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Old 09-15-2014, 12:48 AM   #1
rhoude57
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Default My Orbiter Simpit Project

Hi Orbiteers,
I was triggered a couple of weeks ago by the Youtube video of a father that built a space ship simulator in his kids' bedrooms. At the time, I told myself "Boy, would my grandkids get a kick out of flying something like this!!!"
I am an aerospace professional that grew-up with the space race as my everyday motivation to always learn more at school and make aircraft my world, my life.
Looking at his realization, however, I could not but think that his contraption was a little "Sooo 60s". A Simpit in 2014 has to leap towards the 21st Century, rather than be a melancholic reminder of an era past.
So I took inventory of the potential bits and pieces that could form parts of this Simpit: The Next Generation. I have a bunch of PCs and laptops all networked together, one of them running MSFS with a CH Flight Yoke and rudder pedals and a bunch of add-ons which I used to teach avionics not so long ago; I have a number of Android devices, including a Google Nexus smartphone that I use to explore Android app programming and an ASUS TF101 Tablet which I already felt should become the primary display and control device in the Simpit. Finally, I have an Epson LCD projector and a 6foot HD projection screen which, right off the bat, was chosen to become my out-of-the-window display. I also have an old, but functional Nintendo PowerGlove which I feel could have an small part to play somewhere in there.
So, with those things given, I set-out to find a Space Simulation kernel to power my Simpit, and WHAM! I discover Orbiter!!!
I have since mucked around with Orbiter and the Sound and VNCMFD add-ons and have to work hard to keep the neurons in check!!!
I have started putting in bids on used TF101 Tablets which I intend to use generously. For the Simpit seat, I am heavily leaning towards a Playseat Air Force flight seat. I'm also looking at the Saitek Pro Flight 52X.
I plan to build the Simpit cab so that it can be transported.
Well, that's it for now. Thanks for all being there and I look forward to discussing our Simpit projects in the future.
Ronald (Ron) Houde
Montreal, QC, Canada
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:51 AM   #2
Bibi Uncle
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Hello fellow Canadian (I live on the other side of the Highway 40, in our capital ) !
Et, à moins que je me trompe, tu dois parler français. Surtout avec un nom comme Houde

Your project is very interesting. I'm not a electrical guy, I'm more on the programming side of the force . However, I had fun with my NES a few years ago, and I read a lot about it. My main source was NESDev, where the documentation is abundant. Reading that you have a Power Glove, I searched for infos about the pinout, but there is no page on NESDev. However, you can read about the standard controller for a basic knowledge of the I/O system of the NES. In brief, you can only read one byte at a time. It uses a shift register to provide all the datas one at a time. You can have a look here :
http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/Input_devices
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:32 AM   #3
rhoude57
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Salut Bibi Uncle,
When I got the Power Glove, I was able to dig up some source code that showed how to read the glove signals. I hope to upgrade the code to some Java or C++.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:58 AM   #4
kamaz
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I see people like VNCMFD. That makes me happy.

NB you may also like these add-ons:

Master/slave (rev. 33)

Permanent ExtMFD

Keyboard remapper
Orb::Connect::Web 3.19


Also this is pretty much the reference schematics for new Orbiter simpits:



From this thread.

Last edited by kamaz; 09-15-2014 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:58 AM   #5
rhoude57
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Cool! Thanks for all the work, Kamaz!
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:18 PM   #6
warddw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamaz View Post
 I see people like VNCMFD. That makes me happy.

NB you may also like these add-ons:

Master/slave (rev. 33)
Permanent ExtMFD
Keyboard remapper
Orb::Connect::Web 3.19

Also this is pretty much the reference schematics for new Orbiter simpits:

{image}

From this thread.
I love it - plan on using it in my basement for a simpit - work for Lockheed btw..
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:50 PM   #7
rhoude57
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The parts for the Simpit are starting to come in. I found a couple of used TF101 Tablets and a Saitek 52X Flight Control System joystick and throttle set. Two Arduino Uno R3 boards, a WiFi Shield and Starter Kit ought to get me started on the wireless panels are also on the way. I am very tempted to splurge on a Playseat Flight Seat that I would fit with an Aura Bass Shaker. I'm shopping around for a speaker set or sound bar. Lotsa fun pulling the Simpit together.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:41 PM   #8
rhoude57
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The Simpit build is progressing. As you can see in the picture, I'm using two laptops, one set-up as a Master, the other as a Slave repeater I intend to use as a spectator repeater. I received my two ASUS TF101 second-hand Tablets earlier this week and I am runningremote MFDs using VNC Viewer. All connexions between computers and Tablets are wireless. This set-up will allow me to make the Simpit portable.
You can also see the Saitek 52X Flight Control System stick and throttle, also found second-hand on eBay. I'm learning to set-up key profiles.

---------- Post added at 11:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:35 PM ----------


Here is the picture. In the background you see the 6ft HD projection screen I intend to use as my out-of-the-window display, hooked-up to a Epson EX5210 I've had for a couple of years for lectures I give occasionally. I have coupled the Simpit with a set of 3D speakers and woofer. Eventually, the woofer will be replaced by a bass shaker hooked up to the flight seat.
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Old 10-19-2014, 03:34 AM   #9
rhoude57
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Today's, another step in the Simpit build. I received all my Arduino UNO R3 prototyping gear, including a CC3000 WiFi shield which I managed to hook-up into the Simpit network. Next step in the THC build, hooking up a joystick (X and Y axis) and connecting it to Orbiter via OrbConnect. After that, will vome the prototyping of the Z axis. I feel like a kid again doing breadboarding but on a gnarly dose of steroids! 80)
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:25 AM   #10
Donamy
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Have you checked this thread ? It has a simpler idea I had for the THC, at the end.

http://orbiter-forum.com/showthread.php?t=33555
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:30 AM   #11
rhoude57
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Nice and much simpler indeed. How are the X and Y axis articulated?
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:20 PM   #12
Donamy
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just attach this.

http://evolutiontoys.com/joystick-be...ule-p-268.html
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:18 PM   #13
PhantomCruiser
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That's pretty neat. Could you post prints/drawings/pictures when you get it working?

My desk space is at a premium not, but I could always make room, or build a new desk.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:58 PM   #14
rhoude57
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@Donamy, that's exactly what I will be starting with, but I plan to replace the knob with a 3D printed T-handle.

---------- Post added at 08:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:54 PM ----------

@PhantomCruiser, I intend to publish all my 3D CAD drawings, Arduino sketches and schematics (looking into using KiCAD) on GitHub.
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