Since we're showing flight decks. . .

davewave

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thanks for the reply yagni, also another question
1) Could you send me a direct link to a reputable place which will ship parts internationally.
2) What programming language do these devices use or require because some API's use header files which obviously only work in C/c++
3) Have you thought about going into business with me, we can construct these components, program an awesome "assignable key" interface, and then sell it to orbiter fans!!!
 

yagni01

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thanks for the reply yagni, also another question
1) Could you send me a direct link to a reputable place which will ship parts internationally.
It might be better asking on mycockpits or other avsim forums for electronics sources from other builders in Oz. For the main hardware interfaces, I'd go to their web sites (noted on the wiki) and look for distributors. For general electronics in NA I have used Allied Electronics, and Digikey; I have looked at Newark and Mouser, but have not ordered from them. Not sure, but I think they're all international.
2) What programming language do these devices use or require because some API's use header files which obviously only work in C/c++
Phidgets uses a c library that has apis for C/C++, Java, .NET, and other languages. I'm currently using Java for the communication hub.
3) Have you thought about going into business with me, we can construct these components, program an awesome "assignable key" interface, and then sell it to orbiter fans!!!
Sorry. In this to have fun. Besides, if we wanted kit-built flight decks, we'd be building King Airs, B737s or A320s.:)
 

soundmackdaddy

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Hey guys,
great work everyone - it is an awesome thread!
I have been thinking about starting to build a simpit also, so all this stuff is riveting!

davewave - as a aussie also I know Jaycar electronics supply a wide range of electrical stuff here... but if you are looking for something of an aircraft style you may need to have a bit of a search around... that stuff is a little more difficult to come by locally and thus may have to look internationally.

I also have my own question to ask... Does anyone know how you would go about programming other switches etc to keystrokes in order to use switches and a keystroke encoder in a simpit for functions that currently don't have keyboard shortcuts? I am interested in constructing a simpit for the Apollo CM using NASSP, but as you can imagine there are a lot of switches there(!) so I was wanting to check that out before fully committing to it.

I asked this question on the NASSP forum and they mentioned something about a TCP/IP interface for the checklist MFD or a plugin of some description, however while im willing to learn what is necessary, programming is currently not a great strength of mine - it all sounds a bit over my head at least...

Does anyone here have any ideas or suggestions of how to approach this? - or should I really be asking these questions to the people in the SDK and programming sections?

Imagine a proper cockpit for NASSP or DGIV! haha...dreams

Thanks
 
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yagni01

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Does anyone know how you would go about programming other switches etc to keystrokes in order to use switches and a keystroke encoder in a simpit for functions that currently don't have keyboard shortcuts? I am interested in constructing a simpit for the Apollo CM using NASSP, but as you can imagine there are a lot of switches there(!) so I was wanting to check that out before fully committing to it.
What I use is a program called AutoHotKeys. It captures keystrokes and has a scripting language where a keypress can open applications, move windows, send multiple keypresses and (probably most relevant to you) perform mouse clicks anywhere on screen. There is at least one other similar program someone else has mentioned, but I don't recall its name. HTH.
 

Hielor

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What I use is a program called AutoHotKeys. It captures keystrokes and has a scripting language where a keypress can open applications, move windows, send multiple keypresses and (probably most relevant to you) perform mouse clicks anywhere on screen. There is at least one other similar program someone else has mentioned, but I don't recall its name. HTH.

ACTool's a very, very good script-writing tool that I've used in the past. I don't know if it would work for these purposes though--I don't know if it can take key input and write out a macro for it.

It's a rather powerful tool though, I used it to write a bot for WoW that would run me from the entrance in AV to a good AFK spot, stay un-afk for the entire game, and then requeue for another when the game ended.
 

soundmackdaddy

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Thanks guys - I hadn't heard of them! I will have a bit of a play with that software today.

Good luck with your simpits!
 

Hielor

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I had a Thought on the way up here: if OrbConnect were to expose clbkPanelMouseEvent in Vessel2, you could use that to send panel click events, and thereby map physical buttons to virtual ones.
 

yagni01

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I had a Thought on the way up here: if OrbConnect were to expose clbkPanelMouseEvent in Vessel2, you could use that to send panel click events, and thereby map physical buttons to virtual ones.
The problem there is that its an event handler called when a mouse event happens, its not something you can publish a mouse event with. A core publishMouseEvent method would be needed, but how that would work without the system giving Orbiter the focus might complicate things.
 

Hielor

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The problem there is that its an event handler called when a mouse event happens, its not something you can publish a mouse event with. A core publishMouseEvent method would be needed, but how that would work without the system giving Orbiter the focus might complicate things.

I don't think you need to publish an actual mouse event in this case. clbkPanelMouseEvent is the only way a DLL is notified of a click on the 2d panel.

Normally:
Physical Mouse Click->Windows Magic->Orbiter core->Vessel DLL

The Vessel DLL then does something in response to the click.

The Short-Circuit Method:
OrbConnect->Vessel DLL

From the perspective of the vessel, it will be identical--no actual mouse event needs to be generated.

I think.
 

yagni01

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The Short-Circuit Method:
OrbConnect->Vessel DLL

From the perspective of the vessel, it will be identical--no actual mouse event needs to be generated.

I think.
Well, Orb:Connect already has a mouse command (ORB:MouseClick), but it actually goes through the OS (as I recall) because I had CTD issues by calling the clbk code directly. The need is for a similar keypress command because of the same issue - I got CTDs. Hence my attempts to go through the OS for that as well.

The reason AHK or something similar is needed is to support ExtMFD (and possibly RemoteMFDs when ready). There is no keyboard support for them, so creating mouse clicks on the buttons is the only way to activate them. And keys (i.e. arrow up/down, enter, esc) are needed too.
 

Hielor

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Well, Orb:Connect already has a mouse command (ORB:MouseClick), but it actually goes through the OS (as I recall) because I had CTD issues by calling the clbk code directly. The need is for a similar keypress command because of the same issue - I got CTDs. Hence my attempts to go through the OS for that as well.

The reason AHK or something similar is needed is to support ExtMFD (and possibly RemoteMFDs when ready). There is no keyboard support for them, so creating mouse clicks on the buttons is the only way to activate them. And keys (i.e. arrow up/down, enter, esc) are needed too.

Ah, I see. I wonder what was causing the CTDs. The problem with mouseclicks through the OS would be that the panel has to be visible on screen, and if we could figure out a way to go directly to the vessel module you won't need that.

At this point I'm intending to make the RemoteMFD package primarily accept input from keyboard and (possibly) USB gamepad/joystick style devices, which should handle most of the button-pushing hardware out there. Allowing someone to click on the screen to activate something is not a high priority. That will solve the problem for that if you go with the RemoteMFD. Although I suppose that would require the RemoteMFD window to have focus if it's on the same computer as Orbiter. I guess if that was the case you'd have to have a dispatcher send the messages to the RemoteMFD? maybe? That wasn't really a primary case I'd considered, since I was designing it to act more like a real display rather than a simulation of a real display.
 

soundmackdaddy

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hmmmm...interesting

I suppose the main disadvantage of AutoHotKey is in some situations, 3 or 4 position switches are used (as in the NASSP Apollo CM), and (at least on my computer) the time delay between pressing the shortcut key and the mouse clicking on the switch varies. Therefore if I were to use this software, I would need to program the pressing of each shortcut key to hold the mouse click down for a longer specific time period (eg:0.7sec) to ensure that the switch is pressed. However when this is applied to multi-position toggle switches, the varying reaction time could mean that the switch might unintentionally change from the "up" position to the "down" position while skipping the "middle" position (since the mouse click needs to be held - while sometimes the switch reacts quickly and other times not).

So I suppose from that perspective a direct software based approach will always be ideal, cutting delay time and increasing precision.

Hielor - The RemoteMFD package you are planning, when you say it accepts input from the keyboard...is going to allow the mapping of shortcuts for other switches?

Otherwise how hard would it be for me to make a plugin that adds shortcuts to relevant pre-existing switches in a spacecraft?

Thanks
 

yagni01

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Well, its been a while since I've shown my progress, so here's the latest. . .

Framed in the overhead and "windscreens". I'll be adding a wall panel and headliner next. I found a really good deal on vinyl, so that will be covering 1/8" hardboard held in place with velcro.

Then it'll be back to software.


Framing up



Eyebrow and (some) overhead panels installed.
 

Eccentrus

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When I finally become a doctor, I've got to have one of these beside the operating theaters... ("Hey doc, we've got to do this procedure on that guy now!" me: "Wait! I must dock with the ISS first!")
 

yagni01

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Well, took a little longer than expected. . . OK, a lot longer.


 

yagni01

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Orbiter2010 installed and three RemoteMFD instances going. XR2 cruising on a nice sunny day.



Also has shiny new keypad and panels.
 

Moach

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sweet mother of awesome! that's INSANE, man! :OMG:


i have nowhere near the structure, time, ablity or the stones required to pull off something like that... plus my girl would probably murder me if i dared try:uhh::lol:


she already gives me a weird look for having built THIS:
picture.php



it's nowhere near as impressive as that - but i quite enjoy it :cheers:
and i still have plans for minor expansions - i have a couple of old joysticks i'd like to take apart and integrate to that open area behind the throttle unit.... would be cool:hmm:


but anyways, my whole goal with this thing is generic, comfortable and yet possible to get some work done from that rig (although none of the two printers on the side work - not that i need them, tho:rolleyes:)

and if you do, notice the SR-71 model on the shelf above... got that when i was like 5 in a Toys 'r Us at Fort Myers FL... i visited the KSC on that same trip (i think) little did i know back then how awesome that was :blink:... and i still have a whole collection of those little planes
, tho that blackbird was the first :hmm:


anyways, i'm not trying to steal your thunder (even if i were, i'd still fail miserably:shifty:) - that thing is pure WIN!:salute:

the :probe: smiles upon your work!
 
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scuba_steve

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Yagni, Nice!

Ummm... You seem to have a furry little stow away (very bottom of the pic)!... you need to install that "Jettison Cat" switch! :lol:
 
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