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Thread: Getting Started

  1. #1
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    Getting Started

    Hello there!

    I'm in the research stages of building a home cockpit with several different interfaces such as Phidgets, goflights RMK modules, EPIC, IOCards, SimKits and FSBus. I have no electronics knowledge (but will learn as neeeded). My question is this: What Phidget modules would I need to accomplish the following functionality, how many USB ports will they take, and (although in the wrong forum) will FS2Phidgets support this type of configuration:

    I want to build a NAV1 and NAV2 radio in one radio switchable by a rotary switch between NAV1 and NAV2.

    Input Devices: One Rotary Encoder (to dial the frequency), One Rotary Switch (to switch between NAV1 and NAV2, one Momentary Switch (to switch 7segment LED displays from standby to active.

    Output Devices: 2 6 digit 7 segment LED displays for active and standy radio frequencies), 2 LED's (1 for NAV1 if selected by rotary switch and the other for NAV2 if selected by rotary switch)

    Rotary encoder is to always dial the standy 7segment display. Momentary switch, when pushed will switch the standby and active 7 segment displays each time its pushed. Rotary switch is to switch between NAV1 and NAV2(previous values are to remembered). When on NAV1, light up the NAV1 LED and when on NAV2, light up the NAV2 LED.

    I realize this isn't a normal NAV radio but, if Phidgets hardware can accomodate this functionality, then it will be a strong factor in making my final decision in choosing a hardware interface.

    Also, to me it appears each rotary encoder would take 1 usb port (unless I missed a module or 2). Again I'm not sure about electronics but There are many cockpit controls such as heading, nav and com radios, transponder, vertical speed, altitude, trim, etc which I think would need a rotary encoder. If each phidget rotary encoder takes a usb port, wouldn't that degrade overall performance for the computer as it would have that many more interrupt service requests to perform for each usb port? How many usb devices can a computer support including usb hubs?

    I'm already leaning towards phidgets as it appears to be very modular, scalable, easy to use, well documented, and has a group of other cockpit followers. It also appears from reading the forums, the greatest demand for (at least for support) phidgets is coming from home cockpit builders. I hope someone can answer this question and I apologize for it being so long.

    Thanks in advance to all.

    Shawn

  2. #2
    phidgets
    Guest
    Hi Shawn,

    Our forums email hasn't been working lately otherwise I imagine other sim builders would have seen your post and jumped in to help out. We hope to have the system back up and running correctly very soon. I'll try to answer some of your questions though.

    Each Encoder does use 1 USB port on it's own.

    Our old textLED display is no longer being made. We are working on a new upgraded version which we hope to have out in a few months. No exact ETA date yet.

    Here are the specs I have so far:
    There is a main board that drives up to 4 alphanumeric LED displays, each of which can be 4, 6, or 8 characters. Each display interfaces to the main board using a small ribbon cable.
    The displays are 0.525" high, with 0.3" digits.
    4 character display is 1.35" long,
    6 character display is 2.00" long,
    8 character display is 2.65" long.

    What you want to build doesn't sound too far fetched to me. I know that the Phidgets are there to build it. (Once the new TextLED comes out.) The question that remains is if Alan's software can work with your design. I'll forward your post to him so he can help.

    Matt

  3. #3
    alandyer
    Guest
    Shawn,

    Short answer to your questions:
    If FSUIPC and Microsoft Flight Simulator supports functionality you are looking for then answer is - Yes.

    Sounds like you have described normal NAV radio to me.
    Way it has worked with nearly every IFR capable aircraft I have flown.
    Works that way in Microsoft Flight Simulator too.
    I'm doing exactly what you have described with my sim using phidget hardware
    FSUIPC has offsets for Active and Standby NAV and COM radios as well as Toggle switch.
    You have read FSUIPC documentation, right?

    Regards,
    Alan.

  4. #4
    10+ Posting Member
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    Thankyou for the responses.

    It appears others have accomplished what I'm looking for then. I have not read the FSUIPC documentation as of yet, but intend to very shortly. I'm in a very early stage of my cockpit design. For the first project I intend to keep it small and will attempt to build a cockpit for Cessna 172. I feel if I can accomplish that then I should be able to take a bigger cockpit project for a RJ or Boeing 747 (or whatever) During my brainstorming, I believe one of the most difficult tasks for this project is the functionality of the radios.

    So my question is: to achieve the functionality of my original post above, on a minimum level, what Phidgets hardware would I need to accomplish that goal?

    For now, I'd like to just keep the radio stack simple as stated in my original post and accomplish something like that at goflight
    http://www.goflightinc.com/hangar.html
    Take a look at the RMK 166 and GF166 (on the products page). Look carefully as that module supports a dual rotary. Now I realize I could opt out and go with the GF166 but I refuse to do that because I really prefer to build it myself and learn something or two about digital electronics as I have absolutely no eperience or knowledge of electronics.

    But in the future: Ultimately, I'd like to build the KA 155A/165A NAV/COM radio as shown at http://www.therealcockpit.com/download/radiostack.pdf
    Would this be possible with Phidgets hardware and FS2Phidgets?

    Thanks to all who have input.
    Regards,
    Shawn

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