RailDriver Desktop Train Cab Controller NOW supported in OpenBve

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Post by jb69 on 23rd February 2014, 15:00

Dear all,

Some of you surely know (or own) the RailDriver Desktop Train Cab Controller from P.I. Engineering. Unfortunately this device, specifically developed for train simulations, is not recognized by Windows as a joystick; therefore, it is(was) not usable in OpenBve. That's why I've developed a "workaround" that makes it now recognized by OpenBve as a "normal" joystick. Please see https://sites.google.com/site/raildriver4openbve/ for more details.

This piece of software is still in beta version and your feed-back is highly welcome !

Kind regards.

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Post by jack123 on 24th February 2014, 20:42

Hi,
Downloaded the software and works a treat!! Really fantastic makes the whole unit appeal to more customers! There is no way I would recommend an RD unit to anyone who is just buying it for MSTS. Way to complicated and just a right pain to set up and when you drive it there is nothing special about it MSTS Is just to old but this is perfect! This is what this unit was built for and I'm so glad that you have made this. Only issues I experienced was I cannot get the reverser to work and the speed display just displays R.D The whole time but I don't think there is anyway of making this work with openbve anyway. Apart from that perfect! Really really fantastic! Anyone who hasn't a rd unit and plays openbve go and get one! This just now adds to the experience!

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Post by jack123 on 24th February 2014, 20:46

Also you get a must better response from the train than you would do on a keyboard. If your like me and drive a lot of LU Routes by using this software with the RD you get a lot more rapid responses from the train especially with braking making it easier to drive the train.

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Post by jb69 on 24th February 2014, 21:47

Dear Jack123, 

I've just sent you a "quick response" (at least I tried as the interface of this forum is new for me).
If someone else encounters the same problem with the reverser, could you:

  • tell me what happens when you move the reverser in OpenBve "Customize controls menu" (first axis should move accordingly)

                                    RailDriver Desktop Train Cab Controller NOW supported in OpenBve Revers13

  • change "level value" from "INFO" into "DEBUG" in the "root" section of log4net.xml located in RailDriverCalibration.exe directory
  • re-run Calibration process
  • send me a copy of following files: RailDriverCalibration.log  and calibration.dat

Regarding the RD display, I'm currently investigating how to implement this feature without having to modify OpenBve code.

Thanks again for your comments.

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Post by jack123 on 25th February 2014, 22:23

Hi jb69 thanks for your help. Problem sorted. I re calibrated the reverser settings and now it works a treat! Look forward to any further developments what might happen! Smile

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Post by CaptED on 22nd August 2014, 01:58

Hi jb69..
I am considering buying a 'RailDriver'.. after reading your instal-setup of the RailDriver with OpenBve.. 
I am wondering if RailDriver works as intended with other train sims. 
But once you start openbve all joysticks disappear and RailDriver is only the device.

Thanks 
Ed
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Post by CaptED on 7th September 2014, 18:04

Hi to Readers....
A very big thanks goes to "jb69" for the work on the RailDriver fix...(making it look like a joystick)

Well I bought a used one for OpenBVE... while not cheap it was a $100.00 savings.... 
It took me a few minutes to calibrate the controller ... and of course getting OpenBVE Controls setup...
All together about 1 hour to setup... (changed my mind on some buttons...)

I will say it was well worth it.   The program worked great...

Later
Ed
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Post by edgreenberg on 13th April 2017, 14:25

Hi, I downloaded this patch but in 1.5.1.0, it does not work.  Both before and after installation, I get a message that the joystick is not supported since it has too many buttons.

Is this supposed to work with 1.5.1.0 or should I use an older release?

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Post by edgreenberg on 13th April 2017, 14:27

I should point out that 1.5.1.0 does not seem to ship with a Tao.Sdl.dll

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Post by leezer3 on 13th April 2017, 14:58

1.5.1.0 uses a different backend system to prior versions.

This patch is not going to work unfortunately.

The 'Too Many Buttons' error suggests that OpenTK actually recognises the RailDriver, but we currently have a limit of 32 recognised buttons per joystick.

I'll look into things, but at the minute I suspect that support isn't going to happen; I really need one of these in my hands to test with, and they're not cheap Smile
Coding blind isn't good....

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Post by edgreenberg on 13th April 2017, 15:09

Any chance I could help?  If you give me a few directions as to where to look I could load the source up and see if I can find a solution.

Otherwise, do you think I could get a result out of 1.4.3?

Ed

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Post by leezer3 on 13th April 2017, 16:21

1.4.3 should work, assuming the PI engineering interface works OK Smile

The buttons limit is internal to openTK's HID driver; As it's throwing a too many buttons error, openTK seems to be talking to the stick itself, which is a good sign.

How competent with C#, or programming in general are you?
The current development version of openTK patches the buttons limit to 64, but I'm reluctant to merge this straight into openBVE as the interface versions aren't backwards compatible, and it requires some changes from my end (I also have no means of testing this.....).
This has the potential to completely confuse things when mixing versions.

(The method signature of Joystick.GetButton has changed from using a custom JoystickButton enum to a simple Int)

TLDR:
Compiling openBVE from source, replacing the included opentk.dll with one built from their latest development source *may* make things work.

Otherwise, unless someone wants to lend me a raildriver, I'm afraid we're stuck Razz

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Post by Quork on 15th April 2017, 22:24

Maybe it's time you'd consider donations after all. Maybe we could finance such a thing together. One could also consider reselling it afterwards, if you don't want to own one.
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Post by leezer3 on 17th April 2017, 00:48

Quork wrote:Maybe it's time you'd consider donations after all. Maybe we could finance such a thing together. One could also consider reselling it afterwards, if you don't want to own one.

€220 ?  Shocked Shocked  (Can't even see a UK stockist, Aerosoft appear to be the EU distributor & they just straight convert € to £, IIRC charging in €)

Really not a sum I'm particularly comfortable with......
Never actually seen one secondhand either, they're rare as hens teeth, I suspect due to the cost involved.

First I saw them was ~10 years ago after MSTS had first been introduced, at that time they were about £120. Doubling in price over that period is pretty impressive.....

No idea whether I could get the thing to work either without actually fiddling with it, and that's another argument against donations Smile

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Post by graymac on 17th April 2017, 13:58

The manufacturer, on its website http://raildriver.com/products/raildriver.php , lists the programs which the device is compatible with, it does not include BVE among them.
It would be my contention that it is up to this manufacturer to produce software to allow the device to be used with BVE program variants, NOT the other way round.
The market demographic probably precludes production of such software - most users of freeware sims aren't going to be spending those sort of sums on what is essentially a "jumped up joystick".
Chris's valuable time and expertise is wasted messing around catering for overpriced minority "add-ons" like this.
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Post by Quork on 17th April 2017, 14:30

Nah, in this case, it's indeed the sim's technical and not the manufacturer's problem. The manufacturer delivers a working piece of hardware with a working software driver, which, to my knowledge, conforms to all standards. Thus their part is done.
It's a valid question indeed whether it's worth the time and fuss on Chris' side to deal with this admittedly very specific problem - but there's neither fault nor lacking on the manufacturer's side.
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Post by jpnmtrmn93 on 26th May 2017, 18:21

edgreenberg wrote:Hi, I downloaded this patch but in 1.5.1.0, it does not work.  Both before and after installation, I get a message that the joystick is not supported since it has too many buttons.

Is this supposed to work with 1.5.1.0 or should I use an older release?
I have the same problem. I guess I have to revert back to 1.4.3 until this issue is resolved.
leezer3 wrote:1.5.1.0 uses a different backend system to prior versions.

This patch is not going to work unfortunately.

The 'Too Many Buttons' error suggests that OpenTK actually recognises the RailDriver, but we currently have a limit of 32 recognised buttons per joystick.

I'll look into things, but at the minute I suspect that support isn't going to happen; I really need one of these in my hands to test with, and they're not cheap Smile
Coding blind isn't good....
For your reference, if it helps, RailDriver has 44 buttons and 7 axes.

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Post by edgreenberg on 26th May 2017, 20:11

I've been using one of these. RailDriver Desktop Train Cab Controller NOW supported in OpenBve PZ45-001-Saitek-PRO-Flight-Throttle-Quadrant-lg
Left control is reverser, middle is power,  right is brake.  On single stick locomotives, the right is the single controller, and the middle is unprogrammed, but I leave it deployed right where the center point on the left and right sticks are, as a guide.

Works very well.

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Post by leezer3 on 27th May 2017, 12:29

This is a somewhat experimental test version, which *may* get the RailDriver to work:
https://vps.bvecornwall.co.uk/OpenBVE/Experimental/JoystickButtonsTest.zip

The supported number of buttons has been bumped to 64, plus some other unrelated joystick changes.

I cannot test this personally, other than with a virtual joystick on Windows, hence why this has not been pushed to the stable channel.

Please let me know if this works Smile

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Post by Northern Line on 29th May 2017, 00:59

leezer3 wrote:This is a somewhat experimental test version, which *may* get the RailDriver to work:
https://vps.bvecornwall.co.uk/OpenBVE/Experimental/JoystickButtonsTest.zip

The supported number of buttons has been bumped to 64, plus some other unrelated joystick changes.

I cannot test this personally, other than with a virtual joystick on Windows, hence why this has not been pushed to the stable channel.

Please let me know if this works Smile

Thanks for expanding the number of buttons to 64.  my joystick (Saitek X55 HOTAS) now seems to work as standard Very Happy
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Post by leezer3 on 28th July 2017, 13:49

Significant progress on the RailDriver front:
https://vps.bvecornwall.co.uk/OpenBVE/Builds/OpenBVE-2017-07-28.zip

This build uses PI Engineering's interface to get the RailDriver working under Windows. Other operating systems are not supported.
The speed display may be switched between MPH & KPH on the second page of options.

Flaws:
The controller is currently not calibrated. Depending on your RailDriver unit, the various axis may not work too well.
I'm going to implement a full calibration interface for all joysticks, but this may take a little longer Smile

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Post by leezer3 on 1st August 2017, 01:12

Today's build adds a RailDriver specific calibration dialog (Options, Page 2)
https://vps.bvecornwall.co.uk/OpenBVE/Builds/OpenBVE-2017-07-31.zip

The unit I have here now works just fine once calibrated Smile

Anyone else care to chime in/ test?

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Post by CaptED on 1st August 2017, 21:01

Hello Leezr3,

First thanks for making RailDriver work with OpenBVE.
I did the calibration..  and it turned out with Errors.

I am using windows 7...

Where is the Calibration file located?? (I want to delete it and start a new.)

I have reinstalled OpenBVE-2017-07-31 and now it said "Error loading RailDriver calibration file"... 

Image shows the runaway errors ... 


Ed
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Post by leezer3 on 2nd August 2017, 00:07

Oops, the runaway errors shouldn't have happened Embarassed
I can reproduce that with a broken config file, but I'm not quite sure how it got broken if you followed the calibration instructions Sad

I've made some changes as follows:

  • Fixed runaway error messages with a broken calibration file.
  • If the existing calibration file is broken, it'll be deleted automatically after the error prompt is shown.
  • Check that Minimum & Maximum are not identical. (Reverts to default values)
  • Check that Minimum & Maximum are not reversed when calibrating. (It'll silently fix this)
  • Check that Minimum & Maximum are within the allowable bounds. (Should never happen, but check anyway)
  • Check that Minimum & Maximum are not within 10 of each-other. (Reverts to default values)


The calibration file is located under the openBVE settings folder as RailDriver.xml
On a standard Windows install, this will be found in C:\Users\YOU\AppData\openBVE\Settings


This will hopefully work if you retry the calibration:
https://vps.bvecornwall.co.uk/OpenBVE/Builds/OpenBVE-2017-08-01.zip

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Post by CaptED on 2nd August 2017, 23:21

Hi Leezer3,

First you did fix the Calibration Errors.... and I did manage to get it all Calibrated...

Next there is something going on between the RailDriver and the Keyboard...

and what I mean is if you assign to the RD a button for starting the Engine.. it does not work,
nor does the Keyboard "E"

When You have the sound turned on there is some sort of noise interference type, as you use either Power or Braking...

I was using the route "Ballyfreckin-Ballinamo1a.csv"   Train was "22000_IE (22000 3 car)

I must admitting I need more testiing on different trains..& Routes...

Ed
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