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Force feedback joystick and labview?

Hello all,
I'm interested of controlling force feedback joystick and steering wheel with LV 7.1. 
Does somebody already know solution for that problem? I have Logitech's Wingman force3D joystick and formula force gp steering wheel and I'm already reading information from those control devices and now I would like to send some (force feedback) information to those devices.
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Is there an activeX  control or possible DirectX (either com or .net) control, if so you could use these in Labview to control the devices.  You could also see if there are drivers in dll form but this is much harder to do than the first option.  ActiveX control of the device in LV 7+ is nice since you can even handle activeX events, important to joystick control.  I have never used the devices you are interested in but my intuition it that incorporating them in a LV program is feasible.
Paul Falkenstein
Coleman Technologies Inc.
CLA, CPI, AIA-Vision
Labview 4.0- 2013, RT, Vision, FPGA
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the problem is that I haven't found any suitable contror. I'm quite familiar of using ActiveX with Labview, so that's why it could have been very easy solution to use those ActiveX / DirectX controls.
I think that Logitech have drivers in .dll form, but I'm not familiar of using them and that's why I'm trying to find if somebody has already some solution for controlling FFJ's.
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Message 3 of 6

Just an educated guess, but I think you may talk to these devices via Windows, not by communicating directly with their driver.  They should be under Control Panel > Game Controllers (if using Windows XP, at least).

If, for example, you wanted to receive data from the mouse or send data to the speakers, you don't talk directly to the device's driver - instead, you talk through Windows, because it is "owned" by Windows.  I think the same may apply to a joystick.

Having said that, if this is a fancy force feedback joystick then Windows may not support it and you may need to talk directly to its driver.

Just a pointer - you may need to talk to Windows APIs, not the device drivers.  I don't know how though, but I hope this points you in a direction.


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If there is not a ActiveX control, have you looked into DirectX, which includes directInput an API for controlling input devices mostly for gaming.  I haven't had to use it in the past but have looked into it for the possibility of adding joystick control to LV programs.  I don't know if your device is compatible with the directInput API however, but it is worth investigating since directInput supports forced feedback.  MSDN has good documentation on using the API.  Good Luck


Paul Falkenstein
Coleman Technologies Inc.
CLA, CPI, AIA-Vision
Labview 4.0- 2013, RT, Vision, FPGA
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Message 5 of 6

Hi Teemu,

Like Paul or Sean suggested, using directX, win API, or DLL calls can all provide a solution to your problem.

I would suggest looking at for some more information on reading the joystick/gamepad. To send the force feedback, I would suggest trying to find some more information on the driver provided with Logitech device (maybe searching on google forums) and then calling the functions in LV.

If you end up using the dll's then you can use DependencyWalker (not an NI utility) to get the function names in that dll and then probably searching web on those function names.

You are working on a cool application and maybe you are the first one doing it, so do post the solution in the end.




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