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Thread: Axis Control Settings Suggestion

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Axis Control Settings Suggestion

    Looking at the keyboard controls for OpenRails I was looking to see if it had support for joysticks, such as throttle quadrants, gampads ect. using X/Y/Z axis. Im guessing OpenRails only supports keyboard input, unless you have a raildriver. It would be nice to have axis functionality for brakes so one could in effect have RailDriver type braking response but only with a throttle quadrant for example.

    Keyboard emulators will emulate a keyboard input using axis but its not pressure sensitive. Meaning, if you set the brake to 50% the button '' will be pressed continuously because its acting as if the keyboard is being pressed over and over and not reading that the axis is set to 50% in this case and thus the brakes should be set in game accordingly. If OpenRails could read axis movement and interpret those inputs in game that would be great for the train simmer on a a budget. The same could be said for throttle and dynamic braking controls using axis as well but those can be done using an emulator and not stressed in this post. Just throwing that out there as I know its not the most important thing in the world.

  2. #2
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    Default Axis Control Settings Suggestion

    Hi Dan,

    Yep - totally concur - I've brought it up a few times over the years - and - there didn't seem to be much interest... I believe ORTS needs full Direct X joystick support - so it can recognize precise joystick positions - similar to MSFS... It would open doors for all kinds of controllers... Personally - I use my CH Products setup now - and get fairly good results with the CH Program Manager - but - as you mentioned - I'm just emulating key strokes... I never see myself purchasing Rail Driver - and - this provides a limited joystick functionality... It's so much more satisfying moving levers on the CH Throttle Quad than it is pressing keys on a keyboard...

    For those without "programmable" devices - I've also used "Pinnacle Game Control Software" - that was recommended to me over at Elvas with good results but again it is simply emulating key strokes...

    Direct X controllers is the way to go - as the game recognizes the actual position of the device... Hopefully we see this at some point in ORTS...

  3. #3
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    I believe that because MSTS did not support joystick input (could be wrong - maybe with additional program for inputting??) that any functionality in ORTS would be way beyond V1.0.

    I did some searching about this in the forums (here and elsewhere) it comes up now and then but never seems to have community-wide support. Maybe someone with coding knowledge could write something for ORTS - a branch of the platform that supports this function. It is open source.
    Cheers, Gerry
    It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
    Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.


  4. #4
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    Look under the Open Rails /Discussion forum on Elvas Tower for my old post: "Joystick driver for Open Rails - Found One!". The website is still available: (http://www.deinmeister.de) - look under downloads. It is not perfect, but useful for some controls.

    Sid
    Sid P.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottb613 View Post
    Direct X controllers is the way to go - as the game recognizes the actual position of the device... Hopefully we see this at some point in ORTS...
    Could this be coded so that it can be used by all controllers created by Simulation controllers hardware add-on manufacturers such as PIEngineering's Raildriver and Saitek, etc, I have both of, them creating software drivers for them using it ?

  6. #6
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    Hi Otto,

    I'm no expert - but I think Direct X is an industry standard where PIE had there own custom interface... Didn't PIE have to scrape actual text off the screen or something ??? Saitek can be used with Direct X... With Direct X - if you press a button the game/sim normally has a configuration screen where it can actually detect the button you pressed or the axis you moved... The best example I can think of would be the train brake on steam locomotives and first gen diesels... The way it works now - using "keystroke emulation" - is you have to move the control into the region where you have it setup to "virtually" press a specific key... You also have to code the ENG file for each locomotive so that it doesn't increment or decrement the values too fast -so you can catch the desired position in time with your control... If you blink - you've just shot passed the "Lap" setting you wanted and are fully dumping the air in "Release" mode... When you have many key presses for a control such as a throttle on a steam locomotive - there is also a lag factor - as - you just can't send enough key presses quick enough - so you may overshoot your desired setting... Certainly not ideal and I couldn't imagine trying to fly a plane with these controls...

    As I understand Direct X controllers - each control has defined range from 0 to 255 - usually - in the setup page for the game/sim - you can define an actual position for - say - the Lap position of the brake... If the controller enters that position - the brake is in Lap - period - no timing at all involved... It will stay in Lap until the control is moved out of the Lap range - much like the real world... On the throttle - put it in position 255 or fully on - the sim recognizes it as 255 (or max) - and immediately goes to full throttle without having to wait for 255 distinct key presses to complete before going to full throttle... A much better way of doing business in my book...
    Last edited by scottb613; 01-18-2015 at 02:31 PM.

  7. #7

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    There would almost be no reason to have a RailDriver if support would be given to plug-n-play type devices, which Im sure many more people have an old joystick or throttle quadrant lying around than an $2-300 RailDriver. Which are sold out at the moment and ebay prices are way too high.

    Alternatives Ive seen, including the one suggested this morning dont work right. They sort of work but arent much better than using the keyboard at present.

    Didn't PIE have to scrape actual text off the screen or something
    Yes, with MSTS you had to keep the F5 up and couldnt change the text color from red, or its size IIRC. Of course OpenRails supports this natively, so thats not needed. Thats if you own an expensive RD, which I have and sold them over the years, as my interest comes and goes from the RE to driving.

    It would be nice to simply plug in a controller of sorts and have full functionality comparable to a raildriver. Youd think that would catch on seeing not everyone own a RailDriver. This could open upa possibility to create your own raildriver as seen in this thread This one no doubt not functioning prototypical, unless he created his own software for input.

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