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  1. #1
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    Rotary Switch Education

    My wife won't let me build a cockpit in our house. Actually, that's a personal joke between the two of us! I don't have a cockpit, but I've got the top of a beautiful desk crammed with flightsim stuff!

    I'm looking for a minor education in rotary switching - not an encoder, but the oldie, goldie multi-switch that rotates in both directions, but has positive "stops" on both ends.

    I have an application in my DC-3 where I want to (a) be able to select which tank I'm looking at - how much gas/fuel is in each of the four tanks and (b) move a selector switch so I can choose which tank I want each engine to draw from. Rather than have a bunch of switches (several of which will apparently have to be "driven" with either Link2fs_Mouse or Key2Mouse, it seems logical to use two or three rotary switches. But I've never done this before with flightsim!

    I'm using a Saitek Multi Panel, a Saitek Multi Radio Panel, a pair of 4-pack rotary encoders from Desktop Aviator and a keyboard encoder from Hagstrom Electronics. A rotary switch seems the logical approach, but....

    When a particular section is selected, does it act exactly the same as if it were a single on/off switch? The majority of what I'm using on my encoder board are simple (very low amperage) on/off switches I got from RadioShack several years back. The rest of the switchbox is populated with momentary "on" buttons.

    The second major question - can I do this at all with my encoder board? Is choosing each position anything at all like choosing an individual switch or will this be impossible - obviously, the encoder board will never "know" which particular position has been selected.

    Many of you have undoubtedly done something like this before. What's the simplest approach? Also keep in mind - I've fully make my mind up I'm NOT doing any programming, C, Lua, Arduino or anything else. If I can't eliminate the mouse or keyboard with what I've got then it ain't gonna happen!

    Thanks in advance.

    Art - N4PJ
    Leesburg, FL

  2. #2
    10+ Posting Member
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    Re: Rotary Switch Education

    After a couple days of thoughts - finally figured it out. Each fuel selector has five available positions - left main, right main, left aux, right aux and off. A 5-position rotary switch will need to take up 5 "slots" in the encoder. So, instead of needing 10 switches, I need two rotary switches, but need to "occupy" ten slots in the encoder board.

    Since the fuel gauge itself also has four positions (and no FS controls associated with any of them), it will probably take yet another rotary switch (this one, obviously, four positions) and Link2fs_Mouse or Key2Mouse. So the ultimate construction will take three (3) rotary switches and 14 "slots" on the encoder board.

    Unless someone has a better, easier idea!

    Art - N4PJ
    Leesburg, FL