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Thread: New Gizmo's

  1. #1

    Default New Gizmo's

    Well, like any flight simmer, I'm constatntly looking for gizmo's to make my experience more intense. I mean after all, I've got an X-45, TIR4, etc.

    While I was pondering how I can convert my desk to a simpit like Jinkers has done (which by the way is my prime candidate right now), I've been toying with the idea of adding an additional keypad so that I can assign keys for certain functions. I was really looking at the Ergodex DX1. Its a great unit, easy to setup and very customizeable. The drawbacks to the DX1 are that only one can be used on a system and once you've set it up for one game, its difficult to quickly switch over to another game.

    Well, I had almost convinced myself that I could live with those limitations until I found this - Touchbuddy. If you haven't stumbled on to this, take a few moments to look it over.

    This is so freaking kool I can't stand it. Can you say MFD? Can you say no more X-45 "mode" switching??
    "War has a grim purpose and is extremely complex. Sophisticated planning and doctrine are present at every level. Yet at the point of fire battle is the essence of chaos and violence."

  2. #2

    Default New Gizmo's

    Nothing like jumping in with both feet!

    I purchased the Innovatek TM-868 8" TFT Touchscreen Monitor yesterday. Got it off eBay for $179. and it should be here on or about Thursday. I've already learned that there is a new set of drivers for it and I picked them up from the mfgr.

    I'll keep you posted on how it goes in this thread - sort of a mini-review.
    "War has a grim purpose and is extremely complex. Sophisticated planning and doctrine are present at every level. Yet at the point of fire battle is the essence of chaos and violence."

  3. #3

    Default New Gizmo's

    Hey Oscar, I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions of both the new screen and the software. I can see where that would be very useful for any flight simulator. Might even get me to upgrade video cards if it sounds like its worth it.
    Jinks

    "For most people the sky is the limit, for the pilot the sky is home" - unknown


  4. #4

    Default New Gizmo's

    Here's a quick review - and I do mean quick, because I'm having way too much fun with this thing!

    Here's a shot of the installed touchscreen. It is an Innovatek TM-868 and the installation when pretty smoothly after I decided whether to mount it as a second display on my desktop PC or as the primary display on my server. I decided on the latter. The reason I did this was so the TouchBuddy software could be used for both LOFC and IL2 (which requires a client-server setup). Besides, now I don't have to roll across the room to reset the IL2 server when I need to....



    This next shot is just a wide-angle view of my desk with all the stuff setup. As you can see, the TM-868 has a really small footprint and with the stand, it is really quite stable. This was the "shakedown cruise" with my first activation of the Touch-Buddy software testing it against LOFC in the background on my monitor. I tested this every step of the way and every programmed button to make sure the software was doing what it was supposed to be doing. It was right on! There were no lag or response issues at all.



    Here's a closeup of the "Sys" tab from the Touch-Buddy software. The touchscreen has a resolution of 800x600. Not what you'd play a game on, but perfect for this setup.



    Here's another closeup of the "Sys" tab from the Touch-Buddy software.



    It's important to understand that what makes this software/hardware combination so unbeatable is the fact that what you see is COMPLETELY user modifiable. Its all text files and graphic images - simple stuff. No more extra keypads - each setup for a diffferent sim.

    Since I've gotten this, I've already modified it to include a "Maps" tab that displays html pages showing me the Crimea and Caucasus regional bullseye maps as well as the individual airport diagrams for every AB on the LOFC map. It's a handy resource and I don't have to go rummaging for the printed maps anymore to see which runway is the ILS runway and and other details - nifty stuff.



    Once I get LOFC bedded down, I'm going to start working on IL2.

    Oh, almost forgot, this setup sure has reduced my setup for the Saitek. Now I only have "Fight and Flight" stuff there - as it should be. Didn't use all those modes anyway!
    "War has a grim purpose and is extremely complex. Sophisticated planning and doctrine are present at every level. Yet at the point of fire battle is the essence of chaos and violence."

  5. #5
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    Default New Gizmo's

    Oscar, that looks great! I hate to ask, but about how much $ have you sunk into the setup? I might start looking at saving up so I can do a similar installation. (although rudder pedals will have to come first)

    ~S!~
    Rex

  6. #6

    Default New Gizmo's

    Well, as I said, the Innovatek TM-868 I got cost me $179 including shipping off eBay. As long as it's an 8" (or bigger depending on your wallet size) touch screen monitor, any model will do. Several have been tested and are in use so far.

    The Touch-Buddy software was free.

    Took me an hour or so to set things up once I figured out how I wanted to do it.
    "War has a grim purpose and is extremely complex. Sophisticated planning and doctrine are present at every level. Yet at the point of fire battle is the essence of chaos and violence."

  7. #7

    Default New Gizmo's

    Hey Oscar,

    What kind of graphics card are you using? What card would support dual monitors and be an improvement over my 9600XT
    Jinks

    "For most people the sky is the limit, for the pilot the sky is home" - unknown


  8. #8

    Default New Gizmo's

    Well, my desktop is an ATI X850XTPE - and it will support two monitors, but, that's two VGA's - not two DVI Flat Panels. If you're looking for a card, I'd start by making sure the card can support TWO flat panel displays on 2 separate DVI connectors.

    Note, that I have the TM-868 connected to my server - NOT my desktop. On the server it is the primary display off the onboard video connector. I've setup my touchpanel specifically like this becasue (as rumored from testing) using the Touch-Buddy software and touchscreen must be run in client-server mode (pc 2 pc) - not local mode (single pc).

    I flew 2 LOMAC CAS missions Saturday morning - I never touched the keyboard during either session.
    "War has a grim purpose and is extremely complex. Sophisticated planning and doctrine are present at every level. Yet at the point of fire battle is the essence of chaos and violence."

  9. #9

    Default New Gizmo's

    I got the impression from reading touch-buddies web site that it was not a problem to set it up on the same PC that you were running the game on? Did I miss something?
    Jinks

    "For most people the sky is the limit, for the pilot the sky is home" - unknown


  10. #10

    Default New Gizmo's

    Yes, you can set it up on the same system you are using - works great for Lock On. But, local mode don't work for IL2! It requires a client-server setup, meaning two PC's (1) the server is the IL2 PC and (2) some other system on your LAN.

    I went with the Client-Server route because I want to use TB for both Lock On AND IL2. If I was giving up IL2 and just flying Lock On, then I would have hooked up both displays on the same PC (in vga mode).

    Whether you use "local mode" or "client server mode" is dependent on the game your playing - not the capabilities of TouchBuddy or your physical PC setup.
    "War has a grim purpose and is extremely complex. Sophisticated planning and doctrine are present at every level. Yet at the point of fire battle is the essence of chaos and violence."

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