SimVimCockpit Interface

Overview

SimVimCockpit© Interface is a powerful but very easy-to-use, free input/output control tool for home cockpit builders. It will drastically ease the building process and save your time, because you don’t need to have any programming/scripting skills and use any complex specific electronic components.

The fact is that over the past 20 years I could see many home cockpit projects on the Internet which just have been started and then eventually stopped, or became never been finished projects, eating a lot of money for years. This is not to say that this is only due to the lack of a good interface, but if you need to become a qualified programmer or electronics specialist just to make a few LEDs and displays work in your cockpit, this could frustrate and stop many enthusiast.

The idea of this project grew out of the need to have a convenient and easy-to-use interface that will allow each home cockpit builder to concentrate on building the cockpit itself, not thinking about how to make it work with simulator and don’t waste money.

The SimVimCockpit is the 6th generation of our input-output interface for X-Plane. All history of development you can find here.

Hardware

SimVimCockpit interface doesn’t require some specialized and expensive electronics components, it has “modular” structure based on cheap, easily accesible, ready-to-use breakout boards and modules listed in the “Components” page and one Arduino Mega or compatible board.

So, all you need is to buy these cheap components (and all needed common switches and buttons) and connect them as described on our website. Some components, LED drivers or stepper drivers may need basic soldering skills (like this breakout board)

The system architecture includes the parallel “address bus” (a set of signal wires) that is used to extend the number of inputs/outputs to hundreds (using simple input extension boards and output drivers) and allows you to make a full set of inputs/outputs for any complex cockpit.

Software

The main part of this interface is the SimVimCockpit Plugin that need to be added to your X-Plane as usual plugin.

The second software part is the SimVim firmware that need to be uploaded to input/output controller (Atmega2560 board) from the plugin menu.

The SimVimCockpit Plugin is the main program that makes most of data processing work and provides a link with SimVim firmware to send and receive data. The SimVim firmware is like multi-functional hardware driver for many input-output devices.

SimVimPanel is an additional, standalone program providing a set of realistic, fully-functional aircraft instrument panels to be displayed on a computer that is connected by network to the main computer with X-Plane.