I got tired of the bin of coffee cups sitting on my counter top. So i took some alu L strip, and made me a wallmounted cup holder.
The L profile strip was cut to 50cm and flattened to a 45˚ bend so the cups won’t fall out. At the bottom I made a little space to pick out a single cup. The other cups then fall downwards. To refill, just add cups on top.
What do you need?
1m (or 2x 50mm) 20x20mm aluminium strip L-profile
something to bend the strips, I used a bench vice.
Work has been done on the RumbleDuino. It really is a $5 hack. What is it? RumbleDuino is an Arduino that reads an audio signal, and turns the bass signals into PWM signal for a set of XBox360 controller rumble motors. The idea is that you get a little tactile feedback from games that don’t allow for tactile feedback (like Elite Dangerous).
You can mount the vibration motors anywhere you like, and as such I plan to integrate them into my custom DIY HOTAS (called the Simplicatron 3000Z)
The diagram is so stupidly simple, it consists of an audio jack, with pulldown resistors and a protective cap. There’s and external potentiometer to set the signal level (yeah I know I could have done that in hardware), and then there are the 2 MOSFET IRLB8721 drivers on the output stage.
My first plan was to make the Arduino look like an audio interface on the USB side. Unfortunately Windows does not allow me to send a signal to multiple sound cards, so instead I decided to just use an audio cable. The cable allows me to plug the device in the subwoofer channel of my 8-ports soundcard, or use an audio splitter on the headphone jack.
The firmware on the Arduino is too stupid to even use an Arduino in the first place, it basically implements a Lowpass Filter which could have easily been done by the capacitor on the input, making the entire arduino obsolete. But hey, I had the Arduino laying around anyway and by building it this way there is a great room for improvement, like driving led animations or external triggers.
Today I managed to get a little prototype done for a little simulated feedback. I connected the audio output of my PC to an Arduino and did some software signal processing to filter out the high frequencies, leaving the low frequencies < 20Hz. I then wired this data to an old vibration motor from a XBox360 controller.
As a simple test I played an Elite gameplay recording from youtube, and it worked!! Adjustments are necessary but it adds to the sense in the same way that you ‘feel’ a subwoofer. Which isn’t strange because I technically made a subwoofer, the difference is that I didn’t use a speaker but a ‘tactile feedback motor’.
Tomorrow i see if I can rip a proper microphone jack from an old soundcard and solder a prototype together instead of this breadboard drama…
As seen from the pilot chair, this is what I came up with for the left-hand side armrest. The orange second will be leather. The joypad section and the angled buttonpad will be blackened and backlit like the button panels in the previous posts. This design still needs work, for example: i need to find out how to make the components fit, through brackets, bolts and beams. Also i will have to finalize dimensions.
Here are a few shots of the button panel. They are supposed to say 0,1,2,3 etc though 9 with a OK and CANCEL. I don’t have a real purpose for them yet, so until then i just call it a Multi Purpose Comms Panel. The other switch should be used to toggle comms, for example MUTE microphone or something.
While this seconds panel looks ok (i copied the concept from the first panel) i’m not too pleased with the button alignment. Somehow it doesn’t look up to par with the rest of the designs. They look misaligned, and fiddly. Which is a shame, because they have an excellent clicketiclick feel to them and work perfectly.
For the switches of the buttons I used old ALPS switches from a space 1995 keyboard. I had to make new keycaps because i couldn’t find the ones from the original keyboard. So the keycaps i 3d-printed, sanded, and sprayed with a few coats of PlastiDip.
I may try this one again by recessing the buttons into a grid panel (see further down) so you don’t actually notice the misalignment. To do that, I would have to recess the buttons by mounting them on a second board which would make the design even more complex, adding to a total of 4 layers (front, coloring, switch mount, led lighting panel).
Anyway, that’s all for now. Enjoy the pictures.
Below is an image from the Apollo Lunar module. It looks much tighter. Also it has light coming through the numbers. That would be cool too.
Past few days I’ve been working on making the backlit panels for my simulator pit. After some heavy research i found the best solution was to spraypaint a panel of acryl sheet and engrave the details to make it transparent (citation needed).
The panel is made of 2 layers. One matte transparent layer with special acryl spray paint, and a color backing layer. I haven’t yet figured out the lighting plan yet so things may change. But at least you can see the difference between white light (just the top panel) and the blue light (with the added colored backing panel).
The switch guards were 3D-printed. I could have easily cut them out of black 6mm acryl but as I didn’t have a 6mm panel 3D was a good alternative. After a little sanding and spraypainting nobody will see the difference anyway.
For backlighting, I will use these pre-wired 3mm leds. I bought them about 3 years back when I was working on lighting my Lego truck. These are quite conventient leds with a resistor in place configured for 5v. A bundle of 100 of these wires set me back about $7, including shipping.
Today i’ve worked on some new ideas to make a console for the buttons and switches. I 3d-printed and painted switch guards, and i’ve spray-painted a piece of white acrylic sheet to be lasercut and engraved to some switches. On the photo below you see a very early prototype. I’m sorry about the bad paint job; i’ll get better with practice. Also on the third photo you notice some strange cuttings, that is because I had only a small bit of painted panelling left to work with.
I’ve finally worked out how to mount my display(s) in the simpit. I was aiming for an easy entry/exit, but wanted the display(s) to be within half a meter for best immersion. This LEGO mockup shows how the latch will work, the black thing should represent a seat and the grey thing should be the screen. The mechanism will be mirrored on the left and right of the screen for your legs and feet to fit in the middle.
Dr. Emmett Brown: “Let me show you my plan for sending you home. Please excuse the crudity of this model. I didn’t have time to build it to scale or paint it.”
Also check this @13:00 and onwards. That would be an awesome solution too!
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