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Thread: Yes!

  1. #1
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    Yes!

    I'm taking this forum at its word. It's billed as being for the purposes of posting the latest info about our simpits. So here goes.

    Don't hold your breath - I have no pics. All I have is the result of successful tests. Here's what I'm doing.

    I'm building a simpit for the LVLD 767, with my own design and build of interface hardware and software, using an off-the-shelf USB module to communicate with FSUIPC and FSCONV. That module is connected to my interface board based on PICs.

    So I wrote a basic interface routine for the buffering PIC, and used C++ to liaise between that software and FSUIPC through the USB module. My first test was to see if I could simply use a toggle switch hanging off the prototyping board to operate the taxi light switch on the C172, and to get back from the 172 a signal showing that the taxi light is on, which would light up a LED on my prototype board.

    It worked! You have no idea how totally chuffed I am! Especially since I had already made the assumption that, one way or another, I would make this work, and had shelled out a fair bit on switches, pots, indicators etc to populate the simpit.

    Yes, I know, not quite in the same league as all the OpenCockpit stuff and other commercial products, yet, but I'll get there!

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  3. #2
    300+ Forum Addict Rodney's Avatar
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    Congratulations! There is nothing better than going from the unknown to to achievement no matter how big or small. This whole hobby is centered on that, doing something that the original flight simulator program was not conceived around.
    Rodney -
    Real 727-200 pit
    Last Flown as N392PA
    FS9

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  5. #3
    Executive Vice President, MyCockpit


    Matt Olieman's Avatar
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    Fantastic, Congratulations and sure will look forward to more news as you progress. New ways of interfacing with MSFS is always good to hear.

    Thanks,
    Matt Olieman

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    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    P1IC,

    Only now do you understand the power of the Dark Side. Your life will never be the same. Beware the Dark Side of flight simulation.

    best,

    ................john
    http://www.elliesystems.com/wForums/uploads/48/EllieBetaTestTeamBanner.jpg

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  9. #5
    Heli Builder fweinrebe's Avatar
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    Congratulations. I know the feeling.

    What PIC did you use?
    Fritz -> Helicopter Cockpit Builder
    (FSX | TH2Go | Arduino | C# Avionics | CNC)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fweinrebe View Post
    Congratulations. I know the feeling.

    What PIC did you use?
    Thanks for the question, and thanks to everyone who has offered their congrats and encouragement.

    I will use several different devices for different channels in the interface. For those which require 7-segment LEDs I'll use the lowest spec PIC I can get away with which has that capability, probably the 16F914 unless someone can suggest a better choice , and for other channels I'll use something cheap like the 16F628 or lower (again, unless…). Regarding the 7-seg displays, I'm still not sure that I shouldn't use a bunch of dedicated 7-seg drivers for that, taking serial BCD data from a PIC and simplifying my programming task considerably.

    The main PIC which does the comms between the cockpit and the USB module is the 16F877A, and I use that because my design requires three 8-bit ports: one dedicated to talking and listening to the USB module (Port B), one for channelised data from the cockpit (Port D) and one for channel addressing and data in to the cockpit (Port C). I'll use three four-to-sixteen mutiplexers for addressing, which will allow up to 16 x 16 x 16 channels. More than enough for the 767! And lots of diodes for AND gating to provide the final channel ident signals. I also need 4 bits from Port A for USB handshaking and a couple of bits from Port E for assorted internal interface signals.

    Well, that's the BIG PLAN! Lots of work to do, of course, but now at least I know that the basic communications are proved. Did I tell you I was chuffed?

    I'm using the MPLAB IDE for PIC software development, and MS Studio 8 C++ IDE for the PC app which sits between the USB module and FS2004 (via Pete's FSUIPC and Nico's FSCONV - the FSCONV application is still not tested here yet, but I'm certain that it will be OK ). The PIC programmer is a Willem II running in serial programming mode (ICSP) using a chip programmer app called EpromM51.

    The USB module is a standard FTDI FT245BM based device.

  11. #7
    150+ Forum Groupie Tony Hill's Avatar
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    Congrats...while I bumble away getting a commercial GUI to answer a switch in the pit via a commercial board, I am constantly amazed at you guys who do the programming and building yourselves....Well done!
    "Tony"

    In memory of Flt Lt Tony Hill who, on 5 December 1941, at the request of Doctor R V Jones, successfully photographed a small "Würzburg radar" at Bruneval on the French coast. This from a height of only 200 ft, at high speed, under fire and from a camera mounted obliquely behind the cockpit.

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