Sorta sidecar related, sidecar-sim build

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Bad Cat Racing, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Here's a sneak peek at the mock-up fabrication so far on my LCR body based full sized 'joystick' for the SimBin F1 simulator.

    This will use the GTR Evolution physics engine that the SimBin Software physics engineers/modelers have been tweaking for us to simulate our F1 with help from the Euro sidecar racing community and builders with chassis dimensions and telemetry data. (info here in our blog on the sim ~ http://s126310470.onlinehome.us/2008/06/04/installing-a-speedo-healer-figuring-out-gearing-to-final-drive-maths-and-other-fun/ )

    I'm adapting a Logitech MOMO force feedback wheel and welding up my own framework to statically support the LCR body to sit in so you'll be holding real sidecar 'handlebars' with a real throttle, real clutch, an actual hydraulic brake pedal (using a bike master cylinder and a caliper squeezing a bit of plate steel for 'feel/feedback') It's got the option of using the standard box toe shifter or thumb button shifter on the left grip like Sarah uses. The throttle/clutch/brake are all potentiometer units using the Logitech Momo pedal set guts. I've even added a spot for a brake bias adjuster in the cockpit since the simulation allows on the fly bias adjustment.

    I guess the big differece here is that mine will be full sized, with real controls, and force feedback in the steering so you can feel the road surface/braking/understeer-oversteer


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    #1
  2. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
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    Note the fake 'disk' floating free from the brake pad pins.

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    Pedal distance for different knee to foot lengths quickly adjusts by spinning the center shaft thanks to RH / LH threads between the heim and the threaded shaft on the opposite side.

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    #2
  3. eastbloc

    eastbloc comprador bourgeois

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,366
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    That's extremely cool and gives me some ideas...

    A friend of mine is preparing to teach a class on game development and physics engines. I'm going to see if I can get him to incorporate a sidecar simulator into the curriculum somehow :D
    #3
  4. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Bars are done as of today. Still have to cut the ends to length, (about three inches off the bottom of each bar)

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    And sitting on my other MOMO wheel for reference.

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    #4
  5. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Minor update... been busy at work doing work related stuff. Hobby stuff has to come second to all that of course.

    Fabricated the linkage that simulates the 'feel' of transmission resistance for the foot shifter, and provides a mounting point for my shift up/down switches.

    The springs are backed off in this picture to show that solid rod travels through the bushing for smooth operation.

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    When the tension is set on the springs it keeps the foot shifter 'centered' and provides a realistic up/down feeling when shifting with your foot.

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    I also got the bars cut down to a length I'm happy with. The final step in the frame fabrication will be getting the framework for the Logitech MOMO wheel cut/welded and positioned. From there it will be cabling and electronics.

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    #5
  6. Dr Jim

    Dr Jim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    500
    Bad Cat -

    With as much fabrication as you folks do - have you considered new careers in Politics?

    Illinois badly needs you ...

    Nice stuff BTW ...

    Cheers

    Jim
    #6
  7. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Sussed out the wheel mount. Made it a subframe that bolts to the main frame because I want to be able to transport the sim chassis without too much hassle.

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    #7
  8. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Lots of work today, but just a minor update as far as the photos go.

    Cable and rod in place to activate the brake pedal on the stock Logitech MOMO pedal set.

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    Brackets and buttons installed for the gearshift mech.

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    #8
  9. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Well, the mock-up is done as of today, I've been playing with it for a good half hour. Sadly I don't have a wacking huge plasma to slap it in front of.

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    I had to make another shift button paddle as the throw on the shifter proved to be too much. Not a big deal, and this actually provides me some tunability in upshift vs downshift stroke.

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    Lots of delicate soldering of custom wiring harnesses and surface mount circuit board soldering today, like microsurgery.

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    And well, that's the mock-up. Fine tuning from here, then I'll tear it all down and do the finish welding and bracing, and start doing the finish coatings on all the components.
    #9
  10. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Per the suggestion of someone at the Race Sim Central forum I gutted the pedal sets last night just to steal the pots (potentiometers) and wiring harnesses. The pedals being plastic had a tendency to flex under strain and did not provide consistent input.

    I took the idea and busted these out in a couple hours.

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    I'll finish up the wiring when I have free time.
    #10
  11. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Well, my hosting provider (1and1.com) is down at the moment so the photos are offline for now.

    I changed the handlebars after a bit of play, they were just not ergonomic. After changing them and playing some more the redesign made far more sense. Less weight on the outside for the stepper motor to swing back and forth, and the wrists were in a more natural position making control much more easier.

    I've got the code on the back end all tweaked so that the steering is just like a F1 in relation speed sensitivity and travel. A little input on the bars goes a long way. Chassis tweaks in the physics source have made quite a dramatic improvement in the feel from the 'cockpit' perspective as well. I don't know that you could get much closer to the feel of driving a sidecar without actually driving a sidecar.

    I need to work with Mik now and get him to get me the F1 sidecar models from his engineers to import into the simulation so that I can race against other sidecars on the track(s).

    The old bars for comparison (hosted on myspace, hah)

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    The redesigned bars...

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    #11
  12. Bad Cat Racing

    Bad Cat Racing F1 Sidecar Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    191
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Shot some video of me running Portland International Raceway. Along with some below/foot pedal action.

    <embed flashvars="file=http://www.vholdr.com/xspf/node/10842&shuffle=false&repeat=list&transition=fade&frontcolor=0xcccccc&lightcolor=0x7ab9dc&backcolor=0x333333" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" quality="high" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" name="swf_Player_1" src="http://www.vholdr.com/sites/default/files/flv/Player.swf" width="400" height="320">

    On another note...

    Simbin has released GTR Evolution for multiple platforms. Mikkel with Simbin hooked us up so we could get to testing on the GTR Evolution platform with our newly built F1 sidecar simulator.

    One thing we found as we were poking around in the new software is that Sarah and I were available as drivers for a couple of the different cars and racing classes. My jaw dropped the first time I saw this.

    I booted up GTR Evolution on a couple different machines just to make sure it wasn’t something I’d tweaked by accident inside the base configuration. So now you too can go out and purchase your own copy of GTR Evolution on the Steam network and get your butt kicked by the AI version of myself or Sarah herself.

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    Sarah wasn’t exactly as excited as I was to be in a worldwide distributed video game. She just shook her head and sighed knowing that she was now nerd famous. Given that I’m a professional geek, her sexy points just ratcheted up that much more for me.
    #12