Xplane and SIMVIM: 7 segment display (direct connection)


This guide will show you how to use SimVimPlugin to show Xplane’s radio frequencies on 7-segment display to be used on homecockpit. For more information about plugin visit: www.simvim.com

Components needed:

  • Arduino Mega
  • 7-segment led display with Max7219 chip
  • Wall wart to power led display

Software:

  • Xplane 11.30 (Cessna 172 used)
  • SIMVIM 0.9.33
  • This guide was done with Ubuntu but it should work also in Windows

Wiring:

  • Wall wart +5V to led display VCC
  • Wall wart GND to led display GND and arduino GND
  • Led display:
    • DN to pin 28 on Arduino Mega
    • CS to pin 27 on Arduino Mega
    • CLK to assigned pin (pin 36 on this guide)
  • USB connection between Arduino and PC

How to:

  • Go to SIMVIM configurator page: http://simvim.com/config.html and first choose following selections:
    • Parameter Table
    • Number of engines 1
    • COM/NAV
    • Com/Nav Displays
SIMVIM www page configurator
  • From Com/Nav Displays:
    • Click Com1_Stby_6 and…
    • …from opening windows select 7-segment display
Click Com1_Stdby_6 and select 7-segment display
  • After 7-segment display selection, select proper pin (36 on this guide) from table on right side of www-page. Check that MAX7219 is selected and click Done
Settings of 7-segment display
  • Go to top off configurator page and click red save button. It downloads a data.cfg file for you.
Configurator page’s save button
  • Copy data.cfg file from your downloads folder and replace old data.cfg file on Xplane’s SimVimCockpit plugin folder (…\X-Plane 11\Resources\plugins\SimVim).
  • Switch to Xplane, and with a plane running, go to plugins and SimVimPlugin’s status window. Click reload if needed.
  • Now try to change planes NAV1 radios standby frequency. Changes should be seen in 7-segment led display.

Xplane and SIMVIM: Firmware upload to Arduino Mega

This guide will show you how to install SIMVIM firmware to Arduino Mega to be used on a home cockpit. For more information about hardware and SIMVIM Xplane -plugin visit: www.simvim.com

Components needed:

  • Arduino Mega
  • USB cable

Software needed:

  • Xplane 11.30
  • SIMVIM 0.9.33
  • This guide was done with Windows but it should work also in Ubuntu

Note if using Ubuntu! purge “modemmanager” program if not needed. It reserves Arduino Mega USB port when connected to a PC and SimVim firmware upload does not succeed. You might also need to eject USB before upload can be achieved.

Wiring:

Arduino Mega with USB cable to PC. (Do not connect it now!)

How to install SimVimCokcpit plugin:

Download SimVimCockpit plugin from https://www.patreon.com/simvim.

Extract it and copy SimVim folder to Xplane plugins folder
(…/X-Plane 11/Resources/plugins).

Check that plugins starts with X-plane. Start a plane in Xplane and look for SimVimCockpit from Xplanes Plugins drop down menu.

SimVimCokcpit plugin working in Xplane.

How to upload SimVimCokcpit Firmware to Arduino Mega:

In Xplane and plane running: Go to Plugins… SimVimCockpit… Firmaware upload…

From Firmware Upload window: Click “Next” button.
Plug in Arduino Mega with USB cable to PC and click “Detect port ->” button.
Now we are making a Master board so select correct settings and click “Upload” button. Wait for an empty black window to open. It is seen for a while when SimVimCockpit uploads hardware to Arduino.
When window closes, firmware upload should be ready and SimVimCockpit informs it “Upload attempt completed”
Go to Plugins… SimVimCokpit and click “Hardware Reconnect”. It reconnects Arduino.
Go to Plugins… SimVimCockpit… Status… You should now see your Arduino as connected device.