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Old 10-01-2019, 05:02 PM   #1
rel4y
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Default CH products upgrades

Hey guys,

I am working on a bunch of improvements for the different CH products, but now I need your help. I have most of my mods explained in my thread here in the DCS forums. https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=220916

So, these mods below are all finished and working. But now I would like to make a high res upgrade mainboard (10-14 Bit resolution) for the CH Fighterstick/ Combatstick/ Pro Throttle/ Pedals. However, I personally only own the gameport versions of the Combatstick and Pro Throttle. So far I have found out that all of these different devices use the very same 8 Bit USB mainboard and make use of two 11 pin connectors. But I need more information. Is anybody willing and able to either measure all of the pins of these two connectors with a multimeter or send me the board over? In return for that favor I would offer a free upgrade mainboard. Maybe someone also has the CH schematics, as these are not available anymore on their website. Any help would be very much appreciated! Thanks guys!



CH Pro Throttle magnetoresistive sensors (contactless)



CH replacement hatswitches



CH Combatstick to Fighterstick conversion PCB (old picture)




CH Pro Throttle (gameport version) analog slew mod
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:18 AM   #2
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Sounds fun, but I'll need some more detail on how to measure them. (Multimeter mode, etc). I've done some basic electronics stuff, but would need to know exactly what you need done.
(I own the fighterstick)
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A2597 View Post
Sounds fun, but I'll need some more detail on how to measure them. (Multimeter mode, etc). I've done some basic electronics stuff, but would need to know exactly what you need done.
(I own the fighterstick)
Thanks A2597, PM sent!

So far I have decoded the USB, button matrix and axis pins. I mostly need information on the board and mounting hole dimensions. It isnt used on any CH devices, but I also have no clue what the P03 pin does. Probably some IC test pin. Still, any help is much appreciated! I am working hard on getting this project done!

Cheers!
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:38 AM   #4
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I forget where you are rel4y, Belgium? I would consider boxing up the whole Fighterstick Pro USB and shipping it if it's only going to be a couple weeks. All I would ask is the new sensor be installed also to cover shipping while you have it. Let me know if it sounds logical..
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:45 PM   #5
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Looks interesting Rel4y.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:27 PM   #6
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Ok, so I tested a lot of different ideas over the last days and I think an Arduino with an external 8 channel 12 Bit ADC makes the most sense. This would support even all 6 axis of the CH Throttle quadrant with 12 Bit resolution and keep enough pins free for button matrix and LEDs.

I also played around with the cool 32 Bit ARM MCUs (STM32F103 blue pill board), but these only support 3V on their internal ADCs and Software is a bit problematic... EJoy eg, is a nice little Software but I didnt get the 2.3 version to work correctly. Versions 3 and 4 dont support the blue pill boards anymore. I also found some nice new project on GitHub by a guy named vostrenkov (https://github.com/vostrenkov?tab=repositories), its called Freejoy, I will keep an eye on that one.

The external ADC will make the board more expensive and adds complexity, but I am sure that most people will be interested in upgrading from 8 (256 steps) to 12 Bit (4096 steps) rather than 10 Bit (1024 steps). The other possibility would be to leave the mainboard at standard 10 Bit and make the CH sensors digital 14 Bit GMRs, but that means that the sensors would only work with my new mainboard (or any DIY Arduino running MMJoy) and not with the original CH stuff!

So basically it comes down to what type of CH sensor is preferred. Would you rather have a contactless sensor that reads analog and is able to interface with the original CH electronics (8 Bit) and my new mainboard (12 Bit). OR do you say I will upgrade the mainboard anyway and want 14 Bit GMR sensors that connect digitally to the mainboard, but cant interface with the original CH stuff.

Maybe a bit confusing.., but please share your thoughts with me!
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Cougar, CH and Saitek PnP hall sensor kits: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=220916

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Last edited by rel4y; 10-08-2019 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rel4y View Post
Would you rather have a contactless sensor that reads analog and is able to interface with the original CH electronics (8 Bit) and my new mainboard (12 Bit). OR do you say I will upgrade the mainboard anyway and want 14 Bit GMR sensors that connect digitally to the mainboard, but cant interface with the original CH stuff.

Maybe a bit confusing.., but please share your thoughts with me!
My vote - contactless sensor that reads analog and is able to interface with the original CH electronics (8 Bit) and your new mainboard (12 Bit)
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:02 PM   #8
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Sent dimensions via PM.


My goal in upgrading would be improved resolution at an affordable price. Whether it's 10bit or 12bit I don't really care too much (12 bit nicer of course, depending on what that does to price) and I don't use the CH software because I'm in Windows 10.



While you're playing with this, and since you have experience with 3D Printing...if you engineer a way to add a paddle switch to this thing, or leave room for one more switch to be added for us that want to figure that out ourselves, that could be quite interesting. (Obviously involve cutting into the base a little to install).


Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:52 PM   #9
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Thanks A2597!

I will definitely fit in expansion capabilities, as many as I have unused pins actually. At least one shift register connection is a must, that would allow to read an additional 80 buttons.

A paddle switch is doable I think. I also have a dual stage trigger mod for the Fighterstick ready in CAD, but I need to set priorities right now. Otherwise I have 200 half optimized mods and none will ever be finished.

The external 8 channel 12 Bit ADC adds an additional ~5€. I am not sure about price yet. I have already ordered the connectors and need to figure out an elegant way to make use of the original USB chord. Arduinos data inputs are sadly not pinned out and can only be accessed via the micro USB. Though I do have an idea for a workaround.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:08 AM   #10
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And just checking, but these mods would work with both the USB and Gameport versions I'm assuming?

An extra 5$ isn't bad...
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