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CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion

 
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cpq_ltop
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion Reply with quote



Has anyone taken the mechanicals from the CH Products Virtual Pilot yoke
(gameport version) and rewired it with the electrics from the current USB
yoke?

I haven't opened either of my yokes (one USB, two gameport) - yet -
but the new USB unit is useless for precision flying, especially approaches
and IFR procedures in turboprops (with OnTop or Elite). The yoke will not
center reliably in either axis - it's really horrible in the vertical axis.
Pitch oscillations are unavoidable when not on AP or FD.
The pilot is left to fly by trim (not encouraged on your checkride - the
breaker
for the trim is on his side of the plane...).

By the way, the CH recommended lube procedure didn't work well enough
with either the dropper-bottle Tri-Flow or the spray can Tri-Flow. It's OK,
but I found the best stuff is a white grease (synthetic) for bikes. Only
problem
with that is that it attracts dust/grit more than the other lubricants. I
was tempted
to try graphite but it's a new yoke. [Anyone try tenacious oil?]

The old yokes have an strong mechanical centering mechanism - it doesn't
need
a dead zone of 40+ lsb's to yield predictable aircraft control. However, the
new
unit has power/prop/fuel levers and handy pitch/yaw trim buttons.
So, a hybrid version seems to be ideal solution. Has someone done it?

reply to this group

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Andrej G.
Guest





PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion Reply with quote



On Thu, 08 Feb 2007 00:54:55 -0600, cpq_ltop wrote:

Quote:
Has anyone taken the mechanicals from the CH Products Virtual Pilot yoke
(gameport version) and rewired it with the electrics from the current
USB yoke?

I haven't opened either of my yokes (one USB, two gameport) - yet - but
the new USB unit is useless for precision flying, especially approaches
and IFR procedures in turboprops (with OnTop or Elite). The yoke will
not center reliably in either axis - it's really horrible in the
vertical axis. Pitch oscillations are unavoidable when not on AP or FD.
The pilot is left to fly by trim (not encouraged on your checkride - the
breaker
for the trim is on his side of the plane...).

By the way, the CH recommended lube procedure didn't work well enough
with either the dropper-bottle Tri-Flow or the spray can Tri-Flow. It's
OK, but I found the best stuff is a white grease (synthetic) for bikes.
Only problem
with that is that it attracts dust/grit more than the other lubricants.
I was tempted
to try graphite but it's a new yoke. [Anyone try tenacious oil?]

The old yokes have an strong mechanical centering mechanism - it doesn't
need
a dead zone of 40+ lsb's to yield predictable aircraft control. However,
the new
unit has power/prop/fuel levers and handy pitch/yaw trim buttons. So, a
hybrid version seems to be ideal solution. Has someone done it?

reply to this group

I'd say that the rewiring is indeed possible and, if both yokes have the
same number of buttons, hats and potentiometers, it probably won't be too
troublesome.

You can find wiring diagrams for the USB Yoke (and other CH hardware) on
their FTP site (ftp://ftp.chproducts.com/pub/Postings/Wiring/).

As far as I know (from my experience with gameport CH Pro Pedals) CH
doesn't actually solder wires on potentiometers (and hopefully buttons and
hats Smile) or, at least, they didn't use to. So all you need to do is
disconnect the wiring from the buttons/pots/hats on the USB Yoke and
connect them to their equivalents on the gameport Yoke. Be sure to note
which wire goes where, especially on the potentiometers. It'll make the
potential reversal of the conversion a lot easier.

I've done something similar. I gutted the electronics out of an old TM
FLCS/TQS/gameport CH Pro Pedals and connected them to a Plasma V2
(www.betainnovations.com). It works beautifully Smile.
--
//Andrej

Youth is the trustee of posterity.
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Roger
Guest





PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion Reply with quote

On Thu, 08 Feb 2007 14:01:10 GMT, "Andrej G."
<andrejgNO (AT) SPAMmarjetica (DOT) info> wrote:

Quote:
On Thu, 08 Feb 2007 00:54:55 -0600, cpq_ltop wrote:

Has anyone taken the mechanicals from the CH Products Virtual Pilot yoke
(gameport version) and rewired it with the electrics from the current
USB yoke?

I haven't opened either of my yokes (one USB, two gameport) - yet - but
the new USB unit is useless for precision flying, especially approaches
and IFR procedures in turboprops (with OnTop or Elite). The yoke will
not center reliably in either axis - it's really horrible in the
vertical axis. Pitch oscillations are unavoidable when not on AP or FD.
The pilot is left to fly by trim (not encouraged on your checkride - the
breaker
for the trim is on his side of the plane...).

By the way, the CH recommended lube procedure didn't work well enough
with either the dropper-bottle Tri-Flow or the spray can Tri-Flow. It's
OK, but I found the best stuff is a white grease (synthetic) for bikes.
Only problem
with that is that it attracts dust/grit more than the other lubricants.
I was tempted
to try graphite but it's a new yoke. [Anyone try tenacious oil?]

The old yokes have an strong mechanical centering mechanism - it doesn't
need
a dead zone of 40+ lsb's to yield predictable aircraft control. However,
the new
unit has power/prop/fuel levers and handy pitch/yaw trim buttons. So, a
hybrid version seems to be ideal solution. Has someone done it?

reply to this group

I'd say that the rewiring is indeed possible and, if both yokes have the
same number of buttons, hats and potentiometers, it probably won't be too
troublesome.

You can also just go out and purchase a serial to USB converter box.
They are relatively cheap and *usually* work, but YMMV


Quote:

You can find wiring diagrams for the USB Yoke (and other CH hardware) on
their FTP site (ftp://ftp.chproducts.com/pub/Postings/Wiring/).

As far as I know (from my experience with gameport CH Pro Pedals) CH
doesn't actually solder wires on potentiometers (and hopefully buttons and
hats Smile) or, at least, they didn't use to. So all you need to do is
disconnect the wiring from the buttons/pots/hats on the USB Yoke and
connect them to their equivalents on the gameport Yoke. Be sure to note
which wire goes where, especially on the potentiometers. It'll make the
potential reversal of the conversion a lot easier.

I've done something similar. I gutted the electronics out of an old TM
FLCS/TQS/gameport CH Pro Pedals and connected them to a Plasma V2
(www.betainnovations.com). It works beautifully Smile.
Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)

(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
www.rogerhalstead.com
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dell_dtop
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion Reply with quote

The Virtual Pilot interface is analog game port, not serial.

"Roger" <> wrote in message ...
Quote:
On Thu, 08 Feb 2007 14:01:10 GMT, "."

[snip]

You can also just go out and purchase a serial to USB converter box.
They are relatively cheap and *usually* work, but YMMV
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Roger
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion Reply with quote

On Sat, 10 Feb 2007 19:38:15 -0600, "dell_dtop" <nospam (AT) no2spam (DOT) com>
wrote:

Quote:

The Virtual Pilot interface is analog game port, not serial.

And?
There is still a serial to USB converter that takes the older CH
pedals and even the analog joysticks.

Quote:

"Roger" <> wrote in message ...
On Thu, 08 Feb 2007 14:01:10 GMT, "."

[snip]

You can also just go out and purchase a serial to USB converter box.
They are relatively cheap and *usually* work, but YMMV



Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)

(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
www.rogerhalstead.com
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cpq_ltop
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject: Re: CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion Reply with quote

Quote:
The Virtual Pilot interface is analog game port, not serial.

And?
There is still a serial to USB converter that takes the older CH
pedals and even the analog joysticks.

What does serial have to do with it? That's digital; gameport is analog.
The Virtual Pilot yoke is gameport - which is analog.

So you're suggesting buying something to convert gameport, which is
discrete ANALOG, to serial, which is DIGITAL (RS232/EIA232),
so you can then use a serial-to-USB converter.
In other words, DB15 to DB9 to USB.
Even if you could manage to cobble the circuitry together to convert
the analog gameport pots/switches to serial, like with a PIC, then
level-shift to USB, you would still need drivers.

The only GAMEPORT-to-USB "adapters" I've seen are for certain
digital joysticks made by Logitech and Microsoft. They are in fact
only dongles, not adapters: they DO NOT contain any analog-to-digital
conversion circuitry but instead route the USB signal SUPPLIED by the
digital joystick, via spare pins in the gameport connector, to a USB
connector. I've got the 3 incarnations of these (black, yellow, and gray);
they all use the same 4 pins from the DB15 (1, 4, 10, 14) wired to the
USB connector, although the Logitech (black) is not wired exactly the
same; two lines are the same, two are reversed.

BTW, my old CH Products pedals were analog gameport, not serial.
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Guest






PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:05 am    Post subject: Re: CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion Reply with quote

On Feb 11, 3:14 am, "cpq_ltop" <nos...@no86spam.com> wrote:
Quote:
The only GAMEPORT-to-USB "adapters" I've seen are for certain
digital joysticks made by Logitech and Microsoft. [...]

Radio Shack used to see a $10-15 gameport to USB adapter. I used it
on my old CH yoke. I've also used extras to give me extra MSFS
analog and button input.

Their only downside is that its a 64 level A/D converter, so it's not
super accurate.

If RS doesn't still sell it (even if not, stores often have one
hanging around on the wall), then I'm sure you could find them on
eBay.

Cheers, Kev
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RobertVA
Guest





PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:18 am    Post subject: Re: CH yoke gameport-to-USB conversion Reply with quote

Roger wrote:
Quote:
On Sat, 10 Feb 2007 19:38:15 -0600, "dell_dtop" <nospam (AT) no2spam (DOT) com
wrote:

The Virtual Pilot interface is analog game port, not serial.

And?
There is still a serial to USB converter that takes the older CH
pedals and even the analog joysticks.

"Roger" <> wrote in message ...
On Thu, 08 Feb 2007 14:01:10 GMT, "."

[snip]
You can also just go out and purchase a serial to USB converter box.
They are relatively cheap and *usually* work, but YMMV


Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
www.rogerhalstead.com

A standard game port supports two joysticks (two axis and TWO buttons
each) and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI). The joystick
functions are input ONLY. The MIDI function is bidirectional. MANY game
port analog joysticks utilize circuits that were originally designed for
the second joystick to implement functions like throttle and additional
buttons. Rudders usually use at least one of the second joystick axis.
With joystick pitch and roll, throttle, rudder and toe brakes the
standard game port runs short on axis.

Some manufacturers provided "Digital" game port controllers that
utilized the MIDI functions instead of the analog circuitry. Any force
feedback controllers that attach to the game port are certain to be
using the MIDI circuitry. Separately purchased game port to USB adapters
typically don't support MIDI based game controllers.

To get around the four button limitation some controllers have drivers
that that utilize some buttons, and often point of view switches, as
chords. Pressing one of those buttons activates multiple button circuits
on the game port. The CH Virtual Pilot Pro IS such a controller. When
connected through an adapter it would be dependent on the adapter's
driver to interpret the button chords. The controller/adapter
combination would NOT be compatible with the controller manufacturer's
driver software.
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