How to configure any aircraft in SimVim

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.

--------------- Step 1 -------------------

NOTE: At this step, do not worry about the specifics of using a specific plane model with "custom" commands/datarefs.

FIRST, build a copy of the real cockpit, not a replica of some virtual plane! Don't take any virtual model, either free or paid, as prototype for your cockpit. Later you can choose any virtual model (or several models) to fly!

  1. Check if your panel layout is included in the interactive configurator database (has clickable image map) - see "Panel and Instrument Layouts" on the configurator page.
  2. 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 and go to step 2.

    If you have a plane for which you cannot select all the needed controls from existing image-map layouts, follow these steps:

  3. Determine what input controls (switches, knobs), indicators, and displays you want to use in your cockpit, make a list. For convenience, you can create a table with cockpit controls to match them with SimVim parameter names (as example below).

    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".

  4. Also, you can make an image with controls layout (the same you can see in the configurator). Good images can be imported into our interactive configurator later.

  5. Find the appropriate SimVim Parameter Names in the configurator database for every control element and write them down next to the every control funtion in your table.

  6. Table example - Socata TBM900 input/output list

  7. Now, basing on this simple table of parameters (and/or on the layout diagram) you need to create the configuration data.cfg file in the SimVim configurator and place this file into the SimVim plugin folder.
  8. * 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.

--------------- Step 2 -------------------

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.

If some of the inputs (or outputs) do not work with the parameters you assigned to them, check first that you have selected a correct parameter name (function) for specific control and check all your wiring. You can use the SImVim converter to check your inputs.

Planes with custom commands/datarefs

If you have a custom aircraft for which some parameters are not working (and wiring is correct) it needs its own custom commands to be used.

Read more about specific of using custom commands and datarefs

  1. Find related commands (and/or datarefs) in your plane custom commands list and write them in the table, taking in account the notes in the instruction below regarding the use of commands or datarefs.

  2. Table example - Socata TBM900 control list with custom commands added

  3. Using the SimVim plugin "Conversion Tool" ( since ver. 0.9.30 only! ) find the parameter that doesn't work and using your parameters table, fill all the required fields with the appropriate custom commands / datarefs as stated. For datarefs, you may also enter some of the "optional" data, if available (otherwise, default SimVim values will be used).
  4. When you click "Save" for currently reassigned parameter the plugin will automatically load the new configuration, and you can immediatelly test the parameter you just edited to see if it works.


How it Works , Example

For example, you have built Beechcraft Bonanza home cockpit.

Don't take some of virtual models as prototype for your cockpit, choose a real plane cockpit photos, layouts to configure your cockpit.

Make a full configuration for this plane (using the configurator parameters list) and place created data.cfg file into the SimVim plugin folder. Then test all assigned inputs/outputs in your cockpit.

You may have several Bonanza models in you virtual aircraft park, some free, some commercial from different developers, and when testing configuration you may notice that some of controls don't work. It can be just a couple of custom parameters or even most of controls for which the plane developer has created his own custom commands/datarefs.

For some models you will need to convert some parameters finding custom commands/datarefs (ask the plane developer) for every needed prameter.

  • You have some Bonanza free model with standard data that will work without any other changes. Just fly and have fun.
  • You have some customized (from free plane, or commercial) Bonanza from "Developer A", and you have converted 3 of your assigned parameters
  • You have some commercial Bonanza from "Developer B", and you had to convert most of your assigned parameters.

So, you have 3 different Bonanza planes and now you can fly any of them in any time without need to change anything in the main data configuration. The main data.cfg file always stay the same for all your Bonanza planes. When you load (change) the Bonanza model in the X-Plane:

  1. plugin reads main data.cfg file and sends all configuration to the controller board.
  2. plugin looks for replacement data table in the SimVim database, if there are some data presented for this plane, plugin replace them.
  3. plugin looks for replacement simvim_xxx.dat file in this plane folder and, change data to be replaced.

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