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microhelis.de simulation controllers review and discussion


TripRodriguez
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Review of EC-135 Cyclic by MicroHelis.de : (please note I will be slowly adding pictures and more detail as I finish my Gazelle cockpit build).

 

1- Ordering: Ordering from Microhelis was quick and painless, and the staff there are very quick to communicate and a pleasure to work with. Yogi is very much available to discuss and answer questions.

 

2- Delivery: MicroHelis shipped the item when they said they would. This might seem like no big deal unless you've purchased from one of the many other suppliers of sim hardware who frequently run months late. The package did take a while after being shipped to arrive in the US, and DHL's tracking left something to be desired, it never updated after leaving Germany!

 

3- Unboxing: The cyclic was very well packed, and would have been nearly impossible to damage it unless you dropped a car or something on it!

 

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4- Assembly: Assembling the Cyclic was MUCH simpler than I expected.

 

4a- Though assembly is simple and most of us could figure it out easily on our own, instructions would be nice. (NOTE: Keep in mind that if you have any trouble or questions Yogi is quick to respond to questions so this isn't a big deal!) Yogi has since started adding some tutorials on his site and I plan to offer to create for him a simple instruction sheet to include. Hooking the wires from the controller up to the Bodnar boards was quick and painless with the nice terminals on Yogi's version of the boards really making it a cinch. You connect the black ground wire to the common ground and then just connect all the other wires to button input terminals. For the Cyclic base you just plug the connectors right onto the board.

 

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4b- Tools: Some people will not have the tools required to assemble the controller. These include a couple very small metric wrenches or sockets and a couple metric allen keys. It would be good for Yogi to give a list of needed tools when you order so you can be sure to be prepared when the unit arrives. This is a minor convenience item, but it would be a nice thing to do.

 

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4c- You will need a couple USB A/B cables to connect the boards to your computer which are not included. These are the type typically used for printers for PC.

 

5- Appearance and Finish: I was very pleased with the appearance of the item given the knowledge that much of it including the grip is 3D printed. Clearly a high end 3D printer is used, and then Yogi applies a textured paint that really makes the item nice. Many of my friends were very suprised when I told them the grip was 3D printed, though if you really look at it you can see that 3D printer pattern a bit. In very bright light it is very visible.

 

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6- Function: The function of the cyclic is fantastic, and the only improvement I could ask for is in the works. Like every other Cyclic on the market, it lacks force trim but Microhelis has a force trim module in development with a working prototype already. Very exciting.

 

6a- The buttons feel like good high quality units with nice spring action and feel. Equal to or better than any other stick I've used save the high end Thrustmasters.

 

6b- The grip feels very solid and makes no squeaks or anything like so many retail sticks. Most importantly it doesn't feel like a toy, which to me so many others do. I think this is partially owing to the fact that the grip is apparently glued together rather than screwed together. This of course comes with a down side, if you eventually wear out switches it will probably not be a very simple task to replace them.

 

6c- Cyclic function- It's amazing how much better it feels to be using a hydraulically damped stick! The cyclic feels amazing when you use it, and is also extremely accurate owing to the high end sensors and Bodnar board Yogi uses. Stick travel is good and long for accurate control. If you are using an off the shelf stick, you will be AMAZED at how much easier it is to fly a helicopter with the right equipment! The springs are very very soft (and adjustable) so they are completely unobtrusive. I thought I'd be removing them but I won't. Also note that Yogi has a force trim module coming for his cyclics to add that last bit of realism!

 

Conclusion: Overall, the Microhelis.com cyclic is a really fantastic item and I'm very satisfied with the purchase. Satisfied enough that I now intend to purchase Microhelis.com pedals and maybe collective.

 

NOTE: Copy/Pasted contents from the other thread are now relocated to the third post in this thread.


Edited by TripRodriguez

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It's the man himself!

 

Yogi, how much height below the floor is required for your cyclic?

 

Any guess how much extra for force trim when it becomes available?

 

COPIED POSTS FROM OTHER THREAD RELOCATED TO HERE:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greetings all.

 

Some of us have been discussing microhelis.de equipment in an unrelated thread and I thought it was time to move the conversation over to a dedicated thread.

 

My microhelis.de cyclic is on order, and I'm planning to do a review right here when it comes in about a month.

 

I have been extremely impressed with microhelis.de communication and so far have heard only good things about their gear. Definitely check them out!

 

Here are some quotes from the other thread:

 

I use the microhelis controllers and am very satisfied with it. I have the UH-1 Version for about a year and they work without problems and still very precise although my was one of the first UH-1 prototypes.

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=156276&stc=1&d=1485951267

attachment.php?attachmentid=156277&stc=1&d=1485951267

attachment.php?attachmentid=156278&stc=1&d=1485951267

 

Just contact the guy, give him your facebook and he will actually chat with you every day if you want. There is also a heli simmer group (english as well) where there are a lot of microheli controller users. You will see his current force trimm prototype for the cyclic (and future pedals and collective) as well.

 

Best regards

 

This is the link to the Facebook-Group:

Home-Copter

 

Thank you @Icebear . MicroHelis.de were very responsive and friendly, and I have now ordered my cyclic! I'll be reporting back with a detailed review once I receive and test the controller.

 

https://shop.microhelis.de/Cyclic-Stick-EC-135/145

 

I ended up ordering a Huey collective for myself after Icebear posted.

 

Same experience of a quick response and friendly.

 

Looking forward to the review! Im looking to upgrade my stick to a more commercial in the hopes to achieve the best possible realism. I find myself flying the Huey nonstop but would also like to have a lot more buttons on it to VR. The ECXX looks the best there but i guess someone like komodo sims could customize that. To bad the price will be somewhat on the crazy side.

 

Just had same experience TripRod described. Microhelis wouldn't process my online order for Huey collective. Waitin for response to my email. More optimistic now that I've read this thread and TeamSpoke with nrgized.

 

Been using full set of Komodosim for @ 2 years. Didn't have button issue that Los described but throttle mechanism shat the bed early on. And Yah, was not about to send it back so worked around it. I also since replaced the pedals with a sturdier pair from OE-XAM. Despite this, I love these controllers. Unfortunately, it appears that Rich Komodosim is OOB. I was thrilled when nrgized turned me on to this thread. Ordering a backup collective now to avoid any future downtime from the Huey.

Keep yas posted.

 

Chic, make sure you watch your SPAM folder for the reply from microhelis.de nothing every goes into my spam folder but their messages did so initially I thought I wasn't getting a reply. Tell Susanne I said hi =P.

 

Trip

 

Hi

 

I am yogi from microhelis, and perhaps I can answer some questions about our controls.

I do not want to advertise our products here, but maybe I can answer technical questions and wishes.

 

Our controls will be shipped "pre-mounted", all buttons and switches are inserted and plugged to the control cable. The cable end will be shipped isolated and has to be prepared for plugging by yourself.

The hallsensor have a 3-pol cable which is used in RC for servos, and can be plugged directly to the Bodnar board.

 

(and sorry if some of my descriptions are perhaps not easy to understand, english is not my native language :music_whistling:)

 

 

@yogi149 Your english is excellent but often more technical things can be confusing!

 

When you say "shipped isolated and has to be prepared for plugging by yourself", the word "prepared" makes it sound like this may be complex task not everyone might be comfortable in doing. I suspect this is not the case and is very simple, no soldering or anything?

 

PS- Also thank you for posting here to answer questions. I am always very happy to see vendors who communicate with us!

 

 

Hi,

 

ok, we can offer the preparing of the cable ends for plugging or soldering too.

Simple remark in the ordering process.

 

+1 Absolutely looking forward to your review/comparisons!

Edited by TripRodriguez
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Hi Trip,

 

for the "normal" damped version you need 110mm under the floor.

My prototype for the FTR need some more place.:(

 

Guessing FTR means force trim? That's something im very interested in. Will that be sold as a base only too? Thats one thing i really like as i tend to tinker a lot myself and have multiple grips and shafts. Any word on release date?

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Yogi, do you offer a complete "plug n play" Huey collective? I noticed there are quite a few options to include a button box and USB controllers. Is it safe for me to assume all options are required to make this collective fully functional? Thanks!

 

Curious about this too

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Guessing FTR means force trim? That's something im very interested in. Will that be sold as a base only too? Thats one thing i really like as i tend to tinker a lot myself and have multiple grips and shafts. Any word on release date?

 

Yes Yogi is working on a force trim module which if all goes according to plan will be available to add to your existing microhelis.de cyclic base.

 

As far as complete plug and play controllers, when you put the cyclic in your cart it suggests the other three components to add as well, you just check the tick boxes. I would guess it would do the same thing when you add a collective to your cart.

 

I'm not 100% clear on this but I think putting it together when it comes will be a simple matter anyone should be able to easily do but again, I'm not absolutely sure of that.

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Hi @all,

 

can you tell me exactly what you mean with "plug & Play"?:(

For our base-unit you need a hole in the floor and some screws for mounting it.

Sensor are ready to plug in a Leo Bodnar board.

Button and switches are wired in the collective box and grip. All uses 1 common line, so the other cable end must be plugged or soldered to the button board.

regards / gruesse yogi

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Hi @all,

 

can you tell me exactly what you mean with "plug & Play"?:(

For our base-unit you need a hole in the floor and some screws for mounting it.

Sensor are ready to plug in a Leo Bodnar board.

Button and switches are wired in the collective box and grip. All uses 1 common line, so the other cable end must be plugged or soldered to the button board.

 

 

I suspect this means everything connected via a USB cable, that plugs into the PC, and it works, all in the one package, ready to go.

 

Z...

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Hi @all,

 

can you tell me exactly what you mean with "plug & Play"?:(

For our base-unit you need a hole in the floor and some screws for mounting it.

Sensor are ready to plug in a Leo Bodnar board.

Button and switches are wired in the collective box and grip. All uses 1 common line, so the other cable end must be plugged or soldered to the button board.

 

@yogi149 I think I can clear this up. Plug and Play normally means you take it out of the box and plug it into your computer and it works. No assembly required more or less. This is how you would describe mainstream controllers like Logitech and Thrustmaster.

 

Yogi, I believe what people want is detailed description of assembly of your controllers when they arrive. I will try to help.

 

Cyclic has four components; stick, gimbal base, button box, joystick controller.

 

Joystick base (gimbal assembly) must be installed to floor of cockpit, normally it is installed under the cockpit floor, so if this is not possible you will need to build a raised floor or build an enclosure box.

 

Stick must be installed to base, I imagine this is simple matter of plug it on and tighten fastener?

 

Button Box and Joystick Controller need to be connected, is it all ready and we just plug it together, no tools required?

 

Do button box and joystick controller have enclosures or just bare boards that need mounting / protection?

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THX Trip,

 

ok, in that way it will not be plug and play.:(

The point is the intended way to mount it.

My intention was to make a replica of the cockpit for helicopter.

Like many other simpit builder made it for 737 or C-172.

The people who made these are normally not "plug and play" guys.

They want the look and feel of the cockpit, but they settled to one type of airplane.

Nowadays with VR you can enter every aircraft you want, so you really need universal controls for all type of aircraft in a single set.

And that is difficult in my opinion, airplane and helicopter are steered in different ways.:pilotfly:

So you need different controls if you want to get the right feeling for your aircraft.

 

I can design mount boxes for my controls for mounting above bottom (but they will look ugly :cry: in my opinion)

I can offer additional plugs for the buttons and switches, but good plugs are not cheap.

You can use a complete controller board for one stick, but you have to buy it. (not necessary because one controller can handle 8 axis)

In my cockpit works the prototype for the FTR-Cyclic and because the drives need some more equiment.

I designed the powerbox which include the controller for up to 8 axis and at least one buttonboard for 32 buttons. This box will be connected with only 1 USB to my PC.

We will offer this box as building kit or with additional cost as plug and play.

regards / gruesse yogi

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Thanks for the clarification Yogi. I'm sure when I receive my controller I can very much help with this by taking pictures of how everything comes and how to assemble it, I will photograph this and post in great detail!

 

In the other thread I asked you about pedals. How long do you think to get SA-342 pedals made?

 

Also, can you tell me total height from floor to top of the grip on the EC-135 cyclic I ordered from you already? I may need to adjust it, for me I need it to be SA-342 height of about 54.6CM unless you plan to ship it already with SA-342 custom tube?

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Also, it's don't let the Leo Bodnar boards scare anyone. It just shows up as a USB game controller with many many buttons (it can be rotaries as well). So basically you just assign the buttons on the collective/cyclic in the game control setup.

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Sorry for not helping with this Plug´n Play thing. But my controller was a Prototype and not assembled at all. I had to build it completely and I do not know how far the sticks are now built before delivery. But from this point I can gladly help.

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Hi,

How many controller boards and button boards do we need for a complete set of cyclic, collective and pedals, say for the EC135 for example.

short answer: 1 of each type

 

But I prepare a longer answer with some pictures.;)

regards / gruesse yogi

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now the longer answer:

6 axis joystick controller (Bodnar BU0836 has 8 axis)

1x roll

1x pitch

1x yaw

1x collective

2x throttle

 

17 input channel for the EC-type cyclic grip

 

EC-style-grip.thumb.png.a2baae2965dd9e00396bcc79b9e76ee2.png

 

20 input channel for the EC-135 colletive switchbox

 

EC-135-collec.thumb.png.27d89e8a71f79d4f34502915294f974b.png

 

makes 37 input lines BBI offers 32 and the joystick controller additional 12

 

So you need al least 1 Bodnar joystick controller BU0836A and 1 BBI

 

These pictures show the delivery condition for our grips and switchboxes.

 

Pictures from the B8 grip and the UH collective will follow next days.:huh:

They need less button input lines.

regards / gruesse yogi

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makes 37 input lines BBI offers 32 and the joystick controller additional 12

So you need al least 1 Bodnar joystick controller BU0836A and 1 BBI

These pictures show the delivery condition for our grips and switchboxes.

 

BU0836A is not limited do 12 buttons.

12 buttons is direct wire connection (12 inputs + 1 common).

Using "diode matrix" can be 32 buttons + POV HAT (6x6 matrix).

 

If user want cyclic independent of collective can bough 2 BU0836A/X* instead 1 BU0836+BBI32.

 

Of course need know deal with "diode matrix". :joystick:

* X don't require "diode matrix", but cost ~twice than A.

 

BTW - Grips are 3D printed?

Nice finish. :thumbup:

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Hi Sokol1_br,

 

but the matrix from the BU0836A can not manage real switches, only momentary buttons.:(

This was the reason I changed to the BBI board in my cockpit. And perhaps in near future to an Arduino Mega for input/output.

And the question was: do I need a single joystick controller for every part.

My answer would be no, but I can make additional housing for controller and BBI, so customer can order a "plug & play" solution, but with additional costs.:cry:

For my FTR version, I integrated joystick controller and BBI into the necessary power-box.

20170205_223603.thumb.jpg.22c7735850bc7a27cc71fa624c496b1f.jpg

And yes, the parts are 3D-SLA printed from PA-(polyamide)powder and finished with acrylic black mate color.

regards / gruesse yogi

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but the matrix from the BU0836A can not manage real switches, only momentary buttons.:.

 

By "real switches" you mean this ON-OFF-ON "toggle switches" on collective grip?

 

Switches.jpg

 

I did not know that BBI32 work in different way than BU0836A/X. :huh:

 

BBI32 send command when "toggle switch" change from ON to OFF position?

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Hi,

 

if using the non-matrix version from the BU0836 board they work similar.

But the matrix version with 36 button didnt work for me with not momentary switches. But if I think over this, it seems to me, that I did not use 36 diodes.:music_whistling:

For the BBI they are not necessary, so connection was easier for quick using.

 

The problem at all is, that both simulators I use, not really make use of non-momentary switches like used in real aircraft.

Physical position is not used or can only be realized with some work. :cry:

 

I think, that in progress with using an arduino Mega for our FTR solution, we will realize a switch modul and perhaps using the Mega for our sensor input too.

regards / gruesse yogi

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Hi,

 

if using the non-matrix version from the BU0836 board they work similar.

But the matrix version with 36 button didnt work for me with not momentary switches. But if I think over this, it seems to me, that I did not use 36 diodes.:music_whistling:

For the BBI they are not necessary, so connection was easier for quick using.

 

The problem at all is, that both simulators I use, not really make use of non-momentary switches like used in real aircraft.

Physical position is not used or can only be realized with some work. :cry:

 

I think, that in progress with using an arduino Mega for our FTR solution, we will realize a switch modul and perhaps using the Mega for our sensor input too.

 

I don't understand. What is the difference between holding a momentary switch 'on' manually with your finger vs the switch itself having a mechanical catch that makes it stay in the 'on' position without your finger on it?

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I don't understand. What is the difference between holding a momentary switch 'on' manually with your finger vs the switch itself having a mechanical catch that makes it stay in the 'on' position without your finger on it?

 

I think the main problem here is that using a physical toggle switch for a toggled function can be an issue depending on lots of specifics. So it's the difference of a toggle holding a function on and staying in a different position that is theoretically an indicator of the status of the controlled system vs. your finger pressing a momentary button and releasing it to toggle a function that is the problem. There are a number of pitfalls and also a number of possible solutions for using physical toggle switches with sim software that doesn't have adequate provisions.

 

I know Okona is familiar, but for the sake of others: Thrustmaster TARGET has fantastic functionality for dealing with this, which is why I may use a Cougar PCB for operating my cockpit switches. It can generate momentary presses from a standard toggle switch and also generate momentary events on release of a switch as well. You can still wind up with with the physical position of the switch being out of sync with the sim though if you start a simulation with a physical switch in the opposite position of the simulated switch!


Edited by TripRodriguez

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I know Okona is familiar, but for the sake of others: Thrustmaster TARGET has fantastic functionality for dealing with this, which is why I may use a Cougar PCB for operating my cockpit switches. It can generate momentary presses from a standard toggle switch and also generate momentary events on release of a switch as well.

 

MMJoy2 firmware for cheap (~6$) Arduino PRO Micro (or EasyJoy32One for Arduino STM32F103C8T6) card can do this "momentary press" - without a soft running in between Windows and games.

 

Some freeware keymapper too - but this is a "clumsy solution".

 

Some customized Arduino code too, like this: https://forums.eagle.ru/showpost.php?p=2984894&postcount=156

 

Probable this issue with Bodnar card is due the way that this specific simulators handle keys press, some old games is problematic with this.

No issue for DCSW, several examples of use BU0836 in controllers in this forum. :thumbup:

 

I suppose that two BU0836 will result in more flexible (independent) controllers that BU0836+BBI32, why I ask.

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