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  1. #1
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    Questions to Jim: Link2FS - Arduino Keys Ver-4

    Hello and many thanks to Jim for this outstanding piece of software!

    I'm building a universal Homepit and use many different flight simulations. For this reason I have to use a solution that is "universal" too.

    Some time ago I discovered Jim's great Link2FS Keys. It makes exactly what I have searched for a long time, and as many of the other solutions to built your own pit are very expensive, I decided to use this one as my main software for the buttons, switches and rotary switches in my pit. I only need simple keystrokes for any input in my pit to assure that all simulations could benefit from the homepit.

    Careless as I am , I never thought about how many Mega R3 boards I could use at the same time. At the moment the pit is based on 7 Arduino Mega R3. Is it possible to run them parallel with the Link2FS Arduino Keys software, or could you start multiple instance of it? There is no info about this on the webpage. Since I'm still in the building process, I've never run it all together, only tested the single parts of the pit with a single Arduino.

    Another question, only Jim could answer, is, will there be a new version planed for the near future? It's still version 4 from Nov24 2012 . I ask, cause Jim said on the page, that the support for rotary encoders will come in a later version. The other version for FS9 and FSX support them , but sadly not the universal Link2FS Arduino Keys. Could be a great advantage for builders that want to build simulators for other games.

    Unfortunately when making a homepit for a fighter or civilian aircraft you always tied to the same products. At the moment this is FS9 or FSX, XPlane, Falcon BMS and the DCS A-10. If you want to go another way, like I do, not exactly to copy one single aircraft and have a more simplistic pit, but for more simulations, you are lost. More and more the hard- and software is specialized to one single program, therefore I was really happy to found Jim's software.

    Regards Sven

  2. #2
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    Re: Questions to Jim: Link2FS - Arduino Keys Ver-4

    Viper1970,
    Link2FS Multi FSXv6f has a KEYS section. Not sure if it works the same as the original Keys Program.
    You can run up to 5 cards with version Link2FSMulti FSXv6f. After that you can run Multiple instances of Link2FS. It gets confusing though.

    Link2FS works with FSX and Prepar3D (P3D). It mostly uses Simconnect.

    Jim will likely not return.
    Somebody pissed him off and he basically quit the Internet.
    I wouldn't hold my breath for any updates.
    Link2FS Multi is still a good piece of software but has its limitations.
    It is an excellent place to start learning.
    Tom_G_2010, Myself and others have branched out to using LUA programming and FSUIPC to interface Arduino with FSX and P3D, to do things that Link2FS can not.

    ~Fess
    I will only ever be, half the Geek that I wished I was.
    TheGeekForge.Com

  3. #3
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    Re: Questions to Jim: Link2FS - Arduino Keys Ver-4

    Thanks for your reply Fess_ter!

    Sad to hear that Jim quits the internet. It's the people like him we owe so much in the simulation scene. Haven't tested any of the "FS only" programs from Jim, so I couldn't say if the FS Multi keys section will work with any other program. Will do so.

    Hope the link2FS keys behaves the same way like the LinkFS Multi in case of the instances. It's a real pain to get simulators running with a pit, other than the MSFS, XPlane, Falcon or DCS.

    Most of the pit software you get for the FS interacts with the FSUIPC. So if the software has no FSUIPC like all the other simulators, no way to get things running. Same for Falcon BMS an its shared memory base.

    The only way for a universal pit is the "emulated keystroke" way. Earlier days there were many pit hard and software based on this method, but since the simulators get more complex, things get more and more specialized, needing extra software and were only compatible with one flightsim.

    I have tons of flight and combat simulators but never had the time to play them. Now things have changed and I want to use them with my dream of the last 20 years, my own homepit. So I need to make it as compatible as possible.

    Sven

    PS.: Have ordered now two cards from another manufactor. They can do the rotary encoders, have the so much needed ability to program normal potentiometers with keystrokes (like the radar knobs at the Thrustmaster Cougar e.g.) and they are barely affordable. For all the rest I will still use the Arduino Mega R3 with Jim's software. With regards to the costs and the flexibility they are still unbeatable.