I fly fixed wing aircraft as a hobby and simulators seemed like a logical extension to my hobby. Building things is in my blood. Building a full sized VP-1 experimental aircraft I thought I had seen it all! 2 years of blood, sweat and tears (not to mention $$$) went into that project. But I had help from the Experimental Aircraft Association. I assumed this project would be a walk in the park…little did I know.
A little bit of information on my JOYRIDER. I built the original out of plans from JOYRIDER website for around $15.00. PVC schedule 40 was purchased for around $100.00 and used to make the whole apparatus. Berings and other welded parts were done by Bulletproof Fabrication, a first rate welding house here in Corpus Christi, Texas. That part of the project took about a month to complete.
The next part of the project called for a AVR 1.5. I had to decide on whether to etch out a PCB or purchase one. I opted for a Sunstone PCB for about $65.00. Two weeks later the PCB arrived. Mouser Electronics supplied the electronics to place on the PCB, minus redos around $100.00.
Next I had to figure out what type of actuator or motor I would use. After much effort I decided on wheelchair motors off of a Jazzy Wheelchair. I had to remove the electronic brake mechanisms and I was good to go! Following that, I had to make a decision on drivers based on the fact that I was using 24 volt motors and how to drive the big behemoths. Pololu Corporation had a HIGH-POWER Motor Driver 24Volt 20 amp that would do the trick for about $112.85 together. Power is supplied by two wheelchair batteries linked together to yield 24 volts.
Now the hard part. Now that I have everything assembled I had to figure out the software. I have two computers one to run the program Flight Simulator 2004 and the Sender (extractor for X-Sim 3) with plug-in for FS2004 (telemetry), the other to run profiler2, ( Converter... I’ve since moved over to X-SIM 3 ). I’ve had problems with everything, scaling has been a problem, I’ve had to rebuild some broken parts, because the stroke was (and is) way off.
The second thing I don’t understand is the profiles and how one gets them (remember Fight Simulator 2004 is different from Dirt and all the other driving games). The differences between X Accelerations and Bank, Y Accelerations and Pitch, Roll Accelerations and Longitude Acceleration, the list goes on and on. That’s where I remain.....