May 18, 2018

ArdSimX updated - v1.31

ArdSimX has received another update.
The update mostly focuses on fixing the issue with Reconnect when using Ethernet communication.

The previously introduced encoder type configuration has been expanded to allow the use of 2 buttons in place of an encoder, while still having encoder config lines. This, for example, allows to use encoder modes with buttons.

The changes are also being included into SimVimCockpit.

May 12, 2018

Project news, May 2018

ArdSimX news:

New ArdSimX v1.30 has been uploaded, with some improvements in data exchange and minor bug fixes. 

Finally, support for different types of rotary encoders has been implemented. Now you can point out specific detent types for each single encoder you have, adding one optional line in the configuration file.

Apr 23, 2018

News, changes, SimVimCockpit status

Some links on our SimVim website have been revised and changed.

Please note, it seems that before April 20 some links located on ArdSimX download page could have been referring to the wrong files (either older version, or bugged test versions). Also, all "download" links for SimVim Panels have been changed.

SimVimCockpit status

SimVimCockpit testing continues (it's still in "closed" Beta testing for a while), and most of the relevant content on SimVim website pages is published. Still need to add more video instructions.
Current status can be tracked on this page.


Mar 1, 2018

Renewed website, SimVimCockpit

The reworked version of our website that includes all pages about new SimVimCockpit Interface is now online. Not all pages have full content yet, some pages don't have all the needed information, but all this will be updating in the near few days.

Although SimVimCockpit beta hasn't been released yet, you can check the new configurator on the website to get the idea of how it will work. It is still in development and will be subject to change, so right now not all configuration options will be available.

Feb 25, 2018

Project status: February 2018

While there hasn't been much info to share for the last month, we've been making steady progress towards the beta release of SimVimCockpit (previously ArdSimX.2).

Uploading Arduino firmware using the plugin is mostly done, and now we just need to make sure it works on different OS.

Most of the work this month was done on the new configurator and the parameters list.

Unlike our previous interfaces, which directly worked with X-Plane commands and Datarefs, SimVimCockpit works with a list of pre-defined parameters. Each single parameter has its own unique name (like "PARAM_NAME_SW") that is linked to an X-Plane dataref/command, and at the same time includes all the necessary options, many of which are specific to a particular dataref or I/O type, so that the users won't have to include these options in their configuration file.

For example, such parameters as display digits number and dot position for every specific 7-segment display are pre-defined. These options will not appear in the configurator, but can still be modified from their default values manually if you need to configure them for use with a custom dataref, for example.

Since every parameter now has its unique pre-defined NAME, the configuration file is universal, and every custom plane may have an additional "correction" file that can include the same names with corrected options or linked custom datarefs.

We're still planning to make a separate, simpler configuration tool for tuning these options to custom aircraft.
Also, after release we plan to make several parameter replacement files for some of the popular custom aircraft models.

The updated website with info on SimVimCockpit will be available soon.

Feb 2, 2018

Mode Switches and Conditions

One of the features of ArdSim and ArdSimX were switchable encoder modes. Sometimes they required tricky logic to set up all the required functionality.
For example, a common goal was configuring a single encoder for radio, which would switch between different COM/NAV (1 and 2) modes with a press of one button, and between MHz/KHz with a press of another, built-in button.
This required setting up 8 different encoder modes and two buttons that used different logic to switch the encoder's mode.

In addition to this, later versions of ArdSimX included an experimental feature with switchable output modes - for example, to output different data to a 7-segment display.

Needless to say, there can be a lot of cases where the specific functions of inputs and outputs need to be influenced by outside conditions. Variations include switching modes using buttons or encoders, switching modes or disabling outputs based on dataref value, such as insufficient power, and so on.

In the new SimVimCockpit Interface (previously ArdSimX.2), the whole logic for these functions was reworked to make them all unified and allow greater control over various conditions.

Imagine a configuration file with all the input and output config lines, as it looked in ArdSimX. The main idea now is that each config line can be dynamically enabled or disabled.
Unlike ArdSimX, now any line can have separate parameters indicating what mode number and what mode switch it corresponds to. A line can even have several mode switches configured to it, making things like the encoder example described earlier more easy to implement. In addition to this, logical conditions  with a dataref value can be used in place of a mode switch. Such condition, for example, can be used to disable a 7-segment radio display when it is powered off in the simulator, along with any encoders and buttons associated with it.

All this functionality is currently at an early stage in development. We will be working out the specifics along the way.

Dec 12, 2017

Update for ArdSimX.1

While the work on SimVimCockpit (ArdSimX.2) is in progress, we do not forget about the support of ArdSimX 1.x. Recently we've been making some improvements in the current interface and ArdSimX 1.16 .. 1.18 has been uploaded to SimVim website.

The whole firmware code was revised for this version. Now the interface has improved encoder processing similar to what we've implemented in SimVimCockpit, as well as improved initial processing of input data in the plugin and several bug fixes.

Nov 7, 2017

SimVimCockpit Development status

Lately, people have been asking us about the release date of SimVimCockpit

It's still hard to name the exact date of SimVimCockpit launch. We are dedicating all available time to it. Many features of the interface are already working and debugged, but there are still some things that need to be refined.

We could release the interface as it currently is, but the new configurator is what still prevents this. We need to finish this configurator (it will be simpler and easier to use that in ArdSimX). Although SimVimCockpit can be manually configured, we'd still need to explain all the options, as the config file format has changed significantly. We would also like to make a parameter database first, which will remove the need to write redundant options in the config file that are never changed from the default.

We have many plans, and we wish to post more frequently, with more videos, tutorials, etc...
Hope we will get more time for this soon, when SimVimCockpit is released..

Project status information

All plans concerning SimVimCockpit (working title ArdSimX.2) and the development status of all its features will now be displayed in the "Development Status"section.

Please email us if you need more specific info.


Oct 20, 2017

Arduino and Peripherals Powering

Sometimes, people who just started to work with Arduino have trouble making their ArdSimX/SimVimCockpit setup work. The cause of these problems often turns out to be improper powering of Arduino and its connected devices. Sometimes, the devices powered from Arduino drain too much power for it to handle, sometimes incorrect Arduino pins are used for powering. At best, some output devices don't work until the problem is fixed. Worst case - Arduino may be permanently damaged.

This combined diagram was designed to provide you a convenient reference for the proper powering practices for your ArdSimX/SimVimCockpit setup:

Oct 18, 2017

SimVimCockpit (ArdSimX.2) I/O structure

Like with previous versions of the interface, SimVimCockpit (working title ArdSimX.2) allows you to use any Arduino pins for direct inputs, namely buttons, switches and encoders, and direct outputs (LEDs).

If the available pins are not enough, now you can use CD74HC4067  modules as input multiplexers to expand any pin to 16 inputs, guaranteeing that a single Arduino will be enough for a cockpit of any complexity.

This is the structure diagram of SimVimCockpit connections: