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  1. #1
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    Question on using PFC console with Bodnars card

    Hey everyone, I'm very new to the building stuff, but have been using FS since 98.

    I have obtained through the flight school I managed, the PCATD which is an old (late 90s) Precision Flight Controls unit. It is serial controlled. I was hoping to take it home and hook it up to FSX via PFCFSX.dll and FSUIPC4.dll drivers. I know the console works, because it worked at the school running the compatible Elite IFR training software.

    Stuff almost worked but here's the problem:
    There's a tick in the power causing interference. When I try to calibrate via PFC software, the yoke, it just ticks the ailerons hard left, and neither the ailerons or elevator respond. When I run the sim, it seems there are all sorts of commands being sent out at random as the views change, the airplane turns, the sim pauses...all by itself. Suprisingly, the PFC software confirms everything okay at startup!

    I'm starting to think this one is just too old to use like this and am considering using the console anyway. So these Bodnars card things.... Can I basically just take all the wiring from all the switches and hook them up to this card and it becomes a joystick with a bunch of buttons that can be programmed via FSUIPC4? Is it that easy? How much do I have to understand about electrical? Can I ditch the whole powered system of the console all together?

    Unless you have other ways to fix the console I may do this but it would result in the console being ruined and if it doesn't work out, it will be sold for parts.

    Also, the Avionics stack works in FSX if I plug the DB9 connection directly to the PC via DB9-USB interface. So if anything at least I get that.

    Sorry for the noob stuff, but as I search through all the posts on this forum, I don't seem to find 101 info, just a lot of questions that would I assume I knew what does what.

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict ak49er's Avatar
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    Re: Question on using PFC console with Bodnars card

    You can and I think should, use the Bodnar cards, it is the best way, and regarding the switches on the PCATD, some will be easy to just re-route a few grounds, others you will have to rewire all contacts.I have been this route and delved very deep into it.

    Maybe search some of my posts regarding this exact modification...

    Show more of the avionics stack and wiring, and someone here surely can help you.

  3. #3
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    Re: Question on using PFC console with Bodnars card

    Quote Originally Posted by denialS View Post
    I have obtained through the flight school I managed, the PCATD which is an old (late 90s) Precision Flight Controls unit. It is serial controlled. I was hoping to take it home and hook it up to FSX via PFCFSX.dll and FSUIPC4.dll drivers. I know the console works, because it worked at the school running the compatible Elite IFR training software.
    The hardware made by PFC for the Elite software uses a proprietary protocol designed by Elite. That can't be used for FS applications because it is owned by Elite, so in their FS versions of hardware PFC use their own protocol, which is what my software understands (PFC.DLL and PFCFSX.DLL). Some later units from PFC were switchable -- a little toggle switch behing the throttle quadrant. Older ones were either Elite or PFC, not both. I believe you might be able to get PFC to convery yours if it isn't that old that it is incompatible with their later firmware versions.

    There's a tick in the power causing interference. When I try to calibrate via PFC software, the yoke, it just ticks the ailerons hard left, and neither the ailerons or elevator respond. When I run the sim, it seems there are all sorts of commands being sent out at random as the views change, the airplane turns, the sim pauses...all by itself. Suprisingly, the PFC software confirms everything okay at startup!
    All that is likely with the wrong protocol. The check that things are "okay" merely relies on seeing some strings of bytes which inidicate connection of the various items, and that happens with either protocol. It's just that the same values mean different things!

    Regards
    Pete

  4. #4
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: Question on using PFC console with Bodnars card

    Well I can't believe it. Although this is is an older model of the PFC controls, I found out it has a toggle switch. I new that it was possible, I just thought it was inside, and I never saw it when I looked around in there. Looking at somone's ebay item, I saw a picture of the switch under the throttle quadrant (not what I was thinking) even though Peter said that, I didn't think to remove the quadrant. What do you know it works perfect. All the controls work without assignments as well.

    The only thing I'm missing is a cable that goes from the back of the avionics stack to the CRS HDG etc knobs. This cable is 15 pin game port to 14 pin square idc ribbon cable plug. I can't find this anywhere. I can see on the circuit board which pins are part of the circuitry, do you think I could make my own cable? I've never done it before.

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