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My first go at a Helicopter Sim. Using my old race seat, I mounted it in a wooden box to give it some height. I then used a Monitor bracket so that I had a flat platform that could be adjusted for height when I finished the Collective control mod to my old Thrustmaster Hotas. I had seen a number of videos on mounting the throttle on its side so before So before I started to make my own full-blown Collective unit. I wanted to make sure I would get on with it ra5ther than just use the throttle on the desk. I should point out I have been using the Oculus Rift for X Plane and DCS and once you get over the shock of the graphics compared to a triple screen system it's very hard to go back to using monitors. The total sense of total Immersion is fantastic and the only annoying thing was the collective wasn't in the right place when you are in VR.

 

So! I decided to remount the throttle unit on its side and make a handle to extend it. I hand carved an old football pump to take the very strange shape of the Hotas throttle and then used a hot glue gun to attach the two together. I had to move one of the Vibration units  I used to run when I was I Racing, for flight simulation it just never worked that well so that's for another day.

 

With a large amount of hot glue, the handle was attached and using a good carpet tape and even more hot glue the throttle unit was mounted on its side using the large L shape brackets I had in the garage.  

 

I then needed to fit some form of a damper and this came from Amazon and is used on kitchen units to slow them down when opened. The damper unit was too strong it could hardly move, so I made a small hole at the bottom end and the gas was released and it now acts more like a bicycle pump and will hold the stick in position, but it also gives some resistance to fast movement of the collective.

 

You can fine tune it by blocking of the hole that was made to release the gas. I bodged together some metal brackets to hold the damper and screwed the other end to the throttle, It takes a bit of messing around to get everything right. but so far it has worked far better than expected. The longer stick gives much finer control over the collective. I even tried a paint roller over the stick and with the VR unit on who cares what it Loos kike. IT has given me the enthusiasm to make a second more professional project as the benefits in flight are immediate.

One point I should raise is the connection wire was only just long enough to reach the centre column with the joystick, so next time I will have to buy a soldering iron and do a better job of it. I will also fit a button box to the top end of the collective stick. That will be project number 2. I have started looking into what type of sensor to use and at the moment my initial design will use a hall effect sensor and a Leo Bodnar control unit http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/

This will also help me make the button box at the top of the collective unit.

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