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Author Topic: Increasing travel of a moving axis?  (Read 1253 times)

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Cretster

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Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« on: December 27, 2014, 12:52:55 pm »
Hi guys

I started a thread a while back about wanting to replace my current upright scratch built cabinet with a new one that can convert from stand up cab to sit down racer type.

I've got lots of ideas on how to do different aspects of this (t'll be a bit of a ballache in general), but one thing I need to figure out is the most suitable means of increasing the amount of travel I get from say an electric ram device, in order that it can be contained in the cabinet still.

The main cause of needing this, is for the lower half of the cabinet where the seat needs to extend out from.  I have one electric ram capable of 160kg lift, that has about 13" travel and this will be used to raise & lower the monitor module, so if I have a similar one for the seat, thats not going to be nearly enough distance for the seat to move out & away from the cabinet to give a good layout.

So am thinking of ways to translate movement into larger movement to facilitate this. 
1) I could have a big arm/lever with a pivoting at one end and the ram moving it just above the pivot point.  Would give a lot of travel but I don't think it's suitable as it could use a lot of space etc.
2) A scissor 'trellis' type mechanism.  The ram would push together the two end pieces, which extends the scissor mechanism outwards.  Might be able to get enough travel doing this and keep it compact inside the cab, but often these sort of mechanisms suffer wobbliness and so on. 
3) Something telescopic. Something like a bottle jack but with more travel, and able to be motorised would be idea. 

I haven't measured all this out, yet and am not sure what the norm would tend to be for a driver layout.  I think I need to set up a seat, 'assume the position' then measure what's what.

I hope you'll excuse the crap quality sketch here but this is the basic idea of what I'm on about more or less.  The wheel I have on my existing cab works in a similiar way to this, in that it swings down out of the way inside the cabinet, behind the front door panel when not in use.



But mostly at this stage, I'm just trying to figure the best way to get that outward travel of the seat without costing an absolute fortune.  Was thinking something like heavy duty drawer runners would help at the sides and would help for including some side wall type panels.

Thanks for any useful suggestions on the mechanics of this part guys - you all seem pretty good at this side of things!
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Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 01:13:50 pm »
This sort of thing for the sides i suspect.
I could fit a pair this size in, but am sure it would need more than 60cm of travel for the seat. Possibly double, but it might be possible to combine a couple of these together to achieve that?

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=330695818115
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DaOld Man

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2014, 01:34:42 pm »
Looks like a pretty complex project.
For the seat, I would go with a rack and pinion setup.
You could have the rack turned sideways then a geared motor (wind shield wiper) with the pinion gear to push the chair out and pull it back in.

Here is a motor that would probably be easy to adapt to a rack and pinion setup. (Im not saying that this will work, its just a suggestion).

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/dcm-467/12-vdc-60-rpm-window-motor/1.html

Of course with this system, the rack is probably going to come out the back of the cabinet when the chair is retracted.
Maybe you could have a motor attached to a wheel under the seat that would pull it out and push it back in?
You would still need bars to guide the seat though.
Think about safety on this project, I can see several possible pinch points that could catch a curious finger or hand.
You may need some type of switch to detect anything in the way at the pinch points. (They make safety tape that is used for this purpose on industrial machines.)

Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2014, 01:48:09 pm »
Thanks mate, yes it'll be complex but I think pretty cool if I manage it.

Pinion\rack would be ideal but as you say would need to extend out back of the cab, and it has to sit against the wall due to space constraints (hence just not building a full on driver cab in the first place).

Motorized wheel beneath the seat is interesting though. I could have end switches to limit the travel, or program distance to move with an arduino and stepper motor etc.

Yes, there'd need to be some sort of safety functions too.

I've mostly got the rest sussed out in theory so I'll have to maybe build a mockup. To check how it needs to fit together.
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PL1

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 02:10:43 pm »
Have you considered a 2:1 pulley configuration?

It doubles the speed, but only allows you to lift half as much.




Scott

Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2014, 02:11:01 pm »
Actually, I've had another idea which might simplify the whole thing.  I'll need to get some sort of idea for seating measurements of a sit down cab (distance between seat & wheel/pedals/screen etc etc), but I just checked on my current cab I have 3 feet height below the bottom of the control panel.  Which basically could be 3 feet of pivoting seat section that just folds down by hand, with no need for complex arrangements or motorisation (on this part at least).  I think the seat being 3 feet back from the cab should be enough, so if so it makes it an easy option.  Of course you'd be able to adjust it too.

Ideally it'd be assisted I suppose, so I'd use something like tailgate gas struts to take weight off lifting & lowering it - would avoid it being dropped by accident, and that'd also be fairly easy to do.

So again, another crappy hastily drawn diagram to show what I mean, but something a bit like this (this doesn't include anything about the monitor raising/lowering or control panel moving etc):
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 02:26:09 pm by Cretster »
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Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 02:12:35 pm »
Thanks Scott - do you mean for the monitor lifting/lowering?  Hadn't thought of that I must admit but I've more or less got the exact bits I need to do it electrically already thanks.

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Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2014, 02:16:09 pm »
This is the ram thing I've got which will make very light work of lifting the monitor up & down:


I've got a set of 4 of these linear bearing blocks too for fitting 16mm tube/rod, which will make the monitor section move real nice and smoothly with one on each corner:
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PL1

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2014, 02:43:12 pm »
This is the ram thing I've got which will make very light work of lifting the monitor up & down:
That "ram thing" is also called a linear actuator.

It's the red/green item in the diagram.  ;D

Those bearing blocks should work fine.


Scott

Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2014, 02:46:23 pm »
Ahh I see now sorry, duh!!!  Yes that could be handy to speed it up, and the drop in effective force is academic since it's good for 160kg!!

Interesting thought.
I was just going to have it directly beneath, pushing straight up & down, with the linear bearings on each corner ensuring it all moves nicely.

One thing I haven't given a huge amount of thought to just yet is the moving of the control panel.  It will lower as part of the monitor 'module', but will need to extend out.  I think my pal said he has a couple of those actuators that move 8" that I can have, so depending where the wheel folds out to it might be enough to bring controls out near enough to the seat.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 02:48:38 pm by Cretster »
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Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2014, 05:53:14 pm »
Right, I've made a quick scale balsa mockup, based on the dimensions of my existing cab.

Here it is in normal standup mode:


Then the front panel folds out/down and contains seat.  The monitor section then moves down to the lower position to give a more sensible angle for the screen.


From a different angle.


I even made a little chair to fit in it :D

This model has no provision for the steering wheel currently, nor the control panel extending, nor obviously things like adjusting the seat height/position etc, but that's all just details.  I'll measure up for real how this would actually physically work out in real life on these scaled measurements, then if it's close to something that would be comfortable or whatever I think I will end up making it.

There's things to figure out like I had to include a cut out at the back of the seat as it would interfere with the actuator for lifting up the monitor.  Might be possible to have a headrest that folds up or something like that.  Nothing is definite at this stage.  The seat seems a bit low, but easy enough to tweak such things.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 05:58:23 pm by Cretster »
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Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2014, 06:39:48 pm »
Ok a bit more detail added that makes it seem more reasonable in terms of positioning and proportion (I think).

I've added a steering wheel which folds in/out, much the same as my current one works.
You can just about see it tucked away in here folded back inside:


Wheel folded out in driving mode:


And a little look from another angle where you can see my beautiful handwork a bit better for the lovingly crafted driving seat:



I'm sure you guys get the idea by now.  Anyone see any major flaws in what I'm planning here???
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Le Chuck

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2014, 07:46:50 pm »
It's a novelty.  I've done novelty builds, some I've finished, some I've not.  At the end of the day it will likely not play as well as a dedicated upright or a dedicated driver.  That's okay, if you're in in it for the novelty of the build.  A build like this is all about the experience and then at the end you just harvest parts and move one to the next build.  I say go for it, figure out the issues along the way, and let us learn from your mistakes through lots of pics!  That's my two cents worth of free advice or whatever. 

Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2014, 08:38:39 am »
Yes it's definitely a novelty build and a compromise, but with a purpose since I really want a sit down racer but simply don't have sufficient space for a permanent sit down cab.

Doing this though will make it easier for my kids to enjoy though, and aside from anything else I just enjoy a project challenge that's a bit different.
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Cretster

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Re: Increasing travel of a moving axis?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 04:35:12 pm »
Was having a slight issue with 2-3 second screen blackouts while playing Forza in the cabinet, and traced it back to the cheap auto HDMI switch.  It wasn't fully isolating one HDMI signal from another it seems, so I bought a manual switch (which arrived today), and it works perfectly.

Also bought a cheap 32" LCD monitor as an upgrade to the 19" one currently in my cabinet.  It won't fit of course, so I have no choice but to go ahead with build #2..... :D
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