Cockpitbuilders.com

sign up .

July 03, 2020, 04:29:20 pm

Login with username, password and session length
40 Guests, 0 Users
Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 55356
  • Total Topics: 7387
  • Online Today: 45
  • Online Ever: 582
  • (January 22, 2020, 08:44:01 am)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 40
Total: 40

COUNTDOWN TO WF2020


WORLDFLIGHT TEAM USA

Will Depart in...

Recent

Welcome

Nose Section on 6dof Motion Platform

Started by sagrada737, March 13, 2020, 07:24:34 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

sagrada737

Hello Everyone,

I achieved a significant milestone with my Sim Project today.   I mounted the Nose Section with its Projector/Screen Support structure onto the 6dof Motion Platform.  I will be doing some additional testing of the Motion Platform software this week, after which I expect to install all the Sim Systems into the Nose Section.  At that point, the Sim will be close to its final configuration. 

I will be adding an "AFT Section" onto the rear of the Nose Section, which will be configured for the Circuit Breaker Panels, Jump Seat, etc.  Lots more to do, but I'm getting closer to finishing this project.   Onward and upward... :) Below is the video...

Mike

P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

blueskydriver

Hey Mike,

Looks amazing! Glad to see you back at it with your build...

Please keep the videos coming and may I suggest a lavalier microphone, that way we can hear you better, as well as listen too all the knowledge you share with us.

Kind Regards,

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Trevor Hale

Looks really good Mike.  Little bouncy on the taxi, but other than that I think your almost there..  the only thing I didn't notice is any "Dip" when you put flaps out for landing to simulate the slow down. but maybe I just didn't see it.

I am very jealous.  Looks amazing though.
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

bernard S

super cool  and its never finished  its just one tunnel after another  will you need to reinforce your cab structures ? with all that shake rattle and roll?

sagrada737

March 14, 2020, 11:50:57 am #4 Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 11:56:04 am by sagrada737
Hi Folks,

There is always a bit of risk in posting a video on something like this 6dof (degrees of freedom) motion platform.   I should have made it a bit more clear that this is a multi-phase project, of which I am now in Phase 1 testing   The stage that the motion platform is in right now is far from what its final motion cue settings will need to be.

As a 6dof motion platform (Roll, Pitch, Yaw, Heave, Sway, and Surge) there are a great number of parameters that need to be configured properly in order for the motion platform to perform properly and sync correctly to the flight simulator.  What I have for settings now are just a "good guess" at what they should be.   It will not be until I have all the Sim Systems installed and the Sim flying again in its new Nose Section environment, that I will be able to begin refining the motion cue settings.

What this initial testing is all about is to prove out the hardware/software interface to the Servo Controller, the Servo Motor Systems, and the mechanical integrity of the Nose Section structure.  Not only are there motion cue settings to be concerned with, but there are various servo filters that need to be setup correctly in order to remain within the limits of operation to achieve smooth actuator movement.  Long story short...   I am just at the beginning stages of getting the 6dof Motion Platform working correctly with the Sim.

All that said, I am encouraged by what the testing has yielded thus far.  Another very important issue is safety.  At every turn in this motion platform project, I have had to consider safety and the mechanical integrity of the motion systems.   These servo motors are very powerful, and I need to carefully consider when, how, and to what extent they are controlled.  Hence, I have had to implement safety limits on servo/actuator movement and speed, online/offline control, and emergency shutoff.

I should also point out that from a physiological consideration, the movement of the motion platform belies what the mind/body thinks/feels it should do in response to various flight modes of operation, eg. ground vs. air operations.  From a mechanical standpoint, the 6dof motion platform (hexapod) has physical limits in terms of actuator movement and acceleration.  This requires some "smoke and mirrors" with handling the motion cues to induce the sense of motion that the body feels when flying the aircraft.

Anyway...  I am finished with Phase 1 testing...  This week, I'm going to work on fabricating the Aft part of the Nose Section, after which I'll add a dummy load on the flight deck and begin Phase 2 motion testing.  If all that goes well, then next week I'll begin installing the Sim Systems within the Nose Section, and begin Phase 3 testing (final testing) for refinement of the motion cue settings.

As a side note...   I have been using the Optoma GT1080HD short throw projectors.  I use three of these with PixelWix warping software (PixelWix is the OEM for FlyEles) to produce a 205 degree wrap around display.  I have the eyepoint set for the Pilot (CA) side.  These projectors have been a very good solution.  They are fairly low cost at about $700 each.  In my P3Dv4.5x Sim Computer, I currently use a single water cooled GTX1080Ti GPU.  This has worked great for managing the dense graphics requirement of three projectors in the Nvidia Surround display mode, which has a resolution of 5760 x 1080.   Anyway...   I am changing over to a new Optoma projector model ZH406ST.  This also is a short throw projector, but it has the ability to take 4K input and internally downscale its output to HD resoluton.  The result will not be true 4k resolution, but an overall improved display quality, which has been confirmed by PixelWix.  In addition, this is a laser projector that is brighter and more stable compared to the GT1080HD projectors.   Initially, I will use the ZH406St at 1080p HD resolution.   When Nvidia begins delivering the new RTX3080Ti and RTX4080Ti, I will upgrade my graphics card and use the 4k mode to input to the laser projectors, letting the projectors handle the workload of downscaling.  I am expecting deliver of my new laser projectors in April or May.  This should be a fun part of my Sim project.

All the best!

Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

blueskydriver

Hey Mike,

Thank you for explaining things in detail and knowingly, this has been a long ongoing project that has shown many facets of building a full motion flight simulator.

From breaking ground on your building/hangar years ago to seeing your 6 DOF Motion Platform (MP) take tests flight today, you have really shown the members of Cockpit Builders a level achievement that is easily doable with enough perseverance. Albeit, we know none of this is easy, but you make it appear so by providing simple to follow insight into each phase...you're the ultimate layman terms speaker in your forum posts and videos.

Plus, just like other "Fore-Fathers" in our great flight simulation community, you are giving us new and old members alike, the motivation to begin a project or to pickup the pace of an ongoing one. Even for myself, I am sitting here at this very moment working on mine and wondering how much longer it will take to get everything up and running again, as well as feeling like there is no end sight.

However, when I take breaks or before going too bed each night I watch YouTube videos of other builders' projects. That way it gives me that extra little push to keep going, but with your videos it gives me a lot of push. Why? Because I've always wanted motion in my simulator, and now with there being two "DIY" home builders (Sam and you) that are at this level of sharing the "how-to-do-it" information, I can foresee this happening in my distant future...okay really distant distant future...lol!

Lastly, I've asked and you have invited me several times to come visit (just as Sam has). Well, I want it too be this Spring/Summer for sure, and now with me beginning the process of getting a new wheelchair van, I see no reason why this is not possible for me...

In the mean time, please make and post many more YouTube videos and/or maybe do some live video streaming, that way there is no extra work for you regarding editing the recorded videos. Please checkout GoPro Hero 8 cams (that has built in WiFi); a couple of these and you're good to go.

Link here:

https://gopro.com/en/us/shop/cameras/hero8-black/CHDHX-801-master.html

Then, if need be, hit Trevor up with questions on how to get up and running on OBS streaming software, as he is a pro at this now...I know Trev, I am volunteering you again...😁

Kind Regards,

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

sagrada737

Thanks for the kind words John.  You are most welcome to come by to see the Sim Project anytime you are out New Mexico way.  Best wishes for you new set of wheels!

Today I finished testing of the 6dof Motion Platform with a full load of 2,000 lbs.   The servo systems performed well and did all that was required by the Servo Controller in response to motion cues.  The mechanical structures did not show any vibration or resonant problems, and the servo control of the Actuators was smooth.

This week I will be fabricating the Aft section of the Motion Platform.  This is the part that will have the Circuit Breaker panels, jump seats, etc.  Having this attached to the Flight Deck will make it easier to install the Sim Modules.

By next week, I should begin installing all the Sim Systems Modules to include the Overhead units, the CA and FO Rudder units, the FDS MIP, the 737 TQ, and Pedestal unit.  I have already fitted the Nose Section Interior panels with a modified screw mounting system for easy removal/assembly. 

The major modules already have their wiring harnesses complete, so it should be somewhat plug & play (famous last words).  The new Projector/Screen support structure has provision for a "slide in" projector mounting board" for the three Optoma projectors.   I changed over to a 25ft Fiber Optic Active cables.  These are configured for Display Port from the GPU to the HDMI input on the projectors interface.  The fiber optic cables will greatly help to eliminate noise on these long run HDMI cables.

There will be a flexible umbilical type of cable connection between the Sim Computers and the Motion Platform.  This will include 120VAC power, Ethernet, USB connections to "on-board HUBs, VGA video cables to the FDS MIP, the HDMI fiber optic cables for the Sim display.  This arrangement will handle motion platform movement issues. 

There will also be a 6" diameter flex conduit that will route cooled air (via IP cooler) into the Nose Section through a manifold system.

Lots of fun ahead!

mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

Trevor Hale

Quote from: sagrada737 on March 14, 2020, 11:50:57 amHi Folks,

There is always a bit of risk in posting a video on something like this 6dof (degrees of freedom) motion platform.  I should have made it a bit more clear that this is a multi-phase project, of which I am now in Phase 1 testing  The stage that the motion platform is in right now is far from what its final motion cue settings will need to be.
Hi Mike,

Please I hope you didn't take offense to what I pointed out.  In no way was it meant to be critical of your amazing accomplishment thus far.  If was mistaken as criticism please accept my apology.

What you have accomplished is WAAAAY  More than 99% of what others have been able to do, and the biggest feather in your cap should be you "DID IT ON YOUR OWN" You didn't purchase a ready made platform, you designed and built it on your own.

Kudos Sir and the utmost respect.
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

blueskydriver

Hey Mike,

Will you please post a link to where you got your on-line double conversion UPS?

Kind Regards,

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

sagrada737

Hi Trevor...  No offense taken.   I understood that such a motion platform project would be hard to communicate to folks.   I'll try to be a bit more clear in the future.

John...   Regarding links to an online double conversion UPS...   I use an Eaton 3000VA unit.   But frankly, there are cheaper versions by APC and Triplite and many others.   Some are higher quality than others.   The point was, an online double conversion UPS provides a great deal of power protection for the expensive equipment we have in our Sims.

Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

blueskydriver

Hi Mike,

Thank you for giving me a starting point, I will do some searching...

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

FredK

Mike

That is really an incredible accomplishment!  Can't wait to experience it in person!

Regarding the external "caging".....Is that assembly designed for quick connect/disconnect for future maintenance as well?

Fred K
Boeing 737NG-800, Prepar3D v4.5, Sim-Avionics 1.964, SimSync multi-channel (curved screen), Optoma 1080GTDarbee projectors (3), Fly Elise warping, FSGRW weather, FDS OH panels and CDUs, SimParts MIP, FDS SysBoards (OH), CPFlight MCPPro and pedestal panels, FI Gauges, PFC controls, converted motorized TQ (SIOC), Weber seats

sagrada737

March 15, 2020, 03:35:38 pm #12 Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 03:37:33 pm by sagrada737
Hi Fred,

Glad you like the motion platform setup.  It only took 60 seconds and six guys to lift it onto the flight deck.   The Nose Section is bolted in place to the Flight Deck, which is bolted in place to the Upper Motion Platform structure.

Regarding the Projector/Screen support structure (the cage as you termed it)...   Yes, it is bolted to the Nose Section and can be easily removed if necessary.   I don't plan on doing that anytime soon, but that was part of the design.  The entire structure is quite stable and exhibits no unusual vibration or panel resonance.  Part of this is due to the Servo Motor System, which is very smooth.   I have special filters in the Servo Controller software that "calm down" the abrupt movements that the Servos are capable of, yet they are very responsive to motion cue information coming from the P3D via the motion control software.  This is part of the motion cue tuning process that will be ongoing for a while, which will be necessary to "sync" the motion with the visuals.

By the way...   The torque of these Servo Motors are about 5 times more than what I need for the Mass moved by the motion platform, so I have quite a bit of margin, and in essence, I have the Servo Systems "de-tuned" appropriate to the load requirement.

Right now I am finishing up the design on the Aft part of the Flight Deck, which will allow for not only the Circuit Breaker panels, but also the other compartments, jump seats, etc. that are forward of the cockpit door.  Of course, these will all be "facades", but I am building the structure such that it will be strong enough to  support Observers in both Jump Seats.  I'm following the dimensions of the real 737-800 cockpit.  I hope to get this completed by the end of this week, after which I'll be installing the Projectors and Screen, followed by the remaining Sim Modules.

After all these years, and your encouragement, I can't wait to share the finished Sim with you, and others...  I don't think you will be disappointed...

Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

bernard S

March 16, 2020, 05:35:45 am #13 Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 05:39:03 am by bernard S
dont forget to dampen projectors  text me need send ys pics

sagrada737

Hey Bernard,

Thanks for the reminder to dampen the Projectors.   Actually, I have been experimenting with a dampening system for the projectors.   The problem is that they need to maintain their physical relation ship to one another in order to retain coherent warping and blending on the screen.   I have decided to have all three projectors mounted on a single support board, and then dampen the support board to the structure to isolate shock and vibration.

This will be somewhat important due to the fact that the Optoma GT1080HD projectors use bulbs.   This will be less of a problem with the new Optoma ZH406ST laser projectors I will be using in in a few months, as they have a more stable light source.

Also, as you previously pointed out, the effective use of a seat-mounted ButtKicker that is sync'd with the Sim operations goes a long way toward increasing immersion.   This bodes well for the Motion Platform, as the motion cues can be tuned to keep the platform movements smooth, yet still be highly responsive.

I guess the bottom line is, if projectors can withstand shipping via UPS, they will hold up in a motion platform environments... :)

Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

Trevor Hale

Quote from: sagrada737 on March 16, 2020, 06:19:13 amI guess the bottom line is, if projectors can withstand shipping via UPS, they will hold up in a motion platform environments... :)

Mike
The Only difference bud, is when a projector bulb is hot, it is 1,000 times more fragile than when it is cold and packaged in a polystyrene foam shipping box.  But your idea of mounting them all to a plate and dampening the entire plate is a great idea.

Trev
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

sagrada737

March 19, 2020, 05:31:20 pm #16 Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 05:33:21 pm by sagrada737
Hello Folks,

Having finished the Phase 2 testing of the 6dof Motion Platform confirming the "full weight" movements of the motion platform systems, I am now constructing the Aft section of the Flight Deck.  The photo show the Aft Platform Weldment.  This assembly when finished will attach to the rear of the existing flight deck that is supporting the Nose Section.  It extends the flight deck by 24 inches.  This will allow a "mock up" of the Circuit Breaker Panels, Jump Seats, Storages areas, etc., which are located aft of the CA and FO seats -- essentially everything that is forward of the cockpit door.  The Aft Platform will have a similar floor as the main flight deck floor.
Aft-Platform-Weldment.jpg
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

bernard S

before closing it all up consider spker attachment points  for the rumble in the jungle i myself like loud and louder still 😃  also having a door with all the goodies adds the the immersion factor add a camera etc  ..also everyone building a sim should learn to weld like goggle it is your friend ...

so full.weight test  whats safety cut  off max load i am thinking roughly 1250 lbs to 1400 max i am sure a few here would volunteer to be crash test dummy

you did take core sample from concrete floor right ?

sagrada737

March 20, 2020, 03:03:54 am #18 Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 03:06:39 am by sagrada737
Thanks for the comments Bernard.

One of the first things I did in designing the Sim Room, was to consider the foundation.  This so-called Sim room is a small addition to the back of our home, so I had the chance to design things from scratch. 

As was discussed in another thread that eluded to what to do with our Sims when we pass on, I too considered what my wife or kids would do with the full-scale Simulator and its Motion Platform.  Since my Sim is somewhat typical of the FDS type of 737-800 Sims out there, it can easily be dismantled and sold off and moved to another location.   The 6dof Motion Platform is another story...   Not everyone wants a big motion platform for their Sim, so I designed the motion platform structure to be easily dismantled, leaving the concrete floor of the Sim Room flush and clean, able to be used for a Class C garage or some other purpose.

Regarding the Motion Platform foundation...  A major consideration was how to fasten the motion platform to the floor.  I realized that moving an 1800 pound Mass back and forth would not allow the use of the typical concrete anchors.  I decided to allow for three (3) separate concrete anchor systems for the motion platform that would be integrated into the standard foundation.  I designed and fabricated special steel weldments that would sink into the concrete pour (4 feet deep) to allow for a direct bolt on arrangement for each of the large gearboxes that drive the motion platform actuators.  In total, the Motion Platform anchors system weighs over 14,000 pounds.  Each of the six (6) gearboxes is bolted directly to the sunken weldment through a 1" thick steel plate that sits on top of a 1" thick hard rubber pad.  Each Gearbox is held in place with four (4) 7/8" Grade 8 bolts that screw into the anchor weldment and torqued in place. 

Since this was a new foundation, I had the opportunity to route electrical wiring underground to the central Motion Platform location in the Sim Room.   Three electrical conduits were used for 240 VAC, 120 VAC, and Data lines.  This allowed for a somewhat clean organization of electrical wiring, resulting in less electrical cable clutter.  Below are a couple of photos of this setup...

Anchor for Motion Platform-1.jpg

6dof Motion Platform Layout.JPG

Now that the Nose Section is mounted onto the Motion Platform, as you pointed out, I need to consider routing of various wiring in and around the Sim Structure.  For this reason, I chose to have an "open" flight deck frame structure, which allows a great deal of flexibility for routing all the wiring below the Sim's flight deck.   I chose to use 5/8" think Baltic Birch plywood for the flight deck floor, which is bolted onto the flight deck steel frame.   The Baltic Birch material is very strong, moisture stable, easy to fabricate and easy to anchor things to.  There are small "ports" in the flight deck floor that allow cabling to come up from under the flight deck to selected system above.

So, as you rightly suggested, I have planned for various "attach points" for things like sound components, vibration transducers, cameras, etc.

I decided to locate the major control systems separate from the Motion Platform, and umbilical to the systems located on the Motion Platform.  I am using two computers for control of the Sim -- one for the P3D Sim software/Motion Platform software, and another computer for the Sim-Avionics Flight Model.  These computers are on the floor at the front of the Motion Platform.  The Motion Platform Servo Controller, Servo Drive Controllers, and high power control modules and associated wiring are located under the Motion Platform on the floor in a large steel enclosure.

I can't say that I planned everything perfectly, but so far, the electro/mechanical systems/interface are working out okay.  The Sim having a somewhat open architecture design should make it easy to add to or modify needed systems or features.

That said, I greatly all the constructive comments.

Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

sagrada737

March 21, 2020, 03:54:49 pm #19 Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 03:58:35 pm by sagrada737
Hi Folks,

I completed the weldment structure for the Aft Flight Deck addon.   This area will support the Door Entry to the Circuit Breaker panel areas.  Later in the project I will mock-up these areas to look like what is in the real 737 cockpit.  The devil is in the details....   

Next up is to fit the floor for this section of the flight deck.  Below are a couple of photos showing the Aft Flight Deck weldment structure before I install the flooring.

Next week I will begin installing the Nose Section Sim Systems and the Projectors/Screen.   I'm expecting some debugging as is always the case when you move computer related stuff.  With any luck, I'll have it up and running on the Motion Platform in a couple of weeks or less.  Finally...  I'll have the Overhead in its correct position.

Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

sagrada737

March 22, 2020, 07:09:53 pm #20 Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 07:12:54 pm by sagrada737
Hello Folks,

Anyone going stir crazy yet...?   Its a good thing we have our Sim Projects as one outlet to keep our mind off the current global crisis.  Anyway...

Today I began to fit my Sim Systems inside the Nose Section.   Breaking down the static Sim was fairly easy.  I was sure to label ever cable connection so it has a reasonable chance of going back together.  Below is a photo of the For/Aft Overhead modules installed.  I am currently adjusting the MIP for the best fit.   

The photo shows the white projector screen on the floor.   I will be painting the back side satin black to match the screen support structure, and also refinishing the front side with a new coat of screen paint.  I use Kiltz applied with a fine roller.  This makes for a very nice reflective screen surface.  The screen material is  actually two (2) sheets of Matt Formica carefully joined together in the center, with a rear support lap.  Total cost for this screen including paint was about $250.  Once the screen is refurbished, I will be "threading" it inside the screen support structure attached to the Nose Section, after which it will be secured in place.

As other Sim System Modules get installed, I will refine all the wiring harness routing and cable security, since the motion platform could induce chafing.  Lots to do, but it's finally coming together.

Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

Vincent T.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for sharing your phase 1 video, its incredible. Like how Fred said, I am surely looking forward to coming to your place to try your setup :)

Keep up the good work and keep us updated.

Cheers!

Like the Website ?
Support Cockpitbuilders.com and Click Below to Donate