CommandrStation

The CommandrStation is a device I dreamed up almost immediately after I got hooked into a complex spaceflight game called Elite:Dangerous.  If you don’t know about it, let me tell you: if you’re into space combat and zipping around the galaxy, you’ll probably get a kick out of this game.

Elite-Dangerous-screenshot-3

Yes, it looks that awesome all the time.

At it’s core, the CommandrStation is nothing more than a fancy keyboard with some macro capabilities to make certain actions in the game more accessible or easier to use.

Here’s the design I’ve dreamed up (shown with a Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog set for scale)

CommandStation overview

So here’s the part where you ask “WTF dude?”, and I know, it’s like desperate overkill when all the commands are easily accessible, between the joystick and the keyboard, right?
But there’s a fun term a lot of us E:D pilots like to kick around, called “immersion”.  The way I (and again, many players) see it, the developers went way out of their way to make this game look and sound realistic and immersive, and there’s nothing to help increase that feeling than to have control methods beyond a keyboard and mouse (and no, an XBox controller doesn’t count toward that, in my opinion).
Some invest in a stick and throttle setup similar to what I have pictured above.  Personally, I use a Thrustmaster T.Flight X set, which is like the Warthog but with way fewer buttons, and a cord connecting the two devices.
Anyway, most people feel like a joystick and keyboard are just fine to make the game feel real enough for them, so that’s what they settle on.

Then there’s me, for whom the word “stock” is a curse.  Nothing is ever good enough out of the box; everything can be improved, somehow.  For me with this game, the CommandrStation is the best way I could think of to improve the game experience (and hey, doesn’t hurt to get some more electronics and programming experience under my belt either!)

This is my build log for the CommandrStation, which I will be updating as parts arrive, and I start playing around with the different components that will make up the full concept.  If this sort of thing interests you, I invite you to continue ahead to the more detailed description of what this thing is intended to do, and how it will do it.

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