SIOC and FSUIPC Virtual Joysticks

When I hooked my ProSimParts ATC Panel, I tied all the switches to my OpenCockpits hardware thinking SIOC would take care of the functionality. But afterwards I realized getting SIOC to send 737NGX control codes was a nightmare.

I then discovered that FSUIPC has the ability to create virtual joystick buttons and that SIOC can trigger those virtual joystick buttons. This enabled me to set the control codes like all the other switches on my panel. Happy Happy Joy Joy!

So here’s an example of how I setup the ATC Rotary Encoder to work.

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Recent Purchases

This week I made two new purchases for the cockpit.

First up is a CDU Bay from Gold Medal Sim Parts.  I was originally gonna try building this myself but decided to give this company a shot with their CDU bay and save me the design headache.

It’s constructed from MDF and includes the EICAS frame (I’m pretty sure).   I plan on sealing the MDF and hopefully getting ahold of some RAL 7011 paint for painting it Boeing color.  Gold Medal Sim also sells the throttle bay but I think I can build a similiar one myself to fit my throttletek throttle.   Depending on the build quality of this part, I might consider their single seat 737 cockpit for future use too.

 

Next up is an FMC from Opencockpits.  To save some money, instead of buying the Plug & Play unit I bought the FMC Panel, FMC componentsPCB Board and a USBKeys Card.  I’ll assemble the unit myself and then get a screen for it.  The PSone screen is a commonly used screen but I’ve found some other VGA based screens online on ebay and aliexpress.com that might be useful.

 

737 Throttle & Overhead Has Arrived

My 737 V2 throttle from ThrottleTek has arrived and it looks great. It’s not 100 % perfect, but it’s a budget throttle afterall.

It’s pretty much built entirely from an acrylic material.  The levers arms, parking brake handle, throttle arms, flap detents… all plastic. They feel sturdy though and look great.  From a few feet away you probably couldn’t tell they were plastic.  The start/cut levers operate nicely, as does the parking brake switch.  There’s no parking brake LED though.

The spoiler and flaps lever operate smoothly.  There’s a little horizontal play in the arm but it’s not bad. The throttle handles though could use a little loosing.

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MIP Lit Up

Finished all the wiring for MIP and got it lit up with SIOC.

Haven’t added backlighting and probably won’t. I never fly in a dark enough room to require it so I may just save myself the work for now.

MIP Panel Arrived

Yesterday my Custom “Mini” MIP Panel arrived from Cam Xpert and it looks fantastic. Here’s a quick setup on the stand with the MCP and radio panels.

Probably in a day or so I’ll start wiring up all the switches. Need to pick up some more hook-up wire first.

Annunciator Assembly

Starting assembling the annunciators for the Custom MIP. I’m using Opencockpits panels, LED boxes, LED PCB’s and 3-pin connectors.

First I soldered all the 3-pin connectors to the PCB’s.

I did mine so that when you look at the PCB and can ready “opencockpits”, the plastic prong on the connector is to the right of the pins.  Doesn’t matter really though, just keep them all the same so keep wiring simple.

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Goodies!

Came home today to a package at the door. Goodies!

I received my order of bits and pieces to use from my custom MIP panel.

Custom Indicators and boxes, knobs, 45 and 30 degree rotary switches, a rotary encoder, and some indicator PCB and connectors. Now that I have these in hand I can finalize the hole sizing in the MIP panel and then send the file off for miling in a day or two.

Here’s the indicators up close:

Since the ThrottleTek 737 throttle doesn’t have a parking brake light (just the handle), here’s a custom indicator I made for the MIP to show the status.  It’ll light up red when the parking brake is on.

Overhead Ordered

Today I ordered my overheard panels for the cockpit. Woohoo!   I ordered a kit from ProSimParts.

I originally wasn’t going to buy the Overhead parts until later in October at the earliest and I was also planning on going with the Simworld panels, but my Budget-Minded side took over.

The Simworld, one the best product lines out there I’ve heard, would have run almost $1,700 USD for their overheard panels with a frame, all switches, knobs, and indicators…. plus shipping.

ProSimParts on the other hand is only $672 USD for the panels, all switches, knobs, 7-segment displays, dzus screws and caps, nuts, bolts.  It doesn’t come with indicators but I’m told once ProSimParts has them ready they’ll send everyone who bought a panel a set for free.  It also doesn’t come with a frame but I’m hoping I’ll be able to build a suitable one for it.

And then on top of the low price ProSimParts is offering free shipping in September! I couldn’t pass up the deal.  It was almost $45 to ship the 3 little radio panels.  Can’t imagine how much I’m saving for this.

I’ve already received three radio panels from ProSimParts have they turned out great so I’m looking forward to seeing how the Overhead looks.