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Before start - How to connect different input devices to work with ArdSimX

The most common input devices in an aircraft cockpit are toggle switches, rotary switches, push-button momentary switches, encoders and axis controls. With ArdSimX you can easily configure them to control X-Plane parameters.

Before you start to design your cockpit you should define all types of controls and decide what types of input you need to configure.
Here are examples of typical cockpit controls:

Toggle SwitchPush ButtonRotary EncoderMulti-position SwitchAnalog Axis

Direct input - switches, buttons, encoders

To work with ArdSimX all buttons, toggle switches and encoders should be connected to Arduino pins directly, without using any pull-up/pull-down resistors!

Every switch/button occupies one Arduino pin and should have one its outputs connected to an Arduino pin (either digital or analog) and the other to the Ground. Every encoder occupies two neighbouring digital pins with common "C" on the GND:

Multi-position switch (rotary switch)

When you need to connect multi-position switch, rotary switch, you have two options for this:

1. Use several digital pins (one pin for each position) and configure all positions as "Button" inputs in configuration tool. It's simple but in this case you will need several Arduino pins (or several matrix nodes, if you use "key-matrix" extension).

2. Use Arduino analog pin for multi-position switch. In this case only one analog input can be used. You will need to get a suitable rotary switch and a number of resistors soldered to this switch leads. Then use "Rotary Switch" input in the configurator to assign parameter for each position.

Analog axis control in ArdSimX

A common way to make an analog sensor is using a potentiometer - variable resistor connected as a voltage divider circuit. Connect the middle terminal of a potentiometer directly to analog input, and the two others - to +5v and GND. Also, various photo or Hall-effect sensors can be used instead of pots.

For use with Arduino you can take any potentiometer from 1k to 100k, recommended optimal is between 5 .. 20k.


Analog inputs can be used to control most of the simulator analog variables, including the 3 main axes - pitch, roll, yaw (these 3 axes may require more precise sensors), engine controls, flaps, brakes, instruments lighting, as a rotary knob for some pointer gauges (instead of encoder) etc..

More details, tips and manuals can be found on our Tech blog part.

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