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  1. #1
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Flaps Controller Needs Relay

    Not a mechanical question, but I don't see a forum that is arguably more appropriate. This is electrical, though electro-mechanical.

    I'm going to be using a hacked keyboard for most of my panel input communications to the FSX, flying the Baron G58 (glass panel). Accordingly, I need to (must) do my best to find mechanical solutions, then electro-mechanical solutions, before programming solutions.

    For the flaps in this sim, there are luckily only 3 positions. "Up", "Approach", and "Down". I'm planning my build for the flaps module and stumbled on a problem. My plan is to use a 2P3T rotary switch. [I might need more poles because I need to first check the keyboard schematic to make sure one common wire runs to all four of the Function Keys needed (F5, F6, F7, F.] The problem is that as the rotary switch goes from down to up, and contacts the middle position, it makes the same contact as it did on the way down. Yet, I need my module to recognize "F7" (i.e. extend incremental) on the way down, and "F6" (i.e. retract incremental) on the way up. My thought was to use the second pole of the rotary switch to power a 12v relay that would switch from "F7" to "F6" when in the "Down" position to ready the middle position of the rotary switch for the retraction of the flaps (i.e. an electro-mechanical On/On toggle switch), and do the opposite when in the "Up" position (i.e. toggle back to "F7"). However, I can't seem to find an appropriate relay, especially since I am new at this. Most relays require continuous voltage to pass through the coil to keep the N.O. contact closed, but as I come off the third position of the rotary switch I will lose power to the relay. So, I need a relay that will clamp in the closed position until drawn to clamp in the opposite direction (i.e. an N.O./N.O., "ON"-"ON" electro-mechanical toggle).

    Anyone know of such a relay, or have another solution?????

  2. #2
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    Re: Flaps Controller Needs Relay

    Hi.
    Look at "latching" relays? They hold the NO or NC position without current having to be applied continuously. Typically, you need to reverse the current to get it to switch to the alternate state.

    How do you plan to make momentary contacts with your rotary switch?

    Jim

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  4. #3
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Flaps Controller Needs Relay

    Thanks! The right word to search is all it took.

    To get a pulse from the rotary, I'll either use this: http://www.desktopaviator.com/Produc...2120/index.htm
    or a relay device for each switch position that shunts the electrical flow by a capacitor that interupts the flow, and when turned off is drained by a resistor. Since the flaps only have the three positions, another incremental increase getting to full flaps, or another incremental retraction getting to flaps up, will not make any difference.

    Not bad thinking for a lawyer - eh?

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    Re: Flaps Controller Needs Relay

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Flyer View Post
    Thanks! The right word to search is all it took.

    To get a pulse from the rotary, I'll either use this: http://www.desktopaviator.com/Produc...2120/index.htm
    or a relay device for each switch position that shunts the electrical flow by a capacitor that interupts the flow, and when turned off is drained by a resistor. Since the flaps only have the three positions, another incremental increase getting to full flaps, or another incremental retraction getting to flaps up, will not make any difference.

    Not bad thinking for a lawyer - eh?
    I think, as you work your way through the problems of interfacing those solutions with your hacked keyboard, you'll come to see that it would be MUCH simpler to hack a joystick for the flaps functions. All you need is two joystick buttons and FSUIPC.

    Jim.

  6. #5
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Flaps Controller Needs Relay

    You might be right Deering, but I'm already stumbling down a path. If I reassign the keys I need, I might be able to save some wiring of two key commands. Thus far, it hasn't been to difficult to figure out. I started in with the concept of the rotary switch more from a mechanical perspective to build up the control on the panel to look realistic. In the future I'll post pix to show what I'm up to at the time.

  7. #6
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    Re: Flaps Controller Needs Relay

    I wasn't suggesting that you abandon the rotary switch. Connect the rotary into a joystick to operate two of its buttons. The Desktop Aviator product is essentially the same thing, but you may have an old joystick about the place. With FSUIPC you can assign one FS control when a button is pressed (and held) and another when it is released. So, with two buttons you can get the four controls you need; no need to use up keystrokes.

  8. #7
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Flaps Controller Needs Relay

    Deering,
    Thanks for the clarification! I'll give a look at it, even though I don't have an old joy stick laying about. Even if I did, I'll need the pulse generator for other switches on the panel. My next big challenge is going to be finding how to pull in information from FSX to trigger the indicator lights for the landing gear and flaps. I want FSX to trigger them instead of them being triggered manually so that I can simulate failures (i.e. front gear not down, flaps will not retract despite position of switch).

  9. #8
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    Re: Flaps Controller Needs Relay

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