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  1. #1
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    Turn and Bank indicator: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    Greetings,

    I have a Turn and Bank indicator that I want to interface with my flight simulator. On it, there's the turn coordinator which I will most than likely interface with a servomotor (and perhaps some gears to increse precision)

    but the bottom part is an inclinometer, of the "ball-in-tube" type.
    It literally is a ball, in a tube, that is just reacting to accelerations.

    Anyone ever interfaced with these for flight simulator? Can it be done? Or should I just leave the tube as-is and not look at it?

    I am thinking I could replace the actual tube with some empty one, and have a fake ball move with a servo.
    Anyone has any better idea?

    here's what I am talking about:



    Every ideas are welcomed
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    Maybe I could simply drill a hole on each sides, drain the fluid, and use a translucid rope and somepulley to interface this with a servo...?

  3. #3
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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    Try to move the ball with a rare-earth magnet first. (I have not such instrument for testing). Mine is made from raw materials as I say in the altimeter post.
    Tomorrow if i have time, will show you a video of my instruments.
    If the ball follow the magnet, you can use a servo from behind to move the ball, but the magnet should move follow an arc of a circle whose center is out the top of the instrument, and that itīs no easy. You need a some sort of pendulum and the magnet should have a small vertical displacement.
    Look this, and study the movement, this will you understand what i said.

    http://www.simkits.com/downloads/doc...G%20170904.pdf


    Regads.
    Horacio

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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    I tried with rather strong rare earth magnets, and there's not even a slight movement.

    I like the way simkit is doing it. Its rather interesting. Being that I can't find a way to interface with the actual ball, I might find some inspiration from there.
    However, the "top needle" style turn coordinator has different placement than the "plane" turn coordinator. The "center of rotation" of the needle is actually lower than the ball tube, so they "cross path".

    I'll have to ponder a bit on the subject...

    here's some pictures of the inside of the bank and turn instrument.






    I'll try to see if I can come up with something that works. Might need a mini-servo.

    the "needles" on the back are "guides" to "follow" a pin from the below of the instrument, I cut part of the craddle, and will interface that with the servo for needle control (unless I find a better way.)
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  5. #5
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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    Maybe the ball is made of aluminium, brass, or another non magnetic material.
    For the needle, you can use a micro-servo (in mine simulated instrument, two servos (not micro) for moving the ball and the plane needle).
    I used the simkits design like base to build mine turn coordinator instrument.
    Wait for videos.

    Regards.
    Horacio.

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  7. #6
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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    Maybe I can open the tube, change the ball, and put a magnet on a servo.
    I need to find small servomotor. The ones local here are too big.

  8. #7
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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    well, I got a small servomotor. It is small enough to fit in the top part of the inside of the indicator. I'll try to open cut the tube and see if I can manage something with another ball and a magnet. If that doesn't work, I might be able to manage a ball in the rail for the tube (plan B) or to do something like the simkit (plan C)

    I'd still have room in the bottom section of the inside of the instrument for another servo for the needle.

    no rush and one step at a time. I'll post pics of my progress (or failed tries)

  9. #8
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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    One thing, your instrument its rated as "4 MIN TURN" and must be from a big or a jet airplane, no suitable for a small plane like Cessna ("2 MIN TURN").
    If you practice IFR approachs, 4 MIN TURNS take unnecessary long and wrong procedure.
    Let this as ornament, i will show you how to make a "Stick and Ball" or "Plane and Ball" scrachtbuild.
    Wait for video.
    Regards.
    Horacio.

  10. #9
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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    Some photos of my instruments (you can see all are scrachtbuild), and laser-cut pieces, (some gears, and the "plane" of the turn coordinator, and Attitude Indicator).


    The red, yellow and brass pinions, are "scalextric", to compare... the cut-pad is in metrics.. al green gears laser-cut in acrylic, a needle laser-cut in PET.


    The "planes" of turn and attitude....

    Some spurs gears to gearboxes...


    Regards.
    Horacio.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Is it possible to interface Ball-in-tube inclinometer with Arduino?

    those are really nice!

    I am really curious about your artificial horizon, it looks quite complex.

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