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DIY Flightsims - Floor Unit with Center Joystick - Progress Update 1

Posted 09-10-2013 at 02:37 AM by n122vu
Updated 09-11-2013 at 03:41 AM by n122vu

At this point I have shored up the necessary sections of the frame with self-drilling screws. It wasn't until I was ready to add these screws that I realized I'd picked up the hex-head instead of Philips. Not a big deal, I can live with it from an aesthetics perspective, and I can always change them out later.

I have also attached the mounting boards for the joystick and throttle. Earlier during gluing I had noticed a few fit/alignment issues due to inconsistencies in the parts - different brands/designs of juncture pieces. I would advise anyone considering one of these projects in the future to ensure all of your elbow, tee, and other juncture pieces are of the same brand and style so your build is consistent. Something I wish I'd done, but failed to accomplish during the excitement of gathering supplies for the build.

As I attached the mounting boards, these issues became slightly more prominent, but nothing I can't fix or live with, or that won't be noticeable once all the parts are in place and paint is applied.

Here's the current state of the floor unit. The throttle stand was not nearly as uneven as it appears in this picture, and even less so after one good whack on the left side with the rubber mallet you see on the floor
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  1. Old Comment
    n122vu's Avatar
    Goals for this evening's work session will be:
    • Attach mounting boards for the rudder pedals
    • Attach velcro to all mounting boards and flight controls, mount flight controls and adjust for best fit.
    • Connect all controls to PC and perform a test flight, then disconnect controls, remove from mounts, and move the frame into the garage to prep for painting
    • Removing the Sharpie marks/measurements from the PVC with rubbing alcohol
    • Using steel wool to remove the manufacturer labels from the PVC

    If I complete these items, goals for tomorrow evening will be:
    • Remove the mounting boards for the rudder pedals, mark L/R for re-placing
    • Apply first coat of paint to the frame, joystick mount, and throttle mount
    • Apply first coat of paint to rudder boards

    I leave for Chicago on Thursday evening and will be there until Sunday evening, so there won't be any further activity after tomorrow until at least Monday morning. If I have a chance before I leave on Thursday, I will post a pic of how it looks with the first coat of paint applied. Wish me luck...
    Posted 09-10-2013 at 05:20 PM by n122vu n122vu is offline
    Updated 09-10-2013 at 05:25 PM by n122vu
  2. Old Comment
    n122vu's Avatar
    I've finished mounting the flight controls. I took it for a couple 5 min test flights around my home airport in the R-22 Beta II and the Piper Cub. The fit and feel are excellent. It really adds to the immersion, and in addition, makes it much easier and more natural to fly.




    Unfortunately I've run out of time for the evening, so I won't be able to finish removing the sharpie marks or the manufacturer labels until tomorrow evening. It's possible I might not be able to begin painting until I return from Chicago, but I'll just have to see how tomorrow pans out.


    More later.
    Posted 09-10-2013 at 10:49 PM by n122vu n122vu is offline
  3. Old Comment
    n122vu's Avatar
    Here's a quick summary of everything I have left to do:
    • Removing the Sharpie marks/measurements from the PVC with rubbing alcohol
    • Using steel wool to remove the manufacturer labels from the PVC
    • Remove the mounting boards for the rudder pedals, mark L/R for re-placing
    • Apply first coat of paint to the frame, joystick mount, and throttle mount
    • Apply first coat of paint to rudder boards
    • Allow all painted areas to dry
    • Apply second coat of paint to frame and mounting boards.

    I've considered not removing the rudder boards prior to painting, but I may proceed with this step anyway. Either way I should at least get the first coat of paint applied this evening if all goes to plan. That's a big IF at this point though.
    Posted 09-11-2013 at 01:11 PM by n122vu n122vu is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Samuel Edwards's Avatar
    Wow, looking good.
    Posted 09-11-2013 at 01:39 PM by Samuel Edwards Samuel Edwards is offline
  5. Old Comment
    n122vu's Avatar
    Thanks! I'm very, very pleased with the way it has turned out considering my previously-assumed lack of skills with this type of project.

    Last evening did not flow as I had expected leading up to my time on the project, but I did make some progress nonetheless.

    I've removed all visible Sharpie marks (rubbing alcohol might be successful for regular permanent marker, but was ineffective against Sharpie brand - good quality markers! ). Fortunately, the steel wool, which is also great for removing manufacturer labels from PVC, did the job on the Sharpie quite nicely. In addition, each and every juncture piece had its own barcode printed directly on the PVC. These were also removed very effectively by steel wool.

    I removed some, but not all, of the manufacturer labels. This will be completed next Monday evening at the soonest, followed by the remainder of the steps as time allows:
    • Remove the mounting boards for the rudder pedals, mark L/R for re-placing
    • Apply first coat of paint to the frame, joystick mount, and throttle mount
    • Apply first coat of paint to rudder boards
    • Allow all painted areas to dry
    • Apply second coat of paint to frame and mounting boards, allow to dry.
    • Re-attach rudder mounting boards
    • Install controls

    I expect painting to take a minimum of two evenings. That gives me an expected completion date of next Thursday (9/19) if all goes well. This will be my last update on this post. Status Update 2 to come next week, likely after I apply the first coat of paint.

    In about 6 hours, I leave for Chicago (my first true visit to The Windy City). I hope everyone has a great weekend! Hail Probe!
    Posted 09-12-2013 at 03:07 PM by n122vu n122vu is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Samuel Edwards's Avatar
    I probably would've been too lazy to strip off all the stickers and sharpie marks
    Posted 09-12-2013 at 05:35 PM by Samuel Edwards Samuel Edwards is offline
  7. Old Comment
    MaverickSawyer's Avatar
    Looking sharp!
    As for the different brands of connectors/fittings... That's very odd. Typically there's not going to be multiple brands in the same store. As for the mallet... The joke around my store is, "Male maintenance rule #1: hit it with a hammer/mallet to get it's attention." It works for the shelving and breaking down pallets, so why not expand the range?
    Posted 09-12-2013 at 06:54 PM by MaverickSawyer MaverickSawyer is offline
  8. Old Comment
    n122vu's Avatar
    Yeah that's a pretty good way to look it Mav. And Sam, reason for removing sharpie marks is they tend to show through the paint more easily. I wish the barcodes were stickers. That would've been easy. They were printed directly onto the PVC, in basically the same way the manufacturer label was printed onto the PVC pipe itself.

    I'll try to get a good example picture next week of what I mean by the different connectors before I paint the frame. The 90 degree elbows seem to be the most noticeable. Some of the connectors are plain, and some have a raised design on the side. Not sure if this is because of different brand or different style within the same brand.
    Posted 09-12-2013 at 08:24 PM by n122vu n122vu is offline
    Updated 09-12-2013 at 08:28 PM by n122vu
  9. Old Comment
    Samuel Edwards's Avatar
    Ahh that makes sense. Yeah, stickers would be better. But for whatever reason they're all painted on the product now. I guess to avoid thievery?
    Posted 09-12-2013 at 09:10 PM by Samuel Edwards Samuel Edwards is offline
 

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