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News & Updates


UPDATE - Sept 2016,

My focus continues to be on the flight simulator equipment related web site and I haven't made any new EV designs for some time now.

I've now made the plans for all the EV's free to access. Just follow the plans order links to the order page where you will find the download link. You can access the pdfs from there...enjoy!

UPDATE - 2 July 2013,

I've neglected to post updates for a wee while now... All of my work recently has been on the flight simulator sections of the web site. It's mainly commercial work on the force feedback systems that has occupied me and I've been continuously developing the CL driver cards and software over time.


An interesting wee diversion recently is the new cockpit/seat shaker & rumble system - see Good fun - if you are interested in building a rumble system a bit different from the usual bass shaker units..


Work in the pipeline at the moment is a racing car simulator FFB steering wheel version of the FFB system. This is interesting because the maths of the road tyre modelling is a bit more interesting than that for flight controls, and some of the maths needs to be done on-board the motor driver card. Steering wheel FFB is also single channel - so it is potentially a simpler, lower cost project than a full set of flight controls...

UPDATE - 13 May 2012,

Google has become confused, and can't decide if the web site is for EV's or for flight simulation projects! So I've decided at long last to give the ever expanding flight sim projects section its own web address. You can now find the BFF Simulator Force and Motion web site at

...don't worry - all the internal site links will work as before so most folks probably won't notice it has moved.....

UPDATE - 8 Sept 2011,

I've now made available plans, software and hardware for building a DIY force feedback flight yoke. Otherwise known as a yoke control loader. The hardware is derived from the earlier brushless motor drive development work. More details here.....

UPDATE - 21 March 2011,

Further work on the DIY force feedback flight controls are for flight simmers. I've been working on a more sophisticated brushless motor drive for the FFB flight yoke and am getting much better results with regard to force smoothness. More details here.....

UPDATE - 14 Sept 2010,

More activity on the flight sim side of things. I've released a beta version of the BFF Motion Driver software for Condor Soaring the gliding simulator. Available on the sim downloads page. Various other software improvements also on the V2.6beta - see the change list.

UPDATE - 21 July 2010,

Since January there have been a number of updates on the flight simulator section of the web site - these include updated versions of software, hardware improvements and updates and the addition of free  force feedback software and microcontroller comms software. See the flight sim home page for more details.....

UPDATE - 29 January 2010,

A further update for the BFF Motion Driver software - I've made V2.6beta available for the Falcon F4-AF flight combat sim. It's available to download and try from the downloads page here. If you do give it a try remember it is beta software - so please report any issues you come across.

UPDATE - 11 January 2010,

Happy New Year! An update on the motion platform driver software - I've put V2.6beta code up on the site for interested platform builders to try. V2.6 has a number of interesting new features - including support for Dyadic SCN5 linear actuators, joystick movement input and some configuration additions. It is beta software however, so there might be further changes to be made - let me know if there are any issues that arise.

UPDATE - 15 October 2009,

Update - no update! I've been neglecting the site recently due to a commercial design and build project I've been working on over the summer for Swarm Systems Ltd. However I hope to get back to new projects for the site before too long. I have plans to do more with the DIY force feedback yoke and the motion platform servo drive.

UPDATE - 15 June 2009,

For DIY motion platform builders - details are now available for a ready-built signal processor unit PCB to replace the DIY bread boarded electronics used in the earlier drive system designs. The board will be available to buy soon - but technical details are now available on the site, follow the link above.

UPDATE - 18 May 2009,

I've added a couple of pages in the flight sim section - these are a write up on a DIY force feedback (control loader) flight yoke I've been working away on for some time. The design isn't quite finished yet but it's been a fascinating project and I thought I'd put up some info on it.

UPDATE - 10 April 2009,

A couple of updates in the Motion Platform section. I've released v2.1 of the motion driver software which has some interesting updates - for commercial users there is now direct position demand output to Galil motion controllers and I've added in-program cue settings and a built-in virtual oscilloscope to trace the cue outputs in real-time - very useful during setup stages.

I've also finished work on a high-speed version of the servo control system SPU for the motion platform drive system. This uses PICAXE's new 28X2 higher speed microcontroller chip and brings further improvement to the drive system.

UPDATE - 13 Feb 2009,

Detailed plans are now available for the Mini Motion Platform 3. They are bundled FREE with V2 Motion Driver software orders.

UPDATE - 21 Jan 2009,

I've added a page on a software implementation of the flight sim Articulated Projector display motion method. This produces the same visual effects as the projector articulation but on a standard computer monitor and using software only - no hardware build! I don't have robust software available but there is a demonstration application and some movie clips.

I'm a bit late in posting this but there is a new page with details of an enhanced speed SPU for the motion platform control system. This uses 115200 baud to improve the speed of data transfer between the hardware and PC and improves the control system performance. Page here -

UPDATE - 22 Dec 2008,

A number of interesting new developments in the flight sim pages. I;ve upgraded the BFF Motion Driver software to V2 for both MSFS and X-Plane sims. The driver now includes an integrated Articulated Projector driver which is a new and interesting way to add further motion immersion to motion platforms. There is also a new page on US Digital MA3 encoder use with the platform drive hardware.

UPDATE - 21 Nov 2008,

Work has been proceeding on a third, even lower cost motion platform design and I've added a write-up page for interested visitors - BFF Mini Motion Platform (well I had to call it something!)

UPDATE - 22 Oct 2008,

The flight sim motion platform driver software has been upgraded to version v1.6.5d for MSFS sims. This is an important update and this version should be used in preference to previous MSFS versions. It is available here. There is now a v1.7 beta version available which has a LAN network operation feature - see the sim downloads page.

UPDATE - Sept 2008,

There is now a full information pack available for the DIY Wi-Fi Bot which includes drive software, user guides, wiring diagrams, flash programs and detailed technical drawings. Most of this is available free from the Bot web pages, however the full version of the driver software and the detailed engineering drawings are available as part of the paid-for Full Access Passwords set here.

UPDATE - Aug 2008,

I've had a number of projects on the go and it looks like it's the BFF DIY Wi-Fi Bot that will make it to the site first. I haven't made up a plans and information set for it yet but there are a couple of pages of write up here.

UPDATE - May 2008,

I've worked up a design for a 1500W electric kart - one that's a bit bigger and faster then the 500W kid's kart already on the site. I haven't found time to build and test it yet but the design look reasonably sound to me and shouldn't throw up significant build problems. More details at the 1500W kart page.

UPDATE - April 2008,

I've added a basic set of dimensioned drawings of the Platform 2 and updated the Linear Actuator drawing set to reflect some design improvements. The platform drawings are here.

UPDATE - Feb 2008,

Platform 2 prototype is now up and running and I'll now be testing it to see how it runs - more details on the Platform 2 pages.

I've completed the design of the flight sim motion platform 2 and the build is now underway. Three linear actuators have been made and are up and running albeit without load. An interesting experiment has been to run the 24V drive motors on 36V to see how the speed response of the actuators improves. Movie clips of the actuators running can be seen on the Platform 2 page here.

The remaining structures shouldn't be difficult to make and I should have the whole platform running by the end of the month.

UPDATE - Nov 2007,

Low cost motion drive software is now available on the motion cockpit downloads page here. This offers an attractive solution for DIY motion platform builders looking to reduce the build costs of their systems.

I've also made available informational plans for a low-cost linear actuator that might be of interest in more conventional platform designs - the plans are bundled free with the motion drive software.

UPDATE - Sept 2007,

I've updated the DIY 3 DOF Motion Cockpit pages and made available detailed information about the drive software and drive and control system. This includes free software, micro-controller programs and wiring diagrams. You can see them here.

UPDATE - July 2007,

The main moving cockpit mechanical system is built and moved indoors from the workshop. I've done most of the electrical system fit-out and have the control system running and stable, although I need to do some testing now to see how the system runs. There is a short movie clip here to let you see the cockpit in motion under test (still without a pilot though).

UPDATE - May 2007,

I've added a few pages giving a bit of a progress report on the latest project. This is a 3 DOF flight simulator movement cockpit and will be quite a challenge. Have a look and see what you think.

UPDATE - April 2007,


The 1300W Yard Tractor plans set is now available and is included with the Full Set Download and on the Plans-on-a CDROM available from the plans page. I'm working on putting some preview sheets up on the site for free - probably just of the assembly drawings, for builders interested in seeing some ideas for their own projects. Update - the assembly drawing previews are now up - go to the Yard Tractor page.


Design work on the next project is underway - this one will be quite a bit different!

UPDATE - March 2007,

I've just about finished the 1300W Yard Tractor build and am now drafting the plans set. There are some newer photos on the tractor page - get to it from the home page.

UPDATE - February 2007,Rear wheel drive hub

I'm pleased to say that work on the 1300W Yard Tractor is under way. Most of the steel steering and drive components are made and work has started on the wooden chassis. See images below - I hope that another couple of weeks will see good progress and something in the workshop that looks more like a tractor than at the moment.

Unfinished front beam axleTractor timber chassis - work started

Left - work started on the chassis.


Right - Front beam axle, still unfinished but looking sturdy.


UPDATE - December 2006,

Version of the vehicle power calculator added for imperial (inch & lbs) units.

UPDATE - December 2006,

For designers/builders interested in vehicle power calculations I've added a simple calculator that can be used to experiment with vehicle and drive condition parameters and see effects on power consumption. You can find it here (I'm afraid only a metric version is available at the moment).

Design work on the new yard tractor has progressed and although plans aren't ready I've added a write-up here

UPDATE - November 2006,

I started design work on the next vehicle - a sort of towed wheeled sled pulled by a "pack" of electric bogies. This sounded interesting to me - you could stand on the rear of the sled and steer the "pack" by steering the lead bogie, a bit like steering a dog team (I guess - never having driven a real dog sled!). I explained this idea to my oldest son and got a, well, muted response - "a bit weird maybe", "not to everyone's taste?" I took the hint am am now working instead on an updated garden tractor design - one that uses proper lawn tractor wheels and a more efficient electric motor drive than the old mini-tractor on the site. Should have the new tractor design finished by Christmas for building in the New Year.

UPDATE - September 2006,

I've now been able to add FREE plans for the 1000W antique style Voiturette - check here

The Voiturette plans are also available now as a convenient download with overall materials and components lists and are included in the full paid-for plans set and the Plans on a CDROM.

UPDATE - August 2006,

FREE plans for the go kart and gearbox have been added to the site - check here.

UPDATE - August 2006,

Our 3/4 scale electric Voiturette has been built and is running - see the link from the home page. Work will start soon on a set of detailed plans for the vehicle which will be available in a month or two.

UPDATE - May 2006,

Work is continuing to collect the parts needed for the replica Voiturette build and work will begin on this very soon now.

I've also started to add new Plans Walk-Through pages which will let visitors see what's in the plan sets in a bit more detail. For those just interested in ideas about construction it should be possible to see in the images the general approach used in many of the vehicle designs. I've started with the tilting scooter and the walk-through can be accessed through the scooter links.

UPDATE - April 2006,

Design work is proceeding on the next vehicle which will be an antique car replica - something a bit larger than the kids' karts. I've had another article published in Engine & Wheels TM Issue #44 which discusses the early part of this project. You can find it at the SmallCarPlans web site here.

A second article on the replica antique car design has been published in issue #45 of Engine & Wheels TM. See the link below to the SmallCarPlans web site or you can download pdf copies of both articles from our site here - Article Part 1 and Article Part 2

UPDATE - March 2006,

The powered yard or garden flatbed/walled trailer plans are now available in all the usual formats. The trailer plans have also been added to our "fullset" downloads and our "Plans on a CD".

Time to move on to the next design!

UPDATE - February 2006,

I've had a technical article on electrical drives for small EV's published in the web-publication "Engine and Wheels TM " Issue #41. You can find it through the SmallCarPlans web site here or download a re-print from our site here - enjoy!

UPDATE - January 2006,

First of all many thanks to our customers and site visitors from all over the world and your encouraging comments. With Christmas come and gone the next vehicle - the power assisted hand trailer - has moved off the drawing board and into the workshop, although as I type it's mainly a pile of bits. Winter in Scotland is usually a cold and damp affair and the problem is our unheated workshop can de described in similar terms which makes it difficult to work the wooden parts - time to roll out that old space heater!

It's at this time of year I get jealous of those visitors to the site from the southern hemisphere.

UPDATE - November 2005,

Have finished testing the back-office systems and order pages are now available. If you have any problems with them please let us know at the e-mail link at the bottom of the page.

UPDATE - November 2005,

Work has been continuing on the first set of  new buggy designs and on a major upgrade of the web site. We have finished the first set of plans and have decided to release the new web site - but to hold back the plans order pages until we finish testing the "back-office" systems. These will be up soon. The mini-tractor plans can be downloaded now for FREE!

UPDATE - July 2005,

Two of the new vehicles have been built and tested and the plans prepared. Work is progressing on number three. Once I have this one ready plus one other I should have time  to put some work into updating the web site and making the plans available. Still on course for release later in the summer.

UPDATE – March 2005,

Work on EV4 is still on the back burner I'm afraid. Instead a new range of easy to build vehicles is well under way with the first one being built and tested this month. Details of these should be available in the summer from our new web site at -

Come back and pay us a visit in the summer; in the meantime enjoy the rest of the site.

UPDATE – October 2004,

Unfortunately design work on the single seater has had to take a “back seat” due to pressure of other “real” work and time spent during the summer on some other vehicle design ideas. Work will resume however ASAP and I'll post developments when I have them!


EV4 will be a rugged single seater for adults, probably 4WD again and will make use of the articulated steering approach used in EV1 and a drive system similar to the tractor's.... I think......

Sketch Design

As you can see, still a bit of work to do on this one.


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