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[Project] Exercise Bike as Controller for MT Bike Simulator (pic heavy)

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I've had this old exercise bike lying around for a long time as I have been wanting to do this for some time. So gf asked me to throw it out and that kind of triggered me to have a closer look at actually turning it into a bike game/simulator controller. While old, I can't say it's got much mechanical wear rolleyes.gif ..

So this is the plan:

  • Modify the bike and add sensors for pedal rpm, steering, breaks and add some motor control for the load tensioner.
  • I'll need to replace the existing fixed handle bars with something that actually turns.
  • Find some existing games that will work with such a device. Or just make my own 3D simulator with reasonable accurate physics, I mean how hard can that be biggrin.gif


I know there are commercial simulators like this available, but they are insanely expensive:



That one is $7,000 !! weirdsmiley.gif and it only comes with a tiny monitor.


Anyway, this is what I've got to work with:




Of course I could just take my real MTB for a spin, but that's not the point biggrin.gif
post #2 of 44
Thread Starter 
As the first step I want to have a look at being able to control the tension through USB, for that to happen I need to add a motor on the currently manual tensioner.

This is how it works on this old bike:



There is a felt belt that is just tightened against the flywheel, the tension is controlled by twisting the knob on top:





This is the motor I want to use, it's tiny and I'm not sure it's powerful enough, but I think it will be ok as it's geared plus the tensioner is geared.

post #3 of 44
Subbed! Looks interesting, and if it works for you I might even consider doing it.
post #4 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quick design of a motor coupler:



And a motor mount:



My 3D printer will come in handy here.
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BonzaiTree View Post

Subbed! Looks interesting, and if it works for you I might even consider doing it.

Great, yeah, I can't really say how far I'm going to take this, but as with most of my projects I should make good progress as long as it's fun and interesting smile.gif
post #6 of 44
Thread Starter 
Printing is done, just a rough quick print, and it actually fits very nicely, not often things work in the first try smile.gif





Now I just need to write a small piece of code to see if it turns and if it's got enough power.

It's fairly simple, the controller is nothing more than an ULN2003 driver, simply darlington coupled transistors in a package with build in diodes to prevent reverse voltage spikes.

4 output ports are needed for control, the step sequence is like this:

0001
0011
0010
0110
0100
1100
1000
1001

Repeat that sequence to make the motor turn clockwise, for counter clockwise, run the sequence backwards.
post #7 of 44
Thread Starter 
I made a controller board for it last night:



It's not advanced, just some regulators and micro controller with a lot of analog and digital inputs plus some outputs to control the stepper motor and a connection for USB. Something similar could easily be done using an Arduino.

Here doing a bit of testing, seems to work as planned:

post #8 of 44
Thread Starter 
I have been looking for suitable games that could be used, and I haven't really had that much success.

So far I've only found these:


The first one is free, but doesn't look very interesting.



2nd one doesn't look that great either, it's better but a bit too wacky.

I'll probably have a go at making something in UDK, Unity or one of the many other engines available.
post #9 of 44
Once again I am blown away by another one of your projects.
Subbed biggrin.gif
Big Black Guy
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Big Black Guy
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-4100 ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z Sapphire Raedon HD 6670 G.Skil Ripjaws-X 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
WD Black WD Blue  Seagate 7200RPM Kingston HyperX 3k 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell 2408WFP 24" 
MonitorPowerCase
Soniq 32" Antec TruePower 550W NZXT Switch 810 
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post #10 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trust-no-1 View Post

Once again I am blown away by another one of your projects.
Subbed biggrin.gif

Thanks smile.gif

Now I just need to figure out how to get some handlebars, that can turn with self centering and some resistance, onto the bike. Since I don't have any welding equipment, I'll have to do with screws, nuts, bolts and printed parts.
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