Hi. I’ve built myself cheap collective, cyclic and pedals, influenced a little by other projects I found on the internet, so hopefully this is helpful to others too.
Hi - Sorry, I think the order of things got messed up somehow.
I’ve built myself cheap collective, cyclic and pedals, influenced a little by other projects I found on the internet, so hopefully this is helpful to others too.
Collective - The first pic below was my initial attempt and it used an electric bike throttle. The throttle uses a hall sensor, as does the ebay handbrake (handbrake ships with a pro micro leonardo running mmjoy2). Problem with the bike throttle is the magnets are too far apart (2cm or more between inside edges) which produces a non-linear response - lots of resolution and sensitivity at the ends but very little in the centre. Tweaking mmjoy2 curves and MSFS curves, the resolution drops and becomes too jittery for precise control imho. The bike throttle needs to be dismantled to remove the return spring. I’ve since found 8mm to 11mm between inner edges of magnets to be the ideal travel range for the hall effect sensors I’m using and will give a near linear response.
The USB handbrake is great value for money, with holes pre drilled that perfectly suited everything I needed. I managed to use 80% of the handbrake’s parts. Unfortunately all the holes are drilled larger than necessary for the supplied bolts it uses. While the return spring is left installed, everything feels tight, but when removed you can feel how sloppy everything is. However, if you mount the handbrake at 90 degrees (handle/arm is designed to be rotated 90 if needed), gravity holds everything together and there’s no noticeable slop when the spring is removed. If you only want collective control with no throttle, I think this is an excellent solution just as it is.
My first version below.
I’ve since refined the handbrake magnet arrangement, adding a second magnet about 8mm apart for extra resolution (and modified mmjoy2 parameters accordingly).
I’ve also replaced the electric bike throttle with my own hall sensor arrangement near the collectives head. A single screw sets the throttle travel range within the alloy pipe cut-out, and a piece of PVC with magnets attached are screwed to the end of the travel screw. Videos below.
There are rings of PVC making up three layers, glued together at each end of the throttle handle. A nut is sandwiched within at the handbrake end. The thumb screw winds into it, applying pressure to the inner ring of PVC and providing adjustable friction as needed. Candle wax is rubbed onto the alloy pipe where the PVC rings make contact to provide smooth dampening. The wax has lasted several months and I haven’t yet had to reapply it.
The part with the large circular cut out shown below, is used as a friction control for collective movement, and winds itself up, sandwiching the handbrake lever against some washers and a block of plastic chopping board. Surprisingly it’s incredibly smooth.
e-bike throttles below showing hall sensor and magnets (not worth trying imho)
The vids below are close to how it presently is, except I’ve starting making switches and box for the head. The black plastic clamp near the head is just to stop the throttle handle sliding up the alloy arm.
Collective’s friction control (piece with large circular cut-out). This was originally the rear hydraulic master cylinder mount if used in a real car (lower pic).
If using just the handbrake as a collective, my suggestion is to mount the unit vertically so the hydraulic end points downward, then remove main arm and reinstall it horizontally like in photo below. Gravity then pulls down on anything that pivots or slides so there’s minimal slop.
A single metal washer needs to be added to the main pivot bolt between the main arm and side plates, to take up the slop, and then you can tighten the main nut/bolt to add the desired friction that holds the handle in place when let go. However, my washer arrangement is different to this.
Nice Post mate, but too many links will flag up on the discourse system so try to keep those to a minimum. Many people won’t press links as you never know where they will take you.
lol thanks Tony. I typed the word link in there to go back and edit my post later. It originally had the pics embedded then they suddenly got blocked
Nice Job !
Our ways to build it are very different. My biggest problem is the friction.
At the beginning it was perfect. It’s insufficient now ! The added weight (handle, head, buttons …) makes the lever going downwards if I let it go.
Can you not tighten the pivot point slightly? Make it stiffer ?
The collective made by your friend is impressive.it looks very strong.
About mine, the lever pivots on its axis, held in place by an adjustable screw. Since it is PLA, it is probably not strong enough. I will try to add metal washers large enough to improve the tightening
Mine is PLA also but made extra strong and thick. Washers would be a good idea.
another thing to do is to print the needed parts with a higher percentage of filling. (maybe more than 60%)
Very cool post ! Like to see others getting into DIY projects. In the coming weeks I’m going to be starting my own as I’ve got a new 3D printer coming in the mail soon
Tony that collective looks awesome, hc625ma really hit home with that design. The more guides and resources there are sure does make the DIY more easier to learn.
i used hall effect sensors in my setup too. the little square 6mm magnets were doing the nonlinear thing like you described, lucky i had some 3/8 dia x 1/2" long neodymiums and they work great
Tony that’s a very nice looking device. Would it happen to be the simchair diy project? I’d love to see the internal arrangement if it’s possible? I don’t remember seeing construction pix on the website.
Would it cope with the weight of a head with lots of buttons without sagging? I think I saw a strut used in one of the pics.