For a long time I’ve been flying flighsims, and I’ve always had a dream of creating a SIMpit. The questions I’ve been asking myself (yes only madmen ask themselves..) are:
- what type of pit, full blown cockpit or a desktop hybrid
- a replica of a specific model, or a more generic one
- “glass cockpit” or steam gauges with stepper motors etc.
- which sim should it be built around to interface with
- Do I have the tools needed, how do I acquire the skills needed
- how big should the project be, in terms of hours of work and when to finish
I started out testing small projects against different sims to see what was achievable for me.
Sims I tried interfacing with:
- BMS Falcon 4-(a great F16 simulator, which has a big community when it comes to hardware builds) Using Leobodnars BBI-32 USB interface and Arduinos with various software from the community, like YAME64, F4toserial-arduino etc
(flyingfalcon.org, viperpits.org )
- DCS -Digital Combat Simulator, (awesome military sim with fantastic graphics and state of the art modelling of planes like A10C, FA-18c and F-16 Viper to name a few) Using DCS BIOS
- MS FSX and MS FlightSim 2020(Extreme graphics alert!), using Pete Dowson’s FSUIPC and Arduinos
- Prepare3D (Lockheed Martin), flying the awesome Dash-8 Q400 using Mobiflight and Arduinos
- XP11 (Laminar Research), testing:
- SimVim-Arduino interfacing hardware with multiplexers, as well as SimVim Panels, panels over network with 2way comm.
- Air Manager -for steam gauges
- XHSI-for export glass cockpits, mostly dedicated B737
- ZHSI-for exporting the Zibo mod B737, really nice plugin in dev., cross platform, Java based
- XTextureExtractor 2.0-for extracting HSI, ND, EICAS, and CDU displays, but only OpenGL, Vulkan support on v.1.3
- Extplane-for send/receive datarefs and commands over TCP, cross platform
- Extplane-panel -a fully featured panel collection to run over TCP
Some of my test projects,some not finished.. and my final G1000 glass cockpit using XP11 and SimVim at the end:
Flying the fantastic TBM-900 made by Hotstart
This project would not have been achievable for me without the support of:
If you’re on to something similar, I want to mention that I ran into some strange irradic issues when processing signals from dual concentric encoders with an un-original Chineese type Ardu Mega 2650.
I swapped it out for an original Arduino and troubles were gone.
The hardest part of all is keeping it tidy! But there is also a balance going on, should it look good and be easily serviced, or should it just work.. 🙂
Anyways, time to fly!
“I believe I can fly”