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How To: Build a A-10 flight panel controller


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Hi there,

This thread was started quite some time ago. It was designed to share with you my experience in building a toggle switch panel from scratch with little to no electronics experience (but I picked things up and did a lot of research on it).

 

There is still a lot of useful information in this thread but this original post has been moved to the recently announced Warthog Pit Wiki I created for the express purpose of capturing all the knowledge throughout these forums.

 

You can find the entire tutorial at this link:

 


Edited by TigersharkBAS
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Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

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How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

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Thanks Nightmare.

 

Obviously it still needs a little work. For the moment there is just a piece of paper providing the labeling of buttons and I need to work on the drawing around the L/G Horn Silence button. But things will progress :-)

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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Tigershark, can you please provide any details on the hardware you have so far?

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Sure Warrior. I am still planning this all in a detailed video and such but here goes.

 

The toggle switches are DTDP (Double Throw Double Pole) switches. The could also be single pole but I plan to find a use for the second pole later.

 

The USB interface is from GroovyGameGear.com. It allows up to 32 buttons and is a plug and play gamepad type interface.

 

The enclosures I bought from an electronics store in Australia but naturally any enclosure you can find will work.

 

The key challenge here is how to hook up a toggle switch with a USB controller so that it sends only a "pulse" like a button press and not keep the connection open. At the moment the interface thinks that you are continuosly holding down a button when throw the switch.

 

A-10 doesn't mind this so much but I am trying to make this as generic as possible so I will be posting my solution for making a toggle switch send a pulse using a very simple and cheap IC.

 

Need anything else?

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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No Sir! Thanks so much for the info...looking forward to the video's.

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Moved videos to first post.


Edited by TigersharkBAS

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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Like I said in the you tube comments, thanks for taking the time to make these videos Tigershark. They really help me to see exactly whats involved in creating this panel, and that it is doable for a novice in electronics.

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Thanks Warrior :-)

 

 

New videos up in first post

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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Fantastic work & videos - now it is much easier for me to begin my own cockpit project. Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge :thumbup: !!!

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Posted a new You Tube video on how to configure your panel properly in A-10. Check the first post for the embedded vid.

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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Awesome job with the vids and your whole project - thanks a lot for sharing :thumbup:. I am considering to use a GroovyGameGear Controller as a second device. So I hope you can help me with a few remaining questions:

 

1. How do you get those numbers you decribed in the last vid, for example the ["up"] = 1075?

 

2. How do you physically connect a 3-way-switch to the controller (did you have the middle contact connectet twice?) an how do you programm that (I think it is programed as two seperate switches).

 

3. Is it possibe to use a multy position rotary dial like the Mode Select Dial in the Countermeasure Signal Processor (CMSP) Panel with the GroovyGameGear controller. If yes, how is it physically to connect to the GroovyGameGear controller and how to program it.

 

Thx in advance!

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Hi Pikas,

 

Answers below:

 

1) Experimentation and by searching through the lua file.

2) In a 3 position toggle switch the middle position is off and will not make any signal with the GPWiz40 (Groovygamegear product). The trick is to make the "up" value of each of the other positions to match what the code for "off" should be. Watch my video again and pay close attention in the part where I refer to the Inverter switch. A 3 position switch will have ground connected to the center pole and a wire for each of the other poles each going to their own slot on the GPWiz40

 

3) It is possible according to the manufacturer's site although I have yet to try this. Keep in mind it can only handle rotary switches that have certain conditions.

 

You are best looking at the installation guide PDF that they have on the site. It is near the bottom of the page which explains about the GPWiz40.


Edited by TigersharkBAS

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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The key challenge here is how to hook up a toggle switch with a USB controller so that it sends only a "pulse" like a button press and not keep the connection open. At the moment the interface thinks that you are continuosly holding down a button when throw the switch.

 

Try SVMapper (free) or if you have more than 4 controllers, Xpadder which costs 7 €. Both solve this problem perfectly. SVMapper is very easy to learn while Xpadder is much more versatile and thus a little harder to figure out.

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Thanks Levl,

 

The goal was to build it without the requirement of using software. My idea was to make it as plug and play as humanly possible.

 

But of course mentioning this software here is valuable input for others. Thanks!

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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Ah, ok, I missed that part. Well in that case I suggest connecting both outputs of SPDT switches and mapping the switched off -signal too. This requires that the sim actually has both on and off actions for the given switch in its controls-options. Most do not, or allow only a few actions mapped on and off, typically landing gear up (1) and landing gear down (2). With that, you don't need any additional software in-between.

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Good advice. Thanks.

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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Thank you Tigershark! This is exactly the kind of hold-my-hand walkthrough I was looking for! I now feel confident I can create my first panel. Now, just show me how to make a fully functioning CDU with LED output and I will be very happy.

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AMD 965 BE @ 3.8 GHz | Gigabyte GA-890FX-UD5 | Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 | 4 GB OCZ BE PC3 12800 | 750 GB WD Black HDD | Antec 902 Case | Zalman CPU cooler | Kingwin 610W PSU | Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS | TrackIR 4 | Saitek Pro Flight pedals

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No problem gents. Glad it was useful to some.

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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By the way....RandyT who has recently signed up here, is from Groovy Game Gear...if you have any technical quesions about the interface (like how do rotary switches connect to it) feel free to hit him up.

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Creator of:

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" 1998 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=213788

 

F-18C VFA-195 "Dambusters" July 2001 CAG Livery

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=215950

 

Pilot avatars for DCS Logbook

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=221160

 

How to make a DCS A-10C Panel

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=65998

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Hi Tigershark. Thank you for that information, it comes very handy for me as I ordered a few GP-Wiz40 as addon to my x-keys :smilewink:.


Edited by pikas

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Home built PC Win 10 Pro 64bit, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, 64GB RAM, Gforce RTX 2080Ti. HOTAS & VR: VKB Gunfighter MKIII with MCG PRO, Vipril MT-50 CM2,HP Reverb G2. :gun_rifle:

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I have a request. If you have any experience with it, would you please describe how to develop and implement a rotary switch into DCS A10? I have been thinking about what controls I use the most and it mainly comes down to the radios and MFDs. I would really like to consider building a radio panel but I have no idea where to begin with the channel selector knobs. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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AMD 965 BE @ 3.8 GHz | Gigabyte GA-890FX-UD5 | Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 | 4 GB OCZ BE PC3 12800 | 750 GB WD Black HDD | Antec 902 Case | Zalman CPU cooler | Kingwin 610W PSU | Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS | TrackIR 4 | Saitek Pro Flight pedals

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