Physical Control Panel Elevates Flight Sim Experience

Like so many of us, [pgsanchez] has been bitten by the flight simulator bug. It’s a malady that can only be treated, but never cured — and like so many hobbies, it has a nasty tendency to spawn more hobbies. A software developer by trade, [pgsanchez] is also adept with Arduino and electronics, and his blog post about the PGS-2 Flight Simulator Control Panel demonstrates his fine abilities well, as does the video below the break.

A player of Digital Combat Simulator, he grew tired of having to remember awkward key combinations to control the simulator. Flying a jet, even in a simulator, can require quick thinking bound with quick reflexes, so having a button to press, a switch to flip, or a knob to turn can be vastly superior to even the simplest keyboard based command.

An Arduino interfaces the buttons to the computer, and a white acrylic case is employed to keep all the parts flying in formation. Yes, a white case — with great care taken to allow the case to be backlit. The effect is excellent, and it looks like the panel would be right at home in the Sukhoi Su-25T that it’s designed to control in the game.

We appreciated the attention to detail in the panel, as even the gear status lights and flap indicators match those in the simulator, a nice touch! What more could [pgsanchez] build? We’d like to see! If you’re into flight sims and the like, you might be interested in this fully 3D printed flight sim controller.

11 thoughts on “Physical Control Panel Elevates Flight Sim Experience

    1. Looks like a small C-clamp rather than duct tape. Brings back memories though – On a driving holiday in the early ’00s, I tie-wrapped the same Garmin model to the centre of my steering wheel for navigation purposes :)

    1. Hi diysciborg,

      Thank you very much for your comment. The Warthog Project has been my reference for this project. The idea of ​​how to do the backlit is theirs. I have read their website several times. However, in my case, I was looking for something simpler and smaller. An entire cabin…I’d love to, but it doesn’t fit at home.

      I’m glad you like it!
      God save The Warthog Project!!

  1. The article actually states that the gear/flaps/airbrake indicators do NOT match the in-game values. Not sure there’s a point, unless the game throws in flight emergencies at you randomly. A simple delay between setting the switch and the gear three greens coming on may be a compromise? Kinder on the immersion

  2. I so wish game makers would give us access to their systems so that we can make interfaces with feedback.

    I want to be able to do advanced things in game. I want secondary displays. I want to add that depth to my game.

    The best way I can think of is to make things, publish the results openly and hope the company takes notice.

    Maybe then, the possible extra interest leads to an investment of their time, which hopefully increases their sales.

    We could make it easier with open protocols and concepts too.

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