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Old 02-03-2018, 10:42 AM   #1
Mars Bleu
Orbinaut
Default Xr2 control panel

I had the idea of building a simucockipt to optimize Orbiter for quite a long time. I have a background knowledge in electric
engineering and coding, so let’s begin there. What began as a dare in 2013 has developed into something special.

GENESIS:

My initial research revealed that building a complete simpit is rather rare. I began by burying my nose in
documentation on the Net, researching FSX simpits and those dedicated to Orbiter. I even thought of using
Flight Simulator SIOC shields. In the end I opted for an Arduino microcontroller.

I also followed the ideas if other simpit builders, which broadened my perspective. I wanted to go further
than using keystrokes and use other functions as to allow the displaying of walues like the course, altitude,
radio frequencies, fuel gauges, etc. Furher, I wanted the summit switches to sync with each scenario.

MAIN PRINCIPLES:

I think that to succeed:

- determine the feasibility
- conduct tests trials on main functions
- initiate construction
- make it as modular as possible


In order of memorialize my ideas, I use two notebooks; one dedicated to coding, and the other for the
construction of electronic shields connected to the Arduino shield.

The solutions I employed for coding have multiple alternatives - they may be used to give other simpit
builders ideas. For experienced coders, I have probably written ugly code (yet working code!). This is
sometimes intentional, because for me it's been the only way to get to the desired result. I found that
the key to success is to keep the code “dense” due to the limited memory in our favourites microcontrollers,
and the clock frequency is not very fast.

I wanted to built a truly big simucockpit, but the lack of space at home required me to use a small and
light board control.

MAIN CHALLENGES:

*Automatically reading the SCN file
*Sending the Orbiter a bacic command with the Arduino shield
*Increasing the Inputs/Outputs of the UNO
*Command LEDs plugged on the UNO with a Lua script
*Building Parallel Input Serial Output (PISO)
*Building Serial Input Parallel Output (SIPO)
*Building "logistics" shields (Power supply, UNO stand)
*Management of the LEDs related to the APU devices
*Management of signalization related to the balance of the spacecraft (gimbal, COG shift)
*Building the docking panel (control attitude, ROT, LIN)

There will have more challenges, but those listed are complete.

I will update you soon with the results of the first challenge.
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