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Guest steku

Ten hacked USB Game Pads as an input device?

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After analyzing some available products for connecting pushbuttons, switches and Knitter rotaries I finally come to conclusion that the best and cheapest solution is to buy ten inexpen-sive (8 USD each) Game Pads (each with 10 buttons), remove their electronics and connect all of them to USB hub. This way I can connect 100 (or even more) buttons or switches to USB port. I can even have autofire for repeating :)These buttons will be directly visible to FS2004 or FSUIPC as buttons. No keyboard emula-tion is needed.Did any of you tried this solution? I

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Did you compare your idea with Leo's PlasmaV2 ??? Not sure that your's is cheaper.If not take a look at www.betainnovations.comRegardsRoger

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I'm still considering Plasma and GammaRay. But Plasma has only 32 digital inputs. GammaRay 256 is more expensive and must work through keyboard emulation (which is implementd by superb Keyboard Studio by the way).I live in Poland and for every item imported from Canada I have to pay for shipment, 22% VAT and customs...Steku

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Since they are $8 each, I would just go buy one of them and tear it apart to experiment with. Try everything you want to try and if you find that it is indeed working for you, buy the rest and do what works!This is a great idea btw. I might have to do this myself so that I won't have to use two Master IOCards for my MPC/EFIS panels. I could just connect all the buttons to the gamepad controllers which interface directly with FS. :-)Thanks for the tip!!Btw, if you do go and buy one to experiment with, please post your results! I'd love to hear what you found out.

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Hi,Another option is the 4 gameport to usb adapter that mgasource sells on ebay for $11.50.here you can have a total of 16 pots and 16 switches.using the pots say for flaps throttle mixture ect.Les

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Les,I can offer four of them to the first asking for. The resolution (32 steps) compared to 256 steps for Plasma is a ridiculous for a cockpit builder. May just good for some gamer.Steku,About Plasma. Plasma handles 64 imputs and I am living in France, sorry European Community like you (from polish parents too) and Leo puts always a little price for the custom so I never had to pay any taxes.Roger

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AFAIK Plasma v2 supports only independent 32 digital inputs. 60 inputs is available in HOTAS mode but this works trough rocker switch which is changing the assignment of any particular button. This way you can't have 60 independent mechanical buttons. Maybe I'm wrong but this is what I understood from Plasma manual.Returning to idea of using 10 gameports. I expect some problems in following areas:1. Windows 2000 Professional ability to handle 12 USB "joystick" devices (I already own CH Yoke and Pedals) and one gameport device (homemade 4-button 4-axis box used mainly for trims, flaps, cowl flaps). Form FSUIPC manual I know that FSUIPC can handle up to 16 joysticks, but you never know...2. Windows ability to recognize and differentiate each of 10 identical gameports.3. Possibility of electrical or UCB-bus problems when you have 10 identical devices connected through hub.Today I'm going to buy my second gameport and conduct some tests.Steku

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Steku,I went thru several solutions before I did found Plasma. I have version 1 which handles 64 imputs and 16 axises.The overall advantages of Plasma is an integrated anti-jitter filter and for some controls which have to be sharp, you can use ACEs, Hall effects pot and more.Believe me I have none interest in Betainnovations but it is today from far the best solutions for us cockpit builder. My current setup with the card isPitchRollYawElevetor trimRudder trimAileron trimThrottle 1Throttle 2Prop 1Prop 2Fuel Control 1Fuel Control 212 pots running stable, jitter free and precisely. The new version 2 allows even a synchronizer for separate throttle prop controls.Buttons are elev. Trim - AP disconnect and ATC - parking brakes - brakesEvery other inputs are on Gammaray 256.CheersRoger

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One question about Plasma:Are buttons visible directly to FS2004 and/or FSUIPC or you must go via keyboard emulation?After reading your post I have to think again. Using Plasma maybe I could rebuild my trim module which is based on gameport and signal from pots is reather not stable (trim whels constantly jumping on screen - I can't feel it in flight but maybe the flight model is suffering just like my eyes).Steku

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And two more questions concerning Plasma v2:_______________1. Plasma v2 is able to support 4 POV (hat) switches. Maybe my imagination is weak but I have no idea how to use 4 POV's in FS2004? I use one (on my CH Yoke) for selecting views. But what can I do with 3 more?Is this possible to read every position of POV switch in FSUIPC or FS2004 and assign a separate FS control to every position? It would be nice to substitute POV switch with multiple position rotary switch and use it as a rotary magneto control or for selecting tanks. This way it'll be possible to save some of inputs for ordinary buttons and raise number of "virtual buttons" available on Plasma to:28 normal buttons4 rapid fire buttons16 positions of 4 multiposition rotary switches (converted from POV)4 on 2 gray-code rotaries (using Knitter switches you have to use four button inputs for 2 Knitter switches)52 TOTAL (it would be impressive!)I'm a little afraid if FS2004 and FSUIPC would be able to directly (without keyboard emulation) see all those switches._______________2. Can I use Rapid Fire inputs as ordinary inputs? In Plasma manual I can't find a switch controlling this feature.Steku

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Steku,I hope that Leo is reading that thread and will answer you directly on the technical point of view.Or send a mail to leo@betainnovations.com. Leo is very nice guy and will reply quickly.I can say that the buttons are recognized by the Windows as Joystick buttons, not keyboard keys and FSUIPC is able to handle all that buttons, indeed.Gammaray is a keyboard emulator but not Plasma. I use both.CheersRoger

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RogerYou're right. I've sent a mail to Leo and received all the answers. Now I only have to decide...Steku

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