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Author Topic: CIAO from italy!  (Read 396 times)

Offline JoLittle98

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CIAO from italy!
« on: May 04, 2022, 08:03:33 PM »
Ciao a tutti (Hello to everyone)!
Checking in from Italy!
I'm so excited to be part of this community!
What led me here is my passions for flight, programming and just messing around with electronics!
Thinking about my past, I think my little 5 year old self had set all things up for my current adult self: when i was a little brat i used to attach Geomag's magnets to the corner of the living room's metal table, and turn them "off" and "on" just by sliding them back and forth under/in the front face of the table, to simulate the switches of a cockpit.
I think i'm still trying to satisfy that little brat by trying to build my first (low/med/high)-fidelity (you
will decide!) simpit, and i think there is nothing wrong about it since I think we all need... no... we all DESERVE to satisfy the little children ("fanciullino", semi-citing the famous italian poet Giovanni Pascoli) inside us from time to time!

My plan is to keep my F-16 block 50 simpit as much as simple, low-cost, high fidelity and scalable (since I'm certain it will not be done in a single take, but it will need a lot more money iterations, no aces II ejection seat for now!) possible.
The thing I need to get done right the first time will be the hardware, the iterations will be more of a thing for the structure/eye candiness of the cockpit.

I already gathered all the hardware (switches, encoders, etc) needed to build my first version of the cockpit: I plan to build all panels by myself with a CNC 3018, and make them backlightable from the start (for them I took inspiration from thewarthogproject's and Micheal Schulz's building processes of their panels).
I plan to start by making a wooden base structure made with some recycled pallet wood, to be later upgraded in the future with a MDF eye-candy chassis and a metal base.
For the hardware part i will need to stick with micro switches since Honeywell switches are too pricey!
I'll try to make them good-looking by applying some resin-casted extensions over them (for this idea i took inspiration from Paolo Celano's casted toggle switch knobs, you can see them on youtube).

I already gathered the original Thrustmaster Cougar Throttle and paired it up with a Realsimulator's TUSBA: I plan to take the first one apart to make a real-scale throttle slide. I even bought the Realsimulator's R3L base to mimic the real deal, made some DIY temporary aluminium base for it, and paired it with Thrustmaster F-16 stick replica (I need to fix the wobbling with some DIY ring, even though i've been told the Lego fix works just fine  :lol:) instead of Realsimulator sticks since i didn't like the idea of having a pickle HAT. (Thinking back in time, my little self would explode in joy if he knew what bigger self has access right now!).

The interface beetween the simpit and the simulators will be made with different types of Arduino boards, in particular i divided them by usage:
1) The Arduino Pro Micro boards will act as composite HID devices (each one will act as 3 joysticks, effectively translating the inputs in general DirectX joystick inputs, making the simpit already compatible even with other simulators, at least for what concerns the simpit-to-simulator way of communication). I plan to take the inputs by using PISO shift registers, and counter the floating input problems of long cables with pull-up resistors.
2) The Arduino Uno and Mega will drive the leds, displays (DED & PFL) and indicators of the simpit. The data is fed to those boards by Serial USB communication: for this purpose I have written a simple c++ Windows program that extract data from Falcon BMS shared memory area and sends it to the Arduino Uno in a standardized JSON format (with this format, as falcon BMS team updates the simulator, it will be much simplier to add/subtract data to be fed to my boards). To make the simpit compatible with other simulators (such as DCS) i will have to change only the way the "simpit_data" object (the one which retains all the current status of leds, text strings etc.. to be sent to the simpit) is initialized (in particular the way the data is retrieved)!

I have already successfully tested out (on falcon BMS) an AOA indicator demo, a pushbutton matrix demo and a 7-segment display demo for the chaff/flare counter, and right now i'm working on the first CNC cutout for the ICP main panel!

I'll post my progress in this forum!

Thank you all for your time reading this wall of text of a post!
I hope my work will inspire some of you!
Have a good day!

Online Foghorn

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2022, 08:08:48 PM »
Welcome aboard!
FOGHORN

Offline JCook

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2022, 08:48:11 PM »
Welcome aboard. There is lots of good information for you here.
Takeoffs are optional...landings are mandatory

Offline Rufus

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2022, 11:59:29 PM »
Welcome... :thumbsup: !
- Rufus

Offline roccio

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2022, 02:44:01 AM »
Welcome from Florence!
There's only one way out of here. Piece by piece.

Offline henkie

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2022, 02:58:32 AM »
Welcome  :thumbsup:
Looking forward to many pictures  :bounce2:

Offline Snoopy

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2022, 03:54:42 AM »
Welcome here. Seems you are already quite far with your pit. We love to see pictures and explanations of how you built things.

Personally I would be very interested in how your C++ program works to extract data and present it to the Arduinos and how they use it. For example the 7-segment display with chaff/flare.

Good luck with your pit!
Hans

Offline salaxi54

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2022, 08:25:20 AM »
Benvenuto! You've landed at the right place.  :beer:

Offline Wolverine

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2022, 11:30:26 AM »
Hello and welcome from a fellow countryman. I read that you are very prepared, with clear ideas and excellent planning of future work. I hope you can offer us some of your expertise and experience.


sorry for my english!!                                                Italian journal of my pit!!

Offline antares190

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Re: CIAO from italy!
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2022, 12:18:45 PM »
Always nice to see the community growing, and personally happy to see that there are quite a few from Bel paese! Benvenuto, you'll have a great time here!

 

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