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e4mafia

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Posts: 199
Reply with quote  #1 
Anyone experimented with using rotary encoders or capacitive touch sensors for an engineering console, instead of sliders? One of the speed bumps in using sliders is how they interact with pre-sets. Unless you go the route of that mechanical one Ive seen a video of, when you go to a pre-set, your sliders will all be off.

But with rotary encoders (Think Mouse scroll wheel if you aren't familiar with them) you are always physically in the same position, but can easily "slide" up and down with tactile movement in rolling the rotor.

I want to build custom controls, but its going to be a really slow process. Goal is to have them done by this time next year, to bring to a local convention for the maiden public voyage of the TSN Wildcat (Current working name). Naturally LEDs need to be a part of the panels, but I need to think through the control mechanism to receive signals from the master controller, which is doing my DMX translation into just general state info on the Artemis.

I think Angel of Rust's ring topology is a good idea. He's using Teensy's, I'm thinking Nano's for mine to keep it closer to what I'm working with on the mega. I'm already using SN75174s and SN75176;s to send the light data, so maybe using SN75174's as a but topology with each nano having a different address on the bus. Could then send different signals to each board, and use some kind of variation of my existing light control decode process to turn on and off the various lights based on game state info received from DMX on the main controller?
Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sounds like a fun project. As you noted, I decided to go a different way.

I used a rotary encoder for the course setting knob on my first Helm panel:
IMAG0881 - Copy.jpg 
The code is pretty straight forward. If I was going to do it again, I would probably use a different bit of interrupt code to avoid the controller thinking the knob was being turned the other way sometimes.

As for the sliders, I got around the preset issue by having the lights next to the sliders show the current setting. The controller was programmed to remember each setting and show the appropriate lights when selected. There is definitely more than one way to go about this.

Running the lights off of the DMX controller is an option. I found that I had more flexibility having the controllers animate their own lights so that they were always showing some combination of game information and console-specific information generated by the controls themselves.

e4mafia

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Reply with quote  #3 
So when you go to a pre-set, the local lights reflect the new setting? But the sliders are temporarily out of place, right? Or am I missing something?

As for me, aside from the lights I've done so far, all of this is my first foray into being a "maker" of some kind. Its been positive so far, but I feel because I've kept It in my generally more strong areas of code and electronics. Now the world is shifting into tangibles - things with parts that you can touch. Intimidating!

Start small and go from there, right?



just came across this on youtube....as if any of us needed any MORE desire to build these things.
Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by e4mafia
So when you go to a pre-set, the local lights reflect the new setting? But the sliders are temporarily out of place, right? Or am I missing something?

As for me, aside from the lights I've done so far, all of this is my first foray into being a "maker" of some kind. Its been positive so far, but I feel because I've kept It in my generally more strong areas of code and electronics. Now the world is shifting into tangibles - things with parts that you can touch. Intimidating!

Start small and go from there, right?



just came across this on youtube....as if any of us needed any MORE desire to build these things.


Nope - you got it. The way I programmed my sliders is to only respond to changes in the position of the slider, so even though knobs are out of position for a given preset, they won't try to change the setting until the user goes to adjust the setting manually.

Starting small is the definitely the way to go! My knowledge of electronics was pretty small going into my first project, but my capabilities grew fast with little steps.

Those panel mount buttons are awesome! Has the classic look down perfectly!

Volpe42

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #5 
What about using the kind of sliders that are in a digital sound board.  They physically change the position of the slider when you change layers or presets.
e4mafia

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Posts: 199
Reply with quote  #6 
I've thought of that. The "problem" im looking to solve is when a pre-set is loaded, then the physical sliders will be out of position relative to the new settings. Whereas with the infinite motion of rotaries it won't ever matter. You won't get the visual of the sliders up and down, but you'll always be set in the right spot, and you can still physically move up and down however you want.

But building it is an entirely different kind of flying. Altogether.

CaptainFelix

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #7 
My approach at my Hardware Engineering Console (https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/using-usb-midi-input-device-nanokontrol2-for-engineering-console-6487613?pid=1279541025) was to use in-game preset functionality while storing the preset values for the Console in a file.
For activating the stored presets, the in-game functionality was used again, for the Console the values from the file were read in again and send to the Console.

Volpe42

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Reply with quote  #8 
What CaptainFelix posted there is what I was talking about.  On digital boards you have layers instead of having sliders for every channel.  When you switch between layers the sliders change for each layer.
e4mafia

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Posts: 199
Reply with quote  #9 
Yeah that’s wicked cool!

I’ve got a mock up which I’ll share for layout feedback but I’m on my phone right now so I can’t. For now looking for sources for everything so begin ordering parts. Wish I still had access to old de-militarized army help switch panels. I used to fix the weapons and electronics systems on Apaches back in the day.
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