SimPit Progress

Okay, I know it’s been a few weeks since my last posting. Work on the pit has slowed down now but it’s not quite reached zero. Recently there has been more cerebral work than brawn!

Yesterday the forth panel got fitted to the Pit. this panel is the ‘Sim Control’ panel so has funtions like Pause, Mute, Exit, Reset, Slew etc.
Next in construction are the ‘View Control’ and ‘Autopilot’ panels. Once both of these are complete, running the sim can be acheived without the mouse or K/B inside the pit.

There is bad news too. My concept for having a completly generic ‘pit has hit a small snag (or more truthfully a large iceberg).

Once I had tested the sim with the GammaRay controller and the keyboard emulator, I was really happy that I could make everything work.

To this end, many of the panel switches relate to fighter planes such as those in IL2. Also there are some spacecraft controls such as may be needed for Orbiter. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that many of the games I’ve got on the list of ‘Get this working’ do not support the keyboard emulator.

This leaves me with a completely non-functional cockpit for both Orbiter and IL2 (and probably others). I’ll be doing some more testing of this over the next few days.

My guess would be that these games hit the hardware of the keyboard controller in a far more direct way than either X-Plane or FS2K and the injection of keypresses by the Gamma Ray Emulator are not seen at all.

In the meantime though this does mean that I can concentrate on getting the pit working well with my main 3 games: FS2K, X-Plane and CFS2.

As the GammaRay emulator needs 2K or XP, it looks like my trusty W98 box will need upgrading. This is annoying given my dislike of spending money, but there you go. I’m on the lookout for a cheap Windoze license now.

The gallery has been updated with some of the panel contruction shots and I’ve written an article explaining how I made the panels.

On the multiscreen front, both FS2K and X-Plane lag quite badly: eventually I’ll have this sorted. For now though all is not well.

The Saitek hardware is up and running really well. The programming software is not up to much but I’ve found some alternatives that look promising. It seems that many games do not support the multitude of buttons (8) and hats (4) that the Saitek has, so some latitude will be needed.

The advanced driver includes a mouse driver: This seems to work okay in both X-Plane and FS2K so at least menus are useable without resorting to the keyboard.

TurboTas 2004

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