Nerd alert! -the work of a madman

G1000 generic SIMpit desktop hybrid

For a long time I’ve been flying flighsims, and I’ve always had a dream of creating a SIMpit. The questions I’ve been asking myself (yes only madmen ask themselves..) are:

  • what type of pit, full blown cockpit or a desktop hybrid
  • a replica of a specific model, or a more generic one
  • “glass cockpit” or steam gauges with stepper motors etc.
  • which sim should it be built around to interface with
  • Do I have the tools needed, how do I acquire the skills needed
  • how big should the project be, in terms of hours of work and when to finish

I started out testing small projects against different sims to see what was achievable for me.
Sims I tried interfacing with:

  • BMS Falcon 4-(a great F16 simulator, which has a big community when it comes to hardware builds) Using Leobodnars BBI-32 USB interface and Arduinos with various software from the community, like YAME64, F4toserial-arduino etc
    (flyingfalcon.org, viperpits.org )
  • DCS -Digital Combat Simulator, (awesome military sim with fantastic graphics and state of the art modelling of planes like A10C, FA-18c and F-16 Viper to name a few) Using DCS BIOS
  • MS FSX and MS FlightSim 2020(Extreme graphics alert!), using Pete Dowson’s FSUIPC and Arduinos
  • Prepare3D (Lockheed Martin), flying the awesome Dash-8 Q400 using Mobiflight and Arduinos
  • XP11 (Laminar Research), testing:
  • SimVim-Arduino interfacing hardware with multiplexers, as well as SimVim Panels, panels over network with 2way comm.
  • Air Manager -for steam gauges
  • Plugins:
  • XHSI-for export glass cockpits, mostly dedicated B737
  • ZHSI-for exporting the Zibo mod B737, really nice plugin in dev., cross platform, Java based
  • XTextureExtractor 2.0-for extracting HSI, ND, EICAS, and CDU displays, but only OpenGL, Vulkan support on v.1.3
  • Extplane-for send/receive datarefs and commands over TCP, cross platform
  • Extplane-panel -a fully featured panel collection to run over TCP
Soldering under a microscope,- the way to go if dealing with SMD soldering

Some of my test projects,some not finished.. and my final G1000 glass cockpit using XP11 and SimVim at the end:

Flying the fantastic TBM-900 made by Hotstart

This project would not have been achievable for me without the support of:

If you’re on to something similar, I want to mention that I ran into some strange irradic issues when processing signals from dual concentric encoders with an un-original Chineese type Ardu Mega 2650.
I swapped it out for an original Arduino and troubles were gone.

The hardest part of all is keeping it tidy! But there is also a balance going on, should it look good and be easily serviced, or should it just work.. 馃檪

Anyways, time to fly!

“I believe I can fly”

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