Build your own home cockpit simulator with SimVimCockpit!
This project was developed with an idea that everyone who dreamed about building their own home cockpit simulator must have a convenient tool that will make this an easy, inexpensive and exciting hobby.
SimVimCockpit is an extremely easy to use control interface for cockpit simulator. Spending just a few minutes you can connect some switches/LEDs and assign their functions using SimVim Configuration tool.
Up to 500 inputs for toggle switches, buttons, encoders and multi-position switches can be allocated, this will cover all your needs in creating controls for a cockpit of any complexity.
Up to 32 analog inputs are allocated for axis controls (or multi-position rotary switches) that all have configurable precision, and the calibration menu in the plugin allows you to set the axis zero-position and movement range (auto-saved in a file).
Output to Instruments, displays, annunciators, etc.
Up to 500+ simple annunciators (LEDs, lamps, relays) are supported. Several of them can be assigned directly to any free Arduino pin, for others 16-output expansion ports are used, with 32 serial digital outputs each.
Up to 16 7-segment LED displays can be connected, with many configurable display options, including: display type, more than one parameter displayed (with offset), conditional output (dependence of other parameters), etc.
For pointer instruments you can use either stepper motors, moving-coil meters or servos. Nonlinear scale mapping is supported for all gauges.
One configuration file for different planes with a "matching" file in each plane folder, if necessary. Any parameter state can be stored in memory stack with a button and recalled at any time. Any input/output is configurable "by condition" (can be activated/deactivated based on other parameters conditions).
What you need to start:
One Arduino Mega board ( or Uno for "lite" interface version )
Ethernet module (if you will use Ethernet connection instead of USB)
Download SimVim Plugin and install it to X-Plane
Test connection following the "Getting Started" steps below
Then you can connect all input controls and Output devices to your Arduino and configure every input and output in SimVim Configurator.
Here is a simplified diagram of SimVimCockpit system. It shows principally, how all inputs and outputs are connected (the PWM and servo outputs are not included in the diagram):
Note: SimVim plugin is also a core part of our SimVimPanel that displays instruments on separate computer and receives data from the plugin independently from Arduino I/O.
Getting started / Download
- SimVimCockpit plugin - latest version - 0.9 beta (NOT RELEASED YET!)
First start and Input/Output test
Place SimVimCockpit Plugin folder into X-Plane/Resources/plugins
Connect a toggle switch to pin #5, GND and throw it on/off
The Pitot switch state will changing accordingly with your switch position
The on-board LED on your Arduino will change its state (Pitot Heat is on/off).
SimVim Connection status
After successfull first test you can be sure that SimVim plugin communicates with your controller, and you can start configuring it for your own inputs and outputs creating a data config file in the Configurator.
Once the firmware is uploaded to your Arduino board you no longer need to unplug the USB cable before X-Plane launch. If you will use Ethernet connection then you don't need USB cable to be connected until you will need to upload new version of firmware.
You never need to upload the firmware again to change input/output configuration, all you only need is to create new data configuration file and connect all input/output devices to your Arduino correctly.
If you have changed the data.cfg file while X-Plane is running press "Reconnect" button to read the new config and reconfigure the controller.
If you see "Connection status - Awaiting connection" message and a rotating bar in SimVim Status window for too long (more than 30 sec) try using "Reconnect" button and/or reset Arduino with the on-board "reset" button and wait for connection.
If the plugin still didn't find your Arduino board, see troubleshooting (or contact us).