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  1. #1
    300+ Forum Addict gokhotit's Avatar
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    force feedback idea

    I figured this is the correct place to post this, since force feedback is motion..kinda sort of.

    Anyways, I was thinking, scary. I want a force feedback flight cntrol but I dont want a stick, I want a yoke. Would it be possible to retrofit a force feedback system (say out of an old microsoft sidewinder force feedback joystick) and apply it to a saitek or CH yoke? I think the saitek would be a better choice just because you alreay have the power built in.

    What do you guys think? Is it possible, or even feasible??

    Just a thought..
    I'm not replicating anything, because I like to fly everything.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG1LP3xxn0Q

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: force feedback idea

    It's possible. You perhaps would be closer if you used a Logitech wheel with force though.. One thing though in many cases (nearly all) there is no vibration or resistance to movement of the yoke in an aircraft. It's for lack of a better word pretty limp. In a fly by wire aircraft say a heavy for instance the surfaces are power driven. In a GA the force required is very much less to move the control surfaces.

    What you could have though from force feedback could be vibration from the stresses of turbulence in a GA and that of vibration when on touchdown and while on the ground as you move over cracks in the runway or apron. That's one part of flight simming that would be really quite cool. Not the big movements of a motion sim perhaps but the very subtle movements from vibration. Those would connect you quite well to the simulated world around you.

    There was a bit of discussion on that in another thread...
    http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15617

    It's one of the reasons flying is almost magical as it takes so little force to fly. Despite the bulk of the aircraft? When in the air it's control surfaces require very little force to effect change. Even much less then when in a car. As there is no friction between the surface your controlling and air and nearly no friction between the control device on through the mechanism to move that surface.

    Vibration is also worked out of the equation as best as possible as fatigue is one thing you want to avoid as much as possible.

    However I would think that on the ground or at the point of touchdown vibration from having been quite absent over the trip would make an impact on you as well as rolling over the concrete/paved surface. These nuances could convey the feeling of being on the tarmac as you touchdown or roll over and greatly enhance the experience. IMO...

    ---

    Okay.. from a what really could happen to how you could simulate that inside your sim..

    The only force that would be countering your yoke movement that I can think of would be that of a GA nose wheel when steering on the ground and or the sudden movement of the elevator during turbulence or at touchdown.

    With vibration you could go the buttkicker route on the seat and perhaps even use a gamepad rumble device to add vibration to the yoke.

    Grass surfaces

    Aircraft Touchdown
    -- Vibration and minor elevator deflection as inertia tries to make it wave. Remember though at that time you are flaring and pulling back on the yoke so you would feel the vibration but not the deflection so much.

    Uneven - cracked/patched pavement or concrete
    Heavy rain/Snow or ice on the runway or taxi surfaces

    Could make for unpredictable vibration and force coming back from the nose wheel and elevator to your yoke. If you think of riding a bicycle in similar conditions.

    I would look into the force feedback section of the FS9 SDK. I think they took it out of the FSX SDK but the coding is still there in FSX and although it's perhaps not as dramatic the SDK should answer many of your questions.

    I for one would love to delve into this further as I've been in a real 747 sim and know that having those little bumps when rolling on the runway add huge dividends for your immersion into the flight sim.

    Force feedback would be a larger element in a GA then in a Heavy as there are so many parts between the yoke and the control surface in a heavy that much if not all vibration is cancelled out. For a GA though there are ways to doing the same thing but they aren't quite as extensive and so vibration and some force feedback would occur. Primarily on the ground.

    From a cost benefit side.. If you could get the feeling of rolling on the surface or the difficulty when rolling on a grass field. Heavens I forgot about water .. and I'm into bush flying. While not having force from a control standpoint the vibration on water would be greater then the other two.

    So I would work on the vibration side of force feedback and not so much the deviation from intended path as that would be largely a surface contact and could require coding to encompass those surfaces. Luckily though that contact could be generic and not require specific code for a specific location.

    The FS9 SDK would be the place to start to see what can be done and how. I'm not sure if it's in the FSX SDK and I don't have my copy of FSX with me. I took it to Sudbury to try on my brothers new machine and forget it there when I left for an emergency at home. I would be quite interested in what others have to say as well though as it's sense that has been pretty much un tapped here to for..

    Keep us posted on what you discover.
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

  3. Thanks gokhotit thanked for this post
  4. #3
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    Re: force feedback idea

    This is how I attached my Buttkicker to the sim. The extension provides more leverage. I am still tinkering with ideas for turbulence and taxiway bumps. The sim is down for a rebuild but I will look into AES airports.
    Thanks for the tip !

    I still want to look into a FF joystick and see if I can translate some of those signals into audio that will operate the Buttkicker. I think the D/A conversion must be inside the joystick. Anybody know whats inside ??

    Regards Ken K
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    Re: force feedback idea

    I might be wrong but in a GA aircraft isn't the front wheel controlled by the left and right toe brakes? I know when I was flying Cessnas (for real) the only vibrations or pressures on the yoke were from deflection of the ailerons. The bigger heavies have a tiller to turn the wheel. You can certainly feel a bump on touchdown whether in a heavy or GA, but the wheels don't have anything to do with the yoke. Or maybe I misread what you said.

    Rob

  6. #5
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: force feedback idea

    Quote Originally Posted by mounty View Post
    I might be wrong but in a GA aircraft isn't the front wheel controlled by the left and right toe brakes? I know when I was flying Cessnas (for real) the only vibrations or pressures on the yoke were from deflection of the ailerons. The bigger heavies have a tiller to turn the wheel. You can certainly feel a bump on touchdown whether in a heavy or GA, but the wheels don't have anything to do with the yoke. Or maybe I misread what you said.

    Rob
    Yep - your right .. Don't know where I got the nose wheel steering control from (maybe my car driving reference). Even twins are steered with the brakes. A float plane on water (water rudders) can be steered that way (via rudder pedals). Using the brakes on water would be well non effective hehe. As the water rudders and pulled through and not pushed through the water there would be no force effect from that.

    Thanks for reminding me..
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

  7. #6
    300+ Forum Addict gokhotit's Avatar
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    Re: force feedback idea

    Not all GA aircraft are controlled by the toe brakes. Most are controlled by the rudder. Aircraft such as taildraggers, Cirrus, some homebuilts, and a couple others are controlled by the brakes. Cessnas, beech, mooneys, etc are controlled by the rudder.
    I'm not replicating anything, because I like to fly everything.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG1LP3xxn0Q

  8. #7
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    Re: force feedback idea

    I beg to differ. From my real world experience most GA aircraft are controlled by toe brakes. The rudder really has no effect on direction when at taxiing speeds. I've flown Pipers, Cessnas, Grummans, Beechcraft and taildraggers and they are all steered by toe brake application. It is only when taking off that the rudder comes into play for directional control and that is above any taxi speeds. Obviously the larger aircraft have a steering tiller for nosewheel steering.

    The only time any vibration is felt through the yoke is on the airliners that have a stickshaker to indicate a potential stall. There is very little resistance on the yoke unless you are doing aerobatics in which case sometimes you have to use 2 hands, but that is in the extreme. You can almost fly a GA plane with 1 finger on the yoke and if it's trimmed correctly, almost hands free!

    Rob

  9. #8
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: force feedback idea

    My thinking too. It's the amount of air pressure on the rudder. When taxiing the amount of force needed to turn the plane is much greater then in the air. Resistance from the ground depending on it's smoothness and weight of the plane would increase that. Twins have it even harder as the air pressure is going beside rudder and not over it. Hence the need of brakes to turn the plane. It would be nice if there was a way to do that via yoke.

    My rudder pedals aren't done yet so I'm kind of looking forward to steering with my feet.. hehe.

    Just being curious and having a flesh and blood pilot joining the discussion .. Is there any movement on the control surfaces from natural forces (wind or turbulence) that would move the yoke even slightly? Or perhaps those forces are so great it effects the plane as a whole and not the individual parts? I could be wrong though?

    I don't know why I keep making the comparison to driving where the bump from a crack in the pavement travels up the linkage to the steering wheel. In a plane the only force effecting it's movement is air pressure. In many ways it's traveling through a hole at all times. There is no change as the hole is always with you.

    Ron



    Smaller planes could perhaps be turned via rudder as there is much less resistance but again they have to be light.
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

  10. #9
    500+ This must be a daytime job autocadplease's Avatar
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    Re: force feedback idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronson2k9 View Post
    Just being curious and having a flesh and blood pilot joining the discussion .. Is there any movement on the control surfaces from natural forces (wind or turbulence) that would move the yoke even slightly?
    Yes, they do but mostly during taxi with gusty crosswinds.

    On the aircraft I have flown in reallife: C150, C152, C172, C320, C421 & BE95 they all are controlled via the rudder pedals which have linkages connected to the nose steering. You use the toe brakes to help assist when tight turns are required.
    Grant D.
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    Re: force feedback idea

    If you're taxiing in strong winds especially crosswinds you use the ailerons to counteract the crosswind. Normally it's just a little bit of air but really no resistance. In taildraggers you may want to use the elevators to keep the tail on the ground in strong wind conditions.

    Rob

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