can anyone say what sort of keyboard emulator to get. Are they available in the UK, i can only find them in the USA (Import charges). i was looking at the KE72 emulator. hope you can help, thanks
thanks i shall have a look.
it is a divice that makes normal on-off switches into keyboard comands. eg press the U/C switch in the cockpit and the device will effectively press the letter G on the keyboard.
A cheaper method is to take the card and connector cable out of an old keyboard and wire it into a bank of switches. No software to install or programming required.
I did it last year and have a 42 push-button switch box. All the regular commands are wired to a labelled switch. It virtualy removes the need for a mouse and keyboard for flying.
The PC thinks it has another keyboard attached. I've set up the switches so it's a single button press in place of multiple key presses. Saves having to remember all those keyboard commands. Using the keyboard commands function in FS or re-wiring the switches I can change any of the switches to generate any keyboard command.
Keyboard card and connector cable - free
Momentary push-button Switches - $40
Hobby Box - $10
Cable - $15
If I could figure out how to post pictures here I'd put one or two up.
Thanks for that i had toiled with the idea of that. But i cant figure out how to use toggle switches in the cockpit and not get key repeats and how to do multiple key presses from one switch??? I need to do this for the cockpit i am building which i have mentioned elsewhere on this forum titled “cockpit building”
I believe you can get 'momentary' toggle switches that will send a single key-press as they are flipped. For some reason these are more expensive than regular toggle switches. Inside the switch the contact on the lever momentarily connects with a small contact plate to make the circuit then breaks the contact as it travels to its full up/down position.
Depending on how handy you are you could use push-button switches underneath a homemade toggle lever to save money but not time.
For commands requiring combination key presses there are a couple of options. (I took the easy option).
EASY - Change the FS Keyboard Command Key menu assignment that requires a combination of keys (e.g. Shift + Z) to a single keyboard character then connect your switch to send that character. Requires some experimenting so you don't set assign a character to one that is hard coded in FS or used by other add-on software. I think there are 30+ keyboard characters that are either not used in FS or have unimportant functions, like b=Auto Reset Altimeter, that can be re-assigned to another function. Real world doesn't have an auto reset altimeter so why should I need one in FS. Same with Smoke on/of, Sound On/Off etc. It really depends on which aircraft you fly too. Some of the GA cockpit commands are irrelevant for AT and vice versa. You don't need the engine select command on a single engine aircraft.
Or.... Wire your switch to two or more keys so both get sent as you flip the switch. This does get difficult though because it's easy to inadvertently make a permanent connection between two pins on the keyboard card. In this case I would use the two plastic sheets from inside the keyboard to make the connections but it is difficult if not impossible soldering to them.
Using a regular on/off toggle switch - as you say, repeat key presses will get sent but there is a solution. If a second key is pressed while the first is held down the keyboard repeat function is cancelled. You can prove this by pressing 'A' on your keyboard and hold it down. The 'A' will be repeated but as soon as you press another key it stops repeating even though you are still holding down the 'A' key.
So, if you connect the toggle switch to both the intended character and a character that is not used in FS and does not repeat (Scroll Lock?) and put a delay timer on the unused character circuit, it will cancel the repeat effect of the first character after one keypress is sent. The delay will need to be less than the time your keyboard repeat rate is set and more than the time it takes to send the required character. Something like 1/8th or 1/16th of a second should do it.
The good news is that you only need one delay circuit because the same canceling character can be used for all repeatable characters.