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  1. #1
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    Use of TIMER Settings Box

    Alan,

    First I'd like to report that Version 2.0.6 is working very well for me; it is definitely the best one yet. Thank you again for all the hard work on the super piece of FREEWARE!!!

    I do still have a minor problem however on my rather unique setup; and it is related to using the 4-Servo controller for my 747-400 AutoThrottles. The control logic is correct in that the throttles are doing what they're supposed to do; however to different degrees across the various build I have had a lot of 'jumping around' of the throttle levers.

    I find that at Cruise, when power changes are very subtle the Throttle levers will move quite smoothly; however during climb or descent when much larger changes are occurring the throttles literally thrash up and down, and I have to disconnect power.

    Early on in the development of FS2Phidgets you had suggested that a 'Timer' setting of around '5-15' might help this... and it did appear to have a positive effect at the time. However in this latest build I find that lower the Timer setting, the more uncontrolled the levers become... HOWEVER, when using a Timer Setting of 15000 operation is somewhat smoother.

    I am very confused as to the function of the Timer Setting. I assumed it related to the 'update' rate of data coming in or out of FS2Phidget... but if so shouldn't the lever only move every 15 seconds? With 15000 inserted into this window the Servos still seem to update at a regular pace.

    Can you explain exactly what the TIMER does, and how it should be used correctly?

    Do you think it might be possible to add some kind of 'averaging / smoothing' algorithm that might allow for smoother Servo control?

    With thanks,

    Rob Howard
    Orlando, FL

  2. #2
    phidgets
    Guest
    Gosh, I wish everyone sent us posts and emails like you. Clear, concise, relevant info given.

    I'm excited to see these throttles start moving smoothly. Alan, maybe you could write a quick logfile to track the values being sent out of FSUIPC just for the servos stuff. Then, when you know what kind of #'s it's throwing at the servo controller you/we could come up with some kind of system to filter the values into something that the controller can handle.

    I have suggestions if you need them, we've had to do this kind of thing with the accelerometer and other wild # streams.

    I'm holding that article until this issue gets resolved. Rob, maybe after it's all done we might need to add a little bit explaining how to calibrate what ever solution that is devised.

    Thanks

    Matt T

  3. #3
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    Version ID

    Thanks Matt...

    There is one other thing I've been wondering about, and its whether the problem with my Servos might be as simple as having a wrong version of something... somewhere in my system?

    I have to admit to rather haphazardly downloading and installing the phidghets.msi and FS2Phidget updates, and I may have even installed older files over newer files in the rush to get the program installed

    I know the software is in its developmental stages and it is FREE... however I wonder if it might be possible in future to either publish some sort of file compatibilty table, or provide a little utility that will check it for you? I am wondering for example whether I am even using the same version of Peter Dowson's FSUIPC.dll that Alan is?

    Regards,

    Rob

  4. #4
    alandyer
    Guest
    Matt,

    The intention of the "timer" or, more aptly, refresh rate is to specify how often all outputs are to be given a new setting, in 1/100ths of a second.

    I don't have 4-servo Phidget. - have been using a single servo Phidget.
    Of course, not to say, I don't introduce a bug or two

    Ideally, I would like to observe your throttles in action.
    Will put heads together with Matt and figure something out.

    If it was working fine and is now working differently, chances are its a subtle bug.
    Now that I'm aware of it - will hunt it down.

    With regard to smoothing algorith.
    I am putting together a Rate FSfunction.
    Primary used would be to set and respond to Trim settings.
    Would be no problem to extend this functionality to servos.

  5. #5
    alandyer
    Guest
    Rob,

    With regard to version.
    I would always have latest version of Phidgets.
    FSUIPC has been pretty robust with regard to backward comptibility.
    Same with MS-FS.

    Regards,
    Alan.

  6. #6
    alandyer
    Guest
    Rob,

    Do you have sensors attached to throttles?

    Cut and paste settings for servos and sensors i.e.
    from PhidgetServoxxxx.ini and PhidgetInterfaceKitxxxx.ini

    This will help me out.

    Alan.

  7. #7
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Alan,

    I don't want to mislead you... the AutoThrottles have never been smooth throughout the range; it was just that they seemed a little less 'cranky' with one of the earlier builds.

    By the way I think you DO own a 4-Servo Controller now ; I believe Matt's going to send one out to you! I also happen to have four spare 'generic' servos on hand... and you are welcome to those too if you just email me your shipping address?

    Here are the appropriate sections of two of my .ini files:

    [Output 0]
    FSID=THROTTLE_LEVER_1
    Enabled=True
    Invert=True
    SMin=119
    SMax=167
    [Output 1]
    FSID=THROTTLE_LEVER_1
    Enabled=True
    Invert=True
    SMin=129
    SMax=173
    [Output 2]
    FSID=THROTTLE_LEVER_1
    Enabled=True
    Invert=True
    SMin=129
    SMax=173
    [Output 3]
    FSID=THROTTLE_LEVER_1
    Enabled=True
    Invert=True
    SMin=123
    SMax=167

    and...

    [Sensor 1]
    FSID=THROTTLE_LEVER_4
    Enabled=True
    Invert=False
    SMin=9
    SMax=993
    Sensitivity=10
    [Sensor 2]
    FSID=THROTTLE_LEVER_3
    Enabled=True
    Invert=False
    SMin=5
    SMax=991
    Sensitivity=10
    [Sensor 3]
    FSID=THROTTLE_LEVER_2
    Enabled=True
    Invert=False
    SMin=0
    SMax=998
    Sensitivity=10
    [Sensor 4]
    FSID=THROTTLE_LEVER_1
    Enabled=True
    Invert=False
    SMin=0
    SMax=995
    Sensitivity=10

    Is that what you need?

    By the way, just out of interest for anyone using FS2Phidgets for the throttles as I am; there was a very minor error in the FS2PhUIPC.ini file that caused Throttle 1 to go into reverse at idle. Here's the section of that file as extracted:

    [THROTTLE_LEVER_1]
    Offset=088C
    Length=2
    FSType=Proportional
    LoValue=-4096
    HiValue=16384

    I modified it changing to:

    [THROTTLE_LEVER_1]
    Offset=088C
    Length=2
    FSType=Proportional
    LoValue=0
    HiValue=16384

    And that fixed the reversers problem.

    Regards,

    Rob

  8. #8
    alandyer
    Guest
    Rob,

    For what version of fs2phidget did you apply reversor correction?
    That was reported that as a problem some time ago.
    and was corrected.

    Have suspicion you're now running latest version,
    but with your card ini files adapted to earlier versions of fs2phidget.

    Alan.

  9. #9
    alandyer
    Guest
    Rob,

    I'll get your number from Chuck and call you you.

    Regards,
    Alan.

  10. #10
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Lost message...

    Alan,

    I thought I'd posted another message late last night, but alas it got lost somewhere...

    I wanted to report that after much tweaking I've found what appears to be an optimized value for the Timer, for my setup. I am using 1200 now and find that the throttles are moving the smoothest yet.

    I feel that there are many timing loops at play here, all the way from MSFS to the hardware, and it seems to be mostly a matter of optimizing the interface between one another. I can certainly live with this latest improvement, however still feel that a little extra smoothing would be nice (however I can picture that this would be quite complex as it would likley need adjustability to accomodate for differing time constants between different users' setups and systems?).

    I can email you a video tonight of my current operation...

    Regarding the Reverser correction I only saw this problem with build 2.0.6... and in fact after downloading these files I had to set up all the assignments and calibrations again, so assume the whole thing is effectively a fresh setup? Should I delete everything in the FS2Phidgets directory and reinstall?

    By the way I have four spare generic Servos that I used for testing the 4-Servo controller before installing the final, Hi-Torque units. You are welcome to have these for 'R&D' if it would help... just email me your physical address and I will send them out.

    Regards,

    Rob

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