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Interfacing Solution

 
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Tomlin



Joined: 23 Aug 2004
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:29 pm    Post subject: Interfacing Solution Reply with quote

I have narrowed it down to either Open Cockpits or Phidgets. Any Pros or Cons you have from experiance with these two?

Thanks,
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Eric Tomlin
Learjet 45

Waycross, Ga (KAYS)
www.Hangar45.net


Last edited by Tomlin on Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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dnoize



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 643
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i only know phidgets from their website, so i cant say anything about that.

I do know the IOcards from open cockpits out of experience and i have to say i am very very satisfied about them.

i use the mastercard, displaycards and the servocards.
Must say that after you study a bit they are very easy to use.
(be aware though: theres 2 programs to control the cards with:
the IOcards suite, wich is easy to use.
and SIOP using the IOCP protocol wich is harder to use)

The forum is a great community in helping out.

After a few questions i managed to make my own radios with ease.
Theres several example files to dowload ready for use. (among them 737 radios, mcp, etc.)

I use them to control my com, nav, adf and transponder.

in the future i will use the servo card to simulate magswitches and the stepper motor card to control my throttle.

The builders helped me out with every question i had so far.
So if it comes to after sales service, they are great !

One more thing to take in consideration if you are building a 737:
they just released the first beta of ON737 for xplane and anounced the release of the beta version for MS Flightsimulator in the near future.

ON737 gives us a complete glascockpit + the logics for the overhead + an instructor console. All controllable by iocards software+hardware.
similar to Project magenta+ PMsystems.

A must have for all us 737 builders i think.

I'm eagerly awaiting the beta release for MSFS users Smile

best regards,

stef
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MOlieman



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
Posts: 157
Location: MyCockpit.org

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phidget is absolutely wonderfull, but with limitations, if you're planning on using the FS2Phidget.exe program.

It took me all of 20 minutes to unpack the box and install the program, assign some switches, and it worked the first time.

If you know Visual Basic... you've got unlimited capability with Phidget, if you don't know VB, then you're stuck with FS2Phidget, with limitations. Don't get me wrong, FS2Phidget is absolutely fantastic, and is 200% appreciated. It's also FREE.

I think for the serious interface people.... you should consider EPIC. It has come back from the dead, and again is alive, through major help from

http://www.simengineers.com/

............ just my two cents worth....

BTW.... I use what ever works:)
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Matt O.
www.A340Project.us
www.MyCockpit.org
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Tomlin



Joined: 23 Aug 2004
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the answers so far, but EPIC is too expensive compared to the other products now available. Also, Im clueless for programming right now. Hence why IO Cards and their software looks so good, and the concept of Phidgets too.
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Eric Tomlin
Learjet 45

Waycross, Ga (KAYS)
www.Hangar45.net
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markt



Joined: 11 Nov 2003
Posts: 25
Location: Ansonia, CT

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:11 am    Post subject: Iflightsystems Reply with quote

I just purchased photonmodule from Iflightsystems. Should arrive tomorrow and I will gladly let you know how it is. I can do a some VB programming but electronically gifted I am not. Changing a battery is about as technical as I am. I chose this system because of price/and functionality. It seemed to fit into both for me. expandable yet fairly easy to hook up.

Well see. Good Luck to you.
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Bob Reed



Joined: 29 Nov 2003
Posts: 59
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I don't know about IOcards but I have looked at Pidgets and they are very promising, but if you start pricing all the modules you are going to need there is not a big differance in price over Epic. But like Matt said use what ever works.
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fvapres



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 113
Location: Deland, FL

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another issue to consider is the limits of how many switches/lights you can have. The problem with most solutions is they won't support EVERY switch and light in a cockpit. In summarizing the switch totals and lights, I have come up with around 350 switches (192 just in the overhead). If you're not going for fully working accurate sims, then most solutions will work, but Photon seems the only other solution than EPIC that would allow so many switches.

EPIC will allow 2 Expansion cards per EPIC USB card and the computer up to 4 EPICs in one machine. That is INCREDIBLE for the amount of switches you could have. With most other solutions, you are limited to the IO port and if they do allow major wiring of switches, I haven't found anything like the EMDA solution for easy wiring. You can make your own boards for simplifying wiring, but I'm too busy wiring stuff up to make my own boards when I can buy them premade and they are tried and true boards - others are using them and the gentleman at CSI is very resourceful. In planning the sim, he's already helped me understand the hardware aspect of EPIC.

EPIC is expensive, but remember the global truth - YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. I'm hoping that is true when it comes to EPIC. I plan on making my entire sim realistic, but by building my own software for the panels and not going with Project Magenta or pmSystems. Everything will be coded by myself. With that in mind, I need something with a sophisticated programming language to get it to work with my programs.

Enuf said from my end.
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dnoize



Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 643
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think IOcards compares to that:

288 inputs
256 outputs
256 7 segment displays
keyboards emulator
servo control
steppermotor control
a/d converters
possibility to use grey type rotaries directly on the master card
encoder circuit for other type of rotaries

non profit concept.

possibility to buy just the PCB's, kits with components or prebuild.

i better stop now....i sound like a IOcard stockholder Very Happy

Just very happy with it.

But true...Epic sounds great too.....it was the EPIC price that stopped me...
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Tomlin



Joined: 23 Aug 2004
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good comparisons going on here. I didnt even know about the photon system yet.
Again after talking to Jonathan Richardson at PM, Phidgets seem to be a good solution along side with Dutch's suggestion of IO Cards.
Keep us all posted, users of the different interfaces.
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Eric Tomlin
Learjet 45

Waycross, Ga (KAYS)
www.Hangar45.net
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wchambers



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:44 pm    Post subject: Interfacing Reply with quote

Just to add two cents from a complete programming and electronic/wiring idiot - me - I am (so far) pretty much sold on Phidgets - I ordered their simple 0/8/8 card and within 5 minutes had switches installed and working in FS9. Their software is somewhat limited - it was just updated by the way - but is free. The real reason I went with them was that I spoke with some folks at ProjectMagenta and they are testing their PMSystems using Phidgets - to - I assume - have PMSystems replace the FS2Phidget software. I guess I figured if PM uses them - they must be pretty good.
Hope this helps.
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markt



Joined: 11 Nov 2003
Posts: 25
Location: Ansonia, CT

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:39 am    Post subject: Iflightsystems Reply with quote

Well my interface system arrived and I have to say it was a breeze setting it up. I would recommend reading the docs on the website prior to your shipments arrival. Everything came ready to go, converted power box (you can see the reason for that on the website) and all.

Scott (the creator) was very helpful as I had setup some things wrong and as a result didn't get it to work right away but now I am happy to say I have it figured out (with Scott's very quick support) and the great thing is how easy it will be to add to this system now.

hopefully this was helpful to someone.

Website is www.iflightsystems.com

Mark
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