Yeah, haven’t been around for a while. Fear not though, I’ve been busy re-evaluating my approach in terms of software and hardware for my home A320 flight sim. And fundamental changes they are! Almost tempted to wipe this blog and start all over again…
First change that should be obvious to all visitors to this blog: it loads one hell of a lot faster! I’m now using WordPress on my Mac locally and then use a very nifty plugin called WP2Static to generate the blog’s static HTML version. No database queries, no existential chitchat between your web browser and my hosting server.
Going from MobiFlight to SimVim
Another change is the software I now use for the magic happening between X-Plane and my Arduino board. I dropped MobiFlight and switched to SimVim. Why? Well, for one, SimVim is insanely fast when it comes to handling switches, LEDs and even the MAX7219 7-segment modules. What took a second to render with MobiFlight, is practically instant with the SimVim software.
Another good thing about SimVim is that it’s a proper X-Plane plugin. Yeah! No more running that extra app in the background because now it’s all part of the flight sim.
Now, I still need to work with custom dataref’s so that’s not changed. SimVim just gives me more speed and direct control over outputs/inputs, and even allows me to create conditions so, for example, I am now able to light up a LED and switch the 7-segment display for SPD to show ‘- – -‘ to represent the managed mode. This is one of the things that wasn’t possible with MobiFlight.
Korry-like Push buttons
Another change is in the hardware area. I scrapped the original Korry-like switch designs and went 3D printed way. It turned out to be a lot cheaper, gives me precisely what I need, and saves me the hassle of having to glue all those plexiglass layers together.
I will, of course, describe as best as I can what I did, how I did it, and why in one of my upcoming posts.
Until next time!