||As most Flightsimmers, I had been dreaming about adding a
motion platform for some time. There is some information on the web on motion
platforms, but most are the expensive type machines, and indeed, if you want
a system that delivers good motion feedback, the cost will be high.
In 2006~2007 there have been more attempts on low-cost home-build moving platforms. Most builders have graciously shared their ideas and results, and now there is quite a lot of info available on the subject, including several freeware utilities to make the software link between FS and the platform. See the Information Sources page.
An excellent explanation on the required motion cues versus aircraft movement was described in the following article from http://www.epmm.com.au/sim/motionsystem.htm. The link is no longer valid, and I could not find the author of the article, therefore I copied the article here:
The article makes it clear that adding motion to a flightsim is no simple task. Anything less than 6 DOF would have some serious shortcomings. Therefore, my motion platform experiments have been focused on finding out what is possible on low budget, mostly using the junkyard as component resource.
The experiments with the motion platform have been a great challenge. Once I got the software interface working, the possibilities have become endless. It is a continuous tweaking, trying out new ideas, checking the effects, (becoming nauseous in the process), tweaking again.
In the chapter Motion systems , I have made a description of various motion systems, that can achieve some of the motion as described in the article.
Actuators describes some of the possibilities of low cost actuators. Actuators are the heart of a motion platform and much of the platform performance depends on the them.
About the various materials I used, details are given in Mechanical components
DIY motion platform I describes my first 2DoF motion platform attempt, and DIY motion platform II is a modified 2DoF version, that has lower profile and holds my Simpit. DIY Motion Platform III is a further modification to add heave to make it 3DoF. DIY Motion Platform IV is also 3DoF, but self-stable with smaller footprint.
The page Presentation FSCB gives a
nice overview of the # 3 platform system.
For moving the platform, I'm using a electrically driven servo system
with position feedback. (basically a bigger version of those small servo's
found in radio control units). Electrical Drive pages show the
electrical circuits, including
parallel port interface and power supplies.
Interfacing pages describe the various possibilities for getting the platform to move with input from Flight Simulator. In the beginning I used direct feedback from flightstick and other controls. Platform II, III and IV use software interface by reading data from FS via software link.
A Parallel port D/A converter is used to transform the digital info from FS into analog voltages to drive the electrical servo drive unit.
In the Motion Software pages you can read about the various software tricks that are used to make certain motion cues. (this requires lots of experimenting and will be updated continuously)
During the development of the DIY motion Platform II, I did some experiments to determine the acceleration capabilities of the platform. Described in Platform Drive Calculations
New Ideas is my 'brainstorming' page, with alternative ways for achieving motion, some successful, some not, some yet to be tried, some implemented in my platforms.