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HitchHikerHSDWG
04-05-2006, 01:03 PM
Hi all, I've been working on a flight chair for my flying games and had some questions about USB hubs and devices.

Can I hook up all my devices (Joystick, key, mouse, etc...) to a USB hub then have it all function properly at the same time?

I was going to hook all my devices mounted on my flight chair to a USB hub then use a USB extension cable to go to my PC. Just not sure if the devices will work together though.

Thanks for any help!

HitchHikerHSDWG
04-05-2006, 01:03 PM
Hi all, I've been working on a flight chair for my flying games and had some questions about USB hubs and devices.

Can I hook up all my devices (Joystick, key, mouse, etc...) to a USB hub then have it all function properly at the same time?

I was going to hook all my devices mounted on my flight chair to a USB hub then use a USB extension cable to go to my PC. Just not sure if the devices will work together though.

Thanks for any help!

FoolTrottel
04-05-2006, 03:17 PM
If it's a powered hub, chances are it will work. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif
If it's not, chances are it won't. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Will depend however on the hardware being used.

Guess this one will be one of the trial-and-error kind.
Can't you prevent the usage of them long cables?
As in build the rig into the seat? Or closer to it?

Good Luck anyways, and make sure you share that chair with us, we want pics!

Troll2k
04-05-2006, 03:20 PM
I have several devices plug into a powered usb hub.Each port on your machine is capable of source 500 ma.If you plug in a non powered hub the that 500 ma is split between the number of ports on the hub.with a powered one each port on the hub then suppoorts 500ma.

However I am not sure how long of a cable usb supports between the hub and the machine.

HitchHikerHSDWG
04-05-2006, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the replies! It is a powered hub and I think I'll give it a try tonight to check things out. I'm basically taking a Playseat that I use for a steering wheel and pedals and modifying to hold a keyboard/mouse/joystick and throttle (possible some rudder pedals in the future.

Heres a couple of pics including one of my clanmates ideas (the photo shopped pic).
My gear I'm trying to mount w/ key/mouse:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/HitchHikerHSDWG/100_0146.jpg
My idea:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/HitchHikerHSDWG/RaceSeatWIP.jpg

My clanmates idea (not to scale):
http://www.gixster.com/323.jpg

Thanks again for the help I'll definitely post pics when I'm done.

HitchHikerHSDWG
04-05-2006, 03:35 PM
Oh and I forgot anyone have any recomendations on a good wireless key/mouse set that can go a min. of 5' from its reciever and not lose connection during a game? I hear thats the problem with most of the wireless rigs.

I'm trying to avoid moving my PC because I like its location at my desk but leaving it there makes me have to move my key and mouse back after I'm done with a game. Unless you can hook up two USB keyboards and two mice and have them work at the same time. The only other way I could think of was wireless though.

Thanks again!

RxMan
04-05-2006, 06:22 PM
I use the M$ wireless deskset just fine. I have the more expensive one of the 2 models available. The scroll wheel on the keyboard doesn't work with IL2, but everything else is fine.
Annoying is the keyboard defaults to shifted F keys, you must hit a key to unshift them and use as F keys, only a small annoyance. The devices work to at least 6 feet as I have done so. The reciever has a fairly long cord so can be mounted a few feet from the PC.

Ritter_Cuda
04-05-2006, 07:39 PM
well for your contol you could do this.
http://home.earthlink.net/~chevalvolant/The_control_benches.htm (http://home.earthlink.net/%7Echevalvolant/The_control_benches.htm)
I have way too much free time in the winter
Cuda

HitchHikerHSDWG
04-06-2006, 12:40 AM
I got creative after work today and found some scrap finished plywood. So I went down to the hardware store bought some bolts, a couple of odd shaped simpson strong ties and a can of black spray paint and here is what I ended up with!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/HitchHikerHSDWG/100_0147.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/HitchHikerHSDWG/100_0149.jpg

The stick sits at a slightly different angle because the front would hit the key stand so I tilted it down some. Its not that bad, I just should of used by new joy instead of the old one for using as a guide. The mini hub I think works fine but I havent tested it yet, but im using it now (so far so good lol).

strewth
04-06-2006, 03:13 AM
And what is the custom designed dog's tail for??

Maybe it is connected also via usb so that when you get shot, you get something of the consistency of warm thick oil spraying on your face and you get that smell of ---- er ---- fear or death http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Dean3238
04-06-2006, 06:17 AM
Cuda,

I love the set ups you 'good with tools' guys come up with... wish I could do the same. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

I have one question that hopefully can be answered in a basic fashion: I could install a bunch of toggles into a scrap of sheet metal and connect some leads, my question is what needs to be done to connect those switches in a way the computer (or more importantly IL2) will recognize when they are flipped (so I can program them)?

The thought crossed my mind I could use an old keyboard and make use of its connections, I'd just wire the "Z" key (or whatever) leads over to my toggle switch.

Dean (aka Primitive Rock Banger)

Ritter_Cuda
04-06-2006, 08:37 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:
Cuda,

I love the set ups you 'good with tools' guys come up with... wish I could do the same. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

I have one question that hopefully can be answered in a basic fashion: I could install a bunch of toggles into a scrap of sheet metal and connect some leads, my question is what needs to be done to connect those switches in a way the computer (or more importantly IL2) will recognize when they are flipped (so I can program them)?

The thought crossed my mind I could use an old keyboard and make use of its connections, I'd just wire the "Z" key (or whatever) leads over to my toggle switch.

Dean (aka Primitive Rock Banger) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
what i did is use an old keyboard and a broke saitek stick tore them apart found the input lines for the stick and converted to mom toggles
check this link.
http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?$=main/howto/ortek.htm
http://www.mikesflightdeck.com/
http://www.hagstromelectronics.com/products/ke_usb36.html
http://www.hagstromelectronics.com/products/rotaries.html
and I lost the really good link there was a usb board for 25 bucks posted somewhere that was a 32 button stick with some axis then someone said add a program "button to key" and your set.
Cuda

WB_Outlaw
04-06-2006, 08:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:
Cuda,

I love the set ups you 'good with tools' guys come up with... wish I could do the same. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

I have one question that hopefully can be answered in a basic fashion: I could install a bunch of toggles into a scrap of sheet metal and connect some leads, my question is what needs to be done to connect those switches in a way the computer (or more importantly IL2) will recognize when they are flipped (so I can program them)? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The easiest way is to cannibalize a cheap joystick. You also get some analog inputs that way. Depending on the design, you can either take the stick apart and remove the circuit board completely or just solder your connections in place.


--Outlaw.

Dean3238
04-06-2006, 09:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> The easiest way is to cannibalize a cheap joystick. You also get some analog inputs that way. Depending on the design, you can either take the stick apart and remove the circuit board completely or just solder your connections in place. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for the help, fellas, I feel the urge to get in over my head (not the first time).

Follow-up question: Assuming I cut up a joystick and successfully make the connections, will the machine understand that I'm adding joy buttons 45-60 (or whatever) and not override the same switch values as my real joystick? Or is there a bigger can-o-worms at the other side?

Also, I bought a flight sim set up involving a switch stack, throttle and yoke quandrant from back when I was working on my instrument rating. It no longer works with the machine (something about it being analog vs digital). They sell a new one that has all the bells and whistles, that supposedly works, but I have no interest in laying out that much cash for it. Anybody suspect that the switch stack I already have might be adapted in some way so that IL-2 can "see" it? Right now it doesn't.

Thanks!

Dean

WB_Outlaw
04-06-2006, 12:12 PM
You can have multiple USB sticks plugged in at the same time and each one has it's own ID number so they don't get confused. The buttons are defined by the ID number of the stick and the button number. So when you assign a button on the second stick to, say, Raise Flaps, it will show up as something like "ID-2 Button 5" (I can't remember what it is exactly).

Your old equipment probably uses a game port connection and/or a serial port. If the buttons can be made to mimic a keyboard and you have all the software drivers and they run under your current OS, then you should be fine. You can buy a game port to USB adapter from Radio Shack for about $15. I use one for my rudder pedals and it works fine. I think it will handle up to 4 analog axes and 4 or maybe 8 buttons but I'm not sure.

--Outlaw.

Dean3238
04-06-2006, 01:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Your old equipment probably uses a game port connection and/or a serial port. If the buttons can be made to mimic a keyboard and you have all the software drivers and they run under your current OS, then you should be fine. You can buy a game port to USB adapter from Radio Shack for about $15. I use one for my rudder pedals and it works fine. I think it will handle up to 4 analog axes and 4 or maybe 8 buttons but I'm not sure. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, that's how I salvaged my rudder pedals (the only part of the old set up that still works). The main box and throttle quadrant had a serial port (I think) and while it seemed to attach just fine to the computer, nothing I did to the controls would show up in the game.

I figured it just wasn't supported and took it all off-line. The company that made it (Precision Flight Controls) only shrugs and tells me to buy the new hardware and as much as I'd like to use a flap switch that says "Flaps" on it, the cost is just too much.

So, if the cannibalized keyboard now functioning as a set of buttons is a USB device, do you suppose it will register as a "different device" like a separate USB joystick would?

(That sounds like the easiest way to get all this done.)

Thanks for the help!

Dean

bolox00
04-08-2006, 08:56 AM
Cuda, i think this is the link you were looking for
http://www.lbodnar.dsl.pipex.com/joystick/index.html
nice price but the need for diodes on the switch matrix might add to the complications a little.

jamesdietz
04-08-2006, 10:39 AM
Along similar lines- Can I move the entire game file to 100GbExterior storage ( Maxtor3200) device & get it off my C: Hard drive?Will sim still work...is it any advantage for me to even think of doing so?

FoolTrottel
04-09-2006, 03:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jamesdietz:
Along similar lines- Can I move the entire game file to 100GbExterior storage ( Maxtor3200) device & get it off my C: Hard drive?Will sim still work...is it any advantage for me to even think of doing so? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The sim will stil work if you move it.
You just need to create some shortcuts to the executables in new location.
It might get slower in starting and loading... depending on the throughput of that external Maxtor...
There's one drawback: The installation of future add-ons may become troublesome, as the game is not in the same location it was as it was installed in...

Ritter_Cuda
04-09-2006, 08:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bolox00:
Cuda, i think this is the link you were looking for
http://www.lbodnar.dsl.pipex.com/joystick/index.html
nice price but the need for diodes on the switch matrix might add to the complications a little. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thats it thanks
Cuda

Padser
04-11-2006, 10:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ritter_Cuda:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bolox00:
Cuda, i think this is the link you were looking for
http://www.lbodnar.dsl.pipex.com/joystick/index.html
nice price but the need for diodes on the switch matrix might add to the complications a little. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thats it thanks
Cuda </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

~S~ I just got one of these and having zero electronics subject knowledge am struggling a little... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif However, I've found that people in electronics shops are often friendly and helpful when you explain what you're trying to do (Thank God! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)

I'm currently getting my head around things and the project is taking shape, so good luck and keep at it!

Pads

Dean3238
04-11-2006, 11:17 AM
Cool... if you have one of those converters and have attached at least one toggle to it... please give us a brief write-up of the equipment/supplies/tools and process involved in doing so.

Ditto if you built any sliders (especially rotery ones that could be used for, oh, trim tabs http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Thanks in advance!

Dean

HitchHikerHSDWG
04-11-2006, 11:54 AM
You should just get a Saitek X52 the throttle body has two rotary dials for trim tab, a slider for flap control and the other extra mouse wheel coud be used as something too! Great joystick.

Everythong on the play seat is working great by the way. And its easy to hook up and disconnect with only a USB ext. cable and power to hook up to hub. A great afternoon project but I admit I had most of the stuff to build it. I probably will have to redesign the joystick stand for a more comfortable angle.

Dean3238
04-11-2006, 02:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> You should just get a Saitek X52 the throttle body has two rotary dials for trim tab, a slider for flap control and the other extra mouse wheel coud be used as something too! Great joystick. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh, I have a nice joystick... I just want a control box with programmed toggles I can dedicate to various functions arranged in a way that makes more sense to me.

I get confused with the multiple ones on the joystick, not being part of the PS-2 generation... in the heart of battle, I'll drop my tail hook when I want to open the cowl flaps http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Dean

HitchHikerHSDWG
04-11-2006, 05:35 PM
LOL I get it. Thats whats cool about joysticks and especially the X-52, that you can assign keys wherever you need. But it seems you may be more into this than I am! I'll let it stop at the stick/flight seat............ but then again having rudder pedals and a bunch more bells and whistles to play with wouldnt be bad!

Let us know what you come up with. I'm more the NES/Intellivision/C64 generation myself!

Dean3238
04-11-2006, 07:38 PM
Well, maybe not too fancy (and I can tell I'm operating at the limit of what I have the ability to do anyway).

Imagine a box... maybe 12x6x3, couple of rows of toggles on the top, maybe 20, marked for what they do and three wheels on the sides (two on one side for rudder and aileron trim, one perpendicular to them for the elevator trim).

Ahhh, now that would be nice!

In the meantime, I'll keep dropping my tailhook at inappropriate times. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Dean

Padser
04-12-2006, 02:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:
Cool... if you have one of those converters and have attached at least one toggle to it... please give us a brief write-up of the equipment/supplies/tools and process involved in doing so.

Ditto if you built any sliders (especially rotery ones that could be used for, oh, trim tabs http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Thanks in advance!

Dean </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

~S~

I'm working on the toggle switch idea but have to get my head around the concept of diodes before proceeding... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I have been able to test a single switch though and make it work - at the moment, it seems that an on-off-on switch is best as this allows the same or different controls to be assigned to each 'end' of the switch. I'll post with info when I get further...

I've already built a 'trim box' - it contains the innards of an MS Sidewinder and some new 10k linear potentiometers. No switches on this one though - that's why I'm looking into Leo's joystick controller. Discounting the cost of the original but unused joystick, it cost me about 10 ($16 US Dollars) to make. The process and equipment requirements are described here: Build your own 'trim box' (http://uk.geocities.com/wily_crocodiley/trimbox.pdf)

This is the box in action:

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a109/johnfsknight/cockpit02.jpg

Cheers,

Pads

bolox00
04-12-2006, 06:35 AM
one thing to remember with switches is they should ideally be momentary switches- ie press/release rather than switch on/switch off type . just the way controllers interpret switches.

diodes- just think of them as a one way valve.if you look at a diode it will have a band at one end. note which way round it works on your 'test switch', wire the rest the same way and you should be good to go.

couple of other links:
http://www.betainnovations.com/
plasma v2 is v. nice but i'm trying to wait for the v3 with the ability to do 'banded' rotaries- ie mixture in fb http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/49310655/m/3821084134
stickied pit builder thread with lots of links in it. with a bit of imagination/perspiration there's alot you can do

Padser
04-21-2006, 02:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:

Imagine a box... maybe 12x6x3, couple of rows of toggles on the top, maybe 20, marked for what they do and three wheels on the sides (two on one side for rudder and aileron trim, one perpendicular to them for the elevator trim).

Ahhh, now that would be nice!

Dean </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

~S~

Something like this? I spent a couple of days wokring with Leo's joystick controller and came up with this (have yet to label the switches, but there are 33 of them along with 4 rotary controllers)

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a109/johnfsknight/outside.jpg

Not a very attractive job in terms of the wiring, but it seems to work. I would certainly approach the project differently if I was to make another one but that relates to how I would do the wiring and connection of switches, not Leo's controller, which I have found both reliable and easy to use - thoroughly recommended!.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a109/johnfsknight/insides.jpg

~S~

Pads

Dean3238
04-21-2006, 05:54 AM
Pads,

Exactly!

Any lessons learned you care to share or was it pretty straight forward?

~S~

Dean

Padser
04-21-2006, 07:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:

Any lessons learned you care to share or was it pretty straight forward?

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi,

Mmm, lessons learned... well, it was pretty straightforward really. I know nothing about building electronics systems like this, and I was able to complete the project with only one e-mail request to Leo for information and advice - which he provided promptly and patiently, by the way. He couldn't have been more helpful!

I used a mixture of single pole press-release on-off-on and locking on-off-on switches. You only need to use diodes on the switches if they are not press-release, i.e., if you want to use the kind of switches that lock in the on position - I ended up using diodes on all of my switches apart from the single push to make button (the red one, top left corner) because I didn't read the advice properly... doh! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif.

It is apparently recommended that you don't use locking switches, by the way, although, as mentioned, I have used some and have not noticed any ill effects so far. (I wanted to use some 'locking' switches so that I could use the position of the switch to give an visual indication of the state of the control, and maybe at some later date build in some LED indicators - I'll let you know if I do notice any difficulties with regard to this issue).

If I were going to do this again, I think I would use the non-locking press-release switches across the board and not worry about the locking variety (and therefore not use the diodes at all) - it was enormously fiddly soldering the diodes on to the switch terminals - not using them would have meant I could have completed the whole project box in much less time!

I used Futaba servo plugs to connect my wiring to the terminals on the controller - I assembled my own (fiddly but cheaper), but you can also find them ready made up (more convenient but expensive, of course - you may need 14 individual plugs!). These were very useful and the only thing I could find that fitted the controller terminals so perfectly - you may be able to locate some other connection device, I couldn't - if you do find something else, though, do let me know, I thought that even the assemble-yourself variety were expensive...

I wired up the switches first and fitted them to the project box and then wired them into the switch matrix on the controller (via the screw terminals you can see in the image - a good idea!). If I were to repeat the project, I would set up the matrix wiring first and then connect to the switches - I think this would allow for a neater wiring job (and less 'spaghetti' in the box!). I would probably also label the wires (R1 for Row 1, C1 for Column 1, etc. - more time-consuming, perhaps, but better for the nerves in the long run... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)

All the best and good luck with your project!

Pads

WB_Outlaw
04-21-2006, 07:50 AM
I'll be working up my instrument panel shortly using Leo's circuit board. I'm going to put the controller in a small project box with a DB-37 connector and a DB-25 connector. The DB-37 will be for the button inputs and the DB-25 for the analog inputs.

All of my wiring will terminate in one of those honkin' connectors and just plug into the box.

To start, I will have two brake levers, aileron trim, mixture, flaps, and prop pitch pots mounted.

The only issue I forsee is the length of the wiring for the pots. It will be fairly long which might introduce some noise. I'm hoping that hand twisting the wires will help reduce the noise.

Just FYI, diodes are required to prevent conditions where a false button press registers when 3 or more buttons are pressed simultaneously. This is called ghosting and occurs when 3 of the buttons pressed are 3 adjacent corners of a rectangle on the matrix. The false button will be the 4th corner.

I plan to use a variety of SPST and DPDT momentary switches and buttons. It would be nice to use on-off switches but the effect is the same as if you held a button button down for the entire time the switch is in the on positions. I'm afraid that some games might not like that. Also, it probably eats into the USB bandwidth and I'll probably end up with 6 controllers by the time I'm finished with my cockpit.

I'll shut-up now.

--Outlaw.

Dean3238
04-21-2006, 10:55 AM
Pads,

What did you use for the box itself?

Dean (starting to twitch his way into action he'll probably regret http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

WB_Outlaw
04-21-2006, 03:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:
Pads,

What did you use for the box itself?

Dean (starting to twitch his way into action he'll probably regret http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It looks like one of the various sized plastic/metal project boxes you can get from Radio Shack.

--Outlaw.

Dean3238
04-21-2006, 04:31 PM
Works for me (total noob when it comes to electronics projects... missed that stage of being a geek, probably the only one I did miss http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Ordered my Leo controller and the connecting pins... now to go to geek heaven, er, Radio Shack.

Dean

Padser
04-22-2006, 04:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WB_Outlaw:

It looks like one of the various sized plastic/metal project boxes you can get from Radio Shack.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's it - except mine was from Maplin (the UK equivalent)

Pads

Dean3238
04-22-2006, 06:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> That's it - except mine was from Maplin (the UK equivalent) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Long drive, especially the 'wet' part. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Made a preliminary list of what I want to put on my box (yeah, I ordered two controllers, figuring if the first one comes out right I'll be shocked). 6 sliders and 38 (dang) buttons.

Now, while I might know nothing of electronics, I am a trained graphic artist and system designer... so I think the contribution I can make of value will be in layout, organization, and design.

I just wouldn't lay odds on the ability to get the dang thing to _work_.

Dean

NonWonderDog
04-22-2006, 01:04 PM
In case it wasn't clarified earlier, the firmware will allow you to plug up to 127 devices into each USB. Each bus only has a limited amount of power and polling space, however, which are split between all devices.

You won't notice a significant difference in response times until you have about 64 devices plugged in, so that's not really a promblem, but some devices can ask for nearly all the bus' power. A printer or scanner will have it's own power supply and won't need any bus power, but your Saitek X52 FCS needs all of it. If you plug both your mouse and your X52 into an unpowered hub, chances are your X52 will do this goofy flashing thing and not respond at all.

A powered hub, however, should give max power on each of its ports, no matter how many are full.

In short, USB is pretty damn versitile, as long as you don't plug lots of unpowered devices into an unpowered hub.

Padser
04-24-2006, 11:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:

I just wouldn't lay odds on the ability to get the dang thing to _work_.

Dean </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Lol - believe me it's easy! Here's my (as) finished (as it's going to be) article.

Best of luck and drop me a line if I can give any advice.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a109/johnfsknight/controlbox.jpg

TTFN

Pads

By the way, if you don't have any, I strongly advise getting hold of some 'tester' leads - the sort with little crocodile clips on the ends - Makes it a lot easier to test circuits, etc., when working out if they work or not.

FA_Razor
04-24-2006, 09:06 PM
Pads:
Want to make me one? Could be the 'business opportunity of a lifetime'.

Dean3238
04-25-2006, 05:54 AM
Pads,

Question: How'd you do the markings? Say "Hmmp, I painted them on..." and I'll throw my laptop across the room. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Dean

Dean3238
04-25-2006, 05:56 AM
One more... I was thinking that each toggle could only do one job, obviously that is not the case &lt;good!&gt; is it any specific kind of toggle you had to use to get a two directional capability?

Any hints on how the wiring worked to make the switches behave like that?

Dean

WB_Outlaw
04-25-2006, 06:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:
One more... I was thinking that each toggle could only do one job, obviously that is not the case &lt;good!&gt; is it any specific kind of toggle you had to use to get a two directional capability?

Any hints on how the wiring worked to make the switches behave like that?

Dean </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is not a definitive answer but I believe those that peform two functions are doubpe pole double throw (DPDT) switches. That means that it shorts two wires when pushed up, two other wires when pushed down, and is off when in the middle. It's like having two buttons in place of one switch.

Switches that toggle functions, like the landing gear, can be single pole double throw (SPDT) which shorts the same two wires regardless of which direction you flip the switch. Of course, you can also use a DPDT switch in that case by simply connecting the same set of wires to both poles. You could also use a single pole single throw (SPST) switch and just push it in the same direction. For example the gear would be lowered and raised by flipping the switch down.

As a personal preference, I would have used momentaries (they have a spring which returns them to the off positions when released) but that's just me.


--Outlaw.

Padser
04-25-2006, 08:14 AM
~S~ Gents,

I used something called letraset (http://www.letraset.com/shopdisplaycategories.asp?id=17&cat=Rub+Down+Lettering&ssctn=default) to do the labels - it's a kind of dry transfer technique - do you have it in the US?. You buy sheets of letters and rub them on - very fiddly and surprisingly expensive, I thought (over 2 a sheet - I needed two). I got mine from an art supplies shop

Switch wise - I used a combination of ON-OFF-ON (locking both ways) and (ON)-OFF-(ON) (non-locking both ways) SPDT switches. The locking switches allow for some level of physical visual feedback re control state (the switch is down, the gear is down, etc.) Info on available switch types can be found here: sub-min spdt toggle switches (http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=2341&doy=25m4&QV=P)

I wired them so that the columns in the switch matrix went to the two outer terminals and the row went to the middle one (shared between the two 'on' states of the switch)

B = joystick button, C = Column, R = Row

B2________B1
ON _ OFF_ ON
C1 _ R1 _ C2

This gives two switches (joystick buttons 1 and 2, depending on which way the switch is thrown). IL-2 allows you to have two controls assigned to the same in-game control, so this also worked fine for toggle controls. Otherwise, you could wire as follows:

B1________B1
ON _ OFF_ ON
C1 _ R1 _ C1

This would mean that joystick button 1 would be triggered at both 'ends' of the switch and would thus be suitable for those controls that are true toggles. E.g., gear up/down is the same control in IL-2 so would suit this form of wiring. Flaps up/down requires two separate controls so would need the former approach (two buttons per switch).

The single red button (top left) is a simple push-to-make single pole non-locking button switch - I use it for the 'start engine' control.

Hope this helps - I'll be putting together a 'how-to' web site eventually, but hopefully this will do until then.

All the best,

Pads

Padser
05-08-2006, 02:44 AM
~S~

Have now installed LED gear and hook indicator lights on the control box - you should just be able to make them out in this picture (hook up, gear down).

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a109/johnfsknight/LED.jpg

I used DPDT ON-OFF-ON (locking in on position) switches - this allowed me to have one circuit for the control and one to illuminate the LEDs, both controlled by the same switch.

The LEDs won't run directly from the switch matrix, so you have to wire them into to the +5v and Gnd terminals elsewhere on the controller (I used my four remaining unused analog inputs - I'm guessing that if you wanted more indicators you could double up, but wonder if this might affect the brightness - any thoughts?).

The LEDs are 5v standard - this means you don't need any resistors in the circuit (saves on soldering, eh? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)

It's fun to see them lit up when raising/lowering gear and hook, though I still forget to raise my gear at times... plus ca change... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Cheers,

Pads

Maraz_5SA
05-08-2006, 03:12 AM
Padser,

your use of switches is very interesting, but please tell me, the fact that you use a locking switch means it's like you are keeping the "G" key always pressed, except for a brief moment where you move the switch?

I used a different approach, using push buttons. The circuit is taken from a very cheap USB gamepad, that gave me 14 buttons. I used the Joytokey program to map buttons to game commands.

I have no experience in electronics and the toughest thing was learning how to do proper soldering http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Cheers
Maraz

http://www.webalice.it/antonio.maraziti/pulsantiera1.jpg

Padser
05-08-2006, 05:21 AM
~S~ Maraz

Nice box!

Yes some of my switches do lock in the on position and this does mean it is like keeping the key pressed, but this doesn't seem to matter and, importantly, it seems to cause no difficulties in game (which still reads it as a single key press, and not repeated multiple presses - which would be a problem).

The locking behaviour also feels more satisfyingly 'real' and allows for some kind of visual feedback re control state (switch down, gear down, etc.). It also allows the LED circuit to function and provide further indication of control state (red light, gear up; green light, gear down).

Yup , soldering - pain in the backside! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Cheers,

Pads

Dean3238
05-08-2006, 06:07 AM
Maraz,

Nice rig!

I've ordered all the parts for mine (taking my time to avoid newbie mistakes which are sure to happen anyway).

I ordered both toggles (on)-off-(on) and buttons off-(on). For the toggles, I either have them planed to operate two buttons (one on each direction) or only one, with a throw to the same button on both sides...theory is I can mark the toggle with "ON" and "Off" on opposite sides and the player can throw the switch the way he wants and all it does is light the same button (player can screw this up if he forgets his gear is up, and he hits the "UP" toggle again, thereby lowering them... but I'm hoping to be smarter than that).

I'm not sure what switches Pads used, but unless I'm walking into a brickwall, the above should do the trick just right.

How did you do your markings?

Dean

Padser
05-08-2006, 12:08 PM
~S~

These are the switches I used (Maplin is a UK company, but the specs should be the same)
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Search.aspx?criteria=FH01B&DOY=30m4.

I used dry transfer letraset (actually DECAdry)for the lettering - fiddly as hell it was too! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Let me know how your build goes,

Pads

Dean3238
05-08-2006, 12:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I used dry transfer letraset (actually DECAdry)for the lettering - fiddly as hell it was too! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ouch...my hat is off to you, sir. Did you seal them in anyway? Transfer lettering can flake badly when exposed to the pressures of the moment.

Very nice job, BTW.

For mine, I'm investigating adhesive stencils that I can use with an airbrush or other paint. Haven't gotten very far with that part yet, until I have the mechanical items in place, I figure that is cart before horse time.

But I have to investigate all the possible solutions.

Dean

WTE_Galway
05-09-2006, 01:52 AM
havent read the whole thing guys but just a couple of pointers I picked up along the way

- if you do decide to try and connect to the old style analog joystick port (to use the joystick acxis for throttle sliders for example) the sliders or pots must be linear not logarithmic

- there are dongles around that let you connect an analog joystick device to a USB port

- a simple way of getting an indicator of the last status of a push and release style swith is to connect each switch to a simple SR latch and LED .. basically all you need is one 50 cent chip with a couple of gates on it and a LED

Padser
05-09-2006, 03:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">- a simple way of getting an indicator of the last status of a push and release style swith is to connect each switch to a simple SR latch and LED .. basically all you need is one 50 cent chip with a couple of gates on it and a LED </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now that is interesting! I had assumed that you need a circuit to get the LED to light up continuously, rather than only when the button was depressed. I will certainly explore this further.

BTW the joystick controller we have been using is USB already, so no need to worry about gameports.

The controller maker/designer recommends 10k linear pots, though I know from experience with hacked joystick chips that logarithmic pots will also work (just not as well - I guess it depends on the kind of response you want).

Cheers,

Pads

Dean3238
05-18-2006, 07:05 AM
Pads,

I love your indicator light system. As I'm operating at the limit of my abilities now, for my first project I'm staying away from the extra bells and whistles. I do feel funny about the "constant ON" toggles (if I think of it, I'll try playing the game and just hold the G down the next time I do my gear to see what happens.)

The visual cues are cool, though.

I have all my parts and am ready &lt;gulp&gt; to start working. Attempting to take this slowly.

Three questions for you:

1) How did you connect the switch wires to Leo's controller? I'm not sure I can successfully solder to this little poles, and wonder how you handled this matter.

2) What are those long whitish-plastic parts in the midst of your wiring into which numerous lead wires go into?

3) Given that each outbound and each inbound position on Leo's board constitutes part of a matrix of switch positions, does it make sense to connect one lead to the board and build a sort of bus for that lead where the toggles attach to?

(Yes, I groping at straws to make more room to work :-)

~S~ and thanks in advance!

Dean

Padser
05-18-2006, 04:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:
Pads,

I love your indicator light system.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks, I'm really pleased, too - still manage to forget my gear at times though... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
As I'm operating at the limit of my abilities now, for my first project I'm staying away from the extra bells and whistles. I do feel funny about the "constant ON" toggles (if I think of it, I'll try playing the game and just hold the G down the next time I do my gear to see what happens.)
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I found it easy to update my box with the LEDs anyway. Did I say easy? I meant fiddly and time-consuming... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif But that's just because it was the first time I'd done it. Easy really - honest!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Three questions for you:

1) How did you connect the switch wires to Leo's controller? I'm not sure I can successfully solder to this little poles, and wonder how you handled this matter.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good question - I had hoped to find some of those little jumper plugs you find inside your computer, not sure what you call them - you know little plastic plugs for connecting things to the motherboard. However, I was unable to get hold of any. What I found instead were 'Futaba servo plugs' - radio control components. It may be worth looking round for these as they can be pretty expensive. They are a perfect fit for the terminals on the controller, though, and I can't see how else it would be possible to attach your wires. They look like this: http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=11654&doy=18m5

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
2) What are those long whitish-plastic parts in the midst of your wiring into which numerous lead wires go into?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Those are screw terminals. Bear in mind that you are likely to have multiple wires running from your switches to the same row or column in your switch matrix. The screw terminal acts as a way of handling this. 6 wires go in on one side and one comes out the other. the single wire is connected to the controller. http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=42654&crit...%20terminal&doy=18m5 (http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=42654&criteria=screw%20terminal&doy=18m5)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
3) Given that each outbound and each inbound position on Leo's board constitutes part of a matrix of switch positions, does it make sense to connect one lead to the board and build a sort of bus for that lead where the toggles attach to?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Erm, not sure I understand what you mean, but I think I may have answered your question already when talking about those screw terminals.

Come back to me if I can help any further - all the best and good luck with all that soldering!

;-)

Pads

Dean3238
05-18-2006, 06:23 PM
Thanks a bunch...

Yes, the screw connectors are exactly what I was thinking of.

Leo sold me a set of little plug connectors like the servo plugs (basically a little black housing with three holes and pins on them, much like the pins on Leo's board). I think I can run a wire lead _into_ the holes and stack these things on the pins on the board.

...But with the screw connector sleeve, I can by-pass that entirely. :-)

Too bad I have a week-long business trip ahead of me, I'm ready to go to work.

Dean

Dean3238
05-18-2006, 06:34 PM
Quick button test reveals that yes, continous pressing of the "gear" key (or whatever) does not change the state of the toggle.

How 'bout that...

Now, I need to get my hands on some on-off-on toggles (SPDT) to replace the (on)-off-(on) ones I have in positions where indicator lights seem appropriate.

Sweet (not that I'll tackle the lights right now, but I'll have the groundwork laid for future expansion).

Dean

Padser
05-19-2006, 03:28 AM
Hi Dean,
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Quick button test reveals that yes, continous pressing of the "gear" key (or whatever) does not change the state of the toggle.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yup, it doesn't seem to matter. Very cool! THere is something oddly satisfying about actually throwing a switch rather than toggling a button.

Don't forget that if you are going to use the switches that lock into the on position, you will need to use diodes in your switch circuits.

Also, if you do intend to set up some LED indicators in the way that I have done, you will want locking Double Throw Double Pole (DPDT) switches for these controls - one pole for the switch and one for the LED.

There is apparently a way in which to use LEDs without locking switches - Galway refers to this above. There is also a circuit diagram which I think illustrates this very concept to be found here (by ChuckRC): http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=h...splay;num=1145609154 (http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=homebuild;action=display;num=114560 9154)

I hasten to add that this particular approach remains a closed book to me as yet - what you see in that box is the some total of my electronics knowledge (and that is based on the answers provided by helpful people to my annoying questions, not any hard-earned knowledge of my own... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)

I sympathise about the trip and not being able to get started until you get back. In situations such as this, I draw comfort from something my old Dad (a keen fisherman) used to say: 'Never rush to the river...'

Part of the fun of projects like this is having something to turn around in your mind anyway, eh?

Best of luck!

Pads

Dean3238
05-19-2006, 06:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Part of the fun of projects like this is having something to turn around in your mind anyway, eh? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You bet. Taking a minute or two here and there to plan this thing out like a moon launch has been great fun.

Thank you for all your advice. Giving indicator lights some thought, I think there is only one place I'd put them (gear indicators). I'll arrange my layout so that I _can_ add that later, but I think my best bet is to research the concept (part of the fun of this) and work on only the basics for now.

I also don't want to overdo "constant throw" switches on this box for fear than while it doesn't matter right now, it might with BOB.

~S~

Dean

Padser
05-19-2006, 07:36 AM
~S~

Hi Dean,

A good point re BoB, although I am sure it will not be an issue.

I am also quite interested in how much more detailed (if at all) issues such as engine start-up and management are likely to be in BoB.

If they are very much more complex (and I do hope they model multiple engines properly this time) then may be we can see a lot more people producing this kind of addition to their virtual cockpits...

Hey, perhaps there's a business opportunity in this, eh? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

All the best,

John

Dean3238
05-19-2006, 12:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Hey, perhaps there's a business opportunity in this, eh? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not too sure. If I were to count up the time I spend trying to (clumsily) make _one_ of these things and come up with a reasonable price for the time, few would want to buy one.

Arranging _real_ manufacturing capability wouldn't work either (too small a run).

But, hey, if a guy threw $1,000 at me, I bet I could find the time to make _one_. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Dean

slipBall
05-19-2006, 01:28 PM
Very nice, both of them http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif
I don't have alot of time or much elec experience. I was wondering if a mini keypad would also work. I would re-lable using that dry method, any thoughts



Targus USB Mini Keypad with Hub - Keypad - 19 keys - USB - silver
This USB Mini 19 Keypad includes an integrated 2-port USB hub. The USB Keypad is ideal for spreadsheet, accounting and financial software applications that require fast and accurate entry of numeric data, allowing simplicity for the data entry. Connection via your USB port ensures you still have 2 ports for connecting your other required peripherals.



http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f394/SlipBall/I230159.jpg
edit
I just read through first two pages, I guess I will try it and see if it works. It sounds like, from the other posts, it has a good chance of working

HitchHikerHSDWG
05-19-2006, 02:28 PM
^The above method would work. I'm planning on making a similar control box sometime in the future. Thanks for all the ideas.

I should also add that the set I built is working great, I just need a track IR to complete the circle!

Dean3238
05-19-2006, 02:30 PM
I would think that would work just fine. One point about the lettering, if you use the transfer letters directly onto the keys (wow... now that's gonna be fiddily!), they won't stand up to many finger presses before they start to flake off.

But, it might work really well and without so much fuss.

Dean

HitchHikerHSDWG
05-19-2006, 02:45 PM
Honestly I'd say the hell with lettering and just remember the keys thats what I do now using my keyboard as the "custom" switch!

Padser
05-22-2006, 01:27 AM
~S~

have you thought about using one of the X-Keys keypads? These are programmable and come with Word templates for labelling your keys (the clear plastic covers on the keys are removable).

http://www.xkeys.com/xkeys/xkdesk.php

Just the ticket, I would have thought (though they are not cheap...)

TTFN

Pads

HitchHikerHSDWG
05-22-2006, 11:56 AM
~S~ thanks thats the ticket there. I will definitely look into that but I still might try my luck building one of those box contraptions.

On a somewhat unrelated note I came across a cool website that had some toys to say the least!

http://www.aimsworth.com/html/productmain.html

Wouldnt miss the bells and whistles now!
http://www.aimsworth.com/html/viper2main10.html

Dean3238
06-13-2006, 07:19 AM
Hey Guys!

Made the plunge and started my project by soldering leads to switches in various forms.

I have Buttons, Toggles in two different configurations (one that trips two switches, the other trips the same switch in two different directions), and made one Toggle that should control two lights (green and red) for the landing gear.

I won't claim my soldering is good enough to get me a job in a Taiwanese electronics company, but I think the connections are all good (I might just break down and test them all) and I'm almost done making them all.

Phase II is drilling the mounting holes.

I'll take photos when there is something identifiable to see.

Dean

Chef-Scott
09-25-2006, 05:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Padser:
You only need to use diodes on the switches if they are not press-release, i.e., if you want to use the kind of switches that lock in the on position - </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What diodes did you use?
I'm sort of reverse engineering two Saitek joysticks and I am looking at using SPDT toggle switches.

I Am Insane!

Padser
09-25-2006, 05:21 PM
~S~

For Leo's switch matrix I used bog standard common or garden switching diodes (technical info here - http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=46386&doy=26m9) - they cost 16p each (25 cents?) - and just as well as I needed 32 of the s0ds... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

You may not need to use them if you are hacking a stick. For example, when re-wiring an old CH Fighter stick for use with another of Leo's controllers as part of a long shaft stick project, I discovered that the original switches etc were just that - simple direct input switches - no matrix used!

TTFN

Pads

Padser
09-25-2006, 05:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:
I'll take photos when there is something identifiable to see.

Dean </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Looking forward to it!

pads

Chef-Scott
09-25-2006, 05:58 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Padser!!
Between the two sticks I'll have a total of 18 buttons. All right now are momentary, I rather like the idea of having a toggle switch. So I am figuring that the diodes will be needed for the SPDT toggles as in your case with Leo's controller. (I might just have to order one of those myself!!)

Thanks again!

Side note... anyone here ever deal with http://www.futurlec.com/

Texas LongHorn
09-26-2006, 07:31 AM
Hats off to Padser for pointing out this site, check THIS out guys, the keys are backlit, you can print any custom labels you want, and use the mini-joystick as mouse-look for your left hand while you fly the aircraft with your right. I may just pick one up on principle just because it's so cool &lt;ggg.&gt;
http://www.xkeys.com/xkeys/xkcontrol.php
All the best, LongHorn

HitchHikerHSDWG
09-27-2006, 12:43 PM
Well no backlighting for the Proffesional model or the 128/84 Key versions either. But thats OK I could figure out other ideas for lighting.

I've given up on the idea (for the moment) on building a switchbox so I can concentrate on other things.

VFS-214_Hawk
04-08-2007, 08:33 AM
Thanks Padser, thats what I am looking for!

VFS-214_Hawk
04-09-2007, 04:36 PM
Here is what I wanted to do. I wanted to take the below audio box removed from either a Convair 440 or a Martine 404. I don't recall which one. Anyway, the front is Plexiglases first painted white, letters masked off then painted black. The lights are inside the plexiglass which illuminates the letters. I wanted to make a new face plate and use the switches for IL2. They are micro switches with diodes. Also, there are four pots for radio stuff. I can use these for trim features. The box is all aluminum and can be built with new aluminum. The corners are square aluminum poles tapped for screws to hold the plates on.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f36/CurtissHawk/switchbox1.jpg
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f36/CurtissHawk/switchbox2.jpg

bolox00
04-10-2007, 05:15 AM
do you own a multimeter?
you might be needing one.

first off as it comes from an audio panel the pots are very likely a log taper rather the linear taper computers expect. if they are the correct resistance (between 10k-100k) they should work, but linear taper will give an 'interesting' responce http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif
also the pots appear to only have two terminals- some controllers expect three. what controller are you using?

also are you sure they are diodes, not resistors?

nice project http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

VFS-214_Hawk
04-10-2007, 03:05 PM
Yeah I dont know what I was thinking. I am just gonna copy it and make one for IL2. I already have some toggles ordered. I hooked up a 12 volt system and everything worked...I just aint gonna take it apart..lol. Even the lights work.

VFS-214_Hawk
04-13-2007, 03:49 PM
Where is Padser when ya need 'em?

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

Padser
04-16-2007, 03:44 AM
You rang, Sir...

smoker1963
04-16-2007, 02:29 PM
Padser/Dean - By coincidence I've just bought a couple of Leo Bodnar's BU thingies and I thought I'd share my thinking as this thread has stimulated the grey cells.

My main objective was to get the analogue inputs for trim as well as liberating me from the keyboard. With my DIY skills on a par with Dean's claim, I was holding off making an engine management box because it seems to me you need ~ 3:1 gears to get full travel on the pots (though Leo's software will go someway to fixing this) and I can't figure out an easy way of mounting the spindles of the pots inside my project box. So, I'll have them pokeing out of the sides for elevator trim and flaps.

Like you Padser, I went to Maplin and got a project box for the gadget. I also got some veroboard and am trying to relearn ancient soldering skills with this daft new lead-free solder, really just to hold the diodes. Maplin sell the 0.1in pin strip but, daftly, not the 0.1in sockets!

So my first effort is going to be a mere 12 switches and 6 pots, mainly for flight controls plus temporary ones for WEP, rad vents and supercharger.

I was interested by the ergonomics of the pictures shown! I find I use the Map, Nav lights and Rating buttons fairly frequently on full real online usage.

Padser, I like your idea of double pole switches for those irritating buttons like Gear, but fear getting out of sync!

So the layout I am planning is something like this:

|-------------------------------|
| Bail | prop
brk| | pitch
|-- WEP Supernext Rad --|
| Superprev |
|-- --|
| |
| Aileron |
| O |
| trim |
| |
| Rudder |
| O |
| trim |
| |
|-- Gear Gear up Hook --|
|Flap Gear dwn |Elevator
| |trim
| Map Nav Rating |
|-- light --|
| |
|-------------------------------|

The prominent position of the big red Bail button indicates my skill level!

Looking at you pics suggests I ought to have mix +/- too.

Sorry for the stream-of-conciousness writing, but I thought I'd post before the thread went cold. All I've done so far is breadboard an couple of switches and a pot to make sure the BU thingy works, but I'll post pics when done.

smoker 1963

smoker1963
04-16-2007, 02:30 PM
Oops, the bulletin board got at my multiple spaces!

Sorry,

smoker1963

VFS-214_Hawk
04-19-2007, 06:54 PM
lol, Ped I missed your reply. Thought this post was dead so I made another one. Hope the mods dont get mad!

I was calling you trying to get a heads up on Leo's controller but I finally figured it out. Now I hope it works when I finish. Can't wait tp try it.

ddpairborne59
04-26-2007, 01:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VFS-214_Hawk:
Here is what I wanted to do. I wanted to take the below audio box removed from either a Convair 440 or a Martine 404. I don't recall which one. Anyway, the front is Plexiglases first painted white, letters masked off then painted black. The lights are inside the plexiglass which illuminates the letters. I wanted to make a new face plate and use the switches for IL2. They are micro switches with diodes. Also, there are four pots for radio stuff. I can use these for trim features. The box is all aluminum and can be built with new aluminum. The corners are square aluminum poles tapped for screws to hold the plates on.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f36/CurtissHawk/switchbox1.jpg
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f36/CurtissHawk/switchbox2.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey, Hawk very clever with the painted plexiglass, masked leters, and lit up behind. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Dagnabit
06-25-2007, 09:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dean3238:
I would think that would work just fine. One point about the lettering, if you use the transfer letters directly onto the keys (wow... now that's gonna be fiddily!), they won't stand up to many finger presses before they start to flake off.

But, it might work really well and without so much fuss.

Dean </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have noticed a couple of mentions here about the problems with lettering.
A simple solution I have found for putting a really tough finish on almost any surface are the various liquid plastics like polyurethane, and the clear acrylics. They also have acrylic clear nail polish if you are desperate. One brand I use is Krylon clear acrylic. As with any project using finishes make sure to do a seperate test with materials you can throw away if it isnt useable. These products come in satin (dulled not as shiny) to a very high gloss finish when dry. You can get it in aerosol spray cans, or liquid to brush on. At the time of purchase make sure you check to see if the product will require use of a thinner, or if it is water soluable. Clean up with water is easier but I prefer the way thinner soluable stuff looks and sprays on. I have used it in an airbrush for very discrete touchups, but it also does well with multiple coats. It would take alot of panic stricken jabs at a button to wear through three coats of clear acrylic.

Hope this helps
Dag