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    Newbie question - maybe wrong area

    Hi All - newbie posting here!

    Ok - I am taking on a project to turn a crashed helicopter fuselage into a sim, it will be based on FSX, there will be no motion but there will be quite a bit of visuals - hopefully a wrap around screen driven by a projector.

    I have access through my job to a complete set of real jet ranger instruments, these I plan to remove the back from and attach either steppers or servo's - in turn attached to a controller card.

    Here comes the confusing bit for me - how do I get FSX to send out the individual signals to each of the gauges, rather than simply displaying them on the screen - everyone out there seems to know exactly how they do it, but I dont!!!!!! Are USB modules for controlling the gauges ever plug and play, or will I need to program?

    Any advice anyone can give will be very gratefully received!

    Gaz

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict RobiD's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie question - maybe wrong area

    Hey Gaz,

    I'm using a couple of real cessna gauges in my sim.

    You have to use an interface like FSBus, or Open Cockpit cards etc.

    These cards will read the offsets for the gauges and convert them into information for the servo/stepper cards. (very simplistic explanation)
    Do some homeworks on these sorts of cards. There is a ton of info out there. You can even search for 'interfacing real cockpit gauges in flight sim' and you'll get a ton of info.

    Hope it helps.
    David

  3. #3
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    Re: Newbie question - maybe wrong area

    Quote Originally Posted by RobiD View Post
    Hey Gaz,

    I'm using a couple of real cessna gauges in my sim.

    You have to use an interface like FSBus, or Open Cockpit cards etc.

    These cards will read the offsets for the gauges and convert them into information for the servo/stepper cards. (very simplistic explanation)
    Do some homeworks on these sorts of cards. There is a ton of info out there. You can even search for 'interfacing real cockpit gauges in flight sim' and you'll get a ton of info.

    Hope it helps.
    David
    David - thanks for that, that is a good starting point - but I guess what I need is a bit of a tutorial if you like, beggining to end of how to get the gauge working with FSX.

    I know exactly how everything else is going to work - switches, controls, visuals - the one point now is, how to work the lousy gauges!! I dont want to fall back to simply displaying the instrument stack on s seperate monitor.

    I know I need to have a USB servo I/O card for the gauges, and I undertsand how to wire the motors, I understand using a pulse generator to emulate another Joystick for cockpit switches - but the gauges are causing me real frustration!

    If anyone has a good guide for a moderatley knowledged person - please fire it at me!

    Also, I am a real world bonafide aircraft engineer here in the Uk - so if anyone ahs any tech issues they are struggling with I may be of help

    Gaz

  4. #4
    300+ Forum Addict RobiD's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie question - maybe wrong area

    Gaz,

    If you read through this thread: http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/show...d=1#post105501

    it will give you a good idea of how I started with FSBus, built and adapted various gauges, interfaced them and calibrated them through the C++ code.

    There's a lot of reading but there is also a lot of code you are welcome to use and adapt.

    David

  5. #5
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    Re: Newbie question - maybe wrong area

    Gaz,

    You can buy interface cards for both RC servos and stepping motors from OpenCockpits. (www.opencockpits.com). The SIOC software (also from OpenCockpits) drives the card. You can configure SIOC to extract the appropriate data from FSX. There are tutorials on the OpenCockpits site, and several members of this site have experience using OC products.

    If you're interested in learning how to program against FSX yourself, you can view detailed documentation on the Microsoft MSDN library site. (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/cc526948.aspx) Before MS pulled the plug on FSX and the development team, they briefly marketed a commercial version of the core simulation engine which they called ESP. Both FSX and ESP use an API called SimConnect. Documentation of the SimConnect SDK is part of the ESP documentation. The SimConnect includes many code samples. The SimConnect utility ships with the Deluxe version of FSX.

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