TERMS Q&A B58 Sim

Home Cockpit Input/Output control Interface

RealSimControl is a hardware platform for home cockpit builders, that includes firmware code for the "master board" (Arduino Mega2560), firmware for additional "slave" boards and user-friendly I/O configuration tool. This platform is aimed to save you a lot of time (and money) by allowing you to focus on the cockpit building process without worrying about how to make it work with a simulator. It's a flexible, easy-to-use, yet powerful tool for home flight simulator builders:

  • No programming skills required (no Arduino coding).
  • Basic wiring and soldering skills and basic knowledge of electronics is required.
  • No expensive specialized electronics, just common switches, LEDs, cheap display modules are used.
  • Easy, intuitive input/output configuration – without need to understand internal data structure of the simulator.

This system is designed to work with Roman's SimVimX plugin which you can download here.


About

This hobby project arose out of the need for a convenient yet powerful control interface for my home cockpit simulator. Like many aviation enthusiasts, I became a fan of flight sims as soon as they appeared on the PC, then the home Internet became available, and of course I started looking for a suitable I/O interface for FS and trying the solutions available then (early 2000-s).

Many of the home cockpits we've seen on the internet since then have been left unfinished or were building over the years due to the limitations or complexity of the interface. You had to become an expert in coding or electronics (or spend a lot of money) to get all the controls in your cockpit to work.


X-Plane and Baron 58 Panel:

When I have moved from FS to X-Plane, which has a built-in UDP data exchange protocol, I decided it was time to create my own X-Plane interface using my professional experience. At the same time I started building a full-size Baron 58 panel simulator and decided to use an Arduino ( Mega1280 ) as a convenient and cheap platform to write input/output code for X-Plane UDP network protocol. It was a standalone custom I/O code for my panel.


XPData Arduino Library

Then I have wrote the library for Arduino - the XPData Library. It was the convenient library with a set of functions for input/output, that used built-in X-Plane UDP communication protocol (Ethernet) to send input data to X-Plane.

Later, when Roman started his X-Plane project and has created plugins and protocols for communication with his instrument panel program (now it's SimVimPanel) and with hardware, I have created Arduino libraries to work with ARDref, and ArdSim(X) plugins.

Previous Projects

Baron 58 I/O code 2012-2013 The first test code to analize UDP packets from X-Plane, receive packets and send commands to X-Plane. Early programs for Baron 58 Panel . Testing input-output methods, Arduino code development for encoders, analog inputs, speed optimisation etc.
XPData I/O Library 2014-2015 First convenient library created, used built-in X-Plane UDP communication protocol to exchange input/output data with X-Plane.
ARDref Library to July, 2015 The "transitional" library, worked with Ethernet UDP, used several slave boards. Focused on using a Roman's plugin "ARDref" with config files without of Arduino programming.
ArdSim Library 2016-2017 The predecessor to ArdSimX. This library was made for Roman's "ArdSim plugin" and has a set of functions that you had to use in Arduino code to setup input controls and assign specific action (switch, encoder, LED etc.) for any Arduino pin.
ArdSimX Firmware 2017-2018 THis was a firmware for multiple Arduino boards, worked with Roman's "ArdSimX" plugin. Configurable inputs/outputs (buttons, switches, encoders, analog axes, rotary switches, LEDs, 7-segment displays, few stepper motors and PWM-gauges) without any Arduino programming using online configurator.
RealSimControl since 2018 The RealSimControl (SimVimCockpit) firmware has completely replaced ArdSimX and all previous projects, it provides much more capabilities and offers more control and output options, requiring significantly less effort and cost to use with a very flexible I/O configuration.

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This is non-commercial hobby project, and any help are highly appreciated! Thank you!

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Notes

The RealSimControl (RSC Inteface) project is always in a constant development state, its functionality can be improved and changed during the development process.

If you are going to build a home cockpit (especially if you have never done so), you must understand that this can be a compplex and time-consuming process. If you plan to use RealSimControl firmware, please first carefully study the pages of this site (all information is presented in a form that is simple enough to understand).

While using the RealSimControl system can greatly simplify the process of creating a home flight simulator, you should have sufficient technical knowledge, handicraft, wiring and soldering skills and study the related topic.


RealSimControl FIRMWARE

The RSC firmware is a program written from scratch (without using third-party Arduino libraries) to handle a large number of inputs, control multiple output devices, and exchange data between plugin and “slave” boards.

Here you can download the latest or beta Firmware version if I place it here (or on the Patreon blog) and inform users about update. Download and place the RSC_firmware.dat file to the SimVimX plugin folder.

NOTE: The latest stable firmware is usually included in the SimVimX plugin database file, the firmware can be updated very rare (once in a few months or year), even if the SimVimX plugin is frequently updated to a new version.

Firmware

Download Version Date
Latest RealSimControl Firmware file (if not included in the SimVimX plugin) Latest included 21 July, 2021

The RSC firmware is a heavily optimized program code that synchronizes control of a large number of different input/output devices. SimVimX interface doesn't allow to use the controller board as a "usual" Arduino and users can't add any custom code, as there is no Arduino sketch, and the plugin uploads firmware directly to the board. At this moment the Atmega2560 is used as a convenient and easily available controller platform for RSC firmware.

Other downloads

"Barebone" King Air C90 model for RealSimControl RSC_C90B.zip Aircraft folder
-------- Download

A "barebone" plane is a model without any virtual panels, instruments and custom scripts, it's just a flight model with full external visualization. This is all you need to build your home cockpit using RealSimControl for hardware and SimVimPanel for cockpit instruments.

Place the plane model in the X-Plane aircraft folder, for example "Aircraft/HomeCockpi/.." folder.

News, latest changes and descriptions of updates are published on the Patreon blog, beta versions for regular patrons can also be downloaded there.








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