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Keypad Almost Done

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  • Keypad Almost Done

    I thought I'd snap a picture of my X-keys Pro keypad to share with everyone as I get closer to completion.



    My goal was to have just about everything I need on this keypad, on the HOTAS, or easily clicked in the cockpit.

    I've still got 3 empty keys that I'm sure I'll fill up. The labels that are there now are simply .58" x .5" paper sandwiched between the key and it's clear cap. Once I've got the final layout I'm probably going to replace the paper with a laser printer transparency. I've got the whole layout in a MS Word table with the necessary extra cells to facilitate easy cutting in my paper cutter.

    The top 18 keys are used for views, coms, and the top row of ICP buttons. The left hand chunk of keys are from the left side of the cockpit. The Master Caution is actually 2 keys and I've taken the opportunity to use that "hidden" key as a layer shift key. That's allowed me to place all of the TS keybinds into the top row of keys for on the fly channel selection. The center chunk of keys are the ICP keypad and the switches underneath. The right side keys are miscelaneous cockpit keys that I might need rapid access to. In particular I've placed the pitch override switch and ejection switches on the lower row for quick access.

    It was fairly easy to program and only required me to modify one macro for separate key down and release macros. The first time I tried to punch out all I got was the "clunk" you hear when you grab the handle. After splitting the key down and key up events the desired behavior was obtained.

    The other thing I noticed last night is that when using keystroke based programmed controllers in combinations or with voice commands you can sometimes end up with undesired behavior if you're doing several things simultaneously. Case in point I was flying formation with PolishBoogieman last night and using the autopilot to maintain altitude. Periodically I would have to disconnect the AP using the pinky switch (Ctrl-3) and climb up to his altitude again. If I did anything that used a shift key I suddenly found myself in the Flight 3 channel on TS. The good thing is it looks like I can fix that by using different Ctrl and Shift keys with TS than F4.
    Pavehawk
    Any Time, Any Place

  • #2
    Re: Keypad Almost Done

    Nice work, man. Thanks for the write-up.

    [conduct][volun][drill][sg-c1][tpf-c1]
    |TG-2nd|munchkin
    Nec aspera terrent.

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    • #3
      Re: Keypad Almost Done

      Very nice job!
      New to TG?

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      • #4
        Re: Keypad Almost Done

        This is an impressive piece of hardware. Where's you get it?
        [volun]

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        • #5
          Re: Keypad Almost Done

          Glances over at his post count...

          This is the unit that I bought: http://xkeys.com/xkeys/xkpro.php

          Here's various applications of X-keys products in various flight simulators and home cockpits: http://xkeys.com/resources/flight.php

          These could be of particular interest to home cockpit builders:

          http://xkeys.com/custom.php

          The X-keys matrix board allows you to program 128 switches to keyboard macros.

          The X-keys ReDAC I/O Module can "receive input from 23 potentiometers and 46 switches, and send signals to 24 LEDs or relays".

          I ordered it directly from their site and it was delivered promptly. The programming and management applications work pretty well and is a huge improvement from the earlier PS2 only models. Those required a complex procedure of recording keystrokes into the device.

          The hard part was getting MS Word to lay out the table cells with the exact measurements to fit under the key caps and cutting all the labels out. Of course if anyone goes this route I'd happily share my config file and labels document. I could even be persuaded to print and cut paper or transparency labels. I skipped using the supplied template and sticky labels in case I eventually repurpose this thing for something else.

          And for Wolf who mentioned getting something custom built...

          http://xkeys.com/custom/projects.php
          Pavehawk
          Any Time, Any Place

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