Remote log controller

General Topics for configuring, operating and tuning the Megajolt. Also see the <a href="http://www.autosportlabs.net/MJLJ_V4_Operation_Guide">Operation Guide</a>

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david jenkins
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Remote log controller

Post by david jenkins »

I've been tinkering this weekend, following on from something said in another thread...

When I'm driving along I want to be able to start, stop and mark logs without having to muck about with the laptop keyboard - not a good thing to do when you are supposed to be concentrating on your driving! :D

Realising that I could plug another keyboard device into the laptop, and that a keyboard can be hacked about, I did some googling and came up with a 3-key device. This has keys for F5, Esc and Space - a.k.a. Start, Stop and Mark the log. Details of the keyboard hacking can be found here - it's very easy - if you can build a MegaJolt then this is child's play.

It was really cheap - the keyboard was free from the office as it had some keys missing, I had an ali box sitting in my cupboard, and the switches cost £5. They could have been cheaper, but I liked the look of these!

All I want now is some secure way to put it on the transmission tunnel and it'll be ready for use.

David
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brentp
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Post by brentp »

Very cool, David! Excellent weekend project.

How about mounting those buttons on the steering wheel? :)
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david jenkins
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Post by david jenkins »

brentp wrote:Very cool, David! Excellent weekend project.

How about mounting those buttons on the steering wheel? :)
It had crossed my mind... :D

Ken555
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8)

Post by Ken555 »

Spent this morning, doing this. :o
Mapped F5, ESC and Space. (F6 requires you to enter a filename, F5 just uses date/time.)

Used a USB keyboard, and can use a USB/PS2 convertor, when needed.

Now to find a box and a few switches.

Image
Last edited by Ken555 on Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brentp
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Post by brentp »

On the fly ease of starting/stopping logging is exactly why we designed those keyboard shortcuts into the software. Glad to see it being taken to the next level! :)
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Patriq
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Re: 8)

Post by Patriq »

Ken555 wrote:Spent this morning, doing this. :o
Mapped F5, ESC and Space. (F6 requires you to enter a filename, F5 just uses date/time.)

Used a USB keyboard, and can use a USB/PS2 convertor, when needed.

Now to find a box and a few switches.

Image
I'm in the process of doing the same.
How do I attach the wires to the pcb ?

I have no contacts like to ones from the keyboard as in the link to flight simualtion boards - where it is much easier to attach the wires that comes from the switches.

But can I solder the wires directly to the pcb in the image ?
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david jenkins
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Post by david jenkins »

That's the boring bit! :)

You have to get hold of keyboard mapping software (see links on the page mentioned below), connect it to your computer and start to connect tags with a bit of wire. Hold one end onto the first tag and touch the second, then the third, and so on, noting what key each combination represents as you go along. Once you've finished with tag 1, move onto tag 2 and do it again. Most of the time you'll get a letter or number, occasionally a key such as Control or Alt, but sometimes I got 'Windows shutdown' or 'hibernate', and had to wait until the machine re-started before I could carry on! Oh, how I laughed... :(

This took me about 30 minutes, by which point I knew which tags needed to have wires soldered onto them for connection to the switches.

If you've still got the keyboard you could trace the tracks on the circuit sheets, but I'm not sure that would be any quicker.

HTH,
David

Keyboard hacking link - warning: this is a useful site, but HORRIBLE to read due a bad choice of colours and fonts - if you've got a headache, take a pill and wait until it's gone away! You have been warned! :o :D
Oh - and this is 'fringe' software, so virus checking before use is a VERY good idea!

Patriq
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Post by Patriq »

Thanks, but I've already done that.

I bought a new keyboard, figured out which shortcuts I needed for the MLJL software - and wrote down the combinations.

I've also tested with a piece of wire - and it works fine. Now I only need to attach wires permanently to pcb.
But as in the previous post - how do I do that ?

Can I solder directly on it where the keyboard lay on it before? Or are there some kind of crimping connectors that I can slot over each strand on the pcb - which in turn can hold a wire ? Can I glue a wire on it ?
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david jenkins
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Post by david jenkins »

Patriq wrote:Thanks, but I've already done that.
:oops:

OK then, simply solder a wire onto each of the selected tabs - just give the tab a very gentle scrape with a penknife, or rub it with a bit of very VERY fine emery paper if you've got some, then wipe it clean with some denatured alcohol or similar (in the UK I'd use stuff called 'meths' - methyl alcohol with added stuff that makes it disgusting to drink... not that I've tried, I hasten to add!).

Once cleaned, just tin the tab with fine solder and a fine-pointed iron, then solder a fine multi-core wire onto it. Any gauge will do - there's no significant current. If you've got a strong lens, have a good look at the tab to make sure there aren't any bridges onto the adjacent tabs.

Hope that's a more useful answer! ;) :D

Patriq
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Post by Patriq »

Yes, thanks !
That was helpful !

I'll give it a go then.
All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand now !

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