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Old 11-12-2013, 09:52 PM   #11
agrasyuk
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So you use separate vcom port for each panel? Does it reserve each com to a panel by name?

and yes, subscribed
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:15 PM   #12
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It can use single (input and output through same port e.g. 9012) or multiple ports (input on one port and output on another e.g. 9012 and 9013). There isn't much of a need to use multiple ports so at the moment I just keep it simple and use one. That's on the lua side of things (really nothing's is definite so anything can be done without too much work.)

My program simply monitors the port/ports from a separate networked computer in just the same way Helios works. It then does all the logic and sends it to the Arduinos (no need to use one per panel, just use a few megas for everything.) Communications to and from the arduinos use a set format for example "C02D19V1"
C=Arduino Number up to 99
D=Arduino Pin
V=Value, not limited to 0,1 so potentiometers and other analogue devices can be used
You don't need ethernet shields or anything like that either.

In all of it there is minimal lua scripting as I had never heard of it before I found DCSW. I prefer to use C# and with my own program I get huge amounts of options available.

Sorry for the long reply but I hope something in there answers your question which I'm not completely clear on. I just want to say again that nothing has been finalised so really anything is possible and it has been tested using many different input, output and software conditions. Please give me any suggestions that you have and I will try to implement them.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:28 PM   #13
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Default Up Front Controller

UFC







This is my UFC so far. It has a front plate of 4mm clear acrylic drilled on a pillar drill which was then sprayed matte black. The tactile switches are soldered to a piece of prototyping board. The two parts are not yet screwed together and mounted to the enclosure, which is made from 6mm plywood and varying types of baton wood which was also painted black. All the electronics will be controlled by the one Arduino which will be mounted in the back and connected to my A2DCS software. The front panel has not yet been labelled and it may not due to the size of switch caps that I had. The switch caps themselves are round and grey (not pictured.) They still need to be labelled and then all labeling will be sprayed with matte clear coat paint to seal them to the surface.

I just need to finish up the hardware of it and then it's on tot he software implementation which shouldn't take too long. I figured it would be best to tackle the hardest panels first so I've also acquired all the parts to build a CDU so it's back of to the workshop soon...


Thats a 4.5" portable DVD player screen, VGA to Composite Adaptor, 4 port USB hub, another Arduino Mega and plenty of tactile switches and caps.
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:08 PM   #14
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Looks like my build is about to drop off the first page so I better update. Finally today I had a major breakthrough... my first panel working perfectly with DCS and it runs very reliably. I finished the UFC by labeling the buttons using a Dymo LabelManager 210D with "White on Clear" labels on the buttons and face plate. All the buttons were then painted with a clear gloss model paint and the face plate sprayed with clear satin. The caps were then glued to the tactile switches with poly cement.



Now even better, it works! A friend rewrote a lot of my code for A2DCS and we managed to get it working along with the AHCP, Fuel Panel, Fuel Select Panel and HARS Fast Erect. To accomplish this two Ardunio Megas were used. One for the UFC and one for the other panels. The Receiver Light potentiometer can be read by the Arduino and sent to A2DCS but its implementation is still to be done. Here's a screenshot of it working.



The string in the Output Values From DCS World is the state of the lights in the warning panel which will soon be implemented in the pit. At the top you can see that it is setup for three Arduinos (MIP1,UFC and Various Stuff.)

When we were programming today we spent a lot of time looking in the Scripts folder of DCSW for the "clickable actions" of the UFC. No matter what folder or file we tried we just couldn't find them anywhere so we started up a flight and clicked all the buttons and then spent a while going through the generated log files to find the arguments and values needed. In case anyone else is looking for this same stuff I have attached it as a PDF below. Also attached is a PDF of a diagram showing how A2DCS works.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf UFC Clickables.pdf (226.0 KB, 304 views)
File Type: pdf A2DCS High Level Design.pdf (223.2 KB, 468 views)
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:30 PM   #15
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Hey congratz its all ways great when some thing fires up and works
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:34 PM   #16
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Thanks DM. I just can't stop myself from endlessly flying pressing buttons and flicking switches! My excitement does stop when I get shot down by a SAM.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:32 PM   #17
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Very nice, Boltz. I'm always interested in I/O, and always looking for ways for help in my own pit. Keep up the great work and I'll be watching with great interest! Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:48 PM   #18
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A small update. Today I realised that I needed something to handle all the common ground connections. It had to be something that made good connections and secure ones but still be simple to remove each panel's ground separately. I had some 13A terminal block in my drawers so I put this together and mounted to the left side of the centre console.



I know the 13A is a bit excessive but its all I had. Now a pic of it up close so you can see the writing that I quickly did in CorelDraw. I am using DB15 (VGA) connectors for my electronics so I included a small label showing the pinout of one to help with wiring. What you can see at the bottom is terminal block for any signal wires that did not fit on a VGA connector. For example if I had 17 connections then using an extra two VGA connectors and cable for two connections isn't worth it.



The next photos show the VGA connection system I use. The first image shows it for the Fuel panel. You can also see that I had two extra connections that didn't fit on the VGA connector so I used a 2.1mm power connector and socket for the RCVR potentiometer and the common ground which are both connected to the terminal block construction above.



At the other end, next to the Arduino I used another VGA connector as you can see below. The other ones are for some of the other panels. The wires are then soldered to 2.54mm pitch pin strip which plugs directly into the Arduino, again filling my design constraints of something that is a solid connection but can also be removed.



Sadly I can't work outside or in the garage on the woodwork, simply because of the cold here which leaves me doing the electronics but now I have done all the panels I have so far and will probably change to getting all the panels laser cut to allow me to backlight them. Not much to do except fly, which is main reason we do this mad hobby! Supposedly anyway, I still prefer building the pit than flying it.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:14 PM   #19
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I went out today to have a look around some electrical shops in the Boxing Day sales and I found three large boxes that I thought may be of use.




Three 42" LG TVs. I haven't even opened the boxes yet as I'm still making space for them but that'll be a project for tonight and tomorrow as well as working out how to mount them. They look a lot bigger now than they did in the shop and I've got a couple of not so happy faces around the house now due to the new additions.
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:18 AM   #20
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life's good, heh?
3 of these look very serious
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My pit build thread .
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