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Zero delay USB vs Arduino vs ?


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I have a couple of simple button boxes which use the cheap Amazon-sourced zero delay USB arcade controllers.  These seem to work fine for my application, but are limited in the number of outputs (solved by using more boards).  I see a lot of people using Arduino setups which from what I gather provide a little more flexibility with regards to programming (long/short push, actions on press/release etc.) but a lot more work to integrate.  Are they worth the effort?  Is that the only benefit of a programmed Arduino over a simple USB controller?  So far I've not found any problems with my system so I am surprised to see so many people doing things 'the hard way'.  What am I missing?

 

Edit - note I am a VR user so have no need for feedback like moving gauges or instrument lighting.  My control requirements are one-way.


Edited by Lace

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Wishlist: Jaguar, F-117 and F-111.

 

C:MO & XP11. PPL(A) IRL.

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3 hours ago, Lace said:

I have a couple of simple button boxes which use the cheap Amazon-sourced zero delay USB arcade controllers.  These seem to work fine for my application, but are limited in the number of outputs (solved by using more boards).  I see a lot of people using Arduino setups which from what I gather provide a little more flexibility with regards to programming (long/short push, actions on press/release etc.) but a lot more work to integrate.  Are they worth the effort?  Is that the only benefit of a programmed Arduino over a simple USB controller?  So far I've not found any problems with my system so I am surprised to see so many people doing things 'the hard way'.  What am I missing?

 

Edit - note I am a VR user so have no need for feedback like moving gauges or instrument lighting.  My control requirements are one-way.

 


Those boards for pushbuttons are amazing, cheap and truly plug and play. I think they also work with 2 way switches, and maybe a 4-axis joystick/hat.
Anything beyond these options, Arduino should be the way, but like you mention, you need soldering and programming skills.

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 it's not "arduino vs joystick". Both have purpose, it is the builder who needs to decide what tool he needs to use for a particular application. 

Arduinos can accomplish functionalities that joystick boards cannot, like indicators for example. Arduino based DCSBIOS devices can be programmed to act differently depending on what craft is loaded and the list goes on. 

 

Choose the right tool for the job. And keep in mind that most of the times it's the " hard "road that ends up being the easiest one. Effort always pays off. True in all aspects of life.

 

 

 

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Anton.

 

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5 hours ago, agrasyuk said:

 

Choose the right tool for the job. And keep in mind that most of the times it's the " hard "road that ends up being the easiest one. Effort always pays off. True in all aspects of life.

 

 

All well and good but when my time is already stretched between family, fitness, work, real flying, and DCS flying, sometimes I just need a quick and easy, if less fulfilling solution. 🙂

Laptop Pilot. Aorus X7 V7, i7 7820HK o/c to 4.3GHz, 4k 17.3", 32GB DDR4, 1070Ti 8GB. TM Warthog & CH Products controls (XBox360 when traveling). Rift S.

 

NTTR, SoH, Syria, CA, FC3, A-10C & A-10II, MiG-21, F-86, M-2000, Harrier, Viggen, Yak-52, Spitfire, Gazelle, Mi-8, F/A-18, L-39, F-16 & Supercarrier

 

Wishlist: Jaguar, F-117 and F-111.

 

C:MO & XP11. PPL(A) IRL.

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Your situation with free time is not unique. It's a personal choice how to spend the limited free time one has. Nothing wrong with button boxes, I simmed with a cheap logitech joystick for years and had a blast. But you are in "home cockpit" section of a forum and that is another hobby all in itself. It seems that the answer to your "what an I missing" question is desire to build a cockpit  perhaps? Hence for now you have no tasks that would nessesitate use of Arduinos, PIs and other electronic trickery.

 

Best of luck on your project whatever it is. 

Anton.

 

My pit build thread .

Simple and cheap UFC project

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5 hours ago, agrasyuk said:

Your situation with free time is not unique. It's a personal choice how to spend the limited free time one has. Nothing wrong with button boxes, I simmed with a cheap logitech joystick for years and had a blast. But you are in "home cockpit" section of a forum and that is another hobby all in itself. It seems that the answer to your "what an I missing" question is desire to build a cockpit  perhaps? Hence for now you have no tasks that would nessesitate use of Arduinos, PIs and other electronic trickery.

 

Best of luck on your project whatever it is. 

 

That's interesting.  The way you write that it seems that for you the cockpit is the hobby, rather than a means to better enjoy the flying.  For me a little extra VR immersion by adding of some switches in the correct position is simply a way of improving the DCS (Viper) experience, rather than a goal in itself.  I'm not criticising anyone's chosen direction, some of the simpits in this forum are works of art, but the time/benefit for me just does not work out.  I'd rather fly an imperfect cockpit, than never get to fly an endless project.

 

FWIW, I'm going for Stang's full Viper cockpit, with TM Cougar & MFDs, and some Hispapanel panels for the master/arm, internal lighting, HMCS, and maybe an off-the shelf ICP.  No need to reinvent the wheel.  

Laptop Pilot. Aorus X7 V7, i7 7820HK o/c to 4.3GHz, 4k 17.3", 32GB DDR4, 1070Ti 8GB. TM Warthog & CH Products controls (XBox360 when traveling). Rift S.

 

NTTR, SoH, Syria, CA, FC3, A-10C & A-10II, MiG-21, F-86, M-2000, Harrier, Viggen, Yak-52, Spitfire, Gazelle, Mi-8, F/A-18, L-39, F-16 & Supercarrier

 

Wishlist: Jaguar, F-117 and F-111.

 

C:MO & XP11. PPL(A) IRL.

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Arduino can be setup to be a USB joystick on its own using something like a Leonardo, so would be essentially the same thing.

 

However making an arduino box is quite a process, certainly much more if you have no experience in electronics or coding. If you have little interest in the process itself and/or don't have the time then I'd say getting something pre-made is a far better option.

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but for me the hard way is always the most interesting and fun. The end result is important however the process to get there, and the pride of building something yourself is another hobby in itself. Flying and building are essentially two hobbies, not mutually exlusive.

 

Doing something yourself also allows you the option to do it exactly how you need. For example my VR pit has momentary switches for all physical switches, including gear and hook. Everything returns back to the middle position so there's never any issues with switches/controlls being out of sync - they can always go both up and down.

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7 hours ago, Savvy said:

 

Doing something yourself also allows you the option to do it exactly how you need. For example my VR pit has momentary switches for all physical switches, including gear and hook. Everything returns back to the middle position so there's never any issues with switches/controlls being out of sync - they can always go both up and down.

 

It's interesting that my ON-OFF-ON 'master/safe/sim' and 'radar/quiet/silent' switches on the viper sychronise perfectly through my zero-delay USB board, whereas my TM Warthog throttle light (landing/off/taxi) switch (also ON-OFF-ON) always defaults to 'landing' in the Viper.

 

The momentary [ON]-OFF-[ON] switches make sense for the modules where there aren't specific cockpit abstracts button binds, i.e. 'RADAR on else off', but I like to know by feel which position the switch is in when possible, rather than every switch being in the middle position.

 

7 hours ago, Savvy said:

building something yourself is another hobby in itself

 

As I said, I don't need another hobby, I need* a decent working VR Viper pit.  No disrespect to anyone who scratch builds every component, some of these simpits are simply amazing, but that's just not what I am looking for.

 

* ok, not need, want.

Laptop Pilot. Aorus X7 V7, i7 7820HK o/c to 4.3GHz, 4k 17.3", 32GB DDR4, 1070Ti 8GB. TM Warthog & CH Products controls (XBox360 when traveling). Rift S.

 

NTTR, SoH, Syria, CA, FC3, A-10C & A-10II, MiG-21, F-86, M-2000, Harrier, Viggen, Yak-52, Spitfire, Gazelle, Mi-8, F/A-18, L-39, F-16 & Supercarrier

 

Wishlist: Jaguar, F-117 and F-111.

 

C:MO & XP11. PPL(A) IRL.

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Potentiometers and Roatary encoders are another thing you likely won't be able to do with the pre-made usb boards. But yeah, if you have no time and don't want to get into it at all, then the original question was a bit moot.

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13 hours ago, Savvy said:

Potentiometers and Roatary encoders are another thing you likely won't be able to do with the pre-made usb boards. But yeah, if you have no time and don't want to get into it at all, then the original question was a bit moot.

 

The question wasn't moot, the answer was clearly that for my application, there is no benefit of going down the Arduino route (or at least none that anyone has offered).  If someone had said 'the Arduino allows you to do all these amazing things!' then perhaps it would be worth the effort, but since nobody has, then clearly it isn't, for my project at least. 

 

FWIW, I can do rotary encoders without any programming using my cheapo Amazon cards.  Not tried pots, but at the moment I have no requirement for them.

Laptop Pilot. Aorus X7 V7, i7 7820HK o/c to 4.3GHz, 4k 17.3", 32GB DDR4, 1070Ti 8GB. TM Warthog & CH Products controls (XBox360 when traveling). Rift S.

 

NTTR, SoH, Syria, CA, FC3, A-10C & A-10II, MiG-21, F-86, M-2000, Harrier, Viggen, Yak-52, Spitfire, Gazelle, Mi-8, F/A-18, L-39, F-16 & Supercarrier

 

Wishlist: Jaguar, F-117 and F-111.

 

C:MO & XP11. PPL(A) IRL.

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