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Gallery - some project images

Here's some images of stuff that doesn't get onto the web site much....

 

Some Customer Installations

 

Here's a link to the page showing details of a recent GA sim build and a few heavy jet installations of the CL system....

 

Aersim 747 Simulator

new DIY CL yoke built using openbeam structure and 3d printed parts

 

Dec '16

 

I've been looking at a way to make building a DIY force feedback yoke a bit easier and have tried using the OpenBeam extruded aluminium beam system. Together with 3D printed components it is proving quite successful - much easier than making components from timber or metal.

 

More details on the OpenBeam yoke here.

BFF DIY OpenBeam Flight Yoke

BFF DIY OpenBeam Flight Yoke

Retro-Fitting a Brushed Motor Driven CL System

 

August '16

 

Further down the page I mentioned using the CL system brushless motor driver cards to drive brushed motors - see movie clip on right. I've just delivered a set of new CL system cards programmed for brushed motor drive which will be used to retrofit the drive in an existing brushed motor CL system.

There's a bit of testing to be done to match the card output current to the existing DC brushed motors, but it looks like it should provide a good alternative to scrapping the entire existing system and replacing all the motors.

 

BFF brushed motor drive

CL System Brushed Drive Motors

More Pre-Assembled CL Systems

 

August '16

 

I've been slow to post more images of recent projects.

So here are some pictures of recent pre-assembled CL systems I've delivered over the last few weeks. 2 x 2 axis systems have gone to an Australian based commercial sim manufacturer and a 3 axis system to a commercial user in New Zealand to be used for pilot training.
 

Each of these systems uses the new CL_SPU +BLDRV2 CL system cards.

 

3 Axis pre-assembled CL system

2 Axis pre-assembled CL systems

Pre-Assembled CL System - Case Study

 

June '15

 

At the back end of 2014 I supplied a 3-axis pre-assembled control loader drive to Western Air Spray in Canada. It was installed in their new Air Tractor simulator this year and Adam from W.A.S has sent some information and photos - click below.

 

Western Air Spray sim details.

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Western Air Spray Training Simulator

The BFF FFB Cube

 

June '15

UPDATE - I've been able to run initial tests on the BFF FFB Cube on my GA pit. It is running well and able to handle the loading currents from the 3-axis system (elevator, aileron and rudder) without issues. Connecting up the Cube was straight forward - using its pluggable connectors and single USB/serial cable. It runs happily with the passive cooling allowed by the open cube structure.

I'm using a single 24V 19Amp Meanwell PSU to drive the 3-axis system and it delivers the required currents without problem. It's automatic short circuit protection features also work well! 

The software mods I made to the CL software to run the Cube are also performing well. With the new design driver cards all the card configuration parameters are updateable via the software and condition reporting and diagnosis is improved with more comprehensive parameter reporting.

Some further longer time period testing is now needed before I can start looking at making it available for sale. I'll also be looking at updating the system configuration software to use with the FFB Cube.

BFF FFB Cube on test

BFF FFB Cube on test

BFF Generic GA Sim Pit

 

My incomplete Generic GA sim pit used as test bed for the BFF FFB Cube...

The BFF FFB Cube

 

June '15

 

Here is some quick information on some prototype work I've been doing on new force feedback pre-wired system that might be of interest to DIY system builders.

 

The 3-axis system (elevator, aileron and rudder) is built in the form of a Cube (approx 150mm square) containing new generation control loader motor drive cards, a comms and isolator card and all the required switches and internal wiring.

 

The motor outputs are in the form of pluggable molex connectors ready to attach to the brushless drive motors.

The system includes several technical improvements including fully isolated serial comms and faster control position feedback, it is also very compact and, probably most importantly, lower cost than previous pre-wired systems.

 

I'll be putting it on test soon on my own GA sim to see how it stands up - once I have that finished!

 

BFF FFB Cube - Force feedback system

BFF FFB Cube - Force feedback system

BFF FFB Rudder pedals

3-Axis Pre-Assembled Systems

 

March '14

 

I've recently completed a couple of partly pre-built control loader system drives for two customers. These are both heading for heavy jet sim installations.

 

The delivered systems include a fitted-out and electrically tested driver card enclosure with three brushless motors/encoders with Molex pluggable connectors.

 

These partly pre-built systems make life a lot easier for the sim builder because all the detailed wiring of the driver cards is completed and the builder needs only provide the 24V DC power supply and install and configure the CL software.

 

The motors can be electrically disconnected for assembly into the customer's flight control mechanical transmissions....   

 

Brushed motor drive using a brushless motor controller....

 

This was some experimental work to see if my existing BLDRV-12/24 brushless motor driver cards might be used to drive DC brushed motors.

It looks as if they can - by switching off one of the mosfet pairs on one of the 3 existing phases and using only the remaining two for the motor connections. I needed to modify the PWM control scheme a bit to remove the phase angle references used in the brushless drive - so some reprogramming of the main control chip is required.

The resulting drive appears to be very smooth and bi-directional as you can see from the video.

 

...if only cheaper DC brushed motors made good force feedback drives!

 

BFF brushed motor drive

Force feedback flight yoke

 

Another steel FFB flight yoke I built for system testing. It uses the same principal electrical and transmission components as the timber frame DIY yoke, but as you can see is made from steel.
 

This particular one is set up for the new "potentiometer-less" working mode. So it has no position pots fitted - the control position is instead pulled from the motor encoders and fed to FSX/X-Plane via the BFF CL software and FSUIPC. This is much quicker to set up as no joystick card is required for the main control axes.

 

Here's a YouTube video showing the unit in use during testing of the dual station electrical link feature of the system.... it's the one on the left hand side.

 

http://youtu.be/VCEvs808fsQ

 

BFF Force Feedback Flight Yoke

BFF Flight Control Loader

CL system control box - attempt 2!

 

On my second attempt I moved all the indicator LED's to the front face to allow the top plate of the box to be removed easily. And I fitted molex multi-pole connectors for the motor/encoder cables.

 

Here's an image showing the internals...

The BLDRV-12/24 cards are on the right hand side. The small card in the middle is a USB/serial isolator card which completely isolates the USB system from the motor driver electrics.

A fan is on the far right, and the larger silver component is the 24V 15A power supply.

 

To allow the user to monitor the system status the card LED's have been transferred to the front panel of the enclosure where there is also the main power switch.

 

Below you can see the control box in use with a force feedback flight yoke unit.

 

BFF Control Loader Control Box 2

BFF Control Loader Control Box 2

CL System Control Box

 

Rather than have the flight stick motor driver cards mounted loose with cables running here an there I made up a 19" rack enclosure containing all the electrics.

The enclosure contains two BLDRV-12/24 motor driver cards (one for each axis), the 24V power supply, a USB/Serial isolator card, cooling fan and various fuses, LED's and switches.

On this version the motor cables are taken directly into the box and the LED's and switches are on the top surface. I improved this arrangement - see below.... 

   

BFF Control Loader Control Box 1

Force Feedback Flight Stick

This flight stick uses the same control loading components (driver card and motors) described for the DIY FFB flight yoke. But instead of belt transmissions I tried planetary gearheads fitted directly to the motors to achieve the torque output.

 

The reduction ratios are 8:1 on the elevator axis and 4:1 on the aileron. The pitch axis motor is mounted on the elevator axis motor - a very simple mechanical arrangement which works pretty well.

 

I hope to use the FFB stick in a small simulator cockpit I'm planning for my own use. The seating arrangement calls for a flight stick located between the pilot's knees, rather than a conventional flight yoke. So the motors will be hidden below the seat, with only the control stick visible - I'll need to fit a proper hand grip etc.....

 

...I'll get the sim built eventually!

 

BFF Flight Stick

Force feedback steering wheel

this project has it's own web page here.....

 

BFF Steering Wheel FFB

 

        

 

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