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Old 02-03-2018, 05:53 PM   #11
Deltaalphalima1
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So as promised I have created a post over on Instructables with some details on how to interface with the I2C protocol used in the Warthog throttle.

It's not got any detailed instruction on how to use an Arduino to do this yet, it’s a bit complicated as it requires a 3.3V microcontroller and I don’t want anyone blowing up there throttle with a 5V one so I need to make it as foolproof as possible, but maybe in the future.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Thr...r-I2C-Upgrade/

In other news I have been looking at some possibilities of using other -slight less expensive- sensors. Right now I’m having some limited success with the TrackPoint out of a Lenovo keyboard, which actually operates in an identical way to the sensor in the real A10. Just finding a source that actually sells these seems to be a little tricky.


I have also been looking as best I can find any other better replacement sensor we could use, but there is nothing I can see that both the right size (<20mm OD) and at some sort or reasonable price point.

Thrustmaster might have had a point with the original...

Any ideas as always much apreciated.

Cheers
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:00 AM   #12
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Great tutorial and explanation of how the I2C protocol interfaces with the throttle PCB itself; nice to see you also included an arduino sketch file.

Regarding the I2C logic voltage level, would a level shifter suffice or are these not sufficiently speedy to deal with the I2C program frequency?

I have also been looking at some sensors and you are right that there are very few digital sensors with adequate resolution and size out there. However, I did find that there are quite a few analog sensors out there that may fit the bill and size; I am trying to discern whether their resolution and deflection (can) match up with the throttle unit to require as little modification as possible.

I will probably order some of them over the weekend and play around with them next week when I have some more time on my hands. One such sensor that particularly appeals to me at the moment is this the RKJXL Series from Alps
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltaalphalima1 View Post

In other news I have been looking at some possibilities of using other -slight less expensive- sensors. Right now I’m having some limited success with the TrackPoint out of a Lenovo keyboard, which actually operates in an identical way to the sensor in the real A10.
This pressure "mouse" is not suitable?

https://www.interlinkelectronics.com/MicroJoystick
https://www.interlinkelectronics.com/microjoystick-hdk
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sokol1_br View Post
Whilst those are definitely nice (and I had not yet seen them, thanks!) I myself was more thinking along the lines of a sensor that gives a larger slew deflection area than the current sensor; my reasoning being that a slew with a large deflection and a low pressure actuation is going to offer a much better experience than the current (type of) sensor which whilst accurate, moves very little and is thus hard to operate with precision.



The youtube video above and the KA-50 collective featured in it made by KA50Oakes shows a nice example of what I am looking for. The nice thing about the Arduino however is that you can make it use virtually any type of control component, as it only requires modifying the program (''sketch'') to do so. You could potentially even do it with just buttons for left right up down and the push button itself if you were that crazy / if that would be something you desire.
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:35 PM   #15
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This is impressive
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanne118 View Post
Great tutorial and explanation of how the I2C protocol interfaces with the throttle PCB itself; nice to see you also included an arduino sketch file.

Regarding the I2C logic voltage level, would a level shifter suffice or are these not sufficiently speedy to deal with the I2C program frequency?

I have also been looking at some sensors and you are right that there are very few digital sensors with adequate resolution and size out there. However, I did find that there are quite a few analog sensors out there that may fit the bill and size; I am trying to discern whether their resolution and deflection (can) match up with the throttle unit to require as little modification as possible.

I will probably order some of them over the weekend and play around with them next week when I have some more time on my hands. One such sensor that particularly appeals to me at the moment is this the RKJXL Series from Alps
Thanks for the support!

In regards to a level shifter, you actually don't need to use anything; a 5V Arduino will not damage anything if used correctly. The reason is that the I2C protocol is all powered by the master device (the throttle itself in this case) and pulled up to 3.3V with pull-up resistors, all the slave device does is pull the lines low (connect to ground), so it being capable of a 5V output won’t damage anything directly as it never output 5V in normal operation. The problem is a normal Arduino would need its own external 5V power supply, which if not implemented correctly could damage the throttle. It would also mean more wires coming out of the throttle, which is what we are trying to avoid in the first place.

I actually used a normal Arduino Uno running at 5V for my first experiments which worked fine, as long as you understand exactly what you‘re doing. I may have overstated the risks slightly in the Instructable but better safe than sorry when it comes to multi $100 hardware I think.
The mouse sensors Sokol1_br suggested would work, they are basically identical to a trackpoint sensor, and I can get them for not much at Digi-key
https://www.digikey.co.uk/products/e...=MicroJoystick
But they are bigger than ideal to be easily fitted. I am mostly looking at this as something that could easily be fitted by someone who didn’t want to modify anything and just wanted to buy a drop in replacement type sensor, so size it quite important, but something to take a closer look at.

The reason for not wanting a larger slew deflection is quite simple, the real throttle has no deflection at all. It’s all based on force, kind of like a mini F16 sidestick. The problem this gives us is that there is basically no clearance between the slew sensor and the coolie hat on the back of the throttle. Meaning even using something like an Xbox thumb stick doesn’t really work, as it just hits the coolie hat when it moves, which is a real shame because they aren’t exactly hard to get.
https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/joyst...tches/1239578/ (a little cheaper than the DACO)
Note the RKJXL series are only momentary switches, not any sort of joystick. They are nice to use as normal hat switches though.

Using a proper force stick is actually really nice, it’s nothing like the original sensor, really fine and precise control, it really is a dream to slew the TGP around (also make Mav’s SO MUCH BETTER). The problem with the original sensor is that it has such a weak spring and moves such a small amount it’s hardly any better than just using a hat switch, you can’t really get any values between fully on and off, nothing like the proper sensor.
As you can probably tell I’ve been thinking about all this probably far too much over the last few weeks (good to have a project though eh?) Another forum member also bought the other Chinook grip off of eBay, and has got the sensor out of it. I’ve sent him an adapter board like the one I made for myself, so hopefully we should have some independent feedback soon on that

I think the next step should be to try and get one of the Xbox-style ALPS analog sticks working and in some sort of proper 3d printed mount. That would be a good proof of concept to start selling a few of these.

All this makes me wonder what Thrustmaster has planned for the F18 Hotas throttle, if they are ever actually making one.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:04 PM   #17
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In addition to the excellent explanation delta has given here above (I totally forgot that I2C can be any voltage level you desire), I would also like to make note something I found out today (whilst talking with our practical instructor) is that the Arduino is able to use aref to set its own voltage level accordingly. What this means is that you can supply a desired voltage to the arduino and it will thus use that voltage level for logic accordingly.

Regarding the need to power the arduino, the best way would probably to take an Arduino Nano and chop off the voltage regulator and fuze; subsequently replacing them with 3.3 volt compatible components. I have been meaning to test that when I get some more time on my hands: apparently it can be a bit of a mixed bag regarding stability of the arduino, but that also seems dependent whether you use a genuino or a less official chinese clone.

Regarding the sensor choice, how would a PSP style thumbstick fare? They are some extremely small form factor potentiometer resistors that also offer the ability to add your own ''hat'' onto the stick embedded in the base, and could thus be mounted recessed in the spot where the sensor component currently sits. The only downside to this would be that a tactile switch would need to be added behind it, as it does not natively posses a center push. https://www.adafruit.com/product/3103

I have also been looking at comparable other small factor sensors, but like with the RKJXL it is hard to discern if they offer a nice operational range or if they are in fact more suited as 4 way momentaries due to the small travel / detection range. I assume that most of the ALPS sensor range (such as the RKJXT and RKJXM) suffer from the same problematic effect as the RKJXL in that behave more as 4 way buttons than as true joystick sensors?
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:41 AM   #18
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I have found another force sensing mini joystick that looks like it would be suitable in a reasonable price range ($100). However looking at the wiring diagram, it requires both +5v (I'm sure 3.3 would work fine) and -5v. Is that like the sensor you used OP? How do we go about the negative voltage aspect of the wiring?

I'm seeing a number of small 3.3v arduino solutions so that part seems to be taken care of.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezle View Post
I have found another force sensing mini joystick that looks like it would be suitable in a reasonable price range ($100). However looking at the wiring diagram, it requires both +5v (I'm sure 3.3 would work fine) and -5v. Is that like the sensor you used OP? How do we go about the negative voltage aspect of the wiring?

I'm seeing a number of small 3.3v arduino solutions so that part seems to be taken care of.
That sounds very interesting, could you post a link?

The original sensor was indeed supposed to run off +/-5V, but since it’s just a variable resistor a lower voltage is fine.
Worst case I could easily add some sort of negative charge pump to do the -5, at $100 it would be worth the extra effort if I turned out it needed it.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I have found another force sensing mini joystick that looks like it would be suitable in a reasonable price range ($100).
You have a strange definition of reasonable.
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