THIS IS VERY (REALLY!) OUTDATED!
ONLY PRINT IF YOU ABSOLUTELY CANT PRINT WITH PLA!
PLEASE USE THE LATEST VERSION FROM GITHUB INSTEAD:
Visit http://hc625ma.org for latest news and manuals!
PLEASE SEARCH FOR SIMCHAIR ON THINGIVERSE, the current version is MKIII
visit http://hc625ma.org for latest updates, dev snapshots, simchair software and more
This is a 3d printable open source helicopter control set, that can be built with a minimum of non-printed additional parts (608 bearings, m8 and m3 bolts, nuts, and washers, 20x10mm rectangular aluminum profile, 10x10x5 magnets, ss495a Hall effect sensors, potentiometer and an Arduino board). For now, it does not include switches and buttons, but you can easily add them yourself to your liking.
The goal was to make a customizable parametric set of helicopter controls that is cheap and can be produced as easy as possible, with a possible minimum of a handwork (thus providing a better reproducibility). The set of controls can be used as a PC joystick (thanks to great UnoJoy software) or to fly an RC aircraft (you can plug it into the trainer port of your RC transmitter). RC aircraft firmware is still in development now, but I've been able to hover 450 sized helis earlier with a previous version of this control set. Just have to clean the code a bit.
I have been flying DCS: UH-1H with it for a month and it seems to work nice enough. It is also lightweight and portable, can be disassembled fast and takes up little space (thanks to the IKEA GUNDE chair used as a frame).
Construction allows high precision with Hall effect sensors, smooth sticks travel and no backlash thus, as a result, very little to no jitter of an axis position cross in game controllers properties window.
You will find STL files, model sources, pictures, assembly instructions and a bill of materials for each part inside of an archive. Have fun and enjoy!
Have just tested this thing with DCS UH-1H and google cardboard. Guys, this is really awesome. I used a Xiaomi Redmi note 2 android phone, connected to PC with USB cable (USB modem mode). DCS supports VR stereo view, so you can use moonlight (Nvidia card required) to stream video to your phone without delay in very good quality. I have also used TriusVR (as a head tracker mainly) and opentrack. I've been able to get 720p without delays right now, but maybe with further tweaking of settings, I would be able to achieve 1080p, which looks much better. But even with 720p, the stereo mode allows you to feel depth and altitude, while scale controls just make the feeling of flying the helicopter complete.
You look at the overhead panel and it seems you can reach it with your hand. You look over your shoulder, and your virtual head turns the same way as your real one. Everything in the cabin now has volume. It creates a feeling of actually sitting there.
I strongly encourage you guys to try flying with VR, as it is probably as close to the real thing as a simmer can get, yet almost free in case of google cardboard goggles.
This thing has turned to be good for flying helicopters in ARMA3 (advanced flight model is good enough). This is where buttons are actually badly needed. Will work on adding some.
-- Update 07.11.2017
I am currently working on the Mark III version of the simchair. I noticed that if printed in PLA, a 0,4mm gap that was good for ABS is too big. Consider adjusting it to 0,2 mm for a better fit.
-- Update 18.02.2018
I have noticed that a lot of guys still add this one to "Things to make" or smth.
This thing is now outdated! No need to use this one if you can print in PLA! Mark III version has been released and is much better in every way.
Check it out: