My next project

Discussions about Cockpits, Joysticks & Setups
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Teej
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My next project

Post by Teej » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:16 pm

Pardon this being a bit stream-of-thoughtish at the moment. I may come back and edit later.

Well, with being out of school (and therefore tuition bills) for the forseeable future (and likely permanently) I've been toying with the idea of getting an Obutto. I've always used office/"task" chairs and my current one is about worn out and was never good for flying or racing anyway. I've sat with the US distributor's site loaded in my browser for the better part of a week psyching myself up to pull the trigger. However...I'm not going to.

1: I have a perfectly good desk I like to use. I would be losing a lot of workspace real estate by replacing it with an Obutto. Only real fix is to "make" a work surface to go alongside the Obutto.

2: The pedal area is very sub-optimal for flight pedals - better flight pedals won't fit properly.

3: The layout of the Obutto would make it very difficult to comfortably use my Warthog with the stick extension.

4: To get an Obutto, flight mount and tabletop (which is still a fraction of my desk) would cost me $650 shipped (and I think that's on sale) and I'd have to make a load of compromise or spend time/money rebuilding it to make up for the shortcomings. As a result...I'm gonna take a stab at building my own seat over the next few weeks. As I'll be borrowing some of the tools (welder & chop saw), I don't plan to offer copies for sale. I'll try to remember to take pics and document what I'm doing in case anyone wants to build the same.

I'm estimating it will cost me about $80-130 in materials depending on a few variables, plus the cost of a seat. I'm probably going to buy a new one online rather than scrounge pick-n-pulls for a junkyard seat given that it's winter here.

The key variables - not sure if I will need to build something for holding pedals. Will have to see how the angles/comfort play out. If I need to, I will. Also considering putting the seat on lockable casters. I figure each option would cost me about $20-25, thus the range above.
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Teej
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Post by Teej » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:39 pm

Found this for sale in the UK. What I'm building is a lot closer to this than it is to an Obutto.

Image

Got my seat and steel ordered so far. Ordered extra steel 'cuz I'm sure I'm going to make mistakes, if not even a "v 2.0".
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EagleReid
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Post by EagleReid » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:51 pm

Fancy! Build me one while you are at it. I can pay in cookies, and tootsie roll taxes! :LOL:
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Ells
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Post by Ells » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:44 pm

Hey that looks great Teej.
I tried out a few different chairs at Weston last year similar to the pic you posted and the ones we had in Paris with TFC were sweet.
I'll have to find out who they were but I know they were German.
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Post by Teej » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:58 pm

Thanks guys.

The idea still exists more in my head than on paper but I will probably start piecing it together over the next few days. Hopefully have it done in a week with flight & driving setups.

I seem to have, by sheer luck, found exactly the height I want for it. I put the chair on concrete blocks that are about 7.5" high and that seems just right for pushing pedals on the floor. I plan to build it with the option to raise that up a couple of inches if desired...but I suspect this will be perfect.

It's even low enough that I should be able to easily reach the wheel locks while seated.

Based on sitting on it the past few days, I don't think I'm going to bother with armrests unless I build a sidestick mount to use my FCC again. Then a viper-style armrest would be nice.

I'll also go ahead and make a way to lock the wheels to the chair to keep racing/flying pedals from moving around on me.

Also the "Playseat Flight" seemed like a great setup to me too...except for the price. I know Corbeau seats aren't cheap, but I don't need something that high end. :\
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Post by Dimebag » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:31 pm

I'll be interested to see your HOTAS mounting system Teej. I was thinking about this route at one stage but I couldn't work out a simple but effective mounting system.
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Post by Teej » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:57 pm

Well, Dimebag, I have about 3 different ideas I'm considering.

What I'm actually going to build first is very simple just to establish a comfortable position for things. It will be nothing more than 1" and 1.25" square steel welded and slip-fit to put components in the right places. The first build will probably require a very cut-down extension on the stick similar to what Taipan has done with his Obutto mount.

I _can_ fly it...and pretty comfortably (for VTB flying anyway)...with the full length extension and the base mounted below. However, this makes any "full forward" deflection (sustained inverted) less comfortable/steady so I probably won't do that long term. I'll have to see if a shortened extension works well for me, and if not come up with some sort of "offset" extension tube to bring the grip a few inches closer.

I have visions of at least 2 possible alternate mounts that would make getting in and out of the seat easier...but will build the above "rough draft" first.
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Post by Teej » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:05 pm

Starting to settle in on a design:

Not exact, but close. I hope to have a welder by Monday and put this together next week.

Image

Image
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Ells
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Post by Ells » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:12 pm

Looking great there Teej.

Here's the vid of us at Paris last year with the seats we tried out:

http://youtu.be/NhxdzqKos6A

I can't make out the name of the seat makers as we had the TM Warthog brochure over the top of them.
I'll ask Jim at TFC as he organised it.

They were about €300.
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Teej
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Post by Teej » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:24 pm

Those look pretty good from what I can see, Ells.

I've been a bit off schedule, but catching up. I now have a welder and appropriate saw. Need to practice up on the welder a bit (never welded before) and go for it.

Wired up a 240 line in the garage today for it, and made sure the welder actually works.
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Teej
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Post by Teej » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:03 pm

That reminds me...try the hot new Microsoft title!

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Ells
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Post by Ells » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:17 pm

Is that a welding trainer?
What will they think of next.

Introducing "iWeld" for iPad2!!!

Always wanted to weld your old iPad1 with your iPad2, well now you can with iWeld!!!

Why bother with transfering apps via iTunes, just weld your iPads together using iWeld!!!
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Teej
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Post by Teej » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:29 pm

Just about finished with "v1". It's had a few changes from the pics above.

All I have left is drilling holes for the throttle, stick, and wheels, and it's ready to go for flight mode. Probably have to drill/tap some setscrew/thumbscrew holes for stabilizing some things though.

Should be able to finish that tonight / tomorrow morning and take it for some test flying.

Probably won't build the driving mounts until Monday.
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Ells
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Post by Ells » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:36 pm

Awesome, can't wait to see it.
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Teej
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Post by Teej » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:19 pm

Ells wrote:Awesome, can't wait to see it.
Heh. I'll put pics up but they won't be close up and detailed (grin).

As is a habit of mine, once I get into a task (in this case the actual cutting and welding) I see things and start improvising...don't take enough breaks...get tired and dehydrated and just plow through it.

As a result, I made a couple of mistakes and did workarounds on the fly. I don't feel bad about that - this was intended from the beginning to be a "rough draft" although I'll probably fly it for a while before I build its replacement.

The welds are ugly - I've never welded before. Instead of practicing on scrap pieces, this was my practice. :D

As I looked at my sketchup...and even moreso as the frame started coming together, I didn't like the idea of the stick mount being permanently attached like that, and with a long moment from the cross rail. Figured it would get a bit springy, plus I'd be tripping over it getting in and out of the pit. Instead, I've built a slip fit system on the front that provides the vertical fitting for the stick, and also has a hanging mount point for pedal attachments.

One adjustment I made was due to having originally ordered an incorrect piece of steel.

I could see myself doing a v2 just reducing some unneeded complexity and weight from this design. Fewer cuts, fewer welds, etc.
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