View Full Version : Building my control box

07-01-2008, 10:20 PM
So, I've got some extra cash and so I think I'm going to be making me a little control box for IL2/BOB SOW when it comes out, using Leo Bodnars BU0836 controller. I was hoping some of you guys who have maybe done this before or looked into it yourselves could give me a hand figuring out quite how to do some controls. I'm trying to keep the controls focused on actual cockpit, plane-control stuff, so there are no view buttons, or bail buttons, or whatever. This box will free up the keyboard for so all those things can be accessed easily. Here's what I'm thinking of putting in, and my suggested method of implementation:

Elevator trim (multi-turn pot)
Aileron trim (multi-turn pot)
Rudder trim (multi-turn pot)
Engine (on/off toggle)
WEP (on/off toggle)
Prop Pitch (rotary encoder) (using increase/decrease control setting)
Mixture (rotary encoder) (using increase/decrease control setting)
Select/Unselect Engine #1 (on/off toggle)
Select/Unselect Engine #2 (on/off toggle)
Select/Unselect Engine #3 (on/off toggle)
Select/Unselect Engine #4 (on/off toggle)
Fire Extinguisher (pushbutton)
Flaps Up/Down (Not sure how, since different planes have different flap increments?)
Raise/Lower gear (on/off toggle)
Cowl/Armor flaps (How should I go about this, since there's only one key press? Is it a toggler?)
Airbrake (on/off toggle)
Wheel brakes (Not sure, as I want brakes to stay down as long as the button is held. Can I do this by holding down a momentary switch?)
Lock tail wheel (on/off toggle)
Jettison droptanks (pushbutton)
Open/Close canopy (pushbutton)
Gun pods (on/off toggle)

I am planning to use alot of toggles so that I can see what is on, and what is off easily in game, especially if status messages are off. For the single push toggle controls, I was going to wire the SPDT switches up like this:
I think that should cause that button to fire whenever the button is toggled either up or down. The only issue here I can see is the toggle getting out of sync with the game. For example, if you want the engine toggle up position to be on, and you start the game in the air with the toggle down, having the toggle down would then be the engine "on" position. This would just mean however that you would have to preset the toggles before you start playing, eh? So for an air-start, you would want to flip the engine toggle in the up position before that flight starts. If you weren't doing air-starts though, I think it would work fine to just load the game with all the toggles in the off position. Then flipping them up would activate them, and flipping them back down would turn that feature off again. Let me know if any of this sounds wrong to anybody.

I also wanted some clarification on if the rotary coder things (prop pitch, mixture) up there will really do what I want them to. If they are the right thing to use, how would I actually wire them up? Thanks.

Also, what is recommended for flaps?

How should I do the radiator?

Thanks for reading and any help I may get. Cheers!

07-02-2008, 01:23 AM
Rotary encoder...can't help, someone advised me about them in another post and I haven't tried it yet.

Remember you can put prop pitch, wheel brakes, flaps, and even, in a sort of fiddle, mixture on a slider. Wheel brakes are usually best on a toe brake in rudder pedals but there's no reason why you couldn't include a slider for them in your control box. As for flaps, even though some planes have flaps in fixed implements (eg. Spitfire), if you put flaps on a slider you will get full analogue control of your flaps regardless of which plane you're in.

Cowl/Armour flaps, unfortunately, can only be put on a single switch (mine is on a push-to-make switch) and you just have to cycle through the options, as you currently do with the keyboard.

I can't comment on your toggle switch wiring...my buttons are mostly push to make, although the BU086 allows a few toggles without needing diodes.

Hopefully some of the other guys that previously helped me can answer your other questions.

07-02-2008, 01:38 AM
Have you been to the Sim Pit builders thread?


07-02-2008, 04:33 AM
rotary encoders have three teminals- like a pot, common orientation is ground is centre, inputs either side. these must be wired to pairs of inputs- ie 1 and 2, 15 and 16 etc. not sure how you define these with bu0836 but there should be an option somewhere in it's setup.
rotary encoders typically 'fire' an impulse for each movement to a detent(~16 per revolution typically)- which one dependant on direction of turn-THEY DO NOT RECORD POSITION.
the last is important if you are trying to do a throttle quad imitation for pitch/mix- you will get out of synch.
personally throttle and prop pitch are pots and mix +/- is a spdt switch- so few planes use mixture,in a previous version i had pot for mixture using software 'banding' control- worked well but got left out in last rebuild.

multi engine control- i use momentary push to make butons for each engine and also have the same for 'select all engines' and another for 'deselect all'. i think you might want at least one of these 2 controls somewhere if only for alignment purposes.

rather than use on off on switches in the manner you've shown why not try an on off switch and use software (sv mapper?) to define a keypress for press and another for release?
switches are easier/cheaper to obtain. i'm using a mixture of both techniques in my pit.

radiator- i'm using a momentary push to make- the best of a bad job- please Oleg fix this for BOB http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

flaps- i use a pot too- then use it as per pilot's notes

brakes- if you assign a button as a DX button ingame it will operate in the manner you desire, if you use keyboard emulation software then you will need to program it with a hold function.

at the end of the day it's a personal choice which way you go with toggle/ push buttons, you could probably find an aircraft to 'justify' it's 'authenticity'

hope some of this helps

07-02-2008, 10:52 AM
Thanks for the replies. To sum up, it seems that flaps, prop pitch, and mixture can all be put on a regular analog slider?
Mixture has to be hacked using software though, and a banding control?
In this case I think I will make all those analog. Also, when BOB comes out and hopefully has flat out analog axis for these functions it will be compatible.

And part of the reason I'd rather not doing software simulation key presses is that I would like to clear up the keyboard for easier access view controls, etc. Right now all my aircraft control keys are mapped to simple combinations, and with these gone, I can access more controls more easily.

Thanks for all the comments!