SimVimCockpit - How it works

Input/Output Data Configuration

Configurator table

The principle of input/output configuration in SimVimvCockpit is that you select all Inputs/outputs which are needed in your cockpit using a convenient SimVim Configurator, where you can find a parameter that is the most appropriate for the selected control, display or annunciator on your panel, assign it to the direct input pin, multiplexer input or output, and then place the saved data config file into SimVim plugin folder.

It doesn't matter if your plane is a standard or customized X-Plane model, or some of the paid models - for any of them you need to assign input controls and outputs using SimVim Configurator, which database will eventually include all control elements that can be found in any aircraft panel.

For reference, here you can see example layouts of some aircraft panels with assigned SimVim parameters that you need to select in the configurator for every switch, encoder, LED etc.

SimVim data structure

All parameters are defined in SimVim database as "keywords" that are meant to represent the real functionality in an actual aircraft cockpit, not limited to a specific virtual model's commands/datarefs set.

The idea is that all these parameters are “unified” and you assign any of them to the input/output, based on what they should do in any aircraft cockpit, for any aircraft you choose, they are not associated with a particular virtual model and its “datarefs”.

Behind every SimVim parameter keyword stands a "macro", defined in the plugin database as a pre-assigned set of standard commands, or datarefs with all the needed values, data format, conditions or a specific SimVim function.

For example, these two parameter names represent the LED indicator for Left Gear Unsafe (in transition) and rotary switch for DC meter/display source selector:

	Left_Gear_Red    -  consist of standard dataref, it's array number, and value range. 
	DC_Meter_Source  -  consists of 6 standard X-Plane commands.
In case of custom plane (e.g. Laminar B737 ZiboMod), which has its own custom commands and datarefs these two parameters are "converted" for custom data and include:
	Left_Gear_Red   -  includes  one custom ZiboMod dataref (LED On/Off) 
	DC_Meter_Source -  includes  2 custom ZiboMod commands (up and dn) and one reference custom ZiboMod dataref

Notice that for the latter Laminar B737 example a pair of linked up/dn commands is used in conjunction with a reference dataref as a "macro" function.

(!) SimVim doesn't allow users to create and add their own parameter keywords to the database, because we don't want it to lead to the same "custom dataref" chaos that we currently see in X-Plane. If you can't find some control element or indicator in the SimVim configurator database, maybe we miss it and you can ask us to add it.

As we eventually plan to make SimVim compatible with other simulators, this feature (universal parameter names) it guarantees uniform configuration format, one configurator and possibility to fly on any simulator using the same data file.

to concern themselves with the specifics of using "commands", "datarefs" (even for some custom planes), scripts or various options, and can fully focus their attention on the building process.*

    - for any of X-Plane's default and most of the freeware planes,
    - for all customized or paid aircrafts that have data mapped for SimVim and are included in SimVim database,
    - for all planes with data conversion files available for download in our repository (will be announced).

Planes with custom commands/datarefs

In general, when building a cockpit with SimVim, users don't need don't need to know about simulator commands, datarefs and internal structure of each parameter to work with SimVimCockpit, just select an appropriate data name from the configurator table to assign input or output. It doesn't matter if your plane is a standard, custom, paid, you should make only one main data configuration file with all needed parameters from the table and test every input and output in you aircraft model.

If you have an aircraft model for which some of the selected and assigned parameters don't work, and there is no data conversion available yet for this plane model in SimVim, you need to find out yourself what parameter macros need to be used as custom ones and replace them in the plugin menu.

Using custom commands/datarefs set the plugin creates the "data conversion" table for specific aircraft model. These data conversion tables are references for the plugin that "reassigns" all needed data for your custom plane when it's loading.

Note: For some planes that have custom commands and datarefs this convesion Table is already included in SimVim database and you don't need to create it. You can see the list of planes for which non-standard (custom) functions are supported here, for example there are some new X-Plane 11 Laminar aircrafts that have several new datarefs/commands, and B737 Zibo mod version.

Custom data converter

The custom data conversion tool is included in the plugin. The "conversion" menu will display all of your configured parameters, and provides the means to replace their default functions with custom commands or datarefs.

You have to know what you're doing when assigning conversion options! You will need to find specific info on your aircraft model to know which custom datarefs/commands and values to use.

There is no need to edit all the listed parameters. Only edit the parameters that don't work as-is in your custom aircraft. Test all assigned switches, buttons and outputs first (you can do this while the conversion menu window is opened).

Don't add/change parameters using standard X-Plane datarefs/commands. ALL standard drefs/coms are already present in the SimVim database. Only use custom ones.

Don't do this for ZiboMod (and some other planes listed here as already included in SimVim database). Its correction data table (>600 parameters) is already added to the main database (as well as a few other custom planes). The few remaining parameters will be added soon. But you can test some parameter if you think we don't have it in the database, you can ask us to add it. Before that you can test it with your custom commands, assigning one "Test_Param_Input" or "Test_Param_Output" parameter in the data file and then mapping it to custom data.

How it Works, Example

For example, you have built Beechcraft Bonanza home cockpit.

FIRST, 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 of them in your cockpit.

You may have several Bonanza models in you virtual 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.

So, you have several scenarios:

  1. You have some Bonanza free model with standard data. It will work without any other changes. Just fly and have fun.
  2. You have some customized (from free plane, or commercial) Bonanza from "Developer A", and you see that 3 of your assigned parameters don't work.
    • first, you need to find out what custom commands/datarefs are used for this 3 functions in your custom "A" plane
    • - if you don't have them, ask the plane developer
    • now, you need to convert these 3 parameters in the plugin conversion tool
    • enter all needed custom data (commands, datarefs, options) and the data conversion table will be added in this "Developer A" plane.
  3. You have some commercial Bonanza from "Developer B", and you see that most of your assigned parameters don't work.
    • again, find the list of all custom commands/datarefs for all custom controls for your custom "B" plane
    • - if you don't have them, ask the plane developer
    • create conversion file for all custom (not working by default) in the plugin conversion tool
    • enter all needed custom data and the data conversion file will be added in this "Developer B" plane.

Note: for most planes that will have a finished data conversion table, we will include it in the SimVim database constanly, and everyone can fly these plane without need to think about data conversion, custom datarefs etc.

So, you have 3 different Bonanza planes and 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.

NOTE: When looking for custom commands and datarefs for your plane, never consider the command/dataref as "custom" if it is from the standard X-Plane commands and datarefs lists! All standard commands/datarefs that can be used as cockpit controls, are already included in our SimVim database and assotiated with SimVim parameters.

Don't enter a standard commands/datarefs for any control in the "conversion tool", it's useless! Use only custom data for this plane. Always check first if the assigned control works as default.

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