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  1. #1
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    Biggest descision

    I think choosing the IO or interface system is probably the critical choice for any home built sim.

    Make the wrong choice and it would mean a complete rewire and learning new software to get things going again.

    This brings me to my question.
    Before I take the leap and choose one over the other I would love some feed back on which systems different members use and how they found them to implement.
    Also an idea of what it cost to get to the point you are at.

    I have looked at almost every system I think, and have narrowed it doen to one of 2.
    FSBUS, I am ok on building the circuts however the thought of having to drill each hole on the PCB scares me as I dont have a drill press handy.
    Open Cockpit IO seems great as i could even buy the modules made and tested. However the software side confuses me.
    I have read the website but it is not very NEW USER friendly.
    No where is there a tutoriual or eg of what I would need to do to create say a radio panel or landing gear, like there is on FSBUS.

    These are the only systems that I think are resonable from a price point of view.
    I would appreciate any feedback.

  2. #2
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor kiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyk007 View Post
    Open Cockpit IO seems great as i could even buy the modules made and tested. However the software side confuses me.
    I have read the website but it is not very NEW USER friendly.
    No where is there a tutoriual or eg of what I would need to do to create say a radio panel or landing gear, like there is on FSBUS.
    Hi,
    You may have missed all the IOcards and SIOC documentation, and all the Tutorials in the downloads section ... Please have another look.

    The software of IOcards is the best you can get at the moment, IMHO (and its free). And it's the software that makes the difference in Interface systems. I mean the hardware part is not that difficult, it's not more then detecting an switch or rotarie change and controling a led or 7 segment display. All Interface systems can do that. It's the software that counts.

    In IOCards you have two choices. Either you use the standard (basic) IOCards software with is more or less a GUI in which you can assign in- and outputs, or you go for the SIOC approach. If you are a little bit familiar with programming I'd recommend SIOC. You can do almost everything with that. For a brief introduction to SIOC, you can have a look at my website www.nicokaan.nl , page IOCards.

    I admit that it's difficult for new users to understand IOCards and SIOC but after you have got the idea, you will be very glad with it!

    Regards,
    Nico Kaan

  3. #3
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    Hi Gary, This is the simplicity of my sim with FDT boards... http://aerosimsolutions.googlepages.com/pcconfiguration

    Gwyn

    737NG using Prosim737, Immersive Calibration Pro, Aerosim Solutions motorized TQ & cockpit hardware, CP Flight MCP & FDS SYS1X, SYS2X & SYS4X, FDS PRO FMCs, AFDS units & Glarewings, Matrix Orbital ELEC display, Pokeys Landing & Cruise alt display, Buttkicker Gamers, 3 x BenqMW811ST projectors with a Matrox Th2Go
    http://www.aerosimsolutions.com.au
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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys.

    Nico, I was wondering if you would post an explanation for me.

    Give me an example of what the code would look like for the std FS737, to toggle say the Landing lights on or off from a toggle switch.
    If you could include a discription of what each part of the code does that would be a great help.

    I read your website but am a bit confused because i will not be using the level-D767, i will be using offsets instead.

    Having looked at some code, i dont know why lines start with &O_XXXX is this because of LD767?

    I had another look at the opencockpits website and have not found any other step by step explanations of the code or way in which the programming works.

    Cheers

  5. #5
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor kiek's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Here's the example you wished. I have tested it in FS9 with a Chessna and a 737-400, it works well. (For easy understanding I have left out the naming possibilities for variables)

    //begin standard FS9 landing lights

    Var 1 Link IOCARD_SW Input 50 Type I
    {
    v2 = CHANGEBIT 2 v1
    }

    Var 2 Link FSUIPC_OUT Offset $0D0C Length 2

    // end

    Explanation:
    Var 1 is a link (in SIOC) to your on/off toggle switch, connected to input 50 of the Opencockpits IOCards Mastercard, note that 50 is just an example. Type I means on/off switch. If switch is on , var 1 is 1 and if switch is off var 1 will be 0.
    Var 2 is a link to the FSUIPC offset with generic lights bits (2 bytes long).
    Each time (and only then) you toggle your hardware swich, the body of var 1 is executed. There's only one statement: it means that bit 2 in var 2 will be set according to the value of var 1. So if the toggle switch is ON, bit 2 will be 1, and if switch is OFF bit 2 will be 0.
    (Note that with the Changebit function no other bits in offset 0x0D0C will be effected.)

    About your other questions.
    I also control the Level-D via offsets (they are in FSUIPC range 0x8B00..0x8BFF). That's exactly what my FSCONV program is doing, it converts the Level-D SDK to new offsets....

    The O_XXXX is my naming convention for SIOC variables. Prefix O_ means that this is an Output variable. I use it just for readability. (It has nothing to do with Level-D). My program is a little bit longer then the landing switch example above

    Opencockpits documentation can be found at their website, downloads page (a link somewhere on the left side), then choose IOCards Manuals, the go for the english ones, and you will find 24 entries.... (!) among them you will find as well IOCards manuals/tutorials, as SIOC manuals and tutorials, and examples of buidling systems...

    Cheers,
    Nico

  6. #6
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    Bit the Bullet

    Yes thats right I bit the bullet as they say and ordered the IOcards system from opencockpits today.
    I read some more info on the net and have a better understanding of how it works.

    I ordered 1 master and one display card.

    I also ordered a comm and a nav module from hispapanels.
    Anyone know why the shipping is so expensive? 30 euro for 2 pieces of plastic and sime switches? Crazy?

    I cant wait to get started.

    Thanks for all the info.

  7. #7
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor kiek's Avatar
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    Hi,
    You won't regret it.

    I'd recommend to buy a IOCards USB expansion card as welll...Then you can work with USB in stead of the parallel port. You can connect up to 4 Master Cards to a USB expansion card. It's only 39 EUR build and tested.

    About shippig costs. Well international (overseas?) shipping IS expensive. It's a free market with private companies so I don't think you are paying much more then the costs plus some profit. Try to bundle orders as much as possible and/or let others join you.

    Regards,
    Nico

  8. #8
    300+ Forum Addict NicD's Avatar
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    Agree with Nico - USB expansion is a must. Parallel port interfacing can be less reliable anyway.

    Did you get my PM re: ordering through a local?

    Otherwise, I've hit this problem before with freight costs and so I asked the supplier to send via ordinary post instead. They usually agree and it's much cheaper.
    Nic D'Alessandro
    737NG builder (Hobart, Australia)
    http://simsation.com.au

  9. #9
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    Usb

    I already have a USB to DB25 cable that I use for my printer.
    I will give it a go with that. I want to first see how easily i can use the system before I go and buy too many items.

    I hope it will work through that cable, anyone out there tried?

    Nic I dont think I got your PM I will have another look.

  10. #10
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    Gary, i think you used the express post which is $33 Euro. Above it there is another postage for $11 Euro.

    You won't be disappointed with the cards. I use 2 USB expansion, 5 master cards & 5 display cards, & they all work great & very easy to wire up.

    Michael
    A320 Home Simulator LHA435
    - FSX - i7 - GTX970 - Fly Elise - ASN -

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