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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #1 
After being a lurker of the LBE section for several years, finally I have a full bridge to my name.
My goals were (in order of priority)
  1. to have my entire bridge run of one single computer
  2. to be able to transport everything in single load of my (rather large) handcart
  3. to keep the cost reasonably low to avoid scorn of the Missus (who is a gifted signal and science officer)

And I almost reached all of it (*shrug*)

First things first: behold the bridge running in my sun room, albeit uncrewed except for me (I plan a special New Years Eve Party with my p&p RPG friends)

  bridge in a box.jpg 

This bridge has the following components:

  • my old PC built in 2010 (AMD Phenom II x4 965BE, 16G RAM, 2GB Radeon HD 7850)
  • my old 17" TFT with VGA interface (1280 x 1024)
  • my old VGA to DVI adapter cable
  • 4x 19" TFTs with DVI interface (1280 x 1024) (used from a dealer in refurbished PC parts, 19€ each)
  • 1x Chinese LED Projector for the Mainscreen (about 70 € of ebay)
  • 5x Iluminated keyboard+mouse (about 17€ each of ebay)
  • 1x to 4 DisplayPort 1.2 hub (Club 3D CSV-6400, 65€ used)
  • 4x USB audio dongles (Manhattan Sound Adapter USD 3D, about 6€ each)
  • 5x USB powered stereo speakers (Manhattan 2600 Serie 2.0, about 7€ each)
  • 3x DP to HDMI Adapter (7€ each)
  • several USB Hubs and an USB extension cord to wire everything up (about 35€
  • 1x License for Aster v7 pro, 6 places (about 110€) (as recommended here, here and here )
Bridge Architecture

I basically hooked up the displays to the ports of my Radeon 7850, using one DVI ports for the 17" VGA Dispaly and the other for one of my refurbished displays.  I could however not get my graphics board to drive more then three displays connected to the the DP-hub with DP to DVI adapters, so five stations of a single PC it is for now.

Multiseat - it just worked (mostly)
Installation of the AsterV7 software was as simple as it gets: download the trial, install, configure hosts, run, cheer.

The Aster control programm just shows you what displays, keyboards and mice it detected and lets you drag and drop those between so called workplaces until you are satisfied. One issue I encountered was that my system doesn't like Aster's auto-logon feature. I needed to enable manual login to the user accounts of each workplace, otherwise not all workplace would activate their displays.

My game configuration is to run the server and all five bridge stations from the bridge-in-the-box, with the server running in a background window on the central console and all station connect to localhost. This eliminates all the communication lag between Stations and server (which is good, I think).
As described in the archtitecture section, I discovered my GPU seems to only support 5 screens simultaneously.
After a bit of cursing, I fetched my notebook to drive the mainscreen, connected my bridge in a box with a crossover LAN cable.

The next step I plan will be the addition of my DMX lights to the setup.

I am looking forward to my New years Eve Party and hope to post an after action report.

My other sideproject:
Mike Substelny

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Posts: 2,242
Reply with quote  #2 
That is amazing, Omovic! Please let us know how New Year's Eve went.
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill

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Reply with quote  #3 

From: The Commander, Experimantal Retrofit Vessel 'TSN Hydra'

To: Equipment Evaluation and Procurement Board

Subject: Evaluation of MAINFRAME System Architecture Performance

References: (a) TSN Evaluation Guidlines, Rev 1.2

1. This report ist in compliance with reference (a)

2. On 31 December 2218, the TSN Hydra conducted a series of three simulated Combat Space Patrols  in proximity to the Beta Lyrae singularity in order to evaluate an experimental fully centralised fly-by-wire system.

3. The systems under test proved reliable, but a bit delicate in their setup.

4. The bridge however crew, will face reprimands for being intoxicated on duty. This let to an inacceptable mission failure rate of 66%. The first simulation, a small scale assault of light forces, was initially succesfully countered, but ended apruptly when the TSN Hydra was destroyed by the defensive minefield of DS3 during controlled warp.

5. The second run, a full scale incursion of medium to heavy forces was successfully countered but with some losses (Science Vessel K87 was destroyed by a Biomech)

6. The final run, another full scale assault, ended with the accidental self-destuction of TSN Hydra by controlled Warp into two type 6 mines, deployed earlier. An preliminary investigation lead to helmsman intoxication as cause of both failures.

7. Helmsman Omovic will be reprimanded for neglect of duty and flying under intoxication (FUI)

8. The MAINFRAME System Architecture performance was adequate. The failure rate of 66% is soley to be attributed to human error

All in all, our New Years Eve was quite fun for all participents in spite of my lamentable performance at the helm. We even planned another Artemis night for the weekend.

I got to rig up my DMX multicolor spot and a wallwasher using an Enttec OPENDMX USB adapter. This worked well (after I loaded the correct DMXCommands.xmk instead of the stock file and discovered that only the first instance of Artemis  SBS gets to control the DMX interface).

I can not recommend my USB Audio dongles - they were dirt cheap, but all of produced considerable background noise all the time. I used the the 5 line-out jacks on my mainboard instead, connected to the built-in speakers of my Displays.

While this made all stations play all sounds, it definitly gave the beepy-boopy ambience of Kirk's old bridge!

My other sideproject:

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Posts: 198
Reply with quote  #4 
If you are looking for the old TOS ambience you should check out
Angel of Rust

Posts: 270
Reply with quote  #5 
Mines are a menace to many a helm officer, no less when intoxicants are added to the mix. Undoubtedly those missions will live on in story and song as have ours under similar circumstances.

Sounds like a blast!
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