The HCSCI / (or older SimVimCockpit, SimVimPanel) Software is free and provided AS-IS for personal, non-commercial home use only without any warranties, it constantly develops and improves. Both the plugin protocol and firmware were significantly changed several times from version to version and new releases of the interface can have further changes in protocol and configuration.
The system consists of the plugin and firmware, which cannot work separately. Arduino is used only as a convenient controller platform for HCSCI firmware and cannot be custom-programmed as the "usual" Arduino.
I am opposed to excessive commercialization of the home cockpit building hobby, overpriced Plug&Play hardware that often are represented as "cheap" product for home builders due to the lack of information that people have..
This project and all information on these website pages should inspire people to technical creativity, showing them that it's not necessary to spend a lot of money to realize their dreams.
Any enthusiast with the desire to create a home cockpit should have free access to all needed software and technical information, and they should know that instead of purchasing expensive hardware, they can build any panel themselves, spending a few hours and using very cheap or free materials and free software.
On the other hand, I welcome really cheap cockpit parts and handy "DIY kits" for home cockpit builders, any instructional resources, 3D printed parts, free 3D and CNC models, and so on!
The HCSCI interface is very easy to use with your DIY cockpit hardware. You can easily install and update the firmware directly from the plugin menu and create or change the configuration for any cockpit of any complexity. You don't need to buy something special, all you need is common switches, buttons, LEDs, display modules and one controller board. And few plastics (PVC), wood, cardboard and your hands. Read "To buy or make?" here.
If you are going to buy some panels, modules, devices to implement them in your cockpit and use with HCSCI interface only, note that all you need is that they have the necessary switches, LEDs, displays to which you have free access to connect (solder) wires.
Before buying of some enclosed device (MCP, G1000, Radio), check with the seller that there is NO built-in Mega2560 board inside this device to wich all the switches, encoders are already connected permanently.
- If yes, don't buy it, because it will be impossible for you to use all other cockpit controls with HCSCI .
- Find another device that includes all switches, encoders (and maybe multiplexers) that are available for external wiring,
- Or ask that seller to provide you a device without embedded and connected master board, but only controls wired to convenient headers.
- Consider the price - without firmware it's just a box with few switches, LEDs and displays.
! We do not provide support for any commercial cockpit hardware that you could buy somewhere as a "Plug&Play" module with an embedded controller board (Arduino) for HCSCI (or SimVimCockpit) firmware, with all the switches connected to it. We are not responsible for any problems that you may encounter, or once this device stops working after next updating of the HCSCI plugin.
If you are going to produce and sell hardware products/modules for home cockpit builders and you would like to use them with the HCSCI software, please consider the following:
If you want to use our software as a simulator interface for the purposes of technical education and creativity in some non-profit institutions and public places (schools, museums, etc), please contact us, we will provide the suitable version for you. When you start using HCSCI Interface, please specify all our credentials on the webpages displaying your project.