Easy tactile controls and displays for your flight simulator

If you’ve been thinking of adding some tactile controls and readouts for your flight simulators this guide should give you the motivation to get started with the project. [Paul] explains how to build controls and connect them to the simulator data. He makes it look easy, and thanks the interface examples in his code it actually is.

Here he’s built the hardware using a Teensy controller board. The controller communicates via USB and the software is cross-platform. He’s controlling the heading information of the X-Plane simulator using the rotary encoder for fine adjustments and the buttons for increments of 100. But he doesn’t stop there. He’s working on an auto-throttle design that uses a servo motor to move the throttle lever. A potentiometer can be used to vary the throttle, with the servo mapped to the position of that knob. But it works both ways, dragging the virtual throttle on-screen will do the same.

This is one way to make flight simulators more interesting without devoting a whole room of your house to the cause. Don’t miss [Paul's] fantastic demo video after the break.

[Thanks Deadly Dad]

6 thoughts on “Easy tactile controls and displays for your flight simulator

      1. Maybe he meant “undue” or “undeserved”?

        The primary discussion that led to all the development started in private email between “Dozer” and myself, and then moved to a thread on the X-Plane forum.

        http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?showtopic=55952&st=120

        Clearly whoever submitted this here on Hack-A-Day learned of it on the mycockpit forum, where I posted a message hoping to introduce it to more people, maybe even attract more beta testers?

        Either way, I’m happy people are seeing it and discovering this new way to build flight sim controls.

  1. I reckon this idea could be used to build a real phyisical console for the Minimogue VA Moog-style synthesiser so it works just like the vintage instrument. I believe the sound generation component can be controlled via a DLL, so this arduino unit could drive that, and add a MIDI keyboard. Well that’s been a dream of mine, anyway :)

  2. I like this project… please keep up posts like this. In fact, this is why I got into microcontrollers, specifically for a home cockpit, hardware interfacing and data output indication.

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