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Plasma MiniMe

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Reading the thread 'bout the throttles and how to wire them I was thinking 'bout my future arrangement.At the moment I have a stripped sidewinder joystick giving me 4 pots. I need 5 so I bought a simple soundcard and now I use 2 of the gameport analogue inputs. However indeed it doesn't give satisfying result with the power in FS being very unstable even when using sheilded cable and such.The idea to use the MiniMe comes up again. However, I do not know where to buy the chip needed and most important I am not able to flash it.I know there is a flas-card suggested on which you can mount the chip, flash it, then use it on your MiniMe card. However I think all this added in price will get me more expencive than buying a second sidewinder joystick (I think). From my purchase of Photon, now I know that customs can get quite high so if I would buy the damn thing from US I would have to pay almost 30% extra again. pfffAnyone knows a sollution to this ? Or will I have to strip a second joystick ? Maybe it doesn't need to be a sidewinder but I don't know if I find a cheap one if it will have pots in it or if it will be like the old Sidewinder 3D pro working with some kind of optical component.

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Philippe,The MiniMe is a based on a standard Microchip PIC. In the US it costs about US$7 as I recall. Microchip sells in the EU, so you should be able to find it from a supplier local to you. The other parts are standard as well. Flashing the PIC is not a problem. You can use shareware software and an easy to build, inexpensive flash programmer that connects to a serial port. There are several options listed here: http://www.mikesflightdeck.com/micro_controllers.htmI built a MiniMe and a "JDM" flash programmer specifically for that purpose. I downloaded and successfully used IC-Prog to drive the JDM programmer. I had two older version PICs that had some problems. A newer version PIC flashed fine and Windows recognized it immediately upon being plugged into the USB port. Check the availability of the parts before looking for another joystick to strip. The MiniMe is a great technical solution.Mikewww.mikesflightdeck.com

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Aha, Mike, tnx.Seeing that the flasher card can also be "DIY"-ed, makes this very much more interesting.I will check with my local electroshop if he can get hold of the correct chip.

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>Aha, Mike, tnx.>>Seeing that the flasher card can also be "DIY"-ed, makes this>very much more interesting.>>I will check with my local electroshop if he can get hold of>the correct chip.Register to the microchip website and request a sample for flight simulator hardware development project - it is worth a try, afaik they give out free samples. Could take a while to get it though, but still :)//Tuomas

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Tuomas, Philippe,The free sample route is worth trying, but that's where I got the two PICs that did not work. Apparently there was a design flaw in some earlier versions. For some totally unfathomable reason, it was the flawed chips being given out as samples!!! The chips I got were PIC16C745/JW rev 023802A. These did not work. I believe Olle got some from the same batch and also had heartburn. I purchased a chip from Digikey and got rev 03321V6. This chip works.The symptom of the flawed chip is that it flashes properly and will verify as programmed correctly. However, when plugged into the USB port, the device with the flawed PIC will not be properly recognized by the PC. The PC sees it only as an unidentified USB device.So, give the free sample approach a try, but be aware of this possible pitfall.Mikewww.mikesflightdeck.com

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I think photon has analogic input cards, or not?If not IOcards and FSBUS do.For FSBUS one card is able to handle 6 (or maybe 8 do not remember) analogic inputs.And by the way, the cheaper the joystick the cheaper the means inside it ;)So for a SW (very costly when it came out) you can find optical (you sure they weren't hall effect sensors?), but for a 10$ (9

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Ebay always seem to sell joysticks of varying usefulness. I bought myself a joystick for

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Do they add customs charges if its sent as a gift?I could have sent you my old sidewinder, but I gave it away. They are very easy to get a hold of here though, and cheap too.rgrdsKevin

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The latest idea (I just came up with) is to get the print out of the joystick I have here (which I use to fly with my laptop).So get the print out, not the pots. Then make the wires stick out of the joystick and make it very easy to hook the print either to the cockpit pots or to the joystick again ...So just call it .. joystick with external print :DThink that's not such a bad idea. Just find the right case to put the print in with connectors comming trough the case.That's the way I'll be going. Should work fine.As a matter of fact I just finished wiring the 2 slide pots from my throttles to the stripped joystick now. I wanted to test if I get stable readings. If I do, the unstable readings I got were 100% due to the gameport, not due to bad quality slidepots.

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Mike,I must have gotten one of those, myself. I received two miniMe from Leo. One worked and one didn't. Since he built them, I am assuming that they were done correctly. It does just what you mentioned.John

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Phillip,I have two slide pots I got from a Suncom F-15 joystick that I bought for the handle. I rewired all the switched and am connecting it to a real control stick.If you want the pot, I can send them to you. The are small and light.John

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John, one other person has reported the same problem with the minime chip which I also built for him...worked for me but DOA for him.Hmmm, either I did a crappy job on soldering or the button / switches are causing an ESD on the inputs frying the chip. Did yours get hot enough to boil water?I think I should incorporate some 20 Ohm res on all button inputs for protection perhaps. I dunno...but this has never happened with any of the Plasma modules and probably due to the fact that the inputs are all protected behind mux ICs.-Leo

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Sounds nice and very friendly offer thogh I got all the pots I need here I think .. so it's not worth the effort and the expences.Tnx anyway !

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Nope Leo,The first time I plugged it in I did have any thing connected to it. All I got was the Win XP didn't recognize it. When I plugged in the other one it was recognized.I compared all the connection between the two modules. They both looked to be the same. I didn

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