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=VG= SemlerPDX

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About =VG= SemlerPDX

  • Rank
    Major
  • Birthday 06/05/1979

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Portland, OR
  • Interests
    Camping, hiking, shooting, and fast gaming computers
  • Occupation
    Scruffy looking Nerf Herder

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    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP3y9JOEWPTpcx6rOh3G7Tg

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  1. Napalm

  2. I have a touch screen monitor below my main one when I fly in flight simulators like Falcon BMS or DCS or Microsoft Flight Simulator. It's great for the MFD buttons, as opposed to the actual wired USB Thrustmaster MFD's physically attached to the screen like I used to have, and I can use the monitor for other things, too. But one thing I would love to have attached to the screen would be the Course and Heading knobs of the HSI (horizontal situation indicator) . It would need to be removable so I can store it when not in use. I've heard about a micro-suction tape that can stick to anything smooth and flat without leaving a residue or losing stickiness, so this is a good excuse to buy some and play around with sticking things to my monitors. ← On the left is the (green) Arduino Micro board I used to test the concept with a rotary encoder on a breakout board, where I wrote the initial sketch with the Joystick and Encoder libraries. Later, because I didn't want to sacrifice my Arduino Micro to this controller, I bought a 3 pack of these much smaller Sparkfun Pro Micro clones for fifteen bucks (blue one in the middle). That one is gonna stay there for future tests and such, they'll be the heart of many projects in the future since they cost so little and include so much! My DIY USB Game Controller - Rotary Encoders as Course & Heading Knobs for Falcon BMS / DCS / FSX *parts list with links at bottom The initial goals I had for this project were: Two Rotary Encoders with Push Buttons recognized as USB Game Controller in Windows Thin and flat, without taking up too much viewing space on the monitor Can stick and restick to the monitor with micro-suction tape USB connector can be removed so it can be boxed (NetDot magnetic) Fine control for one-degree per detent and Fast Speeds for turning quickly Encased in semi-rigid form like shrink wrap so it won't scratch the monitor Total cost for one single unit less than $10 First, I affixed the Rotary Encoders and the Pro Micro clone to an 8cm x 2cm prototype PCB with a couple header pins bent outwards and crimped down, and with the two blue solid copper switch wires soldered in place from the top. I also ran the 10k Ohm resistors for the switches now. These are for the push buttons built into the rotary encoders, and although they only have two pegs on the actual component, they require three wires from the controller board (ground, 5 volt power, and the blue switch wire going to the Pro Micro). All this added plenty of structure. There is no wiggle or play, I'm not gonna try to break it, but it is very rigid now. Here's a close look at the first stage of soldering. (okay, don't look too close) I don't have the highest quality tools or solder, or even a lot of skill and experience at this, but it's good enough -- and good enough should always be good enough for a DIY project for personal use. If I wanted to, I could order a custom circuit board if I was going to make a bunch of these, but I'm happy as it is. It is so cheap to buy some of this stuff, if you messed up, you can always just buy another. Those Pro Micro controller boards cost about as much as a value meal at a fast food joint, so you can literally afford to make mistakes as you learn even if you're on a very tight budget like I am. A homemade carbon filter fume extractor, a simple soldering iron with a power switch and a temperature controller, some handy dandy helping hands and that brass soldering tip cleaner make little projects like this very easy, and all these items together costs less than the Logitech mouse to it's right. Good enough to play. If anyone reading this has any idea to get into working with things like this, my advice is to jump right in, get the most basic stuff you can get, not the cheapest, but things with good reviews from some good online store like Amazon, Sparkfun, Adafruit, etc. Soldering the top side here, used one of the helping hands to hold a string of solder from the spool. When I'm dealing with tiny bits that are between 0.5mm-2mm, anything that helps is appreciated. One slip and this 225C soldering iron would burn through any one of those tiny chips or components on the board. I find myself holding my breath and doing one or two, then letting go for a sec. I had to redo a few, and I always wait for it to cool down so I don't transfer too much heat to this poor little board. I had a few bits of solid copper wire with colored insulators, from a breadboard jumpers kit, so I cut some to length, but used others as is. This resulted in an odd looking crossover of the Orange and Yellow wires, but they are not taller than the micro USB port on the other side of the board and that's fine. Once I was all done, I tested every connection for continuity and unintentional bridges, and it all checked out, so I encased it in shrink wrap. By some sort of miracle, it works, it looks decent, and I think that will do just great! I connected it to the computer and uploaded the sketch, which I had to modify slightly since I used a few different pins for the push buttons on the rotary encoders, now at pins 15 and 6 instead of 6 and 7. I am thoroughly hooked on these NetDot magnetic adapters. When I looked at the reviews for Pro Micro boards, one of the only issues I saw that I'd be concerned with is accidentally popping the micro-USB port off the Pro Mini board if dropped or yanked too hard. A magnetic connector completely eliminates this issue, as well as the standard wear and tear issues that plugging and unplugging creates over time. And they're as cheap as regular braided USB cables, too. Why not? Here it is connected to the touchscreen monitor. It is far more satisfying to have tactile dials for these knobs than trying to make little circles on the screen with my finger over the touchscreen dials. The micro-suction tape keeps it in place and actually has some grab when trying to pull it off the screen. I've started using a peeling action but I doubt the screen would ever have problems. I might get a 3D printed case someday and maybe even a 90 degree angle connector so the cord goes back behind the monitor naturally instead of downwards, but for now, it's done and working great. Turning the dial with the most basic rotary encoder sketch from that Arduino library results in a "one degree per detent" meaning one turn is one click, and one click is one degree. No matter how fast you turn it, with 20 detents per 360 degrees with these encoders, it would take FOREVER to turn the dial from heading 000 to 180!! I wrote two separate jump speeds to detect how fast the dial is being turned, one jumps 18 degrees per click, and the other 30 per click. Now, it's easy to twist the dial fast to get it spinning fast on screen, while also being able to dial in one degree at a time when needed. All in all, it was a fun project and it's made me think seriously about getting a 3D printer someday to make little plastic cases for things like this. Here's the code if someone wants to use it (or modify it to make it better): Rotary Encoders HSI Course and Heading Knobs.ino for Arduino IDE https://pastebin.com/drUnCfKN /* Simple HSI Knobs Sketch for Falcon BMS / DCS / FSX * for Arduino Micro/Leonardo / Sparkfun Pro Micro or equiv. clones * by SemlerPDX June2019 * VETERANS-GAMING.COM * * Pins: * Rotary Encoder 1 - (OUTA-OUTB-SW) = Arduino Pins (0,1,15) * Rotary Encoder 2 - (OUTA-OUTB-SW) = Arduino Pins (2,3,6) * * Encoder Library * http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_libs_Encoder.html * * Joystick Library * by Matthew Heironimus * https://github.com/MHeironimus/ArduinoJoystickLibrary */ #define ENCODER_USE_INTERRUPTS #define ENCODER_OPTIMIZE_INTERRUPTS #include <Encoder.h> #include <Joystick.h> //Tell the Encoder Library which pins have encoders Encoder axisXRotation(0, 1); Encoder axisYRotation(2, 3); //Rotary Encoder Push Button Pins int buttonArray[2] = {15, 6}; //Rotary Encoder Interrupt Pins int EncoderPin0 = 0; int EncoderPin1 = 1; int EncoderPin2 = 2; int EncoderPin3 = 3; //Delay Time between loops int debounceDelay = 260; //Variables to compare current to old values int oldX = 0; int oldY = 0; int RxAxis_Value = 1; int RyAxis_Value = 1; //Intervals for Jump/Warp Speed Rotations int JumpSpeed = 18; int WarpSpeed = 30; //Set generic joystick with id 42 with 2 buttons and 2 axes Joystick_ Joystick(0x42, 0x04, 2, 0, false, false, false, true, true, false, false, false, false, false, false); void setup() { //Set Encoder Pins as Pullups pinMode(EncoderPin0, INPUT_PULLUP); pinMode(EncoderPin1, INPUT_PULLUP); pinMode(EncoderPin2, INPUT_PULLUP); pinMode(EncoderPin3, INPUT_PULLUP); //Loop through buttons and set them as Pullups for(int x = 0; x < sizeof(buttonArray); x++) { pinMode(buttonArray[x], INPUT_PULLUP); } //Set Range of custom Axes Joystick.setRxAxisRange(0, 359); Joystick.setRyAxisRange(0, 359); // Initialize Joystick Library Joystick.begin(false); } void loop() { // Loop through button pin values & set to Joystick for (int x = 0; x < sizeof(buttonArray); x++) { byte currentButtonState = !digitalRead(buttonArray[x]); Joystick.setButton(x, currentButtonState); } // Read "Heading" X Axis Rotation Encoder Knob int newX = axisXRotation.read(); if (newX > oldX) { //Determine speed of increment & set output int difX = newX - oldX; RxAxis_Value = speedVal(difX, RxAxis_Value, 1); Joystick.setRxAxis(RxAxis_Value); axisXRotation.write(newX); oldX = newX; }else if (newX < oldX) { //Determine speed of decrement & set output int difX = oldX - newX; RxAxis_Value = speedVal(difX, RxAxis_Value, 0); Joystick.setRxAxis(RxAxis_Value); axisXRotation.write(newX); oldX = newX; } // Read "Course" Y Axis Rotation Encoder Knob int newY = axisYRotation.read(); if (newY > oldY) { //Determine speed of increment & set output int difY = newY - oldY; RyAxis_Value = speedVal(difY, RyAxis_Value, 1); Joystick.setRyAxis(RyAxis_Value); axisYRotation.write(newY); oldY = newY; }else if (newY < oldY) { //Determine speed of decrement & set output int difY = oldY - newY; RyAxis_Value = speedVal(difY, RyAxis_Value, 0); Joystick.setRyAxis(RyAxis_Value); axisYRotation.write(newY); oldY = newY; } //Send Joystick info through USB Joystick.sendState(); delay(debounceDelay); } //Function to set Rotation value adjusted for the turning speed int speedVal(int dif, int val, int dir){ if (dif >= WarpSpeed) { if (dir == 1) { val = val + WarpSpeed; }else{ val = val - WarpSpeed; } }else if (dif >= JumpSpeed) { if (dir == 1) { val = val + JumpSpeed; }else{ val = val - JumpSpeed; } }else{ if (dir == 1) { val = val + 1; }else{ val = val - 1; } } //Correct Rotation within 360 deg. if (val < 0) { val = val + 360; }else if (val >= 360) { val = val - 360; } return val; } Here's a cost breakdown: Pro Micro (clone of Sparkfun Pro Micro board sold by KeeYees) (3 pack) - $15.99 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FXCTVQP/ $5.33 per board PCB Prototype Board Kit - $15.99 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CK3RCKS/ $0.25 (just a guestimate - it's one part out of a huge kit) 360 Degree Rotary Encoders (5 pack w/knob caps) - $8.89 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DM2YMT4/ $3.56 for 2 dials Microsuction Tape (25cm X 30cm Sheet) - $14.95 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M7FC1K8/ $0.12 (just a guestimate - used 1.5cm x 6cm strip of a huge sheet) NetDot 5ft Braided Magnetic Tip USB Micro Cable (3 pack) - $13.90 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074TB8XTL/ $4.64 for 1 cord (Not taking into account things like double sided sticky tape, solder, wires, or shrink wrap tubing segments used because they cost less than a few pennies) Total: $13.65 (USD) _________________________________ I spent a fair bit more money than I initially expected to (almost $55!), but much of that went towards components or materials that I'll be able to use for several projects in the future. At about $14 bucks, it is twice what I thought it would be per unit, so that will help me to better gauge other ideas. It seemed like it would be cheap as dirt, using many parts I already owned, but it all adds up - they don't sell less than a sheet of micro-suction tape, and buying control boards in bulk is the only wise way to do it (if you can call 3 units "bulk", that is). In conclusion, it was great to have an idea, play around with some proof of concepts, and then make it into a reality within a few days. Single game controllers today.... one day, a full cockpit of switches! Not sure what my next project will be, but among other ideas, I've considered making a custom control board for Kerbal Space Program, or maybe some kind of wireless gear that can connect to a computer and translate into RF to control some DIY RC cars or whatever with my Xbox controller already attached to my PC. Eventually, I want to get into wireless stuff, and even RC, but I might start with button boards that use USB cables just like this one. If anyone has any questions on this project, feel free to ask. Thanks for reading!
  3. FNG on Deck!

    Hello and welcome!
  4. screen047.jpg

  5. How to install BMS 4.34

    Hello and welcome! BMS 4.34 is a standalone release. You can keep 4.33 installed if you want, 4.34 won't mind and will install to it's own separate folder. I'm sure there are better instructions on the BMS website, if you need further detail. I have 4.32, 4.33 (U5) and 4.34 all installed on the same hard drive.
  6. Arma 3 Liberation Server crashing

    This is a known issue that we have not been able to resolve yet (mostly because I'm the only one really doing it and I'm out of ideas). Zadra has been invaluable in helping pin down the issue, but to no success. He doesn't even read English, so our communication is always passive and not a lot gets accomplished fast. I feel like I'm spinning plates sometimes..... I used to have several technical people helping manage the difficult technical aspects of various servers at VG, and now it is pretty much down to me. I remember back when I didn't know anything technical and Savage/Poffadder/Solar taught me a little and encouraged me to learn more. Now, here I am. Thank God for Kav and Stark being so helpful and getting through a lot of training this year managing the PR Server.... but still, I'm alone in the dark here and not sure how to fix the Arma 3 server(s)... One possible work around (if I understand Zadra correctly) is to restart it 3 times.... apparently, the third time will be stable(?) So sorry for the technical issues, I hate when things fall into disrepair. If you know anyone in our group with technical know-how who'd be willing to help ol' SemlerPDX out, tell them to msg me.
  7. Greetings Mortals!

    Hello and welcome!! Thanks for the intro!
  8. I bought a Logitech G933 wireless headset last year and I'd like to make my TrackIR TrackClip Pro into a wireless unit as well. I need to be able to remove it from the G933 when not in use, TrackClip Pro's break if you look at them too hard, so taking it off is a primary requirement. I'll want to be able to recharge it with the same cord the G933 uses, too. I'm not a pro at this stuff, so any thing that works well and doesn't cost too much will be just fine with me. I know that if I ramp up the voltage from one single 3.7V battery, I can achieve 5V @ 1A for the 3 LED's on the TrackClip, and should retain a duration of more than 4 hours (overly hopeful estimate). I'll need to do some testing, if I have to, I'll use the second 3.7V battery like in the image here just for longer time between charges. My DIY TrackIR "Wireless Rechargeable" Track Clip Pro mod *parts list with links at bottom The initial goals I had once I began were: Tiny form-factor, less than 5cm long, less than 2.5cm wide & tall Can power TrackClip for between 4-8 hours continuously Tiny on-off slider switch Rechargeable via micro-A USB female plugin Output to TrackClip via USB (type A) female outlet plug (as in picture above) Encased in semi-rigid form like shrink wrap, adapted plastic case, or custom 3D printed plastic case Velcro strap to easily mount on headphones Total cost for one single powerpack unit less than $10 USD Soldering leads to the TP4056 (03962A) Charging Board with Protection. This is the brains of this unit, and will make sure the rechargeable 3.7V battery will not discharge past 2.5V and will not recharge over 4.2V. It acts as the buffer between the battery and the voltage booster. Here is the 03962A Charging Board and battery holder wired to the MT3608 DC to DC Step Up Boost Converter. I did this for initial testing and to set the trim-pot (blue square box with round brass peg) on the boost converter from the 18V setting it shipped with to the 5V that I need. It will take the 3.7 Volt battery and step up its voltage to something usable by the TrackClip Pro without the need for a second battery. Trying to keep the size small, mounting the breakout boards close together makes it about the size of a stick of gum, plus the AAA sized battery. I put a USB female plug in for size reference along with the Bic lighter. The 10440 is a 3.7 Volt Lithium Ion rechargeable battery in a AAA size. According to a features sheet on a batteries info website, "Lighter weight and higher energy density than any other rechargeable battery". I'll be ramping up it's voltage to a full 5V. I used a portion of shrink wrap tubing around the 03962A Charging Board on the left, and MT3608 Boost Converter on the right is hot glued to the battery holder and to the 03962A in the middle. Through the shrink wrap I cut holes for the LED indicator lights on the charging board. The tiny switch has a pin through the breakout board and is soldered in place, with another pin bent and wrapped around the edge of the board, and soldered to it's wire (I didn't have red shrink wrap, but the thicker top right wire is the load line, and is red under there). Even with all of that, I just don't trust tiny switches to stay in place and solder is not structural, so it got a healthy dose from the hot glue gun. As you can see, I've used the highly skilled technique known as "just glob it on". I've cut the cord on the Track Clip Pro, spliced the wires to the Boost Converter, and used shrink wrap tubing to contain the entire unit. I've left a bit of the wire jacket hanging below the wires and hot glued in place, and then shrink wrapped under a little tension. This causes a slight bend in the wire, shown in these pics and it helps the unit bend the newly magnetic end inwards to the screw under this panel. A NetDot micro-USB magnetic adapter makes connecting a charging cable easy, and gives one end of my battery pack a strong magnet to work with. The NetDot magnetic charging adapter is so strong it is very well stuck to the screw on the corner of the G933 headset under the panel. It doesn't come off and swing around when I move my head around, and that's all that really matters to me. Function before looks. It's finally finished and working great! I expect it will last for a few years before I'll want to carve off the outer shrink wrap and replace the 10440 battery, and seal it back up with a new shrink wrap tube (and some new cut-outs for the switch and lights). Here's a cost breakdown: NetDot Magnetic Bi-Directional microUSB Plug Adapters https://www.amazon.com/NetDot-Generation-Magnetic-Adapter-Compatible/dp/B076QC2RQT/ $4 (per male/female adapter pair) TP4056 (03962A) Charging Board with Protection MT3608 DC to DC Step Up Boost Converter (in a pack with 3 of each board, plus 5 battery holders) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NHHCNNQ $1.00 per breakout board The battery holder I used was actually the AAA type: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C2XT5C5 $0.58 (one) 3.7V 10440 AAA Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery (x4 @11.69 - w/Charger $19.09)*(note: these are NOT AAA batteries! They must be charged with a special charger, and shouldn't be used for normal AAA battery powered devices!) https://www.amazon.com/10440-Rechargeable-Lithium-Battery-350mah/dp/B010ABNW5S/ (or) https://www.amazon.com/10440-Lithium-Rechargeable-Battery-Charger/dp/B06X9TZ1CG/ $2.92 / battery Tiny switch with nice long legs (they come in a pack of a hundred for six bucks): https://www.amazon.com/Cylewet-Vertical-Switch-Arduino-CYT1016/dp/B01N7NCW8N/ $0.06 (one) (Not taking into account things like hot glue sticks, solder, tape, or shrink wrap tubing segments used because they cost less than a few pennies) Total: $9.56 (USD) _________________________________ Looking back to the start, I've met my goals or caused some to become redundant (like velcro) and the cost for this single battery unit was less than $10, though I do have enough parts to make 2 more, I'm happy to put those in my Arduino projects bins and eat the costs there. This thing cost me about ten bucks, it works well, and I also have another $26 in extra parts (NetDot's and 3.7V batteries, battery holders, charging and boost breakout boards...). I learned a bit about larger shrink wrap tubing, it only shrinks so far. And I think it was all worth it. Had a flight earlier, with 8 minutes to taxi, I just got up out of my PC chair from a hot pit, and walked over to the fridge to get a soda all without taking off my headset or TrackClip Pro, strolling around while listening in to the Tower and waiting for my clearance to taxi. It was a feeling of true freedom! If anyone has any questions on this mod, I'd be happy to help if I can. See you at Angels 20!
  9. How to play music in Mumble

    You can turn off the channel the mic is going to your own ears/speakers... make sure it only goes to the one output it should go to. Post up a screenshot of your VoiceMeeter board and Risiko or myself could help in just a few seconds. Also note, if you are TRYING to hear yourself, but are merely complaining about the delay creating an echo, you might want to try connecting your Mic input as a kernal sound device (KS instead of WDM or MME). KS is as direct to the source as it can get, though not all inputs will support the option. But it has a noticeably smaller delay than Windows Driver Model or Microsoft Multimedia Environment methods. I have to choose KS for my cheap bluetooth headphones or there is lip sync delay when watching video, but I don't have to do that with my good bluetooth headphones. Again, cuz not sure what you are talking about, post up a pic of your VoiceMeeter and we could better help troubleshoot. (examples of what I'm talking about - as you can see, I don't have any KS capable mic's but I have several capable outs - I don't use it unless needed as it can be resource intensive)
  10. Last fall, I bought a few more PC monitor arms to free up desk space...  I have a transforming setup now, lol.

    Made this GIF to show the different ways I can set this thing up so I can, for example, play VR without punching a hole in my main monitor or knocking over my drink. :D

    The laptop is connected to the smallest monitor on the right, the other two are connected to my PC.  I have to hide a lot of spaghetti behind the desk, but  all the cables are well managed.

    V3LZqGG.gif

    1. WCCBadploy

      WCCBadploy

      Impressive. Well done!!

    2. =VG= 22..12

      =VG= 22..12

      are u gonna launch a nuclear missile with such equipment... lol:21:

    3. =VG= SemlerPDX
  11. How to play music in Mumble

    I use the AudioPick browser extension. Lets me choose which audio device my Google Chrome browser uses by default, so anything in it like YouTube, etc. I checked FireFox and there are a few comparable AddOns -- might try something like that if you're interested.
  12. How to play music in Mumble

    ^That's very cool!! BTW, VoiceMeeter uses 3 virtual audio cables (A, B, and Hi-Fi) -- but that system you linked seems WAY more powerful, up to 256 independent audio signals?! If my Potato ever needs anything more, now I know where to look!!! Mostly, I wish I could control the default Windows audio out more directly. For example, VoiceAttack uses Windows Default Audio Output, but so do many games that don't have options to select audio output, so I can't truly separate the two into different channels for recording, streaming, etc. If I could take items from the Windows Default and address their audio stream per application/process then I could tell VoiceAttack to only make sounds through, say, VoiceMeeter VB Audio Cable-A.
  13. How to play music in Mumble

    Excellent guide, .Blizzard. !!! Love the helpful graphics!! VoiceMeeter and VB Audio Cables are the way to go!! It's been awhile since I've seen the original VoiceMeeter... I'm up to VoiceMeeter "Potato" now, actually cost money. It looks complicated, but I use voice commands to control it unless I'm just using the mouse wheel on one of the Fader Gain's. You can take complete control of your inputs/outputs with VoiceMeeter -- it's way worth it to learn! The rabbit hole only gets deeper... Here's a peek at the Pro version, I mean pic:
  14. Happy Birthday, General!!

  15. Server Issue

    Thanks for the report! It was crashed to the desktop. I've restarted to the last autosave file. If it's greatly messed up the time of day for our regular pilots, let us know and we can adjust the clock.
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