Friday, 27 January 2012

First test with leds

After a couple of weeks, finally I got the opencockpits's USB card.

In addition to the card I got also red, green and yellow leds.

So, it's time to start doing some tests...but I think I'd be better to ask for any help. are you????

We try USB card just to test if it's working using the supplied software: we link leds to the card's output using a resistor to avoid flames :)

It's a miracle...the led lights up!!! Ok, I'm just using the supplied integration with the sim for now.

To be cleaner, we insert the leds in the breadboard and link them to 3 outputs of the USB card, using appropriate connectors

Always using the supplied software, we verify that leds light we can be sure that links and solderings are fine.

So, the card step will be the use of SIOC programming language to interface the sim and to drive the leds according to events of sim.

For the moment I'm satisfied with the first tests...I never tried to light up a led :)

Many thanks to Piero for his technical support...

Monday, 16 January 2012

The project

It's time to start using the brain...

...what is my goal...

...what I already own...
...what I have to do...
...what's required... much money I would like to use...

My goal is quite clear...the main thing is that it will be made by my hands...

This is the list of thing I'll use and I already own:

- lots of space :) (little tavern or mansard, it depends on temperature...)
- a speedy PC for the flight sim;
- an HD projector EPSON EH-TW2900

- a list of instrument and panels already mounted; one years ago I bought SAITEK panels:

*** yoke, throttle levers and pedals;
*** autopilot panel;
*** radio panel;
*** switch panel;

- a secondary network PC with two monitor for GLASS COCKPIT (software FREEFD e P8R) and the STAND-BY INSTRUMENTS (Dave Ault's software - thanks Dave -

- a lot of patience :)

Saitek panels are 60% of total instruments...the other 40% has to be built...led, button and switches...

So I planned my first buy: USB interface card to drive leds...

After reading a lot of documentation, I decided to buy this USB card:

It has 64 digital output and 5 analog input...I will use it mainly for the output which, in my case, will be only simple leds.

Using SIOC programming language (finally something I already know) and FSUIPC (an addon software module) it will be possible to get information about simulator status and drive the leds according to it.

I spent about 50 Euro...I cannot get back :)

Waiting for the card, I buy some electrical material (breadboard, resistor, soldering, leds, and so on...)

My last question is: how can I use button and switches with the simulator? May I buy another interface card?

Looking at Dave Ault's website, I try to build an input interface using an USB keyboard circuit. It is a very cheap solution. Linking button and switches to the pin of the USB keyboard circuit I'm able to emulate key presses...these keys will be assigned to some flight sim's function...

Last but not least I will build a wooden case as the main structure of the home cockpit.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Idea...

What is an Home Cockpit?

Maybe nothing important, but for people like me with a great passion for the flights, the home cockpit is a tool that makes the simulation real.

Some examples:

After so much time spent to spy other people that, with the same passion as mine, were trying to build an home cockpit, I decided to take the challenge and build my own.

...until few months ago it seems impossible to me just to think to it...then I said: what do you think if I'll give a try?

So, I decided to start my project, knowing that the main problem will be the available time...which is always too little :)

Clearly my target is not so ambitious as the one in the videos above; I'll be happy if I will be able to build a rustic tool which will permit me to fly without keyboard :) which is very frustrating and so much unreal.

Thanks to the infos found on Dave Ault's website (, thanks Dave), to some courses of digital electronic at Politecnico di Torino and specially to the private lessons which my dear friend Piero gave me, I decided to start my project.

My Home Cockpit will be for the Bombardier LEARJET 45

The adventure begins...