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SimVimCockpit Interface

SimVimCockpit© is an easy to use control interface for your cockpit simulator.

If you are going to start building your cockpit for the first time you should remember that it could be a very complex and long process. You need to know much about many aviation-related things, and preferably you should have various technical skills, at least some craftmanship ability and basic experience in wiring and soldering.

This interface should become a convenient input/output tool for you, that can ease the implementation of all panel controls and provide all data output while you build your home cockpit simulator.


Architecture

Unlike our previous interfaces, SimVimCockpit uses the system bus architecture that provides excellent extension and modularity potential.

With bus architecture you can gradually build your cockpit and easily expand it by connecting extension modules to the bus at any time into the working system.

Schematic diagram

Here is a simplified diagram of SimVimCockpit© system. It shows principally, how all inputs and outputs are connected using the system bus:

Supported systems: Linux, OS X, Windows


I/O Cockpit Controls:

For very simple control panel with several switches and LEDs you can use them directly connected to the controller board.

For more or less complex cockpit it is better to use the system bus and multiplexer extension boards (16-or 8-channel) for toggle switches, push-buttons, encoders, multi-position switches, this will cover all your needs in creating controls for a cockpit of any complexity.

Analog inputs can be allocated for axis controls, or rotary switches that all can be calibrated from menu in the plugin that allows you to set the axis zero-position and movement range.

Using the register-based extensions in combination with the same multiplexed extensions you may have hundreds of digital outputs (for LEDs, lamps, relays, etc).

You can use any number of 7-segment LED displays with specific configuration parameters, such as the display type, more than one value indicated on one display, and the way data is displayed.

For pointer instruments you can use either stepper motors or moving-coil meters (servo will be added later). Nonlinear scale mapping is supported for all gauges.

Other options:

One main configuration file is used with additional "correction" file for specific airplane, if necessary. This allows you to configure your system once, and it will work with any airplane of this type (for example - all B200 plane models, free and payware) without changing the data file ever!

Any input/output is configurable "by condition" (can be activated/deactivated based on other parameters conditions). Any parameter state can be stored in memory stack with a button and recalled at any time.

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 controller board I/O.

What you need to start:

  • Any controller board based on Atmega2560
  • Download SimVim Plugin and install it to X-Plane
  • Ethernet module (if you will use Ethernet connection instead of USB)
  • Install and test firmware following the "Getting Started" steps below
Then you can connect all input controls and Output devices to your controller board and configure every input and output in our SimVim Configuration tool.

Getting started / Download

Pre-relese SimVimCockpit© versions are currently available on our Patreon - http://www.patreon.com/simvim

SimVimCockpit© is still in ongoing development and may have not fully working functions. Here is the page with the current development and testing status information

If you have some questions, ask us for details on Patreon blog or by email.


First start and Input/Output test

If you have "fresh" board, that has no previously uploaded SimVim firmware, follow the steps below. If you plan to use LAN version, attach an Ethernet module to you controller board before and connect it to your router.
  • Open the "Upload Firmware" window from SimVim plugin menu.
  • Follow the steps displayed in that window
  • When USB port is detected select correct controller type from the list
  • and set the "Ethernet" checkbox if you will use Ethernet module.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Click "UPLOAD". Wait until firmware upload is completed (5..10 s)
  • When the upload is completed, the plugin will connect to this controller.
  • The connected board will appear in SimVim Status window.
  • --------------------------------------------------------------------
  • 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 the controller board will change its state (Pitot Heat is on/off).
  • --------------------------------------------------------------------

After successfull first test you can be sure that SimVim plugin communicates with your controller, and you can start configuring it in the Configurator.

Firmware Update

If your master board already has SimVimCockpit© firmware and a new version of the firmware becomes available, the plugin will inform you of this and present you the Upload window with the options already filled in.

  • For USB connection, just be sure that all options are correct and click "Upload".
  • For LAN connection, connect your master board to USB (or disconnect and connect it again) and click "Connect". After that, check the options and click "Upload".

SimVim Connection, notes

- You never need to upload the firmware again to change input/output configuration, all you need to do is create new data configuration file and connect all input/output devices to your master board correctly.

- If you changed the data.cfg file while X-Plane is running, just click the "Reconnect" button in the Status window or select "Reconnect" from the SimVim plugin menu.

- With firmware uploaded you no longer need to unplug your controller board USB cable before X-Plane launch. If you use Ethernet firmware you don't need USB cable to be connected until you will need to upload new version of firmware.




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