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Thread: Rebuilding throttle quadrant help! Interface options?

  1. #1
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    Rebuilding throttle quadrant help! Interface options?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm thinking of buying a 737 replica throttle quadrant, but the seller states that the mjoy interface is intermittent. When he connects it to the computer it either works or it's erratic. If I were to buy it, which interface should I buy to replace the mjoy USB interface? What are your recommendations? By the way, this throttle quadrant has speed brake lever, parking brake with light, flap lever, thrust levers, TO/GA switches, stab trim switches, and fuel control switches.

    Leo Bodnar? Pokeys?

    How about replacing the pots and switches? Is this a challenging project to take on?

    Thanks,

    George

  2. #2
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    Re: Rebuilding throttle quadrant help! Interface options?

    I was using Leo Bodnar's board originally on my first sim, it was (mostly) trouble-free. I have since switched to Arduino + ethernet shields and I heartily recommend this approach. You'll never have to calibrate again, it's impossible for your sim software or your PC to "lose" your axis and button mapping (because it's hard-coded in a plugin or standalone software....that you write), and it gets around the whole "stuck" axis thing where an analog control in your sim won't reflect the current positions of your controls until you move the controls (for instance, when your sim resets after a crash with the software throttles at idle, but your actual throttles are wide-open).

    The downside (if you consider it a downside) is that the development of such an interface is several orders of magnitude above the typical "plug-n-play" of using off-the-shelf joystick encoders. You need to roll an Arduino sketch to read analog positions and transmit them over an ethernet connection (I use UDP because it's fast, simple, and well suited to sim controls), run pull-down or pull-up resistors from ground to each input (not a big deal by itself, you just have to be aware of it and understand it), then write an FSUIPC-based program (for MSFS/P3D) or a plugin (for X-Plane) that reads the ethernet data and uses it to directly control your sim software's analog inputs.

    It's been almost a year since I switched my old sim to such an interface, and it has been gloriously trouble-free and solid. You also get to ditch the rat's nest of USB cables running all over the place...you just run each Arduino interface into a network switch. There are no additional connections to the main sim PC once it's on your network. The PC running my X-Plane sim, with lots of analog and digital inputs, indicator lights, and a ton of analog instruments, has precisely 6 connections going to it: power, video, ethernet, keyboard, mouse, audio.

    Matt

  3. #3
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    Re: Rebuilding throttle quadrant help! Interface options?

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I haven't considered using an Arduino, but I'll look into it.

    Thanks again and I'm sure I'll have some questions,

    George

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    Re: Rebuilding throttle quadrant help! Interface options?

    Arduino + link2fs. Not as easy as leo bodnar, but not very dificult.
    You have total control over everything.

    An example:
    you say there is a parking brake with light indicator.

    Leo bodnar
    You can't switch on the led indicator with leo.
    Ok. You can just connect this led to the parking brake switch. If you swtich on parking brake, led light.
    But, if battery plane is discharge? this led must be off. You cant control this with Leo.

    Arduino
    You connect all the pots to analoge inputs.
    Connect the led to a digital output.
    Now, you can program that "if parking brake is ON and there is enough current in the electric main bus system then LED ON else LED OFF"

    You can add the conditions you need. It can be a parking brake breaker...
    You can read all the variables you need, use logic with them, and do something with outputs.


    Another example:
    Gear switch and indicator leds.

    Leo Bodnar
    No control over lights.
    Switch ON - red lights
    Swtich OFF - off light.
    But... you dont know if gear is really lock or not.

    Arduino
    Switch ON -> tell simulator to down gear.
    You read the position of the gear (0 to 100) each gear.
    Led off if 0
    Red light if 1 to 99
    Green lights if 100.
    And only lights if there is voltage in the system!
    You can control everything to act like real thing.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rebuilding throttle quadrant help! Interface options?

    Quote Originally Posted by _alioth_ View Post
    Arduino + link2fs. Not as easy as leo bodnar, but not very dificult.
    You have total control over everything.

    An example:
    you say there is a parking brake with light indicator.

    Leo bodnar
    You can't switch on the led indicator with leo.
    Ok. You can just connect this led to the parking brake switch. If you swtich on parking brake, led light.
    But, if battery plane is discharge? this led must be off. You cant control this with Leo.

    Arduino
    You connect all the pots to analoge inputs.
    Connect the led to a digital output.
    Now, you can program that "if parking brake is ON and there is enough current in the electric main bus system then LED ON else LED OFF"

    You can add the conditions you need. It can be a parking brake breaker...
    You can read all the variables you need, use logic with them, and do something with outputs.


    Another example:
    Gear switch and indicator leds.

    Leo Bodnar
    No control over lights.
    Switch ON - red lights
    Swtich OFF - off light.
    But... you dont know if gear is really lock or not.

    Arduino
    Switch ON -> tell simulator to down gear.
    You read the position of the gear (0 to 100) each gear.
    Led off if 0
    Red light if 1 to 99
    Green lights if 100.
    And only lights if there is voltage in the system!
    You can control everything to act like real thing.
    Hi,
    I have an older RSP 737 Motorised TQ. Motors are controled by Open Cockpits USBDCMOTORS card with SIOC script. I want to use it with XPLANE11 by replacing the cards to other, newer I/O cards which can talk to XPLANE11. Is Arduino suited for this job ?
    Regards,
    Marc.