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Topic: Simkits, Solutions for old ccu gauges?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Rogue Trooper
(HC020RO)
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Group: Student Pilot
Posts: 77
Joined: May 2007
Posted: Feb. 07 2014,22:39

Hi guys,

I was wondering if anyone knows of a solution to the dilemma I have with old CCU simkits gauges (Tommy is in the same boat). They work fine, but I'm stuck in 32bit land as a result (CCU wont work under WIN64).

I contacted SimKits to see if they would just sell me the gauge boards with the micro-controllers and USB ports on them (As there is no difference to the gauges themselves except for the I/O board and a cutout on the end of the case for the USB socket.
So, as Simkits only solution is to give them close to 2000 euro for new models and then have to re customise all the gauges, I'm looking for alternatives.

I have Mike Powells books to reference and so could make new controllers from scratch but was hoping for an easier solution that utilises all the hardware in the gauges.

Has anyone heard of any companies out there that make microcontrollers that could be customised to run simkits gauges?

Gauges that will not work if I move to 64bit OS:
Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Directional Gyro, Turn & Slip indicator, ADF, VOR.

Is there anyway to fool the OS into letting the board work?

I'm going to check with Ruscool as they are really expanding their product line and making really nice GPS Bezels and IO boards.

If any of you engineers out there have any suggestions that would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Stuart :)
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Shawn
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Posted: Feb. 08 2014,04:22

Hi Stuart

I by no means know what I'm talking about but what about looking at the Arduino board? There is a fellow over at Mycockpit.com who wrote some software to interface these boards with Fs9 and FSX. I just bought an Arduino Mega and was going to mess around with building some simple gauges driven by servos.

Shawn
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hungo
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Posted: Feb. 08 2014,06:57

Have a look at www.opencockpits.com. They do a 6 servo output unit for 25euro and I think it may run on 64 bit.
Cheers
Mark
Rainman Simulators


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jotech
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Posted: Feb. 08 2014,13:39



If any body is looking for basic gauges, I created some basic gauges using stepper motors, My altimeter uses four motor and performs great

Here is an early video from the first prototype,

Altimeter high speed climb !

If I could order motors and parts such as PCB’s in quantities I am sure I get the price down to be a cost effective alternative solution to the Likes of Simkits.
I found getting my Simmkits gauge to work with the Arduino and Xplane  quite straightforward after a little study.
My gauges are essentially three layers,

1 Motor Board
2 Backlighting (elecroluninate)
3 Pointer Illumination

Just about any type of Dial / Facia/ Legend  can be placed inthe front,  I can also make a bracket that will allow the gauges to fit inside simkits gauges, Please PM if you are interested and maybe I can make up a batch.

helicopter-simulators.com


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Helicopter simulators
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Rogue Trooper
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Posted: Feb. 10 2014,21:14

Hi guys,
Thanks for the tips. To keep costs down my plan is to start out with Opencockpits USB stepper motor and servo boards.
I'll keep the artificial horizon, turn and slip and VOR as servo driven gauges (re-making the VOR 2 into a VOR1) and re make the ADF and DGI with stepper motors and possibly make the altimeter into a hybrid with the stepper motor driving the the hands and a servo driving the pressure subscale. I'm also going to add a scratch built Radar altimeter based on a Bendix King KRA-10A (20-2500') which will be servo driven.
I've drawn the gauge in paint shop pro and am happy with the general look. I plan to make the clear pointer with yellow outline today and come up with a plan for the decision height bug and indicator light.

I've not been very good a documenting the steps of my work In the past so I'll try to take some photos with progress updates in case it might be helpful for anyone else. Retrospectively I've been thinking of outlining the steps I used to create my pit and the numerous pit holes and hurdles along the way. It's not going to be on the scale of Tommy's epic but hopefully someone will find it useful.

Cheers,
Stuart
:)
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Tommy
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Posted: Dec. 14 2014,21:35

Hi Stuart,

I've not a clue how far you'd come with your gauges.

But got a hint how to deal with the old CCU Gauges...

I have to build or buy a new computer, because now - after the most of my Bell has been finished, I want a better performance...

Like you I had no Idea how to get along with the CCU driven gauges.

Somebody told me to keep my current computer as a client PC connected via WideFS to the new one.
That should work...


...more when I'll start the new machine (which will take a while - after I have closed the gap between my wish and its costs  :D )

Tommy


Edited by Tommy on Dec. 14 2014,21:37
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Rogue Trooper
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Posted: Jan. 09 2015,00:39

Hey Tommy,

Happy New Year! Thanks for the hint! I did look into WideFS a few years ago. It does look like a good option if retaining the CCU gauges. When I tried it previously, the computer I was intending to use the host for the gauges was too low spec, so I abandoned it at that time.
I might try again when I upgrade my main sim machine (positively ancient and about 5 years old dual core and stretched to within an inch of its life every time I fire it up!).

I've not had a lot of time for my sim or development over the past year and bit due to a head injury that has left me with some issues and resulted in my medical retirement from work. When I fly I have to limit it to about an hour or the hangover is pretty bad.

On the upside I'm slowly trying to get back into things and might start experimenting with mechtronics. I purchased some stepper motors and open cockpit cards ages ago, so I must start playing with them. I'd prefer to convert the large CCU gauges to open cockpit stepper or servo gauges. So removing the need to use the CCU entirely. If thats successful I won't need WideFS.

Anyway, your sim looks awesome as ever Tommy and hope you get it to where you want it. Its given me no end of inspiration and motivation to improve my own. If you get the gauges working with WideFS let me know.

Cheers,
Stuart  :)
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Tommy
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Posted: May 16 2015,21:12

Hi Stuart
Quote (Rogue Trooper @ Jan. 09 2015,00:39)
...I might try again when I upgrade my main sim machine ...


So did I :D
I now built a new sim pc which runs like ####.
Not the new black - but trusty and bullet proofed componets.

CPU perfect for overclocking (even for somebody like me)
Intel Core i5-3570K -> I overclocked it up to 4.4Ghz  :laugh:
CPU Cooler
Thermalright "Macho" Rev. A (BW)
Motherboard
Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 rev. 1.0 Killer
Graficboard
nVidea GeForce GTX 660 Ti
RAM (2x8GB)
16GB Kit Crucial Ballistix Sport Series DDR3-1600, CL9
SSDs
Samsung SSD 850 250GB SATA 6Gb/s -> System
Samsung SSD 850 500GB SATA 6Gb/s -> FSX:SE
HD
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1000GB, SATA 6Gb/s -> Storage


Quote (Rogue Trooper @ Jan. 09 2015,00:39)
...If you get the gauges working with WideFS let me know...


Wanted to tell you that I set up a server - client configuration by using WideFS(latest version).

It's a dream!

The best: I run ALL my gauge controllers on the old pc.

CCU2; Simkits USB controller; All the Ruscool controller too.

In other words:
I just had to "move" the DODOSIM hardware utility add on, over to the new pc.
That means NO new calibration of the SimKits Gauges was neccessary nor for the Ruscool controller.

Now I have the pure pc power of my server pc (with FSX:SE) just to deal with the flightsimulator and my old one takes care of the other stuff.

If there's any interest of the "how to" let me know.

Tommy
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noqecep
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Posted: July 05 2018,05:30

Gauges for the coronary care unit for the old gauge are expired and have no solution to repair or to reuse them. Now the version of the websites are gauge your unites so how about how about australianwritings.com website that not much old as CCU.

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Rogue Trooper
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Posted: July 24 2018,04:40

Its fascinating anyone is still finding these old threads!

Yes I came to the conclusion the best thing I can do is ditch all but one of my Simkits gauges, that being the clock.

I experimented with a lot of different servos even using multi turn units with a lot of gearing but they proved unreliable.
So I have designed my own stepper gauges and am using the free Mobiflight software to control them. I still use the Dodosim hardware utilities to get the correct readings exported. There is a little bit of math required too get the gauges calibrated but nothing too taxing.
The cost is tiny compared to a suite of purchases gauges.
They run off an Arduino 2560 (up to 10 steppers per board). They utilise assorted diameter brass tubing, inexpensive plastic hobby gears and the very cheap 28BYJ-48 5V stepper motors and the ULN2003 driver boards(They can be found for less than 2 dollars now),  3D printing filament, brass hexagonal spacers, 1/16" Delvies plastics lasercut acrylic discs in 2 and 3" diameters and redone all of my gauge faces. One of the great benefits of the acrylic faces is I don't have to shrink the faceplates to see them, which is a common problem with the simkits gauges This was because the bezels were very thick and extended far out from the panel surface. From my experience most real world gauges don't extend beyond a 3mm panel at all.

I have completed and tested four gauges so far and will be adding three more in the next few days. They should be a ASI, VSI and altimeter. The only delay is I've run out of motors so have to wait for them to arrive. I just need to finish the designs for the other gauges. I'll probably try to model the newer style Engine and Transmission Oil gauges with the slightly curved in display. So hopefully I can make that work. The first gauges I've made are the Torque, TOT, N1 and the N2/Rotor RPM gauge. I am delighted to say they are fully functional with the dodo and the accuracy is amazing. That and looking at stepper gauges is so much more satisfying with smooth movement. They are still on the bench but I will move them into the sim shortly.

I will upload a video of them working shortly and some stills of the finished gauges in my main thread.

Once the gauges are done I am going to redesign the pedestal and shrink its width to correct dimensions. I will be losing the radio stack and replacing it with GNS 530/430units I'm building along with a Genesys HeliSAS panel, a transponder, ADF radio head and new audio panel.
Mentioning panels...
I have drawn the 206MIP panel in Fusion 360 and that gave me a few other ideas. I'll be out sourcing to get it CNC'd.
Options were to make a G500H panel losing the six pack and going with a GTN 750, but decided to stay analog instead.
I will be adding full functionality to the HSI and making an RMI (either a KNI582 or the older KI229)so I can still have ADF without cutting another large gauge slot in the new panel.
Adding a new KNI416 Radio altimeter.
I still need to redesign the warning panel and make new legends. That will give me a chance to add new segments for the SAS and engine relight in anticipation of the new dodo!
Cheers  
:)
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