Jump to content


Photo

The Virpil thread


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#21 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 25 November 2018 - 12:09 AM

Adding 1/2 inch plywood under existing keyboard tray.  Since I'm mounting from underneath, this will lower the overall installation height.  Next step, once glue is dried, is to cut the holes in the tray which will house the joystick and throttle.  On the solid front edge, the bottom of the finished edge is now flush with the bottom of the plywood.

 

IMG-20181124-154431.jpg


  • Klaiber and Snaggle like this
"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#22 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 29 November 2018 - 11:03 PM

Mapping out center of stick location (same as old).  Periphery and hole saw centers marked.  Holes will be cut, then a jig saw with clamped guide will do the straight cuts between them.

 

After that, I'll also cut a square hole for the throttle.  This whole business will lower the actual height by 1-1/4 inches (a little more, if you include the rubber feet the bases would sit on).  At the same time, there will be nothing protruding any lower than the bottom of the keyboard tray, like before (well, maybe a 16th of an inch, to count the metal base thickness).  I'll take what I can get   ;)

 

IMG-20181126-115455.jpg


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#23 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 29 November 2018 - 11:09 PM

Much sanding and many coats of polyurethane later....ready for physical mounting of components   :)

 

IMG-20181129-172111.jpg


  • Snaggle likes this
"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#24 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:11 PM

Controllers installed from bottom side-

 

IMG-20181130-001601.jpg

 

 

Tray with controllers, keyboard and mouse reinstalled.  Ready for configuration!   :D

 

 

IMG-20181130-002541.jpg


  • Snaggle likes this
"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#25 Pfeil

Pfeil

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 178 posts
  • LocationJasta 6

Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:14 PM

How will you use that keyboard when the stick and throttle are fixed like this?


iGKzmH7.jpg1kQMDa.png


#26 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 30 November 2018 - 02:34 PM

Don't really use it in-game except maybe for some Teamspeak whisper assignments.  

 

Outside of game, it's easy for me to have my hands on either side of the throttle....in fact, the height of the throttle is perfect for a hand rest for the keyboard   :)   I can scoot the keyboard left or right if I want to, it's just sitting on top, not fixed in a specific place.  Same thing as I did with my old setup.

 

Also, because of the decreased footprint of the joystick, the mouse pad is actually bigger than my old one was, allowing more movement without picking it up and replacing it.

 

IMG-20181130-092441.jpg


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#27 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 01 December 2018 - 10:26 PM

Problems.....Problems!!!   :o   Nothing is easy, it seems.

 

Once I had downloaded the current "VPC Configurator Software", and the manual that goes with it (16 pages), I was pleasantly optimistic, once I read it, that things would go OK.  But it was not to be, for both hardware and software reasons.

 

First off, once you extract the zip file and place the folders on your drive, then create a shortcut to the executable (set to run as administrator), once you run it, the first thing it is likely to say is that you need to update the firmware.  The firmware update file is part of the package of software that you download, and makes the device and the software compatible.  Before that, you connect your devices, and let Windows install them.  That  part seemed to complete OK.  But when I started the software, only one device seemed to show up in the list (the throttle).  So I updated the firmware according to the instructions, and that seemed to work OK.  But what the software calls the device is based on what configuration file you load. Then when you start the firmware update process, it disconnects the device from Windows, and then you see "Bootloader" instead.  Then you browse to the file, and load it; then you end the process.

 

However, if you theoretically have 2 devices installed in Windows, and only one shows up in the software, are you really sure which one it is?  Not really, if you're new to the software and hardware.  In any case, after updating the firmware and installing the configuration file for the MT-50 Throttle, I rebooted the computer and ran the software again; again, only one device (Bootloader always shows up but doesn't count).  At this point, the software said that the firmware needed to be updated (again) Really?  So I did the process again....but then wondered am I updating it for the joystick now?  In that case, I should load the WarBRD + MT-50 Grip file, right?  NO!  What happened then is that the wrong config file got installed to the current device (apparently, the throttle) and nothing worked.  How to fix that?

 

First, I had to "reset configuration file", and then SAVE that file to the device (if you just reset it and then restart the software, nothing is changed).  Then in the software, the device shows up as "VPC reset device" or something like that (again, you're not really sure what it is exactly).

 

At that point, even the Windows devices called both devices *almost* the same name, so you didn't know which was which (VPC MT-50 Joystick vs. VPC Joysyick + MT-50 grip) .

 

So then I decided I have to be absolutely sure which device is which, so I disconnected both devices, rebooted, and then removed both devices in the "Devices and Printers" section of the Control Panel.  You can't tell what they are in the Device Manager; they probably show up under "HID" (Human Interface Devices) and they aren't specified clearly there.

 

Then I rebooted again, and after that, plugged in JUST THE JOYSTICK.  Window reinstalled it, then I ran the software.  Voila!  A device actually showed up that I knew to be the joystick.  So I updated firmware again, then installed the (this time correct) configuration file for "VPC WarBRD + MT50 Grip".  After that, I went to calibrate the stick (the next step).  The software senses stick movements and all you do is move each axis fully in each direction, and while doing this, the min and max values are registered; then after that, you let the stick center and then save all that data to your current config file; then you have to save the file.

 

Or so it should work.  However, another problem!  The X and Y axis of the stick would register movement just fine.  However, the "Z" axis (analog brake axis) would not move.  Huh?   :huh:   Whatever, no choice but to save what I have.  More on this problem later....

 

Now, reboot, and then plug in the throttle.  Windows installed, then started software....guess what?  A new device showed up!  Yay!  Install firmware, config file, calibrate....all seemed to work for all axis there.

 

Now it was about 1:30 in the morning, so I figured I could at least get RoF running for Saturday's session.... -_-   I started RoF and began to push buttons.  Throttle things worked, stick X and Y axis worked, but NONE of the buttons on the joystick would register in the game!  What the hell?

 

At this point I gave up for the night and went to bed.

 

5:25 AM, I woke up with a flash of insight.  Axis on the grip doesn't work, buttons on the grip don't work....axis on the base DO work....the grip isn't connected!  Why?  It did seem to me that the male part of the plug really didn't go into the female half (on the base side) very far at all.  But what can you do about that?  You carefully align the two connectors, and then you mate them together, and tighten the hand nut.  What else can you do?  Perhaps....seriously....that male connector can be pulled out?  Have to try it right now!  Up out of bed and down to the workshop.  Remove handle....needle nose pliers....holy crap, it does come out!  It's all clear now!   :rolleyes:   Here is what you see when you receive the stick, and then what it's like when you realize later that the connector comes out!  It comes with NO instructions, folks!

 

Base of grip, as it comes in the box:

 

IMG-20181201-054333.jpg

 

 

Looks just like it's made to go together that way, right?  WRONG!

 

Here's what REALLY needs to be done:

 

IMG-20181201-054436.jpg

 

 

So THAT was just THAT problem.  Ran configurator software, ran calibration....everything works!  Buttons too....

 

Start RoF....getting late in the morning....session in 4 hours!  I can do it !....?   :unsure:

 

Shower, eat something....hangover   :wacko:

 

Must make functional RoF controls map first!  Assign main axis, test in game....throttle axis is reversed.  Have to change every plane's response settings to reverse that axis.  Do that on a number of planes, but realize there just isn't enough time.  Concentrate on one plane and see how it works.  Uncheck "invert" on the Engine 1 throttle axis, apply, export, save, etc.  Check in game.  Question marks over each slider indicator in game?  Altitude Throttle axis seems to work OK ("W" axis).  Regular Throttle axis ("O" axis) working in corrected direction, except....when I reach about 95%, it sometimes stays, but most of the time reverts back to zero, all by itself!  What the hell?  Appears to be associated with the end of the axis....maybe detent buttons?  Recheck cal and look at all kinds of confusing field data concerning centering, etc.,....nothing in manual even begins to touch this....release physical detent allen screws....makes no difference.

 

All testing with DIView and inside of the config software indicates everything working normally.  I change axis within the game to another axis....same result; then another axis....one that is known to work without problems elsewhere in the game.  Same issue!  What's wrong here....?

 

Conflict within the game!  After reversing (uncheck "invert") the "Engine 1 throttle" axis, the problem began.  However, "Engines throttle axis" was NOT changed, so one was inverted, the other, NOT.  Conflict!  When one part was saying that is was at 100%, the other was saying that it was at ZERO!

 

Now only about an hour before FiF session start....

 

Can't fix everything.  Only fix the planes that are in FiF Phase B.  No, too much time; only fix the Entente planes, as that is what we are flying.  No!  too much time....only fix the Entente scouts we'll be flying.  Sopwith Dolphin....fixed.  S.E.5a....fixed.  Sopwith Camel....fixed.   Oops! forgot Nieuport 28....fixed.  Now finish mapping controls!  Old controls vs. new, what's logical, what's going to work best....engine, plane, pilot head, camera....updated to new buttons.

 

30 minutes to pre-session Teamspeak brief.

 

Finally, practice in "Fly Now"!  30 minutes to practice new stick hardware, flying Sopwith Dolphin, Sopwith Camel.  Others will have to wait!

 

Gratified to see that response curves work just as well with this hardware, as with old; as expected.  Very nice response now, accurate, somehow different....flyable, ease of control, nice, but different!  Will have to practice, but things should be stable now!   :)

 

Flew the session, and LIVED.  Didn't get any kills, but mainly had to protect my plane and life to complete the "wreath drop" mission, which was accomplished.  Did some damage to enemies, while remaining alive.  Very happy!  


  • Britchot and Snaggle like this
"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#28 Britchot

Britchot

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • 4,586 posts
  • LocationLancaster, CA

Posted 01 December 2018 - 11:00 PM

Yes you can!

 

 

...did you?


Britchot_R_tiny.png?dl=0

Britchot_O_tiny.png?dl=0

Britchot_FS_tiny.png?dl=0

   "Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen."


#29 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 01 December 2018 - 11:46 PM

Yes you can!

 

 

...did you?

 

See rest of edited post.... ;)  Sorry about that....it's all too much at one time, sometimes   ^_^


  • Britchot likes this
"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#30 Vonrd

Vonrd

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,754 posts
  • LocationOakland, CA

Posted 02 December 2018 - 12:02 AM

OMG!..  Kudos on sussing this out! I would have had a brain hemorrhage!


Posted Image

#31 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 02 December 2018 - 12:22 AM

OMG!..  Kudos on sussing this out! I would have had a brain hemorrhage!

 

 

I don't know....sometimes it seems like bad luck, injuries....just find me.  Seriously, I used to get problems with equipment that nobody else seemed to have, back when I was a technician; I'd always get "the big ones".  Later, I began to realize that a lot of it was just that others didn't report or address the problems "you're the only one who's reported this" or "just you and one other site has reported this", when asking for support.

 

In any case, I can truthfully say that I initiated national changes to the entire NAS based on problems in the system that I discovered (some things you just can't fix in the field because they're software or firmware based).

 

What kind of luck is that?    :lol:


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#32 Vonrd

Vonrd

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,754 posts
  • LocationOakland, CA

Posted 02 December 2018 - 01:03 AM

Yeah, I have the same things happen with acft maintenance. Recently had a Lear 60 pitch trim actuator due for overhaul (pitch trim actuator... hmm... remember the Alaska Airlines crash in the 90s due to poor maintenance on a pitch trim actuator, I do... made me especially leery).

 

Received the replacement unit and installed it but the rigging holes didn't line up. The maint manual says "adjust the rod-end" but doesn't say how and this thing has limit switches attached to to rod-end. If you adjust it, it just goes to where the limit switches stop it and doesn't change anything. I've replaced several and never had to do any adjustments. Called Bombardier tech support and they say "you shouldn't have to do any adjustments"... (even though the manual clearly says to do so if needed). Ordered another actuator overnight... same shit. Tech says we need to check the incidence of the Stabilizer but that needs a special tool to do so. Rented it and the incidences check ok. Tech contacts the mechanics on the factory floor and they give us the procedure to adjust the actuator, WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FRIGGIN MANUAL TO BEGIN WITH! Everything checks OK now. 

 

The kicker is that this was the second time the actuator was due to be replaced. The last Bozo just threw it in and didn't worry about the rig holes lining up, so the plane has been flying for 2 years with this. In all normal operations this really has no affect. Only if you would need FULL nose down trim would it matter (and this would be most unlikely... but...).

 

Bottom line... by me sticking by my findings... doing my due diligence and doing it right, we got hit with a multi thousand dollar re-stocking fee for the second actuator that I ordered because tech led me to believe that the first one was faulty. We're fighting it but past experience has not been good. They have us by the short hairs.

 

All that being said (and this isn't the first similar incidence) I'm not changing the way I work. It HAS to be right!


  • Luftritter and Snaggle like this
Posted Image

#33 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 02 December 2018 - 02:53 AM

Very nice!  Great work!  Reminds me of controls rigging (pins in holes) on those choppers.  Also SCAS (Stability and Controls Augmentation System) on Bell products, and the AFCU (Automatic Flight Controls Unit) on the CH-54.  Nothing was connected directly on these planes! (laughing, that is what they called these helicopters in the maintenance units I worked in).  All the pilots flew "with their thumbs"....except that the test pilots didn't have a lot of respect for that.

 

KUGW

 

(Keep Up the Good Work)   ^_^


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#34 Ludwig

Ludwig

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 112 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio, TX

Posted 02 December 2018 - 08:05 AM

Vonrd….

 

WEll praise GOD you do good work....  and all the pilots out there that don't appreciate what that is worth...  I thank you....

 

  I *HAD* to read this before I went to bed.  perfect....

 

I can't count the number of engine failures or inflight emergencies I have had because of poor maintenance.  I remember the big ones,   double engine shut down in a Metroliner (Sa-226) because the control rod ends were not safety wired and one fell off and the other vibrated full forward uncommanded as I was coming into DAL at 04:30 on a Mx test hop for the pressurization. I had a mech with me in the right seat and we had to pry his hands off the chair to get him out of the cockpit he was so scared.... totally locked up.  The guy that screwed it up was last heard from running down Lemmon Ave screaming as the guy that was chasing him (guess who) was intent on doing him serious damage.  He was fired on the spot and was so scared he didn't come back for his tool box... sent his wife the next day to collect his things. Just careless....   I lost #2 on take off out of ELP in AUGUST... MGWTO  of course right at V1... flying freight for Airborne Ex.  We went between the tail of the FedEx 727 and the hangar as the Vmc roll took us to the right. My partner was making the takeoff and about to take his Captain checkride so I left him with it and he did a good job.  That one was shown to me by the GARRETT mechs that came out and tore down the engine...  he showed me a piece of paper about 1 sq cm.  It was filter paper, and the mech had been too lazy to get an oil filter wrench so he stabbed the oil filter with a screw driver and torqued off the filter. 1 in a million... it poked the little scrap of paper that bunched on the tip of the screwdriver and went into an oil metering hole, which then went into the line and scrogged the oil system and caged the engine.  I left freight in 1989, and never EVER had another problem.  A light here and there and you have to land...  those things happen..  but there was nothing more dangerous than doing a test flight after maintenance.


  • Britchot and Luftritter like this
"Zwei stunde mit ohne zigarren..... furchbar" Adolf Galland to me about flying to the airshow.

"Chuck Yeager says... the first time ever I see a jet, I shoot it down.... I say.. the first time I see Chuck Yeager... I shoot him down" Gunter Rall to me at a picture signing.

#35 Luftritter

Luftritter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • LocationMichigan, United States

Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:40 PM

Back on topic....here is what I finalized to after some initial changes, for RoF button mapping.  The index finger 2-way hat in the right side of the grip did not work as well as I would have hoped for FOV zooming (it's just not as natural as using your thumb, IMHO), so I moved that function to the thumb 4-way hat.  I also settled on the position of the engine on/off switch (actually 2 choices), and the engine blip switch.

 

I was disappointed to learn on the Virpil Controls Hanger forum that you CAN'T emulate keyboard buttons on the controllers using the VPC Configurator software ("yet", they say, implying that it is coming in the future).  So with regard to specific saved views, I'm stuck with the keyboard right now.  Actually, I think in the game those saved views are bound to the 8-way POV hat function, so I might be able to juggle something using the many free 4-way hats that I have available.

 

But for now:

 

Ro-F-MT-50-Grip-Button-Map.jpg

 

Ro-F-MT-50-Throttle-Button-Map.jpg


  • Snaggle likes this
"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users