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For FC3 - add a 'next mode' assignment


Johnny Dioxin (Brixmis)
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This mostly to save on controller assignments.

 

There are what, 7 modes? Each requires a button on a HOTAS or control panel to enable it. I'm just building a second 'UFC' control box for use with VR, so it needs to have as few buttons as I can get away with, to avoid confusion, and I can imagine this being an issue for other VR pilots.

 

It would be useful in any case - having the current digits that are assigned to the individual modes, but also having a single assignment that changes the mode, and pressed repeatedly would go through them in order, much as the NAV one does (obviously those available for the aircraft the player is in - so whether that would need to be coded individually for each aircraft, I don't know).

 

This way it would only need two assignments - NAV modes and Combat modes.


Edited by Brixmis
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This would indeed be handy. Though a "previous mode" button would also be needed. Otherwise, when you accidentally scroll through the modes to find what you need and you accidentally skip the right mode, you have to go around through the modes again.

 

At least the A-10A seems to have a knob on tve front dash for all the modes on the aircraft. Would be handy to have it so that you could change the modes in the same order as they appear in ghe cockpit controls.

 

Btw, which controllers are you using. I know Warthog has the ability to map multiple keys on a single buttons, so I can have all modes required on a single hatswitch. Short press for one mode, long press for another mode... that way you can map 2 keys to a single button.

 

Regards,

MikeMikeJuliet

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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I'm using the hog hotas, too - but I have the buttons and switches all assigned already (optimised for VR - including the VR GUI controls).

 

I'm building two simple switch boxes - one with ten buttons on it and one with 12 up/down switches on it, in two rows of 6. Trying the KISS theory :)

 

I already have one UFC with all the same controls as the A-10C UFC mounted below my monitor, but then it's a job to remember exactly what is where and hoping I don't knock over my coffee.

The new one will be fitted to my slide-out keyboard shelf, so it's really handy when I have the headset on. My keyboard sits between my HOTAS bits. Oh - and it's easier to use the nose gap in the Rift :)

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Well, given that you can have 3 main layers, 2 secondary layers, and two functions on each button (so 12 functions per button in theory) you really do have space where to put everything if you really want... But I do agree that takes ages to remember everything, especially if you fly more than 1 or 2 planes.

 

I'm using the Vive, and since the chaperone lighthouses are a few meters away from my PC, I need to carry all the controls to the middle of my livingroom to play, so it's really inconvenient to have any extra controllers falling from my lap. Thus I personally try to map all possible keys to my stick and throttle... though a a simple switch-box would help to map non-critical controls.

 

Are you building it on Arduino or something else?

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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Multiple assignments are, as you say, a case of remembering everything. I still remember the huge relief of pressure when flying after building my first extra control box - you need to remember so much less, let alone how to operate the aircraft, and for us old duffers, that's a biggie! I never assign more than two controls to one button/switch.

 

I'm using the Leo Bodnar BU0836 - I'm using 3 in total - one for the UFC (plus a box with 6 pot's on it for radio/RWR volume etc), one for my rudder pedals to make it a self-contained unit, and one for this new project, which will also include a trim wheel.

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Sounds like a pretty nice setup. Problem with VR is ofcourse not being able to see the controls... so you still need to remember all the switches. Less items to remember per switch, but more switches.

 

I sat down to think about the problem when I did my scripts for the stick, and I found two solutions. 1) keep similar controls on the same switches... so for example I have all defensive controls (RWR controls included) on the grey 4-way + button... so that I really only need to remember that whenever I need to defend, its all there.

2) I try to keep controls consistent throughout all FC3 aircraft. So, even though the radar works different on the F-15 and the Su-27, I still keep all radar controls on the same buttons...

 

Works for me at least. Though I would really like to have a dial and a couple of switches and buttons still. Some controls are just simply better off-the-stick.

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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Yup - I also try to keep it all as consistent as possible - but my main attempt at control during VR flying - which, tbh, is the only way I fly these days - is with voice control.

 

Problem being, on the odd occasion it hiccups. And sometimes I just can't be bothered with it - especially if I'm recording for YT or on TS as well.

 

I'm sure I'll remember the most used switches and buttons on these boxes - and I'll just have to swing it with the others. It beats having to remember the keys and trying to read the keyboard without my glasses on any day!

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Just thinking - I don't need to remember the assignments for this - they wil all be labelled! :doh:

 

Like I was saying - putting them on the slide out tray so that I can just peek down through the nose gap - sorted! :) I've done them on a laminated card, so that I can change them if I want to, without messing it up.

 

Button box label cover attached - haven't done the switch labels yet. I'm going to do a page on building these to put on my website - too many people think it's difficult or expensive.

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Wouldn't work with the Vive at least not with my nose. I can just about see a slither of light through the nose gap. I've heard the Oculus has more space there... although I personally rather keep my eyes fully enclosed in the headset.

 

One way to do things would also be to mold the switches to different shapes as to easier remember which was which.

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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Master modes (at least combat ones) are something you'll definitively want on your hotas so that you can access them without leaving your controls, not quite sure why you aren't putting your VR stuff on your boxes instead, seems much more logical to me.

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One way to do things would also be to mold the switches to different shapes as to easier remember which was which.

 

This made me chuckle! Actually, it's amazing how the nose gap in the Rift works - at least for me and some others I've read about. You notice the nose gap when nothing is going on or when you look for it - when a game or app is up onscreen, it just seems to completely disappear!

Although my VR cover would do a decent job of covering the hole if required, I have it taped back so I can see out when I want to.

 

I do also have the Leap Motion see-through function, but I tend to take the unit off when I don't need it for controlling stuff. I couldn't read the labels with tha, anyway - and then it would be back to memory or nose hole! :D

 

As for the modes, well I mostly fly A/G - almost exclusively, in fact, so I'm only going A/A if forced to (helicopter assaults, enemy planes getting past the CAP, etc), so I really only switch modes twice per mission. Not worth taking up space on my HOTAS, when it's at a premium.


Edited by Brixmis
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Also worth noting that many older planes have their weapon system controls on the front dash. F course, as this is a sim you can always map the controls to your liking. Having every weapon system control on HOTAS helps a lot and speeds up your actions, but I actually like the idea of fiddling with switches and knobs in the cockpit. Much akin to the MiG-21's armament systems. It might not be that practical, but having an authentic feel is half the fun.

 

Yesterday I flew Warthinder and I got my Vive on so tight that the nosegap sealed completely. My nose JUST fits the gap... any larger and I'd feel uncomfortable. :D Problem there is that I really can't see anything even if I want to.

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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Indeed - I flew the MiG-21 last night for the first time in over 18 months and I actually found it useful and even more convenient to use the cockpit controls in the sim, with the "face pointer". I don't think that function is very user-friendly as yet, due to not being able to get rid of the blue cursor and the very large title boxes - it also sometimes sticks, but I'm sure it will be, once it is optimised.

 

The drag chute, nosewheel brake, flaps and undercarriage (landing gear) come straight to mind. I have the left mouse button assigned to the "Mouse 1" button on the throttle mini-stick and it works well (RMB being assigned to modifier button + mini-stick press).

 

If we did have such a mode switch key, it would definitely be an incentive for me to learn A/A in the fighters, as I could then easily find space for it on the HOTAS (FC3, of course).

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I love it how this conversations seems to veer off topic slowly :D

 

I've split my controls on the FC3 aircraft so, that the three main layers (UMD) available for Warthog programming control wether I'm in AA, NAV or AG... or in the case of F-15, AA, NAV and FLOOD. Then I control the submodes with the MIC switch that is on your thumb on the throttle. That way I reduce the need to remember every button by associating each function to a primary mode... so I only really have to remember what I have available for that mode instead of trying to remember all controls all the time.

 

For example I only have canopy and gear controls with nav modes, so I sort of "forget" them for the flight, only to remember them back at landing pattern in NAV mode.

 

Associating controls to a mode or scheme may increase the pilot capasity by not associating irrelevant commands with combat, and vice versa.

 

 

Human brain is curious.


Edited by MikeMikeJuliet

DCS Finland | SF squadron

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd highly suggest you look more into Voice Attack or DWVAC. I've been using DWVAC and find it very easy to configure and very rarely have issues with it not understanding me. Maybe 1 in 100. You need a button for AG mode, say "AG Mode", etc etc etc.

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I have separate profiles for aircraft control and for comms only. Which I use depends on the circumstances.

 

For full aircraft control, it's more ideal for things like FC3, where there are no operable cockpit controls in any case, and if you are in your VR headset, it makes sense, even if it takes away some immersion.

 

Lack of immersion using voice control is why I started building my own control panels a few years back. It didn't feel right in other sims either - but voice control is great for multiplayer FPS and for the multi-menu comms in ArmA.

 

I personally can't understand why modern flight sim devs don't incorporate voice interaction with ATC. It's the logical next step and shouldn't be too difficult (VoxATC X is a great example).

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