sunnuntai 13. joulukuuta 2009

Sergei gunsight without the cover

I'd like to add a couple more photos about the gunsight and how it looks without the cover. The cover reduces some glare and is good for anti-aircraft guns but for aircraft it may block visibility too much so most ww2 aircraft have the gunsight without any cover.

Well, here are the photos:

Side view. The reflector glass is in 45 degree angle.

Another view

Looking through the gunsight.

Looking through, from longer distance

This is what it looks like from top of the gunsight. It shows the reticle through the glass and inverted reflection.

For the simpit i'll naturally remove the cover. This way the gunsight looks just like any WW2 fighter's gunsight. At least il2 supports removing any on-screen sights so maybe i'll even get to play some games with hardware gunsight. Otherwise it'll just look cool :-)

Btw notice how the size of reticle is always the same regardless of the distance. That's how the reflection gunsight (and modern HUDs) are supposed to work.

Next step is to mount the thing to the simpit. Let's see when that happens, as i have some other projects (hacks) to do such as the RC 109 used as practice target in photos above.

perjantai 11. joulukuuta 2009

Sergei gunsight illuminated

Long time no post.

Today i built a light for the sergei gunsight i've had for some time. It illuminates the reticle so it's more visible in various lighting conditions. Here's the photos:

Lamp assembly is mounted on the bottom of the gunsight. The assembly is actually a plastic cap from a Pisang Ambon liquer bottle.

This is the lamp holder, looking inside. Inside i put a piece of paper to spread the light evenly. Without the paper reticle was uneven as the light bulb could be seen through the reticle.

This shows the whole reticle. Pretty nice!

Comparison: Light turned off

Light turned on!

Photos taken with my new Nokia N900 phone. Less bad than the previous ones.

lauantai 25. huhtikuuta 2009

F-18 simulator on TV

They showed Finnish Air Force's WTSAT F-18 simulator on tv in "Äijät" tv show. It's in Finnish, but i think everyone understands what's the idea. See the whole episode at:

Also getting to fly a Hawk is quite cool.

torstai 23. huhtikuuta 2009

Velocity EP second flight

Today i got Velocity EP finally repaired and ready to fly. I installed the new electronics -

* CC Phoenix 45 ESC
* Ultrafly A/30/24 brushless motor
* AR6200 2.4GgHz receiver

- to the plane. My new shiny transmitter is Spektrum DX 7, which i got for discount as the shop didn't get DX6 in time. DX 7 is maybe a bit too high end for my use, but now i got it and it's really cool. Motor was compatible with Speed 400 and the mount didn't need modifications.

The flights went good. This time i didn't crash the plane and flew very carefully (no high speed passes or low level aerobatics). Performance is AWESOME. 5 seconds with full throttle and the plane is so high i don't want to get it higher. Normal aerobatics such as loops and rolls are possible with 50% throttle. Level flight requires about 30% throttle. Thrust/Weight ratio is about 1. And this is not a lightweight depron model. I flew about 30 minutes and didn't get the battery to run out. I had to quit, because it became dark and cold.

Velocity glides surprisingly well. I needed a few passes every time i tried to land it. Almost like Zagi 400. I don't think it can thermal though as it loses altitude rapidly when turning.

Sorry, no photos this time as i was flying alone.

Next time i'll try how fast it goes. My fear is that it might disintegrate mid-air. Let's see what happens.

sunnuntai 12. huhtikuuta 2009

More simpit details, updated web page

I updated my personal web page about some details of the simpit. If you're intrested, you might want to check out

torstai 9. huhtikuuta 2009

Playing C64 games with wiimote & balance board

Playing Le Mans

Yesterday we demonstrated a software/hardware combo that allows controlling any game system with Atari connector (C64, Amiga, Atari 2600..) using wiimote and balance board.

It consists of Linux pc software which communicates with wiimotes, Arduino
Duemilanove and software for it.

It's made by my colleague Dr. Dick/Byterapers (HW and Arduino software) and me (pc sw) .


The sw supports 1 or 2 wiimotes or balance boards. Wiimote controls work as you can expect, using the d-pad for stick and 2 button for fire. Balance board works by leaning your body to desired direction. Fire can be used by jumping or leaning forward (configurable). Wiimotes can be used for playing any game, but balance board is useful only for slow paced games which don't require fire button much. Our favorite on balance board was Space Taxi. We forgot to test Decathlon, but i bet it will be most fun.

The setup. C128 on left, Arduino board on center, laptop on right.

Arduino board with the Atari joystick cables connected to i/o ports.

The software will probably be released soon in sourceforge or some other location under GPL.

lauantai 4. huhtikuuta 2009

Model Expo

Today i was at Model Expo in Helsinki.

Suomen Urheiluilmailuopisto had a glider simulator at the expo. It was really popular as you can see. Built into a real fuselage of some glider.

Software was condor. Unfortunately the panel display didn't work so they had cockpit visible on visual screen.

They had (at least) working stick, pedals and brake lever, from original glider. I'm not sure about flaps. There was a commercial joysticks handle attached in the place of stick and it looked a bit weird and plasticky. If i had a real glider fuselage available, i'd use as much original controls as possible.

Here's an internal shot. The mechanics were well done, but for some reason they use TWO USB GAMEPADS linked with complex mechanical links to controls. Yes, it's a USB gamepad in the photo. There's another one not visible here which is moved in 2 directions according to control movements. What's wrong with using potentiometers and a simple USB HID board?

There were also some jets. I'll spare you from the generic expo shots, as i only had my cellphone as camera and you can find better quality ones somewhere else.

This was really interesting one. It's a PULSEJET model made in Finland in 60's. It's a control line model, not RC. Jets are lame, real men use pulsejet propulsion (this is a challenge for all model builders out there)

I also bought a new toy, but as it doesn't fly it's not anything of interest.

tiistai 24. maaliskuuta 2009

Velocity EP first flight

I flew the Velocity EP first time on the weekend. Weather was good but windy.



lauantai 14. maaliskuuta 2009

New headwear

It's a US Navy helicopter pilots helmet. The seller told me it was used in Vietnam war on USS Saratoga in an anti-submarine helicopter. I still don't have a clue what i'm going to do with it, but i don't care because it is so cool.

Simpit "Ready"!

Finally i got the simpit "ready" - meaning i reached the current goals i've set for it.

It's now fully functional and ready for flying. I haven't had too much time to fly yet, but i'm happy with the results so far.
I have made fullscreen cockpits for ASK-21 glider and 747. More to come later.

Here's a nice panoramic image made using wonderful "hugin" software. Click to get high resolution version. Panel is ASK-21:
This has been taken with lights on to show the hardware. Normally i'd fly with dark room.

747 (image is a bit discolored):

There's a bug with latest X-Plane beta that causes the F/A 18 Canada add-on aircraft to have maybe 10-100 times normal thrust. It's pretty fun but also fuel runs out in couple of minutes..

My next plans for the pit are:
- Add a customized USB keypad as autopilot panel. Already ordered from dealextreme.
- Start planning how to implement force feedback. I've already got the electronics, but mechanics are the difficult part.
- Remember to FLY!

sunnuntai 22. helmikuuta 2009

Panel PC installed

Today i installed the panel PC into the simpit. It's a 2.4ghz pc with gf4600 gfx adapter. Just enough to run the panel. I upgraded both panel and master PC's to X-Plane 9.30 beta. X-Plane no longer syncs graphics settings from master pc automatically (thanks Austin!) so i can have detailed graphics on master pc and minimal outdoor on cockpit one.

Currently i have made only two full-screen panels optimized for separate cockpit/visual displays - ASK-21 glider and F-18. ASK is ugly and needs better gfx.. Also i want to do panels for 747 and C172 soon.

Cue the photos. The lighting conditions in simpit seem to be too difficult for my camera phone - sorry for the quality.


ASK-21 pilot's view

Panel PC on the left, visual pc on the right. The cabling is getting really messy - i'll do something about it after painting the parts.

KC-10 Tanker above the clouds on route from Tampere to Helsinki

Better picture of KC-10. Unfortunately i haven't made a full-screen cockpit for this yet, so it doesn't look realistic

Overview of the pit. Notice the black boards around the screen. They increase the immersion (= vis-sim jargon meaning feeling of being 'there') considerably as you can't see the room around you.

perjantai 6. helmikuuta 2009

Urban Blitz & OK's simpit

Finnish Virtual Pilots Association's winter convention 'Urban Blitz' has started. I'm naturally there with my pc and running Aces High 2 on Linux.

The legendary simpit builder Olli 'ok' Korhonen has his new simpit at the convention:

It features triple-head visual made with Kegetys's software and two graphics cards.

There's also custom pedals & stick. The controls are still unde work, but are still pretty impressive. Throttle is still missing. He's also flying AH2.

keskiviikko 4. helmikuuta 2009

Testing Maemo WordPy

If you can see this, it works.

Even editing works!

tiistai 3. helmikuuta 2009

Running sims in the pit

At last i actually ran sone sims in the pit. looks good so far.. sorry for poor photo quality, but it's hard to take good photos in this lighting with my cell phone :)

X-Plane 9

IL2 1946

I also ran AH2 quickly, but unfortunately it's not suitable for the simpit very well as it has no fullscreen view and it's not possible to view instruments on a second monitor.

Better mounting for the projector. Simple is good!

Side view with x-plane running.

Next task is to configure and install instrument panel PC. I already installed sound system - brand new Logitech speakers with subwoofer.

perjantai 23. tammikuuta 2009

Simpit update

Due to requests, here are some new pics from the simpit v2:

Overview pic. I've got glareshield now!

Pilot's view

Testing the new projector. Projector is in front of pedals, just far enough to fill the rear projection screen. Brightness is much more better than with old DIY projector.

Pilot's view, with projector on.

Fine-tuning the projector setup. I'll build some kind of holder for the projector later, for now it sits on the ground.