Three Axis Throttle ***Concept***

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Sideslip
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Three Axis Throttle ***Concept***

Postby Sideslip » Mon Nov 27, 2017 0:55

I know there is an intention to develop a modular throttle, hopefully including a space sim variant. I was brainstorming how you could design a throttle grip that would be suitable for what's involved in the control of 3 axes of movement (plus 3 of rotation for 6 total) and wanted to share a concept.

So the favorite right now is HOSAS for space sims, which is basically a work around for there not being any purpose built controller in existence. This is flawed because the axes are all wrong. You need 3 for yaw(lateral about vertical) pitch(vertical about lateral) and roll(lateral about longitudinal) which is either 1 fore/aft and two lateral if on the stick (left/right and twist), or another fore/aft through foot pedals. That part of HOSAS is just fine, the problem comes with the other stick. You need 3 axes for movement of the vehicle and a stick with twist gives you those three, but two of them are lateral axes and only one movement of the vehicle is actually lateral. So you are left with needing to assign either fore/aft or vertical thrust to another input which usual results in inaccurate vertical thrust. There is a better solution using toe-brakes to act as acceleration and deceleration if the game is designed to accept a non-centering throttle (no input = throttle stays at present value). Of course that's not the subject here.

The ideal solution is a throttle that is designed to give you lateral, vertical and fore/aft thrust controls. To do this the traditional axis is used for fore/aft, the vertical would use a twist grip similar to a throttle on a motor bike, and the lateral is provided by translating the whole grip left/right. No doubt any modular throttle will be a two axis design to be used with traditional flight sims, but if these additional mechanisms could be contained in the grip it's self, it would allow a complete transformation. To accomplish this the attachment of the grip would need to be close to the base. In addition the fore/aft axis would need to be sliding and not rotational in order to isolate the 3 axis from each other and reduce the occurrence of unwanted input.

I have attached a terrible sketch of the movement concept. The only important part is the movement of the axes. Ideally the buttons would rotate with the grip so that they would remain in a constant position relative to the thumb. Moving the grip side to side instead of twisting is an advantage because it keeps the other two axes fixed in their alignment. Also, just imaging holding a throttle with your left hand, twisting to the right and then pushing the throttle forward. That's very uncomfortable and awkward.

If you are late in the design stage then this is obviously too late to make such a large change, but if not this could be the perfect answer to a 3 axis space sim throttle. Of course you may have already come up with something 100X better too. I just want to put the idea in your heads.

3AxisThrottle.jpg

Silh
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Re: Three Axis Throttle ***Concept***

Postby Silh » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:58

I actually made something sort of like that once, using a joystick as a base (Picture in this thread: http://forum.vkb-sim.pro/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=2201&p=23103#p23101); 2 axes of tilt for lateral and fore/aft thrust, twist for yaw, and vertical thrusters on the mini thumbstick.

The problem with that kind of setup is the throttle grip is not really conducive for fine lateral movements, since that requires movement of your arm left and right, unlike a stick grip where it's rotation of your arm instead. There are some other issues with the design I have as well, but suffice it to say, after playing around with it, I think a left-hand stick with a thumbstick for vertical thrust is the way to go (though I never got around to building that version due to distractions from other games...)

Sideslip
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Re: Three Axis Throttle ***Concept***

Postby Sideslip » Mon Nov 27, 2017 18:01

You've got some mad DIY skills man! But at the end of the day, what you had was still a normal HOSAS only that you rotated your hand.

1) You mentioned for one that you had difficulty keeping lateral trust centered when adjusting throttle position due to the axes being connected, which would not be a problem with a purpose designed system.

2) You also say the lateral movement is hard to control, but again that movement is a rotation and translation which means you are always exerting force at 90 degrees to the surface of the grip. With this design though there is no rotation and as you move away from center you begin to apply force vertical down onto the grip as well. So the further you go, the less you have to actually hold the grip and instead you put weight on it to keep it at the desired position. Ideally it would have somewhat stiff springs and a moderate center detente.

It's hard to theorize about how it would feel to use such a throttle as it really needs a prototype to physically test. Unfortunately I have nowhere near the required skills.

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Re: Three Axis Throttle ***Concept***

Postby Silh » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:59

1. The gimbal design would play a big part in how well that would work. IMHO, anything where the axes are separate would work better than the T-16000/Warthog's blended one.

2. My thoughts after using this design, as well as an old Microsoft Strategic Commander (picture), is I want to eliminate translation, or minimize it as much as possible. I get better fine control with rotation (something I appreciate daily at work since I work with my hands on very small parts), especially when it's your whole arm involved--that's a lot of mass to move around; easier to turn it while keeping it in the same position.

Now as for actually building a prototype, that's out of my league as well. :) I'm a wood/plastics guy, and have considered getting into machining some days, but finding the time is the hard part. Probably wouldn't be that hard to mock up a mechanism to see how it feels, but connecting that to the electronics would be a whole other question.

Those with the aptitude towards modelling and 3D printing could probably whip something up as well (yet another area I've toyed with trying out, though I'm more of a hands-on construction kind of guy myself)

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Re: Three Axis Throttle ***Concept***

Postby DHRF » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:10

Sideslip wrote:I know there is an intention to develop a modular throttle, hopefully including a space sim variant. I was brainstorming how you could design a throttle grip that would be suitable for what's involved in the control of 3 axes of movement (plus 3 of rotation for 6 total) and wanted to share a concept.

3AxisThrottle.jpg


Finally someone that have ideas like my :P

I recommend that the modular throttle that will have modular handles: twist adaptor for the one handle model, ability to insert a joy grip as a throttle handle, metal adaptor that provide room for 2 joy grips I__ __I
I___ ___I
I I
or more modular that you could remove the throttle center handles and insert a gf there!!!!!!! ecs on steroids

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Zorik
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Re: Three Axis Throttle ***Concept***

Postby Zorik » Fri Dec 01, 2017 16:52


Sideslip
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Re: Three Axis Throttle ***Concept***

Postby Sideslip » Sun Dec 03, 2017 17:15

I've seen that grip before and while it's an amazing achievement, to me it looks horrible to use.

1) All the axes are tied together. Terrible accuracy is the result.

2) You cannot rest your hand on it at all without causing unwanted input.

3) You would have to constantly hold a precise position to maintain a given throttle setting, making it extremely fatiguing.

4) You cannot have many buttons or knobs on the grip as you have to be able to literally hold and pull the grip around, making it almost impossible to have buttons in comfortable locations that would not get accidentally pressed.

That's like the kind of device they would use on the space shuttle to perform docking. Used in a 0 G environment, for a few minutes at a time, only making momentary corrections to a coasting/drifting ship. It is not something you want to use for hours at a time, with gravity and in/out of combat.


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