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  1. #1
    300+ Forum Addict XOrionFE's Avatar
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    Hagstrom KE-72 vs KE-USB36 or 108 thoughts?

    I am thinking about getting one of these. I am currently working on a GA cockpit but it will also double for combat sims (LockOn and/or Falcon AF). It seems many folks have great success with Hagstrom products. I am a network engineer and should have no problem with the setup, programming, wiring, etc but I am curious why many of you seem to be using the KE-72 which requires daisy chaining with PS/2 keyboard versus using the KE-USB36 or KE-USB108 units. Many systems are starting to ship without PS2 at all. Everything is USB. Is there any advantage other than price with going with the KE-72? I am looking for experienced answers because I have never used any of their products. Thanks in advance for any insight.

    FYI- I would like to be able to use pushbutton, toggle, and maybe a couple rotarys eventually (which is why I have been looking at the 108 also),

    Thanks,
    Scott
    Sugar Grove, IL

  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie andarlite's Avatar
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    Scott

    The KE-72 was available before the USB cards, so that may be a reason why you see more people using them. Even when the USB versions became available, most people tend to go with what they are familiar with so they will buy another KE-72 when they need to expand. I don't see any advantage of the KE-72 over the USB cards you mentioned..... as a matter of fact, there are probably more advantages to using the USB ones (eg. less cables for one.... if you are using the KE-72 with XP, then you also need a serial cable in order to download the macros). The USB108 also allows you to connect up rotary encoders (the KE-72 requires you to buy an extra interface board). I would go for the USB108 if I were you.
    Make sure you also get the breakout boards.

    Regards,
    Henry

  3. #3
    300+ Forum Addict XOrionFE's Avatar
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    Thanks Henry

    That is kinda what I was thinking. Just wanted to make sure I wasnt missing something.

    The 108 looks like nice board with a lot of features for the money. I think I am going to go for it along with one break out board for now and see how it goes.

    Thanks Again!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by andarlite View Post
    Scott

    The USB108 also allows you to connect up rotary encoders (the KE-72 requires you to buy an extra interface board).

    Regards,
    Henry
    While I can agree with you for all your other reasons for recommending the USB version over the KE72, the quote above isn't actually accurate . There is an easy way to succesfully use rotary encoders on a standard KE72 without needing interface boards. I used them for some time to control radio frequencies on nav and com radios in my sim

    See the other post on this forum called Hagstrom - Rotary Knobs

    You might also consider the IOCards from Open Cockpits . A basic setup would be a master card plus USB expander which together cost about the same price as a KE72 . With this basic setup it gives you 72 inputs (toggleswitch , mommentary contact, rotary encoder), 4 analogue inputs for throttles flaps,spoilers etc + 45 outputs for LED's + you can plug 4 display cards into the master card to give you up to 64 7seg displays. If thats not enough you can plug 3 more master cards into the usb expander giving you 288 switch inputs , 180 led outputs , and the option to use 256 seven segment displays . Still not enough ? you can add as many usb expander / master card setups as you wish onto the same or client computers

    I dont have any links with IOcards except as a very happy user . Hagstrom was a good reliable system but lacked outputs, for the price opencockpits.com deserve checking out

    Don

  5. #5
    75+ Posting Member nricky's Avatar
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    Hi Scott

    I would chose Opencockpits for my pit, it is very easy to use and it is not so expensive. And also very easy to use with Sioc.
    Cheers
    Norbert

  6. #6
    300+ Forum Addict XOrionFE's Avatar
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    Thanks all.

    I did take a look at the OpenCockpits stuff but had trouble figuring out what was what on their site. Also didnt want to go with oversees company and to tell you the truth, I couldnt figure out on the site where they are even located. I assume the UK? I am sure their stuff is great though. If I was building a heavy iron simulator it looks like they have awesome panels.

    Anyway, I ended up getting the Hagstrom KE-USB108 with 3 breakout boards. They are in NY and I am in Chicago. I ordered regular ground shipping and got the stuff in 3 days! Wasn't cheap but packaged nicely with manual and software and looks pretty easy to work with.

    Proof will be in the pudding of course. I havent started yet but will start messing with it this weekend. Now I need to get switches and am having a hard time figuring out what to buy not being an electronics wiz.

    Going to stop by my local Radio Schack today or tommorrow.

    Thanks to all that posted replies. I will try to post feedback on the 108 once I am up and running on a couple panels.

    Scott
    Sugar Grove, IL

  7. #7
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    Hi Scot

    In answer to your question , Open cockpits are located in Huelva in Spain

    I have always had things delivered by them using DHL . I order today it arrives first thing tomorrow morning .

    Hagstrom make good reliable gear, that works well time after time . The big let down is it only takes care of inputs . sure you can control your aircraft using real switches but its a one way street, there is no feedback to your cockpit

    With open cockpits gear the signals go both ways , switches send the info in, and lights, servo's, DC motors, stepper motors and 7 segment displays bring the data back to you

    But not only that, for the cost of your USB108 +3 break outs you can buy from open cockjpits 1 USB expansion board ( that conects everything to your PC) + 2 masterboards ( they handle the inputs and outputs) . Now with that you have 144 inputs for switches and encoders + 90 outputs for LEDs + 4 analogue inputs for pots to control throttles,flaps , speed brake etc . and you still have two spare slots on your USB expander to connect another 2 master cards so doubling up the number of inputs to 288 and outputs to 180.
    If thats not enough each master card can take 4 display cards and each display card will display 16 digits for your radio / auto pilot displays so with your 4 master cards each holding 4 display cards you could display up to 256 digits

    Even if you never ever used the outputs and bought it just for the inputs alone its still better value than buying the Hagstrom stuff .

    As to programming the open cockpits gear its very very easy , If you get stuck there are lots of example programs to use or just ask on the forum and some one will show you the way

    Don

  8. #8
    300+ Forum Addict XOrionFE's Avatar
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    Thanks Don,

    Actually, you probably would have sold me on them except I had already ordered the Hagstrom. However, i will keep them in mind because if I decide I want the higher fidelity with feedback it sounds like they are the ticket. I would just sell the Hagstrom card at that point. I am sure there are plenty of buyers and I am not worried about the costs so much. Both options are extremely reasonable.

  9. #9
    300+ Forum Addict XOrionFE's Avatar
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    Don,

    I did get the hagestrom 108 and it works great. However, you were right about something. Now I would like to have some outputs (such as marker beacon lights, autopilot status lights, etc). I looked at the open cockpit stuff again and it looks like I could buy their new USB Outputs card and use for lights in conjunction with the what I already have. Do you know if this board can be used stand-alone or does it require the mastercard, etc...?

    Thank you,

    Scott

  10. #10
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    You can use the usb output card stand alone , just plug it into any usb port on your PC and program it up

    They also do stand alone usb servo cards so you can also build working guages

    Don

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