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Homemade Steering Tiller for nearly everyone


Ole Luehrs

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Ole Luehrs

tiller_pre_post.thumb.png.2c9b96a45708915a7f62e29fb2663b96.png

Hello,

I’d like to share my homemade steering tiller which can be easily reproduced by everyone with a bit of soldering affinity.

I use a Thrustmater (now the Airbus Edition) but no rudder pedals. I did never like the combination of steering and rudder on the same axis. Although the FsLabs solution is excellent.

I felt the rotating z-axis as not precise enough for a proper feeling on ground.

Here is my little homemade solution.

I took an Arduino Micro, a potentiometer and a button. Soldered everything together and adapted some available code. The little box is then connected as a joystick to the PC. You can calibrate and attach axis or functions to it within your simulator.

It feels way better to steer on the ground. It’s like driving your car. Super precise due to wider usable angle.

If you wonder about the button and the LEDs:

The button is used as brake. You might use it as pedal disconnect as well.
The LEDs light up if turned to left or right. Following the lights out philosophy they are dark if the steering tiller is in exact forward position. Out of the corners of my eye I can see red or green if not perfectly forward. This helps in aligning on the runway or at gate at low speed.

Again the schematic is easy, the code can be copied from me and soldering is not a too big thing as well.

For me it made perfectly sense and The A320 feels even better now.

I put it here and not in the ‘Homemade Cockpit Forum’ as it is not about a full cockpit but only a little gadget and can be reproduced easily by (nearly) everybody.

HERE you find all related data (schematic, coding): https://github.com/laubfrosch42/SteeringTiller

Cheers,

Ole

 

  • Like 3
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Bedran Batkitar
34 minutes ago, Ole Luehrs said:

Guten Tag,

I’d like to share my homemade steering tiller which can be easily reproduced by everyone with a bit of soldering affinity.

I use a Thrustmater (now the Airbus Edition) but no rudder pedals. I did never like the combination of steering and rudder on the same axis. Although the FsLabs solution is excellent.

I felt the rotating z-axis as not precise enough for a proper feeling on ground.

Here is my little homemade solution.

I took an Arduino Micro, a potentiometer and a button. Soldered everything together and adapted some available code. The little box is then connected as a joystick to the PC. You can calibrate and attach axis or functions to it within your simulator.

It feels way better to steer on the ground. It’s like driving your car. Super precise due to wider usable angle.

If you wonder about the button and the LEDs:

The button is used as brake. You might use it as pedal disconnect as well.
The LEDs light up if turned to left or right. Following the lights out philosophy they are dark if the steering tiller is in exact forward position. Out of the corners of my eye I can see red or green if not perfectly forward. This helps in aligning on the runway or at gate at low speed.

Again the schematic is easy, the code can be copied from me and soldering is not a too big thing as well.

For me it made perfectly sense and The A320 feels even better now.

I put it here and not in the ‘Homemade Cockpit Forum’ as it is not about a full cockpit but only a little gadget and can be reproduced easily by (nearly) everybody.

Cheers,

Ole

 

86ABF540-10FD-457E-BBF2-EEB5789DF0E6.png

This is amazing my friend. I really would like to do the same and I actually have everything I need at home. Could you please guide me throughout the whole process please ? I actually never worked on such electronics.

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Klaus Schmitzer

I am also very interested... Would you mind making a short PDF with instructions? 

Thank you for sharing your Design! 

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Bedran Batkitar


 

33 minutes ago, Stu Antonio said:

I suppose this is not self centering, right?

No it’s not and it’s beter without Self centering.

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Ole Luehrs
2 hours ago, Klaus Schmitzer said:

Would you mind making a short PDF with instructions? 

I am happy for some interest. Yes, I will do a PDF with more details. Please allow me one or two days to prepare.

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Ole Luehrs
2 hours ago, Stu Antonio said:

I suppose this is not self centering, right?

Correct, it is an ‚of the shelf‘ linear potentiometer with roughly 300 degrees turning angle. There is no spring bringing it back into centered position. That’s why I installed the two LEDs for starboard and portside plus lights-off when centered.

I cruised along the airport and used for some VATSIM-flights with ground traffic. At least for me it didn’t feel like a missing feature so far. It’s quite handy to steer the A/C like this.

Any idea of how the real Airbus behaves?

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Stu Antonio
16 minutes ago, Ole Luehrs said:

Any idea of how the real Airbus behaves?

Well, I would imagine that it's like in a car. It will center/straighten itself through the forward momentum when you let go of the wheel/tiller, if you are moving.

But I'm not sure.... 

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Stu Antonio

By the way, there is also a similar project here that might be interesting as well...

 

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Bedran Batkitar
10 hours ago, Ole Luehrs said:

I am happy for some interest. Yes, I will do a PDF with more details. Please allow me one or two days to prepare.

Amazing thank you mate.

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Ole Luehrs
11 hours ago, Stu Antonio said:

By the way, there is also a similar project here that might be interesting as well...

Cool, I was not aware. Thank you.

To all readers: check that project as well. The idea is the same but the building is different and may include a self-centering mechanism.

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Bedran Batkitar
1 hour ago, Ole Luehrs said:

Cool, I was not aware. Thank you.

To all readers: check that project as well. The idea is the same but the building is different and may include a self-centering mechanism.

I rather take your project without self centering.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Paul Lamy

Ole

Many thanks for this post.  This made me decide to build one as I was not satisfied with my current arrangement.  The only stumbling block for me was step 5 of your instructions (Upload the code to the board) as I do not have any previous experience with Arduino products and I did not see any SteeringTiller.c in the library. 

I found an answer to my dilemma in the wiki page of M Heironimus  and in particular in Arduino Joystick 2.0 Library - Beginners Guide  which is A great tutorial by DCFreelanceAudio   I would recommend it to any one like me which is at the beginner and is struggling with the programming of the Arduino board

https://github.com/MHeironimus/ArduinoJoystickLibrary/wiki/Examples

Paul

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Ole Luehrs
On 4/8/2021 at 3:05 PM, Paul Lamy said:

The only stumbling block for me was step 5 of your instructions (Upload the code to the board) as I do not have any previous experience with Arduino products and I did not see any SteeringTiller.c in the library. 

Hey Paul,

thanks for your feedback. So, it works now?

If not, “SteeringTiller.c” is the coding I used. It’s the third file in GitHub. Click on it and you see the raw Code to be copied into the Arduino IDE. I thought it’s maybe even easier to understand as it is down to the minimum needed code. But you are right, I used the same sources.

Maybe you can upload a picture of ‘your’ tiller?

Cheers,

Ole

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Paul Lamy

Ole,

It works now and it is much much better that my previous arrangement (using a spare axis on my Hotas Warthog Throttle).  I did not see the file so I had to do it the hard way (LOL) but I learn something in the process (and thinking now how to use it to tinker with my new box).  I did not bother with the led as I am using a pot with centre detent

All the best and once again many thanks

Paul

IMG_2738.jpeg

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Ole Luehrs

Cool, Sir. Well done. I am thinking about a 2nd button for “back to pilots view” after looking left/right during taxi. Today I need to grab to the joysticks buttons and the view-reset is the most used one for me. Maybe even some more taxiing-relevant buttons...

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