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  1. #1
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    Advice on interfacing a non-Project Magenta cockpit

    My participation in this forum is brand new; please bear with me.

    My cockpit project will be based on the Convair 240-580. The question I have relates to interfacing analog instruments and authentic controls from a Convair to my computers. I am gonna try to use a Dell server with two Dell clients in order to make my aircraft "fly". Does anyone have suggestions on the best methods to link the flight controls and instruments? Would Phidgets work? Is Epic the solution? Are Hegstrom components the answer. Any ideas, please?

    Gil Lusk
    Knoxville, TN

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    You want to rebuild real analog instruments?

    You will need an IOsolution that can drive servos and stepper motors.

    Phidgets can do servos, not sure about steppers.
    Epics is something from the past.

    Take a look at Opencockpits (www.opencockpits.com) Cheap and very powerfull. Can do servos, steppers, dc motors,etc.
    Witch SIOC their own event based language you make virtually everything possible.

    There is a guy that made his horizon work with them, another dat did all the gauges of a classis 737 overhead.

    Stef
    www.boeing737ng.com
    ___________________________
    The Dutch 737 Simulator Project

  3. #3
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    You are correct

    Stef-

    Yes, I plan to use old analog instruments, some of which I already have and others which I'll have to obtain.
    What I also want to do is interface the throttle, mixture, and pitch controls, plus the control columns and rudders through a system that my computers can read. I've taken a look at the Opencockpits site; however, I'm not sure I know exactly what I'm looking at. I've only read a portion of the technical specs and I need to know a lot more about how these
    Opencockpit components work. I suspect I'll be back in touch with you again, if that's okay!!

    Gil

  4. #4
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    Interfacing flight controls

    Hi Gil,

    I had great success trialing my flight controls after using parts from a dismantled microsoft sidewinder joystick. The sidewinder obviously has 3 pots, (Pitch, Roll & Yaw). They each have 3 small wires attached. You can cut the 3 wires, remove the pots and mount them to your hardware. You might need to make small lever arms etc. to convert linear motion to the rotary motion of the pots. Use 3 long wires to reattach the pots back to the joystick circuit board where you cut the wires, the PC still recognises the USB sidewinder with ordinary function. I only had one throttle pot when I did this trial and when I redo it I will dismantle a joystick with twin throttles. You also have about 10 programmable buttons on the joystick which can be utilised. Where the buttons are soldered to the circuit board inside the joystick, I soldered pairs of small wires to the back of the circuit board, (in parallel). These are very useful for eg. Speedbrake, reverse thrust, park brake, trim up/dn or any similar command. Reverse thrust requires FSUIPC to function correctly. This is a very cheap and easy solution to your flight control interface, as for your gauges, I can't advise on that one. Hope this helps you.

    Regards Gwyn

  5. #5
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    Thank you

    Gwyn-

    Sorry for the tardy response to your message about using the sidewinder components. I've just installed a new Dell computer and it's taken a little time to get the system functioning. Moreover, I've been hard at work trying to finish up the room where my cockpit will be located. This is a 40x40 space over a garage. It had to be sheetrocked, joints filled, joints taped, joints sanded, and joints of pain in my arms and legs. We made lots of progress last Saturday. Once that room is finished, a friend and I will start work on the cockpit.

    I'm really honored that you and others have taken time to read my post and pass along suggestions. I will use actual Convair control columns, instrument panels, throttle quadrant and rudder pedals in my project. I hope to have something to show off by the end of the year.

    Gil Lusk

  6. #6
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Bob Reed's Avatar
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    Hi Gil.. Sounds like a great project. Can't wait to see some pics. Could start by letting us see pics of the parts you are going to use..

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    Interfacing flight controls

    Hi again Gil,

    I have just bought Sim-Boards from www.flightdecktechnology.com These are great and very easy to set up. I think they will become the number one choice for all builders soon.

    Gwyn

  8. #8
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level Darensw1's Avatar
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    Hi Gil

    We have just sent off for manufacturing some more PCB designs, and one of these should be capable to drive servos. We need to perform some final tests when they arrive and write the interface for them for FS functions in September.

    Once this is done they shall be out for sale supporting the rest of our Sim-board range. I can give a time frame on this but you should find with the sim-board range you will have a very powerful I/O soloution and will be able to interface most cockpit set ups.

    If I can help, please don't hesitate to email me.
    Daren Knightsbridge
    Flightdeck Technology

    Email:support@flightdecktechnology.com
    Web site:www.flightdecktechnology.com
    Web site:www.virtualflight.co.uk

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