What is EPIC?
EPIC is the Extended/Programmable Input Controller from R&R Electronics.
It's an interface card for IBM PCs and compatibles designed for computer enthusiasts, home
cockpit builders, and specialized analog/digital I/O applications that supports:
- Sixteen+ analog channels
- four "standard" (grounded or ungrounded) analog channels, compatible with all
current joysticks and other analog devices; four additional general-purpose (grounded)
analog channels for input devices like throttle quadrants, flap levers, etc.; eight
optional (grounded) analog channels; additional analog channels can be supported via
optional expansion modules.
- 300+ buttons
- 300+ dual-state (on/off) button input channels accepting any type of button or switch
(momentary, toggle, rotary, slide, etc.); additional buttons (thousands) can be
supported via optional expansion modules.
- Unprecedented programmability
- The EPIC Programming Language (EPL) is a simple but very powerful language that
lets you define exactly what each button action does. Much more than a simple
macro interpretter, EPL supports:
- Flags and variables -- used for counting repetitive actions, program
"states," operational modes, holding analog values, etc.
- Branch programming -- execute different function sequences based on flag state,
variable value, any combination of button positions, or joystick position.
- Keyboard control -- individual functions for KEYPRESS, KEYRELEASE, shifted
keystrokes, and keycode timing.
- Analog control -- directly control analog channels, software trim, rate select,
- Multi-tasking -- supports multiple "simultaneous execution" threads,
re-entrant procedures, and "continuous run" procedures.
- Special functions -- delayed execution, timing functions, command interface for
3rd party programs, EPIC-bus data transfer.
- Structured programming -- free-form formatting, procedures, comments, and
- Compiler and debugger -- EPL compiler has extensive error checking and
reporting; debugger allows direct access to EPIC program memory, disassembles directly to
EPL source code.
- Don't be fooled by other manufacturer's claims of "full programmibility" --
their products amount to little more than macro interpretters. The EPIC is the only system
of its kind that provides true programmability.
- Bottom line: any of their macro files can be duplicated or emulated in EPL, but their
interpretters can't even begin to come close to the capabilities and flexibility of EPL.
- Extensive analog configuration and management
- Analog channel mapping -- map any input channel to any output channel.
- Custom analog rates -- linear analog returns can be adjusted to any curve.
Adjust control sensitivity to accomodate specific hardware, expand short-throw sticks,
adjust response curves on-the-fly via program control, reverse controls, etc.
- Analog-to-keystroke translations -- convert movement of joysticks/throttle
units/rudder pedals/etc. to any number and sequence of keystrokes or EPL function calls.
- Complete software control -- select analog rates on-the-fly, trim analog
channels ("software trim"), turn analog channels on and off, remap analog
channels, directly control output values, etc. from within any EPL program.
- Configurable expansion bus
- Daisy-chain "smart" expansion modules for support of additional analog
channels, buttons, lights, alpha/numeric displays, force-feedback controls, motion
- Complete Compatibility
- The EPIC mimics a standard speed-compensating joystick card and is compatible with all
standard two and four button joysticks, AT-bus speeds up to 16MHz, and any CPU speed.
- The EPIC is also compatible with newer multi-function joysticks such as the Thrustmaster
P/FCS and CH Products FlightStick Pro.
- Other input devices (such as the Thrustmaster WCS, FLCS, and TQS) can be modified to
work with the EPIC and expand their capabilities.
- In addition to the standard joystick programming interface, the EPIC provides a much
faster direct-read interface with bidirectional queuing and hardware interrupt
The EPIC is fully programmable via software, and all configuration information is
downloaded to the EPIC's on-board RAM -- there are no TSRs or device drivers to take up
precious memory on your PC.
The EPIC is designed to be totally compatible with all existing hardware and software,
but also with the future in mind. As simulation software becomes more and more complex and
new input devices are designed to control them the current interface technology and
hardware, already hard-pressed to keep up, will fall behind.
Some joystick cards suffer from heat-induced "drift" and only work with
certain speed CPUs; others use MIL-spec or "close tolerance" parts to reduce
drift and proudly display that they're certified to work with CPUs "up to
133mhz!" The EPIC suffers from neither of these maladies; it's unique circuitry and
advanced configuration software automatically compensate for any processor and AT-bus
speed, and its internal clock is immune to heat-induced drift.
We are working with hardware and software vendors to develop new technologies, devices,
and software to enhance the simulation experience. Button and switch panels compatible
with the EPIC are currently being produced, custom display systems are in development
(introduced at Oshkosh '95), and several software companies are updating their products to
include native EPIC support.
If you're interested in "programmable" products from Thrustmaster or Advanced
Gravis, if you're building your own cockpit, or if you just want the best -- you owe it to
yourself to find out more about the Extended/Programmable Input Controller.
Direct your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
- R&R Electronics
10 Pembroke Grove
Charles Town, WV 25414
- 304 728 0537
- 304 728 0364 fax
In Europe contact:
- Thierry Magnan
c/o Micro Cockpit
6 rue Galilée
75782 Paris cedex 16,
Phone: 33 (0)1 47 23 04 05
Fax: 33 (0)1 47 23 06 66
Copyright © 1995 R&R Electronics, all rights reserved.
Send mail to: email@example.com
Specifications subject to change without notice.
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