DIY Wind Generator

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by ears, May 22, 2018.

  1. ears

    ears
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    I have a bit of spare time next week as the family are all away so I decided to have a go at this.

    I had seen a review of a commercial product (linked below) and the 'two fan' version together with delivery and all the extras was over £200 - a bit much for something that's just a bit of fun.



    Now I realise that most of the time I race in cars with windscreens and even open wheeler drivers wear helmets so whether this introduces any realism is up for debate.

    However, realism and immersion are not necessarily the same thing and I'm open to this adding some immersion to the experience.

    Additionally, summer has come early and I do get very hot and sweaty inside that VR hat, so the idea of some cool wind blowing at me is appealing.

    I managed to pick up everything I needed for this project on Amazon for around £80.

    If it works, I'm a progremmer by trade, so might take a look at connecting to APIs in other sims to see if I can use the fans on those two - the scripts provided only work with AC so far.

    If anyone's interested, I'll post updates. Should be building it over the weekend, early next week.
     
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  2. s73

    s73
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    Very interested to see any progress...
     
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  3. Ceolmor

    Ceolmor
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  4. ears

    ears
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    That's great - if I'd known about it before I'd have bought it instead of the Arduino. I may still buy it and just send the Arduino back.
     
  5. Insert Coin

    Insert Coin

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  6. Ceolmor

    Ceolmor
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  7. Hiro Abe

    Hiro Abe
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    This is so easy, why not give it a try? Argh! Another project to add to the list!! :geek:
     
  8. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    I would keep the Arduino if i were you

    Arduino combined with simtools gives you THE best game compatibility. As soon as a new title arrives simtools will be updated by the large community behind it.

    Arduino based DIY windsim also allows to to upgrade later to the more beefy seaflow blowers ( which are awesome by the way )



    I usually run the seaflows at 60-75% but at 100% they produce wind speeds up to 60km/h
     
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  9. ears

    ears
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    but is there an annual subscription for simtools? The sim plugins don't appear to be freely available.

    one off cost for the fan controller and full software is roughly the same as a one year simtools sub.
     
  10. HoiHman

    HoiHman

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    Simtools is a one time purchase of 69,99 dollar. Not an anunual fee. The plug-ins are free as long as you regular post on the forums (and collect coins)
     
  11. ears

    ears
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    thanks but that's too expensive for a couple of bits of code. For 35 you get the board and the software from sympeojects.
     
  12. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Query about Symprojects,

    "Although up to four fans can be connected to the same fan controller, their power requirement must be checked. The 12V power supply included with the fan controller can provide up to 1A of current. Normally the back of the fan reports its power consumption, usually in the range of 0.2A to 0.4A. When using the more powerful fans, you could reach 1A of power with less than four fans. In this case you are going to need a bigger power supply, one that is able to provide 2A of current for example, instead of just 1A."


    So guys, what about bigger fans that are about 1.6A or higher, can this board handle them if using a separate power plug needed like THIS 2A model?

    If I were to get into this to add to my cockpit project I would seek to opt for one professional fan but twin ducts with the research I have done. The issue, I query is how/what to do/use for powering a motorsport fan specifically made for such (as real cars use) via the Symprojects board or alternative?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  13. Ceolmor

    Ceolmor
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    Despite what it says on the website, my Fan Controller board was by supplied Sym Projects with a 2A power supply, as in your link. My two 140mm PC fans run 0.55A each so I have 0.9A to spare. Enough power to add another similar fan, or two which use less power.

    The Quiet PC website is good for identifying which fans shift the most air and the power they require. https://www.quietpc.com/140mmfans The most powerful 140mm fan still only requires 0.55A.
    [​IMG]

    I like your big fan idea, or the Seaflows, but I have no idea how you would wire it up to Fan Controller, if it is even possible.
     
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  14. ears

    ears
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    The fans would have to be PWM. Otherwise they wouldn't work.
     
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  15. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    PWM-to-DC converter?
    Not sure if this one is suitable but surely this is possible?
    It would be good to find a guide or product that made it simple.

     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  16. ears

    ears
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    The last couple of parts arrived today and I now have it built and working - thankt again @Insert Coin.

    It definitely contributes to a sense of speed.

    I don't think I have the fans placed in optimal positions yet and I don't have any airflow straws so it's a little underwhelming at full speed, although the amount of air coming from the fans is impressive.

    I put them on the wrong way round at first and wondered why there was no air coming from them.

    i've rewritten the ACFan application in C# as I'm much more comfortable with C#. I've looked at the R3E shared memory stuff and will probably be having a go at that next.
     
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  17. Insert Coin

    Insert Coin

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    Depending on the maximum speed of the car you could change the formula in the Arduino code from
    myval = (val - 60) * 2;
    to
    myval = (val - 60) * 2.4;
    to make the fans blow at 100% at around 270 km/h instead of 350 km/h.
    And place the fans as close to you as you can.

    If you do make a telemetry program like ACFan for R3E please post it, I'm sure other users will like it too.
     
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  18. ears

    ears
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    Just wondering now - is there any particular reason why this calculation is done on the Arduino?

    I'm thinking that if this is done in the PC side code instead then I can start building up a database of cars and preferences. The C# code I've written is in a Windows form so all these settings can be managed through a nice UI.
     
  19. Insert Coin

    Insert Coin

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    Because I can't program in C :D. Since I cannot change and recompile ACFan I did the recalculation in the Arduino code to get the correct PWM response.
    Doing the calculation in ACFan is a better idea, so if you can help, yes please :thumbsup:.
     
  20. ears

    ears
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    OK great that's done! It's a small thing but the C# code also detects the Arduino's COM port, provided the Arduino drivers are installed.

    So what I'm looking at is a Windows forms app that detects the car currently in use and brings up any saved settings for that car automatically if they exist. If not it creates new ones. You can set the multiplier value and whether or not fans are used for that car. Also tracks top recorded speed for that car to help inform multiplier.

    Also a couple of quick tests I included when I was debugging, including a text box where you can manually enter a PWM value and send it to the Arduimo to see if everything's working - was quicker than having to copy the exes to my gaming PC, run AC, get in a car and drive it every time I wanted to test.

    If you have any other ideas let me know.
     
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