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#320779 - 01/13/06 11:16 AM Re: Simpit ideas *****  

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Rocky, I am following a guide written in several issues of Computer Pilot magazine last year . In one issue they state:
Quote:
"the KE-72(encoder) will accept and switch that makes of breaks contact - Hagstrom states any "dry contact" switch, so no oil filled mechanisms "
So I believe those will work for you. If you want some more tech advice on the encoder, go over to the http://www.avsim.com site under forums and go to the home cockpit building forum and post a question there. those guys are the experts on switches. They get down to the real nitty gritty on the workings of switches over there. Great source of info.

Ice, thanks and no on the feedback system. There is a thread here discussing the tactile feedback cushion intellivibe gizmo and getting shared memory into EECH,,, which morphed into a great mod discussion of multiple displays for EECH.
The seat gizmo is a little pricey for me. I do have my subwoofer under the seat though.

#320780 - 01/13/06 12:53 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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"The seat gizmo is a little pricey for me. I do have my subwoofer under the seat though." - I use a modified version of the Aura Interactor purchased via ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/AURA-SYSTEMS-INTER...1QQcmdZViewItem

#320781 - 01/13/06 04:33 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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Rocky - Both Kimchoc and Jabberwock make good arguments. Both are decent ways to go.
As for the KE72 route, one nice thing is that your wiring uses a common ground. So, you only need signal wires (+1), in the cabling.
(You just tie all of them together in the grip.)
Hacking a joystick makes the interfacing a little more "ready to go". The downside is that you are limited to using no more than their switch count.

My setup is a Thrustmaster FLCS/TQS/RCS.
(With the digital upgrade chips. So I guess that makes it a F22.)

I am in the process of getting a Cougar setup. I tried them out once. You can't beat the feel of cold steel!
My plans are to leave the joystick as is. It's not identical but it's close enough.
(Besides Comanches, like F-16s, use FBW side sticks. So, no need for the pole.)
As for the TQS, this is where it needs some work. I want to remove the existing grip and put on a new helo grip and extension arm. Then, mount the base beside and below the seat. (It may require some modifications to the base's tensioning bands, to hold it in place...we'll see.)


There is a company that makes realistic (high end) joysticks. They are who I will be getting quotes from, for my collective joystick. Here's the link:

http://www.realsims.com/FlightControls.htm

Rocky - I don't know your budget but they already make your Apache controls, for their Fast-Trak systems.
They also have several different blank helo grips that they sell as is, or pre-drill, or completely configure for you. (That's the route I'm going.)
My end result probably won't be an exact Comanche Grip layout. I still have to stick to the Cougar's design restrictions. However, it will be a helo grip, my hand will be rotated to the proper position, and the placement and range of motion of the arm should make it as real as I need.

Tim


Grizzly's Comanche Simulator
"Fear is the mind killer. - Frank Herbert"
#320782 - 01/13/06 06:44 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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...parts unknown, way unknown....
umm...at ten grand a pop..ill stick to my bubble gum and tinfoil approach...great site though...

#320783 - 01/13/06 09:33 PM Re: Simpit ideas  

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Also keep in mind, Rocky, that EECH doesnt have separate throttle and collective input parameters. So we can only achieve a certain amount of realism. I think there must be some balance between money,effort and achieving true realism. In other words, if you really really enjoy building and creating, go for it. But think about the realism that is not acutally programmed into the game.

Ice, how does that unit recieve its input signals? The price is right, thst for sure. Did you say you use it? What is your opinion? Looks interesting.

#320784 - 01/14/06 07:40 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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Rocky - Wow!!! I never actually checked the prices of the finished units. Then again, they are suppliers to the military and the airlines.

I never meant for you to consider buying their finished units, though. I assumed they would be way overpriced. But they do sell just the grips, with blank heads for several types of helos. (Empty shells!) Since the Apache was one of their Fast-Trak systems, they obviously carry those style grips.

I was just checking their site again and I don't see the pages that showed the blank grips, in their dis-assembled state.
I will see if I can dig up a better link.

That was the route I was presenting. Although, their prices for the blanks may be pricey, too!
(Like I said, I haven't quoted them yet.)
For that level of realism, I would probably pay a couple hundred for one.
That's not more than the cost of an added monitor, or a new switch panel, or a couple gauges, or whatever.

Another good site for grips is Mason Electric.

http://www.mason-electric.com/products/cyclic_collect_controls/default.stm

Yes, they're probably pricey, too! But they may be able to provide (or source) the empty grips. I have yet to contact them either.
A cool part of their site is the Online Catalog. It has .pdfs of lots of grip's basic blueprints.
Worth a look, if you're into the grips.

Tim


Grizzly's Comanche Simulator
"Fear is the mind killer. - Frank Herbert"
#320785 - 01/14/06 10:10 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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...parts unknown, way unknown....
i have an idea...im going to create the collective with pvc and epoxy resen to sculpt the grip..after im finished i should have a replica (in shape and size-minus buttons and switches) to the real thing...would it be more cost effective to take this mock up and mold and cast it in rubber or plastic to reproduce the grip? possibly for -others?

Im wondering if we pool our collective tallents that we could not group build a prototype and reproduce it so every one involved in the project gets one? at a much cheaper cost?

- I found the switches

- I can model the handle

* would need a electronics guy to wire and interface the collective

*would need a mold making and casting service to replicate the prototype

could be a good group project...

i will post my plans along with images later tonight..

...ideas..ideas..

#320786 - 01/14/06 11:06 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kimchoc1:

Ice, how does that unit recieve its input signals? The price is right, thst for sure. Did you say you use it? What is your opinion? Looks interesting.
The unit has standard audio input via mini-jack (same as your soundcard audio ins/outs). The vibrating cushion includes the mini amp and mains power supply. It works very well and I wouldn't play games/simulations without it.

I am now using a domestic hi-fi amp to drive the vibration transducer rather than the Aura amp because the audio quality is much higher (thus the vibrations feel much cleaner and more powerful).

The information on this forum is pretty good. I've learned quite a lot about making dedicated cockpits with switching controls in the short time I've been here. The sim review section is interesting as well and its nice to see reviews on the old Jane's simulations (I used to own F15, F18 and USAF).

The VX-2 lens is now available btw...

http://www.icetec-uk.com/icetec/icetec_v3/vx2_fresnel.htm

#320787 - 01/14/06 11:06 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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...parts unknown, way unknown....
plan diagram ...

#320788 - 01/15/06 02:53 AM Re: Simpit ideas  

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Rocky, you are gung ho !!!. Not to worry the electronics will be the easy part. Configuring the switches adn hats I think will be the toughest. Keep us posted...

Ice, thanks for the info. I may try one of those vibrating units a little later this spring.

But for now, send that lens over that I just bought, on the next plane to Va. Beach. LOL I'm anxious to try it out. \:\)


#320789 - 01/15/06 09:16 AM Re: Simpit ideas  
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Rocky - "...create the collective with pvc and epoxy resen to sculpt the grip..."
That sounds like an interesting idea. I'll be curious to see how your prototype goes.

It's a shame I'm working on a Comanche pit, instead of an Apache and using a hacked Cougar (plus the encoder, if needed.), instead of encoder only.
I think pooling our physical and economical resources (As well as our intellectual ones) is a great way to expand the depth of this project. The "code" guys are making great strides but there is no reason why the "fab" guys can't come together, to advance this project on another front!

BTW - I'm guessing the pic of the KE36 is there just for reference? According to your print, it looks like you'll need 41 switch points to model it exactly. Although, I doubt you'll be able to model the push-button functions of the 3D switches, so that still makes 39.
(Looks like you'll need the KE72, too.)

Tim


Grizzly's Comanche Simulator
"Fear is the mind killer. - Frank Herbert"
#320790 - 01/15/06 12:21 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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...parts unknown, way unknown....
...the ke36 is usb...it is all i can use with my system...i am going to incoperate a Saitek throttle X36 or x45 in the collectice so my button count should reduce a little...

as well i emailed Otto for the switch prices will see what comes of it.

commanche pit?..sounds cool

#320791 - 01/15/06 01:17 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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...parts unknown, way unknown....
the 3d buttons you speak of are actually transducer switches...they can be bought through Otto. This switch has dry contacts like the rest so i would imagine it could be hooked up as per normal hat/4 way toggle

...the epoxy resin i have ordered is a special sculpters resin which acts just like clay and hardens in an hour or two to a hard plastic like finish which bonds to pretty much anything allowing grinding sanding and drilling.I plan on using cut wood blocks for the top grip assemblies and sculpt everything together...

#320792 - 01/15/06 01:38 PM Re: Simpit ideas  

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I'd like to see some pics of the resin progress. I've read about guys using a product like that in other forums and their results were stunning. So keep in mind we need
PICS PICS PICS PICS PICS and then more PICS !!!!!!!!!!
These pics are what you can accomplish with an encoder and some switches. Hope the owner doesnt mind me posting them... they are too good not to share...





now, tell me that doesnt just beat the crap out of pushing buttons on a keyboard ?????


#320793 - 01/15/06 05:42 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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While the KE-USB36 seemed seriously overpriced to me (but then it is intended for a very small market, why the extreme unit cost might be valid) the little I read about it made me think you can actually get 288 digital inputs from it, using just a little external circuitry.

How? Elementary, my dear Watson. It's got outputs for three separate LEDs. Those could be used to drive one or more MUXe(r?)s. For Rocky's project, using the usually otherwise unused scroll lock LED as a selector between "upper" and "lower" switch group seems to me like something to have a look at. It could reduce the number of wires significantly. On the other hand, it would no longer be a simple "keyboard input replacement", but would need programatically flipping the ScrollLock LED signal on/off to read all the switches.

Another thing that struck me with this, is that iff it was viable to use a non-keyboard-emulating thingamajig, and that gizmo had a few output pins too, and at least one A/D, one could reduce the wire-count to even the multi-selection switches to just two (*). That would instead require n resistors (for n button positions - "open" not counted) placed at or near the switch. For MUXing, if at all required, I'd then have a look at a CMOS analog IC, something like the 4066.

(*) If my count is correct, the 23 functions for the upper/outer part of the collective Rocky displayed, would then require only 10 wires (including the common GND). Actually, should space be really tight one could probably cascade multiple switches to to a single wire, reducing the wire count even more - but then resistor count would obviously increase, and component tolerances could become an issue.

But then again, I'm known to go a bit overboard (no pun intended). \:\)

I just came to think of yet another possible option. If it is unlikely enough that two multi-switches are operated at the same time, could they perhaps be wired to pull down a common wire that could be used as a SHIFT modifier?
Imagine a "hat" 4-way switch, where I here use X and Y just as placeholders for the real emulated kbd buttons, and Sh fr shift.

U - Y Sh
D - Y
L - X Sh
R - X

I.e. instead of the four positions requiring four different inputs, they'd now only need two (plus the common shift line, common with other switches too). This of course and unfortunately would limit the use to "hat"-switches where diagonal travel is not an option.

Perhaps I should just get me some more coffee before this becomes even longer. \:\)

#320794 - 01/15/06 07:29 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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"Hope the owner doesnt mind me posting them..."

I don't mind at all Kimchoc.
(I'm just too lazy to upload them to my site, for posting.) \:D

Tim


Grizzly's Comanche Simulator
"Fear is the mind killer. - Frank Herbert"
#320795 - 01/15/06 07:53 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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Dispatch will be Monday!

If you use your simulator in anything other than a darkened room then I suggest you make a hood between your head and the lens. It's important to block out peripheral room distractions for better feeling of immersion.

#320796 - 01/15/06 10:25 PM Re: Simpit ideas  

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Most flying is done at night so shouldnt be a problem. I imagine that I'll get at least the amount of brightness that I have now. I dont suppose your lens will cut DOWN any brightness? We'll just have to see... thanks...

Tamlin, U killin me.....



#320797 - 01/16/06 03:02 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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I was referring to the blocking of room distractions rather than maximising brightness. If you can see your room surroundings then this will detract from the immersive experience. Your simulator should simply allow you to view the fresnel/screen and the controls and nothing more.

#320798 - 01/16/06 09:39 PM Re: Simpit ideas  
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...parts unknown, way unknown....
well i got the prices for the switches back - they range from 50 bucks for a toggle switch to 350.00 for a 4 way hat...lol...very affordable...oh well must do plan B

i think im going find spare parts and build the switches myself..hell a 4 way hat is only 4 push buttons.
just take longer as the otto switches were drill insert and then wire.


my plan ultimatly is to have the full AH 64d control system so i am toying with canabalizing a Saitek evo and using the ke36usb to complete the cyclic and collective set.

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