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  1. #1
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    Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Hello everyone!

    It has been awhile since I've made a SIOC/Opencockpits related thread but am out of my depth on this one.

    For some reason, I am getting alot of flickering inputs on all four of my Master Cards, all of which are connected to a single USBExpansion card. The problem only occurs when I perform a lights test or a large number of outputs are turned on.

    The flickering inputs affects both used and unused input slots. This causes obvious problems. When connected to flight simulator, random switches will flick on/off despite me not moving the switch in reality. This, in turn, may cause some annunciators to illuminate, and, the illumination of these annunciators causes more inputs to flicker, and so on. What a mess.

    I must stress that all wires connecting my cockpit to the master cards are well insulated; no bare metal ends or unnecessary messy wiring. Furthermore, I have seen people with (much!) more "cluttered" wiring using Opencockpits' hardware at various FS shows without any hint of a similar problem.

    Furthermore, when testing with all outputs turned OFF in SIOC monitor, every single input works flawlessly without any flickering or interference. In fact, even when certain outputs are turned on individually there are no problems. It's only when the "ALL ON" command is initiated, or a large number of outputs are illuminated, that the problem presents itself.

    The problem seems to be slightly worse when 5V power supplies are connected to the master cards and USBExpansion cards. There doesn't appear to be any particular pattern to the interference.

    Any help at all on this would be appreciated. This problem is pretty much preventing me from completing any sort of simulated flight without having to manually resynchronize all my switches every time they flick to a random position. If any more information is required, let me know.

    Cheers,

    Jack

  2. #2
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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Jack,
    Make sure your P/S has sufficient current available. Are you using a PC p/s, if not try one as they have heaps of current and are cheap. Are you running from a hub, if so it P/S needs to be good. Remember when you do a ALL ON there is a great surge of current
    and if P/S is no good or Cable feeding Power to the Master cards are to light then funny things like this can happen.
    Les

  3. #3
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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Hi Les,

    Thanks for the quick response. To be perfectly honest I hadn't thought of that. I'm running the power supplies from a single hub which is plugged into the mains, so maybe that could indeed be the cause. I'll do some work on this and post back my findings.

    Cheers,

    Jack

  4. #4
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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Jack,
    It appears you are defining Master card analogue inputs in sioc script

    " Var 0003, name SQ_PotR Link IOCARD_ANALOGIC, Device 03, Input 1, PosL 0, PosC 128, PosR 255"

    but you show in your .ini USB analogic.
    In which case it should like this
    "Var 0014, name FLAPS, Link USB_ANALOGIC, Device 2, Input 1, PosL 58, PosC 126, PosR 205

    Just make sure you look thru your SIOC.ini file and read what it says re analogue inputs, not sure how it is written as im
    not at home at present.

    What I meant about p/s is that you run your Mastercards 5v input from something like PC p/s.

    Les

  5. #5
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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Hi Les,

    Yep! Realised that, USB_ANALOGIC not IOCARD_ANALOGIC .

    I don't have a PC power supply to hand, but I'll try running each individual 5V power supply giving each one a mains plugs of its own rather than running from a hub, see if that makes any difference.

  6. #6
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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Jack,
    Just make sure you give each MasterCard plenty of current. All to many people underestimate p/s required to run bunches
    of leds.
    Les

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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Jack

    Les has given sound advice. Also bear in mind two other points

    1) OC do not recommend applying power to the Expansion card - it gets its power via USB
    2) There is a known bug with the Expansion card pic rom where it can generate false inputs when 3/4 mastercards are used. This happens only at startup when some inputs are not read. Subsequently when a switch in the same bank has its value changed there can be a "flutter" of activity as SIOC corrects the status on all switch states in that bank. This can be solved by ordering the new PIC Rom from OC, though from your symptoms, it sounds more like a power issue as suggested by Les

    Edit
    If all else fails, then could you programme a slight delay so that all leds do not come on at once?

    David

  8. #8
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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Hi David/Les,

    Thanks for your response David, I didn't know about the bug, would certainly perhaps explain some of this weird behaviour. Indeed, I have noticed the flutter of inputs on occasion where I have flicked a switch, but it is not my gravest concern at the moment as it doesn't seem to affect too many of my inputs from observation through SIOC monitor.

    I have done some more experimenting. I tried unplugging all of the power supplies (except for one, else my PC just disconnections the card due to too great a current being drawn through the USB). After commanding ALL ON in SIOC Monitor, I can confirm that the flickering input problem was much worse. After plugging another power supply in, it calmed down a little. And so on until all power supplies were plugged in. With all power supplies plugged in, I still get the flickering as per my initial post which is still a significant problem.

    On another note, it turns out that I did not actually have a power supply plugged into the USBExpansion card. Upon doing so, the flickering did indeed become much worse, hence this seems to support what you have just said (David).

    I'd rather not problem a delay since it really isn't as simple as just occuring when "ALL ON" is commanded. Like I said before, the problem still occurs when a large number of outputs (not necessarily all) are turned on, and the coding is going to get very messy to ensure that no more than "X" outputs are turned on at once (not to mention it defeats the purpose of the annunciators).

    I have noticed that two of my master cards appear to be a different version to the other two (some are older than the others). Could this perhaps be a cause? I am genuinely worried that I will never be able to complete another virtual flight without having this problem, it seems so widespread and unpredictable.

    Cheers,

    Jack

  9. #9
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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Jack,
    What happens if you remove one mastercard, does it get better?. Make sure you haven't a rogue card.
    Les

  10. #10
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    Re: Large number of flickering/ghost inputs on Master Cards

    Jack,
    Post a pic of your cards connected up, we may see something you don't.
    Les

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