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Thread: Building a yoke

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    Building a yoke

    Hi,
    Recently I have been thinking of stepping up in realism for flight simulator, by building a very basic yoke. I would like it to pretty much be like a Cessna style yoke with no switches or anything fancy. So I would greatly appreciate it if someone could give me a list of supplies i would need to make a yoke.
    I have also been looking at Leo Bodnar Cards But im not sure what to get.
    I am very new at this sort of thing and i dont want to spend much on it.

    Many thanks

    Ned.

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    Re: Building a yoke

    Thats a rather ambihious question... I think you will get greater input if you suggest your preferred materials, your budget (as limited as it may be) etc etc... not much togo by at the moment.

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    Re: Building a yoke

    I would say a budget of $100 and a wooden structure.

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    Re: Building a yoke

    I think for your budget you may be stretching it, unless you have existing hardware you can cannibalise.

    The electronics are the hardest part. In theory you could use the guts of an analog joystick as the electronics for the yoke. You'd likely need some new potentiometers. You could of course buy a Bodnar card, which would be excellent for such a project, but again budget would immediately be an issue.

    The most difficult part to fabricate is probably the yoke handle. This should be a smooth, curved shape for comfort and it's pretty hard to manufacture one yourself - especially out of wood - unless you're a master craftsman. You can buy yoke handles but again this would likely exceed your budget. If you can mould plastic and know someone who has a decent yoke, you could probably clone their handle in plastic or resin.

    I'm currently building a dual-yoke system for my project and this uses the electronic guts and the yoke handle assemblies from two old CH yokes, one of which I had already and one which I bought on ebay. But the combined cost of those is, again, way over your limit before you've even started building stuff.

    Assuming you want to make this a desktop yoke, rather than put it in a 'pit, then wood is fine for casing and possibly even the internal moving parts (though you likely won't get a smooth action with wood on wood; too much friction). You can buy a piece of steel tube, say 25mm diameter, of the kind used to make hanger rails in wardrobes. This would give you a nice metal main shaft and would also get you much the smoother movement of metal on wood. It also happens to be exactly the diameter of the shaft in a CH yoke, and I think the Saitek yoke is the same, so if you managed to get hold of a handle from one, it would fit nicely.

    You'll also need springs or shock cord, to provide resistance to movement in both axes. This then dictates that the frame within which the yoke shaft is set must be able to withstand both the pressure of the springs unloaded, and loaded momentarily. So you're looking at solid pine baton or thick MDF for those parts.

    Ken Brand (Kennair) has an excellent tutorial up on his site about his dual-yoke system; this might give you some ideas, you'd just need to scale down the moving parts, remove the second yoke and linkage, and put it all in a box. Find that here: http://www.kennair.com.au/yoke.html.

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    Re: Building a yoke

    Ned,

    Take a look at Mike Powell's site. He writes books that address how to do stuff like this. Here is a link to some status reports from writing Building Recreational Flight Simulators that show a diy yoke. Scroll down toward the bottomhttp://www.mikesflightdeck.com/old_stuff_5.htm
    http://juneaucessnasim.blogspot.com
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    Re: Building a yoke

    Flightsim.com has a load of these types of articles you can take a look at there HOW TO section for everything you need from yokes to rudder peddles and more.

    Here is one section on building modular flight deck / cockpit using basic stuff.

    Modular Desktop Flight Controls - Yoke Construction Section

    Depending on how realistic you want your yoke? There are ways to make it very close to the actual yoke you are trying to duplicate using a lot less funds then buying a real yoke wheel. For a person just starting out though I would try Ebay for CH Yoke or similar item. They can be found on there quite cheaply and as the previous poster had pointed out you can then add on from there.

    CH Yoke - Ebay Item

    Saitek Flight Control System - Ebay Item

    Both of those are currently under $100.00 and will get you flying in the time it takes to ship them to you.

    Just some thoughts. Best of luck on what ever you decide to do.
    Ron

    Edit:

    You are from New South Wales (Aus)? If I read your profile correctly. So shipping those Ebay items to you could be prohibitive. You could check local classified ads or build one. They aren't one of the more complex pieces to build but you will be going to your local hardware store a few times I'm thinking. Depending on what tools you have and your skills in construction it's not to hard to build.
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