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2020 Year in Review and Seasons Greetings

Discussion in 'Off Topic - All other stuff here' started by noorbeast, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    I just had word that Santa has fired up the sleigh and is headed to the international date line, somewhere around Christmas Island, Kiribati, ready for a world wide tour. For those who need it here is the official Norad Santa tracker: http://www.noradsanta.org/
    [​IMG]

    Seriously though I know we have many members from around the world who have a diverse range of views and beliefs. Irrespective of what those may be I would like to pass on end of year seasons greetings to yourselves, and those who you hold near and dear, particularly after such a disruptive, and for some, a tragic year.

    I suspect Covid19 will always be synonymous with 2020, along with the carnage and hardship it has wrought across the globe. On the upside updating and building new motion rigs and peripherals proved a positive way for many to endure Covid19 lock-downs in various parts of the world, with an associated influx of new members to our Xsimulator.net community.

    On that upbeat note I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to Xsimulator.net. All members have advanced our community, plus DIY motion related simulation and peripherals, in a vast array of ways, and the originality and ingenuity you all bring to your many and varied projects continues to amaze.

    In 2020 our major community build trends have been the increasing proliferation and refinement of servo based actuators and rigs, with ODrives joining the DIY actuator fray. There have been even more innovative G-Seat and G-Pressure systems in 2020, along with direct drive servo and interestingly hoverboard motor based steering wheels, plus new hardware and software innovations. We have also seen the rise of 3D printed parts, particularly with respect to motion, control and other peripherals. There is ongoing interest for UDP based plugins, to enable motion with consoles, with thanks going to @vthinsel as the primary plugin dev for console owners. In addition 2020 heralded a proliferation of SimTools powered commercial motion rigs, such as YawVR and redesigned Symdeck rigs joining existing budget offering for home motion simulation, which in turn has expanded the ranks of our community.

    Hardware wise the AMC-AASD15A servo controller has become even more popular, following further refinements, for DIY and commercial actuators, along with direct drive wheels and using SFX-100 rigs with SimTools. There are also new controller options, with @knaufinator debuting his open PCB assembly and @Motion4Sim adding a commercial alternative to the AMC-AASD15A servo controller.

    While once considered a stalwart of cheap motion project builds we sadly saw the demise of OEM Monster Motor drivers in 2020, which are no longer available. Clones can still be sourced but have notorious quality control issues. Members have long used IBT2s as an alternative, but 2020 saw greater experimentation with other motor drives, with the Cytron MD13S finding favor with many and gaining SMC3 support.

    Software wise FlyPT motion software initially grabbed the attention of 6DOF rig owners, but has diversified and added many options and features for a much wider audience, with @Dirty providing numerous insights and advice for settings. Following on from a number of point release updates, in the latter part of 2020 @yobuddy has been dropping hints about a pending v3 SimTools update, piquing the interest of many.

    In some ways 2020 has seen 3D printing shift from things like basic brackets and housings to actual peripherals. For example @Lebois has been beavering away and refining his 3D printed hydraulic pedals, along with his hydraulic clutch activated 3D printed gearbox shifter. Meanwhile @Spit40 has just released his 3D printed Spitfire joystick, with further flight related controls pending.

    We have also seen the introduction of a new generation of hardware and games in 2020. There has been the release of the 30 series Nvidia card, the new Ryzon 5000 CPUs, on the VR front the Valve Index, Reverb 2 have been joined by the new Oculus Quest 2, which can be run with a PC using the Link cable, or wirelessly using VirtualDesktop. Micosoft Flight Simulator was released as a true next gen flight simulation title, with real time weather, air traffic, and scenery generated from Bing maps. VR support just dropped in late December.

    This year also ushered in a bunch of new SimTools plugins. While @Wagnard's continues to diligently update his Elite Dangerous plugin, he has also added a new plugin for Star Wars Squadrons. Stepping up to the plugin dev plate @Icy7CE created a plugin for MSFS2020, including GameDash and GameVibe support, along with the Sensor UDP Plugin Testing Tool. Another dev debut was @kunkurus, with the Condor plugin, @RacingMat added the DXTweak2 Change calibration and deadzone settings of a DirectInput game controller, @knaufinator contributed a new BeamNG plugin, while stalwarts @value1 and @yobuddy added multiple new plugins, plus feature updates to existing plugins. So a big Aussie Christmas koala stamp award to all the plugin devs, who we all depend on to bring our motion rigs to life in our favorite games.

    There has also been some evolution around Xsimulator.net during 2020. The existing Forum Rules have seen some minor tweaks, while new Rules, Rights and Obligation have been established for Commercial entities. A dedicated and diligent team of moderators has always assisted in keeping our community ticking along and can I say a big thanks for dealing with the mundane but very annoying things, such as spammers. In 2020 I took on the new role of Race Director, with primary responsibility for day to day site and member responses, which allows our site admin @RaceRay to focus on core administration and promotion duties, while still remaining the head honcho when it comes to final decisions regarding disputes and the direction of Xsimulator.net. Our community has a strong, active and very experienced core membership, who freely share their experience and expertise, to the benefit of the huge numbers of new members annually. Thanks go to all of you. We won't know for a little while yet but it will be interesting to see if there is a Covid19 induced membership spike in 2020, compared to 2019.

    No doubt 2020 has been right out of left field. Thankfully we have had the benefit of welcome distractions, as the ever increasing activity of this community never gets dull, there is always a new idea and new project. The ingenuity of members is just astounding!

    As we put 2020 in the rear view mirror we can hopefully look forward to less disruption and more normality in 2021. So, wherever you are and whatever you may be doing, many thanks for being a part of this vibrant community. I wish you all the best for the festive season and new year, no matter how you choose to celebrate or spend them, and I look forward to 2021 being a year of endless project possibilities and amazement for our community.



    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. moaale

    moaale IAN MRTIN

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    happy holidays to all simtools and Xsimulator.net members and staff ... wise words
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  4. Gadget999

    Gadget999 Well-Known Member

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    Hope you are all having a great time, I wanted to wish you all Merry Xmas and a Happy new year !

    Xsimulator is my favourite web site and we are lucky to have such a great community

    Have a great time :)
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  5. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR Tassie Devil Staff Member Moderator Race Director

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    Our Xmas elf celebrating the day!

    Resized_20191222_214341.jpeg
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  6. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    Hi everyone.

    I just thought i'd call in to wish everyone a Merry Xmas and Happy new year. I hope you are all well. It's my first time back here in about a year and I have some serious catching up to do.

    I see all sorts of awesome projects and builds and it's got to the time where I need to get some help with my build as I would like to improve it.

    Life got in the way and my simulator had to take a back seat. It's still on sim tools 2.2 so i'm looking forward to getting the latest version and seeing what has changed.

    Speak to you all soon and I hope I can join in and have some fun adding some new upgrades to my simulator.

    Thanks
    Barry
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  7. TheYellowBatman

    TheYellowBatman New Member Gold Contributor

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    Only joined this year but its clear this is a great community with a wealth of knowledge here. Hope everyone stays says over the festive period and hopefully Covid19 dies down in 2021.

    Happy holidays!
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  8. susocalfail39

    susocalfail39 Member

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    I wish a happy new year to everyone in this community, and good health, thank you for solving and helping people to have projects and carry them out, happy holidays.:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs
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  9. RacingMat

    RacingMat Well-Known Member Gold Contributor

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    Happy new year to everyone!
    I wish you as many DOF as you wish for 2021 :cheers

    As I keep reading the posts, I'm owed by all the creativity and enthusiasm here! Even if I'm not posting as often as before, I keep writing some FAQ entries from time to time. I hope it helps.

    yours
    Mat
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  10. SilentChill

    SilentChill Problem Maker

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    Another year another 2 upgrades, when does it ever end................................
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