Archive for December, 2006

It’s a boy!

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

My lovely wife got me a son for Christmas. 🙂

Little Maddox was born on December 24th, 2006 at 1:30 AM.

I can’t wait to buy him his first breadboard and soldering iron!

Linux Quiz #006

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Shell Calculator (Submit Answer)

This Linux Quiz once again calls for a shell script. Create a shell script that outputs the following when called with “–help” or “-h” as an argument:

Usage: mycalc OPERATOR FIRST SECONDWhere OPERATOR is one of add,subtract,multiply,divide
FIRST and SECOND are numeric

When the script is called with OPERATOR FIRST SECOND it should print the correct result. For example:

mycalc add 1 2

should print 3

mycalc divide 32 4

should print 8 and so on.

Extra Credit:
Design your script to accept parameterized arguments, such as –op=divide -f=1 -s=2, that can be entered in any order.

SimConnect Switch Panel

Monday, December 11th, 2006

I don’t have pictures yet, but(see below!) the switch panel is wired and functioning with the exception of the magneto/start switch (which is yet to be built). This weekend I wrote a small program in Visual C# Express to interface the MJoy16 with Microsoft Flight Simulator X using SimConnect. Most of my programming has been in C or various scripting languages such as PHP, Perl and Bash so I needed a helping hand to get started in Visual C#. NotASenator from the Avsim forums has a nice SimConnect tutorial series started and I followed that with no problems. I added some joystick button code and FSX events to the basic framework NotASenator created and was up and running this weekend.

The only problem I have now is some strange behavior with the TOGGLE_MASTER_ALTERNATOR event. The toggle behavior doesn’t seem to match other events. Right now the alternator switch only works correctly if the battery switch (TOGGLE_MASTER_BATTERY) is toggled.When I get that investigated further I’ll post an update.

Call me a freak, but flipping a switch on a control panel and having the flight simulator react is very, very cool. Especially after all the soldering that was required. 🙂

My prototype main form code, very rough in zip format.

All you real programmers out there, don’t panic when you see it…

Note that this prototype code is hard-coded to my particular joystick setup and is provided as an example only.


panel-build-set-2-001.jpg panel-build-set-2-002.jpg
Humble Beginnings Prototyping at its best
Diodes Everywhere

The 3 black things on the blue thingy glued to the 2×4 are 50K slide pots. Some day they will be linked to proper throttle, pitch and mixture controls. 😉 This is all just proof of concept at the moment, I’ll get around to building something a little more permanent later.

First Panel

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

This is my first effort at building a cockpit panel for use with flight simulators. It is a basic bottom panel, modeled loosely after a Cessna 172.

panel-build-set-1-009.jpg panel-build-set-1-006.jpg
The panel Closeup of small switch

The only switch left to add is the magneto/starter switch in the blank space on the left side. I will probably build my own, based on this product. Check out the brochure link at the bottom of the page for construction details.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a split toggle switch at my local electronics surplus store to use as a battery/alternator switch.


Here is the USB interface portion of the excellent (and free) MJoy16 controller I am building on some .100″ perfboard.


IT WORKS!!!!!!
Thank you Mindaugas Milasauskas!

Dec 6 17:21:13 winchester usb 1-1: new low speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 47
Dec 6 17:21:13 winchester usb 1-1: device descriptor read/all, error -110
Dec 6 17:21:13 winchester usb 1-1: new low speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 48
Dec 6 17:21:14 winchester usb 1-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Dec 6 17:21:14 winchester input: MJ16 as /class/input/input3
Dec 6 17:21:14 winchester input: USB HID v1.01 Joystick [ MJ16] on usb-0000:02:00.0-1
Update 2
The links above are now search farm. Here is a mirror for now: