Yet another DIY collective/cyclic!

Since everyone’s posting their setups, here’s mine for VR flight

Main flight stick gimbals have Hall effect sensors. The resistance is provided by a spring clamp on teflon sheets so its very smooth. A cam on another spring adjustment gives centering force for planes or none at all for heli’s.

The whole flight stick pops out so you can easily get in our out of the chair. A DSub9 connector has all the wires for the donated grip from an old broken saitek cyborg joystick.

The collective also has a similar teflon resistance adjustment. That and the twist throttle are on regular pots. The twist throttle tube is geared on the end and drives another gear pressed on the pot. The end has 2 switches, 2 buttons and a 5-way hat.

Last item to add was a trim wheel for when im not flying helis :slight_smile: ; I manage to fit it next to the quadrant by placing the pot just behind the back edge; it’s geared 2:1 so the wheel can move 240 degrees and the pot stays in its 120 degree range.

I used a Arduino Leonardo for the stick/trim and some cheapo usb arcade controller for the collective.


Hi Smitty ! Nice job ! :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:

would you share with us more details and pics about your Hall effects sensors ? I wanted to use such sensors but i didn’t know how to do, so i used pots to waste less time.


Yes, thanks for sharing too! Collective arm friction arrangement is interesting.

If you don’t mind me asking, how does the throttle friction work? I’ve seen a few different DIY builds using what look like similar components.

Lets see if i can answer both of these.
The hall sensor has to be very close to the magnet and the movement is very small. It took a few prints to get this to work right.

I used these references which were very helpful

In my design the hall sensor sits in the square pocket in the blue part and the .375"diaX.50" magnet takes up the rectangular space (i used a cylindrical magnet, this is a cutaway view)

For the throttle friction I made a tapered & split thread on the bottom end. The nut can be tightened and it bends in the tabs. In hindsight it would have been better to make the nut tapered instead. The green collar prevents it from moving axially


Thanks for sharing ! I will try Hall effects …

Aha I see! Thank you for showing the grip friction :slight_smile:

I’d love to see more of the teflon and springs arrangement on your cyclic :slight_smile:

After lots of experimenting, with the hall sensors I used in the links, I found about 8mm between inside edge of magnets to give most linear movement and greatest resolution. I have a few others from old devices that must have a larger preamp built in and will still give good resolution with 2cm spacing, but results in exponentially huge values at the ends, like the e-bike throttles

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heres a complete shot of the cyclic gimbal. The yellow knobs are on the tension springs (springs not shown) and the 1/8" teflon sheet with slot is sandwiched with 2x 1/16" teflon washers. Teflon is great stuff; there is no slip-stick feeling at all, it is very smooth.

@Smitty, where do you find Teflon sheets and washers ?

I cut out my own washers with a greenlee punch

Thanks Smitty - Are the white knobs just clamping the pivots, or is that a cam with springs for centering tension? Are the arced slots near the tefflon washers (yellow knobs) the cyclic’s travel limits? Looks good! Is it an old Saitek joystick grip? :slight_smile:

I have a couple of 3d printers at work but haven’t done a lot with them. What would be the approx total cost in consumables to build the 3D printed parts?

I bought a small $40 Teflon chopping board for art work. Part of that is the white square block in my collective handbrake. However, looking closely, it’s the washers that are sliding against each other (rubbed with wax) providing the smooth movement on mine. it will be interesting to see how long the wax lasts.

Yep those are centering cams, white knobs are for springs for that. loose for helis, tight for planes.
I probably spent $90 for things i didnt have already- bearings, extrusions, shoulder bolts, arduino…
i used abs for all the parts, maybe went thru half a roll because of reprints for changing designs. the teflon slots are not the travel limiters, the main parts have +/-10deg hardstops built in. I also had to limit the left/right movement further because of leg clearance. to probably about +/-7deg

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Way prettier than mine… but mine was made from crap I could buy at Lowes and a few 3D printed parts!