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What have you done for your simulator today?

Started by blueskydriver, January 14, 2018, 04:01:20 am

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blueskydriver

For those interested, here is the link for FlightAware Coverage Map:

https://flightaware.com/adsb/coverage

It's a movable map, move and/or zoom to find your area, and then look at the map legend to see what the dots mean....

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

jskibo

Quote from: Trevor Hale on November 27, 2019, 07:30:31 am
Quote from: RayS on November 26, 2019, 12:30:23 pmTrev,

You just need one of these:
FlightAware Pro Stick Plus FA-PROSTICKPLUS-1 ADS-B USB Receiver with Built-in Filter
~$19

And:
Dual Band 978MHz 1090MHz 5dBi Magnetic Base SMA Male MCX Antenna for Aviation
~$10

And:
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Board (Although I think any flavor will do)
~$39

It has pretty good range. I was surprised to see traffic all over the greater Pacific Northwest area.

You may be able to get the whole thing for free if you qualify (Meaning there's hardly anyone else in your area piping ADS-B data to Flightaware.)

https://flightaware.com/adsb/flightfeeder/






Makes Perfect Sense to me.  I will look into it.  Thanks Ray  I may qualify, Nobody else in my area has one. :)

There is also no other Humans where you live.......
Sim 1:  F16, running Falcon 4 BMS - In Build using a mix of real and repro parts + Pokeys cards
Sim 2:  Light Twin / Single with RusCool EFD1000, RSG GTN750 and FI guages

Trevor Hale

Quote from: jskibo on November 27, 2019, 12:21:46 pm
Quote from: Trevor Hale on November 27, 2019, 07:30:31 am
Quote from: RayS on November 26, 2019, 12:30:23 pmTrev,

You just need one of these:
FlightAware Pro Stick Plus FA-PROSTICKPLUS-1 ADS-B USB Receiver with Built-in Filter
~$19

And:
Dual Band 978MHz 1090MHz 5dBi Magnetic Base SMA Male MCX Antenna for Aviation
~$10

And:
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Board (Although I think any flavor will do)
~$39

It has pretty good range. I was surprised to see traffic all over the greater Pacific Northwest area.

You may be able to get the whole thing for free if you qualify (Meaning there's hardly anyone else in your area piping ADS-B data to Flightaware.)

https://flightaware.com/adsb/flightfeeder/






Makes Perfect Sense to me.  I will look into it.  Thanks Ray  I may qualify, Nobody else in my area has one. :)

There is also no other Humans where you live.......
True but when Santa and NATO flies over my igloo. They may want to track the ADS-B signal
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

RayS

December 02, 2019, 08:38:46 pm #678 Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 09:11:13 pm by RayS
Not really sim-related but I modified my Raspberry Pii ADS-B receiver to use an on-board 320x240 TFT LCD display.

Done, at the risk of bricking the entire install (I got lucky?). Have to say I'm happy with the results.

I have a high-gain 1090Mhz antenna on order. Should be here in the next few days...

Ray Sotkiewicz

Trevor Hale

That's pretty Cool Ray,  Looks like Flightaware is going to send me one..  Have to make a bracket for the antenna though..  Cold to be mounting it in the winter, but we are going to try LOL

Trev
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

RayS

December 03, 2019, 08:47:50 pm #680 Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 08:48:45 pm by RayS
Just installed a new high(er) gain antenna and picking up 3x the traffic I used to get.

It's not really sim related but imagine tapping into this data and creating localized real-time traffic in the sim!

Next Step: Get that antenna HIGHER!
Ray Sotkiewicz

Trevor Hale

Sweet Ray,

I was just notified Flightaware has approved me for a Free Piaware, they will ship it soon.  Like Skibo said,  Probably because I live so far from civilization, they need coverage LMFAO.

Trev
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

jskibo

Quote from: Trevor Hale on December 05, 2019, 04:18:41 amSweet Ray,

I was just notified Flightaware has approved me for a Free Piaware, they will ship it soon.  Like Skibo said,  Probably because I live so far from civilization, they need coverage LMFAO.

Trev

Awesome!

Have you figured a way to mount the antenna on your igloo yet?  Or just going with the Sled Dog house mounting option?
Sim 1:  F16, running Falcon 4 BMS - In Build using a mix of real and repro parts + Pokeys cards
Sim 2:  Light Twin / Single with RusCool EFD1000, RSG GTN750 and FI guages

Trevor Hale

Quote from: jskibo on December 05, 2019, 04:25:17 amAwesome!

Have you figured a way to mount the antenna on your igloo yet?  Or just going with the Sled Dog house mounting option?
Actually,  I have found a way to mold an ICE Bracket, It should hold it.  I pack snow around it to keep it level and pee on it. This then freezes and makes a good mounting option.

Thanks for asking.

Trev
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

jskibo

Quote from: Trevor Hale on December 05, 2019, 08:04:52 am
Quote from: jskibo on December 05, 2019, 04:25:17 amAwesome!

Have you figured a way to mount the antenna on your igloo yet?  Or just going with the Sled Dog house mounting option?
Actually,  I have found a way to mold an ICE Bracket, It should hold it.  I pack snow around it to keep it level and pee on it. This then freezes and makes a good mounting option.

Thanks for asking.

Trev

That's an awesome solution Cheif Yellow Snow of the North :)
Sim 1:  F16, running Falcon 4 BMS - In Build using a mix of real and repro parts + Pokeys cards
Sim 2:  Light Twin / Single with RusCool EFD1000, RSG GTN750 and FI guages

blueskydriver

| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Jet-A1

Whilst the sim was down I made an ADS-B antenna, copying from this Youtube vid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkUYdCPFXXs

I hooked it up to an inexpensive NESDR mini ADS-B dongle and Dump-1090 software. Once it was installed in the attic, I got over 150 miles coverage and I'm roughly at sea level.

A recommended diversion for any sim builder, if the flying has to cease for any reason!

RayS

Quote from: Jet-A1 on December 05, 2019, 01:38:36 pmA recommended diversion for any sim builder, if the flying has to cease for any reason!

It's definitely a diversion. I used to DX back when I was a kid and would pick up stations from around the world. ADS-Bing is sort of like that.

As for Trev mounting the antenna, I imagine all he needs to do is plant a shovel in the nearest snowdrift and zip-tie it....
Ray Sotkiewicz

ame

December 09, 2019, 06:46:31 pm #688 Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 06:49:05 pm by ame
Today I had a go at an A320 FCU push-pull switch. I don't have an A320 sim, nor do I know anyone that's building one, but I thought it would be interesting.

There are two 3D-printed parts. A frame, and a tube with a flange. Then a rotary pulse switch (or rotary encoder) and two microswitches.

Many rotary switches have the 'plum' style shaft, which has serrations around the outside and a slot down the middle. My tube part has a web that goes across the centre inside, which mates with the slot in the switch shaft. The tube is not a tight fit on the shaft, so is free to slide, but when the tube is rotated the web drives the slot which turns the switch. The other end of the tube has a 6mm bore to accept the shaft from the front panel knob.

The frame has two holes at either end. One is a 6mm hole which supports the shaft through to the front panel. The other is a 7mm hole which accepts the switch body, which is held in place with a nut.

The bottom of the frame has two pairs of screw holes to hold two microswitches in place. I am using subminiature microswitches with curved-end actuators. The frame holds the switches such that the actuators touch each side of the flange.

When you pull on the front panel knob the flange is pulled to actuate one microswitch. When you push, the flange pushes the actuator onto the other microswitch. The spring in the switch pushes the flange back to the rest position. Stronger springs could easily be installed.

Attached is a picture of the assembled switch, and a 3D cutaway render of the parts.

Obviously it's missing a threaded boss to attach it to the panel, but this is purely an exercise. The assembly itself works.

IMG_20191210_154911_HDR[1].jpg
cutaway.png

Jet-A1

That's a great piece of engineering at that size. I use the Collins MCP on the 737, but after a glance at the A320 FCU, it certainly looks more complex with regards to both those altitude push/rotate encoders and their operation.

Jet-A1

December 10, 2019, 12:34:33 pm #690 Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 12:35:32 pm by Jet-A1
The re-build continues! I've spent some time spray painting a Saitek quadrant to the 737 RAL colour and I recently bought some add-on handles from Cockpitsimparts here in the UK. The handles are reasonably well made and I'd say they were decent value for money at around £60GBP, for the Throttle/Flap/Speedbrake kit. They came with some extras thrown in, like the velcro channels, micro switches and stickers. The only problem for me is with a single Saitek quad and this version of the handles, I needed to sacrifice the Speedbrake arm. Though overall I'm happy with the result.


ame

Quote from: Jet-A1 on December 10, 2019, 12:02:26 pmThat's a great piece of engineering at that size. I use the Collins MCP on the 737, but after a glance at the A320 FCU, it certainly looks more complex with regards to both those altitude push/rotate encoders and their operation.

Thanks. It's an experiment, and it turned out to be not that complicated. Besides, no-one will see what's behind the panel.

I have accumulated a bunch of different rotary and push switches, and with a 3D printer* it's easy to build something that holds the parts together in a particular orientation.

I'm also looking at the issue of displays and switches. My favourite chip at the moment is the HT16K33 display interface. I think it's perfect for most cockpit applications, since the process essentially boils down to 'light up some LEDs and look at some switches'. I'm also playing with ALPS pulse switches. They are a similar size to rotary encoders, but they don't need any decoding software or hardware. It's just a pair of switches inside a housing. Turn clockwise, one switch clicks on and off repeatedly. Turn anticlockwise, the other switch clicks.

The HT16K33 does not have a rotary encoder interface, but it can easily handle a simple switch that is 'pressed' repeatedly.

I see a lot of projects using the HT16K33 to drive LEDs, but not using the switch input capability. I'd like to change that. It seems like an ideal solution.


* 3D printer currently broken. Waiting for parts.

jskibo

Finally ordered the 737 MAX MIP and Glare.

At this rate I might finish before Trevor :)
Sim 1:  F16, running Falcon 4 BMS - In Build using a mix of real and repro parts + Pokeys cards
Sim 2:  Light Twin / Single with RusCool EFD1000, RSG GTN750 and FI guages

jackpilot



Jack

Trevor Hale

Quote from: jskibo on December 10, 2019, 02:37:46 pmFinally ordered the 737 MAX MIP and Glare.

At this rate I might finish before Trevor :)
You will totally make it before me. I guarantee it. :)
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

helloo

Building the back walls.  This makes such a difference.You cannot see attachments on this board.

blueskydriver

WOW! You guys are totally going crazy and getting things done!

It's amazing what you new members are bringing to the table. Definitely will look into some of these new technics; especially, the HT16K33...sounds very interesting.

On a side note, could you guys put your first name at the end of your postings? I want too be very respectful when answering or replying.

Hey Jet-A1, could you add a Speed Brake lever to the side of the Saitek, using a a bolt on device with the handle and a rotary or string pot? If you have a 3D printer you likely could make something; check Thingiverse for this.

Finally, to everyone, I cannot thank you enough for continuing to post in this thread! Believe me when I say that this thread, as well as the entire Cockpit Builders site, is a major motivator to keep me going everyday. Without you guys and this website, I'd be lost in life...

Really do mean that!

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

ame

Hi blueskydriver,

Here's the first project that will bring everything together, I hope. Naturally the 3D render looks fabulous, but it's not real.

Anyway, it's a Collins CTL-22 / 32 / 62 / 92 control head.

An HT16K33 will handle the 7-segment LEDs and the switches, including the ALPS pulse switches which don't need any decoding.

The body is 3D printed, with a single piece of cut acrylic (for the orange window), and I'm experimenting with 3D printed diffusers for the LED backlighting.

The concentric frequency knobs will use an offset gear system (3D printed).

Everything will be published on my GitLab site for anyone to download and print, but I want to make sure it looks nice first. Doesn't have to work. :)

The HT16K33 connects to a host via I2C, so I'll write some Python code to handle button presses and LED updates. Then it should be straightforward to interface to any simulator. This, too, is an experiment as I don't know how busy the bus is going to get with real data passing to and from a real flight simulator* in operation.

I need to build six of them for the whole set, but I'll get one going first.

Andrew

* oxymoron of the day

collins_ctl_isometric.png

Jet-A1

Thanks John,

Yes I did consider some form of home made speedbrake switch and potentiometer set up, though I don't have access to a 3D printer at the moment. That probably will be looked at when I enter the world of Arduino and I/O's for the sim. I have an electrical background but I'm really starting at base 1 with that kind of stuff.

Andrew that's impressive 3D modelling, though I'll admit I had to Google what a Collins CTL-22 was! The OpenScad package looks good, is it along the same 3D CAD lines as Sketchup? Funny you should mention the HT16K33 and the 7-segment displays, that's exactly the problem I'm having with a Jetmax MCP at the moment. Blank 7-segment displays! I'm told FDS are on it.

Anyway, best!

Derek

ame

Quote from: Jet-A1 on December 13, 2019, 06:30:48 amThanks John,

Yes I did consider some form of home made speedbrake switch and potentiometer set up, though I don't have access to a 3D printer at the moment. That probably will be looked at when I enter the world of Arduino and I/O's for the sim. I have an electrical background but I'm really starting at base 1 with that kind of stuff.

Andrew that's impressive 3D modelling, though I'll admit I had to Google what a Collins CTL-22 was! The OpenScad package looks good, is it along the same 3D CAD lines as Sketchup? Funny you should mention the HT16K33 and the 7-segment displays, that's exactly the problem I'm having with a Jetmax MCP at the moment. Blank 7-segment displays! I'm told FDS are on it.

Anyway, best!

Derek

Thanks Derek.

OpenSCAD is a parametric 3D modelling package. Fundamentally you write code to build an object. It's not as hard as it sounds. There are two key strengths. First, the code can be parametric, i.e. you can name a parameter and change its value, then as long as you design your model to correctly handle that parameter (particularly if a single parameter affects multiple aspects of the model) then you can change the parameter and make a new model. Although 'writing code' might seem intimidating it's actually quite refreshing to be able to look at the text of the source and see- there is the line that draws this cube, there is the line that opens this hole to make a boss.

The second strength is that because it is essentially code you can make another program produce an object. That is to say you could have a program read some data file, and then build an object whose dimensions or properties were based on the data file.

Anyway, OpenSCAD outputs .stl files that can be processed by a slicer and printed. The software is free and unencumbered.

Yesterday I reviewed the objects I have designed for the Collins CTL series. Today I printed and test-assembled the parts. Some issues cropped up, but I think this will be a model that anyone could print and assemble. Wiring will be a bit fiddly, but once I have one working I'll know if it's worth it. The diffuser experiment is working: instead of specifying cut acrylic for the diffuser I am printing a 3mm thick 'slab' of PLA that will drop into the rebate of the body.

Andrew

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