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  1. #1
    300+ Forum Addict jmig's Avatar
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    Building a Up Front Controp Panel (UCP)

    Modern fighters enter data into the aircraft's flight computers using a Up Front Control Panel (UCP). It is similar to the CDU/FMC used by airlines and corporate jets. My cockpit is 95% finished. The only major item left to build is the UCP.

    Building it isn't the issue, it is getting the UCP to enter frequencies, headings, etc. by the use of punching keys, which enter data into a buffer that is fed to FSX when the Enter, COM, etc button is pressed. I cannot turn an encoder to change the frequencies or heading, etc. I want to hit 121.5 then enter and the COM goes to 121.5.

    Does anyone know how this can be done? Is there an I/O card that can handle this? I have Opencockpits' cards including their Xkeys card. I have Leo Bondar's card and just ordered a Pokey55T with which to play around.
    John

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  2. #2
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    Re: Building a Up Front Controp Panel (UCP)

    I'm building a F/A-18C cockpit and I have two options. First one is to build an UFC which has segment/dot matrix displays, buttons and pots or use a touch screen like in Super Hornet. Touch screen route would be much easier...

    I was planning to use LabVIEW to code the software needed for the old fashioned UFC. I guess any input card which can handle buttons, pots, rotaries etc is ok and I have some led boards for displaying stuff on the segment displays.

  3. #3
    150+ Forum Groupie Atomic_Sheep's Avatar
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    Re: Building a Up Front Controp Panel (UCP)

    Firstly, why are you using FSX for a fighter plane simulator ^o).

    Secondly, I think he's referring more to the software part. The only way that what you're saying is possible is if the software allows you to do it, so if the plane you fly is programmed to work that way, then it'll work that way, if it's not well...

    So the short answer is... you have to create your own fsx aircraft panels for what you're saying to work or try to find a payware/freeware which has that option.

  4. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: Building a Up Front Controp Panel (UCP)

    Old school sim interface (keyboard - mouse emulation)

    Just in searching. It's a Keystroke to Mouse Click FSX software. I've not tried it but it's free. I suppose you would need to cannibalize a keyboard to do it. It would be custom Hacked Keyboard that you would add via USB that could work with this software to then convert key presses to mouse clicks on your virtual UFC. It shouldn't be to hard to build the F-16 or F-18 keypad as it's more like a touch tone phone pad and connect that to your Keyboard card removed from a working USB keyboard. You could then also add in the dials and other added input devices into the same UFC via Leo's card. Two cards one Joystick emulator and a keyboard to mouse emulator should fit nicely into the UFC unit. BTW the keyboard to mouse click software was last updated 2010 so should be compatible with recent OS's

    Another idea would be to use a small touch screen.

    If the aircraft you are flying 'FSX model' has the ability to separate off the UFC then you could try using a small touch screen and add that to your cockpit. Not quite the same as the real buttons but could get you close enough. I'm thinking the UFC must be functional in the FSX model for you to even contemplate the idea. Just a question of passing key presses through. If you wanted to take that a bit farther you could build a plate to go over the touch screen that you could add buttons to.

    Cheers.
    Ron
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian