© Copyright 2010-2015  Michel Poulin

 

 

 

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Flight Simulator & Motion Platform

Main Control Components

 

 

 

This simple and small Axon microcontroller with my motion platform software, controls 3DOF (up to 6DOF) motion platform via the same serial port. Its CPU speed runs at 16 MIPS throughput at 16 MHz. The software close loop control can reach 1 ms when only 3 motors are computed for 3DOF motion platform.

Its peripheral header connectors simplify the hardware connections. The interface with the host PC computer is made via its internal USB port.

It provides all analog inputs required to connect each current sensor and potentiometer used on each actuator. Digital inputs and outputs are used to interface with the platform control panel, LED monitoring and actuators limit switches. It provides much more interfaces for future motion platform expansion such UARTs, I2C, PWM, Timers and spare I/O.

Its Atmel MCU is pre-programmed with a boot loader and can be programmed via the USB. Atmel provides for free an Editor / Compiler called AVR Studio that comes with C Library.

 

Axon Microcontroller

(Society of Robots)

 

 

Potentiometers are very important for platform stability, accuracy and smoothness.  They are the cheapest motor position sensor option but easiest to use for software control and can be very accurate when properly selected.

  • Hybrid potentiometer combines wire wound and impregnated conductive plastic technology and provides both technology advantages such as power, linearity, stability, resolution, signal smoothness and durability.
  • Multi-turns potentiometers are recommended (10X) and should have more turns than your actuator gear and motor gear. In my design, the sprocket rotates half turn for 5 motor gear turns and 10 potentiometer turns while the motor rotor rotates 33.35 turns.
  • This potentiometer is also used to build my 10 turns elevator trim wheel.

 

 

Hybrid Potentiometer 8140 Series

(BI Technologies)

 

 

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This simple and small Arduino microcontroller is used to interface my cockpit control panels described on my page 6 with my motion platform software.

 

(Arduino)

 

 

 
 
 
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My Actual Flight Simulator Configuration

 

Software

·          New Windows 10 (64 bits)

·          Driver uiautomationcore.dll version 6.0.5840.16386 placed in /program files (x86)/Microsoft Games/Flight Simulator X/

·          Microsoft FSX Deluxe & Acceleration Pack

·          My 4 DOF Motion Control application

·          Silicon Labs, Single-Chip USB to UART Bridge CP210x_VCP_Win2K_XP_S2K3

 

Computer

·          PC with Intel CPU, I7-3770 at 3.4 GHz

·          16 GBytes of Memory

·          SSD of 240 GBytes, SATA 3

·          HD of 2 TBytes, SATA 3, 7200 rpm

·          1x Quad heads NVIDIA, GE-Force GTX-760 on PCIE (16x) slot

·          1x Dual VGA NVIDIA, GE-Force GT-8400GS on PCIE (1x) slot

·          DVD Reader for MS-FSX installation

 

Displays

·          LCD-DVI-D, 24 inches (4:3) for 4 DOF Motion Control application

·          (3x) LED LCD-HDMI, 23 inches (16:9) for Surround display

·          LCD-VGA, 17 inches for Flight Instrumentation display

·          LCD-VGA, 15 inches mainly for Radio Stack and GPS

 

ACCESSORIES

·          Wireless Keyboard & Mouse for desk use.

·          USB Extension Cables (3x)

·          USB Hub 8 ports, StarTech.com

·          USB Keyboard & Mouse for simulator use

·          USB Saitek® Pro Flight™ Throttle Quadrant (PZ45), Engine 1

·          USB Saitek® Pro Flight™ Throttle Quadrant (PZ45), Engine 2

·          USB Saitek® Pro Flight™ Rudder Pedals

·          USB Saitek® Pro Flight™ Yoke (Not using the included PS2 Throttle)

·          USB 3.0 for the Motion Platform Controller (AXON)

·          USB 3.0 for the Cockpit Controller (Arduino MEGA)

 

Minimum of Simulation Accessories

(Saitek)

 

Videos Showing my Testing Progress

 

 

 

 

Some Web Sites Referenced for other Flight Simulation Projects:

 

Ciel Québécois

Built-For-Fun (with linear actuators)

Roland Van Roy SimProject (Sarrus actuators)

Jim's Simulator (3 DOF with Yaw cue)

My Inspiration