I apologise in advance, firstly for this being in english, i have tried to use proper english words and not slang, so google translate should not mangle it too much if you need to translate it into German, and where i have used German words, i tried to use umlauts where relevant.
Also, that this is going to be a very long post, with a few photos, about my Bus Drivers Workplace build from the beginning.
Sorry the photos are large, i can't seem attach images directly to the forum yet, so i've uploaded them to a photo hosting site, but i cant set thumbnails it seems.
Some people may recognise me from my old youtube channel Gazz292's omsi dash build
Back around 2011 i discovered an amazing bus simulator called OMSI, i had played about with train and truck driving simulators before, but Omsi offered so much more, i found that i really loved the interaction of the bus simulator, i wanted to be a virtual bus driver
I then decided i wanted to make my own driving desk (FAP), so to make a dashboard that looked like one in the MAN SD202 in the game, i simply found the texture for the bare dashboard, printed it out life size, and glued it to a piece of wood and cut the shape out!
i then added a few switches to it, for the gear selector i found an old tape recorder button set, and connected the switches all up to a 'leoBodnar' usb input board,
I then got chatting to a bloke called Theo on the aussie-X forums, and he very kindly offered to write a .dll that got some data out of omsi and sent it to an arduino, this was the 'Gazz.dll' that i shared on my old website, and quite a few people built their own little dashboards using that it seems.
This is what my very first "dashboard" looked like...
I had some indicator lights working, and a set of gauges out of an old van, but they were propped upright and not in the dash yet, and a trucks air brake lever with micro switches in the bottom.
I had also mounted my driving force GT steering wheel upright, by screwing a |_______| shaped piece of wood to the computer desk to clamp it to, and then unscrewing the wheel and putting it back on 180 degrees out.
Then in 2012 i managed to find someone selling a real dashboard from a german bus, and arranged to get it shipped over to me in England, i can speak very limited German, so finding these parts was hard for me.
It was such a disappointment to get a parcel with a letter on it saying it had been damaged, the body of the dashboard had split in half!!! but i was able to glue it back together and use it, and I still use it to this day.
I then managed to buy a few more bus items, including a more suitable dashboard insert, and a tachograph that matched the MAN SD202 buses from omsi, at this point i was copying the omsi D92 version of the SD202, and i set about connecting them up to work with the Gazz.dll, which at the time was the only way i knew to get the data out of omsi.
Then Omsi2 came out, my .dll stopped working, i believe it was patched to work with Omsi2, but around that time i discovered Komsi.
This gave many more outputs than my Gazz.dll did, and promised to be way better with the ability to even get the data for the LCD's on the IBIS and ticket printer, so i switched over to using Komsi, and even helped a little bit with its development... which was mostly begging for features which Lars very kindly added
I soon fell in love with the MAN NG272 bendy bus in Omsi2, and decided this was the Drivers Workplace i would be building from now on, i had managed to buy the steering wheel from a MAN bus, and made up a little plastic adaptor to fit that onto my Driving Force GT steering wheel system.
This close up shows how rough it was , i simply turned a piece of delrin on my little lathe, and forced it into the bus wheels splines, then made the screw thread on the end, it worked perfectly.
You can see that i also bought the indicator / wiper switch too, and i had that screwed onto the force GT wheels' body, i even got the auto cancel function on the indicators to work,
It was feeling more and more like driving a real bus all the time.
I soon started using the TrackIR function in omsi, this really brings the drivers workplace alive, but of course i couldn't just wear an old baseball cap with it, i bought a BVG bus drivers hat, and i fixed the TrackIR sensor to it, so i could now look around and use the mirrors on the bus without having to touch the keyboard, this really made the bus simulator feel immersive.
I played about making a simple gear stick so i could drive the manual gear buses occasionally, and added a 3rd pedal to my driving force GT's pedal set for a clutch (it connected to the main usb input board i used to send the dashboards switch inputs to the sim... there is no way to connect it to the driving force GT setup that i know of)
I had a 7 channel surround system too, with speakers mounted on the back of my computer chair, so i could hear exactly whre Manfred was on the bus when he moaned at my driving
I even got a bus microphone and had that connected so i could make 'announcements to the virtual passengers' ... if you've seen my old videos, you know i say hello back to the passengers as they board the bus... it's all about the immersion here.
So, my dashboard was getting more and more complex, but as you can see in the next photo, i am still missing a few items to make the drivers workplace complete.
All those lights on the dashboard work, the tachometer and the fuel, water and oil pressure gauges work, the switches light up when i operate them, the only gauges i didn't get working are the air gauges, i was in the process of converting them from air to servo operation, but i wanted to keep both needles working in them, most people do away with the red needle and have a servo work just the white 'main tank pressure' needle,
Unfortunately the tiny servo's i was using, whilst they fitted in the gauge body, they burnt out so easily... part of that was me running them on 5 volts when i found out later they should run on 3 volts max!!
To operate all the lights and gauges i was using an Arduino Mega, due to this having so many pins that can be used as outputs, i even had some custom 'varlists' for Komsi to allow me to run more than the stock 32 outputs Komsi allows (Lars was really patient with me and helped me figure out how to do this, unfortunately so much time has passed that i have forgotten a lot of it now, so i am slowly reacquainting myself with how it all worked)
I made a PCB with a load of transistors on it, that plugged onto the Arduino, and i could safely run the 24 volt lights of the dashboard without blowing up the 5 volt arduino or computer.
I do plan to make an updated version of that PCB sometime, which i will of course share here if wanted, this time i will likely get a professionally made board made up, as that is a cheap option that wasn't there back in 2013.
As you can see in the following photo, i had to hand drill over a hundred holes, it is not pretty, but it did the job.