Archive for February, 2007

vote for the unipit!

The pit made the front page of Overclockers Australia, Australia’s busiest hardware and modding community. Cast your vote for the UniPit on the OCAU PC Database and discuss it in the OCAU Forum!

IVAO AU Helo Tour leg 3 – YSCB-YMAY

departing Canberra, parliament House at 11 o’clock (just above the copilot AI)
auht03-01 (36k image)

clouds closing in, so changed category to IFR tracking WSW out of the ACT
auht03-02 (17k image)

8000′ AMSL on J42 – about now Lofty pinged me on UNICOM and started trying to catch me (in a 737!)
auht03-03 (24k image)

right circuit to the helipad at Albury, rwy 07 to the left. Lofty turning base for 07
auht03-04 (42k image)

safely down with Lofty on short final
auht03-05 (27k image)

home for tea and hosties
auht03-06 (26k image)

pit checklist

I realised yesterday that it takes me about 45 mins to get a flight going as many bits of the pit are sensitive to start ordering and buggering it up means starting over. So, I wrote a checklist. I can get going with a saved FS9 flight now in about 15 mins.

massive progress

Had a big breakthrough this weekend on the pit. I achieved:
- added a new rig to handle left and right views
- got WideView working to run the extra screens
- got IvAp working on MFDBOX to unload the comms off the main rig and give me a “radio stack”
- added a fire extinguisher because of all the power the fecker sucks now!

the new rig – Dell P4 2.0 / 512MB / 9600XT 256MB
newrig (56k image)

I’ve now got six (six!!!) working screens. PITBOX runs the main 21″ (1600×1200) with the new TrackIR4, the new WIDEBOX rig runs the left and right views with WideView on 2×17″ @ 800×600 each, MFDBOX runs the two MFDs (14″ CRTs at 1024×768 each) with Google Earth linked to FS9 with FS Earth on the left and the new IVAO IvAp radio stack (not shown) on the right; and finally, my iPAQ running OziExplorer linked to FS9 with FSUIPC and GPSOut with aviation maps from MapTrax.

weep. (click for larger, for even more weeping)
{{popup top.jpg top 1400×1050}}top_sm (40k image)

If that weren’t enough, I can now have sim audio out the 5.1 speakers and IVAO or Teamspeak comms through my headset. My comms module was playing up so I got a sexy bit of software called Key2LAN which allows me to, in my case, send an X52 buttonpress through the LAN and drive a centre mouse button click on MFDBOX, which just happens to be set to Teamspeak PTT. It works a charm.

note “Mr Fireman”. Might need that. (click for larger)
{{popup left.jpg left 1400×1050}}left_sm (33k image)

Even the missus was impressed.

the comms module (name TBA)

My latest bit of work is a VOIP control module incorporating multiple PTT switches and switchable COM1/COM2 transmit selector.
The brains are an old USB numeric keypad which I’ve “circuit bent” to extend the NUMLOCK, NUMPAD1 and NUMPAD2 keys down a length of CAT5e. Essentially this gives me 2 remote keys with which to configure Teamspeak or some other VOIP client – I can use COM1 for regular transmissions (mapped to NUMPAD1) and COM2 for broadcast (mapped to NUMPAD2).
It also allows me to separate my Teamspeak machine from the main PITBOX and run it on MFDBOX instead. This was the main driver behind the panel, mainly so that I can run the IVAO client on MFDBOX and still have a PTT switch… or two. Yes, I’ll have one PTT attached to my stick and another possibly as a footswitch.
the brains
comms0 (50k image)
The panel is simply a rotary knob to select COM1/COM2 and a SPST pushswitch to cycle NUMLOCK if it gets out of sync. I’ve left room for panel labelling and also for an LED to be mounted above the pushswitch to indicate NUMLOCK status.
the business end
comms1 (31k image)
I’m rather happy with the little circuit board. It currently allows for two PTT switches and can be extended to essentially any number. The power connector is for the LED in the future.
the hardware
comms2 (34k image)
All that’s left to do is wire the extension cable to the panel and fit it to the pit. Of course I also have to do the perspex label plate, but function first, then form. It’s tested and working!

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