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  1. #1
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    The basics of it all ??

    Hi

    O.K to ask a completely dumb question, if I has a rocker switch and I want to use it in a sim what do I need to use to get that switch to say, turn on my landing lights??? I have read sooo much about I/O boards and all the other stuff I just don't know where to start.

    I want to build a lights panel (8-12 switches in all) what do I need andadvise would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Chris

  2. #2
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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    if you only want/need 8-12 switches then don't waste your money on specialised cards. Get an old joystick take the electronics out, wiere your switches to the board, and off you go, custom built panel which would cost you next to nothing (if you have an old joystick). In addition, you have 2-4 axes left, so you can also wire potentiometers for trim, throttle etc if you want to. That's the cheapest and easiest solution and will give you lots of satisfaction as your firs build.

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  4. #3
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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    Thanks Wojteku

    I just happen to have an old joystick in the cupboard which I didn't hesitate to pull apart and your right it will do pretty much a good portion of what I want (for the time being) but I was curious on two points. Firstly, how do I use rotary switches (I have a couple of 6 way switches) and secondly what about rocker switches (3 way), can these be used with a joystick card??

    Thanks again.

    Chris

  5. #4
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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    As for rotary switches - that's quite challenging Depends what you ant to use them for and how many 'steps' you require. Eg, fuel selector needs 3 positions but only 2 connected. magnetos are a bit more complicated and you wil probably need 5 positions (ie 4 or 5 buttons) depending on configuration. What do you exactly want to do? maybe I can help.

    As for rocker switches. You can wire them to the joistick board, no problem about that. Only remember that thej make constant contact, so you have to configure your controlls acordingly.
    Also have a look at impulse switches - good alternative for rotary switches and you'd only require to use two buttons of your joystick (example for magnetos)

  6. #5
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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    Hi Wojteku

    Thanks for the information.

    Using a joystick board is going to work fine for the short term but I am thiinking that if I want to go large scale, like a full overhead panel with leds, then I will have no other option than to buy some kind of expansion board. I had a bit of a problem allocating a switch to a function of add-on aircraft but have been told since to use the macro function of FCUIPS, now I have a working switch panel . With the little knowledge I have on electronics, I am on a very steep learning curve but I guess that's the challenge and enjoyment of this hobby and at lease my soldering is getting better.

    Thanks again for your help

    Chris

  7. #6
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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    Hi,
    To build something like overhead panel you will deffinately need an extension board. There's so many switches buttons etc that it would not pay off to do it in other way. Have a look at Leo Bodnar's boards, they look quite reasonable to me and if you're not building professional sim they should provide you with enough options.
    However if you want to have LED's working try asking guys who have done 737/747/A320 cockpits, they'll be a bit more helpful but I think you would have to look at opencockpits boards (but not sure about that.
    Take care and good luck building! Don't forget to share the results on the forum

  8. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    Hi Doc,

    I think the the Bodnar board and IOCards stuff is great, I own both and love them. I also recently started making my own boards for I/O, mostly as an experiment and to have an alternative if the retail sources dried up...It's cheaper too. I built some of the MJoy and MJoy16 cards for input. They plug into a USB port and look like a joystick, very similar to the Bodnar card. They support up to 112 buttons, rotary encoders, and analog axis for throttle, etc. So far I have built 5 of them and they all work very well. With a little work I built mine for about $15. I also built my own output card using the Igor Plug project. This card plugs into USB as well and has 8 or 24 outputs (or inputs for that matter). I am writing my own software to operate it, and it's going well so far. This card is about $10 to build myself.

    If you are handy with electronics you might give these a try if the budget is tight, or you just like doing things yourself. I have a lot of info going in another thread in the General Builder Questions All Aircraft Types section.....

    Buddy

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  10. #8
    500+ This must be a daytime job ian@737ng.co.uk's Avatar
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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    hi docmeister........
    if you only want 8-12 switches working, then get a basic BU0836 card. you can connect 12 switches to that without using diodes. there's a connection diagram on
    Leo's website. that again is going to allow you to connect axes as well.
    rotary switches are a different concept. problem with rotary's is they are not 'directional' and as such can only be used in certain applications.
    re: your overhead.....i use the macro technique on DPDT switches. one side instructs FSUIPC and the other side controls the logic which i have put on PIC's to light all the annunciators at the right time based on switch position and what power source is available to the aircraft. works real well. in fact so well, i'm not going to change it.
    have a great day and good luck.

    ian.
    Mr. Ian. P. Sissons is hereby recognised as an Honorary Flight Sim Captain following his passing in February 2016. This is in recognition for his commitment to Flight Simulation.

    www.mycockpit.org Featured Builder August 2008 www.737ng.co.uk
    FS9/PROSIM737/CPFLIGHT/Lots of BU0836X's and a Beer Fridge

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  12. #9
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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    Hi Ian
    Well I had enough of fiddling around with a joystick board and I really wanted it to look a little professional so I ended up getting a BU0836X board from Leo Bordnar. First off, what a first rate delivery system he has. 1 week delivery from the UK to Australia, I got home today and there it was. Now I have it plugged in it makes liffe SOOOO much more easier the only problem is, I need another board for the rest of my switched. I think I will just bite the bullet and go with FDS-SYS1X High Capacity Out Card from flight deck solutions. At the end of the day I am going to hopefully have a complete overhead panel with annunciators so it's not like it won't do the job.

    I have one question in regards to the BU0863X card though and it may sound like a silly question but what do I use the 8 analouge inputs for??

    Oh and I found out how to use the macro function through FSUIPC, I need to read the instruction more thoroughly !!

    I just went and had a look on your website. I was curious if you used a card or do you run all your annunciators through your DPDT switches?? if so how to you wire up your LEDs. I know I have seen the tutorial somewhere but do you think I can find it?!?

    Cheers

    Chris

  13. #10
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    Re: The basics of it all ??

    You can use analog inputs for anything 'analog'. Connect a potentiometer to it and you can map it to throttle, mixture, rudder pitch, roll, whatever you like.

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