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I need help with those rotary encoder thingies

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  • I need help with those rotary encoder thingies

    OK, so I just read the thread 'iDrive/joystick/mouse' or something like that and there was a encoder thing mentioned in the second or third reply. I would like to know if it is easy to use one of those 'ALPS' encoders or a phidget one with a computer?

    BTW: I want to be able to tilt it as well
    Planning {[][][][][][][][][][]} 100%
    Funding {[][][][][][][][][][]} 100%
    Construction {[][][][][][][][][][]} 60%

  • #2
    Originally posted by tominated View Post
    OK, so I just read the thread 'iDrive/joystick/mouse' or something like that and there was a encoder thing mentioned in the second or third reply. I would like to know if it is easy to use one of those 'ALPS' encoders or a phidget one with a computer?

    BTW: I want to be able to tilt it as well
    Well, as far as I know the phidget encoder is just a rotary encoder with a single pushbutton (push down). The Alps multiswitch is an 8 way directional switch, with a rotary encoder as well as the push down button.

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    • #3
      Thanks. I have another question, how do you hook up that alps one to a pc via usb. It would probably be best if windows would recognise it as a joystick/gamepad
      Planning {[][][][][][][][][][]} 100%
      Funding {[][][][][][][][][][]} 100%
      Construction {[][][][][][][][][][]} 60%

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tominated View Post
        Thanks. I have another question, how do you hook up that alps one to a pc via usb. It would probably be best if windows would recognise it as a joystick/gamepad
        I am actually working on that now. My plan is to use a standard USB mouse controller chip. They make off the shelf chips that manufactures use in mice that takes standard pushbutton (and optical if is an led mouse) and sends them over USB. The computer sees the device as a standard mouse, and works wonderfully. I have used them in the past (the PS/2 chips, not the USB ones), but not with an 8 way switch. I am going to try to work it out where I can tie the multiswitch directly to the mouse controller. If I can't do that, then I may have to put a microcontroller in between the two to translate some of the inputs. If I wanted to use the standard 4 way switches (up, down, left, right) it would be extremly simple. The 8 way switch is where the hang up comes in.

        I am trying to source the mouse controller chips here in the US. Once I get my hands on them, I should be able to tell you how hard it is going to be.

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        • #5
          i don't realy need an 8 way one so maybe if it works well with you i'll get a 4 way one. once you are done making it, could you post instructions?
          Planning {[][][][][][][][][][]} 100%
          Funding {[][][][][][][][][][]} 100%
          Construction {[][][][][][][][][][]} 60%

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tominated View Post
            i don't realy need an 8 way one so maybe if it works well with you i'll get a 4 way one. once you are done making it, could you post instructions?
            Of course!

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            • #7
              Ok, I have some samples coming of the multiswitches and the controller chips. I will let you guys know what I find out...

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              • #8
                i am also very interested. btw i have a spare ps2 port so it doesnt have to be usb

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                • #9
                  I was thinking about making it a PS/2, but I figured that most people will have a usb hub in the dash somewhere.

                  I have the chips in hand, and the switches are on their way. I need to work on fabricating a knob for this thing...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LYHTSPD View Post
                    I was thinking about making it a PS/2, but I figured that most people will have a usb hub in the dash somewhere.

                    I have the chips in hand, and the switches are on their way. I need to work on fabricating a knob for this thing...
                    just so you know if you're trying to emulate the i-drive knob, BMW sells just the knob for $45. Please keep us up-to-date on your project, I'm keeping an eye on your development

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LYHTSPD View Post
                      I was thinking about making it a PS/2, but I figured that most people will have a usb hub in the dash somewhere.

                      I have the chips in hand, and the switches are on their way. I need to work on fabricating a knob for this thing...
                      couldn't you just use one of those cheap green usb->ps2 adapters that come with new mice? I must have a dozen lying around

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                      • #12
                        good point wouldnt it be easier to deal with ps2?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 95rodeo View Post
                          good point wouldnt it be easier to deal with ps2?
                          It would be easier to deal with a PS/2 mouse controller since all it needs is a cap and a resistor to work (well, and whatever method of input you use). I went with a usb mouse controller because I did not want to run the PS/2 cable to my case, and PS/2 is a legacy device meaning that most newer motherboards do not even support it (and I wanted the challenge since I have not done much with usb). Also, I could not get a 5 button mouse controller in the PS/2 flavor.

                          I am not really going for the i-drive knock-off, since I wanted full directional control. This will actually BE a mouse for your carpc (or any computer). It will be like the i-drive + a joystick. I have seen a few people doing this by hacking up a computer joystick, but I wanted something much more compact and easy to mount. I only plan on using the single button for the push-in of the switch, but I may end up mounting some small switches just above the multiswitch in a semi-circle (think of a dogs paw print).

                          My only concern after looking at the spec sheet of the switch is that it looks like any time a directional input is given, the button contact is closed. If this is the case then I will probably have to put a small microcontroller in there to decode the inputs. Not a big deal, but it will increase the size. If it gets too big, then I will have to remote mount the mouse controller and microcontroller in a small gum pack sized box.



                          dyne: I thought I saw somewhere in the cut sheet for the mouse controller that is a PS/2 & usb controller. You may be able to use one of the green adapters with this. I will have to look into it.

                          guizai: I don't like the i-drive or griffen knobs because they take up a lot of space. I am looking at something I can sneak in a switch blank on the center consol next to the e-brake.

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                          • #14
                            maybe you'll have to try RC type controllers for joystick or knobs. They're relatively small.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by guizai View Post
                              maybe you'll have to try RC type controllers for joystick or knobs. They're relatively small.
                              Yeah, but those are too small I think.

                              I looked at the cut sheet for the mouse controller again last night. From what I read, it sounds like it will work with one of those uber-cheep usb->PS/2 convertors. I will know for sure when I get everything hooked up though.

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