The steps of configuring your panel for SimVimCockpit: here is the order of actions that we recommend you to follow to prevent excessive work and save your time*.
* It's assumed that you have read all wiring, components and configuration pages on this website before this.
NOTE: At this stage, do not worry about the specifics of using a "non-standard" plane with "custom" commands/datarefs. It does not matter whether your aircraft is a standard or customized X-Plane model, or some of the commercial models.
If your cockpit can be configured using existing panels, instruments and modules, simply select all the necessary elements on the corresponding image maps and assign them to appropriate controller inputs/outputs (accordingly with your connection diagram, which one you could create before) . Then, place created data.cfg file into the SimVim plugin folder.
If you have a plane for which you cannot select all the needed controls from existing image-map layouts, follow these steps:
Note: Not all of them are needed, don't occupy additional input pins for unnecessary or silly for your home cockpit controls, you can leave some of them as "dummy".
Also, you can make an image (controls layout), as we did for some planes (as the TBM900 layout below). Good images can be imported into our interactive configurator later.
* of course, you can create the configuration at the same time with the table or even without the table and diagram, but having such a table will be useful for large cockpits, and especially as a table for custom assignments (see below) shared with other users on our SimVim Google Drive.
Note: As our interactive part of the configurator (with image maps) will be growing, more mapped instruments and modules will be added, later any cockpit can be easily configured that way, because most planes have similar controls.
Now, when your plane is loaded in X-Plane, you need to test every assigned input/output to be sure which are working as default, and which are not.
If you have a standard X-Plane aircraft, most of freeware planes, or one of the custom aircrafts already supported by SimVimCockpit, that's it. Your cockpit will work as-is with the configuration you created. You can finish on this step and fly.
Note: the following information is for those who have good understanding of "custom" commands and datarefs used in some plane models, and who need to implement them if some assigned standard parameters don't work in their plane.
However, if some of the inputs (or outputs) do not work (or work incorrectly) with the parameters you assigned to them, it means either you have selected a wrong parameter name (function) for specific control or you have a custom aircraft that is not listed as added in SimVimCockpit and it needs its own custom commands to be used.
Some notes regarding the "Conversion Tool" window:
The main thing you will need for custom aircraft data conversion for SimVim is the list of all custom commands and datarefs needed for cockpit control. Sometimes it's easily accessible (included in the aircraft), sometimes you need to spend some time and effort to find it.
Search only for those commands (and datarefs) that correspond to the parameter that doesn't work. The list of all custom datarefs for your aircraft can be very large, but you probably would really need only a small part of it for your cockpit controls.
While working with custom data for your aircraft model, you should remember the following rules:
In this case the only option is using these 4 commands for rotary switch positions.
In this case you need to use 2 commands and the dataref which is needed to monitor its current value to set switch position by the up/dn commands correctly.
(SimVim plugin will process this switch correctly, when you assign both commands and the reference dataref in the data conversion tool)
In this case you can use dataref with 4 different values instead of commands.
But some of these commands (#1 here) can not only set the dataref value, but also initiate other functions, for example turn some annunciators, launch another system, etc. So, you will not get what you need, some function will work, some will not, so using the commands is preferable here.
It's the best option, always use it even if there is a writable dataref.
In this case you need to use both the command and the dataref which is needed to monitor its current value to set switch position by the toggle command correctly.
(SimVim plugin will process this switch correctly, when you assign both the command and the dataref in the data conversion tool)
In this case you can use it as in the previous case, or use the dataref only, but only if the toggle command does not initiate some other function.