How do we build our platforms, and what makes them different? For the 401, it's everything that makes the 301 unique (see engineering 301) plus 180 degrees of rotation. To find out why we think that's important, check out "What is it?". For some detailed specifications and features, take a look here.
The 401 driving simulator provides four-axis motion, pitch, roll, yaw, and heave. The roll axis is located approximately at shoulder level in the driver's plane of symmetry. The pitch axis is located perpendicular to the rider's plane of symmetry but 10 cm (4 in) forward of the rider's shoulders. The yaw axis is vertical and lies in the rider's symmetry plane approximately 51cm (20 in) forward of the rider's shoulders.
The platform includes the seat, interlocked seat belt, interlocked doors, display screen, and projector. Controls included are force feedback steering, brake, paddle shifters, and throttle.
The 401 is equipped with an isolation transformer and may be used with the non-polarized outlets found in many parts of the world.
Input Voltage: 120 VAC; 240 VAC optional
Input Current, rms: (120VAC) 20A
Input Current, peak: (120VAC) 80A
One duplex outlet on the isolation transformer secondary that can supply 300 watts is supplied. This allows for devices that are grounded to the 401 frame, such as the Immersion Corporation force feedback system, to be connected to the control computers without excessive common mode voltages.
The 401 is equipped with a safety relay with guided, self checking contacts, software monitoring contacts, and a separate reset. It meets ANSI B11.19, EN418, and EN954-1 standards. Redundant power relays with monitor contacts prevent operation if contact welding occurs.
A rider accessible emergency stop switch is provided, as well as provision for a remote E-stop switch. If the machine is E-stopped it must be re-homed before operation can be resumed. In the emergency stop state all power is removed from the motors.
The seat belt and door both have interlocks that place the machine in a pause mode. Pause mode brings the servo motors to a controlled stop, applies the motor brakes, and disables the servo amplifiers. Operation can be resumed by simply removing the condition that caused the pause mode and pressing the green pause button located on the left-hand side of the steering column.
Roll: +/- 30 degrees
Pitch: +/- 30 degrees
Heave: +/- 20cm (8 inches)
Yaw: +/- 90 degrees
Passenger Weight (full performance): 100 kg (220 lbs)
Passenger Weight (maximum): 127 kg (280 lbs)
(With Maximum Passenger Weight)
Roll Slew Rate: 1 rad/sec
Pitch Slew Rate: 1 rad /sec
Heave Slew Rate: 48 cm/sec (19 inches/sec)
Yaw Slew Rate: 1.6 rad/sec
Pitch Acceleration (peak): 5 rad/sec/sec
Roll Acceleration (peak): 10 rad/sec/sec
Heave Acceleration (peak): 2.0 g
Yaw Acceleration (peak): 6 rad/sec/sec
The working envelope is for the simulator only. Space is also required for an operator's console. We suggest the area needed for a small office desk for planning purposes. This area should be adjacent to the simulator to minimize cable lengths. The console is not provided as part of the base 401 package.
Plan: 244cm x 244cm (8 ft x 8 ft)
Elevation: 249cm (98 in)
A safety barrier is needed around the machine. The 401 can move suddenly, and severely injure someone who is within the working envelope. A waist high fence located at least 4 feet away from the machine is strongly suggested. Alternatively, a barrier that is 244 cm (8 feet) high and does not have any openings that would allow hands or arms to pass through can be located within a few inches of the machine. Entry into the protected area should be through an interlocked door.
Strut tubes are case hardened steel guided by 4140 steel rollers that are fitted with sealed needle bearings. The strut tube is driven by an oversized ball screw whose large pitch and consequent slow rotation gives it a very long life. The servo motors are three-phase brushless permanent magnet motors fitted with a spring actuated brake and differential output incremental encoder. The motor drives the screw with a toothed belt.
The frame is a weldment fabricated from low-carbon steel and is finished with a textured polyester powder coating. Removable panels are attached with hardened thread forming screws. All aluminum parts are clear anodized or polyester powder coated.
Electrical components are mounted in a subframe fabricated from Galvalume (55% Al-Zn coated sheet steel). This steel is corrosion resistant and allows excellent and reliable ground connections. All fan openings are covered with metal screens and the power connection is via a standard filtered and switched power entry module. A 25 ampere single pole thermal circuit breaker protects the circuit in case it is connected to an unfused power source.
The moving group consists of two major components, a yoke assembly that surrounds the rider on three sides and a spine that is formed from a three inch diameter tube which extends from the seat to the pedal attachment points. The yoke and spine are connected together with six rods, each of which has its ends threaded and fitted with teflon lined spherical rod ends. This construction allows easy entrance and exit by the rider, but is light weight and stiff, reducing vibration to the lowest possible levels, as well as reducing inertia.
The screen is a powder coated aluminum sheet surrounded by a steel frame. A neutral gray screen color was chosen to enhance contrast with brighter ambient light. The projection screen frame is held rigidly in place by a system of triangular braces. The steering assembly is attached to the projection screen frame.
If the simulator is to be used in a fixed location it is recommended that the machine be mounted on a troweled concrete floor. If the simulator is to be moved frequently, an optional floor is available that can be easily disassembled and moved. The floor consists of four 122 x 122 cm(4ft x 4ft) sections that can be easily moved.
Controls, Sound System & Display
All three pedals are based on a rolling flexure design that provides a rising spring rate to approximate more accurately the feel of real pedals. The flexure drives a cermet element potentiometer via a small diameter aircraft cable that is arranged so that the side loads on the potentiometer shaft are canceled. The voltage signals generated by the potentiometer are passed through an active filter before being input to the Immersion Corporation digital processing board. The filtering removes most of the potentiometer wiper noise and other interference generated by the servo amplifiers.
The steering utilizes a large PM motor that is connected to the steering wheel with a 2:1 ratio. The result is substantial torque feedback. Unlike low cost game wheels that use a small motor and a large gear ratio, this steering wheel is robust and has a low reflected inertia, resulting in a more natural feel. The base steering wheel is 10.5 inches in diameter, has a smooth leather rim and two buttons. An optional six button wheel is available
The sound system is a Logitech Z-5300 five-way system that is integrated into the simulator. The screen is flanked by two speakers with one speaker located in the center top of the screen. Two speakers are located at shoulder height, just behind the rider. The subwoofer is housed in the base just below the rider. The remote control is plugged into the connection panel of the 401 that is located on the left rear of the machine base.
The Hitachi CP-X260 projector is improved over projectors in previous 301s, having substantially less screen-door effect.
Resolution: 1024 x 768
Brightness: 2500 ANSI lumens
Contrast Ratio: 500:1
Lamp: 200W UHB
Ambient Air Temperature: 0-32 C (32-90 F)
Solar Radiation: Operation in direct sunlight not recommended because enclosure surface temperatures can rapidly rise to 50C (122 F) and above, leading to rapid control electronics failure.
Humidity: 5-80% RH over temperature range
Because most customers prefer to purchase their own computer(s), they are not supplied as part of the driving simulator. The simulator is controlled by a Force Dynamics application running its own PC which receives input from the game computer on the same network. This application is unique for each game and game release. In situations where a separate operator (in addition to the rider) is not necessary, it is possible to run the control application on the game computer. Call us for details