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XyZspineZyX
10-23-2003, 07:47 PM
A Control System for IL-2: FB
By LION 13

This control system consists of a Saitek X45 USB HOTAS joystick and throttle,
Thrustmaster RCS analog rudder pedals, a homemade 3-axis trim control box and a
numeric keypad and a USB game port adapter. The advantage of this system is the,
increased number of rotaries, the ability to use old rudder pedals and not having trims set
to use the rotaries of the X45 in IL-2: FB, when some aircraft have no trim.

The rudder pedals, trim box are connected to the PC via the USB Game Port Adapter
(RadioShack p/n 26-164, $15.99). NOTE: You can use the rudder pedals without a
connected joy stick by using the USB Game Adapter.

The keypad (Kensington Pocket KeyPad, Mobile keyPad and USB hub $39.95?) is used
to eliminate a keyboard sitting between the throttle and the stick. The / key calls up the
comms function and the comms commands are entered through the keypad (i.e. vector to
base is /-8-3 ). Entering the comms commands is easy and quick. The rest of the keypad
is programmed in FB for engine functions, such as engine selection ( 1 = left engine, 2=
right engine, 3= all engines), toggle engine (Enter), supercharger stage, magneto
selection, feather prop etc.

The 3-axis trim control box was constructed using the following RadioShack
components:

3 - 100K ohm linear pots, p/n 271-092, $2.79 ea.
3 - PN38A Knobs, p/n 274-402, $2.79 per pkg (2 per pkg.)
1 - Project box , 6"x3"x2", p/n 270-1805, $3.79
1 - DB-15 male sub-miniature connector. NOTE: not available from RadioShack , I used
one from and old joystick.

Cut the pot axles to 1/2". The pots are wired per the standard game port wiring found on
several wed sites. Basically pin 1 (+5 vdc) is wired to one end of each pot. The first pot
wiper (center contact on pot) is wired as X1 axis (pin3 on the connector), the second pot
wiper is wired as Y1 axis (pin 6) and the third pot wiper is wired as Y2 axis (pin 13).
The third pot is wired as Y2 axis because the TM RCS rudder pedals are on the X2 axis,
this may vary depending on the rudder pedals.

Install the pots and connector into the project box. Do NOT install the knobs until the
calibration is complete.

Plug the control box into the rudder pedals and the rubber pedals into the USB Game Port
Adapter. The adapter switch should work in any position as XP sees the adapter as a 4
axis, 8 button joystick.

In XP Home Edition, open the Control Panel, Game Controllers, USB Adapter (shows up
under the X45 and will be ID2 in FB), Settings and calibrate each of the trims, use raw
data to see the coordinates. Just click NEXT when asked to press a button. Use the X1
axis and Y1 axis pots to move the + around the parameter of the box observing the raw
data numbers and then center the + using the raw data numbers. The X2 (rudder pedals)
calibrate as the rudder. The Y2 axis is calibrated as the throttle. Carefully install the
knobs with each axis centered.

In FB under Controls HOTAS, set the trims to use the trim control box. The trim control
box should be ID2. NOTE: depending on the direction you move the trim pot so FB sees
it will determine if, for example, moving the rudder trim CCW gives left trim (desired).
Look for a - sign in front of the axis.

The trim box sets to the left of the throttle the keypad to the right, between it and the joystick.
Now I can make trim adjustments quickly, use comms easily. Only my left hand leaves the
throttle, briefly.

I have pictures, but can't figure how to attach them. Can someone help, I'm new to this posting thing.

XyZspineZyX
10-23-2003, 07:47 PM
A Control System for IL-2: FB
By LION 13

This control system consists of a Saitek X45 USB HOTAS joystick and throttle,
Thrustmaster RCS analog rudder pedals, a homemade 3-axis trim control box and a
numeric keypad and a USB game port adapter. The advantage of this system is the,
increased number of rotaries, the ability to use old rudder pedals and not having trims set
to use the rotaries of the X45 in IL-2: FB, when some aircraft have no trim.

The rudder pedals, trim box are connected to the PC via the USB Game Port Adapter
(RadioShack p/n 26-164, $15.99). NOTE: You can use the rudder pedals without a
connected joy stick by using the USB Game Adapter.

The keypad (Kensington Pocket KeyPad, Mobile keyPad and USB hub $39.95?) is used
to eliminate a keyboard sitting between the throttle and the stick. The / key calls up the
comms function and the comms commands are entered through the keypad (i.e. vector to
base is /-8-3 ). Entering the comms commands is easy and quick. The rest of the keypad
is programmed in FB for engine functions, such as engine selection ( 1 = left engine, 2=
right engine, 3= all engines), toggle engine (Enter), supercharger stage, magneto
selection, feather prop etc.

The 3-axis trim control box was constructed using the following RadioShack
components:

3 - 100K ohm linear pots, p/n 271-092, $2.79 ea.
3 - PN38A Knobs, p/n 274-402, $2.79 per pkg (2 per pkg.)
1 - Project box , 6"x3"x2", p/n 270-1805, $3.79
1 - DB-15 male sub-miniature connector. NOTE: not available from RadioShack , I used
one from and old joystick.

Cut the pot axles to 1/2". The pots are wired per the standard game port wiring found on
several wed sites. Basically pin 1 (+5 vdc) is wired to one end of each pot. The first pot
wiper (center contact on pot) is wired as X1 axis (pin3 on the connector), the second pot
wiper is wired as Y1 axis (pin 6) and the third pot wiper is wired as Y2 axis (pin 13).
The third pot is wired as Y2 axis because the TM RCS rudder pedals are on the X2 axis,
this may vary depending on the rudder pedals.

Install the pots and connector into the project box. Do NOT install the knobs until the
calibration is complete.

Plug the control box into the rudder pedals and the rubber pedals into the USB Game Port
Adapter. The adapter switch should work in any position as XP sees the adapter as a 4
axis, 8 button joystick.

In XP Home Edition, open the Control Panel, Game Controllers, USB Adapter (shows up
under the X45 and will be ID2 in FB), Settings and calibrate each of the trims, use raw
data to see the coordinates. Just click NEXT when asked to press a button. Use the X1
axis and Y1 axis pots to move the + around the parameter of the box observing the raw
data numbers and then center the + using the raw data numbers. The X2 (rudder pedals)
calibrate as the rudder. The Y2 axis is calibrated as the throttle. Carefully install the
knobs with each axis centered.

In FB under Controls HOTAS, set the trims to use the trim control box. The trim control
box should be ID2. NOTE: depending on the direction you move the trim pot so FB sees
it will determine if, for example, moving the rudder trim CCW gives left trim (desired).
Look for a - sign in front of the axis.

The trim box sets to the left of the throttle the keypad to the right, between it and the joystick.
Now I can make trim adjustments quickly, use comms easily. Only my left hand leaves the
throttle, briefly.

I have pictures, but can't figure how to attach them. Can someone help, I'm new to this posting thing.

XyZspineZyX
10-23-2003, 07:49 PM
Sounds nice.... I just use my X45/MSFFB2/CHPro pedal combo for al the control I need...... /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron

XyZspineZyX
10-23-2003, 07:55 PM
< img src="http://link.to.your.picture.somewhere.on.the.net">

Remove the space after the first character.

<font face="Courier New">

_____ | _____
_\__(o)__/_
./ \.

</font>

XyZspineZyX
10-23-2003, 09:47 PM
To post pics if you don't have web space

http://www.uploadit.org/

upload pic then copy url and paiste it in your post.

600k limit.

<center>http://www.uploadit.org/files/201003-P-4704_SIG%20copyFINAL.jpg

"Any information that we receive concerning the real world is carefully controlled"

XyZspineZyX
10-24-2003, 01:44 AM
helgstrand-

thanks for pointing me to uploadit. I like it, you don't have to open your PC to the world.

Here are pictures of the Trim box and my office /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif



http://www.uploadit.org/files/241003-FBTC003a.jpg


http://www.uploadit.org/files/241003-FBTC005.jpg


http://www.uploadit.org/files/241003-FBTC009a.jpg

XyZspineZyX
10-24-2003, 02:58 AM
Nice setup, very clean.

PS "Rubber trim" gives me the giggles, can't help it.

<center>
Read the <a href=http://www.mudmovers.com/sturmovik_101/FAQ.htm>IL2 FAQ</a>
Got Nimrod? Try the unofficial <A HREF=http://acompletewasteofspace.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=4&sid=4870c2bc08acb0f130e5e3396d08d595>OT forum</A>

XyZspineZyX
10-24-2003, 03:55 AM
Great stuff Lion. I've been wanting to build a trim box like that for some time now, thanks for the part numbers, especially for the project box and knobs. I intend to build a USB version though.

Edit - I didn't notice you were using a USB adapter in the pics you posted. A while ago I found a few places that sell chips that would let you build a USB controller directly. If nothing else, it's one less bulky plug for other cords to snag on. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Edit #2 - I'm using a similar Targus numeric keypad for engine management as well, but it never occured to me that it could do double duty by activating the chat macros while the chat / AI comms menu is open... I'll have to try that.

Really great stuff Lion!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"When my brother and I built and flew the first man-carrying flying machine, we thought that we were introducing into the world an invention which would make further wars impossible..."

Orville Wright, 1917

Message Edited on 10/23/0310:05PM by Leadfinger_71

XyZspineZyX
10-24-2003, 09:19 AM
Nice setup.

I have a similar trim box made from the pots and wheels from an old joystick (CH Flightstick-cost 1)

But I don't have a rubber trim, will have to borrow the girlfriends one :-)



Cpt-Madcowz
Comsa (http://www.comsa.co.uk)



"When the hunter comes, the tiger runs with the deer."

XyZspineZyX
10-24-2003, 02:25 PM
Leadfinger_71 wrote:
- Great stuff Lion. I've been wanting to build a trim
- box like that for some time now, thanks for the part
- numbers, especially for the project box and knobs.
- I intend to build a USB version though.
-

I suggest you use the RadioShack USB Gameport Adapter.
Less problems and more cost effective. P/N is 260-164.

Unless you want the challange of building a circuit board.


http://www.uploadit.org/files/241003-FBTC002.jpg

XyZspineZyX
10-26-2003, 04:33 AM
-
- I suggest you use the RadioShack USB Gameport
- Adapter.
- Less problems and more cost effective. P/N is
- 260-164.
-
- Unless you want the challange of building a circuit
- board.
-
-

how exactly would you build a usb device? do you know of any documentation about that kind of thing? it seems like you could have many many more axes and buttons, but i assume you have to make your own drivers for them as well. for me, it's just a pipe dream, but i would like to try anyway.

XyZspineZyX
10-26-2003, 02:27 PM
Timmothias wrote:
- how exactly would you build a usb device? do you
- know of any documentation about that kind of thing?
- it seems like you could have many many more axes and
- buttons, but i assume you have to make your own
- drivers for them as well. for me, it's just a pipe
- dream, but i would like to try anyway.

I found a place that sells controller chips here:

http://www.codemercs.com/JoyWarriorE.html

Grab this PDF file for more details and diagrams:

http://www.codemercs.com/Downloads/JoyWarriorDatasheet.pdf

I never did follow through on this. I know how to solder and could follow simple, "connect this pin to this pin" instructions, but reading the circuit diagrams is beyond my experience level. I'm sure I could learn if I had someone to walk me through one, but it'd be simpler to use a converter plug. Also, because Codemercs is located in Germany, by the time you add up VAT and shipping (at least for me since I'm in the US), the controller chips are almost as expensive as a converter plug.

Another, arguably more simple option is to cannibalize an existing USB controller. There have been a few threads around here about this topic. Here is one:

http://forums.ubi.com/messages/message_view-topic.asp?name=us_il2sturmovik_gd&id=zlwjz

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"When my brother and I built and flew the first man-carrying flying machine, we thought that we were introducing into the world an invention which would make further wars impossible..."

Orville Wright, 1917

XyZspineZyX
10-26-2003, 04:11 PM
IMHO, your making a mountain out of a mole hill.

It cost me about $34 (including the cost of the USB Gameport Adapter) and 2 hours or less to build the trim control box.

It is rock solid, aircraft can be trimmed to fly hands off.

Using pots from an old stick is a good idea, if the axis were solid. The only question is, are the pot shafts long enough and do they have the necessary mounting hardware.

To build a USB trim box/joystick from scratch would be very expensive ($100+?). The schematics in the pdf are easy enough to read. What happens if the USB chip blows up? Where are you then? Me, I go to RadioShack and I'm back in business.