The poor mans sim pit

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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:38 pm

(LOOK AT LAST POST ON PREVIOUS PAGE)


One more thing, that program, Front Panel Designer, lets you do the following.

Front Panel Designer offers you the following features:
drilled holes, cutouts, curved slots, threads and countersunk holes
rounded and beveled edges
system holes for standard 19" front panels
macro objects
text engravings and engraving objects
HPGL engraving import
DXF import for free contours
DXF/SVG export of your file
price calculation
order processing



All I intend to do is to have it printed at an office store. Still...

Front Panel Designer is a free CAD software that
lets you design and order custom front panels and enclosures exactly to your
specification. Our software is easy and intuitive - no prior experience is needed.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:44 pm

Now here's something to get excited about!

I have so many little projects going on at the moment that I need another one like I need more holes in my head.

But sometimes stuff can be too hard to resist. :D

Here's the deal - There are some barebone monitors around that are made for the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is a cheap, single board computer. It's sole purpose in life is as an experimental computer for those who like to really play with computers. That and the Arduino are great for experimenters.

The big little problem is that a computer without a monitor isn't of much use. And if you're going to have a cheap, tiny little computer, you'll need a a cheap little monitor.


ENTER THE Makerfire 7-Inch. Raspberry Pi LCD Display Screen TFT Monitor with HDMI VGA Input Driver Board
Image

BTW -Don't get the power supply! This comes with a five foot long USB/Power cable. Works just fine.



OK. So what good is it?

Anyone want a seven inch GPS? This thing is only $40!!!

Add in a numeric keypad and you have a basic GPS. But don't forget to get the free Enhanced Garmin 500W GPS Unit (500WX) from Kronzky's Flight Simulator Addons. That FREE GPS software will let you display the entire GPS screen WITHOUT the non-screen parts (no buttons or knobs taking up screen space). Perfect, if you vision is as bad as mine. :D

Also, you'll need another free program called HIDMacros to program the keypad, unless you have the paid version of SPAD.neXt.

Image Image Image

What you get
Image

Image

Image

Anything that you can put on a spare screen will work.
Image

WARNING - Mine came without any instructions. However, it's REALLY easy, this picture shows you the only thing that you may not know.

Just pull it out, insert the ribbon cable, push it back in.
Image




OK, OK. Some of you either aren't Scotts, or you don't want to make things like a panel to hold the screen. Not even tempted, are you.

So for those who are all thumbs, or those with deep pockets, there are other options. :D

Sunfounder 7" HD 1024*600 TFT LCD Screen Display HDMI Monitor for Raspberry Pi $59.

Image Image

In all honesty, I didn't see this one until just now. Still, the first one may appeal to those who like to tinker or have ideas of making a cockpit.


Want even more options? Raspberry Pi monitors
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:15 am

Just a post with some very interesting, and low priced, equipment that should be of interest to anyone contemplating a "real" simulator.

BFF SHKR-1 Shaker Card

"The DIY shaker system can use low cost DC PM motors to develop the mechanical vibrations. The input to the system is not the audio output of the flight simulator...."

The vibration effects included are:
• Engine running vibrations
• Engine start and stop shudders
• Runway vibrations
• Random runway bumps
• Touch-down bumps
• Flap and spoiler air turbulence buffeting effects

• Stall air turbulence buffeting effects Now THAT would be interesting. Stalling in our flight sims is a non-event. :(
• Landing gear extension air turbulence effects
• Landing gear transition rumbles
• Landing gear motion stop thuds


Video here - https://youtu.be/jFiU_Qq5iu4

After watching that video, I think that a less powerful motor might be needed. :D



DIY Mini-Motion Platform

The platform is a 3 degree-of-freedom small-displacement machine, it is a single seater and is small enough to fit in the corner of my room.

I thought quite hard about the motion range needed for the platform to still make it worth building and it has +/- 9° pitch, +/- 13° roll and about +/- 85mm heave. These are a good deal less than the movement capacities of the other platforms on the site however when used with a visually enclosed cockpit I believe they are sufficient to add a real sense of motion to the flight sim, but to do it at as low a cost as possible.


It looks much more exciting than it sounds. Download the AVI video here -> http://bffsimulation.com/Platform3/P3-Short.avi If this doesn't pop-up an "Open" or "Download" request, then copy & paste to a URL line.

I think that this is within the ability of many of us. I've never seen a simpler, more straight forward design.
Image

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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:18 pm

Simviation, a social site?

On another post it was asked if Simviation was in decline, or decay, as he put it.

I can't call it "decay" because it (the hardware side) has never been very large.

The one area where SimV could be better is in the use of "hands on" flight simming equipment, or flight enhancement software (other than aircraft, scenery, weather, etc).


I have no interest in making a full cockpit, or even a dedicated setup. But there are easy & cheap ways of improving the flight sim experience.

There are about a dozen posts that I could have made recently, regarding gadgets or useful software. But few show any interest.

On other websites, I post a link to SimV and I think that, that's where most of my “view count” comes from.

As we keep saying, "WE" like the social interaction here. However, it does at times, appear to be a flight sim themed social club.


At this moment (10:15PM on 7/17/2016), the "view count" is 19,469.

Lets see if enough people think that I should keep going. It gets lonely without any feed back.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Dave T » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:24 am

I enjoy reading your posts on hardware, I started a project that was far to ambitious and beyond my capabilities and realised after getting a third of the engineers panel done that I would never finish it you will understand why if you have seen the Concordes engineers panel, I read up on how to make the analogue gauges in the end I compromised and used an old multigym frame with three monitors the largest in front one overhead and one to the side for the engineers panel which worked very well was quick and not that expensive and made flying the Concorde more enjoyable unfortunately the monitors went south and I binned this setup which did take up a fair amount of space.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Sprocket » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:39 am

..
Some months ago I thought I would have a try at flying Helicopters...hee hee what a laugh :lol:

For controls I was using my fairly old but trusty Microsoft Sidewinder. I spent literally weeks and weeks trying to get the hang of it, to no avail. (Helicopters, that is.)

Soooo.
I put the problem down to the controller, definitely not suited for the job. Not for Helicopters in any way.
I went on e-bay and bought me a LOGITECH EXTREME 3D PRO for the princely sum of about £4-50. This would be as a replacement then for the Sidewinder, which I then hacked to make "proper" helicopter controls.

And following is how I hacked and forced the poor Sidewinder to fly helicopters..

Here we have the cyclic control. Simply a bent piece of pipe from the scrap hoard.
(This at first used to be a straight pipe, but not a good idea. It puts the handle too far forward, causing you to fly with straight and unnatural arms.)
I cut the inner ribbon cable in half and suitably extended.

Image

Then the collective. Here I "surgically" removed the Sidewinder throttle with potentiometer and all, mounted that all on an aluminium angle and in turn screwed that onto my seat arm.
To extend the potentiometer cable, I used an old audio cable, so that it plugs into position and can be unplugged after play. (The green plug)

Image

Then the pedals.. By far the most work on this entire project, but also the most interesting.
I built an aluminium frame from some sections of rectangular tubing, flat bar, tubing etc.
The potentiometer here is mounted in the little black box up front, and is actually the original Sidewinder rudder control.
For mounting purposes I needed a screw thread, so I replaced the original potentiometer with a standard 2k pot with nut.

The potentiometer itself cannot be used as a suitable pivot for the levers, so instead I sacrificed a small stepper motor, (FROM THE JUNK BOX),
removed all its insides and ended up with a very nice ball bearing-ed spindle as a pivot shaft.
Actuators rods are 1/8" servo rods and ball ends from my local RC shop.

I cut and mounted a 1/2" plywood base, mounted that on the frame and stuck a piece of carpet on top.

Image

The general side view: As can be seen I mounted a small electronics box into which I moved the Sidewinder circuit board. Mounted new switches and extended all the cables/wires to suit.

Image

HOW'S MY HELICOPTER FLYING NOW?
To be honest, it has made quite a difference. I can now actually fly in the intended direction, hold speed and hold flight level, without constantly going into a wild spin.
BUT...as of yet I can still not land on target, and wonder if I will ever get the hang of it. :think:

Now the reason I decided to post all of this at this time, is the fact that OAM in another post mentioned about having bought the Logitech 3D. And so did I.
It arrived in the post and I am convinced it had never been used before..Very good buy.

However, for me the handle had too much back pressure. I opened this controller and to my delight found that this controller works on just one CENTRAL spring.
I replaced this spring, very easily, with a weaker one and I am very happy now with this controller.
It has by far less mechanical "play" and back lash than the Sidewinder..
And OAM, if you want, I can show you a very small modification inside which almost removes all the back lash.

Jan

(Anybody out there who wants more info on the how's and why's of this project, I will gladly reply and explain.)
;)
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Roypcox » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:00 am

OAM; I have always been amazed at the knowledge you share with us all. The manner in which you present you message is very well thought out and very teachable for anyone wishing to learn and get the full use of their system I take my hat off to you Hagger,Fozz and all the rest who give of there time so fleely to help. homeboy
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:48 pm

Thanks, guys.

By all means chime in when you have an idea. Even if it's an idea that you, yourself, can't, or aren't going to use. Your idea may inspire someone else.

Take Jans' project box.
Image

I've been thinking my way through a plan to use the same type of box;
Image

Plus a Teensy V3.2 (Arduino) USB board $20;
Image
(The actual board is 1.4 by .7 inches)

To make a switch panel something like this one;
Image


Now I'm not a rocket scientist. I'm more of a monkey see, monkey do, type person. I could make something like this, and I think that just about anyone else could too. (PS - this was NOT made by me)

The great thing about this kind of a project is that the Teensy V3.2 board would be recognized as a USB device by ANY of the simulators.

Another great thing is that there's a ton of info out there about how to use it, and most of it is pretty simple.

Also you don't have to learn everything there is to know. Pick only what you need, and go with that.


Take this for example, a small joystick;
Image


Your first project may be a trial and error process. But afterwards, the components are cheap enough for you to make several project boxes for different type of aircraft.

You could even make your own GPS boxes using the Teensy and one of the small monitors shown below. You could have it all for LESS THAN $100!

Image


Want to make a box for a combat flight simulator? No problem. With the Teensy you can even have LED lights come on when you are your weapons are armed. Hard to do? Not at all.

There are even people making “analog” flight instruments with an Arduino.



Here’s a video to give you ideas and show you how simple it can be.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSsKeeY5NgM[/youtube]

BTW - The guy in the video printed his own knobs, but there are a lot of options for buying them.

Also, the guy has a link to the code & hardware below the video.

This is the code in it's entirety.

1 /* Code for a flight sim trim wheel box
2 by Travis Howse <tjhowse@gmail.com>
3 2013. License, GPL v2 or later
4
5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSsKeeY5NgM
6 **************************************************/
7

8 void setup(){}
9

10 void loop()
11 {
12

13 // Very simple. Reads analogue inputs and writes the results to a USB HID Joystick emulator.
14 // For use with Teensy microcontrollers: http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/
15 Joystick.X(analogRead(0));
16 Joystick.Y(analogRead(1));
17 Joystick.Z(analogRead(2));
18 Joystick.Zrotate(analogRead(3));
19 Joystick.sliderLeft(analogRead(4));
20 Joystick.sliderRight(analogRead(5));
21 }




The point of The poor mans sim pit is to spread ideas, put 2 + 2 together and come up with something new.

AND MOST OF ALL - pass it along to others.

And don't be afreaid to have fun.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Flacke » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:25 pm

OldAirmail wrote:


Now if someone wants to tell me how “their” card gets a 1,000+ FPS, I’ll say “That’s GREAT!” BUT (and there is always a “But”) how many FPS are there in a movie? How high do the FPS get before the human eye can’t tell the difference any more.

I want lots of details at a low cost. Why should I spend a $1,000 or more for something that I CAN NOT SEE? Keep your bragging rights. That’s GREAT!


Exactly, a healthy human eye can distinguish 60 fps. I have no desire to generate more than that [although my setup easily will]. I like to keep costs low and performance high. I won't spend money on hardware just to tell my buddies that I did. Everything Sim related that I buy has a specific purpose for it.
This way I can always have a really good Sim experience without feeling guilty about my investment in it.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:44 pm

The Arduino Project Begins!

Short version - You can do a lot for cool stuff, very easily, and very cheaply, with Arduino.



It’s been much more than a while since I “played” around with electronics. Aside from repairing electronic security parts for my job (very simple stuff), I haven’t done, or needed to do, much.

I suppose that it’s because I’m entering my second childhood that I want to play again.



A while back I took a very cheap board out of a very cheap game controller,

Image Image

to add lighted switches to my yoke (it's not a pretty soldering job, but it worked).

Image

The beauty of this kind of a mod (picked up from Sprocket) is that FS9/FSX/P3d will automatically recognize the board and let you start using it.


But there are a few limitations.
First, is the size of the board. One of the things that I want to do is to repair a Saitek Switch Panel. Not much room in there.

Another project that I'm thinking about, is to create a few flight sim panels, perhaps even for specific aircraft type. :think: :think:


A past post, and a very good starting point
If you look in one of my previous posts, you'll see a very cheap, but none the less good, 7 inch monitor.

Image

That could be perfect as a GPS panel (yes, I know, I already have one). All that it needs, aside from a case or cover of some kind, is 12 buttons and a dual encoder.

What else can you do? Well, anything that you want to, it's not that hard. But you will need a better board than the game controller board that I used for my yoke.



Enter the Arduino

Arduinos' are like small building blocks, they can do many things, and do them in a simple manner. That's not to say that they're very limited, more that you can do a lot with them if you want too. Think of Michelangelo, a block of stone, a hammer, a chisel. The rest is up to you (without all that heavy pounding :D ).

Arduinos' ranges from very small to about the size of a deck of cards, that is BEFORE you start adding switches, LEDs, and encoders. :D

Using them in a flight sim panel is pretty simple though, and compared to the dedicated controller boards they're VERY, VERY cheap. Figure $5 to $12 each.

These are the three that I received today. At least two will be used in projects.

Image Image


What does it do?
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F054MNB1QI[/youtube]

Among other things, it can imitate a game controller that flight sims would recognize. It can turn LEDs on and off to let you know that your fuel is low or that your wheels are up. It can even make, or play back, sounds i.e. -"PULL UP, PULL UP!".

It can, and has, been made to make animated flight instruments. Use them to make a whole flight deck, if you have the time & money.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqPUGcAwAkg[/youtube] . . . . [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u-K7XZ4SQs[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqZbCH8iJ4M[/youtube] . . . . [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP_nC5G-JfU[/youtube]


If you want to get real complicated there's some easy to use software for Arduino and FSX. - M$ FLIGHT SIMULATOR and ARDUINO STUFF.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDb0mbD1wKI[/youtube] . . . . [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GNa2pVjnjA[/youtube]



I sure hope that I'm not going to be the only one having fun!
:pray:

Do SOMETHING, even if it's just a few buttons and LEDs.

If this doesn't work, I'll have to start a basket weaving class for all you old fogies! :evil:
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:00 pm

Arduino controller - Building a GPS


In Arduino controller I talked about how versatile some of the Arduino process controller boards can be, and asked if it were possible to include the Arduino boards in SPAD.neXt.

As SPAD.neXt "sees" a properly configured Arduino board as an HID game controller, I don't know if it's all that important now.


Long story short, I've been trying different Arduino programs (called "sketches"), different Arduino boards, and different rotary encoders (used for GPS, and radio frequencies, among a great many other things).

The Arduino boards that can act as game controllers are so very easy to set up that it's incredible. But they can also be programmed to control 7 segment numerical displays, regular LEDs. The difficult part is in controlling the dual concentric encoders used on radios and GPS.

Not a problem. :D

I've used one of the cheaper Arduinos, the Pro Micro, that can cost less that $10. Cheaper on eBay. Also, the dual concentric encoder with a pushbutton function is only $10. Read the original post for more detail


So this is the Pro Micro blown up.
Image

It works in FSX too, but here is how Prepar3d "sees" it. There's no reason that any program can't use it.
Image

[And again, in SPAD.neXt
Image

This is the encoder that I spent so much time with today.
Image



The software is not mine. Check it out here - DIY Arduino Buttonbox

It's set up to control all this, but can easily be expanded.
Image



All I have to do now is to put it all together. :D
Image


I'm rushing this, sorry about any mistakes.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:24 pm

The following is the Arduino code in it's entirety.

This lets you control 4 rotary encoders, for things such as setting radio frequencies, and 25 buttons/ switches.

With a little knowledge it can be easily expanded.

THIS IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG AS TO WHAT YOU CAN DO.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

//Simple buttonbox sketch
//Supports up to 25 buttons and up to 4 encoders
//version 0.1 by TOPMO3
//
//
//Arduino IDE 1.6.6 (or above) !
//
//Joystick library from Matthew Heironimus, https://github.com/MHeironimus/ArduinoJoystickLibrary
//
//Encoders code from Ben Buxton
//More info: http://www.buxtronix.net/2011/10/rotary ... perly.html
//
//Thank you guys! :)
//

#include <Keypad.h>
#include <Joystick.h>
#include <Keyboard.h>


#define ENABLE_PULLUPS
#define NUMROTARIES 4
#define NUMBUTTONS 25
#define NUMROWS 5
#define NUMCOLS 5


//define the symbols on the buttons of the keypads
byte buttons[NUMROWS][NUMCOLS] = {
{1,2,3,4,5},
{6,7,8,9,10},
{11,12,13,14,15},
{16,17,18,19,20},
{21,22,23,24,25},
};



struct rotariesdef {
byte pin1;
byte pin2;
int ccwchar;
int cwchar;
volatile unsigned char state;
};

rotariesdef rotaries[NUMROTARIES] {
{0,1,26,27,0},
{2,3,28,29,0},
{4,5,30,31,0},
{6,7,32,33,0},
};



#define DIR_CCW 0x10
#define DIR_CW 0x20

#define R_START 0x0
#define R_CW_FINAL 0x1
#define R_CW_BEGIN 0x2
#define R_CW_NEXT 0x3
#define R_CCW_BEGIN 0x4
#define R_CCW_FINAL 0x5
#define R_CCW_NEXT 0x6

const unsigned char ttable[7][4] = {
// R_START
{R_START, R_CW_BEGIN, R_CCW_BEGIN, R_START},
// R_CW_FINAL
{R_CW_NEXT, R_START, R_CW_FINAL, R_START | DIR_CW},
// R_CW_BEGIN
{R_CW_NEXT, R_CW_BEGIN, R_START, R_START},
// R_CW_NEXT
{R_CW_NEXT, R_CW_BEGIN, R_CW_FINAL, R_START},
// R_CCW_BEGIN
{R_CCW_NEXT, R_START, R_CCW_BEGIN, R_START},
// R_CCW_FINAL
{R_CCW_NEXT, R_CCW_FINAL, R_START, R_START | DIR_CCW},
// R_CCW_NEXT
{R_CCW_NEXT, R_CCW_FINAL, R_CCW_BEGIN, R_START},
};


byte rowPins[NUMROWS] = {21,20,19,18,15}; //connect to the row pinouts of the keypad
byte colPins[NUMCOLS] = {14,16,10,9,8}; //connect to the column pinouts of the keypad

//initialize an instance of class NewKeypad
Keypad buttbx = Keypad( makeKeymap(buttons), rowPins, colPins, NUMROWS, NUMCOLS);



void setup() {
Joystick.begin();
rotary_init();
Keyboard.begin();
}



void loop() {

CheckAllEncoders();

CheckAllButtons();

}


void CheckAllButtons(void) {
char key = buttbx.getKey();
if (key != NO_KEY) {
Joystick.setButton(key, 1); delay(50); Joystick.setButton(key, 0);
}
}


/* Call this once in setup(). */
void rotary_init() {
for (int i=0;i<NUMROTARIES;i++) {
pinMode(rotaries[i].pin1, INPUT);
pinMode(rotaries[i].pin2, INPUT);
#ifdef ENABLE_PULLUPS
digitalWrite(rotaries[i].pin1, HIGH);
digitalWrite(rotaries[i].pin2, HIGH);
#endif
}
}


/* Read input pins and process for events. Call this either from a
* loop or an interrupt (eg pin change or timer).
*
* Returns 0 on no event, otherwise 0x80 or 0x40 depending on the direction.
*/
unsigned char rotary_process(int _i) {
unsigned char pinstate = (digitalRead(rotaries[_i].pin2) << 1) | digitalRead(rotaries[_i].pin1);
rotaries[_i].state = ttable[rotaries[_i].state & 0xf][pinstate];
return (rotaries[_i].state & 0x30);
}

void CheckAllEncoders(void) {
for (int i=0;i<NUMROTARIES;i++) {
unsigned char result = rotary_process(i);
if (result == DIR_CCW) {
Joystick.setButton(rotaries[i].ccwchar, 1); delay(50); Joystick.setButton(rotaries[i].ccwchar, 0);
};
if (result == DIR_CW) {
Joystick.setButton(rotaries[i].cwchar, 1); delay(50); Joystick.setButton(rotaries[i].cwchar, 0);
};
}
}

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The neat part of this is that the encoder action shows up as brief button presses, which make programing them extremely easy. :D

A concentric dual rotary encoder as used in the GPS will take up 2 encoder positions and 1 button position.



A very simple display of how an encoder "knows" which way you turn it.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdk7fv5ZGw0[/youtube]

In the software, instead of the light coming on, the flight sim will see a button press. YOU tell the simulator what to do when the button is pressed.

EXACTLY like programming the buttons on a joystick. Simple. :D
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. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
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OldAirmail
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:36 pm

If, like me, and you're new to Arduinos, the best bet is to start off with the Arduino UNO. Most of the books and instructions are for that one.

The software above is specifically for the Pro Micro though.

So you might want to get one of both.

Now if you go only for the Pro Micro, all you need to do is to learn how to load it using the IDE. Well.... you'll also have to learn how to "include" the appropriate "headers".

So now you're back to the need to learn at least a little about Arduinos. :lol:

So get them both. Better yet get an Arduino kit that includes enough parts to learn with. Make sure that one kit includes an Arduino UNO.


Depending on how much money you want to spend, here are some low end price kits to consider.

$25 - New keyestudio Sensor Kit with UNO R3 for ARDUINO

$26 - Osoyoo 2016 New UNO R3 Board Projects Super Starter Kit For Arduino

$32 - Elegoo UNO Project Super Starter Kit with Tutorial, 5V Relay, UNO R3

$17 - Elegoo Upgraded Electronics Fun Kit w/ Power Supply Module, Jumper Wire, Precision Potentiometer, 830 tie-points Breadboard. Basically, lots of extra, small, parts.

If they don't interest you, find one or two kits that do interest you.



If you're not interested in learning, and just want to "get started", let me warn you -
As you practice building small projects you WILL learn about making mistakes. Learning how to track down and fix your mistakes will be EXTREMELY useful when you actually want to make something.
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

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. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:50 pm

I've delayed a bit too much, so I'll make this short.

If you build a GPS, you want it to look great, don't you?



This is not a new program, but very few people seem to know about it.
Enhanced Garmin 500W GPS Unit (500WX)


Short version - aside from many improvements over the "standard" FSX/P3d GPS, it has a borderless mode that can be detached to another monitor!


Standard GPS in FSX/P3d
Image

The same location (3W5) with the 500WX
Image

And the new borderless GPS screen
Image

Just drag the new GPS, with borders, to another monitor, click on the right spot, and it'll fill the monitor.

NO NEED to try and adjust the old GPS with the on-screen buttons and knobs to fit. :D



This is a shot of the "new" GPS software in use back in June 2013. (Location - Hawaii)
Image

Enjoy. :D
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

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. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby zeus981 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:03 am

I think the poor mans sim pit is a joystick and keyboard so this post is for the "not too poor" man.
So after a year or so of using a logitech joystick I decided to jump in and get a yoke.. I got the saitek pro flight unit and from there each year added a piece to it.. mostly Saitek and a couple of Goflight modules.
I would suggest newbies who want to start building a hardware set-up decide early on if they want to sim with props or jets and then build accordingly.
As my current PC is about 5 yr old and my FSX now runs without (m)any glitches I have no desire to spend more cash on upgrades to get better performance or the ability for a double or triple screen (which raises the issue of having the physical space to do so).
All these forums are full of issues created by simmers constantly upgrading into the abyss of unknown issues. I am content to fly with one large single screen and I chose to build a twin prop set-up and fly predominantly props as my PC motherboard cant handle an upgraded display card that will fly a jet close to ground without visible jitters.
see- http://www.fsfiles.org/flightsimshotsv2/image/Gy5w
Some-one above referred to the Saitek FIPs as being cost prohibitive.. I agree (Im in australia and they are now over the $200 mark with postage additional). I decided a while ago to get a small touch screen monitor (for 2/3 the price of one FIP) and I made a frame for it to sit on top of the yoke. It not only does the job of 4 FIPS but can display other pop-up gauges as well. I got 3 FIPs over time which I keep solely for engine data and secondary auto pilot. The small touch screen is just an extension of the main PC display and any gauge can be activated as a pop-up and slid over to display on it. Set up required gauges and then save the flight for the next time.
The top GoFlight module I have configured for engine start buttons and fuel tank selections with the 4 rotaries assisting in some aspects of the FIP displays e.g. scrolling HDG x10 rather than x1 per click.
The lower Goflight module (8 buttons) are configured to ATC options 1 - 6 and last two are for eyepoint left and right.
This set-up has been built on a small bedside table having a metal C frame and wooden top so it is portable and can slide in front of TV for simming and out of the way when viewing TV.
Anyone wanting to create something like this on a smaller budget, I suggest go without the second throttle quad and GoFlight modules until the other half gives permission. Two FIPs would suffice as well but because of the dimensions of modules it will be difficult to place them into a neat rectangular set-up without having a gap.
I also think 2 radio panels are important as NDB, Distance and NAV freq. can all be displayed concurrently but initially, cost can be kept down by not having the top radio panel and FIP...
Also remember you will have to build a backing support for these panels. I have braces connected to the top of the middle saitek panels so a third layer can simply be bolted on top when ready to do so.
I mentioned the wood table top above.. a wood top makes it easier to attach the required supports and to screw the yoke into place with a couple of aluminium straps. The wooden top also makes its easy to attach panels below the yoke as is the saitek switch panel throttle quads and goflight modules in the image above.

PS .. I also got the saitek BIP but dont use it now as my PC is running at capacity. I advise that buying this item (if its still available) should be a last option. Definately get a second radio panel before getting a BIP.
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