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  1. #1
    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Decision Time . . . Open Cockpits or Phidgets???

    I'm at that point in my build where it's time to purchase I/O cards and start to build out my panel and control interfaces. In fact I'm looking to order my first cards in the next day or so.

    I've read about as many different brands and types of I/O as I could find on the forums and other sources. I've narrowed my search down to a combination of Leo Bodnar, & Phidgets, or Open Cockpit.

    For what I want to do (a GA twin prop) the I/O I need comes out about $200 more for the L.B./Phid. combination as compared to O.C. My dilemma is that I've heard many stories good and bad about the complexities of SIOC and also some concerns posted on line about the responsiveness of OC in both shipping product and responding to e-mail. Where as Leo seems to be way more accessible and the folks at Phidgets are always at the other end of an 800 number 5 days a week.

    So, for $200 more it seems I get much better support, but for the $200 less I save money and get "from what I've read" more programming flexibility, but poorer support form the manufacturer.

    I would welcome any thoughts and opinions that might help me finalize my decisions.

    THANKS!

  2. #2
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    Re: Decision Time . . . Open Cockpits or Phidgets???

    OC stuff is a little cheaper and not that hard to get the hang of, I only use the usb outputs and servo cards. Phidgets are easier and more $$'s

    Its true I did have some issues with OC's customer service. They have since been handled. They said they have had issues with their mail server. As far as shipping if you use DHL or UPS there is no issues. My last order was shipped on a monday and I had it in my hands wednesday.

    But I was looking to save some money and if thathadnt been an issue I would of gone phidgets,

  3. #3
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    Re: Decision Time . . . Open Cockpits or Phidgets???

    The question should be: Do you feel comfortable with scripting? If you do, nothing will bring you the flexibility of opencockpits hardware. Our cessna cockpit was missing a DME module and within an hour we had a backlit LCD display with two DME values on it of NAV1 and NAV2, using the SIOC language.

    If you are not comfortable with scripting, what software is going to drive the phidgets cards? Bordnar cards are joystick cards and can therefor directly talk to FSUIPC to set FS options, but phidgets cards need specific software to read and write to them.

  4. #4
    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Re: Decision Time . . . Open Cockpits or Phidgets???

    Quote Originally Posted by metamarty View Post
    . . . If you are not comfortable with scripting, what software is going to drive the phidgets cards? . . . but phidgets cards need specific software to read and write to them . . .
    The app that's out there for the Phidgets cards is called FS2Phidgets. I've downloaded it to take a look and another user sent me a script he wrote for his comm panel. I have some minimal experience with VB and VBA so scripting isn't an issue with me as long as the scripting app is at least somewhat intuitive or has good documentation. The FS2P looks fairly straight forward so it has some appeal.

    But, to be honest I have no experience with it or SIOC so I have little basis for a real comparison. That is other than what I read on on the forums.

  5. #5
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    Re: Decision Time . . . Open Cockpits or Phidgets???

    In that case, you'll have to decide if your cockpit needs more functionality than what is offered directly as FSUIPC offsets. Basic GA cockpits probably don't have much extra functionality. Extra functionality can be programmed in SIOC. You can think of things like "turn on this led if the oil pressure value is under this limit".

    If there is no such extra functionality, you can use direct hardware, but in that case, why not use bodnar joystick cards? They will cut out the extra need for software and work directly in FSUIPC.

  6. #6
    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Re: Decision Time . . . Open Cockpits or Phidgets???

    Quote Originally Posted by metamarty View Post
    . . . If there is no such extra functionality, you can use direct hardware, but in that case, why not use bodnar joystick cards? They will cut out the extra need for software and work directly in FSUIPC.
    I do have the Leo Bodnar card included in the first option I'm looking at because they are more cost effective than Phidgets or OC for handling all the axis I/O and much of the basic switch inputs for a GA aircraft. However, I'm looking at Phidgets or OC for LED outputs, flap position indicator servo, possibly an auto pilot (DC motor driven) trim wheel setup, etc.