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  1. #1
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    Throttle Control Alternative for Phidgets

    Hello Fellow Cockpit builders,

    Like all of you FS2phidget users I am sadden by the news of Alans departure from his fantastic FS2Phidget project. His program has made my cockpit come alive and i am very greatful for it.

    In the interim I had been working on a dedicated Application to control my throttles. In particular to take advantage of some of the new properties Phidgets have made available. I did not want to burden Alan with my requests so I would thought i would give it a crack myself.

    I have written a program called AutoThrottle X, which drives my Throttle Servos.

    While the program has been writen for phidgets it is limited to the ServoCard and the moment and will never be a full replacement for the fantastic fs2phidget.

    It is programmed to power the servos only when the A/T switch is ARMed and it also detects when the throttles are in a stopped position and then disengages them to reduce the wear on the servo.

    This setup removes the requirement for a relay card to cut power to the servos which is great.

    At the moment it is very limited in what it works with, but since this community has given me so much, i am happy to share it around if someone would like.

    I still need to clean it up quite a bit, but in its first revision it will be limited to a 737 tested in FSX and only work with the default FS autopilot arm switch...

    Ive attached a video so you can all see the progress..

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/zf8vnc

    It shows the application talking via FSUIPC and the commanding of the throttle remotely and the result on the physical throttles. You can also see me move the throttle by hand without cutting power to the servo.

    Cheers from Sydney, Australia

    Diego

  2. Thanks Melnato, dnoize thanked for this post
  3. #2
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    Hi Diego,

    Looks like we are mentally connected are something like that...

    Actually I was working this weekend on the same piece of software, just like you engage and disengage the servos so that no relais are necessary, and still be able to move the levers when AutoThrottle is off.

    It is currently working for 1 lever (servo).

    I'm leaving this week on holidays, so finishing will be when I come back.



    Regards, Wendy

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    Hi Wendy,

    There you go. Thats great news. I have the throttles succesfully tracking the flight simulator autothrottles at the moment.

    I was working on a piece to auto calibrate the throttles, by sensing voltage and the stop state of the servos with varied success. Let me know how you go with your project.

    After i have the throttles working, ill be looking at getting the Trim wheels working with the Phidget HC motor card, so i can provide varying levels of acceleration to the trim wheel.

    Regards

    Diego

  5. #4
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    Hi Diego,

    Autoconfiguration is indeed a nice feature. I think I'll stay with manual configuration.

    I was also planning to incorporate the trim indicator because recent Phidget cards have 8 motors. Still have to do the tests.

    Mine is currently also moving the throttles under Autothrottle control.

    What language are you writing in ? I'm using Delphi.


    Regards, Wendy

  6. #5
    500+ This must be a daytime job mauriceb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diegov View Post

    It is programmed to power the servos only when the A/T switch is ARMed and it also detects when the throttles are in a stopped position and then disengages them to reduce the wear on the servo.

    This setup removes the requirement for a relay card to cut power to the servos which is great.
    Hello Diego,

    This functionality is great, and eliminating the relay card would be very nice, but only if you can also add the other variables in this picture. By that I mean that the A/T switch by itself does nothing special except arm the throttle so that they are ready to be controlled when one of the speed modes is selected.

    If you just arm the A/T, you should also be able to move the throttles manually until you are ready to actually engage the A/T by selecting one of the speed modes. So I'm pretty sure you need some other logic in there to do that.

    So if you can combine your software with the logic functionality available with Phidgets, or by adding that to your own program somehow, you would have solved this vexing A/T problem once & for all . And this could also be very useful for the spoiler deployment.

    Maurice

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    Hi Maurice,

    In my case, activating the AutoThrottle without N1 or the Speed button active does nothing at all. The levers start to move with AutoThrottle active and N1 or the Speed button pressed. That is for the default 737NG FSX.

    When autothrottle is active together with for example N1 active and you switch of AutoThrottle then N1 becomes inactive as well. So I think it does the job correct.

    Of course I can only speak for the utility I am programming so I let Diego respond for himself.


    Regards, Wendy

  8. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job mauriceb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy View Post
    Hi Maurice,

    In my case, activating the AutoThrottle without N1 or the Speed button active does nothing at all. The levers start to move with AutoThrottle active and N1 or the Speed button pressed. That is for the default 737NG FSX.
    Hi Wendy,

    That's great & did you incorporate the VNAV function as well in your logic (A/T controlled by VNAV) ?

    Thanks,
    Maurice

  9. #8
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    Maurice,

    Well I have to correct my previous post. Just tested in my setup and it seems that when autothrottle is engaged, without N1 or Speed active, that you cannot move the levers manually.

    So I think you're right and need to implement the N1 and Speed buttons. Not sure for the moment which variables that are in FSUIPC.


    Regards, Wendy

  10. #9
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    Talking

    @Wendy,

    Im currently using c++ builder, but am thinking of porting it to MS Visual C++ after i finish my first version. The code currently looks like spaghetti and it will give me a chance to clean it up during the rewrite.

    @Maurice

    My setup is only setup for A/T arm at the moment.. Setting it to power when A/T and Speed are selecting should be easy enough to do. Out of curiousity, is the the real behaviour of a 737?

    As for N1, i believe there is no FSUIPC offset for this. The best I can probably do is have the logic look at TOGA...

    Im just in the final stages of finalising the autocalibrate routine and also some save setting routine.. Once that is done i will look at the the ARM/SPEED/N1 logic and report back.

    Cheers

    Diego

  11. #10
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    Guy's,

    Just to mention that all is possible with OpenCockpits cards and software.
    You know it, but couldn't resist to mention it.

    An extensive example of "ready to use code .." for even different aircraft (!) is already here:

    *****
    http://www.simhard.eu.tt/

    *****

    Hessel
    767 Level-D

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