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SimVimCockpit Interface

SimVimCockpit© Interface is a powerful but free input/output control tool for home cockpit builders. It will ease the building process and save your time, because you don't need to have special programming skills and use any complex specific electronic components.

The fact is that over the past 20 years I could see many home cockpit projects on the Internet which just have been started and then eventually stopped, or became never been finished projects, eating a lot of money for years. This is not to say that this is only due to the lack of a good interface, but if you need to become a qualified programmer or electronics specialist just to make a few LEDs and displays work in your cockpit, this could frustrate and stop many enthusiast.

The idea of this project grew out of the need to have a convenient interface that will allow an home cockpit builder to concentrate on building the cockpit itself, not thinking about how to make it work with simulator and don't waste money.

The SimVimCockpit is the 6th generation of our input-output interface for X-Plane. All history of development you can find here.

Hardware

SimVimCockpit interface doesn't require some specialized and expensive electronics components, it has "modular" structure based on cheap, easily accesible, ready-to-use breakout boards and modules listed in the "Components" page and one Arduino Mega or compatible board.

So, all you need is to buy these cheap components (and all needed common switches and buttons) and connect them as described on our website. Some components, LED drivers or stepper drivers may need basic soldering skills (like this breakout board)


The system architecture includes the parallel "address bus" (a set of signal wires) that is used to extend the number of inputs/outputs to hundreds (using simple input extension boards and output drivers) and allows you to make a full set of inputs/outputs for any complex cockpit.

Software

The main part of this interface is the SimVimCockpit Plugin that need to be added to your X-Plane as usual plugin.

The second software part is the SimVim firmware that need to be uploaded to input/output controller (Atmega2560 board) from the plugin menu.

The SimVimCockpit Plugin is the main program that makes most of data processing work and provides a link with SimVim firmware to send and receive data. The SimVim firmware is like multifunctional hardware driver for many input-output devices.

SimVimPanel is an additional, standalone program providing a set of realistic, fully-functional aircraft instrument panels to be displayed on a computer that is connected by network to the main computer with X-Plane.



Download SimVimCockpit© free on our Patreon blog: http://www.patreon.com/simvim


Preliminary notes:

Note: if you are going to start building your cockpit for the first time you should realize that it could be a complex and very long process. You should have enough knowledge about aircraft systems, have handwork, wiring and soldering skills. Some knowledge about data structure of X-Plane would be useful if you plan to use some custom aircraft models that are not already supported in SimVimCockpit (to know how they work with "DataRefs" and controlled with "Commands").

To start building your home cockpit with SimVim interface first read all wiring and configuration pages on this website, collect all needed components and then start wiring all needed switches, extensions, displays, LEDs, following the plan that you should have.


The SimVimCockpit project is always in a constant development state, it still has a lot of potential, and its functionality can be improved and changed during the development process.

Though the main input/output connection options mostly stay intact, the configuration protocol and hardware connections can be changed, sometimes drastically.
Please don't rush to make some kind of complex PCBs, modules for yourself (and especially proposing them to the community).

Besides, the SimVim architecture is specifically designed the way that anyone can simply buy ready-to-use, cheap modules and breakout boards listed on this website on the "Components" page, connect them as described on our pages, and that's all.

- Main Features (see below)



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