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Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #16 
Enginnering and fighter console assembled!
20181123_205131.jpg 

Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #17 
Now it's starting to be a spaceship.  Daytime shot.
20181129_122211.jpg 

Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #18 
The Captain's podium.  Hat hanger included.
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Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #19 
Fighter chair started.  Needs some set dressing but it's usable.
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Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #20 
Helm is considerably fancier.
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Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #21 
Dedication plaque.  The lighting on it dims as the ship loses energy.  If you can't read the sign, time to head to the nearest power source!

It's not readeable here, but the ship's motto is "Sed cur curvisa abest?" which is as close as we could get in Latin to "But why is the rum gone?"
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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #22 
This is mind blowing, Lightwave_Gecko! Thank you for sharing!

Do you think you might bring your bridge setup to the next Armada so we can give it a try? We're looking at Spring 2020.

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SpaceDiceman

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Reply with quote  #23 
How did you make/buy those control-buttons?
ogremasch

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Reply with quote  #24 
Great looking ship, sorry about your house. Your location may have changed but the adventure continues.

You could try dry brushing some silver onto those venting plates to make them pop a bit more with the lights and give the edges a bit of a metallic look if you wanted.

I really would like to see some information on the construction process, materials uses, lighting set up etc. It all looks very clean, organized and fantastic. Were the XKeys simple to combine with Artemis? They are a little pricey for me but looking into the construction of custom buttons has me a bit lost as it may end up being cheaper for me to just buy an off the shelf solution like XKeys.  

Fantastic work and I would love to see it in action.
Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #25 

Mike, 2020 is a maybe.  Mostly it depends on if I can get my truck/van friends wanting to go enough.  😉  Armada is juuuuuuust far enough away to be somewhat hard for our gaming group here in NC.

SpaceDieman/ogermasch, On X-keys:

They're two X-keys 32 rackmounts for Weapons and Engineering, and two X-keys 24 panels on Comms and Helm.

So, I'd had most of this equipment from the previous house and in other things, otherwise this whole build would have been WILDLY expensive in one go.  I do 3d animation as a side job, so the computers came from a big project I did for an airplane company that I had to ramp up my render farm for.  While I was at it, I threw in some bells and whistles that Artemis would like.  [wink]  All those Dell monitors on stations are touchscreens, and the smaller square X-keys 24 panels I'd had before.  For this iteration, I only had to buy one monitor and two of the rack-mount X-keys 32.  Those things were pricey ($200!) but since I already had some, and wanted a continuity in look/feel, they were worth it to me.  I did manage to snag one off eBay for somewhat less than retail, ditto the monitor, which had to match an out-of-production model I had 5 of already. 

The biggest thing is if the game changes, I can make adjustments fairly easily.  When Thom adds a new torpedo or whatnot, I don't have to throw a way a huge custom wiring job.  I can do wiring and some electronics, but my solder game stinks out loud.   The 24 key model is around $100 and only a few keys less, just not rack-mount.  I kind of wanted that modular easy to swap out parts look that modern military equipment has.

I think I may have posted my old Weapons console from my previous era here.  Either way, I'd be glad to provide my profiles for what I came up with on these.

Was the programming hard?  Well, if Artemis had a button for it already, it was simplicity itself.  There's programming software that's pretty powerful, and that makes it easy.  Sort of.  Bad things I found out:

1) The way Artemis sees a Ctl-shifted key is... odd.  I can send text to the program, and it can send a hard-coded control key held down, but I simply couldn't get Artemis to see the ctl-keypress.  This was EXTREMELY annoying with Comms, since those number buttons are ALL ctl+number now.  Workaround?  Mouse clicks on screen locations.  It's emulate-able but holy crap is it time consuming to code.  I basically had to do a lookup on where the button on-screen was in pixels, and send the mouse click there.  For comms, which changes locations for each layer, this was even worse.  I made macros that had to hit a number of number keys I couldn't just send straight numbers to.  (did make sense?)  Instead, I had a lookup table for where the buttons work on the screen.  My macros are super fancy, but won't work on anything but 1080p without a lot of tweaking.

2) Any keys Artemis DIDN'T have a press for I also used the screen-click method.  I also had to re-write the controls.ini to remove any shift or control key usage on the bindings so I could use them normally.  The biggest pain besides Comms was Weapon's cycle buttons.  Still my biggest desire for a keypress in the next update.

3) I made my job much harder by programming in lots of light changes when you press the keys.  It's so worth it though.  Depressing a key changes the lights as you press and release and selecting something from a menu will cause the selection to blink.  This added about 30 lines of extra macro code into some of the keys.  Not fun, but rewarding.  Each key can have a red and blue light on, off, or blinking in any combo you like. 

Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #26 
ogremasch, it's funny about those side panel lights.  When first installed, I had bare LED strips under those filters and while bright, the tiny holes made it so you could sometimes only see one element of the LED color, and that could throw off mixes.  My crew also complained it was too bright, which I can understand since it's right on the edge of where they are looking at the monitors.  Solution was to add a diffuser I cut from an old projection TV I'd taken apart, and then several layers of translucent paper.  I was going to use silver or grey for them originally but went with black instead to help tone it down and also to hide my many sins in construction.  I've got just enough tools to know I don't have all the tools I really need to pull this off, but can do it anyway.  😉  

BTW- One construction goal was to have as little wood showing in the final product as possible.  I wanted this thing to read as manufactured item, not computer tech trying to make furniture with 2x4s, even if that's what it really is.  [wink]  To this end, the trim and drywall section of the hardware store were my friends.  Those light filters (and corner trim in other places) are just drywall corner bead, and it comes in like 10' lengths you can cut with scissors for less than $2.  I ended up using it all over.  I also found some plastic splash guard that looked liked diamond plate from the local Habitat for Humanity store.   There's a kind of plastic-y wood trim I ended up using for pieces that I knew would end up showing, but they are real smooth and no grain on 3 sides, so I splurged a bit and got some of that.  Ended up painting perfectly and looking like plastic made thing instead of woodshop, which is ideal.
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Reply with quote  #27 
Looking awesome! I really like the interplay of all the different lights. Also, the design work on the dedication plaque looks sharp!
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #28 
I admire your construction aesthetic. It's not just plywood painted black. You have a good military look!
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bau.movement

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Reply with quote  #29 
This is beautiful! I love the wall covering in the background.

I've been wanting to do a fighter chair with the joystick mounted between the legs like that too, but never came up with a good solution for my space/chair selection.

Makes me want to get back to work on my own bridge...

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Lightwave_Gecko

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bau.movement
This is beautiful! I love the wall covering in the background.

I've been wanting to do a fighter chair with the joystick mounted between the legs like that too, but never came up with a good solution for my space/chair selection.

Makes me want to get back to work on my own bridge...


So, I knocked together the bit between the chair and the stick with 2x4 scraps, but the key piece was a barn door bar holder, like so:  https://www.homedepot.com/p/The-Hillman-Group-Bar-Holder-Closed-in-Zinc-Plated-5-Pack-851902-0/203809717

The whole stick/mount can actually slide off with just that metal bit holding it to the chair.  If your chair has something wood-like for the seat (most do) then you just screw it in.  Don't use too long a screws though, that hurts.  [wink] 

Either way, with this arrangement you can remove it when you're not flying and keep it out the way.  How to mount your stick there varies, but there's lots of help on flight sim forums.  

Also, I covered the wood with wide gorilla tape in very well placed strips, both to help hide the grain by mostly because I never EVER want splinters in my crouch.  Ever. 

I've still got a lot more to do with that, and I've got the makings for two more chairs but I don't have the room for another dual set of stations.  Maybe one day I'll have a proper wing but for now we'll just have to fly around with one fighter at a time.

-JP
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