Here is a new video showing the 6dof Motion Platform in a taxi test showing the motion cues for braking operations.
I made an attempt at a video overlay, but the technique produced a rather blurry video - sorry about that. I'll work on getting a better video technique. In any case, this gives you an idea of the display in FSX as sync'd with the BFF 6dof motion software and AMC1280usb controller providing motion cues to the motion platform. Although this is part of my initial testing, it is interesting to see how responsive the motion platform is.
I was advised by Ian that the Heave settings might need to be enhanced in order for someone sitting in the motion platform to actually "sense" the vertical motion - hence the significant movements during taxi. Of course... Lots of fine tuning for motion cues will be needed.
I continue in my efforts to test my 6dof Motion Platform by trying to logically refine the motion cues with the various 737 simulator flight operations. Ian of BFF has been very helpful in offering some guidance for motion cue modifications. Ian states that our motion platforms for flight simulations are somewhat limited by fixed nature of the motion platform, so the challenge - especially on an amateur level - is to strike a balance in the motion cue settings that yield the "best result" while physically seated in the Sim under motion control.
In the second test shown in the video below, I am trying to discern how well the 6dof motion platform behaves with ground operations balanced with in-flight operations. As you might well be able to appreciate, in flying a real aircraft, there are basic phases of flight - ground ops, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, approach and landing. Finding the right balance of motion cues for my 6dof motion platform to best represent these phase of flight is going to be the hardest challenge. It may turn out in the completed 6dof motion platform, that I bias the motion cues toward a particular phase of flight in order to accomplish the best overall balance in Sim operations.
In any case, the video of Test 2 below shows the 727-800 Sim taxiing and departing from KSAN. The motion cue changes from the previous Test 1 are Heave, Pitch and Yaw, with greater emphasis placed on the balance between low speed operations and high speed operations. I am not going to fret too much about trying to get all these motion cues fine-tuned at this point in building the 6dof motion platform. But I do want to "generally" get the motion cues to the point where they most logically represent what they should be when it comes time to test the finished Sim sitting on top of the Motion Platform.
My next phase 3 of testing will be to assess motion cues for cruise flight, approach, and landing. After that, I will be finished with the initial tests for the motion platform in its current mechanical configuration. The next step will then be to complete the steel base for the Upper and Lower platform structures.
I try not to write between your great documentary posts, but this is awesome! I really like the order of testing you are performing to determine the best balance for the motion cues.
Isn't there in the bff config a separate set of motion cues for ground usage only? I remember there was need for Ian to create separate motion cues for ground taxing as FSX ground effects were too intense compared to flying.
Thank you for the post and your encouragement - much appreciated. I am currently in the process of re-doign my FSX display screen - changing over to the 220 degree setup. So far, so good, but It will take me another day or so to be back up and running with the Sim operations. I'm looking forward to testing some new BFF configuration modifications that Ian has provided.
Your AMC1280usb controller continues to work fine, with all the VFD settings doing a good job in providing good response to the 6dof motion platform. The new BFF configuration settings will push the response time a bit more, so it will be interesting how the motor/gearboxes do their job.
I completed the construction and initial test setup of my 220 degree wrap-around FSX display for my Sim project. The goal with this testing was to identify issues relating to proper projector placement and the best screen material for the projection display. For the screen material, I initially chose a thin linoleum material and painted it with a "blend" of paint to achieve a quality projection display. The paint was successful, but the linoleum material was too flexible and sagged too much, causing multiple distortions across the 5' high x 23' long 12' diameter curved screen. My next approach to making such a large screen will be to use a flexible, but stiff Formica material. It is available in 5' x 12' sheets, and I intend to laminate the two sheets together to achieve the 5' x 23' screen requirement. This material can be painted as before, and is expected to retain a smooth surface. I should have the new material in a couple of weeks. Here is a photo of the current setup with the linoleum material, which although not perfect, it does allow me to continue testing of the 6dof motion platform.
On the 6dof motion platform project... Ian at BFF motion software was kind enough to suggest some motion cue improvements for my next phase of testing. This is another video Test 3, showing how these motion cue refinements functioned with the motion platform during ground and in-flight operations. I am now feeling more secure about the mechanical design to the point where I can begin finalizing much of the motion platform configuration. My next and final phase of this initial testing (Test 4) will be to strengthen the Motion Platform Base, and make up a mock flight deck and mount the 737 seat where it would be located, and actually sit in the seat to get a sense of the motion cues. In the meantime... I would like to share with you a video of Test 3 below...
One thing I have done since this video was made this morning, was to increase the motion cue "sensitivity" in the Roll axis, and Pitch axis. I should report that the BFF 6dof motion software, and the AMC1280usb Controller system are working well and seem to be quite reliable. Thanks again Ian and Thanos for making these products available.
This is a quick update on the display setup for my 737-800 Sim with 6dof Motion Platform. Although this projection display part of my Sim project is intended for flight simulation, it certainly could be applied for a race car Sim setup.
With the 737 Nose Section (cockpit) mounted on the 6dof motion platform, there are projection image interference to be concerned with. This is because the height of the cockpit Nose Section can block the light being projected onto the screen. In my testing of various projector mounting and placement, I found that the best approach was to have the projectors arranged in a "tight grouping" for direct projection to the Left, Center, and Right parts of the circular screen. Since these particular projectors are "short throw" type projectors, the projectors can be placed high enough to miss the Nose Section structure. Of course, there is a lot more detail to setting all this up, but it is important to recognize that screen size and screen diameter, and projector placement are all important to having a nice projection display setup. Here is a photo of what I have settled on for my final projection display. This will be mounted with the 737-800 Sim on top of the 6dof motion platform.
The above photo of the "static projection display" shows the aircraft parked at the Terminal at Las Vegas Airport. You can see by the relative sizes of the cockpit instrument panel and screen size, that it is going to be a fairly large arrangement sitting on top of the 6dof motion platform. Of course, the photo does not show the Nose Section, which encloses the flight deck systems. As you can imagine, the flight deck will have windows - as such, the projection screen is of sufficient size that looking out of the cockpit windows will only show the projected display image - hence the immersive effect of the curved wrap-around screen.
The projected image size is 45" x 238", with a graphics HD resolution of 5780 x 1080. I am using an Nvidia GTX980 graphics card on a high-end overclocked PC. The GTX980 connects to three Optoma GT1080 HD projectors mounted inverted above the Nose Section.
Now that I have the circular projection system tested and finalized, I will go back to the 6dof Motion Platform and finalize the Upper Platform form factor, which will support the 1,800 lbs 737-800 Sim system - including the projection display system.
Thanks for the kind words. This 737 Sim and the related 6dof Motion Platform project has been quite a ride Thanks to your encouragement, I was able to shorten the learning curve on the motion platform design issues.
Right now, I am doing some final adjustments to the projection display to ensure that the geometry is correct. Once I start to locate the Sim onto the motion platform, I will have much less flexibility to make modifications to things like the projection display, etc. Next week, I plan on freezing the design on the motion platform layout and its location in the Sim Room. then I will start to fabricate more parts for the platform.
I'm going to move away from xplane and look into MS FSX as it seems not to have the issues xplane does. I cannot get xplane to work without crashing when I set up the bff software for motion so I have given up. Which version should I buy for MS FSX? can you get it anymore?
Regarding which flight sim software to use... XPlane is quite versatile, but I hear it can be very difficult to setup correctly. MS FSX is what I am using, but it too has issues. However, most all issues with FSX are well known, and it is possible to obtain a very stable flight sim platform using FSX. The newcomer to the flight sim world is Prepar2d, which essentially bought MSFS. I hear from other that it is much more stable than FSX, but there is not as much after market products for it as yet.
If I had to start over again, I would probably go with Prepar3d, as its popularity is growing, and it is not a dead product like MSFS, so you can expect improvements. In fact, I have already purchased Prepar3d, but I have not installed it, as FSX is working nicely in my Sim setup. Most likely, when the motion platform is completed and the Sim is integrated on the platform, I will then seriously consider changing over to Prepar3d - maybe next year sometime.
Keep in mind that whether FSX or Prepar3d, you will need a very fast computer, with a high-end graphics card for the display. A big boost for the sim computer is to use an SSD for your operating system, and another SSD for you flight sim software.
In addition, you will want to use FSUIPC for maximum flexibility with addons, eg. flight controls, etc. All this depends on your ultimate goals for a flight sim setup. However, if you are wanting to share your motion platform between your race car sim and a flight sim, then it is reasonable to expect compromises for a shared setup.
If I can be of further help with an FSX setuop, let me know. I have a good friend in Lubbuck, TX that is successfully using Prepar3d, and I'm sure he would be quite willing to help you get started with that flight sim software.
Ok Mike.......here is my question to you. I was able to get the X-plane to work a little easier than in the past but I have a question in regard to the "smoothness" of my flight. My platform for flight appears to be very jittery and not as smooth in the motion transitions. What adjustments did you focus on to make the flight and the transitions smooth and less jittery.......not sure if you experienced that at all. In straight level flight it will jitter a little.
Never realized it in the racing setup as it feels normal........
I have been absent for quite a few months, dealing with various things on the personal front. But I am now back into my 737-800 Sim and related 6dof Motion Platform, and I look forward to making some significant progress on these projects in the months ahead.
One major effort over the last year was some construction to our home to add a new Sim Room, which is connected to my existing machine shop. The construction of the new Sim room is now complete, and I am moving things into the new space. I also added a Sun Room which is part of the new Sim room. The idea behind the new Sim room was to have a large enough space to locate the 737-800 Sim atop the 6dof Motion Platform. The new Sim room is about 1,000 square feet of space with a 14' high ceiling. This allows for comfortable operation of the Sim with full movement of the motion platform, and also provides room for easy maintenance.
The motion platform is located central to the Sim room. Its concrete foundation was designed to have a dedicated anchor system to support and hold down the motion platform. This anchor system is buried within the concrete slab and has steel weldments to stabilize the motion platform throughout its range of operation. The anchor system is arranged to allow for mounting of the six (6) motor/gearboxes that move the motion platform. Each motor/gearbox is mounted to a large 22" x 22' 3/4" thick steel plate. This plate is sandwiched to a 3/4" think natural rubber pad, which in concert provide a dampening effect for each motor/gearbox as it handles the force vectors induced by the motion cues. I am currently in the process of machining these plates on my Tormach PCNC1100 milling machine. Total weight of the motion platform concrete anchor system is approx. 13,000 lbs.
While I get the new Sim room organized, I have setup the 737-800 Sim off to one side of the room in a static mode to ensure all its functions are working correctly. The Sim is co-located next to the 6dof Motion Platform location so I can continue with motion platform construction and building up of the 737 flight deck structure. This will also allow me to test motion function as I build up these other systems. Once the Upper Platform is finished, and the Flight Deck is finished, then I will move the static Sim to its final resting place on top of the motion platform. At that point, it will be ready for flight testing and refinements to the various motion cues.
Also, I added a new CNC machine to my Shop. It is a Tormach SlantPro 15L CNC lathe. This machine has been great for making all kinds of complex parts for the motion platform, and it is a great match with my Tormach PCNC1100 CNC milling machine.
Below are a few photos of the new Sim room and 6dof motion platform. Wish me luck as I get back into this big project.
dureiken: Hi there, it's really quiet here someone could help me for my 6 dof project ? thanks a lot
Aug 8, 2017 15:34:46 GMT
tronicgr: dureiken Hi, Open a thread and I'll try my best to help. A little busy with Kickstarter details at the moment but I'll see what I can do.
Aug 12, 2017 11:57:42 GMT
dureiken74: I just did it
Aug 27, 2017 11:59:06 GMT
fimmy: How's the firmware going?
Sept 6, 2017 8:34:43 GMT
tronicgr: @fimmy I had to put it on hold to finalize the manufacturing of the new kickstarter controllers. I tested parts of it to ensure compliance with the new features and looks good so far. I'll get back to it soon for integration.
Sept 9, 2017 12:52:35 GMT
Theuns: Very nice design.I'm also busy with mine and changing it also to Linear Actuators with 220v Servo motors.I'm waiting for my new controllers from Thanos. If I may ask Do you have any Sketchup files of your design and willing to share it I Thanks Theuns
Sept 14, 2017 22:45:09 GMT
atayeu: Hey everyone! I'm reading up and gathering all of the intel I can find for my first motion platform. this is by far best information for creating one.
Oct 14, 2017 7:25:57 GMT
tmcnam: I must be crazy but I still can't find the blueprints to the platform by GA-Dawg. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks guys.
Mar 10, 2019 21:31:57 GMT
Trip Rodriguez: Sorry tmcnam, the shoutbox doesn't get much attention. Did you find the blueprints? They are at the VERY bottom of the extremely long first post. It says "attachments: 6DOF.zip
May 4, 2019 19:13:25 GMT
zivby: How much weight this setup can carry?
May 19, 2019 11:57:16 GMT