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vpilot
08-16-2008, 12:32 PM
Hello all,

After a while of planning, reading, etc I've decided to start my little project with building the pedestal. A shortened version of it, actually. I've made a drawing based on measurement sheets I got from www.erjmadeeasier.com and photographs of the real thing from www.airliners.net. I've enclosed it with this post. Please note I'm no engineer and I flunked art class too. Measurements are in cm, just in case you're thinking "omg this pedestal is HUGE!" It is, in fact, not big at all.

I was thinking of using the method explained on this page (http://www.simpits.org/articles/throttle_quad/throtquad.html) to get the throttles, flaps and spoilers working. But instead of wiring the thing to a gameport, I was thinking of using an interface card. But which one would be best suited for me? If I could wire all functions through just one card, I'd be very happy. Would a Phidget card be a good choice? Or would a simple keyboard emulator do the job as well?

Besides the four functions I mentioned I also want to include parking brakes (using a switch method) and Thrust Rating buttons. These buttons I think would most easily be connected via FSUIPC mouse thingamajig. One thing I didn't draw but I will build too is the Gust Lock. I think I will use a switch type method for it too. I'm also going to make the TOGA buttons and the famous TO Config Check button. I don't think those will be too difficult to connect. So all in all I'd have 4 pots, 7 pushbuttons and either 2 or 4 switches.

The ERJ doesn't have seperate Thrust Reverse handles or buttons, instead you pull the thrust levers back past the idle position. How would I make that usable? I reckon I have to make some sort of "stop" on the idle position so you can't accidentally pull the throttles in reverse, but I have no clue how it would feel. Do you pull them through some sort of resistance? Or do you lift the levers up a little, pulling them "over" the stop kind of like the flaps lever?

If you have any comments on my drawings and ideas, please don't hesitate to post!

TIA,

Sander

Mike.Powell
08-16-2008, 12:47 PM
Hello Sander,

That looks like a good project. The gameport has the advantage of being cheap but is limited to 4 pots and 4 switches. Given the number of items you want to connect, an interface card is a better choice.

There are a number of directions you can take. Two excellent interfaces are the Beta Innovations Plasma-Lite V2 (www.betainnovations.com (http://www.betainnovations.com)) and Leo bodnar's BU0836 (http://www.lbodnar.dsl.pipex.com/joystick/).

If you're good at hacking hardware, an inexpensive approach is to use the electronics from a gamepad, the kind that has two thumb joysticks, like a Logtech Dual-Action gamepad. It costs about $15 new and gives you 4 analog inputs and 12(?) switch inputs.

From what you've described, I don't think a keyboard encoder would be a good choice.

luxair_ca
08-17-2008, 06:57 AM
hi sander

nice project you started, looking forward for more pics soon

one question i got here...i tried the website you mentionned www.erjmadeeasy.com

that doesn t seems to exist? do you have another link for us

many thanks

ttyl

Marc

Adino
08-18-2008, 11:46 PM
Have fun building , Sander!
and best luck with your project, keep us posted on your progress.:cool:
rgds,

PaulEMB
08-19-2008, 01:31 PM
Hi,

The link should be www.erjmadeeasier.com and I have to apologise for the sad lack of content - both Marco and I were busy building, and lately both of have moved house - so no progress on this site in a long time.

I will try and get more content posted over the next weeks, including many dimensions, and photos, before I get started on my rebuild.

vpilot
09-20-2008, 10:46 AM
Just a little update, it's been a month since I decided to start the project but my wife had other plans... instead I've now built a 3x4m shed in the backyard. The construction destroyed most of the remaining yard so atm I'm working on getting that sorted out as well. Sigh... These times remind me so of the reasons why I chose an office job...

On the positive side, I've completed the list of electronics needed to make the console come to life and I'm also working out a way to incorporate a touchscreen FMC. It will be built, oh yes my precious.

AndyT
09-20-2008, 04:57 PM
LOVE your signature line:


Ladies and gentlemen, we've just found an exception to the rule "what goes up, must come down": the landing gear.

vpilot
10-06-2008, 06:30 AM
Finally, after a lot of pleading and explaining, my wife gave me the green light to start the project. Actually, she thought I was going to build a huge box that would fill half the living room... when all I wanted is a little pedestal. I'll tell her about the rest of the cockpit when I get to it :cool:

I've started building! I'm taking it very slow, I want to get this thing right the first time. Pictures will follow soon.

Cheerio,

Sander

mlscotti
10-06-2008, 10:47 PM
I too am building an ERJ simulator. I tried hacking a joystick but haven't had much luck...Yet. so i went with the CH throttle for now, Gotta get this thing in the air. I will ask my buddy, who fly's this aircraft about the engine reverse and the tension on the lever.

vpilot
10-07-2008, 03:43 AM
That's great! When you have that data, can you please share it here?
I'm not going to hack a joystick or throttle, especially the throttle I find too expensive to hack up. Will you be using any of the switches on that throttle?

When my build progresses, I will post a complete bill of materials and a guide (sort of) on the do's and don'ts as I encounter them.

Cheerio!

Sander

vpilot
10-13-2008, 09:04 AM
I've finished the outer case of the pedestal up to the point where I'm now ready to build and install the actual hardware. First to do is the throttle levers with their electronics.

Important lesson learned while building the case: make sure your workpieces can't accidentally fall off the workbench. I had one sideboard upright leaning against the center brace I was going to fix it to, then turned to grab my cordless screwdriver and "thud!" there it was on the floor :( two corners damaged. I'll be able to repair it later, but boy I felt stupid.

Pictures to follow.

Efe Cem Elci
10-14-2008, 05:34 AM
Looking forward to those pictures! Sounds like it is getting along well.