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Jet45 Arduino Interface Software Update

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(Original thread started on 02-08-17 by Jason Hite)

I wanted to post an update to the RMUs. Im working on an Arduino interface to the RMUs and have also integrated a stand-alone display. The Arduino interface is fully self contained, there is no other software to run except the RMU.exe program. There is a direct key connection from the RMU to the software which completely bypasses FS/FSUIPC and eliminates all key lag previously seen.

 

We are also implementing a similar interface for the CDU/FMS as there are issues using 2 Hagstrom encoders on the same PC with the FMS software.

 

Here is a teaser video:

 

(Posted by Shane Barnes on 02-08-17)

Thank you Jason! Ron and I were talking a few days ago and I told him I thought this may fix some of the lag issues we were seeing by interfacing thru FS/FSUIPC. I will be implementing this when I do some revisions to my sim this summer/fall. Jason, do you think an Arduino board may be beneficial on the FGC panel by running all of the A/P functions thru Arduino instead of Pokeys and InterfaceIT? I thought it may be able to give us more functionality with some of the switches/encoders.

 

(Posted by Ron Rollo on 02-08-17)

Very cool video! I don't think I have seen my RMUs in action like that before. Looks like everything is working great!

 

After all the dust settles, I may also move to the Arduino boards for the RMUs as well. If nothing else, all the newer guys coming on line can start with the Arduino cards and save some cash and have better functionality. With that said, if it ends up being a better solution, cheaper and with better functionality, it would only make sense that guys like Shane and I move to this solution so that we are all on the same page and can help one another out with issues and setup.

 

(Posted by Jason Hite on 02-09-17)

Shane, what issues are you having with the FGC? When I get around to releasing my FGC software with the FMS, I would like to interface to the FGC via Arduino. My FGC software will handle all of the "special functions", command combining and other special logic such as pitch and roll hold modes. Getting away from FSUIPC as much as possible will mean a much smoother operating interface.

 

(Posted by Shane Barnes on 02-10-17)

Jason, the issues I am referring to are the slow or erratic responses of the encoders programmed thru the Pokeys cards. As for functionality I was referring to, you covered that in your response above concerning all the "special functions" I think using the Arduino on the FGC is a great idea and would like to see development moved in that direction. A lot of functionality on that panel like, CRS 1 and 2 push to sync, Heading push to sync, and of course the SPD encoder with different functions depending on whether VS switch or SPD switch active. ( I know some of this will most likely have to be worked thru hardware implementation as well) Again, I am really excited with the direction we are going with this!

Any updates on this Jason?

Hey Bryant,

I spoke with Jason on this topic and currently the plan is to finish up with the development of the FGC module which will use a single Arduino Mega interface card.  The RMU interface has been pushed back until the FGC is complete.  But with that said, the RMU programming is looking really good as you can see from the video above!

This is a good opportunity to let everyone know that we are working to remap the way we interface the entire cockpit.  99% of the avionics will be using the Arduino Mega and the Ardunio Nano interface cards.  This will require some rewiring but the advantage is that once you properly have the hardware plugged into the correct pins on the cards, it will be truly plug and play.  In other words, the cards will be hard coded and no programing by the end users is required.  The Pokeys57U will not be part of the new master interface map.

The other thing that you guys will be excited to hear about is that there will be a lot more functionality especially when it comes to the FGC and the FMS portions of the avionics system.  We will have more on that when it gets closer to completion.  Official announcement will be coming in the near future!

Hey Ron,

 

I appreciate the update on the Arduino   I think it's a very good idea to start incorporating the Arduino to interface all our instrument key functions.  I've been playing around with it, and have had some success with some of it's functionality.  I've connected it to one of my RMUs utilizing input pins 22-53, and then using Mobiflight to interface it with FSUIPC.  Right now I've gotten it to talk to the card, but still working on trying to get the offsets to work.  Once that's accomplished, I think I'll be well on my way to getting it fully functional.  Using the Arduino card is a more cost effective way to interfacing key components of the simulator.  I'll keep you posted, and also look forward to Jason's solution on the FGC using the Arduino.

I wanted to update everyone where we are on the Arduino interface solution.  To recap, we are looking to interface all of the avionics with Arduino interface cards to make programing easier for Jason and to make implementing the software for the end user much easier as well!  A pleasant side effect is the cost of the Arduino cards are just a fraction of other cards that we have used in the past.  Additionally, we are looking at a true plug and play solution for all aspects of the avionics.  No more spending countless hours programming and trouble shooting.  As long as you have the correct function hooked up to the correct pin, you are set!

The Autopilot and Flight Guidance Control System is very complex and in order to move to the next level of functionality, it is necessary to move forward to a solution like this using the powerful Arduino programing.  Per Jason, here is a short list of advanced functionality that we are hoping to achieve:

* Functioning pitch and bank hold

* Functioning speed hold without throttle (speed hold via pitch)

* Interoperability with the FMS (VNAV/LNAV)

* Correct AP indications on the PFD and MFD (bearing and crosstrack indications in FMS modes, etc)

* HDG, CRS1 and CRS2 PUSH to SYNC

* Simple plug-and-play interface (no need to setup any FSUIPC offsets for buttons, encoders, LEDs)

* Logic stacking (i.e. VS versus Altitude hold)

 

Today I finished a prototype FGC Sub Module board that includes an Arduino Mega interface card and a LED driver board.  Take a look at this photo:

FGC Sub Module

This FGC Sub Module is getting shipped off to Jason to do initial testing.

Just so it is documented, this is the initial pin assignment.  If it happens to change, I will update this list:

 

6 Pin Molex Plug to Mega: (Other AP controls)

Pin 3 Master Control Switch

Pin 5 Touch Control Steering

Pin 7 Go Around

Pin 9 Mute

(Two Grounds)

 

10 Pin Molex Plug to Mega: (Left FGC Buttons)

Pin 10 FD1

Pin 11 CRS 1 PUSH SYNC

Pin 12 HDG

Pin 23 NAV

Pin 25 APP

Pin 27 BNK

Pin 29 HDG Push SYNC

(Two Grounds)

 

16 Pin Molex Plug to Mega: (All Encoders)

Pin 28 CRS 1 INC

Pin 30 CRS 1 DEC

Pin 31 HDG INC

Pin 53 HDG DEC

Pin 52 SPD INC

Pin 50 SPD DEC

Pin 48 ASEL INC

Pin 47 ASEL DEC

Pin 46 CRS 2 INC

Pin 44 CRS 2 DEC

(Five Grounds)

 

6 Pin Molex Plug to Mega: (Center FGC Buttons)

Pin 32 AP

Pin 34 XFR

Pin 36 YD

Pin 38 SPD

Pin 40 PUSH IAS / M

(One Ground)

 

8 Pin Molex Plug to Mega: (Right FGC Buttons)

Pin A2 FLC

Pin A4 VS

Pin A6 VNV

Pin A8 ALT

Pin A10 FD2

Pin A12 CRS 2 PUSh SYNC

(Two Grounds)

 

10 Pin Molex Plug to LED Driver: (Left and Right FGC LEDs)

Pin 6 HDG LED Indicator

Pin 7 NAV LED Indicator

Pin 8 APP LED Indicator

Pin 9 BNK LED Indicator

Pin 10 FLC LED Indicator

Pin 11 VS LED Indicator

Pin 12 VNV LED Indicator

Pin 13 ALT LED Indicator

(Two Grounds)

 

6 Pin Molex Plug to LED Driver: (Center FGC LEDs)

Pin 1 AP LED Indicator

Pin 2 YD LED Indicator

Pin 3 SPD LED Indicator

Pin 4 XFR Left Indicator

Pin 5 XFR Right Indicator

(One Ground)

 

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I think this will be the best path forward for our projects making it much simpler for the end user/builder.  At some point I will be doing an upgrade to my build including the new Arduino solution.   Nice seeing progress made on the Flight Guidance for the Lear!

Ooh, that list of new 'goodies' in increased functionality by the FGC has made me consider jumping to update as well.

My Pokeys have served me well over the years, but their old technology is starting to show problems with my setup at least. My Pokeys are USB 1.1 and need to play nicely with USB 3.0 and soon to be tested by the USB  3.1/3.2 updates. Combine that with the 500mA requirement for each Pokey, which is a challenge for some USB hubs that take a max 900mA. This can be a problem when looking for permutations when connecting your other USB peripherals as well requiring the possible purchase of more hubs and cables.  As a comparison, the Arduino AT mega328p at 5v uses approximately 19.9mA. That alone is making the Arduino (or clone) a better future proofing option and will save you money as well. Win win !

So Ron, when you and Jason settle on the final design, I'm putting my hand up as well to be in the production run. Thanks again for breathing more life into what is already my dream.

Mark S.

Long time for updates here.  I have finished developing the Arduino code and Jet45 updates to support the entire glareshield and main MIP.  This includes:

  • FGC
  • Capt/FO EFIS
  • Capt/FO Reversion Panels
  • Crew Warning Panel
  • RMUs
  • DU1-4
  • FMS (Already available with Arduino)
  • Lower Panels (Planned but not started)

Unlike other available solutions, our Arduino interface requires no more configuration (or 3rd party software such as MobiFlight) than specifying the COM port in the ini file!  It's as close to plug-and-play as you can get.

In the coming weeks, I hope to have these independently tested by Shane as he has been provided with Ron's Arduino interface boards.  If all goes well, I should have the Arduino compatible Jet45 software available.  Now that my MIP/Glareshiled is fully integrated with the panels and software, I will be posting Youtube vids of the features.

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Roel
Jason Hite FlightDeckSoft

Outstanding news Jason!  Speaking for several of us, we are very excited to see your up and coming videos of the new features and interfacing within Jet45.

I really need to buckle down and get these three Ardunio Mega Interface boards complete.  For those of you not aware, we are planning to run everything else in the cockpit, outside of the list Jason provided above that is software capable or has the potential to be software capable via three Arduino Interface boards:

  • Capt Arduino Mega Module
  • FO Ardunio Mega Module
  • PED Arduino Mega Module

Each one of these Interface boards will be capable of handling 50 specific inputs and up to 32 specific LED Outputs.  In other words, these Ardunio interface boards are being designed specifically for the Lear45 flight deck and will include inputs for future software development!  All the lower panels, System Test Panel, Engine Panel, and everything on the Center Pedestal will be included within these interface boards.  I will have a complete list of inputs and outputs coming soon along with some photos of these interface boards once they are complete!

Thanks Jason for all the hard work you are putting into the Lear45 project!

 

OK, it's been a long time since I've been on the forum.  A lot has been going on and I haven't had a chance to really work on my sim.  Now that it seems I might have a little more time to work on it, I would like to get updates, particularly on the Arduino cards.  I know when I last worked on my Sim, I got the RMU's working, but since that time, I lost my entire programming for the FDS, and Arduino card interfacing with Mobiflight due to the fact I didn't back anything up before I bought and build a super gaming computer.  So needless to say, I have to re-program all my rotaries, switches and buttons.

My question is, Jason you said you also got the RMU's and and the entire MIP configured in Mobiflight.  I was able to get everything working aside from the RMU inner/outer encoders.  I used the offset of 73F4, but bit 0-7, and added 1 to the right, and -1 from the left in the configuration page.  It only will increment 2 digits left and right. Jason, or anyone else have any ideas?

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