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  1. #1
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    First try with jims link2fs

    Hi Jim,

    I wanted to thank Jim for all his work. You have been a great source and inspriation to me. I had given up on cockpits, but finding the arduino and your help made me come back and enjoy it all. Thanks man!

    I have used a non arduino board which worked, but I understand the reasoning to keep this forum clear of other arduino-like boards. I have removed the info on the board and ordered a true arduino so I can learn and help in this forum.

    Greetings,
    eric "sammy-e"

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    re: First try with jims link2fs

    Thanks for your kind words Eric ,,, Yes they are a great wee card and go very well. It always amazed me that they never got snatch up by other cockpit builders when they first came out. They could have saved lots of dollars.

    As for my software ,, the whole thing just grew from bits of code I had messed around with for my own use and I had no real set plan for an "end" product.
    This is very obvious with the mess the different extractions are listed as. anyway ,,, a lot of it's short comings are gone with the new program coming thu.

    Thanks again Eric and have fun with them ,,, Jim
    Last edited by Jim NZ; 02-01-2013 at 11:19 PM.
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

  3. #3
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    jims link2fs

    Hi Jim,

    I have been playing around for some time now and I have progressed from the 'wow! i can make a led turn on or off!' into switching lights on or off in cockpits, or raise / lower gears and show red/green leds depending on the state, its a miracle I just love arduino and fsx. For beginners like me its a great learning platform. Finding link2fs made it all come together.

    tip for others: you can easily test pde code with the serial monitor. You can simulate code from link2fs, without having to start fsx and link2fs. Just type the expected input (like B+002.1) press send and check if the code does what you want it to do.

    I have tried unsuccesfully to program in Delphi, C#, and even C++ something in simconnect, or use Fsuipc, looked into LUA, but only now I finally understand how interfacing with FSX can be done and what works for me. Its finally fun! I am even considering steam gauges now, and that will be nice to try too. I have jumped from a cliff, but its great

    To all beginning cockpit builders, I can recommend using the arduinos. Lots of tutorials online, and with Jims program relatively easy stuff to do.
    if I had the money I would buy plug and play stuff, but with a small budget this is doable.

    Thanks again and also all the other contributors on this forum. I have learned and will learn more thanks to you all.

    Next project: 7 segment digits for the nav and comms

    Greetings,
    Eric

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  5. #4
    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    re: First try with jims link2fs

    Eric,

    After ponerding how to do my 7 segment displays for quite some time, and reading long threads of nightmarish issues and coding using other solutions I finally came across Jim's Link2FS and this forum. Jim and others have been very helpful with the coding. One member on the forum pointed me to these little gems:

    Attachment 7471
    8-Segment LED Display Board Module for Arduino - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

    And, to top it off a snippet of code that works great. I adapted his code to my setup in a matter of minutes. The displays hooked up with only 5 wires and best of all you can daisy chain several of them. The only other thing I needed to do was download and install the LED Control Library form the Arduino site.

    Here's the code I am using to drive my Comm 1 Radio primary freq display. Since you need five digits and the first one is always a fixed "1" I will be adding a single hardwired 7 seg in front of each of the 4 digit blocks in the final assembly. Also, I did a lot of clean up in my code by using bit of code from another forum user to replace all the serial reads with a single "getChar" function.

    Code:
    #include 
    LedControl lc=LedControl(10,12,11,1);
    
    int ExtFlg;                                         // Serial Character Read
    int 7SegDig;                                      // Extracted digit for 7 segment display
    
    void setup()
    {
      // Initialize the Display
    
      lc.shutdown(0,false);
      lc.shutdown(1,false);
      lc.setIntensity(0,7);
      lc.setIntensity(1,7);
      lc.clearDisplay(0);
      lc.clearDisplay(1);
    
      Serial.begin(115200);
    
      // This does a quick test of all the segments
    
      for(int i=0;i<8;i++)
      {
        lc.setDigit(0,i,8,false);
        lc.setDigit(1,i,8,false);
        delay(250);
      }
    
      for(int i=8;i>0;i--)
      {
        lc.setChar(0,i,' ',false);
        lc.setChar(1,i,' ',false);
        delay(250);
      }
    
      {lc.clearDisplay(0);
      lc.clearDisplay(1);}
      delay(250);
    
    }
    
    void loop()
    {
      ExtFlg = getChar();
    
      if (ExtFlg == 'd'){ // Comm 1 Radio Freq
    
        7SegDig = getChar(); //Read the 1st character sent but don't send it to the display
    
        7SegDig = getChar(); //Read the 2nd digit sent and display it
        lc.setChar(0,7,7SegDig,false);
    
        7SegDig = getChar(); //Read the 3d digit sent and display it
        lc.setChar(0,6,7SegDig,true);
    
        7SegDig = getChar(); //DONT READ THE DOT
    
        7SegDig = getChar(); //Read the 4th digit sent and display it
        lc.setChar(0,5,7SegDig,false);
    
        7SegDig = getChar(); //Read the 5th digit sent and display it
        lc.setChar(0,4,7SegDig,false);
    
        7SegDig = getChar(); //read last digit but dont display it
    
        /*
        lc.setChar(a,b,c,d);
        a = select board 0 -7 [You can drive up to 8 of these board on three arudino pins]
        b = select segment display position 0 - 7 [there are 8 7segment display per board]
        c = data to display [0-9]
        d = true = display "." false = no decimal point
        */
    
      } // END Comm 1 Radio Freq
      
    } End program loop
    
    // Serial Read Function
    char getChar()
    {
      while(Serial.available() == 0);
      return((char)Serial.read());
    }
    https://www.facebook.com/mycessnasim PC: Intel Core i7 Haswell @ 3.8GHz, 8Gb Ram, Win 7 64Bit, dual SSDs, GeFroce 780 SIM: FSX w/Aclrtn Pk, FSUIPC4, ASN, UTX, GEX, REX 4

  6. Thanks Sammy-E thanked for this post
  7. #5
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    jims link2fs

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you!
    I too have been researching 7 segment digits for a while. It seemed very complex. I was going to try the MAX7219 chip, but your tip is definitly worth looking into, thanks for the tip!
    Last edited by Sammy-E; 02-01-2013 at 09:28 PM. Reason: removed reference to non arduino

  8. #6
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    Re: First try with jims link2fs

    The 7219 makes driving 7-seg pretty easy but make sure you get the R-Set right and don't forget those smoothing caps. I was running a stabilisation run without them and the 7219 went EEEK at various times and needed a reboot but with everything right they run smooth as anything.

    There was one thing though. When I first turn on the radio that uses the 7219 the segments of the display are slightly dim and then seem to increase to the right brightness. The display runs fine after this "warm up" though.

    Has anyone else noticed this?

    Oh and Tom, you need to tell the guys to check the pin layout of their selected 7-seg. The problem is that some have the pins at the top and bottom while others have them on the left and the right. Also there are common cathode and common anode versions as well and the Max7219 can only drive common cathode displays.

    Only reason I found out about that was because I harvested some displays out of an old synth that blew up but they were common anode and wouldn't work with the 7219.

    I've actually gone the way of doing my prototype with a nasty rats nest linking the wires to a crossover board which sorts them into the right order for the 7219 and then use ribbon cable from there to my 7219 board. In the actual one I am going to knock up some PCB's using the laser printer method but I need to buy a laser printer for that and I can't afford anything until after April (getting a new car and need to get the last of the money together... spent too much over xmas).

  9. #7
    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Re: First try with jims link2fs

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoMorph View Post
    The 7219 makes driving 7-seg pretty easy but make sure you get the R-Set right and don't forget those smoothing caps. I was running a stabilisation run without them and the 7219 went EEEK at various times and needed a reboot but with everything right they run smooth as anything.

    There was one thing though. When I first turn on the radio that uses the 7219 the segments of the display are slightly dim and then seem to increase to the right brightness. The display runs fine after this "warm up" though.

    Has anyone else noticed this?

    Oh and Tom, you need to tell the guys to check the pin layout of their selected 7-seg. The problem is that some have the pins at the top and bottom while others have them on the left and the right. Also there are common cathode and common anode versions as well and the Max7219 can only drive common cathode displays.

    Only reason I found out about that was because I harvested some displays out of an old synth that blew up but they were common anode and wouldn't work with the 7219.

    I've actually gone the way of doing my prototype with a nasty rats nest linking the wires to a crossover board which sorts them into the right order for the 7219 and then use ribbon cable from there to my 7219 board. In the actual one I am going to knock up some PCB's using the laser printer method but I need to buy a laser printer for that and I can't afford anything until after April (getting a new car and need to get the last of the money together... spent too much over xmas).
    I haven't experienced any of those issues so far using the prefab'd boards from Deal Extreme. Is that where you are seeing issues, or are yyou building your own display drivers using 7219's?

    After the initialization runs, the displays are full bright and all seems to be working very well. I had thought about etching some custom boards to fit everything on a single card, but at the exceptionally low cost of the cards I bought it just doesn't seem to be worth the time invested. I will extend the displays off the cards with a couple very short ribbon cables to accommodate mounting on a face plate and mount the cards on a small back plane.
    https://www.facebook.com/mycessnasim PC: Intel Core i7 Haswell @ 3.8GHz, 8Gb Ram, Win 7 64Bit, dual SSDs, GeFroce 780 SIM: FSX w/Aclrtn Pk, FSUIPC4, ASN, UTX, GEX, REX 4

  10. #8
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    Re: First try with jims link2fs

    Built my own from scratch. I like building things (hate burning myself though lol). My problem is that the 7-segs I use are only 0.3" high and have only 5 per display.

    Reason I like building my own is that when they go wrong I know how to fix them. Funny thing is that I have learned a **** of a lot in the last few months, all because Jim's program kicked me in the right direction. 13 must be a lucky number for me!

    Only unlucky thing is with this forum. Keep getting weird and wonderful messages. Just tried to enter this reply FIVE TIMES and it kept saying "You can't reply because you logged in since the last time. Hit the back button and reload the page." or some such rubbish. Tried the back button and reload but the message kept coming back up. Had to close my browser window to get it to let me reply in the end.

  11. #9
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    Re: First try with jims link2fs

    Hey Tom, Neomorph
    looking into the max7219 I found out they can be pricy. The funny thing is, when you order prefabbed from dealextreme, you get the digits, the pcb and a max7219 for less than half the price of a single max7219 chip.

    I also ordered a do it yourself (DIY) dot matrix led, and that ships with the max7219 and a holder and some other stuff unfinished. Also less than half the price of the chip. Great link Tom! Dealextreme is a nice find.

    For neomorph, i was playing with the chips and found that I too had dimmed leds on startup. I found out I had used the wrong ,, smoothing cap,, size and also some connecting wires wrong. i replaced it. After that no more dimmed leds. Dont ask me why, but perhaps you could check into that.

    Tom, thank you for the code. I will use some, or all in my nav/comm displays.
    But first, i am going to check out Jims new version of link2fs. It has great new stuff and good monitoring inside as well.

    Greetings,
    eric

  12. #10
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    Re: First try with jims link2fs

    yesteday i has made first time starter2 back.
    first make board to arduino uno whit 11 switch and 6 led,simple.
    then make starter1 test,no working
    then starter2.pde and test whit arduino, its ok,arduino work good, serial monitor show all switch number. and leds have on.
    BUT then open links2inout v4 and adding gears,flaps ok, commport ok,save,connect,say connect to fs2004 ok,
    shut links2.
    open and run fs9 and then open again links2, no working
    flaps,gear working whit keyboard normal but no working whit arduino switch and leds. no reaction newer,many time try again end and start again. and connect to comm port. all say ok, but no working. ****. maybe better must orden somethink wery wery expensive sim aviation interfaces and no happy all my life because rememeber all cheaP GOOD arduino project have but no work newewr
    what **** proplem thats can do.
    computer is win 7,fs9 run under simultenaus xp service pack3,and administration run. all working ok, but arduino board no working whit fs9.
    **** **** ****

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