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:

  • 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
    • look for SimVimCockpit from Xplanes Plugins drop down menu
SimVimPlugin on Xplane
SimVimPlugin on Xplane
  • Firmware upload to Arduino Mega:
    • From Xplane and plane running, go to Plugins… SimVimCockpit… Firmware Upload… and follow its steps (Note! if using Ubuntu: purge “modemmanager” program if not needed. It reserves Arduino Mega USB port when connected and SimVim firmware upload does not succeed)
    • When upload is ready, check that SimVimCockpit plugin status page shows your Arduino Mega
SimVimPlugins status window
SimVimPlugins status window on Xplane. Arduino Mega shows as a connected device for plugin.
  • 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.