Jump to content

Custom hardware / simpit repository. For people who take KSP a little too far.


Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

I had break from KSP for almost 2 years but we have decided with my friend (Ferrdo_Kerman here :))  that we will make something that we wanted to have all the time while playing this fantastic game.

So we made 2 same control panels, it was ton of fun and we are looking forward to start new hardcore career :)  If someone is interested in more pictures and details during this developing process I will post it here for everyone. For now I'm posting just final result (display is switched to development mode). Enjoy!

ws5o9y.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, kl0buk said:

Hi guys,

I had break from KSP for almost 2 years but we have decided with my friend (Ferrdo_Kerman here :))  that we will make something that we wanted to have all the time while playing this fantastic game.

So we made 2 same control panels, it was ton of fun and we are looking forward to start new hardcore career :)  If someone is interested in more pictures and details during this developing process I will post it here for everyone. For now I'm posting just final result (display is switched to development mode). Enjoy!

This was quite a little project to make :) but everything went ... lets say kerbal way ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/20/2018 at 7:29 AM, kl0buk said:

Hi guys,

I had break from KSP for almost 2 years but we have decided with my friend (Ferrdo_Kerman here :))  that we will make something that we wanted to have all the time while playing this fantastic game.

So we made 2 same control panels, it was ton of fun and we are looking forward to start new hardcore career :)  If someone is interested in more pictures and details during this developing process I will post it here for everyone. For now I'm posting just final result (display is switched to development mode). Enjoy!

 

That is an impressive panel. How did you make the front plate?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/23/2018 at 7:18 PM, Freshmeat said:

That is an impressive panel. How did you make the front plate?

Hi, I made a vector drawing in draftsight, separate files for cutting and also for labels. After that I've sent it to external company and they made it from stainless steel using laser cut machine. It was quite expensive, outcome was bad because labels were barely visible so it had to be fixed by another company.  In the end we paid double money for these panels but it was finally as we wanted to be.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, kl0buk said:

Hi, I made a vector drawing in draftsight, separate files for cutting and also for labels. After that I've sent it to external company and they made it from stainless steel using laser cut machine. It was quite expensive, outcome was bad because labels were barely visible so it had to be fixed by another company.  In the end we paid double money for these panels but it was finally as we wanted to be.

Ouch. Still, I'd love to have a front plate like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Hi all,

As you can tell I don't get much time for KSP these day as I now have 2 kids and I'm working constantly on my own game, Go For Launch: Mercury.

If someone want's to start a new thread (or if they already have) let me know and I can link it in the original post!

For now I've copied wile1411's awesome chart into the main post.

Here's my "simpit" these days, all my own work... but it's built in 3D instead :)

uXjiZxE.png

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone,

I've started working on my own simpit and I'm starting with some hard stuff: the navball (so if that succeeds, I'll be confident that I can build an entire spaceship :) )

I'm waiting to get further into it to start my own thread but so far, I've managed to control a stepper that indicates the heading (or roll/yaw) with 4 or 2 pins. I'm a software engineer, so programming is the easy part, electronics and hardware are more challenging at this point.

I was wondering if @Pvt. KASA had made any progress since his/her last post or if there was another well advanced navball project.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Yay! Got a package in the mail on Friday and thought I'd share.
I've been hunting for some decent gauges for a good while. I managed to win this on ebay for $9.50. (I kinda half expect a fellow KSP person to be the one that selling these.)

Here's the Box contents (awesomely wrapped):
cUcQgDul.jpg

Some dials and gauges that I'm sure I'll find uses for around the cockpit. The 4 x 0-30V might be a bit harder as I'm still trying to work out how to replace the dial face. The top isn't coming off easy.
yd0XnPgl.jpgog6081ul.jpgNOjyTewl.jpg

The below weird gauge comes from... (quick google check) ... a dialysis machine. I think it's a 24v, 40uA ammeter in function (maybe) and I'm not sure how I'll use it. However, once I've debugged how it works, I'm sure I'll think of something. The two indicator needles are adjustable via the side dials (they don't cross) Based on the badly scribbled pin-out notes of the unit, I'm pretty sure the think it will output a signal when the black indicator is above/below each of the Red pointers. Might be good for custom 'bingo fuel' alerts for a specific sub-mission.
uRaxC2al.jpg9zjMAAMl.jpg

 

The bit below is what made me REALLY have to buy this.

There are a little small, but I think they'll do for what I'm after. I was avoiding getting too big as I'll end up with a command desk like @richfiles has planned and I don't have the space for that. (Still jealous though)
All sixteen :o gauges are center-zero +/- 0.5V. They also have a manual zero adjustment on the side. All this makes it easy to utilize them with a micro controller using 1xPWM pin, a couple of resistors and 1 capacitor for each gauge. The mounting brackets and face plates were bonuses that I couldn't believe were included. I carefully pulled one apart and found that the entire indicator range is removable. Adding a custom sticker over the existing DC Volt range looks like it will be a cinch.

GW2Vmzll.jpglwxakV5l.jpgGWVd5nVl.jpg

Edited by wile1411
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2019 at 7:21 AM, wile1411 said:

I managed to win this on ebay for $9.50.

I. Am. Impressed! :0.0:

The Drake+Willock looks like a really nice bit of kit! nice having the analog adjustable range limits. Regarding the center zero meters, to drive those, you need to be able to flip the polarity around, and that takes two wires to pull off. One analog and one digital. If your digital wire is your (-) connection, then the way it works, is from 0-0.5v+, you set the digital to 0, and PWM the analog (attached to +) from 0% to 100%. To get the negative range, you set the digital out to 1, and PWM the analog from 100% to 0%. A simple resistor based voltage divider is all you need to set the actual voltage range itself.

Honestly, between the 16 +/- 0.5v meters, and the  Drake+Willock, I imagine you can display every possible analog function there could possibly be! I have basically 10 analog meters in my plans, and I'm having a hard time finding what more I could do... Rate meters would actually be good uses. That adds three. You could create a vector indicator (like a navball stripped into three separate axes), and still only JUST use those meters alone.

For the  Drake+Willock meter, to read µA, just put the meter in series with a resistive load and feed that load a voltage. You'll need to calculate what resistance you need. Use Ohm's law. V=I•R, where V is Voltage, I is current in Amps, and r is resistance in Ohms. that's 5 ÷ 0.00004 = 125000 Ohms (Ω), or 125 KΩ. You can fine tune that value by measuring the resistance of the meter. Use a multimeter in resistance mode to measure across the main terminals, and subtract the value from 125000... But a current meter will likely have a low enough resistance across it to be negligible. You probably don't even need to do that, as it's probably a mere fraction of a percent of the value of the resistor you'll use. To wire it, wire a PWM line to the 125KΩ resistor, and the other side of that resistor to the + side of the meter. The - side of the meter should go to ground.

The 0-30 volt and the 0-20 volt meters will be difficult for you to work with, possibly not worth your time if you're unfamiliar with driving different voltage levels. If they are rated as displayed, then you actually need to use a 5 volt (or 3.3 volt) microcontroller to drive an actual 0-30 volt signal. That means having a 30 volt power supply, and having low voltage from the micro driving the higher voltage through a transistor or MOSFET of some kind. It's possible, but you gotta get it right. It's also wise to consider isolation, in case of a fault... You don't ever want 30 volts to come through your 5 volt circuit if a transistor blows. Just something to consider. Also, the faces of those round meters may have been "rolled" on. Basically, the metal cover is placed on, and a roller bends over the metal to seal it shut, not too unlike the top of a food or drink can, but probably only single seam, like a bottle cap, but with the entire diameter folded in to seal it. If it's secured like that, then you'd have to cut or deform the metal to open it.

Good luck!

Edited by richfiles
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, richfiles said:

Regarding the center zero meters, to drive those, you need to be able to flip the polarity around, and that takes two wires to pull off. One analog and one digital. If your digital wire is your (-) connection, then the way it works, is from 0-0.5v+, you set the digital to 0, and PWM the analog (attached to +) from 0% to 100%. To get the negative range, you set the digital out to 1, and PWM the analog from 100% to 0%. A simple resistor based voltage divider is all you need to set the actual voltage range itself.

Thanks for the suggestion on this, however, I've found this little circuit worked first try. :) I just placed the meter between the PWM signal and the voltage divider. It's similar to what you suggested.
index.php?action=dlattach;topic=391330.0;attach=162098

Testing this on the Arduino Uno was just a matter of hooking it up to one of it's 6xPWM pins and setting the value between 0-255. I added 3x FOR loops for a repeating pattern that starts at the center zero. (125 to 255, 255 down to 0, 0 to 125) This gave the result of the meter moving between from -0.5 to +0.5. I also mapped the expected percent from KSP (0-100) to the value of the meter in code (0-255) to see how it went and it looked fine, but I could make out the little "jumps" between values due to the PWM value only having a resolution of 8 bits.  A bit of research told me that Arduino has two pins (9 & 10) that can be used with the Timer1 library to give a 10 bit resolution (0-1023). I moved the circuit to Pin 9 and a quick code change resulted in a much smoother movement.

As the gauge is only 65mm tall, the difference isn't really that much, but as it is with project like this, "should I do it" only really gets considered after the "can I do it" get resolved. :P It might be useful to have a finer resolution for something like Mono or LF/OX in KSP where you really want to know when you have those last dregs left in the tank. Another solution could be to have a switch that I could code the display to alternate from 0-100%, to show just the 0-20% values as the full range of 0-255. Could even have a 5pos rotary selector switch to pick what section of the range I want to "zoom" into (100-80, 80,60, 60-40, 40-20, 20-0). And that's only useful if I don't want to have the actual value (not the percentage) of the resource displayed as numbers somewhere. Plenty of options. :)

 

The suggestion of 3x rate meters are right on the money. Replicating those rate meters in the bottom left of the KSP UI is very much in the plan. There's even enough meters to display LF, OX, Mono EC, Abl, Ox in both the current stage and the total vessel at the same time. But if I do that, I know I'll run out of meters rather quickly. Note, I probably won't do that though as I personally would rather a reason to flip a switch when needed, rather than display it all at once. The whole point of the build s to flip switch's a turn dials, isn't it? 

Thanks for the other suggestions too! I'm still very much in planning mode and have to consider a lot of the things you've touched upon.

Edited by wile1411
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, wile1411 said:

Thanks for the suggestion on this, however, I've found this little circuit worked first try. :)

You know what... That works even better! I'm gonna blame missing that one on not being a morning person, inexplicably being up in the morning! :sticktongue:
I immediately went to a method for controlling +/- 5 volt meters, but you're right. As long as the total full range of the meter is within 5 volts, a voltage divider is all that's needed!

22 hours ago, wile1411 said:

The suggestion of 3x rate meters are right on the money.

It's actually driving me crazy that I more or less ran out of room on my panel. I want rate meters so bad now, and never thought to add them initially. I've actually considered an electronic alternative, since I no longer have room for physical meters. There is a very tiny bargraph LED that often gets sold on ebay, sourced from Russia or Ukraine. I've considered buying some of those, and seeing if I can JUUUUST squeeze them in around my navball.

23 hours ago, wile1411 said:

The whole point of the build is to flip switch's and turn dials, isn't it?

You betcha! :cool:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aww, this thread makes me want to go back and re-start my build (my console got destroyed in a toolbox avalanche).

Funny thing is, once I stopped studying I also stopped my hobbies.
No electronics or model rockets have been built in nearly two years.

I've just been playing guitar, making beer and getting fatter.

Still have all the hardware though and recently came back to KSP after a long break.
This time I might keep it simple. Just a few LED displays and fuel gauges.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I made some progress on my navball. I have the 3 motors wired. Even though my code is not correct, it reacts to KSP. I will rewrite the code once the hardware is assembled. At least, I got a proof of concept that I can connect the inner part of the ball with 6 wires (it seems that it's possible to do with less, but it's beyond my skills at the moment): 2 motors and 2 photointerrupters for calibration

Now I'm working on how to assemble the hardware together and checking that there's enough torque. It's getting real :)

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Francois said:

I made some progress on my navball. I have the 3 motors wired. Even though my code is not correct, it reacts to KSP. I will rewrite the code once the hardware is assembled. At least, I got a proof of concept that I can connect the inner part of the ball with 6 wires (it seems that it's possible to do with less, but it's beyond my skills at the moment): 2 motors and 2 photointerrupters for calibration

Now I'm working on how to assemble the hardware together and checking that there's enough torque. It's getting real :)

That's awesome. I look fwd to updates on how you go with checking torque. Curious as to why you used a geared drive from turning the half spheres, rather that direct from the motor shaft. A guess is only single shaft stepper or were there other reasons?

Edited by wile1411
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an early design when I was thinking of sending a cad file to mill a piece of aluminium or 3d print it: https://imgur.com/a/OcbRLRd

I picked the motors based on torque, size and rough calculation of the moment of inertia of the whole thing, which led me to those single shaft ones. Also, since there are two, it will more balanced.

Right now, I'm trying to fit the second one with the beveled gears withing that 100mm space, it's quite challenging, especially considering that I'm new to the DIY world and that I don't have many tools.

Checking the torque will mostly be seeing how I can play with the rate of acceleration I think. I first want to see if the whole things moves once assembled, and then at what speed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/18/2019 at 12:48 AM, Francois said:

Here's an early design when I was thinking of sending a cad file to mill a piece of aluminium or 3d print it: https://imgur.com/a/OcbRLRd

I picked the motors based on torque, size and rough calculation of the moment of inertia of the whole thing, which led me to those single shaft ones. Also, since there are two, it will more balanced.

Right now, I'm trying to fit the second one with the beveled gears withing that 100mm space, it's quite challenging, especially considering that I'm new to the DIY world and that I don't have many tools.

Checking the torque will mostly be seeing how I can play with the rate of acceleration I think. I first want to see if the whole things moves once assembled, and then at what speed.

I had a bit difficulty understanding the image, but I think I get it now. I would probably get a 3d print first if I where you, to see if it works out before getting a milled piece, my guess is that it will be hideously expensive.

Have you considered a 120 mm ball if space is a problem? My experience is that things always ending up taking a bit more space than you plan on a drawing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Freshmeat said:

I had a bit difficulty understanding the image, but I think I get it now. I would probably get a 3d print first if I where you, to see if it works out before getting a milled piece, my guess is that it will be hideously expensive.

Have you considered a 120 mm ball if space is a problem? My experience is that things always ending up taking a bit more space than you plan on a drawing.

I've given up on milling/3d printing. I think I can achieve it without that. The only thing I may have to order is a custom PCB for the circuit inside, but I'll see after putting a prototype board inside. If it works that way, then I may even skip the PCB part.

I still have hope it will fit, I've been sloppy on my measures since I started drilling and eyeballing. I'll try to make progress this weekend and will report ;)

But I agree, I'll consider 120 mm if it ends up being impossible

Edited by Francois
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I've made a bit of progress on my navball and it looks like it fits in 100mm. I couldn't find a simple way to arrange the motor with the bevel gears I have so I flipped it. The design is simpler and I may balance the weight by drilling holes in all the unused space.

Next step is drilling the main board and see how I'll make all the small pieces (I'll try wood and shaping/milling epoxy). I haven't planned yet where I'll attach the electronics, but it shouldn't be the hardest part.

zfueGcf.pngN2r8Mnj.pngrReSPmm.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/19/2019 at 5:30 PM, Francois said:

I've given up on milling/3d printing. I think I can achieve it without that. The only thing I may have to order is a custom PCB for the circuit inside, but I'll see after putting a prototype board inside. If it works that way, then I may even skip the PCB part.

Why not just order a custom PC board with all your motor and gear mounts as part of the board design. Just make sure to order from a board house that is capable of the cuts. Then the only thing you need to deal with are the small bits that serve as your bearing blocks. it looks to me like the plate design you came up with more or less covers that. Just make the PCB your plate.

(Unless you meant a prototype PCB, as in if it's done, why redo it)

Edited by richfiles
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, richfiles said:

Why not just order a custom PC board

I considered it at some point, I forgot why I stopped and bought a piece of carbon fiber. It's not excluded though. Everything is still on breadboards for now and I'm trying to build that 1st prototype with balsa wood and prototyping PCB. From there, I could indeed make one big PCB or carbon fiber plus smaller boards as I'm thinking now.

I think I'm trying to break it down into small components so I can fail small at every step :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, richfiles said:

(Unless you meant a prototype PCB, as in if it's done, why redo it)

and for this, it's to save the weight/inertia of the wires and make it neater but I'll see how it runs once I have the prototype, that may be fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2019 at 5:11 PM, Francois said:

and for this, it's to save the weight/inertia of the wires and make it neater but I'll see how it runs once I have the prototype, that may be fine.

an FR4 PC board is just a fiberglass PC board. For something as small as what you're working with, there will be negligible weight difference, and with one, you can have it drilled/machined out by a place set up to do so at nearly no additional cost to just having it made. The only significant difference, is Carbon fiber of the same thickness will be more able to bend without breaking, something that shouldn't be much of an issue, unless you intend to have material cracking torque on your motors.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, richfiles said:

an FR4 PC board is just a fiberglass PC board. For something as small as what you're working with, there will be negligible weight difference, and with one, you can have it drilled/machined out by a place set up to do so at nearly no additional cost to just having it made. The only significant difference, is Carbon fiber of the same thickness will be more able to bend without breaking, something that shouldn't be much of an issue, unless you intend to have material cracking torque on your motors.

but you're talking about CF vs PCB, right? I may go the PCB route indeed, what you're saying makes complete sense. I was talking about prototyping PCB where I have to add wiring and cut (I have this https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B074X2GDH2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) vs designing one in kicad and ordering it as your saying. My worry on this is that I'm so new to it that I may have to order 5 times before getting it right, but at the same time, needing precise cutting and alignment, they may do a better job if my design is right.

Yesterday, I started a prototype with balsa wood, and I already have the center axle not aligned because the two bearings aren't :p I have a lot too learn

SPo1gC1.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...