My Own Raildriver, A Diy Project

Discussion in 'TSW General Discussion' started by LightningPORTO, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. LightningPORTO

    LightningPORTO Member

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    Hello all, just wanted to share my DIY rail driver. It has all the features I want, but it's not finished ( still deciding on the driving knobs).

    It's just a shame DTG does not support generic joysticks yet, this has so much potential. I would pay for a DLC just to be able to have joystick support.

    Anyway, here it is :)
     

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  2. George C. Barnes

    George C. Barnes Member

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    You might need to add another brake, because the auto-brake and independent-brake can't be binding on the same joysticks.
     
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  3. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    Nice work!!
     
  4. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    Really excellent Porto.

    Love those two big buttons.
     
  5. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    Like that. At first glance it looks like the APT-P cab.
     
  6. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    Great job.
     
  7. LightningPORTO

    LightningPORTO Member

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    Well, never thought of that, I guess I've got work to do now :)
     
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  8. luca_triff

    luca_triff New Member

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    Where did you get the two levers (I assume they are potentiometers)?
     
  9. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    They've started talking about more hardware access again on stream, they've not said they're doing it but at least the conversation is bubbling along and I know both Adam and Matt have their own hardware so are personally interested.

    Paul
     
  10. Drakoz

    Drakoz Active Member

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    Nice work. Is this a DirectX controller? If so, what board did you use to create the DirectX connection (a Bodnar board, an Arduino, or what)?

    To get your controller working with TSW sooner, you could take the guts out of a Raildriver and use it for your DIY controller. Route the potentiometers on your DIY controller to replace the pots on a Raildriver. A little expensive, but it does give you a device that will work sooner than later using TSW2's Raildriver support. I forget if Raildriver uses pots or hall effect sensors. If using hall effect sensors, that may complicate things a little. You might have to take the hall effect sensors out of the Raildriver and use them in your DIY controller. But all this is possible.

    Or, you can also use the 3 axis Rudder input connector on a Thrustmaster device which would allow your controller to work with my Thrustmaster TARGET script for TSW. There are 4 Thrustmaster devices that can do this: the T.RJ12 USB Adapter, the TWCS Throttle, the Airbus TCA Throttle, and the Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS. Or just use the guts out of a cheap TARGET compatible Thrustmaster device. I would suggest the TWCS throttle, or maybe the T.16000 Joystick and TWCS throttle to get more buttons and axes. TARGET allows combining several of these devices into a single virtual device, and my TARGET script makes the virtual controller work for TSW.


    Regarding the 3 axis Rudder Input connector.... Each of devices mentioned above do the same thing. They all have a connector that allows hooking a simple 3 axis device (3 potentiometers) to a Thrustmaster USB device, allowing those 3 axes to operate digitally as a DirectX controller, or with Thrustmaster's TARGET scripting language. The connector just provides power, ground, and 3 analog inputs (the wiper on 3 pots). Thrustmaster intended these connectors to allow hooking a simple "dumb" 3 axis rudder pedal set to the throttles, or to allow hooking the rudder pedals directly to a USB port using the T.RJ12 adapter.

    Here is a link to the T.RJ12 adapter to help you see what I mean:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F41W63S/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_Y26582K1ZCT9FW9ANF4E

    The T.RJ12 USB adapter would fit your needs best for cost and simplicity, but only provides 3 axes. Plus you would have to use a separate USB DirectX or Keyboard controller board to do the buttons becasue the RJ12 connector does not provide buttons. It has an RJ12 on one end, and a USB plug on the other. The TWCS Throttle and Airbus TCA Throttle have the same RJ12 connector as the T.RJ12, but these throttles also include other axes and buttons.

    You could use the guts of these devices to create the electronics for your DIY controller, or just connect your DIY controller axes (up to 3) to the RJ12 connector on the back of the throttle. The HOTAS Cougar is an older device which provides the same thing, but uses a DB15 (15 pin) connector. I don't recommend using a Cougar unless you found a broken one with a known good circuit board, because they are expensive otherwise.

    If you used the guts of a Thrustmaster device, the TWCS throttle is your best choice. You can find them for less than $100 used. You don't even need to use the RJ12 connector. The TWCS has 3 axis already as well as several hats and buttons. So coupled with the 3 axes on the RJ12 connector, this gives you 6 axes and I think 24 buttons. So I am implying you could use the circuit board from the TWCS to connect the buttons and axes on your DIY controller (6 axis and 24 buttons). Again this would give you a DirectX controller, but one that is also compatible with my TARGET script.

    What is my TARGET script - see the link below.
    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/th...-for-warthog-throttle-saitek-tq-profile.3634/

    Or if you are a video person, here is my Youtube playlist that demonstrates what the script does:
    https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqB6OrmhBjeGIxAuxg5x6TB4YHyA7xcHs

    Basically, it is a script that takes one or more TARGET compatible Thrustmaster controllers and makes them compatible with TSW. I wrote it primarily for the Warthog Throttle, but have added support for the TCA Throttle and TWCS as well. Currently, I use the Warthog and TCA to give me 5 axes to control a locomotive (reverser, throttle, dynamic brake, automatic brake, and independent brake). For the German locomotives, I have a switch to swap one of the axis to control the cruise control (hence controlling 6 locomotive levers with axes.

    I am in the process of adding support for TSW2 now, but not all locomotives are supported. Just like Dovetail, I have to add support for each locomotive separately. I support most the TSW locomotives and will support some of the TSW2 only locos soon. Right now I support more locos than Dovetail, but that will change soon as they surpass what I support (and I do not plan to support everything). But you can update the script to support the locomotives you care about.

    So no solution is ideal. But since you are already doing a DIY controller, using the guts of a Raildriver, or the Thrustmaster solution I mention wouldn't take much more effort to implement vs. what you are already doing. If you went the TARGET route, my script would support your controller right away, or maybe with a few minor tweaks to suite your preferences. And if your current solution is a DirectX controller, using the guts of a Thrustmaster device still gives you DirectX support, as good as if you were using a Bodnar or Arduino board. Maybe better because you can program it with TARGET.

    If you are curious to understand more, I am happy to help (here, PM me, or even get on a call). I'm not selling anything - I just enjoy playing with game controllers, making them work better with games and sims. I would love to see someone do a DIY controller using my script.
     
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