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Thread: DIY Controller and Throttle

  1. #1

    Smile Simplicatron 3000Z: DIY Controller/Throttle and rudder game seat setup

    Notice: the project took quite a leaps since i started this topic. Please visit the latest post for updated pictures.

    The project is now running almost a full year. After this post was made i added:
    - joystick housing
    - switch boards
    - side consoles
    - racing seat
    - rudder controller
    - console
    - cowl
    - switch panels
    - metal frame
    - side consoles
    - full lighting
    - and much much more.



    --------------------------------------------

    Hi guys,

    I’d like to share the custom Hotas project i’ve been working on for the past few weeks. Using nothing but an Arduino, 3D-printer and some basic electronics I was able to come up with this contraption:

    - pitch/roll
    - throttle
    - yaw
    - mouse x/y
    - 2x 5-way hat buttons
    - trigger
    - several momentary buttons on left and right thumb

    TODO:
    - optional chair or under-the-table mount
    - casing
    - lighting
    - console mounted switches
    - better grip design
    - white or aluminium panels, green lights, black contours, stainless steel.

    I just play my first 2 hours of flight with this setup, i’m very pleased with the result so far.



    The joystick presents itself to the computer as a generic HID device so it should work with every game (PC and Mac), although I specifically started this project to create a HOTAS for Elite Dangerous.

    (In the back is a rather ancient Saitek X45 which works great, but i’m only using that for backup)
    Attached Items Attached Items  

  2. #2

  3. #3
    That is amazing. Is the left hand a single axis running in a slot?

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by shadragon View Post (Source)
    Very cool. +1
    My thoughts exactly.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Anyd Tellock View Post (Source)
    That is amazing. Is the left hand a single axis running in a slot?
    Thanks, Andyd!

    Yes the left hand stick is a single axis slot throttle. For the next version, iím planning a more mechanical system with a few gears to get a better resolution and tighter axle response. My basic design idea was a symmetrical Hotas (at least from a grip point of view), trying not to copy whatís already there.

    Hereís another feature iím working on. This led bar should represent the current throttle.


  6. #6
    Today and yesterday was lighting day. Iíve been working on assembly a 32-digit multi-color led bar. Man this take a lot of time. Next time iíll just buy the specific parts and design a PCB to mount them on. Iíve been soldering and stripping 64 wires and iím barely halfway.

    Yesterday I also received vinyl sheet for masking out the leds. This time itíll be blacked out instead of the white you see in the video above.

    The joystick itself is fine. I will have to do a lot of work on the stability of the base plate and the mounting because it feels a little loose (which wasnít my plan at all). Also one of the hat switches broke down (already!). It may have something to do with me prying the button hat on and off and on and off a little too many times since the other one that i use most still feels solid.

    Back to the picture, you see a lot of wires which is a lot because there are a lot of leds. By using the concept of multiplexing all those wires come down to 4 groups with 8 leds each where each led has 2 wires (red+green) which makes 64 pins. By switching the lights very very fast (several kHz or so) i only need 4 + 16 pins to drive 4x16 = 64 led pins.


  7. #7
    All this looks like some great work, Cat!
    I sent you a few messages which totals an Old Testament's worth of ideas I've had for mine
    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Thanks!

    Thank you for your kind and ideas on the PM!

    I never intended to design something that is already on the market, which would be a flight-stick lookalike. If I wanted something like that I could just walk into a store and get a Warthog or a CH. That would save me the world of hassle. The controller grips you see on the forum are just bare prototypes to get the mechanics and firmware sorted. I have got some very interesting ideas on the look and feel of the whole thing.

  9. #9
    Sounds good, I'm keen to see what you come up with! Cheers

    EDIT: in your first image, on the left of your Mac stand is what looks like a small stainless steel top hat. I really hope that it is a small stainless steel top hat. If it is a small stainless steel top hat, it definitely belongs on top of your joystick once you make the final version

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by t00thPIK View Post (Source)
    Sounds good, I'm keen to see what you come up with! Cheers

    EDIT: in your first image, on the left of your Mac stand is what looks like a small stainless steel top hat. I really hope that it is a small stainless steel top hat. If it is a small stainless steel top hat, it definitely belongs on top of your joystick once you make the final version
    The hat you see is a Griffin Powermate USB. And below that is a Silverstone monitor riser. There’s no way I could make that myself but I do agree it would be absolutely awesome for a joystick.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Cataclysm274 View Post (Source)
    ...
    Here’s another feature i’m working on. This led bar should represent the current throttle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRKjO1CX0Xs
    That is a fantastic mod, a good visual cue that you can follow with peripheral vision; going to have to google this up.

    Originally Posted by Cataclysm274 View Post (Source)
    Please tell me that's not the wiring for the throttle display? O.o

    You are aware that because of you and Anyd my search history is setting off alarms with the NSA?

  12. #12
    AMAZING!!! Kudos to you commander!

  13. #13
    "Warning, WAF critical"

  14. #14
    Yes, indeed that is the wiring just for the throttle leds. To make it worse: only half of it (another 32 blue wires on the other side of that display). I may have to reengineer this little bit because it getting a little big because of all the wires, perhaps I should develop a solid PCB. lol

    Here’s some design candy. It shows the 3d bits for the throttle mechanics.


  15. #15
    Today I did some shopping for ideas and parts. For example, I went shopping for Leather Vinyl for a hi-tec look on the grips but the shopkeeper was on a holiday So I sourced some racing bicycle steering wrapping tape make from rubbery cork and taped some of it on my less-than-round brand new throttle handle.

    While it isnít the look that i was looking it aint bad either. Sorry about the bad picture, the light came from behind.


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