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Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

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Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Mon 8 May 2017 - 20:20

Greetings fellow pilots!  This will be your introduction to, and orientation for Trip's famous "wall of text" posts!  It's an Aspergers thing.  tongue

Since I'm unable to participate in flying until my cockpit is put back together I decided I would create a thread to keep you all updated on my progress so those of you interested can follow along.  I will add pictures as I go.  

So here we go:

Here is what I started with, my original generic single seat setup that was created to be as lightweight as possible because I thought that would be important for the motion sim.  Turns out my sim works a bit better if anything with a good amount of weight on it so now I'm willing to put whatever I want on the platform.  


I had started working on a full Gazelle cockpit, but after finding the flight model disappointing and then having my hopes for it being fixed dashed by (my translation of) the recent dev posts about it I decided to forget the Gazelle and go for the Huey.  Besides, even if you don't see it the way I do, why invest so deeply in a "maybe" when we've already got a couple DCS helicopters that have fantastic flight models!

Here is the main panel I had made for the Gazelle cockpit:


I had also aquired a Gazelle appropriate stick grip, built the housings for all the consoles, and built the overhead levers for the rotor brake and fuel flow.  

A couple days ago in a moment of mania I rationalized my way into buying myself a birthday gift that is going to mean my wife and I have to get through the whole month without spending basically ANY money, that is, if I want to be able to pay all my bills and make my minimum credit card payments!  I can't say I regret it too much, I'm so excited!  This cost me about $440 with shipping:





I now have the new floor installed.  This floor will be the base for all my future "modular" components to set up for flying different aircraft, racing, and space simming.  I have the seat mounted on the right hand side of a four foot wide platform.  This provides more realistic movement from the motion sim (when you roll left you also go UP for example because you are to the right of the roll center) and also gives me enough room for the collective and rather wide center consoles in the Huey.  Those will extend significantly left of center.  

The seat is mounted as are my MFG Crosswind pedals.  I'm hoping to either make different pedals for them to be more heli appropriate or build actual anti-torque pedals in the long run.  My Cyclic is mostly mounted, but still has the Gazelle stick on it which is soon to be replaced.  

I just realized I can't get my camera without waking up the wife and invoking her wrath, so the "current" pic will have to wait until tomorrow.  

For the stick the plan is to mount my Warthog stick grip on a custom made tube (probably soldered copper plumbing pipe) to fit the microhelis.de cyclic base.  I also want to add force trim, but that's not going to happen for a while.  I'd really like to have the force trim on the pedals as well, as I believe it is there on the real Huey right?

The past couple of days I've mostly worked on figuring out the dimensions for everything in the Huey cockpit (1:1 scale to the in-game model but with some accommodations), and prepping to make the Huey panels.  I've got 75% of the planning stage done I think.  Soon I start physically building the panels.  My panels aren't as good as some peoples for lack of equipment availability and skills, but should be decent.  See above pic of my Gazelle panel.  

The one thing really bothering me right now is that my floor is about 3" too high.  Apparently I'm about 3" shorter sitting down than the in game pilot models.  If I raise everything up 3" the top console of the Huey will impact the ceiling.  At the current height it's going to be "really" damned close!  I already lowered the platform on the sim base as much as I could which means I will have reduced available pitch and roll travel but I wasn't using nearly all of it anyway so hopefully it won't change much.

Now I could actually lower the whole motion simulator base down below the raised (network center type) flooring in this basement room I built, but that would take a significant amount of time, some materials which I currently can't afford (see collective purchase), and would result in a less attractive installation than I currently have.  All of this to relieve the problem of my floor being 3" too high seems a bit ridiculous, but I'm still tempted.  It would also allow me to increase clearance between the sim platform and the actuators so I have less potential issues of the sim hitting the base and more available travel.  If I do lower the whole simulator later, what I'll have to do is raise everything from the seat to all the consoles 3" up which won't really be too bad a job I think.  

That's all for now, but I'll try to post each time I make significant progress and add pictures.

(A/229) Trip

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Tue 9 May 2017 - 11:46

Here is the pic of the current status. Sorry it's a terrible picture, best I could get at the moment. It's a little hard to tell in the picture but the right edge of the seat is just about at the edge of the 48" wide platform, and the left edge of the seat is about 3" to the right of the center line.


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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (C/229)Samri on Tue 9 May 2017 - 12:30

That's awesome stuff there Trip.
I look forward to seeing your project progress - please keep us updated!

......and about the money - remember: He who dies with the most toys - Wins!

ps - yes, the Huey 's pedals are part of the force trim system.
In the mean time - I think Six has modified his pedals (removed a spring I think? which more or less allows you to set a pedal position and it will stay there.....not ideal for fixed wing flying though.

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Tue 9 May 2017 - 17:52

So far I had just adjusted the MFG Crosswinds to have very light spring centering but now I'm going to try it with the spring removed completely. This is a VERY simple thing to do on the MFG pedals, no disassembly required. As far as how this related to trim however, I don't want Force Trim because I feel like I need the functionality. It would just be one more step toward making my sim as realistic as I possibly can.

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (HHC/229) Dabomb on Tue 9 May 2017 - 22:56

I just wanted to chime in and say that I have flown both the Saitek Combat pedals and the MFG Crosswinds pedals without the spring. The Saitek pedals have some inherent friction in them even without the spring and are less sensitive to minute movements. Fairly easy to keep to the aircraft in trim.

The Crosswind pedals, which I fly with now, are much more sensitive without the spring. I tried flying them without the spring for a little while and found them too sensitive to minute/inadvertent movements and found myself struggling to keep the helicopter in trim. I eventually put the spring back on and just experimented with the spring tension until I found a sweet spot for me.

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (D/229) Gizzy on Tue 9 May 2017 - 23:19

(HHC/229) Dabomb wrote:  I eventually put the spring back on and just experimented with the spring tension until I found a sweet spot for me.

Been this route several times with my MFG's, springs on, off on off etc..but always found the lowest setting on the spring still to strong especially for holding left / right pedal in OGE hover and cargo exercises.

I found a simple solution (for me) was to use a simple loop of decent quality shock cord (elastic with a flexible braid) hooked over the cam end and through a key ring inserted into hole at the end of the adjuster bolt.

Just reduced the diameter of the loop by retying the knot until I found the tension that suited me.. and you can still use the adjuster bolt for fine tuning..

YMMV though....
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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Wed 10 May 2017 - 18:36

Holy smokes! Someone found a niche where the Saitek pedals are actually good for something?!

(A/229) Trip

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Wed 10 May 2017 - 21:51

Alright guys, I hate to show something when it still looks this rough but i promised updates!  

This is the beginning of the main panel.  I'm telling myself over and over not to go crazy adding details, I want to get flying ASAP and I can always add stuff later.  


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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (B/229) ice_crusher on Wed 10 May 2017 - 22:13

that looks amazing!!

Do you make the panel, when your not flying with the rift?
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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (B/229) Cib on Wed 10 May 2017 - 22:25

You should check out Korn's pit, I am sure he would help in anyway he can if you need any, with sizes and so forth
http://1stcavdiv.conceptbb.com/t2161-anyone-interested-in-helping-build-an-instrument-panel

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Utley on Thu 11 May 2017 - 0:08

Wonder where Korn is at.....
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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Thu 11 May 2017 - 6:37

Thanks guys!  

I fly 100% in VR.  What I'm going for is Mixed Reality, where every switch etc. I use in VR has a real life counterpart in as near as possible to the same position.  

The big problem with this of course is that there is no support for mixed reality so you generally wind up blindly fumbling for a switch you are looking straight at which breaks immersion.  

My solution is that I cut the bottom portion of my Rift's foam surround assembly (including the frame) off, and made an opening at the bottom.  

I can look down, almost like bifocals, and I can see my hands and any control that is in about the angle range you would normally find your keyboard.  I can still see what is going on in the simulation a bit in my peripheral vision, things like the rotor beginning to spin up for example.

When I'm doing operating the switches etc. I look straight ahead and I'm 100% back in VR.  I don't even notice the opening at the bottom unless there is VERY bright light outside the headset or I'm intentionally looking down at that area.  The opening is only slightly larger than the Rift DK2 had out of the box.  

It did make the headset just a touch less comfortable as there is a little bit more pressure on my cheeks but so far I don't even notice after a few minutes.  I do have a replacement foam surround too, so it's not like I wrecked the Rift if it turns out to be a bad idea.  My original one was starting to get a bit beat up from many many hours of use.  

I think it's going to work great, but we'll see!  

Also, the panel is starting to shape up.  The rotaries, buttons, and switches are in.  Lots more screws to install yet and have to add text.   Hopefully I'll later add the raised areas around some instruments but for now wanted to save time to get in the air sooner.  It's not done, but starting to come together.

PS- I already fixed the warning light and button that were switched, and replaced the test mom. push buttons with ones with a red button for some contrast.


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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (B/229) Salty on Fri 12 May 2017 - 7:11

That´s a cool project. I´ve been thinking about similar setup. Keep up a good work.

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Fri 12 May 2017 - 15:17

Thanks Salty! Got the rest of the screws installed. Next up for the panel is some lettering.

Aside from that I need to start the Pedestal and overhead panels.

(A/229) Trip

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Fri 12 May 2017 - 18:45

Lettering done. I'll snap a pic in the sunlight tomorrow, my camera is terrible with indoor lighting.

(A/229) Trip

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Sat 13 May 2017 - 13:35

Ok got the photo of the nearly finished panel.  Also the collective came today and I'm thrilled with it!  I already successfully swapped the collective head out with the included complete one and the action on the trigger, twist throttle (with working friction adjust!), and collective movement are fantastic.  

The bellcrank I spotted on the bottom is indeed for the twist throttle so I think installing sensors on the two axes is going to be super easy.


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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Sat 13 May 2017 - 14:13

@Commanche or any RL Huey pilot: Can you tell me roughly how much travel the throttle twist grip has? I suspect that with my throttle not being connected to anything the travel is likely much more than it should be.

For me to go through the whole travel I have to release the grip and reset my hand twice.

Thanks!

Trip

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (C/229)Samri on Sat 13 May 2017 - 15:16

Over 20 years ago for me - but there is a lot of travel but can't really remember a specific amount, other than to say a good two twists of the left hand (if my memory serves me correct) would be about right.

......love the panel dude.

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Sat 13 May 2017 - 15:39

Thanks Samri!

Also it's good to know the throttle movement isn't out of the ballpark. I'm not too worried about nailing it down to the 1/8th turn or anything, just didn't want to be twisting and releasing to twist some more if that's not how it really works. Based on what you say I'm guessing the full travel on my collective is probably all used.

Trip

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Sat 13 May 2017 - 17:32

Alright, the real  Huey collective is mounted in what will become the permanent mount with some more work!  Faster than I had hoped.  

Samri pretty much confirmed that the twist throttle travel I have is probably not way more than it should be as I originally suspected.  If I grab it and twist as far as I can, release and repeat, I have to grab it a third time for just that last bit of travel.  

@Commanche if you read this I'd love confirmation of whether or not I need to reduce that a little  (no need for accurate numbers, just opinion is good.  

The other question I have is the collective travel.  If I use the full range of travel available on my real Huey collective the maximum position of the collective in the DCS cockpit is about the halfway point.  I suspect that is just an inaccuracy in DCS, but it would be good to know for sure.  I set my collective position to match the position in DCS almost perfectly!  I'm very happy with the real collective, and I'm dying to get it all wired up and working!

One small negative note, the idle stop mechanicals apparently reside somewhere other than in the collective so all I have is a standard button functionality. This would be a bigger deal if it weren't for the fact that DCS doesn't really have the proper functionality there to support the real system anyway.


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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (HHC/229) flyer on Sun 14 May 2017 - 5:27

I believe your correct Samri...Been a while for me too but from what I can remember it was two turns left and one turn back to the stop (then slightly beyond), for starting...Trip...I've also been watching your progress and am impressed (and jealous...lol) with your work...Keep up the great work and keep the pictures coming.

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (C/229)Samri on Sun 14 May 2017 - 17:52

Love it Trip - Nice Job mate!
I hope to have something similar one day.

I just took a look at that start up video back in the Idle button thread (about +38 secs in):
Looks like two and a bit to full throttle (from off), 1 and a bit back to idle and 1 and bit back to off.

If you don't mind me asking - where did you source the collective from - eBay ??



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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (B/229) NeF on Mon 15 May 2017 - 0:28

'llo folks, long time no see. I'm impressed by all the above to say the least. (Sleipner can you join a pic of your collective so we can see the evolution ? Very Happy )
Samri what happens exactly at 1:39 in your vid ? Is that loud clap normal?
Hope to get some time off soon and get back to the job.
Miss you guys.
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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (A/229) Trip on Mon 15 May 2017 - 10:17

Thanks guys!

@Samri , you guessed right. Collective came from ebay. My collective pics are a bit earlier in the thread, from the ebay listing. I can take some close ups too, though I might let it wait until the collective is back out for further work which should happen in the next couple days.

(A/229) Trip

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Re: Trip's Huey Cockpit progress updates

Post by (C/229)Samri on Mon 15 May 2017 - 18:46

Gidday NeF How ya doin?
Buggered if I know mate??

Maybe - and it's a very loose guess??
Some one chucking something in the back or closing the right quad / cabin door??
What ever it is, it knocks the camera.

Thanks Trip....Might keep my eye out for one.

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