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computer2cockpit

Joysticks, pedals, monitors.

Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Hooray » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:57 pm

In general, we still lack the kind of sophistication needed to actually implement the differences in avionics/FMS between an airliner like the 747/777 and the Citation.
However, often, aircraft developers are primarily 3D modelers, so they primarily care about the 3D models of those instruments and buttons, so that they manage to actually create separate models for each instrument.
Then, the next problem is that people tend to use competing or even conflicting approaches that are not compatible with other aircraft, i.e. due to fixed assumptions about certain systems, or even just due to hard-coded properties. We've been recently seeing the same issue with other aircraft and glass avionics, even those that were designed from the beginning to use Canvas - people still tend to re-invent the wheel instead of teaming up with others - some even express the concern that collaboration would be "too expensive"", and they would have to neglect their main project due to sidekicks - that's something that the extra500 recently told us when we got in touch with them, encouraging to team up with us to generalize their work and reduce their workload.

So far, we simply don't have any kind of "standard" interface for a FMS, or even just M/CDU, except for the route manager/autopilot interface via the property tree obviously.
But otherwise, people tend to make up their own stuff, with very little concern for standardization. Obviously, because it's more work to coordinate things among several aircraft developers, and because understanding an existing system, integrating & adapting it, takes more energy for most people than understanding their own system/code, no matter how limited it may be - simply because they wrote it from scratch.

For a hardware interfacing project, I'd recommend to come up with your own standard interface, and document it via the wiki, so that aircraft developers need to adopt it in order to support your hardware.
That should be the safest thing to do from your standpoint - simply because most aircraft developers don't have the technical/programming background to actually come up with an aircraft agnostic system/interface that would actually work for different aircraft, and possibly also multiple instances (MCP/CDU) per aircraft.

So, I'd suggest not to look at existing stuff in FG, unless it looks really compelling from an interfacing standpoint (which I'd find surprising, but still great ...)

Overall, consistency/standardization really isn't our greatest forte, which comes with the territory of being "open", but also extremely flexible: properties and Nasal functions or fgcommand don't care about naming conventions, backward compatibility etc.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:26 pm

Thanks Hooray, as always your answer was very helpful. I get it now.

As always we'll provide full functionality and max cross aircraft compatibility, and hopefully aircraft moders will be encouraged by that to complete cockpit design.
I did some research on actual aircraft cockpits last few days, and if i'm correct, bigger airliners have sort of "full input panel" for FMS, while business type aircraft tend to have reduced variants, with less control buttons. We'll provide full panel like one found in 777-200 model in FG. It wont be fancy but it will allow keyboard/mouse-less input to FMS, for small price.
It will soon be online, i'll post notification here then.
Computer2cockpit - Flight Simulation Hardware designed for Flight Preparation and Training

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FAQ: http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=771

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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:39 am

Hi guys,

Newest design and additional products are described in our Newsletter
http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=3fcbbce35d86eaa1d241b102f&id=464fc35b84&e=%5BUNIQID%5D

More pictures on the Web
http://www.computer2cockpit.com

Tell us what you think!

Image
Computer2cockpit - Flight Simulation Hardware designed for Flight Preparation and Training

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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Michat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:41 pm

Wow that's a big LOL.

First of all congratulations for your great work giving us the opportunity to share this your project adventure to the FlightGear community. A project where the feedback has been a important part, at least to me because I feel that you listening to people, which is an very strong point from you creating great value to your project.

Well what can I say. I have revisited you web page where I find your last development as amazing. Another BIG LOL.

Now is totally obvious that with the new colors/ design the computer2cockpit full set receives a pretty nice look that I love it. Love it.


I wish to share my feedback and some silly questions....

1. About the decision to make the yoke system to be attached beneath the table I think is a good point so as you better has experimented is clear that it brings more space to the desk :)

At that point consider the position of the turn attachment. Could be important if it leaves space for the marrowbones of the pilot, specially in those cases when the pilot get in and out of the cockpit. So please consider if the kingpin turns attachments are not in collision route to the pilot's lap. Let's say comfort and safety for both computer and cockpit, as well for pilot.

2. Looking the good results with the new color combination, I think you guys must take even more advantage of that beautiful combination using more blue squared boxes in some parts of panel in combination with the white gray lines that divides some part of the panels in order to get to the user even more visual experience .

I took the liberty to edit one of your photos in order to point you to that effect I believe causes a better experience. So roughly you can see that I draw some blue squares to show you the effect. Hope you feel the same and you get even more visual experience in some specific areas of the panels you wish more attention.

Also I draw and sketch over the yoke where I try to show you the idea of meta information, I though that could be interesting to share with you, the idea is to cover some fictitious effects, well in fact is and idea that I get from russian airplanes, those that can turn a wood pencil into an ILS system :P the same that can turn needles into a meta-information symphony between them and pilots. Well is not augmented reality neither a russian instrument, but I felt in need to share with you, it's just and idea that maybe can help for better experience.

3. About the yoke I have a silly question... And a very important thing to point.

3.1 Does it has springs systems?

3.2 do you provide a custom calibration utility? is that calibration utility based of MSft where they force you to turn the yoke in full extend circles? If so watch out, could be very dangerous for the yoke springs mechanism to suffer max tensions. MSft have clear how to hurt your yoke if it is not a msj. :twisted:


4. I believe your yoke could gain in comfort implementing a thumb finger hold area solution attached that as I shown in the mock up. Believe me, comfort is very important.

5. Correct me If I wrong but I think those panels lack of a chronometer- timer starter... Could be interesting......?

6. Thinking about interactivity between hardware and fg aircraft panel. Having account joystick is not POV handle equipped .

6.1 What is the way users have to change-travel view (POV) ?. I know that you double the button in the thumb up hot spot area following our humble suggestions, wich is nice.
But now I'm care about this specific point... Is there a visual way to make a correspondence-reciprocation when you click on the hardware panel in that way that POV changes to that specific part of the FG virtual panel?.

About this I think user wish to avoid mouse as much as possible. Caring about how to get the better combination, comfort, pov and interactivity to the user.

7. Another good point is that you can use FGCanvas for interactive tutorials-tour of your products, adventures or missions.

8. I'll write an updated article in the Spanish Vatsim forum about your project.


Please don't thanks to me, by contraire is me that I have to say thanks to you.

Image

computer2cockpit is a BIG LOL. My congratulations.

Edit: detail of the die in the throttle quadrant for multiple positions is awesome too among others.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:19 am

Thanks Michat, good to hear from you,

Majority of the ideas implemented are from this Forum users. Glad you visited the web. We now have 11 products in total and there is something to see.
Your question are in place, and are not silly at all.

1. We've decided this solution is primary table solution and with 120mm of space taken under the table, we think we are at least 80mm clear off the legs. Average tables are 73-76cm above the ground. Board is usually 16 to 32mm.
Not only that is clears the table, but allows for extended elevator travels of more than 200mm and possibly even yoke interconnect(still developing).

2. About the coloring, we've decided to ditch the engraving and go for printing and that leaves us with new design. I like how blue fits, It is white for the moment until we check with the printing and cutting company we are working with, weather it affects the price and durability of the printing. And blue on black is nice but could be hard to read. I always found blue letters to blend/cloud while looking at them directly. I'm not sure that i'm right about that. However more lines could help. Thanks for demonstration.

2.1 I like "augmented reality" thing you are proposing, i will research about the effect and think it trough.

3.1 Yes springs and dampers will be included to give more natural feel.
3.2 We will be using digital encoders(no potentiometers) so no range calibration will be needed. Center positions will be the ones when the device was connected. Range of TQ handles will be auto-calibrated, but leaving them in default position on computer start will make them set for use. Default position is of course, Throttle and Mixtures closed. Propellers High RPM, and Flaps up. Just like the way you leave the aircraft cockpit.
So no need for any calibration. If you connected device with controls in center/default positions, everything will be alright. If not, we could add re-center button to the interface to avoid re-plunging of the interface. Simple enough?

4. Definitely. This part, the actual yoke handles is something we are redesigning at the moment in coordination with the molding company(as this will be the only molded part of the system). We will present it in next Newsletter when it will have ergonomics "installed".

5. We missed the stopwatch again. Goes to the list.

6.1 Do you think that a Rotary Encoder knob would solve the issue? like the one used for HDG on navigation panel, just mounted on the yoke? Knob for left/right, switch for up/down? About reciprocation, i think it would be better to implement this as FG functionality. Something like, you change the frequencies and FG moves view to the radios until you are finished and for half more second to allow user to check and correct?
I agree that computer2cockpit should allow for mouse-free cockpit manipulation by all means.

7. I like the idea of Canvas tutorials, we'll do that when we start testing the products.

9. Thank you very much. This is the best kind of support you can give us at the moment. By telling the other simmers about us.

Did i cover it all?

Miro
Computer2cockpit - Flight Simulation Hardware designed for Flight Preparation and Training

Updates: http://www.facebook.com/computer2cockpit
FAQ: http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=771

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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Michat » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:25 am

Hi Miro.

I wrote a post months ago but I lost all text due to a dielectric mouse pad just before sent it. Good to hear you too.

1. Cover.

2. A good combination is White font, black charcoal/black gun metal background with some white lines combined with some blue hot spots-areas. Of course never blue fonts over black, because is kind of dizzy so agree with you. The problem here is using more colors could increase you budget. So it's your decision. A professional printer will tell you what is the best solution for best perceptive equilibrium. Covered ¡

2.1 so far to be augmented reality at all. Let's see if we find gold. ;) Hackers please contribute at this point...

3.1. Covered, well done. Excellent.

4.1 Who know perhaps you can use external easy detachable/adjustable wood and EVA rubber combination, classic (wood) and rubber modern style combined. Even a hard sponge handle that is using in ski sticks and kitting could help.. A challenge for designers. Covered.

5. Copy that roger willco, excellent. Big 10.4

6. This is the most difficult issue we get. To be honest I don't have a solution for this. Using a rotary encoder like the HDG in the nav could help being a solution, however I don't know how to resolve the way to move over 3d space, I.e 3d external model view. It is possible to do it with 6 position rotary?....... if you think so go ahead, any way the paired button ot the handles must remains, as well they could be used for left-right with automatic return view on depressed, and PTT the other couple. I miss in FG3.0 the automatic return to center view on depressed button old code behavior, that resolved a good way to see left and right in patterns. Code is out there so we'll need to sure that behavior again.

6.1 reciprocation , 6.1 POV and 2.1 "augmented reality" (lets say paradox virtual metaverso) could be implemented via fgcanvas 7. so quoting you
. Something like, you change the frequencies and FG moves view to the radios until you are finished and for half more second to allow user to check and correct?
Right, there is a nice app called FGCamera that can do that job for the 3d traveling camera (I heard that could be adapted by FG as generic?). Well let's say that behavior is hard to implement or even lets say could be horrible for FPS, then we can use canvas.Window.new a method to load a 2d copy of your raster panel showing switch states via properties, or even a dynamic raster of the radio stack panel. Who knows even 3D and 2d canvas all together with good FPS, the 3d camera moving to the radio stack view then a 2d canvas.window.new can be open with the raster or instance of the instrument or c2c panel, or even both switch views. Also I see that canvas can be used as a metaverso as a way that it can feed itself with own data. http://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=23376 but also we can build a FGcanvas widget as a way to navigate to different areas of the panel.

Conclusions, with all issues mostly covered. This is the critical point how to provide the best solution, via hardware ?, via software ? or both together. Also you should have in mind another general users from other sims, so the solution pass to the hardware side. For FG we have more other options to cover a complex combined method. If It is possible to do it with 6 position rotary? Go ahead. Having account that the throttle quadrant takes right hand position if the rotary encoded will be allocated at joke handler should be at left hand. If the rotary encoder will be placed on the box then it should be placed at right side hand.

Hope some FGCanvas hackers could assist to us with some magic and opinions.

Thanks you.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:26 am

Hi,

I took some time to think this trough, and i'm still going to need some advice with POV switches.
First things first..

2. I get it now. We'll give it a shot on next rendering. I don't think printing multicolor will increase the cost, it is only an issue weather it will be available.

4.1 Yes,since first series is about 100pcs we are searching for the most affordable solution. Car wheel foam(sort of polyurethane) was even on the table but in the end molding seems to be most durable, easy to assemble and cheapest for the customer. That will be worked out until next newsletter..

6. We are thinking about adding the rotary(somewhere around the center of the circle drawn in the yoke) for some menu scrolling. You have a point, it is not suitable for 3D movement.
Now about POV. if we decide to implement it..Tell me would 4 point star layout of Tactile buttons do the trick for movement trough 3d space? we are talking about two axis of movement here? Maybe a centering button also?
I'm not familiar with FG internals and FGcanvas and lacking man-hours to develop around FG, so i agree with you, lets make it hardware thing.

Thanks for help so far,

Regards
Computer2cockpit - Flight Simulation Hardware designed for Flight Preparation and Training

Updates: http://www.facebook.com/computer2cockpit
FAQ: http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=771

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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Michat » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:42 am

2. I'll Looking for your render. Good point.

4.1 Good point too agree with you. Covered.

6. Just kidding I don't know how many switches can't support c2c that's awesome. That's a big lool. If you support my ideas I will change and or populate the yoke with a hole bunch of those. End of kidding.

6.?'s
6?1. We are thinking about adding the rotary(somewhere around the center of the circle drawn in the yoke) for some menu scrolling. You have a point, it is not suitable for 3D movement.
6?2Now about POV. if we decide to implement it..Tell me would 4 point star layout of Tactile buttons do the trick for movement trough 3d space?

6?3 we are talking about two axis of movement here? 6?3 Maybe a centering button also?

6?4I'm not familiar with FG internals and FGcanvas and lacking man-hours to develop around FG, so i agree with you, lets make it hardware thing.


6?1 I'm not an specialist and I have doubts about the POV pitot you'll need. I suspect you need a 8 way POV, or at least 4 way POV.

But, check this out ¡

CH products really bad marketing company with wrong policy. More oriented to industrial area become a name in the simulation market by casualty.... with good quality products but with bad projection later.

Here there are their current contact suppliers.

http://www.chproducts.com/13-28477-Brands.php

And here you can see (next link) they are using 4 and 8 way POV pitots. I had 2 CH product Eclipse joke and I can tell you the center switch is made by the worst quality I never see in my life. Hard to turn, you need booth hands, very hard to turn causing unbalance for the aircraft, so hard to turn and in CH so tight that it required a lot of effort and more than 2 fingers to move it, uncomfortable at all. I knew from first day that it was a bad component, as then I could test. However other buttons/components are really great. 2 8 Ways POV quite solid component, not to play the first person shooting game but pretty good for simulation.

http://www.chproducts.com/Joysticks-v13-p-181.html#4

Now enjoy the hack, and take your own conclusions.

See the video and continue reading.



is 6.1? cover? for you?.

Now 6.1. I had and idea. Having account my experience with chjoke with 3 position rotary in the center, leaving back the specific bad component problems after 30 cycles..... I feel is hard to manage a rotary on airborne because you need to move usually right hand to assist the movement with accuracy and success, thinking about some times we need to adjust rotary right on turns so the yoke is moving out of the center as well right hand must be follow with expert and quick coordination the movement of the left hand every time you need to use rotary. So I deprecated the CHjoke idea to have rotary on center as no useful, I can tell you the same about the trim wheels on it because is a very good solution pretty comfortable, I use one of those free rudder trim wheels in order to manage some menus but still you need to move both hands and arms in a difficult dance. So deprecated too. Except the vertical trim wheel that has better access by my large left hand thumb finger causing me to stretch the finger to the limits. So the trim is not the case of this problem lets continue. Following with my experience with CH Eclipse joke I found a pretty nice functionality, cause its equipped with two levers pads like sports cars, with independent single left-right axis the good thing is that that axis controlled the steering wheel, while pedals control rudder.

So why not using a rotary encoder for steering on ground?, that's could be a big wow. while no need to bank the yoke to drive being rudder and steering wheel two independent property that FG can manage.


6.3 in case you use buttons I supposed a centering button is a good idea, same can do FG by code, my experience with my old joystick. html code with buttons was in cockpit view that if I turned view to the right via 1 button pressed, when depressed then view return to the point, the fact is that is needed to satisfy a turn angle for best results. But for the external views still I have doubts on how to do it without POV pitots.
Return to center view on depressed can save you a button, however the center view button can resolve some others situations and player bindings, first idea I get is using it to fire if bombable mode is activated. LOL. Anyway must be other ways, there are many users preferences that can be resolved by bindings. Why you need is a POV to satisfy 3d change view is not about my bindings preferences. I just my experience, the most button the better, always there is a property to assign :)

6?4 Canvas can help a lot improving your product experience easily, I believe so but I'm not a programmer. Hope soon you can improve even custom menus with canvas, better panel views correspondance, use http:// even using with it AGPL license from an external module and your own custom widgets. Who knows maybe you can include a set of buttons for general menu purpose navigation up-down left-right and confirm. The idea to use rotarys for menu funtion is an idea that really I like as I used it with my yoke but that control must be static on the box not in moving yoke.

I think I miss something uhmm.. refresh me I you miss something. Ah yes my eclipse joke pad levers took about 2 days to fail, after center switch leaved it's hardness 30 cycles later all the leds shows a rolling disco effects flashing out and flashing in indicating also electrical problems. CH eclipse it's not a yoke is a bad joke. BUUUUUH


Salut.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:34 am

Hi Michat, sorry if this became exhausting for you.

I'm just having trouble catching up with you at certain moments. I lose the thread.

Now about POV: this product line is based around installing finished products in custom made plastics. We cant develop switches etc.. there is just no point for such small series product to do so. It would cost thousands of dollars. So we are doing our best here to make things out of available components. I'm having trouble finding any finished POV module that doesn't cost 11 pounds or so.. And the whole yoke is about 100$. I guess you can understand my reluctance to install this.
So' i'm trying to improvise. I would also like to avoid hats. Just for the reason you mentioned. These things don't last long. However four standard Tactile switches could last a lifetime. That is why i asked about 4 point star aligned 4 switches to simulate POV hat.
Now you say that is not enough for outside views. However whole point computer2cockpit was to develop good cockpit flying and manipulation solution. I agree that some view manipulation is necessary but i don't really feel that 8 way is minimum.
However i will give this more taught, and hopefully come up with something better.

Ok, the rotary encoder is out of the game. Although the idea newer was to make it left hand operable. Just to add something practical to maybe go trough the menus. Right hand can move form throttle in non critical phases of flight. so setting a weather minimums on the go without pausing could be usefull to someone. I'm just fishing here..

We've decided to go with electric trim switches wherever possible, just because we don't lose any realism since they are found on every larger aircraft instead or along mechanical trim wheels. And they reduce price of products significantly.
These pedals you mention others install, just not computer2cockpit. These thing s are for playing, not flying. And i totaly get how they fail in short time. You see everything you develop outside of standard is doomed to fail on such product. And people that design these things are treating them as toys. But simulation products often stay in use for more than 10 years. I still have Game-Port Joystick laying around somewhere from year 2000.. Other toys are rarely used more than a few years. That is why we try to stick to the basics. Industrial switches built for 50000 cycles and more. And tact switches like the one found in every mouse. These usually last forever and you click them about 1000 times a day.

Sorry if i got something wrong.
Sorry if i bored you with explanation.
Sorry if i didn't pay enough attention to some of your suggestions. I'm spending a lot of time these days presenting latest changes to the users. But i will catch up i promise.

Thank you for your help,
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Updates: http://www.facebook.com/computer2cockpit
FAQ: http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=771

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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Michat » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:37 pm

Good evening Miro.

Resuming my last post for better understanding.

1. I show you a video how to turn a cheaper 4 ways POV into a 8 way (those POV's are made with good quality). I show you links showing you what type of POVs they are using. I show you links to european POV supliers. The idea is that you can check for prices for the same 4-way POV model and turn them into a 8 ways POV as seen on youtube. Maybe you find interesting this solution.

2 If you think is cheaper, having a better quality and is feasible to do it with your well know buttons (4) go ahead. If you use one more for centering view, the better experience.

3 still thinking in a rotary encoder in the center of the yoke for steering purposes could be a great point to take advantage from competitors.

Take your time, I'm just projecting my experiences. Then you decide which is the best way to do it.

Go ahead. You are close very close to reach it. Sorry if I exhaust you with my experiences and my bad English.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:44 pm

Ok, thanks,

i didn't get that part before, i'll ask for quote for the POV and report back within few days. Then we talk more.

Regards,
Computer2cockpit - Flight Simulation Hardware designed for Flight Preparation and Training

Updates: http://www.facebook.com/computer2cockpit
FAQ: http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=771

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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:49 am

Full list of simulated functions now available here:
http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=222

Support us by answering the poll here:
http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=239

Regards
Computer2cockpit - Flight Simulation Hardware designed for Flight Preparation and Training

Updates: http://www.facebook.com/computer2cockpit
FAQ: http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=771

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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Honzaku » Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:19 pm

Hello Miro and others,

First of all I have to say the whole project looks fantastic and if you mange to finish it and bring it to production I will seriously consider to buy it.

Just fev questions which seems essential to me and havent been raised in this thread yet.

What will be the yoke travel in pitch and roll direction between full control surface deflections? In inches, milimetres and degrees respectively.
What will be the pedal travel between full control surface deflections?
Will the yoke and pedals be without the aretation or bracket which can be feel when passing the neutral position?
How strong will be the spring elements in the controls?

I am asking because these are typical issues the users complaint about at non-professional simillar products like from Saitek or CH-Products. Short travels and weak springs compared to the real aircraft make the control unrealistically sensitive. The mechanism which causes you need slightly higher effort to pass the neutral position is not realistic at all.

Thank you for your reply

Honza
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:35 am

Dear Honzaku, i've sent you an answer via e-mail. on October 28. Hope you received it.

Best wishes for the holidays to the flightgear forum community supporting computer2cockpit project.

There is a small gallery on facebook of first prototypes ready for UV printing. At the moment ND(EFIS) nad FMS panel. Things are moving a bit slow, but they are moving. More will come soon.
https://www.facebook.com/computer2cockpit

Best regards
Computer2cockpit - Flight Simulation Hardware designed for Flight Preparation and Training

Updates: http://www.facebook.com/computer2cockpit
FAQ: http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=771

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