The Two Brothers (GTX970 to GTX1080) – VR adventures Part V

After kicking around with VR for a few weeks, tweaking, tinkering and finding the limits. I’ve decided to retire my GTX970 in favor of it’s beefy young brother.. the GTX1080.

I’ve chose the Gigabyte GTX1080 G1 Gaming, As I have a positive experience with my Gigabyte GTX970 G1 Gaming and Gigabyte had this card reasonably priced at 649USD.

In this “episode” I’ll discuss a little about the ups and downs, backed up by some numbers.

Continue reading The Two Brothers (GTX970 to GTX1080) – VR adventures Part V

Second Opinions – VR adventures Part IV

In this segment I wanted to get other peoples opinions. To get things into perspective. I’ve invited two people to have a go on the Vive in DCS:World and see what they say about the whole VR hype. The first, is an experienced GA pilot. The other, Is a veteran Virtual pilot, with decades of flight simulator experience.

Continue reading Second Opinions – VR adventures Part IV

KW-908 – Force feedback my Ass (literally)

I’ve never been a fan of Force Feedback sticks, in fact other then the Logitech G940 there had never been a true Force Feedback HOTAS system. So when I stumbled across a post in the ED forums a few years back about a Russian made “force feedback seat cushion” called KW-908, and I got intrigued.

After a few months of “thinking about it”, buying the Vive had loosed a few screws in my head apparently and I’ve decided to get it. after running with it for a while, it’s time to put in some words about it 🙂

Continue reading KW-908 – Force feedback my Ass (literally)

Taking to the sky – VR adventures Part III

As you are aware at this point, I own an HTC vive. I actually use it only in a sit down scenarios at this point (this blog is about my cockpit after all :-)).

I’ve been using the Vive for almost two weeks now, so join me to this breakdown of my user experience, so you can make the correct choice for yourself.

However, I will try and describe my experience, both ups and downs. However, I explicitly choose NOT to give a one line bottom line. I firmly believe that VR is very much a case of YMMV.

so if you came looking for a bottom line, save yourself some time 🙂
For the rest of you… let’s get started…

Continue reading Taking to the sky – VR adventures Part III

Vive la Vive – My VR adventures Part II

2016 had given us not one but two VR ecosystem. Oculus’ Rift, which we had discussed in Part I, and the HTC/Valve Vive. Today, I’ll try and explain why I think the Vive is the a more technologically viable option of the two. This will not be an “unboxing” as those can be found all over the internet. In this post I’ll try to go over the reasons I went the Vive way.

I will not go over the details as for the usage of the system, his will be discusses at a later date, after I’ll be using the Vive for some time and gained some experience with the system and have found the correct balance for my rig. (as we do for all new hardware). I don’t believe in Reviewing a product 10 minutes after getting my hands on it.

I was initially very fixated on getting the Rift. But we have established that Oculus just didn’t want my money… fair enough.

HTC however did, and boy they took it. 900USD (800+tax+S&H) and that is just to get it in the US, I still need to fly it over… another 200USD… And that is before local taxes 😐 Compare this to the 600USD Rift (free S&H, no sales tax) + smaller box, leading to “only” 100USD of shipping. for me that translates to 400USD in purchase price alone, not to mention, local taxes…. Now you understand why I initially insisted on the Rift?

Continue reading Vive la Vive – My VR adventures Part II

To Rift or not to Rift? – My VR adventures Part I

I’ve been lazy in the past few months, and I’ve unfortunately didn’t work on the pit at all in the last few months (since January 2016 to be exact).

However, As you are probably aware 2016 is a big year for VR, two major companies had launched their first consumer devices to the market. Oculus with the Rift, HTC/Valve with the Vive.

I’ve decided to dip my toes into the VR pool and check the water out.

Continue reading To Rift or not to Rift? – My VR adventures Part I

“Weekly update” – Nov/Dec 2015

I have been quite for too long 🙂 with the release of BMS4.33 followed by the Israeli Theater, I’ve had not much time to update the blog. However the Pit has been going places 🙂

first of all, I’ve replaced by 27″ 1440p display with a 40″ 4k computer monitor. I’m still tweaking graphics options, to get the performance to where I want it.. but it looks good!

I’ve also finally re-wired my pit, and installed the ICP, making things even better 🙂

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in addition, I’ve been tweaking with the TQS adapter, trying to add a curve to the microstick, allowing better finetuned control in game.

In addition,
I’ve also published on github a little GUI wrapper for avrdude that allows a quick upload of images to ATMEGA 32u4 chips, I use it to quickly upload new FW to the throttle and ICP, but I assume others might find it usefull for other things as well.

Both of them are linked on the download page.

[Tech-Post] Encoders – re-discovering the obvious

I didn’t write any proper “tech post” in  a while. However while working on the ICP I’ve had to re-learn (like everytime) the basics.

This time it’s encoders that got my attention.
The Web is filled with howtos and tutorials about encoders, pages upon pages upon videos. all demonstrating and explaining how everything works.

in a sentence or two (or more), Rotary encoders have two output pins, connected to a common pin. When the encoder is in a detent (or stop), both pins are the same state, which is OPEN. when rotated, the pins pulse on and off between the stops, they do it in a staggered way. allowing us to determine rotation direction (and speed) of the rotation. I’ve yet to learn the speed bit, so let’s concentrate about direction. the pulses look something like this:

Rotary Encoder pulses (from the Arduino website)
Rotary Encoder pulses (from the Arduino website)

In this diagram the outputs are pulled down, and the common is connected to 5V. it can of course be the other way around.

to get the state we can use poll, an interrupt pin attached to one of the outputs, or two interup pins. attached to both outputs. the more interrupts you use, the less chance you will miss a pulse causing a step to be missed).

Regardless of the option you choose to use, all the articles have  an elaborated list of if statements, designed to figure out which thing goes where.. something in the spirit of:

if (pinA == HIGH) {
  if (pinB == LOW) {
    // it turned CW
  } else {
    //it turned CCW
} else {
  if (pinB == HIGH) {
    // it turned CW
  } else {
    //it turned CCW

Anyway, this is long, complex and pretty hard to understand.
But if we create a truth table based on the diagram above it reveals a little loophole.

 what triggered/pin status  A1B1 A0B0 A1B0 A0B1

as you can see, the pin that changed, determins the rotation. if we use interrupt on pin A then:

if (pinA == pinB) {
    //it turned CCW
} else {
    // this is CW

Interrupt on the B pin will be the other way around.

And if you are triggering on both it’s also quite easy. you just need to use the correct if statement everytime.

That’s pretty much it 🙂

When passion meets crazy people