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Touch Buddy & Android solution

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Mick Martin, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Hi guys.

    A year or so ago I was working on a Touch Buddy profile for use on my android phone (HTC Desire HD). I have uploaded them to a server for download. I'm sure some of you know how TB & VNC works, however I will try to list the method below for those out of the loop.

    You can use any android platform to achieve this i.e. tablet, mobile, reader etc.

    This Touch Buddy/VNC tut is predominantly for rFactor as this is what I created the profile for.

    *Note, you will need the use of a second screen that must be plugged into your GFX card’s second port. Any size of screen will do above 800x600px. Set up your GFX configuration so that you can see both screens on. This will give you the space for the Touch Buddy profile.

    Download the needed applications :

    Tight VNC This is the server that is to run from your pc.

    TBRFADV v0.9 This is my personal rFactor profile for use with TB.

    Touch Buddy v1.3.0.18 TB core files for use on pc

    Touch Buddy toolkit v1.3.4 This is software to create your own TB profiles and is not needed for this, unless you would like to create your own.

    Go to the market place on your android platform and download and install a program called "android-vnc-viewer" (No need to open this just yet, I will go through this in the method)

    Method, Tight VNC:

    1. Setup Tight VNC on your PC, make sure you put a password in when prompted.

    2. Right click on the Tight VNC icon in the notification area of your desktop, click attach listening viewers.

    3. A box will pop up asking for an address leave this blank and click attach.

    4. Open the Android app “androidVNC”.

    From the dropdown box click new.

    Type nickname for the connection, I called mine “Mobile”.

    Enter the password that you input during the setup of tight VNC on the pc.

    Enter the IP address of your pc i.e. (if you hover your mouse over the tight VNC icon you will see the address to input.

    5. Port 5900 is the default used by VNC

    6. You should change the colour format to 24-bit color

    7. Click “Connect”

    You should now see a repeat of your pc’s screens on your android platform. Press menu on your device to open the options.

    · Input mode: Press this to select between “Touch mouse pan and zoom” & “mouse pointer control mode”.

    · More/scaling: Select between “Zoomable, 1:1, or Fit to screen”. I use zoomable for preference.

    Select “Touch mouse pan and zoom” and pan across to your second screen.

    We will now setup Touch Buddy.

    Method, Touch Buddy:

    1. Unpack Touch Buddy to your preferred location (the program will be run right out of the folder).

    2. Unpack TBRFADV v0.9 to the touch buddy profiles folder. i.e. “C:\Users\CASUAL ALIENS\Desktop\touchbuddy\profiles”

    3. Right click the TouchBuddy.exe and send to desktop to create a link to start TB

    4. Open TB you will see a box like this:

    5. Click Load and open the profile TBRFADV.tbc i.e. “C:\Users\CASUAL ALIENS\Desktop\touchbuddy\profiles\TBRFADV.tbc”

    6. Click “Let’s Go”.

    The profile will now load, you should now see the TBRFADV profile.

    **Note. Touch Buddy will not take focus when clicked upon, this is to say that when you click on one of the buttons the window TB resides in will not take focus from rFactor or other programs, i.e. dumping you to desktop whilst racing.

    All there is to do now is to drag the TB window into the second screen on your PC.

    On your android pan across to the portion of the screen that TB is in and you should see it repeated.

    I created the TB profile at 800x600px so getting it to fit to your Android screen is easy dependant on your resolution, you may have to play around with it a while to get it just right.
    Once you have panned to a good position change the input mode to “Mouse pointer control mode” this will lock the screen to where you want it and allow you to press the buttons on the Profile.

    I have also provided a complete control set for rFactor in the TBRFADV folder, copy the TBRFADV.ini file to your rFactor control folder, i.e. “C:\Program Files (x86)\rFactor\UserData\Controller” This will sync all TB buttons with rFactor***
    You will have to remap your wheels controls like steering & pedals.
    ***Note. To sync everything between TB and rFactor you must turn all assists off (ABS, Traction control, auto pit, damage, stability, spin rec, op/lock, brake help, auto shifting, auto clutch & steering help) in the setting pages in rFactor before heading out on track. Once out on track test all of the functions are working correctly.

    If you have and Q's please ask here I will try my best to aswer them.
    I do hope this help those who are interested :) All the Best Casual Alien
  2. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole
    Premium Member

    Hmmmm, let's see, I would have to buy an Android phone, a second graphics card to my system and pay for unlimited data to my phone to allow for all the use it would get......

    Guess this will have to wait, though it sounds like it would be great fun to use and make things a lot easier.
  3. Surely this would work over your home wifi network without need to buy an "unlimited data" plan?
  4. Chris Butcher

    Chris Butcher
    Red Bull Gridsters 2012 Champion

    Lol old school Fiber :)
  5. 1, Yes you would need an Android phone, tablet, reader.
    2. You do not need a second GFX card just plug a monitor into the second port of your GFX's Card.
    3. Tom is right, you would not need all you can eat data just use wifi.

    (old school fiber, hmmm I seemed to have missplaced that somewhere, now where did I put it?)
  6. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole
    Premium Member

    Mick, on my rig, I would need a second graphics card as all available monitor ports are currently in use on it. :)
  7. Could you explain your pc setup to me? single GFX card? SLi/crossfire? softTH? eyefinity? Android platform?
  8. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole
    Premium Member

    I run a single HD 6950 2 gig card with triple monitors setup for eyefinity as the main display and a fourth monitor setup on the side specifically setup to monitor system information and networking and router usage. I do however like the touchbuddy setup you have going and would love to give it a go, but I don't have an Android, so would need to buy one, and you guys are right, setting up even with a USB cable to the android would eliminate the need for the bandwidth that would be required to operate the setup. Though I have to wonder about power usage on the phone. Does something like this, running for a couple of hours or more consume much of the battery charge?
  9. I would imagine that it would be using the battery at a high rate. Usually smart phones are using the most energy when their screens are on. Like when you watch videos, it isn't really the video that's eating juice as the screen and backlight that are staying in for extended periods of time. That said you could always run an extra charge cable so that you phone is charging while using it like this on your rig.
  10. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole
    Premium Member

    Good point Tom :) Any clue if the Android gets hot after an bit of use like the Blackberry?