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  1. #1
    150+ Forum Groupie HondaCop's Avatar
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    Confused on IO cards...

    I am planning on buying many panels and landing gear lever from Opencockpits but I have NO idea which IO card I need in order to connect everything and make it functional. Would I need a BU0386X card? Please help me. I have searched all over the forums and all the info available has simply going around in circles.
    Regards,

    Efrain "E" Ruiz (HondaCop)
    LiveDISPATCH @ http://www.livedispatch.org

  2. #2
    25+ Posting Member Carlos Corona's Avatar
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    Boeing

    Hello

    If you buy the opencockpits landing gear lever, you can buy at the same time the I / O Master card, to make the interface of microswitchs, and will also have outputs for led indicators to the landing gear and much more .. . just make sure your computer has the parallel port ...

    Good flights

  3. #3
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    In addition to the previous post, if you do not have a parallel port you can get the USB expansion card and connect the mastercard to that. In addition to providing a connection to the computer, it solves possible issues with parallel port compatibility, and leaves room for future expansion. If you need to display numbers on 7-segment LED displays then you will also need the displays board(s). Each board can control up to 16 digits that can be grouped for different functions.


    BuddyM

  4. #4
    Boeing 777 Builder


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    Hi HondaCop,

    Let me make it simple for you. This is what you should be buying (at least to begin with):

    1 x Master Card (72 inputs for switches etc. & 64 outputs for LED's etc.)
    1 x USB Expansion card (for connecting up to 4 Mastercards to a single USB port)
    2 x Input Breakout Board (for easy connection of 72 inputs)
    1 x Outputs Breakout Board (for easy connection of 38 outputs)

    This selection will get you started and allow you to connect the majority of your hardware. You will then need to research whether you want to use the standard software to configure and operate the switches or the higher level program called SIOC. The latter is more complex but far more flexible and powerful. I would suggest going with the simpler IOCards software to begin with however.

    If cost is a factor and you are technically minded, you can save by purchasing the Mastercard and USB card in kit form and solder the components yourself. Pricings are posted on the Opencockpits Shop website.

    As for the BU0386X card, this isn't an Opencockpit product, it's a very handy joystick card made by Leo Bodner. You can purchase this also and it will give you 8 joystick inputs along with 32 pushbutton inputs. It also has support for up to 16 rotary encoders but that's probably confusing you even more. Never mind, just realize that this card has nothing to do with the Opencockpit gear however will work along side it no problem.

    Hope that helps and continue the research,

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


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  6. #5
    150+ Forum Groupie HondaCop's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys!

    Kennair, your post really made things more clearer! So with the IO cards you mentioned, I shall be able to wire most of my hardware and even get the landing gear lights annunciators working properly?
    Regards,

    Efrain "E" Ruiz (HondaCop)
    LiveDISPATCH @ http://www.livedispatch.org

  7. #6
    Boeing 777 Builder


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    Yep, absolutely. This is exactly what I did for my first sim and my first attempt at Opencockpit hardware. With the hardware I suggest you will be able to connect up to 72 switches being momentary or toggle as well as joystick axis (the USB card has 4 x 8bit axis) and also light up things like landing gear LED's with the outputs. All other joysticks you may already have will work in concert with them also.

    Once you are comfortable with the basic cards you will then want to expand them by getting a keyboard encoder card or 7 segment display boards along with outputs board and stepper motor cards etc. Basically anything you'll need to setup a complete home cockpit.

    It can be a little challenging learning how they work and configuring the initial .ini file but it becomes fairly intuitive eventually. It all depends how technically savvy you are. There are probably other IO manufacturers that are simpler but not many who are cheaper. I would highly recommend downloading their instruction manuals and reading thoroughly, although these are translated from Spanish and lack in a lot of detail, it will still give you a good idea of how to configure them. Also head over to Nico Kaan's website at http://www.lekseecon.nl/ to get a very informative introduction into OC IOCards along with the powerful SIOC software.

    There are many of us using these interface boards so if you have any problems we're here to help.

    Cheers and have fun,

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


  8. #7
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    Re: Confused on IO cards...

    Great info - I've definitely learned a ton just reading these couple posts. Can the OpenCockpit software also make the cards appears as joystick/HID inputs to the PC? Since I use other sims (outside of MSFS/FSUIPC) I assume that would be useful for interfacing some controls to them.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  9. #8
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: Confused on IO cards...

    As far as I know, the USB expansion card does not present any sort of HID interface.
    BuddyM

  10. #9
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    Re: Confused on IO cards...

    Actually the answer is yes. There is a specific Joystick offset that will allow you to act as if you have connected 4 joysticks with 32 buttons each. So whenever you connect a switch to an I/O card from opencockpits you can imitate a joystick pushbutton command from SIOC and configure i FSUIPC accordingly. For more info You have to visit Nico's How to page

    Regards,

    Barkay

  11. #10
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    Re: Confused on IO cards...

    I'm a bit confused. Does this mean for sims such as IL2 Sturmovik that the OpenCockpits modules will be recognized? My understanding is that FSUIPC only transfers data to/from MSFS. Therefore, for OpenCockpit hardware to work with a sim such as IL2, the OpenCockpit switch closures would have to appear to the sim as either joystick button pushes or keyboard presses, and the analog signals would have to appear as joystick analog axis channels. Is this what you are saying is indeed possible?

    Thanks,

    Mike

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