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Simtools and Simxperience GS-4

Discussion in 'SimTools compatible interfaces' started by darkcrayon, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    Hello.

    Is there a way (or tutorial) with getting the Simxperience GS-4 G-seat to work with Simtools? I've done some searching but couldn't find anything. Does it need to be set up with direct serial commands?

    Simcommander is great, but it lacks support for recent flight sims, so I'm hoping I can get it to work with Simtools.

    Thanks!
  2. noorbeast

    noorbeast VR - The Next Generation Staff Member Moderator SimTools 2.0 Beta Tester

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  3. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    Thanks noorbeast. I sent @Avenga76 a PM. I couldn't tell from his thread if he actually got the GS-4 working with SimTools or not (but it's a long thread :) or if he was just using SimCommander for the GS-4 while using SimTools to control his 2DOF seat movers. The GS-4 seems to need some command to even "power up", it only stars humming once SimCommander starts using the servos. I'm guessing those might be serial commands that can be entered into SimTools' SER interface for start/stop/ etc.
  4. insanegr

    insanegr !N$@n€

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    i think @Avenga76 is using SimCommander for the GS-4 while using SimTools to control his 2DOF seat mover. that's why he can't have both motions (2DOF and GS-4) with codemaster games. don't know for other games but i would ask him if he can run AC with his 2DOF and GS-4 seat at the same time
  5. Avenga76

    Avenga76 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I use Sim Commander for my GS-4, Sim Vibe and Accuforce and SimTools for my motion.

    I have replied to your PM.

    I don't know a way of getting SimTools to control the GS-4. I know it uses a serial controller but you would have to figure out the serial commands then figure out how to get SimTools to be able to group and control all 16 servos.

    Most games work fine with SimCommander and SimTools. AC, Pcars, iRacing, rFactor 1 & 2, all SimBin games including RRRE, GSCE, Formula Truck, ETS2, Dirt Rally, Grid Autosport and many others all work fine with my 2DOF and GS-4

    The only ones that have a problem is some codemaster games and that is only because SimTools uses the old API and SimCommander uses the new API. Recently in SimTools Grid AutoSport and Dirt Rally have been updated to the new API so they work fine with both. So it is really only old Codemasters games that don't work with both and I am sure those plugins will get updated at some point.
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  6. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    It might be nice to know how to control the GS-4 but I'd imagine SimXperience and/or Pat Dotson might not be willing to divulge that info especially if they plan on bringing the G Seat concept back at some point. I was wondering if there might be a way to monitor the usb to serial communication in order to figure it out :)

    Until a couple of days ago, I didn't realize I could use my Simxperience Stage with SimTools, and it's awesome to be able to use some of the flight sims (namely Elite: Dangerous + Oculus Rift, amazing!) that Simxperience so far hasn't gotten around to implementing (nor will they I presume- until Frontier offers some kind of official API, hats off to @value1 for making that possible in the meantime!)
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  7. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    @Avenga76 Hey, I have some good news for you. I figured out how to get the GS-4 working with SimTools!

    A combination of sniffing the GS-4's serial commands, reading the ServoCenter 4.1 protocol manual (the servo board the GS-4 uses), and several hours of trial & error running hex to ascii and then hex to decimal editors (and not understanding how SimTools' serial command sending worked), I got it! Still going to take a bit to nail down which flaps are supposed to do what for each motion in flight sims (testing just with Elite: Dangerous for now).

    It turns out that you just have to send a single burst of data to the servo board and it will control all 16 servos, (four per panel which equals one SimTools axis) so you only need one interface in SimTools to control it.

    In addition to the GS-4, like you, I have a 2DOF with SCN5's. I also have another on order for yaw/traction loss. Since there are four distinct panels on the GS-4, I'm not sure how well it will work to have the third SCN5 "share" one of the axes with one of the GS-4 panels. I guess I'll find out. But still, you could always give up certain ones for certain sims, etc.

    Anyway, I'll attach my Interface Config because it's way too long to get the commands from a screenshot.

    In my case, as you can see from the code, I'm using Axis 3,4,5, and 6 to represent the back left, back right, bottom left, bottom right panels.

    Code:
    * Interface_Profile *
    BPS:115200
    DataBits:8
    Parity:None
    StopBits:1
    OutPutBits:7
    OutPutType:Binary
    StartupOutput:<241><64><0><67><241><64><1><68><241><64><2><69><241><64><3><70><241><64><4><71><241><64><5><72><241><64><6><73><241><64><7><74><241><64><8><75><241><64><9><76><241><64><10><77><241><64><11><78><241><64><12><79><241><64><13><80><241><64><14><81><241><64><15><82><241><22><63><122><63><122><63><122><63><122><64><5><63><122><64><5><63><122><63><122><63><122><63><122><63><122><64><5><63><122><64><63><122><0>
    StartHW:10
    InterfaceOutput:<241><22><Axis3><0><Axis4><0><Axis3><0><Axis4><0><Axis5><0><Axis6><0><Axis5><0><Axis6><0><Axis3><0><Axis4><0><Axis3><0><Axis4><0><Axis5><0><Axis6><0><Axis5><0><Axis6><0><0>
    PacketRate:5
    ShutdownOutput:<241><65><0><68><241><65><1><69><241><65><2><70><241><65><3><71><241><65><4><72><241><65><5><73><241><65><6><74><241><65><7><75><241><65><8><76><241><65><9><77><241><65><10><78><241><65><11><79><241><65><12><80><241><65><13><81><241><65><14><82><241><65><15><83>
    StopHW:10
    
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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  8. Avenga76

    Avenga76 Well-Known Member

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    Cool. Great work. How does it feel versus running it through SimCommander?

    I also run my Accuforce and SimVibe through SimCommander so I am stuck using both SimTools and SimCommander.
  9. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    Thanks!

    Well, I just got it working and only tried it with Elite so far. It seems to behave similarly with the closest thing I've been able to use on SC, which is X-plane. As you know SC doesn't yet support any other flight sims so there isn't much to compare it to there. I haven't tried it with any driving sims yet as there is probably a lot more overlap in what SC officially supports vs SimTools.

    I imagine your setup might be better with the more "first party" control Simcommander has over the GS-4 with the racing games though.
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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  10. FredBasset

    FredBasset New Member

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    Darkcrayon, I don't have a GS4 but do have one of the ServoCenter boards, I'm not that experienced with SimTools but understand it in principle. Is it as simple as me loading your interface config, setting the right serial port and defining the axes adjustment I'd like to get this running?

    I've never gone with GS4 as I would like the panels to work in a slightly different way to suit my cockpit.

    Thanks for this
    Fred
  11. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    Hi Fred.

    It should be something like that. I guess the difference is going to be how your servocenter board and panels are configured like you say. But it should definitely be doable, as I mentioned above you are just sending a repeated stream of serial data where the <axis> are just variables that SimTools controls.
  12. fixmysim

    fixmysim New Member

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    This is exactly the thread I was looking for - would somebody help me a step further and provide a "FAQ" of how to install the code referenced by DarkCranyon into Simtools? I am a begginer in this department.
  13. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimTools Developer SimAxe Beta Tester Gold Contributor SimTools 2.0 Beta Tester

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    @fixmysim
    Nothing really to install buddy,
    Just use these settings with the Serial Interface.

    * Interface_Profile *
    BPS:115200
    DataBits:8
    Parity:None
    StopBits:1
    OutPutBits:7
    OutPutType:Binary
    StartupOutput:<241><64><0><67><241><64><1><68><241><64><2><69><241><64><3><70><241><64><4><71><241><64><5><72><241><64><6><73><241><64><7><74><241><64><8><75><241><64><9><76><241><64><10><77><241><64><11><78><241><64><12><79><241><64><13><80><241><64><14><81><241><64><15><82><241><22><63><122><63><122><63><122><63><122><64><5><63><122><64><5><63><122><63><122><63><122><63><122><63><122><64><5><63><122><64><63><122><0>
    StartHW:10
    InterfaceOutput:<241><22><Axis3><0><Axis4><0><Axis3><0><Axis4><0><Axis5><0><Axis6><0><Axis5><0><Axis6><0><Axis3><0><Axis4><0><Axis3><0><Axis4><0><Axis5><0><Axis6><0><Axis5><0><Axis6><0><0>
    PacketRate:5
    ShutdownOutput:<241><65><0><68><241><65><1><69><241><65><2><70><241><65><3><71><241><65><4><72><241><65><5><73><241><65><6><74><241><65><7><75><241><65><8><76><241><65><9><77><241><65><10><78><241><65><11><79><241><65><12><80><241><65><13><81><241><65><14><82><241><65><15><83>
    StopHW:10
  14. fixmysim

    fixmysim New Member

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    @yobuddy

    Thanks for the help, still not working for some reason.

    Here's what's going on:

    1) I updated the "Interface Settings" as described - here is screenshot -> http://imgur.com/a/vmvog

    2) When I go to "Output Testing" and click "Turn On" the servos warm up and buzz, but sliding "Amount of Axis to Use" doesn't do anything.

    3) Same effect when I go into LFS - servos spin up, but no movement at all.

    What am I doing wrong?
  15. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    Ok, if the servos buzz then you're partly good.

    In the Output testing, are you trying the Output directly (not DOF Output, but Axis Output in the drop down?)- just in case, since the DOF output wont do anything unless you have Axis Assignments set up properly.

    Oh, and check this. In the example above it's just using "Axis1" "Axis2" for your axes. But make sure those are the names of the Axis. In Simtools 2, I now have to specify "Axis1b" "Axis 2b" for my axes since the new simtools allows more of them so they're named differently to support this. That's probably your issue. This is MY new Interface Output:

    <241><22><Axis1b><0><Axis2b><0><Axis1b><0><Axis2b><0><Axis3b><0><Axis4b><0><Axis3b><0><Axis4b><0><Axis1b><0><Axis2b><0><Axis1b><0><Axis2b><0><Axis3b><0><Axis4b><0><Axis3b><0><Axis4b><0><0>

    Yours might be Axis1a instead of b depending on how you have the rest of the thing setup.

    (Here's an odd aside, I just opened SimTools up and all of my Interface settings are blank! I copied the above from a text file backup i made of the settings, hopefully correct :)
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  16. fixmysim

    fixmysim New Member

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    @
    Great! I made the updates you suggested.

    I have to select "(b) Axis Output" in the Output Testing.

    And then these are working in output testing for first time!

    Axis 1b - seat back left
    Axis 2b - seat back right
    Axis 3b - seat back left
    Axis 4b - seat back right

    Only problem now is this isn't translating to the game of course :)

    When I go to open LFS the buzzing starts with the game and CONTINUES now which is new, but still no motion.

    I've attached a screenshot of my Axis Assignments - am I entering the wrong commands?

    Attached Files:

  17. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    Hmm ok, I think there's a problem with your Axis assignments, thought im not exactly sure why you'd get NO motion.. Unless LiveForSpeed doesn't output sway and surge and only does the basic 3 (pitch, yaw, roll).

    In any case, you're going to want each DOF column to only have 1 type of force. Or at least that's how mine is set up. The Axis column is "flaps" on the GS-4, and the DOF column is for each type of actual movement. See my screenshots for how mine is setup. Note that this is for a flight game (Elite Dangerous) and not a driving game but it should be similar. It's up to you of course to decide which flaps should move for which type of motion.

    See if that helps. Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 6.41.51 PM.png Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 6.41.31 PM.png
  18. fixmysim

    fixmysim New Member

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    BAM! That worked! Not for LFS though but for Flight Simulator X which is primarily what I play. I copied your settings exactly.

    However the motion seems a little bit off - have you ever tried configuring yours for FSX?
  19. darkcrayon

    darkcrayon Member Gold Contributor

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    Glad you were able to get going.

    Actually I haven't- I don't really know the optimal settings but I'm sure your numbers and ranges and such would likely be different than my Elite ones (which themselves are probably not perfect). And you might like different flaps to move for different forces entirely. I also have an SCN5 setup (i think i mentioned) so I'm basing some of my numbers on the fact that my seat is moving as well (I think you have your seat moving as well?). So if you come up with something good let us know :)
  20. fixmysim

    fixmysim New Member

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    Thanks again, that was a huge help - I'll mess around with it and let you know.

    I also have a motion platform - 4point d-box - any tips on best way to "test" without opening app / shutting down etc? maybe just try one axis at a time?