DIY stuff

testing new ideas

soft springs are good, but soft springs with extension makes it feel right. with that great resolution of the sensors we have in controlers today the long throw is the way to go I guess :slight_smile:

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It’s borderline amazing!

After 1.5 week off from work I am back in the office today… and gues what !? My pilowbox bearings arived ! :joy: :rage:

So many options ! :slight_smile:


So many possibilities! :wink:

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so many posible options ! :wink:

Was looking into rc car dampers just yesterday :slight_smile:

I am planing to use them ( wo springs ) for my diy colective project to simulate hydraulic control boost.

But I gess I need to find out first what will be the travel of the stick to find apropriately long dampers.

Question for you @Troll : with 165mm damper what length is the actual damper travel ? thx


The spring can be detached easily.
Full compression is about 45mm.
I say about because one of the dampers compress to 110mm and the other to 120mm, hole to hole.
I managed to unscrew the lid of the shorter damper, and some oil was spilled. I guess this is why it compresses more. The 120mm damper is probably more correct, which means 165-120=45mm.
I’ll probably mount the dampers so I’m not using the full stop to stop range. Maybe just 40mm.


Here’s where I bought them

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Preparations for The Race ( and the Cat ) on all fronts :slight_smile: ( my controlers setup is still not in the ready state )


…and partial success. Axis for pedals and colective are responding, colective grip butons are not. Some troubleshooting of the extended cable will be necessary.

Details later, I have to go now.

Ok, few details :

My ’ ecosystem ’ consists of follwoing hw

Axis X - elevator
Axis Y - ailerons

Grip - stick grip

Axis X - ruder pedals
Axis Y - colective
Grip - colective grip

My main problem is that I have no working stick / throtle / pedals apart from my DIYed controlers. So when changing something or updating I am out of flying. What leads to hurry with changes and updates :slight_smile:

Last change was swap of the electronics. I have two revisions of COBRA M5 electronics and I decided to use the older revision for pedals and colective. Saving newer revision for other project.

With that change came also extension of cable for colective grip ( main PCB is mounted on the botom side of pedals ). And this part went wrong. Grip is recognized by the main PCB but the buttons are not responding ( actualy the recognition of the grip was crucial as the older main PCB is not recognized by PC as ’ joystick ’ without the grip conected to the PCB ).

I knew I have to wait till the Dupont conectors will arive. :slight_smile: ( conectors on above pic are something similar but I have no housings for them ).
Once Dupont conectors with housings will arive I will have to troubleshoot ( make new ) extended colective grip cable.

At least all the axis responds and I can fly :slight_smile:

Colective pic can be found in the other thread. Here the rest of my temporary ’ ecosystem ’

EDIT : that was quick ! Dupont conectors have arived


They are from HPI :

I ordered them localy :

Dimensions :
Full size ( hole to hole ) : 160mm
Compressed size ( hole to hole) : cca 115mm

Thing to note : body of the damper is from plastic

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I had totally not even thought about using RC components.

If you want to use RC shocks you can find a variety of sizes and tune them to your hearts contents. Metal body shocks are very easy to find, and very durable. You can adjust the viscosity of the fluid in the shocks, the number and size of the holes in the actual piston, shock preload, spring rate, shock shaft size and travel, and a few more things. So really you could tune them to your exact preference.


Great info @jenrick. In my case I went for a ’ cheap ’ solution here as I am still in the prototyping phase with both my cyclic and collective.

So this 4 pack looked like good solution in regards to price, overall dimensions and oc availability. I mounted two of them to the cyclic and the other two to the collective.

The result is that they are little too soft for my collective and little too stiff for my cyclic :slight_smile: So adjustable damping force would be nice.

The other thing is that their all plastic construction ( except the rod ) introduced to my all metal controllers little bit of wobble, what an irony :blush: …but as mentioned, still prototyping.

The largest change you can make to soften them up or stiffen them up would be change the springs out completely. This would be if you wanted a big change. If you’re not running them with the space clips on them already, adding them will stiffen the spring up. So if you went to a softer spring and need it to stiffer, pre-compressing it will overall make it feel stiffer.

Playing with the fluid, piston, etc are for more subtle changes.

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Springs are completely removed on my solution. So no way to adjust them. So yes, next only option is to play with the fluid I guess. And based on the quick guide, coming with the dampers, it is doable.
But for now I solved it a bit by adding some wight to the grip what compensated for the stiffer travel of the stick.

Solved also another problem. Few days ago one of the axes, particularly the collective axis, stared to behave realy weirdly. I wasnt able to calibrate it into some usable state. Sometimes it worked ok, sometimes not.
My first idea was problem with the sensor board, second idea was to replace the original neodymium magnet. Found local store with magnets and bought few. Installed bigger ( = stronger ) magnet and it seems that the collective axis is back in business :slight_smile:

Original magnet was block 7x5x3 mm. Did replace it with disc 8x4 mm.

Funny things happens ! At least to people without knowledge I would say :slight_smile:
In the mean time I did RTFM, unmounted the shocks… when suddenly I tried to unscrew the top cap. Just to check the fluid you know. To my surprise it went easy and to my bigger surprise the shocks were DRY ! I mean there is no fluid = no silicon oil in them. It needs to be filled in first before use. :smile:

The stiffness I experienced was just from the gasket on the shock shaft. Once lubed with droplet of silicone oil the travel suddenly became effortless.

So the next step is to order two types of silicone oil, more viscous one for the collective and less viscous for the cyclic.

@jenrick any recommendations ? All I see on the e-stores is 10WT, 20WT … so I guess lower number = more viscous.

Opposite actually, the lower the number the less viscous. 50wt is about the top end for “normal” motor oil if that gives you a frame of reference. On your piston itself, the number and size of the holes is also going to determine how the damper feels. Large holes/more of them, mean that the piston can move through the oil easier/faster all other things being equal. I’d probably start around 50wt and go from there. Though you might have enough leverage, if you’re running a full length stick, you need to go into the 1K wt range (don’t worry you can get 500,000wt oil if you need it).

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Will come to the rc dampers later @jenrick as I have now more troubles with the electronics. thx anyway

I went into troubles with both my Cobra M5 controllers. All of a sudden the X axis started to behave weirdly. 100% mechanical deflection to one side is translated by the sensor as 75% movement and 75% mechanical deflection to the other side is translated as 100% movement. This happened at the same time on both controllers.

I did some cleaning of my ‘man cave’ yesterday and ran across old MS Sidewinder 2 joy in some DIY state. I disassembled it and kept the electronics.

And today I had an idea. Lets try to connect the MaRS sensor to the Sidewinder electronics. And I did and it works :slight_smile:
My understanding is that Sidewinder has much more robust electronics and better firmware. So I will try to replace Cobra M5 main board with the Sidewinder main board and will test it.

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hey @WhiskyWalker , sorry that I totaly forgot about your request from the DIY gimbal thread. So here it is

bearings are from ebay

I am using at this moment electronics directly from COBRA M5 joystick. It has MaRS / M-Force = Magneto Resistive Sensors coupled with neodymium magnets.
Here is some picture from VKB for ilustration :

But I am under impression that this COBRA M5 main board electronic is not that robust ( firmware or something ) so I am thinking about replacement. There are several options. As mentioned combination of MaRS sensor boards and MS Sidewinder main board or using hall sensor and pcb from TM T16k joy. And last but not least is the option to get in touch with @troll :slight_smile:

Or here some alternative approach from @haukka81

Will see which way will I choose …