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HOTAS & BUTTON BOARDS


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I posted about the APU switch not turning off after 60 seconds in another post of the F18C, but did not have the correct information published.  I have identified the issue.  Say I have a two position manual switch in a button box or thrustmaster hotas throttle and I set the APU up to that switch (APU START/OFF on TM HOTAS).  Unless I engineer in a magnetically held button box switch I will always run into this problem: I have the APU switch on (TM HOTAS) and in game the APU is on as normal.  If I let the APU time out after 60 seconds the APU switch in game will be held on due to my TM HOTAS switch position being 'ON".  Is there a way that DCS execution commands can override my button box and cause the next button execution change in game to take priority? Although the APU TM HOTAS switch is on, there are a couple switches that will not work as the game intends  The same goes for LTD/R switch whish automatically switches to "OFF" and also the Fuel dump switch which switches to "OFF when BINGO is met.  If I have the TM HOTAS in the "ON" position I believe it should be overridden upon the next in game execution vise the game allowing the switch stay held in that position.  It causes me to have to cycle the switches, but it seems like simple line of code could prevent that.  It is the APU start on the TM Hotas that causes the issue.  I have not yet tested the Fuel Dump or the LTD/R, but I bet they have the same result.  My only way around this right now is to use a momentary switch like that of the ignition switch of the TM HOTAS.  I use that for crank and it works flawless.  Am I making sense?  

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Maybe you should explore the Takeoff Panel and the Combat Ready Panel sold by WinWing in China http://www.wwsimstore.com/STORE

The panels cost USD 150 each (plus freight and import duty/import VAT).


Edited by LeCuvier

LeCuvier

Windows 10 Pro 64Bit | i7-4790 CPU |16 GB RAM|SSD System Disk|SSD Gaming Disk| MSI GTX-1080 Gaming 8 GB| Acer XB270HU | TM Warthog HOTAS | VKB Gladiator Pro | MongoosT-50 | MFG Crosswind Pedals | TrackIR 5

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Those are nice but I don't see how a SPST switch will be any different than what I mentioned above.  The only way around the issues are with switches that when are in a "relaxed" state will have open contacts. DCS should be able to override command task executions for next logical process no matter what switch position. The only reason why people do not experience this is because they have keyboards and flight sticks/ throttles with momentary press and release style buttons.  The best way to solve this outside a game is to have a switch with a built in holding circuit that will latch the switch with magnetism and when the game unlatches a switch the signal will be sent to a relay for that holding circuit to be broken.  I challenge a manufacturer to build a button box with magnetically latching button boxes/ panels for this very reason.  I'll leave this thread alone as my point is over driven. Thanks for your time.

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There are two ways to handle this:

1) Use a momentary on/off switch. I've often used a SPDT switch in this case where center is a neutral position and I can momentarily push up to cycle the APU or push backwards to shut-off. It acts as a momentary button, but switch form.

2) In terms of button boards... if you're building your own you can have a "single pulse" sent vs. a "continuous pulse". A single pulse will send a momentary signal to the controller. This would allow the switch to cycle back in game. However, the switch in real life will still be in the up position.

 

I believe the thrustmaster application allows you to change some of the behavior in the way switches react. I think you can make that APU switch send a single pulse, but it has been quite awhile since I messed with TM gear.

I'd love to see a magnetically latching button box. I've even investigated my own. The switches are quite expensive and you often need a separate power supply since they drain more juice than a typical USB device would handle. It's not worth the cost IMHO.


Edited by Guppy
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11 hours ago, Guppy said:

There are two ways to handle this:

1) Use a momentary on/off switch. I've often used a SPDT switch in this case where center is a neutral position and I can momentarily push up to cycle the APU or push backwards to shut-off. It acts as a momentary button, but switch form.

2) In terms of button boards... if you're building your own you can have a "single pulse" sent vs. a "continuous pulse". A single pulse will send a momentary signal to the controller. This would allow the switch to cycle back in game. However, the switch in real life will still be in the up position.

 

I believe the thrustmaster application allows you to change some of the behavior in the way switches react. I think you can make that APU switch send a single pulse, but it has been quite awhile since I messed with TM gear.

I'd love to see a magnetically latching button box. I've even investigated my own. The switches are quite expensive and you often need a separate power supply since they drain more juice than a typical USB device would handle. It's not worth the cost IMHO.

 

Thank you for the feedback.  I am going with your comments in option 1.  Best way for now as I am building a button box that way.  I am also interested in the single/cont. pulse in TM.  And yea that would be more of a headache unless micro and full digital..... Hardware Developer thoughts.

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I'm confused by this because I use a Warthog throttle similarly (EAC Arm/Off switch) for the APU and it works as expected. It's mapped as a DirectX button so definitely held 'on'. I'm actually reminded to turn the switch off when the APU shuts down. I've also previously tried using the Autopilot switch (bottom right) for the engine crank and the one in the sim returned to centre as they should.

 

Am wondering if the option to sync cockpit controls affects this. Do you have that on?

9900K | 32GB Corsair XMS | 3080FE | Reverb G2 | VPC MongoosT-50CM2 + TM Grips  | Warthog Throttle | MFG Crosswind Pedals

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The only way I have been able to get the button box / HOTAS to work with the sim for all switches to work is if the switch is a latching switch in game and will not hold magnetically but mechanically then mapping a two position latching switch works fine.  If in game the switch is magnetically held I.e. APU, DUMP, LTD/R, CRANK then I must map a momentary switch or one that springs to center/off position.  The signal commanded by the button box / HOTAS switch seems to always take priority and prevents the sim from making switch position changes in cockpit.  Even though the APU turns off after a timer the switch is acting as if it is physically held so kinda makes sense how it functions.  Just map them to momentary switches.  Easiest way to solve it.

Lots of switches

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if this will help at all or not.  But there's an option under the general settings for DCS that says something like "Sync Hotas on start-up".  When a map loads your aircraft and controls will be in whatever position they are physically in on your end.  I typically vote against this because there have been times I've been killed and spawn in a new aircraft only to have the AB on full or the master light going off because my landing gear is in the 'up' position and I'm still on the ground.

On a side note, very nice setup you have there!  

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I have the APU assigned to an On-Off switch. When it's on you start your engines. When you are through with engine startup, you can switch it off -- there are no reasons in DCS to not turn it off immediately, this is not the Real World™.

 

If you haven't switched your controller APU switch to the off position directly after starting the left engine, when the APU times out it will flip the in-cockpit switch to the off position with a very noticeable drop-out of the APU sound -- this is a very good audio queue to turn the controller switch off if you haven't already done so, so that both switches are in sync.

 

Even if you don't switch the controller switch off, it should make no difference. DCS does not go from switch to switch every second to query their status. Unless there is an interrupt -- changing from on to off or the other way around -- DCS is not going to even notice that the controller switch position is not synced to the cockpit switch position. It happens to me every so often, and when I notece it many minutes later I simply switched it off, and in the meantime nothing bad has ever happened.

When you hit the wrong button on take-off

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I totally agree with Captain Orso.

LeCuvier

Windows 10 Pro 64Bit | i7-4790 CPU |16 GB RAM|SSD System Disk|SSD Gaming Disk| MSI GTX-1080 Gaming 8 GB| Acer XB270HU | TM Warthog HOTAS | VKB Gladiator Pro | MongoosT-50 | MFG Crosswind Pedals | TrackIR 5

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I just tested with the sync controls option enabled and it didn't make any difference. The APU still shut down as expected.

9900K | 32GB Corsair XMS | 3080FE | Reverb G2 | VPC MongoosT-50CM2 + TM Grips  | Warthog Throttle | MFG Crosswind Pedals

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The sync controls option is for when entering the cockpit for the first time in that mission. After that DCS requires a controller input to reevaluate the in-cockpit device. 

 

The APU will ALWAYS timeout after a minute or so after the left engine is started. That's how the Hornet works. That your controller switch is still in the asserted position doesn't matter for DCS. That is the way it has always worked in DCS with self-actuating switched. In the actual aircraft the APU automatically switched off, so that's what DCS does, switches it off. Since your controller switch doesn't automatically follow what DCS is doing in-cockpit, you have to sync your controller switch manually. Anything else would break the simulation.

When you hit the wrong button on take-off

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I knew what the sync function was intended to do. Just wondered if there were some unintentional side effects.

 

Only explanation I can think of for the OP's problem is that the switch isn't sending a constant input, but is somehow pulsed at a high frequency? It  does seem unique, I've been around here for years and never heard of anyone having a similar issue.


Edited by Brun

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Someone else experiencing a sticky APU switch, and apparently only using a momentary button...

 

 

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On 5/22/2021 at 9:09 PM, Captain Orso said:

I have the APU assigned to an On-Off switch. When it's on you start your engines. When you are through with engine startup, you can switch it off -- there are no reasons in DCS to not turn it off immediately, this is not the Real World™.

 

If you haven't switched your controller APU switch to the off position directly after starting the left engine, when the APU times out it will flip the in-cockpit switch to the off position with a very noticeable drop-out of the APU sound -- this is a very good audio queue to turn the controller switch off if you haven't already done so, so that both switches are in sync.

 

Even if you don't switch the controller switch off, it should make no difference. DCS does not go from switch to switch every second to query their status. Unless there is an interrupt -- changing from on to off or the other way around -- DCS is not going to even notice that the controller switch position is not synced to the cockpit switch position. It happens to me every so often, and when I notece it many minutes later I simply switched it off, and in the meantime nothing bad has ever happened.

Yup.

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On 5/24/2021 at 8:33 AM, Brun said:

Someone else experiencing a sticky APU switch, and apparently only using a momentary button...

 

 

A momentary button would make it more lifelike in- sim functionality.  Maybe their button is not wired properly and has a push to toggle on.  I.e. latching push button.

On 5/24/2021 at 1:12 AM, Brun said:

Yeah, I knew what the sync function was intended to do. Just wondered if there were some unintentional side effects.

 

Only explanation I can think of for the OP's problem is that the switch isn't sending a constant input, but is somehow pulsed at a high frequency? It  does seem unique, I've been around here for years and never heard of anyone having a similar issue.

 

My problem was that exactly.  I did not use a momentary switch.  I used and still use a mechanical latching switch that sends a constant signal.  Its my own fault of this occurance.  IRL the APU ECU would chop 28VDC to the latching coil of the magnetically held switch by removing a ground via "I believe" the "spool down relay".  Been a minute...

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On 5/23/2021 at 1:11 PM, Captain Orso said:

The sync controls option is for when entering the cockpit for the first time in that mission. After that DCS requires a controller input to reevaluate the in-cockpit device. 

 

The APU will ALWAYS timeout after a minute or so after the left engine is started. That's how the Hornet works. That your controller switch is still in the asserted position doesn't matter for DCS. That is the way it has always worked in DCS with self-actuating switched. In the actual aircraft the APU automatically switched off, so that's what DCS does, switches it off. Since your controller switch doesn't automatically follow what DCS is doing in-cockpit, you have to sync your controller switch manually. Anything else would break the simulation.

It should timeout after one minute of both 2 and 1 online.  Which it does.  A single left or number 1 engine start is not reason enough for APU to timeout.  

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