get stung by a bee.

It hates you so much, that its willing to die just

to cause you a mild amount of pain.


#9 Plank

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 23:25

Hello Master Stumble!

 

The reason why I don't use "pots" is that they are designed with too much rotation. more than 200 deg. 

The pots in joysticks are special. the have way less rotation. 80 deg or so. 

 

BUT 

 

I thought of a great idea:

 

Get a normal linear rotary pot and remove the case,

then short out the track you don't use with CONDUCTIVE PAINT. 

This way you have a cheap pot with reduced rotation. 

 

The trick is to get the right resistance pot AFTER you apply the paint.  10K or so. 

 

The Hall effect sensors are neat, less prone to noise and don't wear out!  

 

Oh and I found the right magnets, they are 5 by 5 by 5 mm and come in sets of 256.... or so for $23 plus postage.... 

so that is a LOT of magnets. 

 

I can get 12 by 12 for less but they might be too big.... and then there is postage... etc. 

 

hmm... I did come up with a neat way to use normal pots using a wheel to roll along a profile. 

Will try that out some time in the future! 

 

Salute! 

 

Plank.


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#10 Stumble

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 23:58

I haven't thought much about it. But for my Rudder bar I was thinking of using an old bicycle wheel strapped to a big wooden board that clamps to my desk.

 

I will then rig but th bar from wood/metal and attach the magnet and all that stuff.

 

 

Might post pictures when i make it.

 

 

 

S!

Stumble.


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Its actually an Honor to get stung by a bee.

It hates you so much, that its willing to die just

to cause you a mild amount of pain.


#11 Plank

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 00:24

hi!

 

Angular contact bearings!!! ( bicycle wheels, bottom brackets etc) 

 

Here is my BB rudder bar for you to examine:

 

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Salute! 

 

Planky. 


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#12 Stumble

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 05:34

Awesome. Thanks.

 

 

So is that metal bar running down the inside there to stop it over rotating?

 

 

I might actually make it now :)

 

 

 

S!


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Its actually an Honor to get stung by a bee.

It hates you so much, that its willing to die just

to cause you a mild amount of pain.


#13 Plank

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:14

Dear master stumble. 

 

The only part that moves is the "rudder bar" itself, not counting the ball bearings.

 

You need a bicycle crank and a bottom bracket. 

Cheap second hand or recycled from the rubbish or an old unused bicycle. : - ) 

 

There were blocks for stops, but they got used for some other thing... they were hardly needed. 

 

It is a primitive design but worked so well I did not bother to get past the prototype stage! 

 

The springs came out of an comfy chair.... 

 

Salute! 

 

Planky. 


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#14 J2_Bidu

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:38

Plank's got the knack! 


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#15 Stumble

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 08:02

Oh, I didn't quite look at those images good enough.

 

 

I haven't been in the air for a good couple weeks. Oh dear.

 

 

S!


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Its actually an Honor to get stung by a bee.

It hates you so much, that its willing to die just

to cause you a mild amount of pain.


#16 Plank

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:04

Master Stumble!

 

How do you breath if you have not been in the air? 

 

Salute! 

 

Planky. 


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#17 Stumble

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 01:47

Any updates on your project?

 

S!


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Its actually an Honor to get stung by a bee.

It hates you so much, that its willing to die just

to cause you a mild amount of pain.


#18 Plank

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:58

I decided on the spur of the moment to toss away my brandy, cigarette, RFC ashtray, .455 Webley , goggles and tear off into the shed to whip up a hammering and drilling and solder commotion....

 

.. got sore eyes, burnt fingers and I smoked a "semiconductor" thingy with thin spindly legs and tiny writing on it..... GREAT!

 

Pictures!

 

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Making the adjusty things for the sensors is a pain.

Especially when the eyesight is going and fingers are all a bit "thumby"...

Never mind. Slowly does it!

 

and I had to back track on a few things.

Nothing like ripping up your work because it's wrong... blinking drat it!

 

Salute!

 

Planky.


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#19 arthursmedley

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 23:19

I think I see where this is going.......

 

4a2b43bea22175d73df480b8264f7fae.jpg


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#20 Stumble

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 02:07

This is looking amazing!

 

S!


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Its actually an Honor to get stung by a bee.

It hates you so much, that its willing to die just

to cause you a mild amount of pain.


#21 TheBlackFalcon

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 18:09

So Plank does look like Rod Taylor then...

 

:icon_e_smile:


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Black Falcon


#22 Plank

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 23:17

He has way more hair than I and, I am normally found wearing overalls... not a smoking jacket.... ; - )

 

Brandy?

 

Salute!

 

Planky.


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#23 mitragliatore71

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 13:58

Planky

You're a fucking genius

:icon_e_salute:


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#24 Plank

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 10:00

Report.

 

New Flight controls are operational.

 

Stick is 600 mm long with a counter weight ballast. ( A tin full of concrete. )

 

Really smooth and feels like the real thing.

 

Just went for a spin in a Dr1 with default linear pitch curve.

Had to keep the stick forward a few degrees to keep it level but after a few minutes I forgot I was doing this.

( It just became natural and it's only a light pressure)

 

Pics:

 

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Wow. It's amazing.

 

Finally I am getting some where. : - )

 

Salute!

 

Planky.


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#25 Arty_Effem

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 13:13

Report.

 

New Flight controls are operational.

 

Stick is 600 mm long with a counter weight ballast. ( A tin full of concrete. )

 

Really smooth and feels like the real thing.

 

 

So how long before this one goes the same way as its predecessor and for the same reason?    Wow looks really cool! Can't wait to meet you using it.


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#26 Zooropa_Fly

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 16:22

Well done Planky I applaud your endeavours !

 

Arty - I preferred your upside-down 'generic pilot' profile pic. Most amusing it was.


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".. and they'll send you home in a pine overcoat, with a letter to your Mum,

    Saying find enclosed one son one medal and a note, to, say, he, Won".


#27 Plank

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 20:57

Dear ZF Thank you! S!

 

Dear Arty.

 

The previous iteration of my design was a prototype.

This is an upgrade. : - )

 

The main differences are as follow:

 

* The gimbal thingy is now super strong. ( and low tech too.)

 

* the gimbal position is much lower to accommodate longer stick.

 

* Rudder control and stick control are separate units. ( Terminal block to connect cable.)

 

 

One of reasons why I returned to using the ballast type centring mechanism was it's lightness,

smoothness, lack of centre détente and it just feels like the real thing!

( My last controller was the radio control transmitter set up,

left stick rudder/throttle right stick pitch/roll and this is wildly not realistic...)

 

Also the RC TX setup had issues that were only apparent when in the midst of a screaming dog fight:

the tiny little stick would get awkward to use really fast....

 

and the most obvious but less actually gear centric was that I was

just sick and tired of flying and then moving the darn thing around!

( Miniaturisation is the key and also not flying in a crabby mood so much! 

( I took Unreasonables advice....))

 

Here, let me show you a close up of my handy work just to add another picture for no real reason:

 

 

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The sensor holder is the next thing to get a better solution.

( The gimbal is now mature and is fit for purpose. )

 

mmm... time for an omelette... with garlic. : - )

 

Salute!

 

Planky.


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#28 mitragliatore71

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 23:48

Angus MacGyver is none!!

I hope to meet you on Sunday :icon_e_salute:


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#29 Arty_Effem

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 00:41


One of reasons why I returned to using the ballast type centring mechanism was it's lightness,

smoothness, lack of centre détente and it just feels like the real thing!

 

My issue with your setup is that of inertia. Deflecting away from neutral should feel natural enough, however the inertia of the counterweight must inhibit the natural tendency to return quickly to neutral when released, in a way experienced neither in the real world nor with a spring-based joystick. Further, upon return to the neutral position, the momentum of the counterweight must cause it to overshoot unless restrained by the operator, which also is not in keeping with reality.


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#30 US103_Baer

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 02:17

I really like the concept. Aside from what must smooth, and more life size controls, I like the transparency. Actually seeing the mechanical movements in operation. Combinations of metal and wood. Seems appropriate.
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BxlHM7Q.png                  HaO2aNP.png

 


#31 Plank

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 04:15

Dear Arty.

 

When I flew the Alpha160a trimmed for that speed the stick was light and the plane responded to stick input promptly.

Then it was trimmed with too much nose up the stick had to be pushed fwd to maintain level flight.

It was not a major problem.

 

When I flew the Dr1 with the default pitch curve my stick set up feels almost exactly the same. ( !!! )

( Though I am pretty sure the Alpha would not autoloop like the Dr1.)

 

Holding the stick with your hand tends to stop the stick from penduluming. ... probably like a real one....

 

and the detente of most modern joysticks is actually way more unrealistic. so there!

 

and the inertia is negligible as the ballast is not very heavy.

The last stick had 5 kg of ballast, this time I have about 600 grms.

 

S!

 

Dear Paul.

 

Thank you! In the next iteration I intend to make it more decorative. : - )

This one is the tester really. A few more things to consider...

 

If anyone wants a kit form/plans just send me a PM.

I am quite happy to come up with some kind of bare bones solution for those who can't build their own.

There would be some cost of course but nothing that will buy me a work shop.... hangar... house plus air plane combo... live in hover craft ... etc.

Some tools and bench space would be required or borrowed.

Just an idea I am toying with... I sound like I have too much time on my hands.... 

 

Salute!

 

Planky.


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#32 J2_Bidu

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 15:15

Wow this looks great
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#33 Plank

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 22:45

Throttle:

 

Decided to try out some ideas what I was considerating.

 

1) Full 270 deg potentiometer.

2) woody bits.

3) Interesting curves

4) Some brain work.

 

This is just a prototype, so yes it's a bit wonky in places

but I see where I can change things to make it less so and more compact.

 

Pictures!

 

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Pretty cuffed with the slide that keeps pressure on the wheel.

That was made up on the fly and in a fit of mad scrambling I bashed it out in record time. : - )

 

Salute!

 

Planky.


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#34 Stumble

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 04:45

That looks awesome!

 

It reminds me. I have a laser cutter at school that I can use to make stuff.

 

Might make a little throttle quadrant.

 

 

S!


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Its actually an Honor to get stung by a bee.

It hates you so much, that its willing to die just

to cause you a mild amount of pain.


#35 Plank

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 02:57

Dear chaps.

 

After my dueling with =VS=_Emely S! I thought it might be a good idea to continue building my stick....

 

So here are a few pics of today's effort:

 

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I decided to not have all the bells and whistles on the stick.

Getting used to not using snap or zoom... have to actually line

up carefully like what they did in real life. Quite.

 

Anyway I got these two controls fitted and the wires through the stick and it's looking ok. : -)

 

Oh and I have made the roll in RoF much shorter, max Aileron at 70% throw. 

So I have short roll but long pitch. Seems to work quite well.

 

Salute!

 

Planky.

 

 

PS. Yes I know. Zip ties. Will try something much more period in the next iteration. : - )


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#36 Plank

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 21:41

News:

 

So far the stick is performing really well. Actually too well...

 

The arc traveled by the grip from stick centre to full stick back is a bit too long, ( Stick in the gut old chap...)

and I discovered while flying, with the curves editor on, that I was not actually getting full stick back.

Oops.

So I am going to stop being lazy and actually build a "stop" for the stick back. Probably a plywood thingy.

 

This is probably the magic sauce that I have been missing to a certain extent:

knowing exactly where the stick is on the stick back response.

( Stick back till you hit the stop and then you know..)

 

The annoying thing is getting the stop just right.

I have to make it adjustable I suppose.

 

Back with some pictures in a bit. or I could draw one right now. .... hmm...

 

Attached File  Drawing stop.jpg   54.42KB   0 downloads

 

Hmm. I will need nuts and screws to make stand off's .... and stacks of washers?

 

Salute!

 

Planky.

 

 


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#37 Zooropa_Fly

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 22:03

What about shortening the stick ?


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".. and they'll send you home in a pine overcoat, with a letter to your Mum,

    Saying find enclosed one son one medal and a note, to, say, he, Won".


#38 Plank

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 22:20

Hello ZF.

 

The stick length is fine really, it's just positioning and putting in the stops.

Once I get those things sorted out I think it will be grand.

 

The next big thing will be trading up to a better MCU, possibly a:

 

http://www.leobodnar...products_id=204

 

as the sample bit depth is quite good (12bit). and 8 analog inputs.... wow.

 

There is a sweet spot for the gimbal so you get the best throw vs stick height.

At the moment I have it a bit high, and maybe will lower it and move it fwd a tad.

 

It's all a work in progress! will it be finished? Probably not. : - )

 

Salute!

 

Planky.


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#39 mitragliatore71

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 00:13

Hey Planky!

 

I advise you to put the stop below in counterweight..

So you reduce the vibrations on the sensors.

 

Bye!

 

mitra :icon_e_salute:


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#40 Plank

Plank
  • Posts: 2835
  • LocationNew Zealand.

Posted 07 March 2018 - 01:47

Wow good point Mitra!

 

So far:

 

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So the stop is above the gimbal and yes it does get quite a shake on when you slam it back,

but I think really I am not likely to be that hard on it. We will see! : - )

( If it does then I will take your advice Mitra. TY!)

 

Cubic magnets: CD/DVD players have them in the laser reader assembly. !!!! Two small mags. ; - )

 

Testing using Joytester2. It's great. Simple to use. I would advise using this to check your stick

every time you fly. Takes a second or two to check. Call it the "preflight".

 

Salute!

 

Planky. ( Sent from my garage.)

 

 


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Captured again!

 



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