How to Program your Force Feedback Device from Inside of ToonTalk

For advanced users:

If you have a force feedback joystick (and it is compatible with DirectX 5 or later, e.g. Microsoft's Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro or CH Products Force FX) or a touch sensitive mice, e.g. the Logitech iFeel Mouse, then you should find a notebook of special remote controls for your joystick near the end of the Sensors notebook. In this notebook, you'll find force effects on odd pages and some controllers on the opposite page. A force effect is turned on by pressing the space bar while holding or pointing to it. Typing '.' will turn it off.  As always, robots can be trained to do this.

The three controllers for a force effect are:

  1. Duration. This determines how long the effect will last. It is in milliseconds (thousandths of a second).

  2. Strength. This determines how strong the effect is. 100 is a full 100% strong effect.

  3. Direction. This determines the direction the force will happen. It is in degrees (so it ranges from 0 to 359).

To read the joystick's buttons or movement use the sensors in the regular joystick notebook.

The force effects were created using the Immersion Studio that is available for free from Immersion Corporation. You can alter any of the existing forces or create new ones in the file called forces.ifr in the ToonTalk installation directory. (If you are also using a touch sensitive mouse then you'll need to edit mforces.ifr as well.) And they'll be in your notebook the next time you start ToonTalk.

Note that ToonTalk by default turns off a feature called Autocenter. This feature uses the joystick motors to simulate the springs in a standard joystick. Turning it off gives you more control over the device. TurnOffJoystickAutoCenter can be set to leave Autocenter on.

If you encounter problems be sure you have installed the latest version of DirectX from Microsoft.

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