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Huey Collective

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Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Thu 18 Dec 2014 - 0:24

Hey guys, since seeing an earlier post where a guy made his own custom collective Ive slowly been designing and building my own.. with the possibility of selling a few (depending on interest).

A general overview of where im at, design specs/ideas and associated costs.

- Huey based design based on measurements and switch layout etc. All switches perfectly match the huey type. ie the correct use of maintained/momentary 2/3 way switches.
- It is plug and play using a USB joystick interface.
This includes a completely custom HID descriptor designed for the exact number of buttons, axis and Hat switch that the collective would use. Ie 13 buttons, 1 hat and 2 axis show up, and it is nicely named. Not some random chip/board name.
- The Hat switch is the same used in some real aircraft joysticks and is designed to last a life time Smile with a really nice injected molded coolie hat on top
- quality switches with good ratings for number of operations, shouldnt die any time soon Smile
- aluminium collective shaft, mounting unit and main axle.
- steel bearings on the collective axis for a nice smooth operation, not plastic bushings.
- hall sensor for the main collective axis so will never wear out like cheap pots. (at the moment still a pot for the throttle because of install issues, but of reasonable quality)
- 16 bit resolution hardware/code with an effective resolution of 10-12 bits in game which feels silky smooth. Internal noise etc present in the ADC chip and elsewhere is always present and has to be smoothed in all controllers.
For example, saiteks stuff uses 12 to 16 bit hardware depending on what it is but has an effective resolution of 8-10 bit in game.
To be clear this doesnt mean the signal is going to jitter. in my testing its solid AND can measure changes of under 0.1% I can go under .05% but sometimes a little jitter gets through
- operating at 100Hz, no lag at all

If all that goes in one ear and out the other... so far i have better & smoother resolution than my x52 setup, and thats plenty good enough for me.

pricing:
currently all my parts are at $115 including hardware (ie shaft, base/mount and bearings) electronics board, sensors, switches and hat switch including postage on all the parts.  the board and hat switch are alone $30 and $20 respectively for understanding.
This doesnt include the cost of a 3d printed collective head and a laser engraved front panel. Im 80% done on the head design and ive just finished the front panel (See below) which ive sent off to get quotes.
Honestly I have no idea how much they will cost.

other notes.
the adjustable friction throttle is an absolute pain in the arse to be honest. At the moment my designs/pricing doesnt include it.
If someone is a CAD mastermind and wants to design a 3d printable locking friction nut mechanism be my guest, its out of my league at the moment.
The main collective axis WILL have adjustable friction.

Ive completely self taught myself everything to do with this project. I had no previous coding or electronics experience so a lot of time, research and trial and error has gone into this so far with regards to interface and component selection.

The orange is just simulating the HAt switch. It will be anodized aluminium with laser engraved lettering



just a shot to show how it appears in windows. With proper name etc.


No pics of the actual unit yet. in very early and extremely rough prototype stage (some seriously hacked aluminium). Once my base and mounting layout is finalized ill post some pics.



EDIT: HERE IS THE FINISHED PRODUCT
Go to this page for a how to http://1stcavdiv.conceptbb.com/t1579-how-to-build-your-own-huey-collective



Last edited by (C/229) Frenchy on Wed 19 Aug 2015 - 13:36; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Wallaby on Thu 18 Dec 2014 - 3:34

Mate, that's great work so you can count me in for one....
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (HHC/229) flyer on Thu 18 Dec 2014 - 4:17

In all of the other collectives that have been presented, most ended up being cost-prohibitive so I'm in depending on final pricing...Good luck...

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (A/229) Bandit 89 on Fri 26 Dec 2014 - 3:39

Looks like you have some pretty good specs there. Looking forward to hearing more.
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (B/229) Sundog on Fri 26 Dec 2014 - 20:04

i think the collective will be at $350-$400 including all parts...
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Sat 13 Jun 2015 - 0:14

Hey guys, thought i might show you this.

With full time uni, working 4 days a week and keeping the better half happy I havent had time for much over the last 6 months.
Finally polished this off.



I finally got some black anodised panels with laser etched graphics on them. came up really nice. Panels alone are $35 for the 2
To get the collective boxes printed is looking like at least $100 in Aus Sad

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229)Samri on Sat 13 Jun 2015 - 7:42

Nice.

I was wondering how the project was going?

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (HHC/229) Strut on Sat 13 Jun 2015 - 10:16

That seems a bit expensive, just for the head- good luck, but if i were you i would hold off for a while because Hegyck who i have been following for a few years at ED Forum is doing lots of great things including Collective and Cyclics in the near future. ( http://1stcavdiv.conceptbb.com/t1486-hegykc-contoller-update#12345 ) Anyway well done for your efforts Frenchy.

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Sat 13 Jun 2015 - 22:29

(C/229) Strut wrote:That seems a bit expensive, just for the head- good luck, but if i were you i would hold off for a while because Hegyck who i have been following for a few years at ED Forum is doing lots of great things including Collective and Cyclics in the near future. ( http://1stcavdiv.conceptbb.com/t1486-hegykc-contoller-update#12345 ) Anyway well done for your efforts Frenchy.

Wow his stuff looks great. Its silly how expensive 3D printing in pz is. One place wants $150 for what shapeways charges $65 for.

One of the main reasons im pushing on with this is I love creating things, the electronics stuff is a good application of some of my uni work, and, I've got it working and its a great piece of kit.

All i need to do know is make it look pretty Smile

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229)Samri on Sun 14 Jun 2015 - 11:04

Good work mate....I'll will be interested in the final product.

By the way - Fixed wing aircraft are "pretty" - Hueys (and their appendages) are rugged blokey.

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (B/229) Sundog on Sun 14 Jun 2015 - 18:14

can't believe, it looks like our 3d piece....
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (B/229) BlackJack on Sun 14 Jun 2015 - 20:17

impressive !
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Wed 17 Jun 2015 - 20:03

Samri wrote:By the way - Fixed wing aircraft are "pretty" - Hueys (and their appendages) are rugged blokey.

Here's a shot of the base, forgive the crude attachment brackets, just needed something for testing. Is it rugged blokey enough for you?




and what Ive been using up top since I've had no time and am a poor uni student, maybe a little to rugged for some, but it works Smile.



the laser etched panels (need to drill holes etc which will happen tomorrow or next day).





Sundog wrote:can't believe, it looks like our 3d piece....

Its was actually pictures of your friends one (just seen now that he has a full online site with cyclic bases, panels etc. does his prices include any sensors?)  and Komodo simulations pics that gave me the idea to try it myself. The original 350 euro or $500 Au is a bit steep.
I had been looking at micro controllers and what they do in general electronics, i wanted to have a play with them and I thought this was a great way to do that, learn about CAD modelling (very different from 3D modelling for animation) and spend a bit of time in the shed with my father when I am around at his.
Its definitely not something I intend to mass produce or market apart from to a few of the Aussies on this board that are okay with a DIY product as cheap as possible

Preferably a little community project where files don't leave this board would be optimal since I definitely don't have the capital myself to do more than 4 or 5.
I've tried to be upfront about costs of parts so once I have a list that can be sourced by anyone with access to the net and a total price maybe people might be interested in buying in bulk.

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 21:47

Well I got my 3D printed parts today. Not bad at all considering I went with rough cheap settings at the printers. The other great thing was that the 2 parts were only $45 to print total (took alot of searching to find it for that price).

Overall yes there is a texture to the surface and some inperfections but nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.

Here is putting it together




and excuse the red tape but it gives you an idea




I definitely want to change the screws to recessed black ones but the local hardware store didnt have any small enough.


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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (B/229) NeF on Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 22:47

Incredible stuff, good work Frenchy !
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (HHC/229) Strut on Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 22:53

Nice Job Frenchy looking forward to the end result.

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (HHC/229) flyer on Wed 24 Jun 2015 - 6:33

Nice work Frenchy...looks very realistic. I'm impressed.

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229)Samri on Wed 24 Jun 2015 - 7:21

Outstanding Frenchy.

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Thu 25 Jun 2015 - 22:55

thanks guys, its just nice to get back to the project while im on uni holidays. Heres hpoing i can completely finish it next week Smile

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (B/229) Sundog on Wed 1 Jul 2015 - 15:59

but frenchy, may you can help with using the switches rigth way in dcs.
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Wed 1 Jul 2015 - 16:36

(B/229) Sundog wrote:but frenchy, may you can help with using the switches rigth way in dcs.

can you elaborate on this?? more than willing to help, just need to know with what?

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (B/229) Sundog on Wed 1 Jul 2015 - 16:42

i have problems with the switches.
for example: when i switch the threeway switch for the LDG LT from OFF to EXT or RETR, i have to switch the switch 2 times
i didnt find in the LUA files where i can tell DCS that the switch is a 3-way switch with on-off-on (or is the switch wrong an i need on-on-on)?
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Wed 1 Jul 2015 - 17:24

(B/229) Sundog wrote:i have problems with the switches.
for example: when i switch the threeway switch for the LDG LT from OFF to EXT or RETR, i have to switch the switch 2 times
i didnt find in the LUA files where i can tell DCS that the switch is a 3-way switch with on-off-on (or is the switch wrong an i need on-on-on)?


Okay, I understand now. You have it right with this part.
(B/229) Sundog wrote:(or is the switch wrong an i need on-on-on)?
In the control options there is Landing Light (LL) Extend, LL Retract and LL Stop. LL stop means stop the extension or retraction command (ie when the switch is in the center position). So basically, yes, you need 3 commands from the one switch to properly mimic the controls. One way to do this is with a on-on-on switch but they are very hard to find.
The way I did it, which is a bit of a cheat is using and on-off-on switch and some clever/simple code in my microcontroller. When i flick the switch to up (LL Extend) i have the controller send the command that button 1 is pressed. When i flick the switch back to middle position the controller knows that button 1 isnt pressed anymore and sends that command. The trick is I also tell the controller to send the command that button 2 is pressed even though it physically doesnt exist (electrically wise). I do this trick with pressing the switch down/releasing it as well and it works perfectly.

Here is some of my code that may explain it better.

Code:

if (button1.fallingEdge()) {          //if wire connected to pin 1 on MC has voltage ie switch turned on
    Collective.button(1, 1);    //   tell computer that button 1 is pressed  
    Collective.button(2, 0);    //   and that button 2 isnt pressed
  }
if (button1.risingEdge()) {       //if wire connected to pin 1 on MC no longer has voltage ie switch back to middle position (off)
    Collective.button(1, 0);    //  button 1 isnt pressed anymore
    Collective.button(2, 1);    //  and now button 2 is
  }

if (button2.fallingEdge()) {          //if wire connected to pin 2 on MC has voltage ie switch flicked down to on
    Collective.button(3, 1);    //   tell computer that button 3 is pressed  
    Collective.button(2, 0);    //   and that button 2 isnt pressed
  }
if (button2.risingEdge()) {       //if wire connected to pin 2 on MC no longer has voltage ie switch back to middle position (off)
    Collective.button(3, 0);    //  button 3 isnt pressed anymore
    Collective.button(2, 1);    //  and now button 2 is (middle position)
  }

hope this makes sense

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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (B/229) Sundog on Wed 1 Jul 2015 - 17:27

ah ok, i will try this evening at home.
the on-on-on switches are not hard to find, but very expencive ~25 euro each
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Re: Huey Collective

Post by (HHC/229) Strut on Wed 1 Jul 2015 - 17:30

I know the OFF - OFF -OFF switches are easy to find just get married.............. What a Face

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