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#2849902 - 08/28/09 01:36 PM Generic Warbird Simpit Build *****
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
EDIT on my EDIT: A nice bloke dropped by today and took the simpit away. He plans on putting a BU0836 back in and perhaps a projector. I hope it works out and maybe he will post a thread about his rebuild.

Thanks to everyone that kept an eye out on my simpit build and expressed their ideas and support.


Edit: Since I built my rollout simpit (sorta simpit) I have not used this simpit and my wife would like the walk-in closet back.

The choices are: 1. Toss the old pit on the burn pile, or 2. Find someone that wants it.

So, anyone in the West Michigan area want it? I am just north of Grand Rapids MI and am willing to let you haul it off.

What does it come with? Well...I have removed all of the electronics except the control stick and throttle assembly. You will need a Joystick controller (like the Leo Bodnar BU0836X that I used) to resurrect those flight controls.

Pretty much it is an empty shell, but a comfy one. It would make a good driving pit as well as a simpit for anyone that wants to tinker....

OH Yeah! And it is FREE to whoever wants it!

PM me and we can arrange something. But please do it fast, my wife wants it gone sooner rather than later!



Hello all,

I started on my simpit last night by building the seat. I will have pictures on Monday (I am not home this weekend).

The seat is made of 3/4 plywood (cabinet grade) inspired by an Adriondack chair. The padding is memory foam covered with fake leather (from the fabric store).

This simpit will be a 3/4 enclosure as I am using a projector system rather than LCD's. I decided on a generic pit as I prefer combat games such as Rise of Flight, IL-2, etc. I am not a fan of Heli's or Jet's (although I am very impressed by those pits based on the genre).

I am making the controlls, throttle quadrent, stick, etc. I do have the x52 but do not plan on using in the pit. A Saitek Aviator has provided 5 axis' and 18 buttons but I am also going to pick up a rotery controller from Desktop Aviator for more axis', buttons, and toggles.

The gauges will all be fake (just for show) for now, but will be backlit.

This is my first build, comments are welcome and I will post pictures as I go (got that shiny new Sony DSLR for some reason, might as well use it)

I own a cabinet shop but would still appreceate advice on the best way to build the carcus. I plan on making it modular, this way I can build it in the shop, then transport it to my upstairs "man cave"....and of course move it into the walk-in closet when we need more than to spare bedrooms (we have a HUGE house). The room is 14x16 so I should be able to get a large projection. I have been inspired by Simpit.net



Edited by PropNut (01/05/12 05:50 PM)
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#2850007 - 08/28/09 04:26 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
SFViper19D Offline
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Registered: 05/14/09
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Can't wait to see it.

PS. Nice custom computer!
PSS. Nice Battletech collection!!
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#2850097 - 08/28/09 07:48 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: SFViper19D]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Thanks Viper, that cabinet is three levels deep....too bad it is so hard to find players these days frown
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#2850723 - 08/30/09 01:08 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Sokol1 Offline
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Registered: 11/17/01
Posts: 1639
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PropNut,

Based in your wooden PC case, I imagine a fine cockpit! thumbsup
BTW - Show us pic of your Baloo Rudder Pedal.

Sokol1


Edited by Sokol1 (08/30/09 01:09 AM)

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#2851719 - 08/31/09 07:48 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Sokol1]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Pictures pictures pictures, here are some pictures.

I will start with the control stick, I wanted something that looked a bit more real than the x52 that I use now. I decided to hack a Logitech USB joystick for the mechanical pivot and pots, the electronics had a glitch in it so I am feeding it to a second joystick that I have hacked (Saitek Aviator). The Aviator also runs the rudder pedals. I have 4 buttons in the handle for the guns (all airplanes should have guns!). The bungies are temporary until I can figure out something better (like the spring on the X52) for self centering. (Or I might leave it as is) I hacked an old typewriter for parts, the stick is 3/4" PVC pipe, and the handle is 3/4 cabinet grade plywood.
I flew a couple of mission on IL-2 with it today, it works pretty good!





On to the rudder pedals, I apologize for the poor quality of the photos. I should not take pictures of a black object against a black background...bad PropNut!





I wanted a seat that was confortable for me (I am 6'4 300lb) so I wound up with a throne more than a pilots seat. The rear fuse will be contoured like the seat, and I made sure there was a confy headrest for those long autopilot naps!






Next up will be the structure, I want to have that done so I can design the throttles etc.
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#2852770 - 09/02/09 08:35 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
I built the two side boxes for the cockpit, 39x24 (the reach of my fingers). They will house the trackball (on the right), the throttles, prop pitch lever, flap lever, trims, etc. on the left. They are built of 1x1 pine (frame) covered with 1/4" plywood (luaan). There are removable inner access hatches and the curved ribs of the outer shell will attach to the outer frame. I will have pictures on Friday of the carcus. Hopefully I will have the ribs finished and attached by that time also.

In addition, I have the rear bulkhead completed. The CPU case will attach to this area and the controls will feed back via USB cables under the pedestal (which will be 4" high)

Everything is designed to break down and be portable (maybe I will bring this to the Dayton Dawn Patrol!)

How about some comments and suggestions, I would be happy to incorporate good ideas into this build. I am pretty much designing it as I go along. Any help would be appreceated.


A note on the control stick, I was inspired by the stick in an I-15 WWII fighter such as this one:
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Polikarpov-I-15bis-(replica)/1544905/&sid=ef85b1dac8e20b5bf04578539b0a5bbd


David


Edited by PropNut (09/02/09 08:38 AM)
Edit Reason: added info about the stick
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#2852819 - 09/02/09 09:37 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
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Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
PropNut, do you mind if I borrow your seat design? I was going to install some kind of car seat in my personal Series One cockpit, but after seeing your seat I'm reconsidering. I'd be happy to post drawings online for others so they can build one as well.

ttyl!

g.
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#2852826 - 09/02/09 09:54 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
You are more than welcome, consider this build freeware wink
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#2853187 - 09/02/09 04:49 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
pakfront Offline
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Registered: 04/17/08
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Since you are clearly going for gold and have the skills to get there, how about placing a small (13" or less) LCD screen in your control panel, rather than fake backlit instruments? As I'm sure you know, some sims allow you to have a seperate screen with instuments that interact with the sim. For those that don't you could turn it off or just display a static image of the controls.

If you went touchscreen you could even get it to control the sim using TouchBuddy.


Edited by pakfront (09/02/09 04:49 PM)
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#2853195 - 09/02/09 04:56 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: pakfront]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Pakfront, excellent suggestion. My main interest in flight sims is quick dogfights etc in prop aircraft (no later than WWII or Fantasy WWII+...with the exception of future Mechwarrior releases). I did not feel that higher end gadgets were neccecary for this build. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. I am, however, going to make sure there is plenty of room for future upgrades to my pit. I may decide in the future to do servo driven instruments, and MFD or two, etc. At that time I can easily remove the current instrument panel and make a new one. The major drawback that I see to those (really neat) toys is that the software is usually specific to one program and I am not at all loyal to a particular game. I really wish there were a standard for all games, but that would not appeal to the majority of the buying public.
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#2853203 - 09/02/09 05:06 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
pakfront Offline
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Registered: 04/17/08
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Loc: CA, USA
Simple, um yeah... I wish I had the skills to build stuff that simple! Good luck and keep us updated - looks like a great project.
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#2853245 - 09/02/09 05:52 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: pakfront]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
But it is simple! Course, it helps to own a cabinet shop and access to lots of extra supplies. wink
I appreceate your comments though, thanks for following along.
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#2855077 - 09/05/09 01:02 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Ok, more pictures:

The parts coming together, you can see the nose and one of the sides sitting next to the seat.



The entire thing sitting together, they are just sitting together, nothing has been bolted, finish sanded, etc. It is very rough.





The entire thing sitting on the pedestal, note that the pedestal slopes in to simulate a more rounded fuselage. This is roughly patterned after the SE5a of WWI.



More pictures as I get parts ready.
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#2855606 - 09/06/09 01:43 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
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Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
Looks fantastic!

g.
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#2855694 - 09/06/09 07:58 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
MudPuppy Online   content
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Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
I'm with Gene. This is looking great, thanks for posting pics of the progress.
With all the folks playing Rise Of Flight and flying the wood and canvas crates, I was sure we would have seen a simpit covered with painted canvas by now. smile
Regards,
MP

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#2855714 - 09/06/09 09:33 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: MudPuppy]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
aahhhh, you gave the surprise away MudPuppy wink

Thanks everyone, it has been an obsession.
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#2856377 - 09/07/09 12:40 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
pakfront Offline
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Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 335
Loc: CA, USA
PropNut, looking great. A couple questions, if you don't mind:
What are the dimensions, roughly?
What thickness and type of ply are you using to cover it?
What tool do you use to do the large radius curve cuts?
If you are planning on surfacing it with fabric, is there a safe(er) dope to use these days?
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#2856394 - 09/07/09 01:20 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: pakfront]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Hi Pakfront,

It is 44" wide by 60" long and 39" tall.

I am using 1/8" door skin plywood. This perticular product is baltic birch and is 5 ply, most is 3 ply but that would work perfectly also. I just happened to have several sheets laying around the shop.

I laid out the radius with a string and then cut it with a jigsaw. I then cleaned up the radius with a 80" edge sander (side belt sander on a pedestal).

The fabric that I was thinking of is Polyester Dress lining from Joanne Fabrics (about 1.00 a yard) and I would use clear contact cement to adhere it. You can use several products but the best might be a water based contact cement from a company called Weldwood (easy to find at most hardware stores and they have water based adhesive) you can paint it on the wood, let dry and then iron the fabric to it (I use a commercial type contact cement that is chemical based). As far as dopeing the fabric, I had not planned on doing so, just paint. Polyester shrinks when you heat it. If you want to dope the fabric you can purchase several products that are 'safe' from Aircraft Spruce and other such companies.
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#2856456 - 09/07/09 02:59 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Brigstock Offline
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Registered: 12/30/00
Posts: 2836
Loc: London, England
I love the concept of it being an SE5, perfect smile

The stick is looking good too, very in keeping with the SE5 spade grip.

Well done PropNut, looking forward to further updates
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#2856464 - 09/07/09 03:34 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Brigstock]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Thanks Brigstock,

This is not really patterned after any one aircraft, it just looks simular to an SE5a fuse. The grip is modeled after an I-15 russian WWII fighter that I found on airliner.net.

I really just wanted a quick shell that I could use, I am really looking forward to making the rest of the controls.

I set up the projector last night in one of the spare bedrooms, it is awesome! It fills an entire 12' wall floor to ceiling.

I have all the parts for the computer;
EVGA 680i A2 MotherBoard (SLI)
Intel Q6600 Quad core CPU (B2 stepping)
4 gigs Corsair DDR2 memory (800)
WesternDigital IDE 160gb HD
ASUS Nvidia 9600GSO 3D card (96 pipes)
Cooler Power 480W PSU

These will be mounted in the nose of the cockpit under the dual hoods. I need to make some "t" nuts to hold the hoods down, right now I am using hex bolts but the "t" nuts would look better.

Big change in the design:
I decided to have the seat slide out the back for egress instead of a suicide door on the left. I have two sets of 24" full extention slides left over from a custom build (customers) and I bolted them together to give me 50" (1" over travel each), I mounted a wheel on the bottom rear of the seat to take the weight of the pilot (in my case a very strong wheel, lol) and the slides are just to keep everything in line over the travel. This way you can sit and slide into place. I can also make it so the seat has several ajustment settings for legroom if anyone else every uses it (which I honestly doubt, I have no sim buddies around here).

Pictures later today. I have it disassembled so I could paint the insides of the components.



Edited by PropNut (09/07/09 08:42 PM)
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#2856628 - 09/07/09 10:30 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
The computer components are mounted and working great. I need to get a long VGA cable to reach the projector and clean up the wires, etc. Hopefully I will get some pictures posted tommorrow night.

David
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#2860464 - 09/14/09 03:03 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Time for an update:

Things are really rough right now, the room the pit is in is not actually the room that it will be housed perminantly. We are clearing out a walk-in closet in yet another guest room (so we can still use the beds). The walk-in closet is 12'x7' so there is plenty of room for the pit.

The PC is mounted down but the PSU and drive tower is not yet bolted down. PC controls are mounted in the instrument panel, two vandal switches for power and reset and a LCD for the harddrive light. There will be USB outlets in the walls of the side units when this is done. There are, right now, wires everywhere but this will be loomed and hidden in time. The Simpit if fully functional right now (I chased a Fokker DVII around the sky a little while ago).

The Projector is an Infocus X1, the screen is a white bedsheet stretched onto a frame (pine) and painted with Behr "SilverScreen" paint. It gives and excellent picture about 6'x5'.




Here is a view of the chair slid out of egress, the trackball will eventually be buried with just the ball showing and two pressure plates to push the buttons.



The bass unit of the speaker system (creative 5.1) is under the seat when it slides up into place. The throttle quadrant is (obviously) homemade. I used some flat aluminium on pivots and hooked the pots via radio control airplane servo arms to the aluminium linkages. The knobs are cut off a wooden staircase handrail (oak). There are four pots, two throttles, flaps, and prop pitch.



The gauges are fake, simply built up to give them depth (face dial faces help) with plexi and printed gauges pasted onto the backs. There are 50 spaces for switches, right now I have 14 switches from a Saitek Aviator and 5 axis for the controls. Everything is working excellent. The PC controls can be seen on the lower left, and of course the CD/DVD face is mounted in the panel for ease of access. The keyboard drawer is pull out, you need to be able to "chat" in game so I wanted it accessable. The webcam (for headtracking via Freetrack) will be housed in a fake reflector site (leaning toward making a Spitfire unit)



Under the hood, it looks like a snarled mess right now but I will have it tamed soon. Once I have everything arranged I will strip everything out, paint up the pit before it is moved into its new home. The 9600GSO is an impressive card (especially for 39.99 on sale at newegg) it plays Rise of Flight smooth and looks awesome.




Thanks all for watching....
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#2860501 - 09/14/09 04:23 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Youtube video of the first flight, sorry it is so poor. This is also my first attempt at making a video for youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OproQ57VL-0


Edited by PropNut (09/14/09 04:24 PM)
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#2860547 - 09/14/09 05:48 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
pakfront Offline
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Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 335
Loc: CA, USA
Amazing, love the quadrant... Field trip to PropNut's house!
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#2860570 - 09/14/09 06:50 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: pakfront]
Brigstock Offline
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Registered: 12/30/00
Posts: 2836
Loc: London, England
Looking good Propnut.
a +1 on the quadrant, looks very cool.
Got any close ups of that?
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#2860603 - 09/14/09 07:38 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Brigstock]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Pak, thanks, you all would be more than welcome to come over and test it out.

Brigstock, I do not have closeups but I can get some. I still need to finish the top and put some stops on them.
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#2862287 - 09/17/09 11:29 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Redhornet Offline
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Registered: 05/26/09
Posts: 85
That is just so friggin cool! Really good job and I love that you're integrating the computer into the engine compartment, very appropriate.

Awesome stuff!

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#2862309 - 09/17/09 11:50 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Redhornet]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Thanks Redhornet, I hope to have it painted and moved into its new home this weekend. More pictures when I have that done. I also want to redo the control stick. I purchased hall effect IC's, rare earth magnets, and a Leo Bodnar control unit. I need to pick up a car driveshaft for the gimbal (U-joint assembly). I will keep the head but the moving parts are going to be changed.
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#2863477 - 09/19/09 08:29 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Ripcord Offline
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Registered: 03/20/03
Posts: 1507
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: PropNut
The major drawback that I see to those (really neat) toys is that the software is usually specific to one program and I am not at all loyal to a particular game.


See that is just the point - if you have an LCD or better, a touchscreen, you get to create/build whatever profile you want to show up on the screen, and you can have as many different ones as you like for whichever sim you are flying. I am using one touchscreen now and thinking about building in another one. Understand you aren't planning to go that route right away, but might keep it in mind for future iterations -- go to the touchbuddy sight and take a look at the IL-2 profiles they have other there. Pretty good.

Ripcord
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#2866329 - 09/23/09 11:00 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Ripcord]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
My Bodnar unit arrived today!!! Friday I will have time to start wiring it in (I hope)

Other news: I have moved the pit to its new and ( again I hope) perminant home. It is a 7x12 walk-in closet of one of the spare bedrooms, which has been gutted of shelves, etc. The pit has been painted (nothing fancy) and everything seems to be functioning properly. I will get some pictures posted on Friday. I should have 46 useable swtiches (momentary switches, or less if I use the rotory switch feature of the Bodnar unit) using both the Bodnar controller and the Siatek Aviator hack.

Until Friday mates!

David
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#2867569 - 09/25/09 11:33 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
I have the Bodnar joystick controller installed (X version) and I must say that it seems amazing. I thought my control issued where with the cheap pots that I am using (not the hacked Saitek Aviator) but I was wrong, with the Bodnar unit everything is smooooooth! I like it! Very easy to hook up and calibrate, it works out of the box. Here is to Leo on this one! (Cheers)

No pictures yet, I have been busy strafing AA sites, running pesky P51's off of my airfields and chasing tommy around the western front!

More later!
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#2869101 - 09/28/09 06:15 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
No comments? Well...ok. I will post more pictures anyhow wink

I have it moved and painted (mostly). I have reworked the instrument panel but have no new pictures of it as yet.

Home Sweet Home. This is a walk-in closet in an unused bedroom.



Under the hood again, black paint to highlight the PC parts. In the background you can see the Leo Bodnar BU0836X, it is well worth purchasing the quick connect version. Oh boy did this make a difference in controls. I was going to redo my pots with hall effect but I think I will leave it alone, it works increadibly well.



You can see the wiring mess (temporary I hope) from the buttons. I have a rotary switch and a several momentary toggles on thier way.



A view of the projector mount. It needs to be properly mounted and the wires routed but I plan on removing it to paint the walls. I have not yet decided on black or dark blue. I am leaning toward a medium blue though (so we do not have to repaint when we sell this monsterous house)



A couple showing the cockpit itself. I have the rudders set at the perfect distance (for me) and the joystick is mounted on a pedestal. I used a piece of that rubber roofing with a hole in the middle to make the stick self centering.



Hanging on the left combing you can see the headset I made to hold the Freetrack 3-point clip and my microphone. (that stick with a handle is so I can turn the lights off, lol.)



There it is so far. I need to finish the throttle quadrent (oh boy does that work nice) and build some other 'extras', like perminently mount the USB port near my shoulder (for the FreeTrack head clip), a port for my mic, a set of pots for trims, some push pull pots on the dash for magneto and radiator. I will need another Leo Bodnar unit for the extra pots (Oh darn! wink Excellent quality units, did I mention that?)



Edited by PropNut (09/28/09 06:21 PM)
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#2869194 - 09/28/09 09:09 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
MudPuppy Online   content
Member

Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
It does look cool, indeed! I like the canvas skin you put on the outside of the 'pit and the leather trim is icing on the cake.
Is that an optical drive that you have mounted on your control panel, so you can access a disc from the pilots seat?
What ideas have you had about your sound? I saw a pair of headphones in one shot, but are you planning on any small speakers around the cockpit?
Excellent update pics...but now that its all together, well it have to stay in that room forever? That door is not that wide! smile

Regards,
Derek

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#2869225 - 09/28/09 10:15 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: MudPuppy]
Redhornet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/09
Posts: 85
I really have to say PropNut that you have done a superb job on that simpit. I love that you based it on a SE5a, I don't think I ever seen a pit done in the likeness of a WW1 plane, very cool. The sliding seat is a simple, elegant and extremely practical solution to getting in and out, genius. It's well thought/planned out, the craftsmanship looks excellent and the fact you put the computer where the engine would be makes soooooo much sense and really tidys up your pit and man cave. Once you have finished all the cord/wire wrangling it will be that much more awesome. Lastly the leather is just such a neat touch, really does make the pit look like a WW1 scout fuselage.

Quite inspiring to me to get mine done!


Edited by Redhornet (09/28/09 10:20 PM)

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#2869242 - 09/28/09 10:57 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Redhornet]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Derek, the canvas is actually just plywood skin painted using a gradually darker grey...I like how it turned out.

The leather trim looks pretty good but I still need to finish the combing above the instrument panel (when that is done anyway).

Yes, that is the DVD drive in the panel, just below that you can see the on/off (PC) switch, reset switch and HD light, all the PC controls are in the panel.

As far as sound goes...I am using an older Creative 5.1 sound system. There is a bass unit under the front of the pit (in front of the rudder pedals) for that shake (I am going to do transducer (sp?) units someday for the real shake effects) and left/right speakers by the pilots shoulders (just inside the pit next to the seat) for stereo effects. It sounds really good. The speaker controls are located just in front of the trackball on the right.

I built this simpit to be modular and transportable. Everything plugs in (Stick, pedals, throttles, etc), the two sides are bolted in and fit together with dowels, the front unit sits on the base pedestal and screws down. The seat is on quick disconnect drawer slides (two 24" slides bolted together for 48" (+ 2" over-travel) so it is easy to remove. So yes, it will fit through the door easily. Each peice is actually very light as they are ribbed and built of 1/8" plywood.

Thanks for the encouragement Derek!

Redhornet, thanks man, it is fun to build this and post to see the reaction I get (so far all is positive). Contrary to what you think, it is not at all well thought out, lol. I pretty much make it up as I go along. There are many things I would do different if I were making these in a production shop. I appreceate the kind comments none the less. I was looking at my cord/wiring mess earlier today and scratching my head...so many tangled wires!!! wink

David
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#2869735 - 09/29/09 02:50 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
pakfront Offline
Ground Looper
Member

Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 335
Loc: CA, USA
Impressive!

Quote:
(that stick with a handle is so I can turn the lights off, lol.)

You need a Clapper(tm)!

BTW, I'm not that impressed with transducers. It's not so much that they don't work well, it;s that they take all bass and convert it into vibration - not just the bass you want.So you get equal shake from distant arty rumbles as from bullet impacts on your ship and motor noise. I don't find that convincing.

If you could set up a sim so it only output bass to the transducer that was relevant (maybe through a seperate sound card) then it would be worth it. Otherwise, the shake from your subwoofer is about as good as it gets.

Good news about the Bodnar unit - I was considering getting an Aviator to strip down but it seems like the Bodnar is the way to go.
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#2869752 - 09/29/09 03:08 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: pakfront]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Pak,
I understand what you say about the transducers, I think the vibration would be heavier for the bass inside your plane than it would be for those sources outside. (unless you are like me and crash right next to a German "88" emplacement, lol.) I may or may not fiddle with those but it will be much later...so many other nifty things to try out right now.

The Clapper!! Why didnt I think of that?! wink

I was using a hacked Aviator joystick (the guts) and I can tell you that the Bodnar unit is WAY better (much more precise). I am going to pick up another for more axis ( I find I need/want around 14 total)
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#2870276 - 09/30/09 09:46 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
MudPuppy Online   content
Member

Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
I am certainly no expert on the electronics of sound cards or transducers but i have managed to retain a little bit of info from more learned folks here about such things.
pak, with an out of the box tarnsducer, or shaker, like the "Buttkicker" I do beliebe it takes the bass output and rruns it through its own amplifier before sending it to the shaker attached to your chair. This way you can still have your sub pushing some air on those low frequency sounds while the buttkicker is shaking your behind.

Mike Powell is the expert on this, especially since it was his design, but the book "Building Recreational Flight Simulators" has a design for a DIY transducer amp. I haven't read that chapter completely but I do believe it would give you the same end result. Meaning I think it would give you control of the transducer amp, seperate from your other speakers.

With the bass output from your sound card, if you split it to a powered subwoofer AND a transducer amp it would seem to give you the kind of control y'all are talking about.
What i would really like to find is an affordable mini-amp solution for the outputs from my sound card to the R/L, front & rear channel speakers.
Derek

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#2870519 - 09/30/09 03:06 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: MudPuppy]
pakfront Offline
Ground Looper
Member

Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 335
Loc: CA, USA
Thanks MudPuppy, I have a transducer and it does work as you describe. What I was was whinging about was the fact that there is no way to control which sounds it reacts to. There is a built-in low-pass filter, but this only filters sound by how high or low pitched they are.

The transducer treats all high amplitude, low frequency sounds as equal. It would be more convincing if sims supported a seperate audio channel just for transducer effects. So you'd get the vibration of the engine and weapons, but not the music's bass or the rumble of distant artillery.
I suspect that if one had another soundcard, one could write a plugin that accomplished this for those games that support plugins.

Apologies for the thread hijack.
_________________________
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. Windows 8, Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3ghz, 8GB RAM
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#2870522 - 09/30/09 03:16 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: pakfront]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Feel free, I am learning stuff. I agree it would be nice to have a threaded audio track, where you could assign sounds sources.
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#2870701 - 09/30/09 08:47 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
MudPuppy Online   content
Member

Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
(Notes to self)....must double check my spelling before hitting the submit button...pull out Mike Powell's book and read that chapter on sound in a simpit...try to stay on topic and not hijack someone else's thread....

smile smile
Now back to PropNut and his cool looking simpit. This will give me time to grab another Shiner Bock.
D

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#2871129 - 10/01/09 01:20 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: MudPuppy]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
I had no problem at all with the discussion on transducers, I found it helpful.

As a matter of fact, if anyone wants to discuss simpit related issues here I would be happy, as they often help me decide on how to do my own pit.

Nothing really to update yet, the new button layout on the dash is working very well. I used plexi as button panels with printed labels (white text with a black background)behind, and cutouts in the plywood to mount the panels. I then mounted blue cathode light bars under the hood. The blue ligh shines through the white text extremely well, giving my gauges and button panels excellent backlighting. I did, however, screw up a bit and had to redrill my holes a bit bigger, this resulted in blowouts in the plexi in several places (this is why there are no pictures yet) but I made several spares (just in case) and will, hopefully, have them replaced this weekend. I will then post pictures (when they are all purdied up);) I am also waiting on my extra toggles (momentary) and green buttons to arrive (and a Rotary switch!!...er....no idea what I am going to use this for but I wanted one, lol).

David
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#2873823 - 10/05/09 05:09 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Updates updates updates:

The new instrument panel looks pretty good so far, with that in mind, in a few months I am going to trash it. Yep, trash it. As soon as I know what buttons I use often in Il-2 (which should coorespond with pretty much any WWII sim) I am going to redo the button layout for a more ergonomic layout. I really like the backlit panels while I am flying (I can see what I am pushing!! lol)

Here are a couple of views of the backlighting in action;





As you can see, the pit still needs a lot of work, side panels to complete (One will be filled with the landing gear controls, tail hook, wing fold, etc) the other will be for comms (eventually). You might notice many empty holes...yep...40 buttons was not enough biggrin I need another BU836X...I also want to add three trims, a pushpull engine mixture assemble and another pushpull for a radiator control..thats...let me see....carry the one, subtract 9, put it in a bag and shake it up....5 more axis!!! And me with only one left clear on the BU836X that I have now frown

On to more good stuff!

The Gunsight smile
I wanted something to hide the webcam that I use with FreeTrack so I built a fake reflector sight. What do you think?



The round window in the front allows the webcam a view of my pretty head (my wife says it is pretty!) I thought about putting an LED inside that shines up through another peice of plexi that has a bullseye painted on it (so it would reflect off the upper plexi) but I got to thinking that it would be awefully annoying after a while (not to mention giving me headaches).

Here is a picture of a real one to compare...yep, mine looks fake..but that was the point biggrin



Also, you might have noticed that the hood is installed, this is so the bright blue lights mounted in the engine compartment for the backlighting doesnt interupt my view (I am delicate).

Well, that is all for now, stay tuned to this same Bat Channel at the same Bat Time for further episodes of BatShine!

David
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#2875868 - 10/08/09 03:01 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
HitchHikingFlatlander Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 4047
Loc: California
Thats a bad@ss idea with the camera you came up with there. Might have to imitate that one in my build. My TrackIR camera is mounted on a big pc. of square tubing thats clamped to my mini pit. Sticks up and blocks my projector screen, but not that big a deal!
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#2875876 - 10/08/09 03:13 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: HitchHikingFlatlander]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Thanks HHF, your thread on hacking the Saitek Aviator helped alot with my simpit build. You might use plastic rain gutter parts to build a housing for the TrackIR. I just ordered the TrackIR bundled with Arma2 (I thought, for 109.99 why not get the TrackIR 5?, Track IR 5 and Arma2 159.99 at gogamer.com. I was going to purchase Arma2 for 50.00 anyway).
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#2876086 - 10/08/09 07:44 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
propman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 24
PropNut, awesome simpit. I am learning a lot from your build and I want to thank you for taking us on this journey. Please continue posting because class is in session.(I'm in the front row). I am putting together a FW190 and I need every tidbit of info I can get my hands on. BTW great job in hiding the webcam. You said you used Plexi for your instrument panel. What thickness did you use?

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#2876096 - 10/08/09 07:56 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: propman]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Hi Propman, thanks for the...er...props biggrin

I used 1/6th plexi, most switches are made for thin panel installation so 1/6th works very well.
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#2876418 - 10/09/09 10:18 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
PropNut, if you want to solve your light switch problem, you can always install an X-10 module at the switch and then use a remote control to turn it off. smile

What's with the new "WH_" prefix on your nick?

g.
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#2876427 - 10/09/09 10:26 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
MudPuppy Online   content
Member

Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
The Simpit is looking great and an extra "hoot-n-holler" for the inventive idea of hiding your webcam in the gunsight construct! Now with colder weather making its way towards Michigan, you may be spending some more time in the pilots seat, eh?

I'm hoping for an a heavy frost soon so i can stop the outside work and get back to the fun stuff inside the house.
Have a good weekend and thanks for the update.
Derek

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#2876443 - 10/09/09 10:39 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: MudPuppy]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Gene, I was going for a low-tech solution wink
By the way, I found a great group of guys to fly/fight with. War-Hawks.net, they have scheduled campaign based coop missions in Rise of Flight, Il-2 (not so often), DCS-Blackshark, and Arma2. Heavy use of Teamspeak is the norm (which means we sit around shooting the breeze more often than playing, but it is fun none the less). Great bunch of guys and fun to talk to.


Derek, as always, thanks for participating. I am pretty happy with the reflector sight solution to the camera issue. The only downside is that the plexi 'sight' is a bit annoying when I have to actually look through it during manouvers, lol. I cannot move it down as it would then be in the way of a gauge.

As far as in-doors v. out-doors...I have been obsessing so much on the pit that I have not been doing any outdoor activities so I missed the wonderful fall that we had (gone now with cold, wet weather). Oh well, that is what spring is for wink
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#2876518 - 10/09/09 11:58 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Update: I purchased TrackIR5 because it was bundled with Arma2 (which I was going to pay 50.00 for anyway)for 159.99 from GoGamer.com. I can now say without reservations; that if it was not for the fact that Arma2 (and a couple of other high end sims) only supports TrackIR for headtracking, TrackIR would NOT be worth the money compared to Freetrack (which I also use). This is such a huge dissapointment, I just played several rounds of Rise of Flight and Il-2, and in both I could see little to no difference (I actually think my Freetrack system is slightly better than TrackIR in Rise of Flight but that might be due to the tweaking that I have done to Freetrack). Freetrack will stay in my simpit unless future games absolutely will not support it, and the TrackIR will be on my desktop for Arma2. What a waste of money....sheesh.

Ok, rant over.


Edited by WH_PropNut (10/09/09 11:59 AM)
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#2879127 - 10/13/09 03:59 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
propman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 24
Hey Propnut sorry to hear that you're not happy with TrackIR5. I have been wondering about purchasing one but now I'm not so sure. I take it you're satisfied with Freetrack? What is all involved with Freetrack?

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#2879188 - 10/13/09 05:26 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: propman]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Hi Propman,

I did not say that I was unhappy with TrackIR (hardware or software, they are both very nice) but rather with the amount of money spent on a product that, to my admittedly untrained eye, no improvement in gameplay. I do believe, however, that the future of headtracking will see more and more companies excluding Freetracks from use...so it might be best to join the masses and buy TrackIR if you can afford it.

Otherwise PM me and I will walk you through building a Freetrack system.
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#2917561 - 12/10/09 03:41 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Quick update,

Nope, I have not fallen off the edge of the world. The semester is almost over and I now have some time to once again waste on my simpit (oh, you did not just say waste did you?!!). Ok, maybe not waste, it is a great deal of fun and satisfaction making new doodads and geegaws for my pit.

The other day I replaced my old projector (Infocus X1) which had a max res of 1024x768) with a new Dell 2300MB with a max res of 1640x1080. It is a full 1080p system! Extra bright PC interface.

More later.
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#2917592 - 12/10/09 04:40 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
HitchHikingFlatlander Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 4047
Loc: California
Bet your loving the higher res on the new proj. mine maxs out at 1024x768 and I'm looking to upgrade myself, more for movies than anything though. Great to hear your moving along!
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#2917661 - 12/10/09 06:27 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: HitchHikingFlatlander]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
HHF, you gotta believe it. What I really like is how bright this one is compared to my old one. The Infocus is excellent for movies (max 720i) but for use with the PC it was pretty dim. The Dell has a PC setting which is as bright as my desktop LCD monitors. The higher res makes the picture very sharp also.

Yah know what the best part of this new projector is? It was free, yep free. My sister is moving back to Alaska, she was going to throw it away because she had lost all the cords and the remote (you need to know my sister to understand). Works perfect for me.

I need to take pictures of a few other minor improvements that I have made, these include rollers on the front of the chair to improve movement, and some wiring issues that I fixed. I still need to pick up another Leo Bodnar board so I can add trims, mixtures, and radiator adjustments.

More later...
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#2937970 - 01/12/10 10:26 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Added another lever quadrant yesterday, for the radiator and mixture settings. I used the second throttle port and the unused port on the bodnar unit, this used up all eight axis. I still need three axis for trims...not sure I can find a reason to pay 81.00 for another bodnar unit for to only use three axis..might be better to just use the Saitek Aviator guts that I have in a drawer, they do not work as well (or as easy) but it should be fine for trims and my second throttle. I need to post pictures of the second lever unit. I used rubber O-rings and made grooved cogs out of a garolite type material that I have in a 6'x4' sheet. They attatched to the levers and the pots, the pots a mounted below the levers. The system works very well, and mades for a small footprint unit.

Right now I am having PC issues, either my PSU is too small (could very well be true with the amp draw that I am asking a 480w unit to do) or my CPU is overheating due to poor ventilation. Several times my PC has simlpy turned off (no warning) during Rise of Flight. It could be the GPU pulling huge amounts of wattage when the graphics get intense or it could be the CPU overheating because of the same issue. I have CoreTemp running (and logging) and will attempt to replicate the problem. The log will from Coretemp (and another from RivaTuner for the GPU) will tell me if it is a heat issue. I have a new Dell 750w PSU from Ebay (16.00) but it needs to be adapted for use in a non dell motherboard. MORE TO PLAY WITH!!! biggrin
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#2938422 - 01/12/10 09:44 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
If the CPU overheats, you should get an alarm tone from the motherboard - unless you've turned it off or the board doesn't have that feature on by default. Sounds like you're gagging that poor power supply.

g.
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#2938426 - 01/12/10 10:08 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Could be, I had troubles with the motherboard way back when as well. This is why it was in a closet and availible for the simpit. All the parts are old used bits and bobs, oh well. I will figure it out eventually. I might just bag the simpit and build some pull out platforms for the office (see pictures of my office space in my current pc link in the sig). Ideas have been running through my head. THis would allow me to use my X52 as well as the leo bodnar unit to do all the axis/button that I could wish for!
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#2946093 - 01/24/10 01:35 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Installed the Dell 750W PSU (after a bit of rewiring to make all the plugs match) and it seems to be working well. Several hours this week in Il-2 and Rise of Flight with no hickups.

Leo Bodnar recieved my order for another of his excellent controller boards. This will allow me to install the second throttle quadant (for Radiator, mixuture, etc) and add buttons. I am going to do a toggle panel ala Gene's amazing build (if you do not mind my borrowing your ideas), and completely redo the instrument panel. I am going to use Plexi instead of plywood. This will allow back lighting where ever I wish to place it, no LEDs needed. I am also going to reduce the number of fake gauges (although someday I want to replace them with working gauges) to have more room for buttons, etc. So many buttons...so little room! lol
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#2946590 - 01/25/10 12:10 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
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Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
Oh by all means, have at! biggrin

I still need to add the lettering to the landing gear indicators for my sub-panel.

You need to post updated pics of your cockpit. smile

g.
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#2946709 - 01/25/10 09:00 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
As soon as I find a big enough stick to stuff its guts back in I will wink
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#2974509 - 03/11/10 09:10 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Hello fellow simpit addicts! I have been away from the forum for a while do a Mad Scientist bit out in the shop. With advice from Gene, CNCzone.com, and videos on Buildyourcnc.com I have striven to achieve automation! MUAHHAHHHAAA! (really should stay on my meds)

What I have actually achieved is the building of a 4x8 CNC router table. Programing goes in, parts cut to size come out. I built my creation out of MDF and surprisingly it is a rock solid. I have only run a few jobs on it so far (waiting for better end mill bits) but I will soon start working on the plans for "Generic Simpit Mark II".

The first things I want to work on are instrument panels, I need to figure out what material they are going to be fabricated out of...aluminium or plastic? I want backlighting on the lettering so they will be etched into the material also.....Oh boy Oh boy Oh Boy!

Thanks for your advice Gene!
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#2974518 - 03/11/10 09:23 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
Welcome to the Fraternity of Evil Geniuses. biggrin

If you're going to cut aluminum, I was pointed to a pair of Onsrud 2 flue up-shear bits:
40-107 .25" and 40-101 .125". They're roughly $5 each. The ShopBot forum is down at the moment or I would let you know what the recommended feed & RPM is for cutting aluminum. (As soon as I get the info I'll update this message)

The bits can be purchased from Ballew Tools - http://ballewsawandtool.com/

If you want to get further into tips & such on exploiting your new Awesome Toy Creator, email me privately - no need to clog the forum with it. (Unless people want to see it?)

g.
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#2974523 - 03/11/10 09:33 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Perhaps we should start a CNC thread, giving tips, tricks, build information (perhaps not advice from me as that would lead to an extended hospital stay) and share gcode, and vector files.

Thanks for the link, lots of goodies there. I have those bits on their way already (different brand though). I would very much like more information on feed and RPM for Aluminium and brass. I plan on building a new PC case for my office from 1/4" brass plate. See the link in my signature for a better idea of why.
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#2974544 - 03/11/10 10:19 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
Using those bits I specified, use .8 IPS (inches per second) for x & y moves, and .5 IPS for z (plunge) moves. RPM should be 18,000.

You'll get hot chips so it would be a good idea to set up an air cooler on the bit. I built a cooler that is fed directly from my air compressor. It uses a ball inflation needle as the output. The little side hole in the tip should be covered up as well. If you hit my YT page, you can see it in use when I was cutting some aluminum parts.

I don't know what the right feed & speed would be for brass - you'll have to experiment.

Also, do NOT take full depth passes! When cutting non-ferrous metals, I would recommend no more than .015" for the 1/8" bit and .100 for the 1/4" bit. The issue is machine deflection due to load. (that and without flood coolant you'll likely have chip re-weld issues and snap the cutter in half)

cool case. smile

g.
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#2974710 - 03/11/10 03:15 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
MudPuppy Online   content
Member

Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Built your own CNC machine, wow! If you are able to post any photos I would be interested to see what it all looks like.
I lurk around some on the mycockpit.org forum and noticed they recently started a sub-forum to discuss CNC routing of control panels, controls etc.. You might give a gander at what they've set up.

As for me....if I can manage a "basically" straight line with my powersaws I'm feeling like the king of DIY'ers. Hats off to you for putting all together and making it work.
Regards,
Derek

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#2974740 - 03/11/10 04:08 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: MudPuppy]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Here you go, some pictures I took during the build. I started on Sunday with boxes full of parts and yesterday I finished after running several test jobs. Today I made a pen attachment to use for my other addiction, R/C airplane building. I can lay out wide roll paper and use the table to draw plans, etc. I can then cut out those plans using the CNC, life is wonderful biggrin



I decided to use my outfeed table as the CNC table. There is 9+ feet off the sawblade for clearance if I am cutting anything wider than 36", I can still go 12'+ to the wall for cutting Corian countertop material. (perhaps I will use the CNC to cut them for now on, muahahhahah!)



You can see the rails (X-axis) attached to the table sides now.



The gantry (Y axis) assembled and attatched to the X-axis rails.



The Z-axis and spindle motor (Bosch 2.25 HP router head) attached.
Note the chain drives on both the X and Y axis'. This works very well and is increadibly accurate (surprised me as I didnt expect pinpoint accuracy but I got it).



The Z-axis showing the 12"x10tpi (teeth per inch) lead screw. I need to clean up the wiring an perhaps put a coat of paint on the raw wood. I am pretty sure I am going to design a prettier setup and use this machine to cut out the next version though, so maybe I will leave the wood as is.



A cheap P4 2.2ghz all in one PC (Omnitech) from Ebay (79.99) completes the system.

Parts:
V-Groove roller bearings (3/8)for the slides (VBX.com).
1/8"x3/4"x8' Aluminium angle from Menards as slides.
3@10' #40 roller chain from Northern Tool
Sprokets and idlers from Spacely Space Sprokets (ok, from McMaster Carr) ( tooth #40 main sproket)
Gecko G540 breakout board and drivers
Keling 387oz motors (1 for Z, 1 for Y and two for X)
48v power supply (also from Keling)
lots of sweat, nuts, bolts...and...oh yeah, a bit of blood (darn MDF soaks it right up)
Mach3 control software
Design CAD for making pretty pictures to size.
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#2974767 - 03/11/10 05:26 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Valisk_61 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/06
Posts: 199
Loc: Widnes, UK
Nice work PropNut smile

I bought a small CNC to help with my backlit 'pit panels and small components. It's become a whole new hobby in itself. Here's a pic if anyone's interested:




At $580 delivered, it's right at the bargain basement of CNC machines, but it's surprisingly capable. There's quite a learning curve, especially if you're new to 3D modelling smile
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#2975708 - 03/13/10 11:11 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Valisk_61]
MudPuppy Online   content
Member

Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Just re-read your post and viewed the pics again. Great job and an excellent addition to your shop! Thanks for posting the photos.
Derek

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#3017801 - 05/24/10 12:44 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: MudPuppy]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Derek, thanks and I am glad you have enjoyed the pictures as much as I have building the pit and CNC.

Valisk, I couldnt agree more. It was EASY building the CNC table, but the learning curve for the software is a killer. I broke down and purchased Vectric's V-Carve Pro (bundled with Photocarve) and it has taken the headache out of to software issue. Thanks to Gene for recommending it to me. The price is steep (as much as you paid for your entire table!) but well worth it in my opinion.

David
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#3018408 - 05/25/10 09:05 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
The thing about CNC is that you could have a multi-million dollar machine and still produce junk because the tool paths aren't any good. smile VCarve Pro has a HUGE number of post-processors that allow you to produce code for just about any CNC machine on the planet.

The cool thing about Vectric is that not only is their documentation top notch, but you can download an evaluation copy that'll do everything except generate the CNC instructions. VCarve Pro has a "preview" mode that is so accurate that providing you don't make any mistakes setting up the machine, you'll end up with a part that matches the preview exactly.

g.
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#3018506 - 05/25/10 11:54 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
Valisk_61 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/06
Posts: 199
Loc: Widnes, UK
Anything to make life easier. smile

I was thinking of buying Vectric's Cut2D application - it seems very reasonably priced and judging by the information on the website, it should be able to generate the simple shapes I'm after.
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www.skiesoffire.org

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#3018543 - 05/25/10 12:46 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Valisk_61]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Valisk, I would bet that you quickly grow out of Cut2D. V-Carve Pro has increadable versitility, including some 3D aspects that it is well worth purchasing. \

Gene, I 100% agree with the preview feature. It is spot on acurate, and shows the, in my case many, mistakes before you waste material.

David
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#3031651 - 06/15/10 02:00 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
DarrylH Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/09
Posts: 46
WOW..all I can say really. I've just read your entire thread David,great stuff!!

I like the "generic" aspect a lot. The only question is, when you redo your panel, will you be shifting some of the switches down onto side walls, or are you leaving them on the MIP?

I can probably get you good pictures of an SE5a panel if you wanted to recreate that as well as the shape.


Anyway, VERY jealous of your woodworking skills.

cheers


Darryl
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#3031871 - 06/15/10 10:43 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: DarrylH]
Reschke Offline
Plankowner
Member

Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 1189
Loc: Vestavia, AL
Ok Propnut and Gene big question here just so I will know for the future.

What has been your total investment in building your own CNC machine versus buying a used one for the sizes you are working with?

I am asking because I just bought a house with a huge basement and the wife is ok with me putting in a small wood/machine shop to do home projects and a few "side" jobs to help keep me sane when the real paycheck job gets me down.


Edited by Reschke (06/15/10 10:43 AM)
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#3031953 - 06/15/10 12:23 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Reschke]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Hi Reschke,

I believe Gene purchased a shopbot turn key setup (I looked into them, really really nice systems). I built mine (as you saw) for a total of 2294.69, this includes all the software (900.00 worth) electronics and MDF. My first setup was with hand cut parts (X Axis and Y Axis carriage parts) and MarkII with CNC cut Axis' (Mark I to make Mark II, lol). The second is much much more precise that the first. Everything else was just straight cut MDF parts that you can do on a table saw. Here is a list of my expenses:


Homemade CNC Router Expense List
by cncroutersource.com
Qn. CPU Total %
Structural Materials
Aluminum 6 $15.87 $95.22
Wood 1 $25.00 $25.00
Steel 0 $-
Misc. $-
Sub Total $120.22 5%
Fasteners
Bolts 1 $151.71 $151.71
Eye-bolts 1 $21.30 $21.30
Nails $-
Misc. $-
Sub Total $173.01 8%
Linear Bearing Assymbly
Linear Rails/Rods 0 $-
V-Groove Bearings 16 $10.26 $164.16
Rack and Pinion $-
Misc. $-
Sub Total $164.16 7%
Linear Drive Components
Leadscrew/Ballscrew 1 $36.81 $36.81
Drive chains 3 $16.48 $49.44
Flange bearings 2 $7.46 $14.92
Motor Shaft Coupler 1 $15.98 $15.98
Sprockets 3 $8.97 $26.91
Collars for sprockets 3 $8.62 $25.86
Idler Sprocket 3 $11.50 $34.50
shipping 1 $5.00 $5.00
Sub Total $209.42 9%
Spindle
Router Motor 1 $- $-
Motor clamp 1 $- $-
Speed Controller (if needed) 0 $-
Extra Collets (if needed) 0 $-
Misc. 0 $-
Sub Total $- 0%
Services
Machining Services 0 $-
Lathe Services 0 $-
Misc. 0 $-
Sub Total $- 0%
Electronics
Power supply 1 $50.00 $50.00
connectors $-
Limit Switches 8 $3.09 $24.72
Electrical Tape $-
Stepper Motors 4 $58.15 $232.60
Stepper motor wire 1 $25.40 $25.40
Misc. 1 $8.45 $8.45
Sub Total $341.17 15%
Controller
Gecko G540 1 $299.00 $299.00
Breackout Board (in needed) $-
Misc. $-
Sub Total $299.00 13%
Computer 1 $106.30 $106.30
Sub Total $106.30 5%
Software
Controller Software 1 $166.42 $166.42
CAM Software Vcarve Pro+Photocarve 1 $699.99 $699.99
Misc. $-
Sub Total $866.41 38%
User Interface/ Control Panel
MPG Weels 0 $-
Emergency Stop Buttons 1 $10.00 $10.00
Axis Select Buttons $-
Joystick 1 $5.00 $5.00
Misc. 0 $-
Sub Total $15.00 1%
Extras
0 $-
Coolant System 0 $-
Misc. 0 $-
Sub Total $- 0%
Total $2,294.69
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#3031967 - 06/15/10 12:45 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
My ShopBot was purchased in 2007 for roughly $17,500. That didn't include VCarve Pro or some of the other software I purchased with it. It's not aimed at the hobbyist market, but that's what I use it for. smile

If you buy a 'bot, get the 60" wide model. I ordered the PRT 96 Alpha which will take a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Had I known that most Baltic Birch plywood came in 60" x 60" sheets, I would have purchased the other machine. smile

g.
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#3031971 - 06/15/10 12:55 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Here are more detailed pictures of my build:








You can see I added a 4" vacuum attachment. I saw a YouTube video for a similar setup and thought...are you really trying to sell these to people who build CNC machines? (give the company credit, their product is worth the money but why not make my own?)





I had to have a case to mount the electronics, etc so I thought a cabinet to hold the PC would be nice also. Not really happy with it as the ergonomics is not "just right" but I will work on MKII of the PC cabinet this winter.










I prettified the new parts up a bit with some graphics, considering MKI did the work and MKII is even better you can get a sense of how happy I am with the result. I can cut a 4x8 sheet up on the table with some room to spare. As Gene mentioned, if you get your baltic birch in 5x5 then a 60" cutting surface might be a good idea. I get my Baltic Birch in 4x8 sheets though(my wholesaler has both in stock and it is slightly cheaper in 4x8, didnt used to be though).


I would not in any way claim that my homebrew is better than a shopbot, I know better, but is hugely less expensive. If I could afford it, I would have bought a shopbot. I cannot but I am very happy with my MDF monster. As the insignia on the side indicates, I have a certain sense of Serenity when working in my shop wink






Edited by WH_PropNut (06/15/10 01:01 PM)
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#3032043 - 06/15/10 02:06 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Reschke Offline
Plankowner
Member

Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 1189
Loc: Vestavia, AL
Thanks for the information. This new house we just bought needs to have some cabinets built for our new ovens and cooktop and I really think I want to make an attempt to build my wife a barn plank kitchen table. I was able to get for free an old barn/cotton storage house a few years ago off my grandparents property and every once in a while I sell a few pieces to fund a couple of new projects.
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i7-2600K @ 3.4GHz
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Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
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#3049345 - 07/10/10 03:37 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Reschke]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
New update:

I redid the control column as the old one was based off the cheap plastic guts of a Logitech wingman joystick. This new one is based on a U-Joint from a motorcycle driveline. It is based on the tutorial that I found on Mycockpits.org. Unlike that one, I have it mounted on the floor and used the calibrate utility to set the travel range. This reduces the number of "steps" that the Hall Effect sensors give to the Leo Bodnar board (4096 possible) but even reduced it is still far more than a cheap joystick will deliver with analog pots.

The guts are made with an aluminum plate and four springs connected to the four mounting bolts on the u-joint. This gives me an adjustable self centering joystick, which I can also use to adjust the strength of the resistance of movement. You can see the hall effect sensors and magnets.





Everything is covered up with a boot made of leather-like fabric gathered at the top with black wire.



The length is made of PVC connected to the u-joint via a 3" long steel water pipe that I turned down to fit into both the u-joint and the PVC pipe. (.76" and .8" respectively)



The handle is a mix of the IL-2 and Spitfire grip. It is made of cherry with a channel routed out for the wiring. My CNC made me an inlay to fill the long channel and I will make a plate with labels to cover those by the buttons. I wish I had buttons of Grey or black but the green ones will do for now.






The CNC has been a wonder so far.


Edited by WH_PropNut (07/10/10 03:38 PM)
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#3049379 - 07/10/10 04:32 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
JAMF Offline
Frugalite & P-38 fan
Senior Member

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 3809
Loc: The Netherlands
That's a beautiful work. thumbsup

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#3049815 - 07/11/10 02:01 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: JAMF]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
VERY nice! Ain't VCarve Pro grand? smile

g.
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#3050036 - 07/11/10 05:32 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Not a grand, but nearly that (when combined with Photocarve and Cut 3D), lol.
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#3050151 - 07/11/10 08:29 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
Yeah, but it's such an awesome tool set. smile

g.
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#3050254 - 07/11/10 11:35 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
It sure is, V-Carve Pro makes me look like I know what I am doing. biggrin
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#3050705 - 07/12/10 04:51 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
Did you do the whole grip in VCP or did you use Cut3D for it?

g.
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#3050769 - 07/12/10 06:19 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
It is a 2D cut, I used a router to do the round over. I do not yet have cut3D.
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#3050890 - 07/12/10 10:35 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
Ah, so the switch back was a 2nd layer?

g.
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#3051302 - 07/13/10 01:06 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
pakfront Offline
Ground Looper
Member

Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 335
Loc: CA, USA
Lovely. Any more pictures of using the motorcycle u-joint? Did you have to drill through it at all to place the dowels for the magnets?
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#3051315 - 07/13/10 01:15 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: pakfront]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Gene, yes the back was a second layer as was the front piece to connect the PVC tube.

Pakfront, sorry no other pictures of the u-joint. I did not think of taking pictures while I was building it and the ones I did take were an afterthought. Sorry. I removed the spider from the joint and put the bearing cups on my lathe. I used the lathe to bore holes in the ends of two of them. The grease channel in the center of the spider is 1/4" so I dowel fit nice and tight. The magnet is epoxied onto the end of the dowl. I drilled two holes in the assembly next to the end of the magnets and put bolts through to hold the hall effect sensor. It is pretty much exactly like the instructions found here:

http://www.jpfiles.com/hardware/uni_stick.pdf
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#3051358 - 07/13/10 01:59 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Here is the layout for the cut:

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#3051399 - 07/13/10 02:51 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
pakfront Offline
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Ah well - I'd like to do something similar but don't have access to a drill-press or lathe. the prospect of drilling out steel with a handheld does not appeal.I was hoping the motorcycle joints magically already had the hole for the dowel.
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#3052277 - 07/14/10 04:27 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: pakfront]
f15sim Offline
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I look at that drawing and all I can think of is how cool that would look cut out of 1/2" acrylic and then flame polished. smile Left alone or painted, it would look really cool. You could fill in the spots around the switches with a little silicone filler or maybe some carefully applied bondo or microballons.

g.
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#3052282 - 07/14/10 04:37 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
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As soon as I source some multi layered plastic (black with a lower layer of white) or just white plastic painted black, I am going to make a cover for the button area with labels. Clear acrylic is a cool idea but have you seen the prices on that stuff lately? wink You know, labels like "fire", "comms", and "OH SH**#@T!!!) lol

David
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#3052302 - 07/14/10 05:02 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
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I buy all my acrylic as scraps from my local plastics monger. They price it by the pound. smile

I'm sure any plastic supplier local to you likely does the same thing. I use an adhesive called "Weld-On" that has the consistency of water - it's designed specifically for acrylic "welding" and does great for laminating multiple layers, so you could even use .25" if you wanted to and make a four deep stack out of it (or whatever the final thickness would be)

g.
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#3052526 - 07/14/10 10:28 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
9Thumbs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/31/08
Posts: 16
pakfront,
Magical u-joints are pretty rare wink but there are other ways to attach sensors without drilling or even disassembling the u-joint.

u-joint with sensor arms

The long dog-leg arms are made to connect to Cubpilot's rotary Hall sensors, but they could be made shorter, with the magnets epoxied to the ends over the u-joint axis centerline. One arm is epoxied to the top of the spider, the other has a small hole drilled and is held in place by the grease zerk.

Some trial-and-error and bending would probably be needed to get the magnets properly positioned, but it should work, and the u-joint could still be greased if needed in the future. Just an idea to think about.

If you're considering buying a new u-joint, another alternative to motorcycle parts would be to check an agricultural/truck parts supplier. They may have small no-name brand u-joints for less. Around here they go for $25 to $30.

9T

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#3052538 - 07/14/10 10:44 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: 9Thumbs]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Where is "around here"? wink In Michigan, Tractor Supply and Family Farm and Fleet sell acricultural u-joint assemblies for 100.00+

http://www.tractorsupply.com/agriculture-farming-ranching/pto-parts/pto-drive-parts/

A used motorcycle u-joint assembly (with a nice flat flange) was 25.00 shipped from Ebay. Example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1982-Yama...=item51909ccb28

Out of curiosity...what is holding those arms to the joint?

Gotta agree on the difficulty associated with drilling the u-joint cups though, they are tough. I removed them because it was easy to do so (many years spent under old vehicles "fix-in er up") lol.



Edited by WH_PropNut (07/14/10 11:12 PM)
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#3052553 - 07/14/10 11:22 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
9Thumbs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/31/08
Posts: 16
Around here is on the frostier side of the 49th frosty

The new $30 u-joints I mentioned are admittedly not high quality parts - I wouldn't install one on my truck - but they should be fine for a stick. I just thought new motorcycle parts were pricier. For my sticks I just got used steering joints from the wreckers.

Princess Auto

Wow - you did great on ebay. New parts look to be about $300!

Yamaha u-joint


As mentioned, the top arm is attached with epoxy, the bottom one with the grease fitting.

9T


Edited by 9Thumbs (07/15/10 01:53 AM)

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#3053248 - 07/15/10 11:07 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: 9Thumbs]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Those are always availible on Ebay, I had been keeping an eye out for over a year before I actually bought one. The nice thing is that they have a flat flange to mount to the the base. That really is a good price you found on Princess Auto. Any OEM part is going to be expensive wink



Edited by WH_PropNut (07/15/10 11:08 PM)
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#3062289 - 07/28/10 07:04 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
New Update on the "Never Ending Simpit Build"!

Conundrum: I wanted trims for my elevator, rudder and Ailerons but whenever I tried to make some they were way to "touchy". A very little movement of my levers resulted in huge movement in trims. Soooo, I built something that would allow alot of movement in the levers a very little on the pots.



The pit is a bit torn apart right now as I have been experimenting with options for my control layout. You can see that I moved the throttle assembly back about five inches, leaving a gaping hole. I will think of something to cover it up. The two levers (large knobs) on the left side are the rudder and elevator trims, the aileron trim is on the right.


There were several issues that I had to work out;

1. how to get one turn of the knob to equal about a mm of travel on the pots,

2. The system that I worked out works but turning too hard on the knob would result in breaking my new gear assembly so I made the gear assembly free standing, or not attatched to anything other than the knob. This allowed the assembly to be rotated if it reaches the end of its travel.

3. how to attatch the knob to the assembly and yet make the entire assembly to be ridgely affixed to the simpit.

The final assembly looks like this:





A run on the CNC gave me those black (actually a recycled plastic material)bearing housings which bolt to the inner panel of the simpit (either inside or outside as you notice from the first picture). More of the recycled plastic connected the 2-56 threaded rod on the assembly to the 1/4 bolt for the knob, both ends being tapped for the proper thread size. For now I put a bit of hard foam behind the knobs to create a stiff resistence to movement which will keep them from turning accidently.

The assembly itself is made of two gears, one standard and the other a worm gear. The CNC was again used to make the assembly plates (I ran it a bit fast resulting in the plastic melting to the bit and "buffing" the edges of the cut..which is where that white blemishing comes from...the cut was otherwise perfect.

A few closeups of the assemblies:








The system works to perfection. I took up a brewster Buffalow and an ME109G both trimed out to level hands off flight with a cuple of turns each on the trims.

My Simpit is starting to look a bit like Frankensteins monster but when I get everything working and in place for comfort of movement I will build Simpit MKII from what I learned on this one.

David


Edited by WH_PropNut (07/28/10 07:05 PM)
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#3062346 - 07/28/10 08:08 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
HitchHikingFlatlander Offline
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Registered: 09/21/06
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Loc: California
Thats awesome love the home engineering aspect, I have to do that on my projects too!
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#3062895 - 07/29/10 01:10 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: HitchHikingFlatlander]
f15sim Offline
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Registered: 01/13/04
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That looks great! I spy some yellow ny-rod in there too. smile

g.
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#3063006 - 07/29/10 03:03 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
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Loc: Greenville, Michigan
HHF, thanks.

Gene, I had toyed with the idea of making the assemblies remote from the levers. Long nyrod (Sullivan Gold-N-Rod) would work perfectly. Unfortunatly I would still have had the issue of turning the worm gear too far and screwing it up (pun intended). Having the assemblies attachted to the knobs allowed them to move freely (twist with the knob) if it is turned past the end point.
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#3063038 - 07/29/10 04:14 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
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When I built the trim & flap wheels for the 109, I put bolts into the gear faces that would hit a stop and prevent the gear from being over-rotated.

g.
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#3063050 - 07/29/10 04:31 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
I thought of that, but the gears are pretty light weight and the torque from the large handle/knob would easily overwealm any stops I put on the gear and or pot. This was teh compromise between precision (keeping the assembly/connecting rod/handle in sync) and safety (not breaking anything). Overall it works very very well. It takes a full turn of the trim handle/knob to have any noticable affect on the plane....almost exactly what I was shooting for.
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#3081146 - 08/27/10 12:08 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
New updates:

I redid the instrument panel to have all the buttons my little heart desires:

The toggles have LED's so I can tell when they are in the up position.

The bodnar boards mounted under the 'hood'







I redid the 'hood' to better reflect the early engine access panels:



the CNC machine made me some great backlit panels. I also used the CNC to make the framework that the panels are mounted into (see the pictures above).





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#3081314 - 08/27/10 08:36 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Sakai Offline
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Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 24
Loc: Maine, USA.
Amazing, If I ever tried to build one of those my girl would have kittens! And she just had to human babies so that's saying something!!!! Great Job, can't wait to see more!
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#3081397 - 08/27/10 09:52 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Sakai]
f15sim Offline
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Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
That is just a pit packed full of Epic Awesome! VERY nice job!

I would strongly suggest you invest in some wire management classes however. biggrin

(Go buy yourself a roll of waxed lacing cord, you'll thank me later)

biggrin

g.
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#3081403 - 08/27/10 10:00 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Originally Posted By: Gene Buckle
That is just a pit packed full of Epic Awesome! VERY nice job!

I would strongly suggest you invest in some wire management classes however. biggrin

(Go buy yourself a roll of waxed lacing cord, you'll thank me later)

biggrin

g.


OH I KNEW you were going to jump in on that one! lol

Beleive me, that is way more organized than it was the first time. Believe it or not most of the wires that you see jumbled up are not part of the controller setup. Looking close you can see the controller (buttons, etc) are nicely bundled and organized. Some of the wires are to the controllers but they are axis wires that I need to properly bundle (I have black cable sleeve on order from Xoxide.com). The majority of the wires that you see are mostly from my frankenstiened PSU setup. I took a Dell 750watt PSU and cut off all of the propietary cabling (the plugs) and replaced them with standard plugs but never got around to organizing them properly...one of these days I will.

Edit: I looked up lacing cord and found this very interesting website, thanks for the tip Gene.
http://www.dairiki.org/hammond/cable-lacing-howto/



Edited by WH_PropNut (08/27/10 10:05 AM)
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#3081435 - 08/27/10 10:42 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
f15sim Offline
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Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 1027
Loc: Graham, WA
That lacing tutorial is very handy indeed. I scored a 250yd roll off of eBay for about $10 some years ago. I normally use it like you would a wire-tie. I don't do a full length lace - I haven't needed to as yet. Because it's waxed, a double granny knot is sufficient to keep it in place. If you look at the wiring of the panels I've built for the F-15, you can see what I mean. The switch panel for the 109F/X was done the same way.

g.
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#3081676 - 08/27/10 03:40 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
Reschke Offline
Plankowner
Member

Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 1189
Loc: Vestavia, AL
So Gene how much would you charge someone to wire up a board and do a lacing harness??? I just don't want to make time to do something like that...hahaha

Seriously though you guys have made pits that inspire us other nut jobs but you also blow us out of the water.
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#3081680 - 08/27/10 03:50 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Reschke]
f15sim Offline
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Reschke, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. biggrin

The only advantage we've got is that we've been nut jobs longer than you. smile
Keep working at it long enough and you too can get funny looks from people that Don't Get It(tm). smile

Using lacing tape is cheaper in the long run than using nylon wire ties and you don't have to worry about the lacing tape catching on anything like a wire tie "head" will.

g.
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#3081688 - 08/27/10 03:55 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: f15sim]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
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Loc: Greenville, Michigan
You think this is bad? You should see my tinfoil headgear collection. (They really are out there you know). :P
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#3081698 - 08/27/10 04:03 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Reschke Offline
Plankowner
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Registered: 03/04/07
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Loc: Vestavia, AL
Well someone just posted this over on the Ace's High BBS in one of the threads there.

http://www.combatconsole.com/index.htm

This just might fit the bill for what I was wanting to do and would seem to work wonders for my console in front of me in my small pit I just started. Price is reasonable as well @ $129 USD for all three versions.
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#3081810 - 08/27/10 07:02 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Reschke]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
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Hmm.....I can beat that price, and customize it for you too! smile
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#3081834 - 08/27/10 07:45 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Brandano Offline
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Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 284
Loc: Caput Mundi (well, it used to ...
Hmm, 32 buttons, the microcontroller to handle them and all the wiring job. I don't think the margin would be very high, but I am sure you could come up with a more pleasant layout. But just considering the solder joints that's a couple of hours of work, stripping, tinning, soldering the wires and testing the whole.
I think you can get a much higher margin and a greater peace of mind if you were to make this thing as a kit.


Edited by Brandano (08/27/10 07:46 PM)

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#3081846 - 08/27/10 08:01 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Brandano]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
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TO be honest, Brandano is correct, I cannot make that for the price. It almost seems too good to be true. I was looking at the details of the combat console, all steel construction, etc. Nice.
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#3081857 - 08/27/10 08:18 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Brandano Offline
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Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 284
Loc: Caput Mundi (well, it used to ...
I suppose they have the material in bulk and some jigs to get everything in the right shape. The front panels must be machine cut. the wiring must be the scan of an 8 * 4 grid, I imagine fed to a custom programmed microcontroller acting as an HID. key assignment will likely be in software via the drivers. Wire can be pre-stripped to proper lengths automatically. The price still seems low, I wonder how many of these you'd have to sell to break even. Still too much work for someone working alone, the cost of the man hours is too big.

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#3082088 - 08/28/10 08:13 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Brandano]
Reschke Offline
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Registered: 03/04/07
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Yep and I sent them an email yesterday asking for particulars such as; how does it connect to the computer? Any known issues with various Windows operating systems? etc...

I may buy one just to get the panel and the other parts.

I noticed that they also have panels that they cut out for instruments to be added into.

As for the work they have a waterjet machine for all the metal cuts and a press brake for the bending so while it takes some time you don't have as much clean up and reset time as you would with a CNC in a per piece setting.
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#3082315 - 08/28/10 02:52 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Reschke]
Dozer Offline
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Wow. Just... wow. Came here from the link on the SimHQ home page - very glad I did!

I have dreams of moving to Australia and having a basement/garage/purpose-built outbuilding on my own land to give me enough space to do this sort of thing - build your own CNC machine, that's incredible! Not feasable in a 12x15' bedroom in a shared maisonette with nice carpet everywhere though :-)
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#3082324 - 08/28/10 03:07 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: Dozer]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Dozer, thanks for the er...props smile I was wondering why my thread has had over a thousand hits since yesterday morning! smile You are the first non pit builder that has posted since then though. Thanks for checking it out.

I can understand the space restrictions, before I met my wife I lived in a 900sq foot apartment with my 9 year old daughter. Not much room even for my PC much less a simpit. We moved into my new bride's home (going on 8 years! Wonderful woman) which is a 4200sq foot three story, seven bedroom modern farmhouse on ten acres of land. Sometime I feel extremely spoiled (ok, most of the time I do). Notice the dedication on my simpit instrument panel to my wife wink
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#3082387 - 08/28/10 05:13 PM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
Valisk_61 Offline
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Registered: 08/28/06
Posts: 199
Loc: Widnes, UK
I love this build. It's the thread that just keeps giving!

I really like the fold back 'hood', I think I'll be stealing that idea biggrin

If I was putting a dedication to the wife in my cockpit, it would say "Remember, she's in the next room and can hear everything you say on Teamspeak"
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#3113375 - 10/12/10 01:47 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
snipey Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/09/10
Posts: 17
i like this pit because the basic design is so simple
do you have some sort of plans we could use to build it?


Edited by snipey (10/12/10 07:51 AM)

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#3160388 - 12/19/10 05:08 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
choowy Offline
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Registered: 12/06/10
Posts: 129
Time to repay some of your compliments Propnut, that CNC is a work of art. Its something that I would like to get building when I have more time, looks complicated.

There was somebody building these Aces II seats over at Frugal's a while ago using a CNC F16 Seat You could have a go at drawing up some plans and crank one out on your machine.

Nice job on the backlighting, great effect using that light.

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#3160517 - 12/19/10 10:18 AM Re: . New Simpit build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Hi Snipey, sorry for not responding sooner. I must have missed your comment when it was posted. I do not have any plans for what I built, it was pretty much seat of the pants deadstick planning wink MKII is being planned in CAD though so we will see how it turns out.

Choowy, thank you sir. I have fun building in my shop and the chance to build a tool is always welcome. It really was a simple build though, very easy and not at all as expensive as I expected it to be. The work it turns out is great, making projects much simpler now.

That is a cool F16 office chair!
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#3163212 - 12/22/10 12:17 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
snipey Offline
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Registered: 10/09/10
Posts: 17
ok i understand.
thanks for responding

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#3208692 - 02/15/11 05:25 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
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Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
The Generic simpit has been retired. It is in the process of being disassembled and either given away (if there is anyone local that wants it) or cut up. I gave the computer to a buddy (keeping the HD5850 to crossfire with my other one in the desktop) and I have been busy planning out a new F-16/A-10 pit. I do not plan on building any time soon as we are in the process of buying property and will start building a new house (hopefully by summer 2012, if the world is going to end it might as well happen in a new house). But when I do I should have all the plans (CAD) done and it will be a process of cutting them out and assembling them. The Jet pit will be stationary and I am going to build a motion pit for racing games. They will be powered by my current desktop PC (see sig) and I will have by that time built a new one (looking foward to the X68 or whatever Intel comes up with next year).

Thanks everyone for tuning in, and I hope to see many of you complete your own pits in the future.

David
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#3209012 - 02/16/11 05:39 AM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
MudPuppy Online   content
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Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Seeing your build of the Generic Simpit has been very educational, David. Thanks for posting the pics and discussing the design along the way. That is awfully good of you to offer the 'pit to someone that could use it. Good luck on the property and the house construction and I'll be looking for your new designs/plans for racing and flight cockpits.

Derek

btw, your desktop PC is fantastic!

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#3209017 - 02/16/11 06:20 AM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Thanks Derek, it was fun to build. I found that I enjoyed building more than using though, lol. I prefer to fly from my desktop for convience sake.

The PC case is going also, since it was designed to fit into the corner of the desk under the cabinets and I now have three monitors taking up that desktop space I am going to design and build something different. If you know someone that wants it let me know. (Shipping would be expensive though)

David
_________________________
F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0

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#3209128 - 02/16/11 10:10 AM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
MudPuppy Online   content
Member

Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Oh brother, would that I had kin in Michigan.... smile The case is more custom cabinetry, than just a box of electronics. Any guesses as to the total weight? And would it include any of the doo-hickeys or thing-a-mabobs you've added on?

Thanks
Derek

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#3209164 - 02/16/11 10:55 AM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Hi Derek,

Nope, everything is going to be pulled out unless you want to pay me for them. I am not sure of the weight.....very heavy is a guess, lol.

David
_________________________
F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0

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#3209358 - 02/16/11 01:42 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
Valisk_61 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/06
Posts: 199
Loc: Widnes, UK
Thanks for the thread David - it's been a constant source of inspiration.

Hope the move goes well and you're up and building again as soon as possible!

Looking forward to your next project wink

~S~
_________________________
FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe

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#3209367 - 02/16/11 01:46 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Right now my next project is a pull-out drawer simpit to hold my Warthog HOTAS with axillary axis' and buttons provided by one of my BU836X boards. I cut them out on the CNC yesterday and am waiting for the paint to dry. It might have been smarter to wait until the Warthog arrives (today!!!) and make careful measurements but I am pretty sure the measurements that I found online will work. Thanks for the kind words Valisk.
_________________________
F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0

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#3486142 - 01/02/12 04:40 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Bump for new info on the first post
_________________________
F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0

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#3487547 - 01/04/12 05:47 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
Beazil Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/11
Posts: 81
I would sooooo be all over this (update on 1st post). Been watching this thread for a while smile

I'm just a bit too far away on the north shore of Lake Superior... man, what an absolute treat for some lucky S.O.B.

Thanks for the generous offer to the forums!

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#3487569 - 01/04/12 06:25 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
It would be a long drive, I agree. But you are welcome to it if you want.

wink

David
_________________________
F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0

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#3488386 - 01/05/12 05:51 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
First post is changed again to show that the pit has left the property. I wish the new owner luck and many adventures (the good kind).

David
_________________________
F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0

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#3488451 - 01/05/12 07:22 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
MudPuppy Online   content
Member

Registered: 06/09/06
Posts: 395
Loc: Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
You're a class act, David. (Your Serenity case build is still the coolest PC case build I've seen)

Have a good one, Derek

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#3488474 - 01/05/12 07:56 PM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
PropNut Offline
Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 787
Loc: Greenville, Michigan
Thanks Derek, funny you should mention the Serenity Case build. I just put that case on the porch to take out to the shop tomorrow. I am going to strip it out and toss it on the burn pile.
_________________________
F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0

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#3488863 - 01/06/12 11:31 AM Re: Generic Warbird Simpit Build [Re: PropNut]
Beazil Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/11
Posts: 81
Originally Posted By: PropNut
First post is changed again to show that the pit has left the property. I wish the new owner luck and many adventures (the good kind).

David


Lol - you had me considering the drive! Congrats to the new owner, and props to you (pardon the pun) PropNut for being so generous!

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