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raoul.lf
10-23-2010, 10:36 AM
Did anyone try (and manage) to use a steering wheel for a delta?
I found a couple advantages for this type of steering (smaller radius of turn, it is user arm length/leg length/height fully adjustable, it has enough space for all the commands - shifting, braking, lighting, horn button).
The solution I found is a kind of 90 degree gearbox, having the 1:2,5 or 1:3 ratio. But until now I didn't find one already built for the acceptable price, and the bevel gears needed turned out not to be very easy to find.
This is what I mean (it's a preliminary sketch of my delta, made some weeks ago, but right now I'm concentrating at the torque transmission):

vrooom3440
10-23-2010, 08:04 PM
My plan is to use a bellcrank on the frame under the steering yoke. But I have not built it yet ;-)

Odd Man Out
10-23-2010, 11:38 PM
Did anyone try (and manage) to use a steering wheel for a delta?
):

Yes -- look in the gallery for a DW called the "Richard Nixon" -- it was one of the first to be completed.

raoul.lf
10-24-2010, 02:46 AM
Yep, I found the Richard Nixon, but in that model the builder simply replaced the handlebars with a steering wheel. It's not the setup I have in mind, and it seems that I'm going to step on unexplored grounds.
The result is supposed to be an apparently complex setup, but in fact it's user friendly, very simple to adjust and use. Of course, I have in mind the maintenance aspects as well, and I'll be careful about it in this design.
I'll stick to my idea and I hope (even though I'm the "ultimate rookie" in this area) to succeed in this project, it became so important to me.

raoul.lf
10-24-2010, 03:51 AM
Here is a more relevant rough attempt about how this model is supposed to look. The steering wheel's shaft has to be a two-pieces part, in order to allow adjustments and the knees' safely movement. I'll do the measuring and adjust the proportions when the time comes.

Odd Man Out
10-24-2010, 02:26 PM
I wish you success in your design. The problem before has been with "slop" in the steering where there was play. Nothing precise. If you are successful please know that I will be one of the first to copy it. Good engineering luck.

TheKid
10-24-2010, 03:47 PM
There are similar designs using universal joints, but I've never seen it accomplished with gears. It would seem logical that the larger gear would turn the fork, so as not to require too many turns if set up the other way around. I copied a rack and pinion steering setup that was on a commercially available quad, but it proved to be less than optimal. It was more like a car, with slow steering response. The way the rack was set up, it was impossible to reverse the gearing. Brake levers and shifters had to be mounted off the steering wheel, or else the cables would twist together. That explained why the brake was a long lever on the side of the seat on the original model. In the end, the standard quad/tadpole type steering systems are quite efficient. For a delta, however, a lot of riders like neither tiller steering, or tie rods. I believe that's why u-joints came into being.
The steering shaft should be inserted into a tube, and the tube supported vertically. In your drawings, there's nothing to hold the steering shaft in place.
You may have a great idea that seems to need more development. For instance, you have to find the optimum gear ratio. Too high, every little bump will turn the wheel. Keep us posted on your progress.

raoul.lf
10-24-2010, 05:10 PM
The Kid says:
It would seem logical that the larger gear would turn the fork, so as not to require too many turns if set up the other way around.
I say: au contraire, I found logical that the vertical (on the steering wheel's shaft) larger gear will have more teeth rolling when turning, moving the same amount of teeth faster on the smaller horizontal gear (the one that in fact does the turning of the fork/front wheel).
The Kid says:
Brake levers and shifters had to be mounted off the steering wheel, or else the cables would twist together.
I say: yes, you're definitely right, with that ratio, thought about it.
The Kid says:
The steering shaft should be inserted into a tube, and the tube supported vertically. In your drawings, there's nothing to hold the steering shaft in place.
I say: right again, it's all in my mind, but, as I said earlier in this thread, I'm concentrating right now at designing the rear part of the trike, and I think I'll reach to a conclusion tonight or tomorrow afternoon.
It's going to be a setup made of the following parts (from front to the rider's hands): the 90 degree gear box (I hope I'll find some bevel gears somewhere, otherwise they will have to be machined), one cardan joint, the shaft, the vertical support your were talking about, another cardan joint, a tube, another (adjustable) support tube mounted in "V" against the first one and finally, the steering wheel's shaft, which will (adjustable) slide back and forth inside the height adjustable tube. It only seems sophisticated, I know there is a lot of measuring to do, but it seems possible to me.
The Kid says:
For instance, you have to find the optimum gear ratio. Too high, every little bump will turn the wheel.
I say: right again, I think 1:3 could be too much, 1:2 too small ratio, so 1:2,5 should work.
The Kid says:
Keep us posted on your progress.
I say: you bet I will!

raoul.lf
10-24-2010, 05:28 PM
I wish you success in your design. The problem before has been with "slop" in the steering where there was play. Nothing precise. If you are successful please know that I will be one of the first to copy it. Good engineering luck.

Thank you very much for the encouragements.
I definitely need some, as well as any advice, from any Zombie that's more into technical and engineering stuff than I am (at the Romanian nurses school they didn't usually talk to us either about bevel gears and torque transmission, or how about a good welding has to look like and 3D computer assisted designing).

PeterT
10-25-2010, 03:45 AM
Raoul,

I am also having to redesign the steering part of my F-RQ (Fast- Recumbent Quad), as I am using an Xbox 360 gaming console steering wheel for my steering wheel, and having the steering mechanism raise/lower with the fairing, to allow ingress/egress (in/out).

With the quad front end, as Brad has designed it, you have offset steering control rods, running down the left side of the frame. With mine, I will have the steerer tube central of the frame, going through it actually.

My steering/fairing will lift/pivot from just front of the steerer tube, with a universal joint being inserted into the steering to allow for lifting movement.

Watching your developments with keen interest! :1eye:

PeterT

vrooom3440
10-25-2010, 03:12 PM
If you use bevel gears...

Bevel gears are used frequently in automotive steering systems and there is a lot more going on there than meets the eye. One way they deal with free play is by using a tapered gear tooth. Then an adjustment screw is used to press the gear further into engagement and reduce free play.

Personally for a bike application this is all way too much complexity.

Which is why I am planning to do something incremental to Brad's plan approach. Rather than a fairly vertical low mount for the handlebar pivot, I plan to raise the pivot and put it's axis close to horizontal. It will still be based on a bike head tube and use handlebars rather than a wheel. The handlebars allow use of standard bike levers/controls and gives an airplane-like steering yoke affect. The steering tube will have a tab on the end as in the plans and attach to a vertical push/pull tube with heim joint ends.

I will use a push/pull tube with heim joint rod ends along the frame just as in the plans. Thus I will need to convert from the vertical motion created by the steering yoke to the horizontal motion needed for the front push/pull tube.

I will create the motion translation using a bell crank mounted on the frame under the front end of the steering shaft. I can use ball bearings from Radio Control cars as mounting pivots for the bell crank. I can also use different arm lengths for each push/pull tube on the bell crank to change the steering ratio if needed. I expect that close to a 1:1 ratio will be best however.

Note that depending on orientation of bell crank arms one can reverse motion if needed. Further by using longer arms the steering looseness from any free play in the mechanical parts can be minimized.

raoul.lf
10-27-2010, 09:55 AM
PeterT: I'm going to use the cable steering setup that Ken Will suggested in the other thread I started (http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php?p=45832&posted=1#post45832). I liked the idea a lot because, as I already said there, we transform the horizontal rotation in a vertical one with significant less headache than using the gearing box about alignments, movements, bearings, couplings and so on.

vrooom3440: I do not necessarily agree that a good bike project doesn't deserve an accurate executed bevel gear system. But you're right, it is some complexity involved in this kind of setup. I didn't abandon the idea, I am only going to postpone it... If the time will come for it, I'll go for it.

Richie Rich
10-27-2010, 11:24 PM
Did anyone try (and manage) to use a steering wheel for a delta?Hi, Raoul.....This is pretty close to what you may be looking for. It has a small universal joint connecting the 2 pieces.

This trike was built a few years ago by 'Trikemann' (currently inactive).

I hope this helps.....

....Richie....
.

raoul.lf
10-28-2010, 04:30 PM
Richie Rich: you're right, that's the coupling I have to use for being able to lift or lower the steering wheel, according to the rider's height or arms length.
Only that I am going to build the two couplings I need out of two tubes, and as the hinge-functioning part I'll use a metal cube, inserted in the tubes' ends with one shaft and two bolts.
See this as an example (I had a better one, but I don't find it right now): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2sPkEAt7OA&feature=related

raoul.lf
10-28-2010, 04:34 PM
I snipped this from youtube:

vrooom3440
10-28-2010, 05:26 PM
That looks quite workable. Another way to do this is using a rubber disk coupling. GM did this on their steering gears in cars for years and years:

http://www.ecklerstrucks.com/assets/trk/images/size/160x160/sku/121070.jpg

One advantage of this "rag joint" approach is that it absorbs some vibration. In GM's cars it prevented the noise from the hydraulics in the power steering from being transmitted up the steering shaft into the passenger compartment.

The rag joint also has no free play to speak of.

raoul.lf
11-26-2010, 04:06 PM
I have the following concerns about the viability of using the steering wheel on a trike: how in the world am I going to mount the main levers on a round endless circled tube?
I wouldn't like to cut a steering wheel, and then figure out a method of bringing the parts back together once all the levers mounted, and be sure it's gonna be safe.
Does anyone know some types of levers that could be used for this purpose?
Browsing through some related sites, I think I found something, but I don't know if it will be compatible with the front rim brake an the two rear non-hydraulic disc brakes.
It's called Avid Matchmaker, with the alternative Avid Matchmaker X, some multi-purpose lever adapters, but I couldn't infer from the pictures I found if I could use this simple, in fact, device.
Here are some images I found:

Odd Man Out
11-26-2010, 04:24 PM
Puh leeeeez
Raoul,
You are swimming in uncharted waters with your explorations into different steering mechanisms -- this "problem" with lever attachments should be a minor hiccup on your road to success...

raoul.lf
11-26-2010, 05:51 PM
Puh leeeeez
Raoul,
You are swimming in uncharted waters with your explorations into different steering mechanisms -- this "problem" with lever attachments should be a minor hiccup on your road to success...

Wanna help?
Have some ideas?

raoul.lf
11-26-2010, 06:02 PM
I still didn't reach to a conclusion about the front part of the vehicle, that is the steering mechanism, the crank set's height, the chain tension pulleys' positions...
These days I'm concentrating at the rear part of the delta - the dual axle torque transmission, the seat's position and it's adjustment mechanisms, the rear fenders and so on. However, I try to keep in my mind the global picture, so I don't stop thinking about other issues, as well.

Odd Man Out
11-26-2010, 07:30 PM
Wanna help?
Have some ideas?

I would think the easiest way would be to cut a small section out on each side so as to slide the levers on.

raoul.lf
11-26-2010, 08:08 PM
I would think the easiest way would be to cut a small section out on each side so as to slide the levers on.

Sorry, former Odd Man Out, I didn't recognize you in the first place. Greetings to you, **** ***!

Yes, I thought about cutting (smaller or not, finally it'll be the same thing, the circle interrupted) portions from the steering wheel, and then inserting in the cut area little pieces of rods (with small threaded holes) for joining back the circle, and fixing them with some threaded bolts, identically with the ones from the rear wheels' bearings.
But I remembered the old fashioned way the brake levers used to be fixed by the handlebar, and I found some here, for example:
http://www.bike-vintage.com/ergopower-sti-shifters/140-shimano-sti-shifters-st-8-speed-600-ultegra.html
I have to get some levers, anyway, so one of these could be a solution.

savarin
11-26-2010, 08:33 PM
what about extending the levers and mounting them on either side of the steering wheel like indicator stalks on cars so you only need fingertip pressure to apply them.

raoul.lf
11-26-2010, 08:45 PM
what about extending the levers and mounting them on either side of the steering wheel like indicator stalks on cars so you only need fingertip pressure to apply them.

Yes, I really liked the idea some time ago when it came to my mind, thanks for remembering it. I don't know, for the moment, if that place won't already be a little bit crowded with the light signaling system, similar to those of the cars, and used exactly like them, and force me get back on the circle with the braking/shifting levers.

socialtalker
11-27-2010, 10:02 PM
"dual axle torque transmission"????
are you building a bicycle or a spaceship? lol


I still didn't reach to a conclusion about the front part of the vehicle, that is the steering mechanism, the crank set's height, the chain tension pulleys' positions...
These days I'm concentrating at the rear part of the delta - the dual axle torque transmission, the seat's position and it's adjustment mechanisms, the rear fenders and so on. However, I try to keep in my mind the global picture, so I don't stop thinking about other issues, as well.

raoul.lf
11-29-2010, 05:46 PM
"dual axle torque transmission"????
are you building a bicycle or a spaceship? lol

No, I only would like to have both rear wheels powered by user's feet, what's to ''lol'' about?

Odd Man Out
11-29-2010, 05:55 PM
I think Socialalker is only trying to joke around a bit -- your endevours are much beyond the normal novice -- "look I welded two pieces of metal together" type posts.

More power to you and best wishes.

raoul.lf
11-29-2010, 06:15 PM
I think Socialalker is only trying to joke around a bit -- your endevours are much beyond the normal novice -- "look I welded two pieces of metal together" type posts.

More power to you and best wishes.

Maybe you're right, however I am the first one that knows I'm the total greenhorn, some CAD 3D sketches do not make me an AZ crew guru, as long as no one has seen any of my work.
About the "look I welded two pieces of metal together" part - I'm terrified about that more than by any mechanical setup imagined for a trike project, even a peculiar one.
Anyway, thank you for the kind words.
And Socialtalker, I know it can be just another social talk, you caught me in a... kind of grumpy mood, I'm trying to build a flute and the sound frequencies to not harmonize too well. Sorry, I didn't want to be a porcupine...

PeterT
11-29-2010, 09:30 PM
Raoul, why not try something like this?

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4154/5046249330_56e1354129_m.jpg

PeterT

raoul.lf
11-30-2010, 12:45 AM
PeterT, I saw that in your pictures, and thanks for bringing that back in my mind.
I'm going to pay a visit to one of my friends that has an IT shop, see if someone doesn't have a ruined one at home, wanting to buy a new one - the only thing I'll need is the wheel and it's mechanism.