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  1. #1
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    Considering Phidgets

    Hello,

    Phidgets was recommened to me by a very well known software developer for home cockpits. I have been constructing a cockpit simulator and am to the point that I need to start deciding how to go about wiring up the switches, guages, toggles...etc... While Phidgets looks like a great and simple solution to a complex issue, I am an electronics/wiring idiot - I know virtually nothing. I am also not a programmer. I want to be able to wire (for example) switches and leds for a 737 overhead panel and integrate it into FS2004. What Phidgets parts would be the best? How many can be connected to a computer? I really do not understand the power issue - do I need power between the board and every switch? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks

    Will Chambers

  2. #2
    phidgets
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    Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by wchambers
    Hello,

    Phidgets was recommened to me by a very well known software developer for home cockpits. I have been constructing a cockpit simulator and am to the point that I need to start deciding how to go about wiring up the switches, guages, toggles...etc... While Phidgets looks like a great and simple solution to a complex issue, I am an electronics/wiring idiot - I know virtually nothing. I am also not a programmer. I want to be able to wire (for example) switches and leds for a 737 overhead panel and integrate it into FS2004. What Phidgets parts would be the best? How many can be connected to a computer? I really do not understand the power issue - do I need power between the board and every switch? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks

    Will Chambers
    Hi Will,

    These kind of emails and posts are difficult to answer. For one, I have no idea what you are building specifically and so I don't know what you need. Two, I can't give you a crash EE course in a post.

    That being said, I'll try my best to get you started

    A cockpit builder has to learn some basic electronics to build their project. No company can tell you top to bottom how to do it. When you have more specific questions posting them in one of the many forums on the web with details will help get you reponses from experienced sim builders.

    In the case of Phidgets, FS2Phidget takes care of the programming for you. The online guide to getting started is here: http://www.phidgetsusa.com/fs/fs2phi...FS2Phidget.asp

    This means you will have to learn the wiring. You have a choice of 3 interface kits for Phidgets. We have a side by side comparison at this following link which details the differences.
    http://www.phidgetsusa.com/tutorials...ifferences.asp

    For your switches most everyone uses the the 0/16/16 IFK which has 16 inputs and 16 outputs. You are on the right track with the power issue. You have to supply your own power to make the switches work. This image here:
    http://www.phidgets.com/images/1012-2.jpg
    Shows how to wire your input switches using your own power supply. Your power supply needs to be between 4 and 30 volts DC.

    The image also shows how to wire your outputs for your LED's. Most LED's work using 5 volts, but you'll have to find out what your specific LED's require.

    For connecting Phidgets to your computer you are fine for the # you will need. Windows can handle 255 USB connections. Far more than you need What you should be aware of is that when connecting a lot of Phidgets you will need powered hubs. You can buy these at the store or buy our custom made hub. The reason it needs to be powered is that the Phidgets run off the 5V that is supplied on the USB cable and if you don't use a powered hub you can put too much drain on a single USB port.

    I hope this helps get you started. We are working on adding more tutorials as we go along and grow into the sim market.

    Thanks

    Matt

  3. #3
    10+ Posting Member
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    Considering Phidgets

    Thanks - I apologize for being so vague - again demonstrating my ignorance. I am building a 737 cockpit - running on three computers using Project Magenta via FSUIPC and WideFS. All panels are complete and I am about ready to wire - I know very general wiring so I think I can handle this. I have read virtually everything on your site, including some on the sites you reference where others are building cockpits. It seems that the 0/8/8 Phidget offers the easiest solution now (to someone who is learning and needs to keep it simple) as I can wire in inputs and outputs (LEDs) without a seperate power source between each input/output - if I read the tutorials correct. This will also let me attach some analog inputs you offer as well, which I am going to need. I have in fact placed my order and will start experimenting. Thanks for you help and I'll keep watching everything here on the forums.

    Will Chambers

  4. #4
    phidgets
    Guest

    Off to a good start

    >>> I have read virtually everything on your site, including some on the sites you reference where others are building cockpits.

    That is defiantly reassuring that you are doing your homework! You are already ahead of most!

    >>> It seems that the 0/8/8 Phidget offers the easiest solution now (to someone who is learning and needs to keep it simple) as I can wire in inputs and outputs (LEDs) without a separate power source between each input/output - if I read the tutorials correct.

    The 8/8/8 is a good starter IFK and much more simple yes. It supplies the power for you and you can get started right away with LED's and switches and no other power source. You are also correct that you can start to dabble with the analog sensors.

    Once you are done playing around with the 8/8/8 upgrade to the 0/16/16 and then you can begin getting serious about wiring up lots of your switches. If you are using PM stuff there is more coming to help you in the software as well
    It sounds like you will be diligent enough to figure it all out and that your current set up has you at the right spot. I wouldn't worry

    Thanks

    Matt


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