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  1. #1
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    Input/Output Cards

    Hi,

    I may be barking up the wrong tree here but I have started to run out of money in the budget which is forcing me to look at alternatives.

    Looking around the internet and forums, lots of people have written their own code to pick up the offsets from FS and run things like the guages and LED displays.

    My questions is, what is the cheapest way to manufacture the PCBs to enable this? I had originally intended to buy from Opencockpits, but with the poor exchange rates, once you add P&P & tax on a basic package starts to run into a few hundred pounds.

    Does anyone have an alternative solution? Are there designs out there that I can use to build my own?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie Kerbo's Avatar
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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    Hello,
    I have had good luck making my own PCBs using the toner transfer method. Google for it and you will find a lot of tutorials. For commercially made boards I just recently found Seeed Studio and am pleased with my first run of boards. If the board size is right they are the cheapest I have found. You can see pictures of that PCB run here.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    Kerbo on YouTube or Twitch
    github.com/wriley

  3. #3
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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    Another inexpensive approach is to use prototyping board. This is printed circuit board material with holes punched in a 0.1 inch grid. It's slow, messy, but also functional and cheap.

    I believe both FSBus and IOCard designs are available for free.

    Please excuse what is effectively self promotion: More DIY I/O design information is available in the book Building Recreational Flight Simulators available through my website.

  4. #4
    25+ Posting Member vcimmino's Avatar
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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    Why not giving a look at opencockpits assembly kits? Those are quite more affordable that already built boards. I don't think that you might save a lot over them if you need to make the board yourself, buy the components, program the PICs eccetera. Mostly then also depends on the what you need to do. You can also give a look to some multipurpose boards that needs basic .NET programming to use with FS but have a lot of power. Pokeys55T my best suggestion, shipped up to your door for 45 pounds, can work with buttons, leds, pots, encoders, relays, lcd displays and more all at once.

  5. #5
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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    You know, in retrospect, I guess i could have gone for OC boards. I have, however, made FSBUS new gen boards. If i look at costs i suppose i could have spent about the same buying the kits but I think there are some boards like USBOutputs board that i don't see as a kit. So that would have cost me around 600-700 bucks BEFORE shipping.

    So i guess it possibly is cheaper my way but there are a few pains that one has to overcome - i.e. I am battling to flash my display cards (others not completed yet) so there are pros and cons...

    I certainly couldn't afford EPIC lmao - well i could but that is all my cockpit would be - a desk with LOTS of wires and LEDs hanging or stuck in cardboard LOL... So I opted for a more balanced approach - self-made boards and everything else. OK so i cheated - i got some boards made professionally but i just didn't have the time to etch them all but after setup (not too bad) they were cheap but quality!!!

  6. #6
    300+ Forum Addict oal331's Avatar
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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    Opencockpits only!!

    They have a full range of solutions to all your needs.

    From drawings to make your own, until ready to run cards, tested.
    From simple input/output cards, to servo, keyboard, etc
    Many-many users
    Support
    E-shop with many other items in very good price

    My 5... cents

    regards

    Eddie
    Eddie Armaos
    Athens-Greece


    [

  7. #7
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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    Just an updated ergo belated - with regards to my problem flashing my boards it was overcome buy finding a short with some serious magnifying head lenses LOL - anyways, i now have 3 IO boards, 1 DO64 board and 1 Display 6pack board running - that's not all but for now it is

  8. #8
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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    Thanks for all your comments, I guess the OC boards are the best option, just a shame that the exchange rate is so bad!!! With the tax and the shipping and the exchange rate I am wondering if it is cheaper to go and get them......

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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by dmoblay View Post
    Thanks for all your comments, I guess the OC boards are the best option, just a shame that the exchange rate is so bad!!! With the tax and the shipping and the exchange rate I am wondering if it is cheaper to go and get them......
    I guess that is subjective... I wanted OC but exchange and shipping costs WOW!! I was paying 10:1 and a couple of cards would have cost me around say R1200 but shipping alone was R760 +/-... So i opted for FSBUS. So far I am pleased. Like everything new, there are teething problems that are, quite honestly, easily overcome.

    So i guess your decision now is have more boards at lower costs i.e. no shipping or less boards at higher costs and functionality will be on par really.

  10. #10
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim kiek's Avatar
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    Re: Input/Output Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by dmoblay View Post
    just a shame that the exchange rate is so bad!!!
    Well, it was your country's own decision not to join the European Currency... So blame your politicians.

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