I was surprised to recieve a message from Dieter Jakob of Routech in June 2007, to tell me he would fly to Barcelona with my first yoke. Here is the picture - actually it is an EMB 170 yoke - the differerence is in the trim switch, but I like this one better.
The chartholder uses a roller to capture the chart - no springs involved.
In order to mount the Routech yokes, some revision was required to accomodate the axle.
Firstly, the depth of the column was reduced by removing the plastic tube and cutting a radius out.
By using cycle chain and gears, mounted on a 6mm axle, the space required at the head of the column is also reduced, and is close to real size. I was able to use some parts I bought first time around including plastic guttering joints for the tops.
Prior to finishing the columns - some adjustment is needed in the sides of the box
The switch cable will pass at the back of the head, and down the column. - The structure is screwed together to allow for maintenance.
The mechanism at the top of the yoke is around 40cm of bike chain, connected to a 3mm wire, linking the two yokes - the ply mountings contain ball bearings fixed with araldite to take the thrust of the yoke.
The axle is made of 6mm threaded rod, and the splines and sprocket are fixed using roll pins. This proved to be a weak point, as two of my friends sons on a visit, when they decided to fly in opposite directions - I am currently working on a modification.
I have to say, I approached this with some trepidation, as it seems very complicated to get two yokes working in unison, and connected with FS at the same time - still after reading some encouraging posts regarding Bowden cables - here goes... Taking a Home Depot equivalent of some table legs, remove the ends, and weld to form a swivel at one end.
The base frame is made of angle iron, which supports a sub frame mounted on pivots and connected with threaded rod.
The potentiometers controlling stick movement are located at the base, and connected to the threaded rods using some of the levers from the CH unit. measurement is made by trail and error, but the use of the threaded rod allows for calibration.
This will allow the whole aileron movement sub frame, and its pots, to sit and swivel together, whereas the elevator pot is fixed to the base frame, again using threraded rod to allow calibration.
The potentiometers and switches are connected to an FDS FC-! interface card located in the rear part of the pedestal.
Mounted in the shell, they look like this:
As an afterthought, having had
the yokes in action, there needs to be a better way of securing the
yoke to the axle. Slippage means that the yokes can go out of
adjustment, and this means access to the bits, sometimes not easy:
The top of the columns was made from the same alu sheet as the sides. A trial of plastic guttering was abandoned after interference with the levers.
The finished result is slightly larger than the original, but looks OK, and allows for adjustment if needed, to the pushrods. Again, the objective is "looks OK, feels OK" rather than "100% authenticity".
Gas struts were added to the elevator axis, but add little to the feel, although they have 10Kg load, as one cancels the other, and lack of width gave restrictions to fitment, and bungee to the aileron, but this adds a certain stiffness.
With the leverage of the construction, everything seems to work OK, but will require "flight testing" to verify everything is OK.
A nice Home Depot touch was the use of the table leg feet, which were cut down, painted and with an Embraer logo added, formed the centre boss of the yoke.
And, I guess a whole new method of flying, having graduated from joystick to CH yoke to real size yokes and columns.