The Universal Flight Simulator

JDat

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Wow! That's an awesome "gadget"! Nice catch! Nuff said! Keep going!

I am thinking to use DeltaGlider source code as base for additional simpit fuctionality. Theory: redraw/hack virtual cockpit (3D cockpit) to split 3 windows and HUD drawing, then send from main PC to 4 HDMI outputs via graphic cards to get correct simulated glass window pictures + HUD output to small projector. Right now stuck with DG source code compiling. Hope will fix it soon.
 

Phil Smith

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Wow! That's an awesome "gadget"! Nice catch! Nuff said! Keep going!

I am thinking to use DeltaGlider source code as base for additional simpit fuctionality. Theory: redraw/hack virtual cockpit (3D cockpit) to split 3 windows and HUD drawing, then send from main PC to 4 HDMI outputs via graphic cards to get correct simulated glass window pictures + HUD output to small projector. Right now stuck with DG source code compiling. Hope will fix it soon.
Thank you!!

Nice thing is DG source code is available - very convenient Martin's move.
Actually, being close-coded, XR2 has nice API to extract different vehicle status information. Basically I dont understand yet how to take values from it and send them to the sim.
Several screens in place of windows or 3 projectors with 270 DIY screen will be fantastic. Like here:
But instead of open pit you have an enclosed pod with real windows and 270 screen around. Hatch could be located on top and had round window with small 15" display attached.
 

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This could be costly! Not my budget. I see it in a way that HD LCD (or oled or plasma) TV simulate window. Yes, We loos that nice perspective, but costs... Now I am looking for local sponsor for simpit building. There is hope I will find one.
 

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Offtopic, but...
Yesterday I played with mesh file format (.msh) and wrote small program to convert mesh into .stl file. Now you can open it with you favorite 3D CAD software. For some reasons virtual cockpit it is mirrored on Y axis. Reason for this experiment is simple: now you can hack mesh and export forward windows and HUD in a way they are clean an can be feeded to separate HDMI outputs for simpit LCD displays or projectors. Still lot of work, including DeltaGlider code compiling and hacking, but it is small progress. Some technical details: group 129 (search for text: LABEL HUDDISP in deltaglider_vc.msh file) is HUD drawing surface. It contain 4 vertices and 2 triangles. By editing this group you can move HUD in cabin to any place you want.

I attached virtual cockpit converted into .stl files. Have fun with them in your 3D CAD software.
 

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Phil Smith

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This could be costly! Not my budget. I see it in a way that HD LCD (or oled or plasma) TV simulate window. Yes, We loos that nice perspective, but costs... Now I am looking for local sponsor for simpit building. There is hope I will find one.

Oh, cost... I guess cost and space are our 2 main contains.. :) Anyway, 270deg projector screen is my ultimate goal, but simple LCD/plasmas should work great without busting the bank. You can find good deals on those in the used market. Even for 32/42 inch TVs.

Offtopic, but...
Yesterday I played with mesh file format (.msh) and wrote small program to convert mesh into .stl file. Now you can open it with you favorite 3D CAD software. For some reasons virtual cockpit it is mirrored on Y axis. Reason for this experiment is simple: now you can hack mesh and export forward windows and HUD in a way they are clean an can be feeded to separate HDMI outputs for simpit LCD displays or projectors. Still lot of work, including DeltaGlider code compiling and hacking, but it is small progress. Some technical details: group 129 (search for text: LABEL HUDDISP in deltaglider_vc.msh file) is HUD drawing surface. It contain 4 vertices and 2 triangles. By editing this group you can move HUD in cabin to any place you want.

I attached virtual cockpit converted into .stl files. Have fun with them in your 3D CAD software.
Congratulations! Not so offtopic as you think :) I tried to convert mesh files into autocad to play with dimensions of DG and XR2.
I saw someone made external HUD using D3D9 client, but your solutions is much easier. Keep us posted!
Thanks for the mesh files!
 
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JDat

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Looks like window problem is solvable:
Let's assume we have 3 PCs with 3 LCD monitors.
1) Use Kamaz Master/Slave plugin. You know where to find it! ;)
2) Orient slave cameras into right azimuth/elevation to get right views (For example: Slave1-Left; Master - Center; Slave2-Right)
Profit!

HUD problem:
1) Hack Delta glider mesh and move HUD to cabin ceiling.
2) Add another slave and pan camera to ceiling
3) add projector for HUD
Profit!

That's it! In theroy... Need to test with real hardware, but I don't have 4 working PCs right now.

I attached experiment result. Moved HUD to top. Need to hack more to get correct geometry.
Mesh hack:
1) Open mesh with text editor (notepad++ etc)
2) Find GROUPS
3) Increment number by one (have 130, change to 131)
4) Find: MATERIALS
5) Right before materials is last geometry with LABEL HUDDISP. This gemotry is responsible for HUD drawing and integrates int DeltaGlider C++ code.
6) Copy it and paste as next geometry.
7) Remove LABEL, FLAG tags
8) Change MATERIAL from 0 to 27. This will make black square.
9) Recalculate new X, Y, Z coordinates for new HUD and black square locations where you want.

I attached hacked 3D virtual cockpit mesh. Be careful with experiments:
Backup original mesh and name it deltaglider_vc.msh.org to not break and damage original mesh.
Download my hacked mesh and replace deltaglider_vc.msh
Basically, easy file replacement.

2021-06-02-193930_1366x768_scrot.png

2021-06-02-193942_1366x768_scrot.png
 

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Phil Smith

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Looks like window problem is solvable:
Let's assume we have 3 PCs with 3 LCD monitors.
1) Use Kamaz Master/Slave plugin. You know where to find it! ;)
2) Orient slave cameras into right azimuth/elevation to get right views (For example: Slave1-Left; Master - Center; Slave2-Right)
Profit!

HUD problem:
1) Hack Delta glider mesh and move HUD to cabin ceiling.
2) Add another slave and pan camera to ceiling
3) add projector for HUD
Profit!

That's it! In theroy... Need to test with real hardware, but I don't have 4 working PCs right now.

I attached experiment result. Moved HUD to top. Need to hack more to get correct geometry.
Mesh hack:
1) Open mesh with text editor (notepad++ etc)
2) Find GROUPS
3) Increment number by one (have 130, change to 131)
4) Find: MATERIALS
5) Right before materials is last geometry with LABEL HUDDISP. This gemotry is responsible for HUD drawing and integrates int DeltaGlider C++ code.
6) Copy it and paste as next geometry.
7) Remove LABEL, FLAG tags
8) Change MATERIAL from 0 to 27. This will make black square.
9) Recalculate new X, Y, Z coordinates for new HUD and black square locations where you want.

I attached hacked 3D virtual cockpit mesh. Be careful with experiments:
Backup original mesh and name it deltaglider_vc.msh.org to not break and damage original mesh.
Download my hacked mesh and replace deltaglider_vc.msh
Basically, easy file replacement.

View attachment 25529

View attachment 25530
Wow, nice! (y)
I'll try it when I get back home from my 2 weeks off. (Oh yeah, my laptop is with me and I still cant help myself stopping designing the sim.. :) )
With MFD and external views in our pockets only left to do is good and convenient I/O module, supporting multiple axes, control devices and outputting all data for displaying in the pit.

Right now after several weeks of work (yes, I decided to take a short break from MFDs.. :) ), I've eventually come up with the design and dimensions of the sim (see attachment). This is a surface model of internal cockpit shell, which will be a backbone of general CAD assembly. Hardest part was to determine all angles and sizes of the window assembly, but in the end it is worth the effort.
Previously I considered the pit to be single seater (something like X-20 Dyna-soar), but after some thinking I convinced myself, that a two seater is more fun to play, even if its cost will be doubled. As you can see it is quite smaller, than the Shuttle pit, but yet, gives a lot of space for 2 pilots to operate. Central distance between left and right seats is 750 mm (29.5”).

PS. Sorry, I screwed up PDF printing, so I reuploaded the "full" drawing
 

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JDat

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Wow! Not bad, but...

Almost 2 meters... Will not go thru standard room doors assembled. :D Even 1 person cabin will not go thru doors. Need to sink about easy disassembly/transportation/assembly. Or... Special room/garage for simpit. :D

I am slowly thinking about main cockpit and necessary functions. One conclusion: Must have WarpDrive (hello Star Trek) panel to accelerate/control simulation time. Who will fly 4 days to moon in simpit? Another thing: Similar MFD panels like yours. Each MFD display have ~28 buttons, one RPi, Ethernet as we talk earlier. Main cockpit must have 2 such MFD panels, so "pilot" will get access to 4 virtual MFDs at the same time. Then different kind MFD located in center on cockpit, maybe 15" LCD diplay with RPi. It will show additional info like script, help, remote desktop/teamviewer/vnc access to master Orbiter if necessary to relaunch something, YouTube, live video from instructor/MOCR, who is located outside cabin and can assist for "pilot" via "video intercom". So far, didn't get any team for simpit build.


Regarding external I/O (switches, displays, etc) everything is already programmed by Kamaz & Co. For example OrbConnect or OrbConnect-web addons. Web version can be tweaked for cheap Andoid tablet as external display with touch controls (hello to Elon Musk and SpaceX Crew Dragon touch interface). OrbConnect can be useful for arduino+Ethernet boards. You can connect via TCP from arduino to Master Orbiter and get/set almost any internal parametrs. In theory easy, only problem is time and ethusiasm + small programming on arduino side. By the way, I prefer UDP instead or TCP, so planning to tweak OrbConnect addon and add UDP functionality on one day. This will help in overall panel management, sync, robustness and easy arduino coding. Master controls like joysticks, pedals, throttle also doable in different ways. Just got old Logitech Wingman Attack joystick for 5 EUR in local bay/sell board. Joystick have only X,Y axis, throttle, 4 buttons and old DB15 gameport connector. In one evening I cut original cable, attached potentiometers and buttons to arduino pro micro. Now I can upload custom code, make with Pro Micro virtual joystick or keyboard, add custom calibration, map any button etc code. Joystick library support up to 32 axes and 32 buttons (actually 128 buttons, but...) Flexible solution for experiments. If nacessry, can also add Ethernet and interface it with Master Orbiter.
 

Phil Smith

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Wow! Not bad, but...

Almost 2 meters... Will not go thru standard room doors assembled. :D Even 1 person cabin will not go thru doors. Need to sink about easy disassembly/transportation/assembly. Or... Special room/garage for simpit. :D

I am slowly thinking about main cockpit and necessary functions. One conclusion: Must have WarpDrive (hello Star Trek) panel to accelerate/control simulation time. Who will fly 4 days to moon in simpit? Another thing: Similar MFD panels like yours. Each MFD display have ~28 buttons, one RPi, Ethernet as we talk earlier. Main cockpit must have 2 such MFD panels, so "pilot" will get access to 4 virtual MFDs at the same time. Then different kind MFD located in center on cockpit, maybe 15" LCD diplay with RPi. It will show additional info like script, help, remote desktop/teamviewer/vnc access to master Orbiter if necessary to relaunch something, YouTube, live video from instructor/MOCR, who is located outside cabin and can assist for "pilot" via "video intercom". So far, didn't get any team for simpit build.


Regarding external I/O (switches, displays, etc) everything is already programmed by Kamaz & Co. For example OrbConnect or OrbConnect-web addons. Web version can be tweaked for cheap Andoid tablet as external display with touch controls (hello to Elon Musk and SpaceX Crew Dragon touch interface). OrbConnect can be useful for arduino+Ethernet boards. You can connect via TCP from arduino to Master Orbiter and get/set almost any internal parametrs. In theory easy, only problem is time and ethusiasm + small programming on arduino side. By the way, I prefer UDP instead or TCP, so planning to tweak OrbConnect addon and add UDP functionality on one day. This will help in overall panel management, sync, robustness and easy arduino coding. Master controls like joysticks, pedals, throttle also doable in different ways. Just got old Logitech Wingman Attack joystick for 5 EUR in local bay/sell board. Joystick have only X,Y axis, throttle, 4 buttons and old DB15 gameport connector. In one evening I cut original cable, attached potentiometers and buttons to arduino pro micro. Now I can upload custom code, make with Pro Micro virtual joystick or keyboard, add custom calibration, map any button etc code. Joystick library support up to 32 axes and 32 buttons (actually 128 buttons, but...) Flexible solution for experiments. If nacessry, can also add Ethernet and interface it with Master Orbiter.
Of course the cabin, having a California King size bed footprint, should have assembly joints - at least three - Floor and two sides to fit standard door size (2000x800 mm) cause without them it'll be buried at the location of the first assembly 😄

Time warp panel is essential, especially for Orbiter. 4 days to the Moon, let alone several years to Jupiter and its satellites.. :D
I got some main instrument panel designs for 2 seater, I'll post em later. There will be 2 primary 15" MFDs with 27 buttons and two 10" ones (for each pilot) for displaying vehicle/mission status, parameters, check lists, cheat sheets, etc.

Cant wait to try different IO methods with different hardware!



PS. Also I've re-uploaded the drawing above - I forgot to check "best fit" before printing PDF, so it appeared cut at all 4 sides..
 

Phil Smith

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Hey y'all!

Little update on the 3D pit shell.

I've finally manage to complete all surfaces, including instrument panels:
(All shaded surfaces are instrument panels, all transparent ones are internal cabin volume)
51238018313_d2ea82146e_k.jpg

[
51238899365_7444f47cd8_h.jpg


Pilots' eyes were moved 300 mm towards nose and 100mm down, making total front viewing angle of 25.7 deg, instead of 18.

Also I've made quick autocad diagram of all panels and gave them designations for ease of reference (Space Shuttle style 😁):
51238897890_da57539696_h.jpg


Total width of the main instrument panel (F8 & F9) is 1350 mm / 53.150''
Total area of all 32 instrument panels is 2.6677 m2. That should be sufficient for all Orbiter needs and beyond :probe: .

PS. Yesterday I spent 6 hours disassembling TU134 rudder pedals. Oh boy, what an experience.. :coffee:o_O:LOL: I hope now I can clean them well and start measuring process.. :)
 

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JDat

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Nice! Can you share 3D design files? Some parts can be reusable by other people...

And we need more pictures...


I am stuck with Orbiter Master/Slave source code. Looking on it, reading, trying to understand how to add more features. Ideally if I can add missing functionality messages. This will be enough for hardware/arduino panel interfaces. Lot of work here. Also master/lave addon not working right under linux+wine because of some VisualC library problems on my laptop. Need to solve it. Good news: I can recompile master/slave source code on my windows 10 machine now.

Also got new (old) joystick Logitech Force 3D Pro for 10 EUR. Playing with it in linux. AntiMicroX is nice alternative to Joy2Key under linux. Can remap joystick axis to keyboard and can use 2 joysticks at the same time.
FlyBywire addon is another interesting alternative to joy2key.

There is also netstick project. It can add virtual key/mouse/joy to server and control it via network from slave. But, again, linux only solution.
Some general info about game controllers under linux. https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Gamepad#Gamepad_over_network

So there are lot of good things for orbiter made by great addon developers, but, as always, need some fine tuning. For example, I prefer UDP over TCP connection, but OrbConn/OrbConn-web are TCP/HTTP solutions. So little more complexity on arduino side.

I wish Orbiter could run on many RPi4 with wine over network. I have one linux laptop, one windows desktop and one RPi3 for experiments. Need to get RPi4 asap.
 

Phil Smith

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Of course I can release my design and I will. All my projects are Inventor assemblies with many part files. I think there's no point sharing semi finished pit that can be change dramatically as I go.

As now, I can upload the shell 3D model, so you can take a look:

Full assy without surface shell (as single step file):

Full assy with surface shell (as single step file):

Also I attached some screenshots of my progress. I've put some F35 ejection seats I found on GRABCAD just for reference.
Each pilot will have keypad and trackpad (sitting on the server rack drawer (something like this - https://www.racksolutions.com/news//app/uploads/best-monitor-keyboard-for-server-racks.jpg ) , which can be stowed under the front panel) for interaction with Orbiter. Circle around the shell is contour of a curved screen in 180 and 270 degree configurations, drawn for understanding size of required floor space.
 

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Phil Smith

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Scored something cool today again!
2 soviet AGD-1S attitude indicators (let's call them SAI (standby attitude indicator)):
51261340993_bde0473a46_b.jpg

As you see, all mechanics, electronics and cables are intact but front panel begs for some love and alcohol wipes :))

And 2 soviet HSIs called PNP-1:
51261340968_034afe4a3d_b.jpg

They are in good intact condition as well and much cleaner, than SAIs are.

Question - HSIs are hermetically sealed units, should I open em up and change some cyrillic letters (e.g. - Дкм - Dkm (distance in km), Г - G (glide slope), K - C (course)) or should I preserve their look as is???

PS. And no, I aint broke the bank to acquire this stuff - their total cost was less than $200 delivered for all 4 instruments :hailprobe:.
 
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Before start wiping with alchohol it is really recommended to test it with geuger counter (other radiation meter) and make shure there is no radioactive Radium.
 

Phil Smith

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Before start wiping with alchohol it is really recommended to test it with geuger counter (other radiation meter) and make shure there is no radioactive Radium.
Oh, dont mention it.. :) When I start acquiring this old instruments, the geiger counter was the first item I've purchased.
Those instruments, both SAI and HSI, are 80s vintage and have no radiation compounds. As far as i know, that SAI (AGD-1S) has phosphorescent paint for red light providing temporary glow. The infamous Radium luminous paint was used until early 60s. Also a good hint to spot radium is the color of paint - if it has brownish shade (like this -https://i1.wp.com/theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/gmetro.jpg?resize=256%2C300&ssl=1) - it's almost dead giveaway that the paint contains radium.
 

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The brownish color maybe from oxidation of the paint compounds. Radium dial paint when it was new was a off-white cream color with just a hint of light green. Radium dial watches were not permitted on nuke submarines as the emitted radon hit the radiation detectors.
 

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Prepeare your tabblet/smartphone! Just made working version of timewarp control panel/web page. This is functional and not desing panel.
You need orbConnect-web addon to run this.

Looks like it is possible to make Crew Dragon simpit with this. You just need touchscreens, chars and cabin...

Next step: made similar panel with arduino+ethernet. But only when I will get Ethernet shield and solder some buttons/display.
 

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Phil Smith

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Prepeare your tabblet/smartphone! Just made working version of timewarp control panel/web page. This is functional and not desing panel.
You need orbConnect-web addon to run this.

Looks like it is possible to make Crew Dragon simpit with this. You just need touchscreens, chars and cabin...

Next step: made similar panel with arduino+ethernet. But only when I will get Ethernet shield and solder some buttons/display.
Man., that's nice! Working fine and dandy! Even with XR2! (y)(y)

Did you find a solution with Ravenstar going crazy when opening default index.html? Some incompatibility issues between old Orb::Connect and new vehicle?

PS. I prepared hardware for my timewarp panel.. Still thinking what indicator I might use - left one (IV-28B) has 4 mm digit height and right one (IV-21) has 5 mm digit but little bit bulkier.. I guess I'll give IV-21 a go, cause it's easier to read from a distance. I attached first design sketch of the panel as well. It's dzus rail compatible, so that's why dimensions look weird in mm. 😄
 

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JDat

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Man., that's nice! Working fine and dandy! Even with XR2! (y)

Timewarp is really generic and independent of vessels. It must work with every vessel.

Did you find a solution with Ravenstar going crazy when opening default index.html? Some incompatibility issues between old Orb::Connect and new vehicle?

Never tested this vessel. I have only default orbiter vessels and DeltaGlider IV for Orbiter 2016. Can't comment anything.


PS. I prepared hardware for my timewarp panel.. Still thinking what indicator I might use - left one (IV-28B) has 4 mm digit height and right one (IV-21) has 5 mm digit but little bit bulkier.. I guess I'll give IV-21 a go, cause it's easier to read from a distance. I attached first design sketch of the panel as well. It's dzus rail compatible, so that's why dimensions look weird in mm.

I see timewarp panel similaro to build in into orbiter, so I made web vesdion maximally similar to build in panel. For hardware vesion I see mostly the same buttons. 0.1x well, never needed this 1x is a must have, 10x and 100x are useful for Earth orbiting if don't have patience. 1000x could be useful for Moon and beyond. Of corse everyone have own experience and prefear own button setup. I am stuck on Earth orbit now, because mostly testing addons and debugging things with two scenarios: "DG ISS aproach" and "DG docked to ISS". Regarding slider. On arduino slider can be substituted with rotary encoder. Maybe endocer+integrated pushbutton or encoder and 2 separate buttons: apply and cancel. remaining is only arduino program logic... Display. Well... There are options: I see something like 128x64 color TFT display from aliexpress. It must be big enough to read numbers from distance. Colors could be used if all cockpit have multicolor mode. Green - normal operation, red - emergency situation, blue - standby (see StarTrek technical manual :) ). Or whatever. There is also options for 7-segment display like on Boeing/Airbus autopilot panel, but then you stuck with single color. Technically every idea is doable. VFD display... Well little more complicated display driver, high voltage etc. More work on PCB design and testing, but also doable.

I hope I will get Ethernet shield on this weekend and start tests with real arduino.
 

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Timewarp is really generic and independent of vessels. It must work with every vessel.



Never tested this vessel. I have only default orbiter vessels and DeltaGlider IV for Orbiter 2016. Can't comment anything.




I see timewarp panel similaro to build in into orbiter, so I made web vesdion maximally similar to build in panel. For hardware vesion I see mostly the same buttons. 0.1x well, never needed this 1x is a must have, 10x and 100x are useful for Earth orbiting if don't have patience. 1000x could be useful for Moon and beyond. Of corse everyone have own experience and prefear own button setup. I am stuck on Earth orbit now, because mostly testing addons and debugging things with two scenarios: "DG ISS aproach" and "DG docked to ISS". Regarding slider. On arduino slider can be substituted with rotary encoder. Maybe endocer+integrated pushbutton or encoder and 2 separate buttons: apply and cancel. remaining is only arduino program logic... Display. Well... There are options: I see something like 128x64 color TFT display from aliexpress. It must be big enough to read numbers from distance. Colors could be used if all cockpit have multicolor mode. Green - normal operation, red - emergency situation, blue - standby (see StarTrek technical manual :) ). Or whatever. There is also options for 7-segment display like on Boeing/Airbus autopilot panel, but then you stuck with single color. Technically every idea is doable. VFD display... Well little more complicated display driver, high voltage etc. More work on PCB design and testing, but also doable.

I hope I will get Ethernet shield on this weekend and start tests with real arduino.
Yep. As they say - the sky is the limit here. For my design I play using Time+, time- and reset to 1 buttons. Why VFD - because they're cool ( 😄 ) and I got a lot of them. PCB/hardware design is my territory, so no problemo. So if you need some help with hardware or CAD/CAM - let me know, cause I definitely need some in coding.. :)o_O 😅
I guess for these VDF all I need is to design a driver board, then connect in to arduino and use libraries for 7 segment displays.
 
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