Improving your flight sim experience with Hall effect sensors


[Gene Buckle] built himself a nice custom cockpit for playing Flight Simulator, but during use he found that the gimbal he constructed for the pitch and roll controls was nearly unusable. He narrowed the problem down to the potentiometers he used to read the angle of the controls, so he set off to find a suitable and more stable replacement.

He figured that Hall effect sensors would be perfect for the job, so he picked up a pair of Allegro 1302 sensors and began fabricating his new control inputs. He mounted a small section of a pen into a bearing to use as an input shaft, attaching a small neodymium magnet to either side. Since he wanted to use these as a drop-in replacement for the pots, he had to fabricate a set of control arms to fit on the pen segments before installing them into his cockpit.

Once everything was set, he fired up his computer and started the Windows joystick calibration tool. His potentiometer-based controls used to show a constant jitter of +/- 200-400 at center, but now the utility displays a steady “0”. We consider that a pretty good result!

[Thanks, Keith]

POV Orb project

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a new twist on POV hardware. This time it’s ‘the Orb’ – comprised of a set of LEDs that rotate to form a sphere. Hopefully more docs are forthcoming. It looks like all the hardware except the motor is contained on the boards inside the sphere – maybe power is provided via the two ends of the spindle? The visuals are driven by a pic C18 with hall effect sensors to provide position readings.
Thanks to [phishinphree] for the tip.

Don’t forget – 6 more days to get in your Design Challenge entry. I’ve gotten some great stuff so far – it’s going to be tough to choose a winner.