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Old 10-26-2014, 02:06 PM   #1
rhoude57
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Default Integrated Simpit Motion Controller

Hi,
My Orbiter Simpit project is progressing and lately I have been spending some time sketching an idea for an integrated motion controller that would fuse my Saitek 52X Flight Control System (FCS) Joystick as a Rotational Hand Controller (RHC), throttle and a Translational Hand Controller (THC), per the attached schematic.
The THC would resemble that built by Sergio Curci:
http://sergiocurci.blogspot.ca/2013/...oller-for.html
Having access at a FabLab, I am tempted to 3D print the two type of THC handles used on the space shuttle and Apollo programs.
All three controllers would feed into a Arduino UNO R3 micro-controller, the Saitek FCS being routed through a Arduino USB Host shield. Since the USB Shield is Android Development Kit (ADK) compatible, I am thinking of recycling an old HTC Google Nexus One smart phone I've had sitting around. The smart phone would become a Motion Control Panel and would provided added computing oompf if the Arduino hits its limits. The smart phone could read the vehicle identity being flown and set the Saitek FCS profile accordingly.
For example, I'm thinking the throttle could be reconfigured to support a scramjet and retropropulsion, using the throttle stops available on the Saitek throttle.
The integrated motion controller would interface to the Orbiter simulation via a WiFi connexion and OrbConnect. The WiFi connexion would be established vusing a AdaFruit CC3000 WiFi shield.
Finally, I am thinking of setting-up a configuration of the integrated motion controller without the throttle that would serve as a controller for a rear-facing payload specialist station in the Simpit.
My nephew, who is eons ahead of my in 3D CAD has volunteered to help me develop the mechanical elements of the THC enclosure and handle/knob. In the payload specialist version, the THC would also include a guard like that found on the Space Shuttle rear-facing payload station THC.
We plan to visit the FabLab (called echoFab) here in Montreal next Thursday to see how we can use their facilities (3D printing, numerical CNC, PCB printing and all that kind of cool stuff).
Please let me know what you think and how I can improve the idea while it's still on the drawing board.
I'll post all schematics, Arduino sketches, 3D CAD, schematics (developed using KiCAD) and ADK source code on GitHub as they evolve.

Cheers,
Ron
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OrbiterMotionControllerDraft01.jpg  
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Old 10-26-2014, 04:23 PM   #2
Donamy
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Really looking forward to this. I working on my own simpit to bring to schools myself, and this is what's needed for the WOW factor.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:13 AM   #3
rhoude57
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For those that want to follow or contribute to this project, here is the link to the GitHub Repository.
https://github.com/perdlespedales/Or...tionController
I will soon start a Product Backlog in the Conceptual directory to track the User Stories for the Orbiter Integrated Motion Controller project. As some may guess, I will follow and Agile workflow for the project.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:44 AM   #4
Donamy
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The link locks my computer. I get a "framing not allowed" message.
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Old 10-27-2014, 02:39 AM   #5
rhoude57
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Are you using Firefox to access VirGin?

---------- Post added at 02:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:38 AM ----------

... to access GitHub?
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:10 AM   #6
Donamy
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No I'm afraid. I'm using IE 8 for XP.
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:14 AM   #7
rhoude57
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You may have to upgrade to IE9. I have had similar issues with my old IE8 installation on Windows XP.
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:23 AM   #8
rhoude57
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Update: The project is progressing. I have received all my Arduino shields. I also visited my local FabLab and now have a manufacturing base for the developmental hardware. After a review of the Space Shuttle avionics architecture, I have decided to add rudder pedals to the integrat3d controller. It just happen that I have a set of CH Pro rudder pedals I used in the past with MSFS. I plan to add a control on the MCP that will allow the pilot to choose the joystick yaw axis or rudder pedals to provide rotational Y-axis control.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:49 PM   #9
rhoude57
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End of the Year Update: I'm integrating the Saitek X52 Flight Control System with the Arduino Uno R3 and USB 2.0 Shield. If you have any links to share, I'd be appreciative. I'm working off the following pages for now:
- https://github.com/felis/USB_Host_Shield_2.0
- http://www.circuitsathome.com/mcu/hi...ck-code-sample

This page, by Ian Johnston, a RC guy, shows how he coupled a Joystick to his RC Helicopter using an Arduino and USB Shield. His code provides inspiration for my own controller. His LCD display will probably be ported over to the HTC Google One smart phone. I also plan to take out all the PPM conversion and transmission and replace it with and OrbConnect interface to Orbiter.
- http://www.ianjohnston.com/index.php...bbies&Itemid=8

---------- Post added 12-29-14 at 08:49 PM ---------- Previous post was 12-28-14 at 11:29 PM ----------

Integrating the Saitek X52 Flight Control System with the Arduino Uno R3 microcontroller and USB 2.0 Shield. Note: I'm also running the Wi-Fi Shield in parallel to pick-up any interference between the shields right out of the starting blocks. The Arduino stack is sitting just right of the Joystick, BTW.

Last edited by rhoude57; 12-29-2014 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Added new URL and then fixed the tagging so it could be navigated.
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