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This is an overview of how the software works together. So, very briefly, the game must be patched by the sim tools: game manager. The plugins can be downloaded from X simulator for small fee to install the plug in used cin tools plug in updater located in the root of sim tools, installation directory. So with the game plug in installed. When I make a change to the joystick position, it is detected by the game and the aircraft moves. The forces caused by the change are read by the plug in and sent to the Central’s game manager and then on to the Central’s game engine. The magnitude of these forces on the motion platform can be adjusted using the tuning Center. The sim tools game engine sends the information cyril e through the USB port. You can also send the data through the network via the UDP protocol, so it can be read by other software, such as the SMC 3 utility. The Arduino reads the packets on its USB port and sends the motor commands to the motor driver via its serial link. Once the Arduino has commanded the actuator to move to a set position, it looks for feedback from the position pots to know whether it’s reached the desired position or not in the case of the sabre tooth 2 by 60, if the sabre tooth doesn’t get a motor Command within a short period of time, usually in milliseconds, it will turn the motors off.

This prevents the motor driver from blindly telling the motors to keep going without any feedback and destroying the actuators. Now that you’ve got some idea of the overall software suite, I will start with the Arduino Uno and then work backwards towards the simulator software it’s worth noting that I had some trouble with the Arduino Uno clones that I got from eBay. It might been that I had a bad batch, but one type of claim didn’t seem to work. So take a look at these two Uno clones, the one on the left worked while the one on the right didn’t. So keep that in mind. If you are going to buy clones, I also found that some cables that were once used for printers didn’t work either. So in the end I used a short blue cable that came with the Arduino and a USB extension cable. The Arduino is loaded with a sketch or firmware called SMC 3, which can be downloaded for free from X, emulator net main functions of the sketch are firstly to read the position of the actuator by using a potentiometer which converts the position into voltage 0 to 5. Volts and the Arduino can handle up to 3 actuators. Secondly, the software works out the difference between where the actual actuator should be and where it is. Currently, I won’t talk about the PID part of the controller, because that deserves a whole video on its own. But very briefly, the algorithm PR d stands for proportional, integral derivative is used to determine the fastest most efficient way for the actuator to reach the desired position.

Without over or under shooting, and thirdly, the Arduino sends commands to the motor driver via a serial link so that the actuator ends up to where it’s supposed to be. In addition to these three tasks, the Arduino has the ability to vary the power available to the motor by using a technique known as pulse width, modulation, pulse width, modulation has a range of 0 to 255 and this controls the average power available to the motor. So a value of 127 is half power or in other words of 50 duty cycle 50 on and 50 off. As the pulse width, modulation value increases, the actuator will have a greater ability to follow the input signal, but may overshoot the setpoint due to inertia or gravity, and this is where the PID algorithm comes in. To minimize this overshoot or undershoot. I didn’t play with the PID settings, but it might be something to do perhaps on a rainy day sometime in the future. There are different versions of the SMC firmware. I use the soft start version because I wanted the Arduino to use serial communications with the sabertooths. You will need to edit the code at the top of the sketch to select the mode you’ll be using before uploading it. So after uploading, the sketch you’ll also need to download the SM c3 utility, also free from X emulator net. This software allows you to change the pulse, width, modulation and PID settings and store them in the Arduino software or firmware in order for the SMC utility to communicate with the Arduino you’ll need to change the settings in the SMC 3 utility in e file.

So it can talk to the right port that the Arduino is connected to working with just one actuator initially set the KP to 400 and the other PID settings at minimum. That is the ki to 0, the KD to 0 and the KS to 1, set the limits and clipping to 255 and set the step to 10 click on manual and move. The blue dot up slightly now increase the pwm value. If the actuator begins to move towards the new position, then the feedback pot is wired correctly. Otherwise, you’ll need to swap the 0 box and 5 volt fault wires on the pot and try again gradually increase the pulse width, modulation value while moving the blue dot up and down. I found that once I’d increased the value to more than about 220. The actuator was no longer smooth as you change values. The SMC 3 utility writes the values to the Arduino, where they are permanently stored, be careful using the test waveforms such as the sine wave with your actuator as it may exceed them maximum travel and cause damage. I couldn’t find a way to change the amplitude of the wave form, so I simply use the manual control once you’re satisfied press m2 to copy the values to the other motor, and you might be wondering what PWM Rev is for that’s used for by the motor Controller once the actuator is reaching or has reached the set limit, it helps you to electrically put a brake on the motor by reversing it now.

This is just an introduction really to what the SMC utility can do. They really need a video all of its own, but just just to explain how it works and all the functions. As I said in the previous video, you need to power up the sabre tooth. First, then, the Arduino, so that the Arduino can send the proper initial ation initialization commands to the sabre tooth. You now need to download sin tools. A registration key can be purchased from X, simulator or, if you’re, building a project – and it qualifies, you can request a free key you’ll also need the game plug in. You want to use the platform for which, in my case, was for explain and even though it’s quite old now, and it still works quite quite well. With the latest version of explain 11, I initially set the axis limits at 10 for safety. You will see the actuators move, but they won’t drive past. The limit switches will cause damage if something goes wrong. Eventually, you’ll want to increase this limit slowly and much where the ball screw goes. The goal is to get the percentage value that moves the ball nut between the limit switches, but without actually hitting them. It may be as low as 30 or as high as a hundred percent and after playing around with this for a while, I ended up working with only one force that is 1 degree of force at a time and leaving all the other values blank.

So for my flight sim, I started with a with pitch, which is called extra 2 in the explain plug in then you’ll need to setup the interfaces for the Arduino, the six actuators that I had I needed to use interface 1, 2 amp 3, and to find Out which port belongs to which ID we know, I unplugged them all and then open the arduino ide i plugged in the arduino to see which port it uses, and then i updated the SMC 3 utility and i updated the interface that you can see here in This image 2 motors are expected by the arduino, which you can see if you have two actuators connected to the arduino. You’Ll only need to have to set up in this field in the image I have the output rate set at ten milliseconds, but I later change this to one millisecond. I created presets for each of the interfaces, so it would be easy to reload them when simple starts it loads, these presets, by default. At this point, I was able to check each out. We know and find out which axis was assigned to which Arduino and I worked out, which actuator correspond with each axis, using just the heel force. So after setting access one only to he’ve and all the others to blank. I watch which actuator moved. I then reset that access to blank and set access to to he’ve and so on and so on.

In this way, I was able to work out the numbering system, that’s shown here once I knew which actuator was, which I could set the direction for roll pitch and yaw during squares on the axis assignment show which direction the actuator will move. They won’t all move in the same direction, except for something, though, like Eve in theory, the percentages for each axis allocation should add up to 100 by reading across the degrees of freedom columns. I found that I could have a total of more than 100 percent and it still worked. Ok, however, you’ll need to use the output testing part of centers to make sure you put the actuators into every extreme position and test whether they will hit the limit switches, for example, maximum forward pitch with negative heave when using the output testing part of sim tools. It uses the default settings, not the game settings well at least that’s what I found. So if you make changes to the axis, while you’re testing, it make sure that you set those changes in the game profile as well, move each side slider to make sure no actuator hits a limit, switch and try combinations of forces such as pitch roll plus heave And again, the goal is to get the maximum travel from the actuators. Without hitting the limit switches, the FLT column actually stands for filter. You can use that or in my case in explain to smooth out the motion.

It helps to get that feeling when you come out of a roll and the aircraft settles back into leveled fly, so you need to play with these filters once all the access settings are confirmed now, there’s, probably millions of combinations of all these settings, so focus on You on one degree of force at a time and as with the SMC utilities, this is just really an introduction to sim tools. It really needs a video all its own to explain how it works and all the functions to get some tools talking with explain, start, explain and click on settings data output. Now that you have the screen with all the checkboxes check, the following items in the last column called network via UDP, so you’ll need to check the boxes. That start with number three, which is speeds number four, which is mac vertical velocity indicator and g load number. Sixteen angular velocities number seventeen pitch roll and headings number thirty, eight engine, rpm and numbers; sorry number thirty, seven engine rpm and number thirty, eight propeller rpm check the box, send network data output and enter IP address and port four one. Two three set the UDP rate to maximum, which is ninety nine point: nine packets, a second click done; and finally, once all this is done, the software is set up and ready for testing and tweaking I have the Central’s game manager and CIN tools, game engine software Start when the PC boots up and the game manager function, monitors which games are running and loads, The Associated profile, it’s worth 2 keeping the main level at a very low percentage until you’re, confident you’re not going to damage anything.

The main slider acts like a master volume control. However, if you set it at zero, it doesn’t get out all movement like a volume control cuts out all the sound it’s, more subtle than that. It globally lessens the overall movement of the sim and it’s handy. If you want to turn down the responsiveness for say a very fast acrobatic aircraft, when I put it down to zero percent, I was expecting it to behave like a the overall volume control and reduce all movement to practically nothing. Well, it did tone things down a bit, but it was more subtle than you might expect. Anyway, once things are working, you can start playing with the tuning center, which is like a music graphic equalizer.


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