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  1. #41
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Hello venenoso. If you are thinking of going down this route, you would first need this handy little program created by our forum leader: http://www.jimspage.co.nz

    Next would be this guide for your LED display (uses 15 outputs instead of 64 outputs to run comm1 and comm2) :
    Charlie-PlexJPG.jpg

    Then, here is some ready to go code for Arduino (you may to change your pin assignments).
    ArdLinkFSinOUT_COM1_COM2.zip

    Good Luck!
    -James
    Last edited by Jim NZ; 09-17-2013 at 07:37 PM.

  2. #42
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Wow,, things are happening and happening quick !!!! I'm really frustrated that I dont have any 7 segament LED's to play with here.

    The rotary encoder thing James ,,, yes I know your brilliant work-around that you are using but I never described what I meant very well.
    The keys section just looks for a code,, ie "D150" and if you had an entry in the keys list it would trigger it to send to FSX what ever you had set it to.
    So,,,,
    Say in the keys section you had D150 sends a "NC1+" and D151 sends a "NC1-" to FSX, then all you need to do is ,,, once your PDE code has sorted out that the "encoder" is going (say) UP it then sends to the computer "D150" or if its going down, it sends "D151". etc etc
    The actual pin 15 can be even one of the pins that is being used for you charlie plexing ,,, basicaly its a fake code.
    In fact to keep it simple, probably use an odd-ball identifier ie "Dqw0" and "Dqw1" (The keys NEED the "D" as the first charator and it must be "0" or "1" as the last.)
    Soooo,,, Yes ,,,, You can use your encoder thingy as input to FSX via the keys section.
    I can see your smile from here

    Venenoso ,, welcome to our wee world ,,, James is the man to give you a "knee's up" he's doing just what you want to know.

    Cheers Guys ,,, Jim

    EDIT,,,,,,,,,,
    Geeze ,, I just re-read what I posted and it sounds messy.

    James ,, do this to try ,,,,

    In the "Keys" programming section,,
    Pin No.,,, 95
    key code,,, nc1+ (+ shows as a =)
    SAVE
    pin No. ,,, 96
    Keycode,, nc1-
    SAVE then EXIT

    Now in your PDE code,,,,
    When you determine the encoder is going up,, send D950 for each click.
    When you determine the encoder is going down,, send D960 for each click.
    The Mhz in com1 should go up or down as required.

    Now that's a simpler way to describe it !!!!
    Last edited by Jim NZ; 07-10-2011 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Clarify
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

  3. #43
    10+ Posting Member venenoso's Avatar
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Jim and James,
    Thanks you both ,Jim I install your program in a win 7 - 64 bits machine and it don't run so made the exe compatible with xp sp3 and it is running ok , about the nav my brain works in "basic" mode only , I have all the ingredients and using opencockpits Little boards for 7 segment displays using 5 by board and looking it think it have the same pinout , I go firts with hardware and need to know what is in between , James do you connect direct the digits to the Arduino or go via resistor , and if resistor is needed let me know where between anodes or cc (segments), finally where you connect the anodes and where you connect the CC in the Arduino (pin N?)
    Regards

  4. #44
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Hi Venenoso ,, yes it is are a bit of a battle using VB6 stuff in windows 7x64 but we will sort it out as things take shape. If I get some spare time one day I might look at an automatic installer ???? Spare time ???? I've forgotten what means

    James will pop back and sort out your display ,,, this is his project thread and I dont even have any displays like that so I'm no help,, Sorry.
    I think the CC stands for "common cathode" ????? ,,, Anyway James will know.

    Keep us informed with your progress Venenoso.
    Cheers ,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

  5. #45
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Venenoso,
    Good to see you again.
    Let's start with what I think you have:
    http://www.opencockpits.com/uploads/...splays_eng.pdf

    Now let's reference your LED hardware to the Arduino PDE and serial comm from Link2FSinoutBeta3:
    serial COM1 freq = 119.35 ...so,
    MHZLED1 = 1
    MHZLED2 = 1
    MHZLED3 = 9
    KHZLED1 = 3
    KHZLED2 = 5
    KHZLED3 (you will not use since your hardware is a 5 digit display)

    Placement of the COM1 pins are what you define:
    Common Anode "trigger" pins are noted in the PDE as C1block1 = ??, C1block2 =??, C1block3 = ??, and C1block4 = ??. You will need to add C1block5 since your hardware is pre-wired for a 5 digit charlieplexed display i.e, (1)19.35. And you will need to modify the back-end of the PDE; we will cross that bridge when you are ready. Also, I would recommend placing C1block "x" pins in sequential order i.e, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. since the the back-end of the PDE steps "+1".

    Cathode 7-segment pins are defined as COM1LEDa = ??, COM1LEDb = ??, etc.

    Resistors - YES! For even illumination, use a minimum of 160 ohms (31mA @ 5V) and no more than 250 ohms at each cathode segment; the reason, the Charlieplexing of and LED display will diminish the illumination with increase frequency (lesson learned). Lesson learned, I will modify my display for 180ohms at each segment. Do not ever place a resistor at the Anode "trigger" for it will affect the illumination as more segments light.

    Also, reading the opencockpits doc gave me an idea... controlling the illumination thru use of analog pins

    This should get you started and I hope this will help to further your adventure.

    -James

    P.S.
    I am glad you entered the forum. I realize that all of my meticulous design time and endless hours of soldering can be bought with 5euros a PCB!
    Last edited by JMeller; 07-11-2011 at 08:53 PM. Reason: affect...not effect!

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  7. #46
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Well, I completed the Comm1, Comm2, Nav1, and Nav2 display with satisfactory results. Lots and lots of soldering . . . DSC00023.jpg

    Here are the results using FSX in/out . . . DSC00025.jpg

    The serial read delay has been reduced to a minimum delay of (1) and cycle loop delay of (2) for a total of (3). I haven't tried it yet, but I hope there is enough loop time to debounce the rotary switch for freq control.

    I spent a few hours trouble-shooting; I had my "0"s looking like "U"s. I eventually found that the solder flux was causing low resistance (80 ohms) from the A segment to the G segement. Plugged it back up, and found the last digit not working. I was cleaning and cleaning the tracks until I realized that since I am using a 14 pin header (instead of the needed 16pin header) I should plug in the added header for the last digit.... grrr - wasted time! All-in-all, I am satisfied with the results. I will need to use the the other MEGA (predicted) for the standby frequencies. I am anxious for the results of mndless's results of the master/slave config. In the meantime, I will press on with the stand-by freq bd.

    -James

  8. #47
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Neat stuff James ,,, Really cool ,,, It looks like its made to work.
    There is something about the LED's that make it look "right" I gotto admitt. One day I'll get some and have a play myself,, till then,, I'm stuck with the wee LCD's that everyone seems to use with their Arduino.

    Re. the serial delay ,,, I wouldnt loose any sleep over it as if the reads dont keep up with the incomming data "at the moment" it will still be in the buffer to be read when things slow down a bit. (We're talking an un-seen delay here) So you wont miss any data.

    I had a wee chuckle over you antics with the soldering / empty pin boo-boo Happens to us all James .... of course you wont get any simpathy from any of us ,, we could give away very simular stories

    Yes, what Tony's doing would really suit driving LED banks like you've done ,, it would free up lots of pins on the main board thats for sure.

    Looks great James ,,, Thanks for the update ,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

  9. #48
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Very excited! Finished & verified stand-by freq display board as operational. No pics since it is essentially the same as the active board- just offset a-bit. I am ordering more flat ribbon and header connectors since I will need more to complete the interconnect of the displays. My next step is "marry" the boards together via RS-232 comms ... any recommendations welcome. After that, buttons for Comm1, Comm2, Comm1 & Comm2, rotary switches/encoders (haven't decided on rotaries, yet) and finishing assembly!

  10. #49
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Good stuff James ,,, I can see the grin on your face from here ,, it's always a good feeling when things come together as they should.

    Talking of cables and plugs ,, I cant find where,, but some outfit sells an "adapter" (or joiner) to use on ordinary flat computer cables with plugs,, to enable them to plug straight into the Arduino. If your anything like me ,,, I have heaps of computer cables (the flat ones with a multipin sockets on the ends) but of course,, the Arduino has the same sort of "socket". The thing I am looking for just looks like a "header pin set" but the pins are long on both sides of the plastic. ???? Even what they are called would be a help. ??

    Now the options of using multiple Arduino's ,,, there are heaps ,,,
    Serial between cards ... (various modes) and (wired or radio)
    Network between cards .... (wired or radio)
    Just wait until "FSX_inOut_v2" comes out (it can drive 4 cards at once)

    Like you ,,, I've never been down that road so we are both watching Tony's developments with interest.

    Interesting you haven't decided on rotary encoders yet James ,, you've had the "taste" of doing it with ordinary rotary switches (and rightly so !!) and they DO work great. In the thread on rotary encoders I intend to go back one day and thrash out the different ways to achieve the same thing as a rotary encoder ,,,, there are always more than one way to skin a cat. !!! (To the purist ,,, no cats were harmed in making this post)

    One thing that nags at me ,,, and you or Tony might be the first to strike it ,, is lag. At the moment the data "path is like this ,,,,,
    TurnKnob > arduino > FSXinOut > Simconnect > Radio changes freq > Simconnect > FSXinOut >Arduino > LED
    so even in a "one card" setup, there's lag ,,, its not ideal, although it works and it's bearable.

    In an earlier post on your thread I spoke of the data being "held" within the Arduino and basically the "end result" of a change going back to FSX ,,, a data path, something like this ,,,
    Turn Knob > Arduino > LED > FSXinOut > Simconnect > Radio changes freq.
    Far quicker and it would be more or less instantaneous from the rotary encoder to the LED on your built radio.
    Food for thought ,, hopefully I'm wrong ,, but if it does happen then all is not lost. Its just a matter of putting radios and whatever else, thru a different "direct in" page in my software.

    Anyway ,,, Congrats on getting it going James ,,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

  11. #50
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    Re: Arduino COM / NAV LED display - FSX

    Well, I learned yet another thing today... My display had the "unused" segments ever-so slightly dimly lit. I chalked this up due to flicker speed bleed and accepted it. UNTIL I noticed the top-most anode blocks did not reflect the same characteristics. I then moved the connectors to the second set - same results. Then to the next card- same results. It was at that point I was annoyed with the dimly lit segments because now I knew something was amiss. To help pin-point the problem, I had slowed down the loop cycle; this test revealed my FSX received digits were off by one anode. (I guess the speed of the loop cycle masked the problem.) Perplexed, I combed through the PDE and found that I assigned the new FSX received number before switching off the old anode. To correct this, I turned off all of the anodes at the top of the pde loop. Uploaded the file - WOW! Now the numbers are crisp and bright!

    Jim-
    Long header pins - Yeah, I know what you are talking about (used them on my LCD). I snagged some from a replacement daughter card at work since all I needed was the card ...pins were already in place. My current Nav/Com interface has the standard double header on a PCB with the pins nearly equal length on both sides. I heated up the pins to move the plastic prior to soldering. After soldering the pins in place, I pryed the plastic off - giving equal pin length on both sides of the PCB.

    Rotary encoders - I haven't had time to play with them yet....too busy sniffing solder smoke As you may be able to tell, I have been doing a fair share. The displays are not lit up because... well, I have enough 10 conductor flat ribbon; just no 10 pin header sockets. And, I have enough 14pin header sockets; just not enough 14 conductor flat ribbon - LOL. Poor planning on my part!

    FINAL_NAV_COM.zip
    Last edited by JMeller; 08-16-2011 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Attachment

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