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NoskoSteve

Newbie: FSX Calibrated controls Odd / Erratic

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Greetings,

 

  What's the best forum(s) in which to post this type of question?

 

Please, before answering, review my background below ... Not that much of a newbie...

 

Right now I have these main questions.

 

0) Is it better to calibrate controls using the FSX Wizard, or the Windows Game Controllers Control Panel?

 

1) I have gone through the calibration (Wizard Inside FSX) of the (airbus) sidestick and the little "+" moves smoothly to all edges of the box in the TEST dialog.  However, a plane's ailerons (the LearJet and the 737 both) clearly roll faster to the left than to the right.  Where can I look to solve this (Windows Game controller calibration, perhaps)...?

 

2) The analog voltages from *ALL* the control pots, into the EPIC inputs, show smooth change through their range as seen on a O-scope AND in the respective Test dialog (the "+" or respective Red / Blue bar moves smoothly through the full range after going through the Calibration Wizard process).   In other words, there are no dirty pots and part of the FSX software is getting good data.

 However, in the screen image of the throttle quadrant (Views menu) throttles will jump around and not always return to closed throttle.    #####

 

2a) I see similar jumps in the flaps indication on the (737) center engine glass panel, but also smooth voltage changes and smooth Test dialog indicator movement.

 

3)  I assume that the Calibration Wizard looks at the "neutral" value received as the neutral, or centered position of the simulated control and the extreme values it sees when the control is moved through its full range are used to calculate calibration factors to the full movement of the simulated control. ... Right?

 

In another dialog box that I have seen (don't recall the name, or location), but not gone to myself:

4) Is the "sensitivity adjustment a gain?  Thus, an increased Sensitivity will, for example, make the elevator authority greater (more simulated elevator control for a given stick movement).

 

5) is the "Dead Band" adjustment a standard dead band centered about the "neutral" value / position.  In other words, some small physical control movement off of 'neutral' will result in no simulated control surface movement...?  If so, is there a way to quantify this other than just setting it and seeing how much movement gets a response in the software...?

 

6) When you click the "Show Raw Values" box, are these the values sent by the EPIC up the USB channel  to FSX?  OR are these possibly also modified by the Windows Game controller Control panel calibration...?

 

7) In the Controls dialog in the popup menu that has the controller name(s), can the names for the EPIC channels be changed?  Mine ALL just say "EPIC USB (HID)" and you must select one to see what it is.

 

--

 

Background: 

I'm an experienced Electrical Engineer and have recently taken on responsibility for a full cockpit airliner simulator (737 panel layout). This simulator was previously a demo and was donated to one of the 40+ the Challenger Learning Centers. www.challengerillinois.org

  I have much experience/knowledge in many areas (electronics, software, flight, aerodynamics, RC aircraft  and  way too many hobbies...), I just have very little experience with FSX & EPIC boards, though I have also programmed MicroChip PIC processors).  Therefore, I don't usually need explanations of anything but the FSX method of doing things; unless FSX handles something different than the real world.

  I have started scanning through the on-line FSX  Learning Center when not at the  simulator.

 

  The Simulator hardware is more than 8 years old and currently has analog controls (pots) that appear to be in actual commercial airliner controls, but from a mix of manufacturers and they feed an EPIC interface in the cockpit. The previous software on five computers lost support.

  Before I took over, a good computer professional installed FSX Deluxe Gold on four new Win 7 computers and is spending considerable time getting FSX up and running, but he is not up to speed, nor wants to be, on the controls and all the functions of FSX.   That is my responsibility along with an elite few I am working with.

   In time, we may upgrade to digital controls, but for now I'll stick with making this hardware work; I have no doubt that I can use it as-is, or modify things to get them to work properly - then, there is the non-profit budget....

 

  Over the next few weeks/months, I will be examining the control signals looking for what may be odd or erratic operation seen sometimes in the simulator.    I also will soon trace the wiring from the controls to the EPIC, though I do have what appears to be a complete schematic.   I just don't have a physical layout of the rats nest of wires going to the EPIC interface boards.

 

  The types of information I need starts with how FSX interprets the signals it gets from the controls and precisely what the parameters do that can be set in the software - as well as what can be done to customize the aircraft performance. I know that the EPIC, being programmable, has a role in this, but that software is unknown at this time.   While I may be familiar, for example, with common terms such as "sensitivity" and "dead zone". I need information on the exact way these function in FSX.

 

   This sim will be used along with the Challenger Center's space mission simulator, as one of the many ways we will spark interest in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) with students in grades 5-12 as well as other adult uses.

 

  We just got the Space Shuttle loaded and operational and will most likely need to customize its flight dynamics (elevator authority and trim) for several skill levels of would-be astronauts.

 

  Searching through archives can be quite time consuming, so hints for doing that effectively, pointers to the correct forum or collections of documents of this type of information would be ideal.

... inhale... Click   Post New Topic...

--

Regards, Steve Noskowicz

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I also volunteer at Challenger Learning center for science and technology. I have been in the Avsim forums for the last 12 years. I am just starting to get involved with resurrecting our flight simulator. It was donated to the Center some ten years ago and has been down due to computer problems for most of tha t time. The computers have now been updated. It is actually a hybrid 737/Airbus cockpit that was once used to test out various control setups. It uses three over head projectors. It currently uses a side stick controller like a Airbus so that is what we are dealing with at the moment. Maybe some day we can go with a yoke. We are under the gun to get this up and running for the upcoming school year. We are currently setting it up to do finale (space shuttle) approaches to the long runway at the Kennedy Space Center. We are using FSX Gold software and have found that the Lear Jet is the most stable for the kids to handle at this point.  Steve N has spilled out masterfully some of the technical problems we hope to resolve in the near future. Most of that is way over my head. Any help from the community will be greatly appreciated. I will be adding some pictures shortly as soon as I figure how to get them out of my Phone. But right now it is after midnight and I have to get to bed.

 

Steve A

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Ok, Steve N beat me to it but here are a few more pictures of our simulator.

 

Steve A

 

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