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Arduino starting out help

Started by Jet-A1, April 13, 2020, 06:14:49 am

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Jet-A1

April 13, 2020, 06:14:49 am Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 06:16:16 am by Jet-A1
Hi All,

I'm starting a small, hopefully simple project to make the three 737 hardware AFDS push switches (A/P P/RST etc.) interface with the PMDG NGXu. Of course, if that's at all possible with the NGXu.

I have a small MIP console and this is the first time I have looked at doing some interfacing of hardware myself.

So I guess I need an Arduino (I think there are 3 types, I/O varies?), a software link (FSUIPC or something similar?) and some form of link to the NGXu. I hope I don't need in-depth SDK or C++ involved,  that will probably steer me away from this.

Driving the push LEDs to match the aircraft would be great but not essential. It's the push switches I would prefer to work. I seen that the pushes can be re-assigned to keyboard combinations in the FMC CDU.

Also, I may expand I/Os in the future.

So, given I'm soon ordering AFDS switches, what would be simplest way for a newbie (with an electrical background) to go? Definitely Arduino? What software?

Many Thanks!

Derek

Trevor Hale

The problem is PMDG LOL. 

I have a lot of experience with interfacing Arduino's through LUA (Built into fsuipc) in fact my entire cockpit is running on 4 Mega's and Uno, an ESP2288 and a Pro Micro.

PMDG is a different animal altogether, and if I am not mistaken there is an addon package you may need to purchase to be able to interface to the PMDG.

First step would be to identify the "Lvars" for the pmdg functions you want to interface to.  from my understanding you can use "Linda" to identify these Lvariables.

Lets start with that.

Trev
Trevor Hale

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Jet-A1

Thanks for the quick reply Trev!
 
I'll start looking to see what I can find out about LINDA and the PMDG LVars. Got plenty of time on my hands currently..

Derek


Jet-A1

April 13, 2020, 07:51:30 am #3 Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 08:03:02 am by Jet-A1
Hi Trev,

It's probably Heresay ;D  here, but I've just spent some time 'hacking' an old USB Keyboard control PCB. I think I can solder on the AFDS push switches to the PCB pin row, that then act as key-strokes. These can then be set up as I need them in the NGXu FMC Key Commands section. I'll hide the old PCB behind the MIP and hook up it's normal USB. Hopefully this way, I may have saved a lot of effort looking inside the off-sets of the NGXu. I can live without the LED function for now.

Should have thought of this first ::) !

Many thanks for taking the time to reply, it is appreciated.

Best!

Derek

blueskydriver

April 13, 2020, 09:13:03 am #4 Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 09:14:45 am by blueskydriver
Maybe a Hagstrom KE72 Card  (or similar model from them) with IO cards would interest you?

Here:

https://www.hagstromelectronics.com/keyboard-encoders-pg.html

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 |

Jet-A1

Yes thanks John!

That's similar to what I came across on search a for USB Keyboard switch interface devices. My returns from Google mainly seemed to be more specialsed for ease of access computer systems, like the X-Keys HK12. Hagstrom did not list.

However, the one in your link looks perfect and simple for expansion in the future.

Thanks!

Derek

blueskydriver

Awesome! Glad too be of help.

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 |

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