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lesthegringo

Any advantage to independent controls for multi engines?

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Hi guys, first post here so looking for help, suggestions and any other input.

 

I have made my own 'cockpit' using my racing rig frame as a base but with replaceable side and front consoles that I can fit tailor made switch and control panels to. Main input is a Thrustmaster Warthog joystick (with a 20cm extension) and HOTAS, with Saitek flight pro pedals. The control consoles can be set up with as many buttons, rotary encoders and axes as I like so any of the inputs can be transferred off the keyboard should I so wish.  Picture below if anyone is interested. However...

 

While I can understand the need for individual throttle controls and prop feather controls, other that for the purposes of uber realism, is there any point in having individual mix, pitch, radiator, cowl flap, supercharger, boost etc controls? Basically, which controls are best left linked to all engines? Looking forward, if any three or four engined aircraft come out, I will be able to make a bespoke throttle quadrant but don't want to put buttons and controls on just for the sake of it.

 

Lastly, is there a summarised list of what controls can be assigned to axes rather than buttons?

 

Thanks

 

Les

49318358_312010002754023_5248939193832308736_n.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I am more less dealing with the same problem: how to best use multiple quadrants, what controls to map to which functions, especially in IL2, given you can't easily have multiple control assignments for different planes and change them in game. I imagine the issue has a lesser scale for those wishing to fly just one plane type, or planes with very similar characteristics.

 

Just off the top of my head, I remember an example of handy use for multiple throttles: I'm a Rise of Flight guy, and when you're flying the german Gotha bomber, for instance, it's easier to taxi it, make a turn in flight or deal with having one damaged engine if you have separate controls. I'm not seeing a use for separate mixtures or radiators, for example. I imagine these would be better controlled as a group.

 

P.S.: Anyway, compiling solutions on making the best use of your setup would be something that might help the community. Is anyone aware of such a reference?

Edited by J2_Bidu
typo

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, J2_Bidu said:

I'm not seeing a use for separate mixtures or radiators, for example. I imagine these would be better controlled as a group.

In the event of an engine failure, minimizing drag is very important. Therefore, it's best to close any radiators, cowl flaps, etc. on the failed engine in addition to optimizing the prop.

 

For certain aircraft with very detailed engine models in sims such as P3D or X-Plane, it's important to adjust all engine settings individually in response to observed engine parameters. Of course, this doesn't really apply to Il-2 unless you're using asymmetric engine power for some reason. 

 

11 hours ago, lesthegringo said:

Lastly, is there a summarised list of what controls can be assigned to axes rather than buttons?

Someone did make a guide for controls that can be mapped for each aircraft, but it seems abandoned (I can't find a version with all the recent aircraft added). 

 

Unfortunately, no comprehensive solution for managing different controls for multiple aircraft exists.

Edited by Mitthrawnuruodo
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, lesthegringo said:

Lastly, is there a summarised list of what controls can be assigned to axes rather than buttons?

 

Off the top of my head:

  • Pitch
  • Roll
  • Yaw
  • Left Toe Brake
  • Right Toe Brake
  • Handbrake (used for most Soviet planes and the Spitfire)
  • Horizontal stabilizer trim (Bf 109s, MC202, and Ju 52)
  • Gunsight wingspan (for the gyro sights and tanks, and the default Spitfire gunsight)
  • Gunsight distance (for the gyro sights and tanks, and the default Spitfire gunsight)
  • Throttle
  • Altitude throttle (for the upcoming Fokker D.VIIF in Flying Circus)
  • Mixture
  • Prop RPM
  • Inlet Cowl Flaps
  • Outlet Cowl Flaps
  • Water radiator
  • Oil radiator
  • Turbosupercharger (for the P-47)
Edited by LukeFF
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On 1/1/2019 at 1:48 PM, lesthegringo said:

Looking forward, if any three or four engined aircraft come out

 

Ju52/3m is already in the game for quite some time.

 

Regarding the question about which controls can be assigned to an axis: one additional complication is that some controls which can be assigned to an axis on some planes can only be assigned to buttons in other planes. You could assign them all to two buttons each (those which can be assigned to an axis can also be assigned to two buttons each), but you lose the advantages of axis-controlled systems on the aircrafts which allow axes control.

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What I do - if it's helpful - is set the water radiator and the engine inlet cowl to the same axis (and DVIIF altitude throttle can be set to mixture) as they won't cause a conflict. 

 

Also I have the 3 way toggle switch on the Warthog throttle handle (the one above the red China hat switch) set to:

 

Forward - Engine 1

Middle - All Engines 

Back - Engine 2

 

...so you can select individual engines and adjust their respective controls, for example if one engine is damaged and you want to close its radiators and feather its prop. (I have the throttles set to the individual throttle axes on the Warthog.) 

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10 minutes ago, Soilworker said:

What I do - if it's helpful - is set the water radiator and the engine inlet cowl to the same axis (and DVIIF altitude throttle can be set to mixture) as they won't cause a conflict. 

 

Also I have the 3 way toggle switch on the Warthog throttle handle (the one above the red China hat switch) set to:

 

Forward - Engine 1

Middle - All Engines 

Back - Engine 2

 

...so you can select individual engines and adjust their respective controls, for example if one engine is damaged and you want to close its radiators and feather its prop. (I have the throttles set to the individual throttle axes on the Warthog.) 

 

This. Except that I use different switches on the Warthog. Just one control for everything except throttles (some twin-engine planes benefit from having individual throttles when taxying or even taking-off) then switches to select individual or all engines. You won't need to remember a mass of controls or assignments. What ever controls your radiator/cowl flaps/prop etc etc will be the same for all and any engine.

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Guys, being new to this, maybe I don't know or understand some of the nuances

 

Are you saying that I can use a combination of buttons, ie have one button that selects engine on, another for engine two etc plus one for all engines, then press the corresponding engine button while moving the axis in order to alter just that engine?

 

Cheers

 

Les

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15 minutes ago, lesthegringo said:

Guys, being new to this, maybe I don't know or understand some of the nuances

 

Are you saying that I can use a combination of buttons, ie have one button that selects engine on, another for engine two etc plus one for all engines, then press the corresponding engine button while moving the axis in order to alter just that engine?

 

Cheers

 

Les

 

That's it exactly. Select your engine and whatever you move afterwards (rads, cowl flaps, prop etc) will affect only that particular one. Make sure that you remember your keyboard shortcuts/buttons correctly though - I feathered the prop on a perfectly good engine the other day :blush:.

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Posted (edited)

Cool - I assume it works for buttons too, so that would greatly reduce the button / axis count. 

 

To double check, does the engine select button have to be kept pressed while working the axis or pressing the button, or is it press engine then the required control?

 

Cheers

 

Les

Edited by lesthegringo
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No, you don't have to hold a button. It works like a toggle to select/deselect a certain engine (or all at once). But it's quicker to try yourself than to explain how it works. The default bindings are keys 1, 2, 3 and 0.

17 hours ago, Soilworker said:

What I do - if it's helpful - is set the water radiator and the engine inlet cowl to the same axis (and DVIIF altitude throttle can be set to mixture) as they won't cause a conflict.

 

There is an overlap at least in the case of La-5 if you want to use axes. It has axes for both manual water radiator control and inlet cowl shutters.

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Posted (edited)

My view on home cockpits is that if you are going to go through the trouble of making one like you have there, you may as well make it very high fidelity.  If you are going to spend the time and money to set up a cockpit such as yours, adding in a few inexpensive throttle quadrants (like Saitek) to give you the ability to have independent engine controls seems like a small step.  A few players here (not many it seems) have also adopted common tablet computers like Ipads as extra controllers with apps allowing customizeable touchscreen buttons and axes (that can be configured on a plane to plane basis) and trust you me, this goes a long way to solving the problem that you are having.  

Edited by SeaSerpent

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Posted (edited)

assign one set of all controls, in case of engine failure: disable controls for working engines (switch engine X control on/off; or: all off, enable defective), shut down defective, reverse enabled engines.

Edited by mrgrey63

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11 hours ago, Seb71 said:

There is an overlap at least in the case of La-5 if you want to use axes. It has axes for both manual water radiator control and inlet cowl shutters.

 

It's the outlet cowl shutters and water radiators that can share the same axis assignment without issues. :) 

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11 hours ago, Seb71 said:

There is an overlap at least in the case of La-5 if you want to use axes. It has axes for both manual water radiator control and inlet cowl shutters.

 

I was pretty sure the La-5 is air cooled. 

 

But I'm currently on the other side of the world to my pc so I can't check.

 

However looking on Wikipedia reveals that the M-82 is an air cooled engine and the IL-2 airplane guides make no mention of water temperature, also the cockpit has no water temp gauge so I'm feeling pretty confident... 

29 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

 

It's the outlet cowl shutters and water radiators that can share the same axis assignment without issues. :) 

 

I don't think that's right as the La-5 has both inlet and outlet cowl shutters, but I'm pretty sure it has no water radiator, however if I'm wrong and it does the there'd still be a conflict. 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Soilworker said:

I don't think that's right as the La-5 has both inlet and outlet cowl shutters, but I'm pretty sure it has no water radiator, however if I'm wrong and it does the there'd still be a conflict. 

 

There is no conflict - the La-5 has inlet and outlet cowl shutters, yes, and no water radiator controls (obviously, since it has an air-cooled engine). Furthermore, any plane that has outlet cowl flaps does not also have water radiator controls - this includes the Ju 88, Fw 190 A-5/8, P-40, and the P-47. It will be the same way for the Fw 190 D-9.

Edited by LukeFF

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4 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

There is no conflict - the La-5 has inlet and outlet cowl shutters, yes, and no water radiator controls (obviously, since it has an air-cooled engine). Furthermore, any plane that has outlet cowl flaps does not also have water radiator controls - this includes the Ju 88, Fw 190 A-5/8, P-40, and the P-47. It will be the same way for the Fw 190 D-9.

 

Yeah I was pretty sure the La-5 was air cooled, it was Seb71's comment that threw me.

But what I'm getting at is I think both inlet and outlet will have no conflict with water radiator controls, not just outlet. 

🙂

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5 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

It's the outlet cowl shutters and water radiators that can share the same axis assignment without issues. :) 

 

5 hours ago, Soilworker said:

I was pretty sure the La-5 is air cooled. 

 

But I'm currently on the other side of the world to my pc so I can't check.

 

However looking on Wikipedia reveals that the M-82 is an air cooled engine and the IL-2 airplane guides make no mention of water temperature, also the cockpit has no water temp gauge so I'm feeling pretty confident...

 

Yeah, I was wrong on that. I checked in the game this time.

 

Sorry for the induced confusion.

 

A while ago I made a table with all aircraft and what kind of controls they have (the purpose of that was to see which bindings don't overlap and can be assigned for different things in different aircraft). The entry for La-5 water radiator on that list was wrong for some reason. I don't fly La-5 (only tried it briefly), but I remembered that according to my list La-5 prevented me to overlap any radiator control with any cowl shutter control.

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6 minutes ago, Seb71 said:

 

 

Yeah, I was wrong on that. I checked in the game this time.

 

Sorry for the induced confusion.

 

A while ago I made a table with all aircraft and what kind of controls they have (the purpose of that was to see which bindings don't overlap and can be assigned for different things in different aircraft). The entry for La-5 water radiator on that list was wrong for some reason. I don't fly La-5 (only tried it briefly), but I remembered that according to my list La-5 prevented me to overlap any radiator control with any cowl shutter control.

 

All good mate! 

Funny I made a similar table for the same purpose! 😄

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12 hours ago, Soilworker said:

But what I'm getting at is I think both inlet and outlet will have no conflict with water radiator controls, not just outlet. 

🙂

 

Correct you are! 🙂

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Thanks guys. Need to look at what I can do

 

Another quick question, apart from the flight axes and engine power levers, can I use rotary encoders instead of potentiometers for the engine controls?

 

Cheers

 

Les

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You can use encoders, but it might be slow to adjust (small steps). If you bind such thing to a pair of buttons (one for increasing the value, the other for decreasing it), you can hold a button pressed until you get the desired adjustment. With an encoder you can't do the same. You have to keep rotating it. How much, it depends on what device you have and/or on additional software you might use.

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5 hours ago, lesthegringo said:

Another quick question, apart from the flight axes and engine power levers, can I use rotary encoders instead of potentiometers for the engine controls?

 

There is apparently a way to reconfigure the rotary encoder as a virtual axis that will report 0 - 100%, and rotating the knob will increase/decrease the axis value by a configurable amount. Pressing the knob can 'center' the axis to 50%. This is black magic voodoo in the config tool, though.

 

I haven't watched this video, but I have watched others in the series, and they are pretty good. This one might contain the info you need:

 

 

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