So I got a Thrustmaster T300RS to use on Driveclub VR on PSVR. It was pretty fun for a bit, but I got tired of the gameplay pretty quick. So, I took my PSVR to the PC, installed Trinus PSVR, got it dialed in the best I could and installed Project Cars 2. A huge improvement over Driveclub! The FFB is so much more real and the game in general is a lot better. At this point, I set out to build a cockpit. I wanted something that wouldn't require welding so I decided aluminum extrusion was the best option. This stuff can be bolted together and is pretty damn sturdy.
I started in Fusion 360 which can be downloaded for free from here:https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/free-trial
If you register as a hobbyist/student, you can use the software for free, beyond the trial period.
I Googled around to find models for the T300RS, shifter, pedals and chair. The models for the extrusions can be downloaded from the Misumi website. I've usd this supplier before, when I bought extrusions for my AM8 3D Printer upgrade and was happy with the speed and quality. The cool thing about their website is that many of their product pages have a link for "CAD Download".https://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detail/1 ... 50/?Inch=0
Once I had the models I wanted, I imported into Fusion 360 and started building my cockpit.
Once I had everything where I wanted it, I new exactly what parts/size I needed and I placed my order on Misumi.
To put the extrusions together, you need brackets, bolts and nuts. I got the brackets for cheap on eBay, but I'll admit that the ones sold by Misumi work better and can be attached from more angles.
Bolts - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073H ... UTF8&psc=1
Nuts - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019Z ... UTF8&psc=1
With the parts in hand, I started putting the cockpit together.
I found an old office chair in my mom's basement and used it for the seat. I removed the base and used the existing threaded bolts on the bottom of the seat along with L-brackets to attach it to the extrusions. Liberal amounts of zip-ties clean up all the wires.
Of course I didn't forget that this thing needs to move. When I designed the cockpit, I included a base to hold the wiper motors along with a u-joint for the platform to pivot on.
I started shopping on eBay for the pieces I'll need to make this thing work. Including wiper motors:
Monster Moto shield for an Arduino Uno: (These things are cheap if you order them from China with 30 day shipping, but be aware that the failure rate is about 50%. I ordered one at first. It was defective. The next order was for two Monster Moto shields. The second one I tried was a failure as well. The third one I tried actually worked.)
And, bearings for the rods that will attach the wiper motors to the platform on top. These 8mm bearings are just the right size to fit on the shaft extending from the motor arm.
After I got my motor, i started thinking about how I want to attach my potentiometer.
I wanted something that would be out of the way and simple. First I came up with a pot holder that can bolt on using an existing bolt from the motor.
Then I modeled some gears, one to press on to the potentiometer shaft, and one to attach to the motor (tucked away underneath the actuating arm).
The parts were printed out on my 3D printer, installed, and voila!
For the next part, I ordered some connectors from taydaelectronics.com. I also ordered one of these crimping tools from Amazon.
I wanted to make it easy to connect and disconnect my wiring. I added 5 pin connectors to my potentiometers. The three solder posts lined up with every other pin on the connector.
To make the wires, I used dupont connectors (this is where you need the crimping tool).
I used the same kind of wafer connectors to add a way to plug in to the arduino and motor shield. I used a stripboard and some jumper wires to route the 5v, gnd, and input pins to connectors for each potentiometer.
to make the motor shield headers reach far enough to add another board on top, I got some headers that are long on top and bottom.
(Programming arduino, pending explaination)
I started testing by un-mounting the potentiometer and just holding it up to the motor gear while it was turning, to make sure it was turning the right direction and would stop when it reached it's target.
After the wiring was ready and the soldering was done, I mounted the motors for their first real test.
(I tried to enbed the video but the forum kept giving me errors.)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We32WcA ... e=youtu.be
Next step was to get the components off the floor and mounted to the simulator. I decided to use a piece of hardboard that could slide into the channels on the aluminum extrusions.
Now anything that needs to be attached can simply be bolted to, and rest on, the hardboard.
The hardboard also makes it easy to clean up the wires by drilling a couple of small holes just big enough for a zip tie.