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Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

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Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (D/229) Molevich on Wed 9 Aug 2017 - 23:38

Hi Guys,

I am relatively new here, but have been flying DCS since it launched (Lock-On!) and became helicopter crazy once they came out with Black Shark. I have all the DCS chopper modules, and am particularly enamoured with the Mi-8.

For a number of years now, I had been flying with customised MS FFB2 sticks, combined as one cyclic as exemplified by PeterP on the DCS forums. The collective I had built myself from scratch as a generic setup for all choppers, with a load of buttons and hat switches. All fine... until I got a bug about using authentic decommissioned military equipment.

This happened partly because in 2016 I entered an employment state of semi-retired, (or so I thought... I am now working 3 jobs freelance!), and I figured I would have more time to really go for the simpit development.

The Royal Navy announced they were retiring the trusty Lynx helicopter, and within a year, Lynx parts were showing up on eBay. In early May this year, a Lynx cyclic showed up on eBay for a great price, and I jumped on it.

I had viewed (B/229) Salty's post about a Huey force gradient based cyclic project, (keep going Salty, it is SO worth it!), and I had seen a force gradient based cyclic build on youtube by a Russian sim-pilot ( https://youtu.be/5DvmLN-ryP4 ), and so I borrowed aspects of both for my design.

I decided eventually I would put the force-gradients under my seat, for both convenient maintenance access, and general neatness, though originally they were designed to go forwards and sideways. I wanted to build a simple gimbal from readily available components, without requirement of CnC machinery, laser cutting or bandsaws. I am a competent wood-worker, and reasonable with metals, but limited space to work, no workshop bench etc. Room outdoors, and a good set of power tools though....

So here is the first incarnation using the Lynx cyclic.





Obviously(?) this was a partly trial and error project. While I made plans and measurements, to some extent there was an anticipated suck-it-and-see development stream.

So it was all going well, when while browsing eBay again for some components for the project I found this!



So I made an offer for the set, and bought it....

I will post the next stages shortly.
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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (HHC/229) flyer on Thu 10 Aug 2017 - 5:57

Nice project...keep the pictures coming...
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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (A/229) Chic on Thu 10 Aug 2017 - 6:44

Great project.  Have fun!

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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (D/229) Molevich on Thu 10 Aug 2017 - 9:11

So my Mi-24 cyclic and collective arrived, with a great back-story. Apparently, the Mi-24 was acquired by the British MOD from East Germany when the Wall came down. It was then used to test ordnance effectiveness against it, until it was pretty well shot up and reduced to scrap, sadly.... However, some enterprising engineer purloined the surviving co-pilot sticks as a souvenir, which remained under a bed for some years. They finally found their way on to eBay in late May, and into my hands.

The structure of the pivot of the cyclic was sufficiently different to the Lynx to require a complete rethink and rebuild. I would need a bigger gimbal box and a rethink of the layout of the force-gradients, which is when I decided to redirect them to under my seat.



I was able to figure out how to run the two force-gradients under the seat using a bell-crank for the roll axis. The mag brakes are 50kg door holders, and the force-gradients are motorcycle steering dampers with strong compression springs added at each end.



The gimbal is made from a piece of oblong box aluminium 600 x 1200 x 1200 x4 mm with various holes and notches cut out, and mounted on pillow bearings for the roll axis. The pitch axis benefits from the original bearings in the cyclic stick.



Having established the basic mechanics layout for pitch and roll and force-gradients, I then removed the cyclic grip from the stick to begin puzzling out the wiring of the radio 2-stage switch, the trimmer button, the RS button and how to replace the missing autopilot hat switch which had been filled with a blank, these being the Mi-24 Co-pilot/Gunner sticks....

More fun to come!
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Updated Mi24 Stick and Collective pit with Magnetic Brakes and Force Feedback

Post by (D/229) Molevich on Fri 15 Sep 2017 - 22:25

So here are some images of my fully functional sim-pit with Mi-24 Cyclic and Collectives, all wired up and working brilliantly. I am working out how to do a multiple synced frames video to show it all in action.... Hmmm.





I will post some new pix shortly showing the finished setup with leather cyclic boot.
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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Tue 2 Jan 2018 - 0:36

Hey Molevich, very impressive work.
Just a few quick questions:
What diameter rod/shaft are you using for the roll axis?
What sensors are you using for position? are they hall effect or potentiometer.
Have you found you have enough resolution and lack of slack to fly accurately (ie formation flying)

Thanks
Frenchy

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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (D/229) Molevich on Tue 2 Jan 2018 - 1:06

Hi Frenchy!

Are you the same as in NVG Mods?

Thank you for your kind words. I have developed onwards already from this setup a bit. But in principle it remains the same. I have started to build a Mi-24 pit around it! (I said I wouldn't but now I am. Some others have asked me to write up my build formally, to enable others to follow the recipe... A project for 2018 there in itself!

To answer your specific questions,
The roll axis is using some 8mm/M8 short rod lengths mounted in securing brackets, and pivoting in bearing blocks riveted to the gimbal box.

Because of the cyclic stick's pivot bearing, I could not figure out a good way to mount a potentiometer, so I opted for Hall sensors. I hate those things! But love em too. require a lot less engineering, but I usually trash 50% of them getting set up....

There is a pot in the collective throttle axis, buried discretely inside the lever arm. That was fiddly! But again I went for a Hall for the main lever pivot.

With a force gradient magnetic brake in the collective, same as the 2 in the cyclic set up, once trimmed, I have a tight slackness which enables miniscule adjustments of the cyclic and collective. It also allows for cruise flight hands-off (if it is not too windy), and even a hands-off hover.... It makes sling loading easy, and putting down in tight LZs/deck landings etc much less nerve-wracking.
And formation flying is great. I still have a tendency to go up and down a bit too much, but I think that's my flying skills. I found the other night that the collective brake needs a bit of fine-tuning, as it is not gripping well when the collective is raised above 45 degrees.

I must post some updated pics....

Anyway, feel free to ask anything.

Yours,

Molevitch
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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (C/229) Frenchy on Tue 2 Jan 2018 - 22:07

Hi Molevitch, thanks for the

Yes I am the same Frenchy who has done the NVG mod.

I've also done a huey collective but never got around to doing the cyclic which I want to do. (see here for my collective project). I understand what you mean about it being fiddly fitting a pot inside the collective, I spent ages getting a little 9mm one inside mine

With regards to the hall sensors I'm guessing you are just using something similar to a A1324Lua sensor and gluing on your own magnets (i destroy half of them as well trying to get them in the perfect spot for sensitivity).

Great to hear it has helped with the flying and you have minimal slackness. Update pics would be very appreciated.

Frenchy

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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (D/229) Molevich on Sun 4 Mar 2018 - 6:18

Hey Frenchy,

I forgot to post these update pics! So here are some pics from a recent "under the hood" tweaking session. It shows the general layout of my mechanics and electronics, all under the seat basically. If you want any explanations let me know!

Molevich



Sloppy work, but its kind of always a WIP/Prototype. Have you seen how it should be done? Check Yoreh on ED Forums work.... Sick!

M
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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (HHC/229) flyer on Mon 5 Mar 2018 - 14:43

Molevitch your work is impressive. Please keep the pic coming...
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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

Post by (D/229) Molevich on Tue 6 Mar 2018 - 4:30

I will post some more pics soon. I am adding some genuine Engine Control Levers to my Mi-8 collective rig, but as they came out of a Mi-2, they need a bit of customising....
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Re: Mi-8/Mi-24 Cyclic and Collective setup

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