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Yoke/Columns Status

Started by sagrada737, November 02, 2020, 08:58:59 am

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sagrada737

November 02, 2020, 08:58:59 am Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 09:09:37 am by sagrada737
Hello All,

Well...   After 4 years of using a MicroSoft JoyStick for Aileron/Elevator control with my Sim, I finally got around to completing modifications and integration of my Boeing Yokes/Control Columns into the Sim Flight Deck.

Included are some photos of how I approached this installation, and the finished result.

The 1st photo shows a wide view of the Sim/6dof Motion Platform with the new Yoke/Control Columns installed, calibrated, and functional.

The 2nd and 3rd photos shows the external fixture weldment that I made to work on and test the Yoke/Column assembly before I installed it into the Flight Deck.   This made it a lot easier to access various parts of this assembly for testing the design approach to integrate the Boeing Yokes/Columns for use in my Sim.  The requirement was to allow the completed Yoke/Control Column Assembly to "drop into place" from within the cockpit, where its wire harness would plug into the Game Controller.

The 4th photo show "dual" Bodnar USB game controllers.  These are the BU0836 versions.  Although a single Bodnar unit should have worked, it would not calibrate with FSUIPC.  So I added another BU0836 unit, which resolved that problem.  The Bodnar units are easy to work with, and easy to connect to.  I located them behind the CA side Rudder units (OpenCockpits Rudders).

The 5th photo show the Yoke/Control mechanics that are underneath the Flight Deck floor.  The design requirement here was to have a compact design that would integrate with the Boeing Yokes/Columns, and produce a nice, balanced "control feel" when flying the 737 aircraft.

To accomplish this, I used Centering Springs and Dampeners.   

The 6th photo shows the Aileron assembly. I used a #35 chain that is tensioned using a Turn Buckle approach.  In order to properly tension the #35 chain, I needed to install ball bearings at each end of Internal Yoke shaft that resides within each Column.  These bearing are installed at the ends of the square tube, which is welded/secured to the 2" Cross Tube, which syncs the two Control Columns.  This allowed for proper tension to be applied and eliminated any backlash.  Once the Yokes were set and sync'd with each other, I drilled a hole for a roll-pin in each sprocket flange, which keeps the Yokes in-sync.   The primary Centering of the Yokes is accomplished using two 40 lbs. springs (red).  These springs are attached to a 1/2 inch square "Shuttle tube".  I 3D printed two Shuttle Bushings using PETG, which is somewhat similar to Nylon.  These Bushings not only keep the Shuttle straight, but also provide a measure of dampening.  The result is a Yoke control force that is close to the 737.  At the center of the Shuttle Bar is a Clevis that captures the Slider on a 10K potentiometer.  As a side note, the diameter of the sprocket was chosen to allow for 90% movement of the potentiometer Slider during full left/right rotation of the Yoke.

The 5th photo shows the Elevator control system.   I connected the two Control Columns using a 2" steel DOM tube for the Cross Tube.  I used a custom machined Flange at each end to attach to the Boeing Columns.  The Flanges are bolted to the Cross Tube, resulting in a synchronized, rigid connection between the CA and FO side.

The square cross tube that has the aileron bearings at each end, also serves as an attach point for a weldment/bracket to connect two 60 lb. Centering Springs and two 25 lb. gas shock Dampeners, and also a connecting rod that attaches to a 10K Slider potentiometer.  It turns out that the combination of Yoke/Column spring centering and dampening, provides a nice balance of "control forces" during manual flight.

The last photo shows another view of the Flight Deck with the new Yokes/Control Columns installed.  After using the joystick for so long, it was a real treat to finally have the proper look and feel of the 737 Yokes/Columns when flying my Sim.

Next up will be to work on the Aft part of the Flight Deck to include the CA and FO Circuit Breaker Panels, Aft cockpit structure, the two Observer Seats, and the Cockpit Door.  When that is completed, I will lay down a segmented aluminum floor over the existing Baltic Birch floor structure.  The intent here is to mimic the Boeing 737 flight deck floor features.  Lots to do... :)

Mike
P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT1080HD projection 120 deg. display driven by a single EVGA Nvidia GTX-1080Ti Water Cooled.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos.

FredK

Mike

That yoke engineering is about the most eloquent design that I have seen!

Nicely done!

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

jackpilot



Jack

sagrada737

November 03, 2020, 07:30:19 am #3 Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 07:32:01 am by sagrada737
Thanks guys for the nice comments.   The Yoke/Column Assembly was a fun engineering project.  I have done several test flights now with the new Yoke system, and sure enjoy the feel of flying the aircraft, and how it greatly adds to the Sim immersion.

When I get around to working on the Flight Deck flooring, I will make the Column Boots.  I also plan is to cover the Baltic Birch flooring with sectors of aluminum sheet with fake rivets to mimic the appearance of the 737 cockpit floor.

As a side project down the road...   I have been thinking of making up a "fake" Control Loader that when active, would induce slight, random movements in both the Yokes and Control Columns whenever the AutoPilot is engaged, and disabled when the A/P is disconnected.   This would give the subtle effect of Control Loader activity and further add to the sense of immersion. 

Of course, I could make it a huge project and try to integrate a full-blown Control Loader project as others have done, but that kind of system is highly complex and requires a lot of work.  Anyway...  It's fun to consider future mods/additions to our Sims.

Mike
P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT1080HD projection 120 deg. display driven by a single EVGA Nvidia GTX-1080Ti Water Cooled.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos.

jetpilot

Mike,
Excelente Work.
Once installed, any chance you post a video of the yokes moving???
 :)
Roberto

sagrada737

November 05, 2020, 02:35:07 pm #5 Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 02:36:59 pm by sagrada737
I did an enhancement to the Control Column dampening strategy.  After doing a test flight with my 737 pilot friend, he stated that the Yokes were just about right, but the feel of the Column was a bit too light.

I had made provisions for additional dampening of the Control Column system, so I added two Self-Centering Dampeners.  These are fixed spring tension units with light dampening characteristics.  They provided just enough additonal spring Centering/Dampening to bring the Control Columns into a better force balance with the Yokes.  This change gives a sense of flying a heavier aircraft, yet the controls are still very responsive.  I'm happy...

Building a Sim -- one tweak at a time... :)

Mike
P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT1080HD projection 120 deg. display driven by a single EVGA Nvidia GTX-1080Ti Water Cooled.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos.

archen

Dude this looks awesome!! I just love your yoke assembly and the motion platform.

What components are you using for the motion?

Skickat från min SM-N986B via Tapatalk

------------
Anders Simparts
http://www.anderssimparts.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArchenSimparts
Selling "Hard-to-get" simparts like authentic Engine starters, Autobrake, IRS mode selectors and N1&SPD Ref Switches.
------------

sagrada737

November 07, 2020, 05:08:30 am #7 Last Edit: November 07, 2020, 06:52:52 am by sagrada737
Hello Anders,

Regarding your question as to what components I am using for the 6dof Motion Platform...   

I am using the BFF 6dof Motion software, which reads the motion activity in the Sim, and prepares the Motion Cues for further processing.

The motion cue data is then retrieved by the Thanos AMC-AASD15A Servo Controller, which translates the motion cues into commands that are received by six servo motor controllers, which command servo motor movements -- one for each of the six actuators in the hexapod system -- hence 6 degrees of freedom in the Motion Platform.

The Servo Motor Controller I am using is a 130ST M10025 2.6KW 220VAC single phase, Matched Driver for the AASD10A operation.  These Servos offer very fast response, with high-res encoders for smooth operation.  The Servos are fairly powerful motors and perhaps are somewhat overkill for moving the Sim Mass, which is about 2,100 lbs with four people in the Sim.  This translates into less than 400 lbs per Actuator.

Each of the six (6) servo motors are connected to dual-reduction gearboxes providing a 160:1 gear reduction.  The first reduction is a very efficient helical gear reduction, and the second stage reduction is a worm gear reduction, which prevents "back sliding" of the gearbox as a very important safety feature when power is OFF.

Each Gearbox output shaft has a 6" long Lever, that is attached to its Actuator.  This type of drive system is fairly simple mechanically and fairly inexpensive compared to servo controlled linear actuators, which are somewhat noisy, and very expensive.

This system has been very reliable, and has full safe guards for monitoring motion activity, including emergency STOP switches, and Limits for initialization, Over-Drive sensing, and full in-cockpit control.

The 6dof Motion Platform has added a significant amount of additional Sim immersion.  If you have room for this kind of setup, it is a project worth doing.

Mike
P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT1080HD projection 120 deg. display driven by a single EVGA Nvidia GTX-1080Ti Water Cooled.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos.

archen

Thank you so much for all the information. I've been looking at BFF motion controller as I'm using his stuff for my control loading yoke.

It looks great I'll save the information for future reference

Skickat från min SM-N986B via Tapatalk

------------
Anders Simparts
http://www.anderssimparts.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArchenSimparts
Selling "Hard-to-get" simparts like authentic Engine starters, Autobrake, IRS mode selectors and N1&SPD Ref Switches.
------------

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