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soundslikerust

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Posts posted by soundslikerust

  1. Just run control panel 75% of power and turn ON/OFF every motor one by one. You will know which ones work/do not work and replace faulty TPL chip for a better one TPL7407LA Schottky diode version (with LA). Like I said the root cause of the damage is still unknown.

    If you want to check motor currents you'll need amperemeter plugged in series in line with motor. Obviously you have to disconnect a wire at some point to do it so choose best place to do it (I did it near motor).

    I don't think you have to measure current anyway - it's just in case you want to investigate thing further only

     

    EDIT: corrected TPL model for LA

    • Like 1
  2. First of all I'm not an electronics engineer so if you have found some inaccuracies please correct me, thanks.

     

    There is a recurring problem with damage of the two TPL7407L motor drivers used in Forcefeel. First one drives motor number 1 and a RGB diode and second one is driving motors number 2-8. I looked up the datasheet of TPL7407L and I found that there are some design problems in Forcefeel but I'm not sure what is causing chip damage. Assuming overcurrent for now.

    So do not overuse control panel motor testing on 100% for extended periods of time. If you have to - do it one by one for short periods of time.

     

    • Realteus didn't use a schottky diode on pin OUT7 to protect the device from negative transients from inductive load as described in datasheet 8.2.1.
    • There should be shorts between GND and unconnected input pins as stated in 8.2.2.1 but that's not so essential - its just bad engineering.
    • I measured current flowing through the motor number 2 on (control panel 100%) and there was steady ~100mA - so it's within specifications. Motors number 3 and 4 are a little different/faster than others (I didn't measure them). Maybe there are some bigger numbers in the current flow.
    • As of Figure 5 and 6 in the datasheet there should be enough headroom on the chip loaded with 7 motors with 100% duty cycle - about 160mA-220mA per motor
    • Cables inside pads are scrambled under the motors. It can have an impact on longevity.
    • They didn't balance the load between two TPLs which is another case of bad engineering.

     

    To repair You should desolder faulty TPL7407L motor driver and solder a new one. I would suggest buying a better TPL7407LA version (with LA). This is a pin-to-pin replacement of the TPL7407L with more robust operation and it does not need a Schottky diode. You need to buy the TPL7407LA SOIC-16. Do not buy the TSSOP version - it will not fit.

    If motor 1 and diode works then you should desolder only the second chip which drives motors 2-8 and vice versa. 

     

    To do it properly you need a couple of things. 
    If you don’t have some of them DO NOT START REPAIR. Only proper tools will make it easy. If not You will probably kill/overheat a PCB. If you will do it as described it will be a painless and satisfactory process. Maybe you will use it again somewhere else who knows?

     

    You will need:

    1. Heat iron with adjustable temperature - do not use one without it (any cheap chinese will do like WEP/ YIHUA etc)
    2. Hot air gun with adjustable temperature - again - do not use one without it (any cheap chinese will do like WEP/ YIHUA etc )
    3. Desoldering wire - small width 2-3mm (if you're from a country which doesn't do metric - sorry I don’t care 🙂
    4. Tin-Lead solder 0.5mm diameter - I mean it - Lead solder not factory used unleaded ones. It should be SnPb.
    5. Flux like AMTECH NC-559-ASM-UV sold in syringes - very handy You will use it a lot
    6. Pure Isopropanol Alcohol 99% Isopropyl Liquid Cleaner IPA - to clean this mess up after soldering with some old toothbrush or some ESD-safe brush. You can fill/use an atomizer/sprayer and fill Isopropanol in it. 
    7. Tweezers
    8. Kapton tape to secure plastics around
    9. Aliexpress and ebay are your friend, you won’t regret getting proper tools believe me. They can be cheap chinese ones - you’re not a Mozart of electronics. More like Justin bieber


    Desoldering/ soldering advice

    • Pro-tip - before desoldering put a small amount of flux around chip legs, heat the iron, add some tin to the tip of iron and move right and left around chip legs and repeat - to mix factory unleaded tin on legs with your easier to manage leaded tin. This will make a big difference while desoldering. Then start desoldering with a Hot Air gun.
    • When the chip is desoldered it will become extremely loose like on ice so be prepared. Just gently push it while you heat it up with air. 
    • Remember you’re heating everything up there on PCB so it’s possible you will heat up some resistors or caps - it’s normal. Plan before and do a dry practice on how and where you will move the chip and how you will pick it up. When you pick it up you will drop it, believe me. Plan accordingly. Do not move it to those resistors around just slide it to some empty place - remember it will be loose like on ice. Prepare where you will put the air gun so you won’t burn your sh.it trying to pick up the chip juggling an air gun in second hand and fry your balls...
    • Clean pads with iron, flux and wire before soldering.
    • Hot Air should be VERY hot and close to the chip. Remember your plan is not to cook the chip and PCB for 2 minutes and make it crispy and crunchy. Your plan is to get in fast and get out 

     

     

    forcefeel cable cheatsheet.png

     

     


    Look up on youtube some guys who do it often like this one 

    Desoldering 

     

     

    Soldering 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Do not pick up chip too early when it is not completely desoldered because you will rip pcb pads. Do not do like this bone.head

    This is how NOT TO DO IT. He is ripping it off the PCB

     

     

     

     


    Have FUN and don’t burn your ass!

    • Like 1
  3. OK I repaired it. There are some design flaws in Forcefeel. I'm not an electronics engineer but after looking up specifications for TPL7407L driver some things doesn't add up.

    I will do some short writeup of my findings and repair in separate thread to be easily accessible in the future by anyone. (It will take some time)

     

    • Like 1
  4. On 5/11/2020 at 5:36 PM, melo said:

    Howdy, I ordered my ForceFeel cushions ~11/2018 and I recheived them ~4/2019.. (=read, I was those lucky ones who got the actual product also) They have worked quite well over a year until last week; motor number 6 stopped working. I opened the back side zipper, I had to rip of some of the padding because motor and wires were qlued to padding foam ! => Root cause is loosed wire-motor connection, motor construction is such that is not easy open it without destroying it..

    So, the product quality is not super good either.. And I have tried to get contact to Realteus "support" (= there is not such thing at all), not with this subject but some other topics => Feedback from them=NONE.

     

    On 6/4/2020 at 4:21 PM, blackkot said:

    Hi. Ordered the pad end of April 2020, got it in May in Germany (fairly quick). Unfortunately, missed the 14-day grace period and only fully tried it with DCS after it has expired.

     

    After 5 minutes into the game all motors started vibrating at full force. No reaction to the control unit's wheel, software etc. Actually even when disconnected from PC, motors just kick in after plugging the power adapter in.

     

    Support is non-existent, no replies, nothing. Has anyone experienced this issue? Haven't opened the seat yet, but any pointers would be welcome.

     

    I have similar problems. It worked before but now only one motor works when tested under control panel (number 1). No other works but motor number 6 works all the time even when i unplug USB from PC. FFB strength rotary encoder works and changes FFB strength (in this case motor no 1 only). Motor number 6 vibrates at constant pace all the time. 

    Any developments so far in your case guys? @melo & @blackkot & @BavarianPilot

  5. Beta Version 1.3.9.2 is released including the JF-17. I didn't have much time to test, thus every feedback is appreciated!

    Since it's an all digital cockpit I don't know how to extract the engine rpm values, thus no engine effect :(

     

    What is the difference between JetSeat and Forcefeel in SimShaker for Aviators?

  6. As of September 2019, supporting the card with a stick to prevent sagging is not enough anymore. My card's temp is 45-47°C in idle, it used to be 49°C in DCS, I got 65-67°C there now.

     

    According to a guy on ROG forum the springs that press the GPU cooler down onto the GPU itself are too soft and over time, this leads to a separation between the two, coupled with a thick thermal padding it has this bad effect at a certain age of the card.

    What helps is either mounting a full cover waterblock for 150-200€ for an Asus 1080ti-Strix ( same PCB )..or...put two washers onto the springs so they tighten up all the way and thus press the cooler firmly back onto the chip.

     

    I am doing the washer method asap and report back...

     

    next time,,,FE and after market block !

     

    No problems here after all this time - no temp change:thumbup::music_whistling:

    Maybe someone overdone it... Good luck!

  7. Hey everyone,

     

    Earlier we mentioned that we have been working on DCS VR optimization. I have good news today! After much investigation and work, we traced the issue back to the terrain engine. We have since adjusted the terrain engine, and this has resulted in a 50% increase in VR performance! We will continue to test and optimize this further, but we hope to have this great improvement to you soon.

     

    Thanks

     

    I bought dozen of modules and waited last two years only for this news. MAKE IT HAPPEN:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

  8. What DCS version do you use to play campaigns? Never played a campaign before, just single missions and tutorials; but since a-10c in 2.5.x is still quite buggy (jtac not always responding, datalink issues and so on, just not to talk about night missions), I wonder what is the best DCS version to play campaigns. Just to be sure before trying one.

     

    I'm also curious how to play those a10c campaigns. Any hints?

  9.  

    Secondly, the API it self doesn't have much to do with the streaming and preloading behavior.

     

     

    No, it doesn't, but API has much to do with frame times and this is what I focused on (not the streaming engine) because that's the biggest of DCS/VR stuttering problems right now.

    Streaming engine problems are nowhere near and negligible with good hardware :thumbup:

  10. Quickly, thanks for all your hard work! I love the discussion on the frame render times. What was your default pixel density setting? I probably missed this somewhere so I apologize if you stated it already...

     

    Hi, I'm happy to help. For now, I usually use 1.5 DCS supersampling. Strangely it's little smoother. I used a steam 2.4 supersampling before which is not a perfect equivalent but it's normally smoother.... But it's not the case in DCS. Like many other things...

     

    [TABLE]Steam DCS

    supesampling method supesampling method

    1,96 1,40

    2,25 1,50

    2,40 1,55

    2,50 1,58

    2,56 1,60

    2,89 1,70

    3,24 1,80

    3,61 1,90

    4,00 2,00

    6,25 2,50

    [/TABLE]

     

    I've also noticed on a lot of the time, it's not really textures being streamed in that produces a stutter, but actually some specific models, the pilot ejection scene stuff.

     

    All of that is magically gone if you throw brute force at it, a SSD or even a NVMe SSD, again I'm not nitpicking, but this only hides the issues, it's still inefficient way to solve a problem, and ofcourse it's a burden on the customer, but at least it's working.

     

    So on one side I might just as well shut up about it and enjoy the game, but on another side it's hard to ignore a few tiny bits causing a momentary stutter while all the rest of the mass data is all loaded and streamed just fine, it's one of those musquito things, small but deadly.

     

    You're right about it, the streaming engine is not as good as it could be and in fact that the real problem is a stuttering from nonexistent thread engine, dreaded multiplayer net code and bad choice of old graphics API ( ..we just had a major engine upgrade ehhh...) which underperforms on modern CPUs.

     

    :pilotfly::pilotfly:DCS community:pilotfly::pilotfly: overall has some of the highest-end PC hardware out there and in many ways is trying to "cover" those problems with it. We cannot have faster hardware so the devs have to keep up with us. I listed just a handful of techniques which could help here but are not used in DCS.

  11. You could do some testing with fully isolated DCS CPU Affinity like we discussed here recently: From page 8-11 https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=201530&page=8

     

    Priority is not a sure way to get everything else out of the way because what kernel/firmware/chipset is doing is "load balancing" everything in such a way that same threads bounce around many cores as well which only balances out the overall CPU utilization statistics per-core but has absolutely zero actual peak performance advantage. While it may happen to a lesser extent it does not do full isolation.

     

    For the ultimate test what you would do is use Process Lasso, set it up so it starts at boot (only the underlying process, not the configurator) and assign every single process to use only 1 CPU core.

     

    For this example mentioned here I used a QuadCore without HyperThreading, if you use HyperThreading it would get more complicated because you would have to know which HW THREAD (Logical Core) belongs to which physical CPU core, in order that you know if you're testing DCS for example on 2 logical cores belonging on the same phyiscal CPU core, this in theory should most probably not produce as good results vs DCS using two physical CPU cores, but didn't test that myself yet to get an idea how good it is vs a single core.

     

    To setup Process Lasso, after you install it, prepare for testing, but you need to first do a clean reboot to reset set up the affinities, as soon as it boots up launch the Lasso configuration and select all processes, right click and set them to CPU Affinity -> ALWAYS -> CORE0 ... keep running the computer for a while, 10-20 minutes and keep looking for more processes popping up as the services with "delayed start" get launched, and other programs launch things based on triggers, some processes only appear for less than a few minutes so make sure you keep checking, then start opening up your barebone common programs you use during the testing you normally do, make sure those are set to CORE0, after you think you covered them all, start DCS and assign it's affinity to CORE1 CORE2 and CORE3, then setting CPU Priority depending on your test whether you do both.

     

    Now DCS has 2 major Threads, the third core will cover around 1% at most I think, there's a few threads that take that much together, but it will help prevent less interruptions of the main thread, that means possibly 1% more performance and responsiveness but that may not reflect linearly 1% to FPS numbers, it may or may not, maybe to frametimes.

     

    Unfortunately CPU Affinity per-thread can only be done in programming, if we could do it right now ourselfs then you wouldn't need a thrid core set aside exclusively for DCS, because it would fit just fine in the second one, because the second DCS thread is practically never bottlenecked, apparently it's the AUDIO and IO thread, and unless you're doing some heavy IO, flying mach 10 all over the map having to load so much, or producing 1000 sounds, you're not going to bottleneck it, unfortunately don't take my words for it because my test was without any IO or AUDIO and the second thread got up to 65% or something so there's 35% left, how much would those 35% would get eaten away when it's loaded with work, I really am not sure right now.

     

     

    Also, because I can't find a way to make individual process threads assigned to a specific physical CPU core exclusively, I can't test any perf difference whether thread-bouncing really is helping or skewing the peak performance, or whether it's neutral, in theory according to various tech sites when threads bounce to another physical CPU core it has to wait for the cache's to transfer data and that is logically not a good thing and that's what could show up as mircostuttering as it was theorized by PCPer.com, however unnoticable on CPUs where the transfer speeds between L1 and L2 caches are small enough.

     

    I would first do it all without HT, before even thinking about HT. An an interesting bit of theory about HT increasing performance is that why people see a performance boost, may not be really because 1 of those cores is helping somehow DCS do a better job of it, it's because there's more elements that all the other threads can pick, and all HT does is a way for other things to get away from the DCS's path, so that's how tricky it could be, you would be able to achieve the same exact effect by just purely using more phyiscal cores. So all this good PR might be falsely attributed to HT, which means Intel could be sued for false advertising in theory (if they were to advertise it like that). But we need a proper test to confirm this theory.

     

    *** For Intel to be at fault, they would specifically have to advertise "our technology of HT doing this and that makes games run faster" if the focus is on HT it self, but if they just said "If you enable option called HT you would get better perf in gaming" that would not be actionable because it's true in practice. But ofcourse this is more complicated because at the same time it is actually helping by running another game , in a game which would have many threads and some of it running on the same physical core would still do some good anyway. Then gaming is such a broad term, how would you define it, as single-thread depenand or not? In the end the whole OS and all the threads have to get run down to usually just 4 or 8 cores.

     

     

     

    I've done different variants of affinity testing but the results were unsatisfactory. It's a placebo some people are experiencing and results was always worse on clean system. The best option was to leave affinity to defaults, make it balanced by system and change DCS and VR processes priorities higher. (With all unnecessary processes turned off of course)

     

    p.s. I would like to point to anyone considering this (not you) that manual messing with process affinity is quite stupid because of CPUs shared caches between cores and cache hit problems. There's much more to affinity than some people think (not talking about you :)) so I would advise to leave it to developers and system managed default and instead turn everything else to the minimum.

     

    If affinity speculation helped you - look closer because you have some fundamental problems with your system.

    Normally there is very little to gain and much more to lose

  12. Did some quick OC with Asus GPU TweakII

     

    2101 GPU and 12528 VRAM :megalol:thats 5% more with the Balsa Stick:megalol:

     

    It not only runs cooler as you say, it also overclocks WAY HIGHER than ever before amd quite frankly, I havent even tested any higher values yet. i dialed those in and let it run for an hour, it runs. My MH/sec went a up a bit in ETH, VRAM speed is everything

     

    :thumbup: My stable score for now is GPU@2126 MEM@12650 @1075v

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