Archive for December, 2009

Flying with one instrument

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

While on vacation I managed to squeeze in a few hours of coding to get my ASI working with FSX. Even with only one gauge it was very rewarding to see my hard work pay off with a working instrument. The software is alpha quality and needs a lot of debugging but it works! At some point in the future I will be releasing all this software and firmware as open source for the curious.

I didn’t get a picture of the ASI sitting on my desk while I fly, but here are some screenshots.

The interface software (usbSimCentral) and FSX

Calibration tool

I think I will build the attitude indicator next.

ASI build complete

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

I completed the build of my ASI (air speed indicator) for my flight simulator project. There were some minor issues with the PCB but nothing a few jumper wires couldn’t fix. The most frustrating “bug” was with the USB connector. For some reason the connectors I ordered have an unconnected ground pin. Ground is instead connected to the case or shield of the connector. Once I added a jumper from the connector case to the ground pin everything worked great.

ASI_pcb04 ASI_pcb03 ASI_pcb02

You may have noticed an empty IC socket and unused connectors on the PCB. That is because I designed the board to support two stepper motors, two limit switches, two encoders and a switch but the ASI only uses one stepper and one limit switch.

Time to build instrument number 2!

Restoring from backups

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

My main server suffered a hardware failure that ultimately led to the loss of integrity on the main RAID5 array. Luckily I maintain good backups of almost everything. While I am busy restoring all the services some of the links on this blog may not work. In particular I am still restoring my code repositories. There is nothing like disaster to hone your sys admin skills.