Introduction: Gathering the Parts
When I was looking around for items that's I may be able to use for a lever I started with the hand grip and ideas of how I can make a pivot/hinge for movement. I ended up using an extra tail shaft for the ex helicopter, some extra heater hose I had laying around, some soft foam, and for the pivot/hinge I used two of the cyclic/collective actuating arms from a broken rotor head I had from the helicopter also.
Step 1: Making the Hand Grip
To make the hand grip I cut the heater hose to the same length as the first foam. Then I cut the hose "hotdog" style and wrapped it around the tail shaft and hot glued it in place. I then wrapped the soft foam around the heater hose and also glued it in place. This gave me a good diameter and a comfortable grip for the e-brake.
Step 2: Making the Pivot Point
To make the pivoting axis I took the original tail clamp/mount used to mount the tail to the helicopter. I then screwed the 2 cyclic/collective actuating arms to the mounting block. The thrust bearings inside the actuator arms make for a very smooth axis travel.
Step 3: Make the Mount
Once I had the pivot axis complete I then needed to figure out a way to mount the assembly to the racing rig. After some brain storming I ended up using some extra pvc I had laying around from building the racing rig. I drilled some pilot holes to mount the actuating arms to the pvc using the original blade mounting holes. From here I cut a piece of plexiglass to length to Make a mounting base for the whole assembly.
Step 4: Mount the Assembly
Next I aligned and positioned the e-brake with the racing rig to my liking and screwed the assembly to the rig.
Step 5: Wire Up the Rig
At this point it was pretty much Time to start figuring out how I was going to convert this mechanical movement to electrical signals. With the limited selection of switches I had laying around I found a switch that had come with a remote start kit I installed years back. One of my main obstacles I had with this switch was that it was a normally closed switch. In order for the e-brake to work I would need to only have electrical contact when actuated. What I ended up doing was putting this switch underneath the lever forward of the pivot point. What this did was when the e-brake was not being actuated it was actuating the switch and in turn breaking electrical contact. To mount the switch I drilled a hole in the pvc and glued one of the nuts from the switch to the rig. I then drilled a hole on the other side of the rig next to the shifter assembly. I used a spare composite cable I had laying around and fed it through the pvc and to the switch. I then cut off one end and stripped back the cable about 10 inches. I then cut back the exposed wire to insert and crimp it to the switch. I then threaded the switch into the nut to the desired height.
Step 6: Make a "release" Button
One thing that I wanted to add the the e-brake was a "release" button. It doesn't actually release anything but instead simulates the action of having to press the button to release the ratcheting mechanism In automotive hand brakes. This was more of the personal preference I could have easily just used the main switch by itself and just pulled up on the e-brake and that would be all. I wanted to force myself to get in the habit of having to hold the release button when using the e-brake for everything but it's intended purpose. (I.e. Drifting, power sliding, j turns). To do this I wanted to add another button in series with the main button so that in order to complete the circuit both switches would have to make electrical contact at the same time in order to complete the circuit. This brought me to my next obstacle. I needed some way to make a spring loaded button that had about a half inch of travel. To do this I used and old pen. I took the pen apart, pulled off the ball tip, and inserted an extra tail rotor actuating link into the ink tube. I then removed the latching mechanism from the pen and in order to maintain the same internal length of the pen I needed to press a nail into the act end of the ink tube. I then put the pen back together and had a makeshift "button". The nice thing about the pen that I chose what that the outside diameter of the pen was just small enough for a press fit inside of the tail shaft
Step 7: Make a Button Work
So now that I had my button with an actuating shaft long enough to extend beyond the opposite end of the tail shaft it was time to make it work electrically. Again searching through my limited selection of switches I found a micro switch assembly that was used in a projector that I have parted out. I mounted the switch to the aft end of the e-brake lever with some more hot glue and wired it in series with the main switch. The way this set up works is when I press the pen button it pushes the shaft father out of the end of the tail tube and as it pushes down the lever attached to the micro switch it actuates the switch and completing the circuit. For smoother and more precise function I added a 2 pole servo horn as a guide for the actuating rod.
Step 8: Hack the Shifter Assembly
This next step has been done by many so I will keep it short. Basically I added a male composite connector to the shifter assembly. These pictures In short show how I did it. The end result is a very clean a neat looking connector on the back of the shifter assembly allowing me to connect the e-brake to the G25 quickly and easily. The original button will still work without a problem so if I decide not to use the lever anymore and just have the button the e-brake function in the game will still work
Step 9: Finishing Touches
To finish up I mounted the assembly to the rig and hooked it up to the shifter assembly. For easier connection I needed to drill a hole in the mounting platform of the rig for the shifter assembly. This allowed for smoother and easier connection to the G25. Once mounted I needed some sort of resistance for the mechanical action of me pulling on the lever so I "borrowed" one of my wife's gel/rubber hair bands and wrapped it across the top of the tail shaft to the cyclic/collective arm links this giving me a spring like resistance. Next I wanted there to be a hard stop for movement to prevent over actuation. To do this I drilled a hole through the tail shaft and then one through the rig. I then fed some braided steel cable through the holes cut it to length and clamped two wire crimps to the ends. To improve mechanical connection of the wire crimps the to steel cable I also soldered them together preventing the cable from sliding out of the clamps. Also I added a rubber stop forward of the pivot point to raise the "released" position of the lever to a desired height. And with that I now have an ugly but very functional e-brake that I use with my PS3 and GT6. Thank you for taking the time to read my first instructable! I hope that I have inspired you or at least added some ideas to your Arsenal. Please leave comments and feedback letting me know how I did!
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