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Author Topic: What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?  (Read 536 times)

Offline mirrage

  • CockpitBuilder
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  • Posts: 6
  • Aviation Enthusiast
  • First Name: Panagiotis
  • Home Location: Peristeri, Athens
What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?
« on: October 29, 2018, 05:32:45 PM »
Hello all!

I am designing a Dash 8 full home cockpit and at that point, I am thinking of making my own interface cards.
They should be able to transfer data from the cockpit input devices (switches, rotaries etc) to the sim
and back and work together in a network.

Since I know nothing about how to design electronics I will have to hire someone to deal with P3D and
Majestick's Dash 8 and build the card.
So my question is what kind of skills should such a person master?
Apparently, he/she will have to be an electronics engineer or something similar/relevant but should I look
for something more specific like specific programming languages or what?

I intend to make a post on the local technical university to ask for someone who is passionate about aviation
and flight simming, have experience in designing gaming related equipment even if it was a hobby/fun project.

Thank you in advance for your time and help!

Offline bernard S

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  • Aviation Enthusiast
  • First Name: Bernard
  • Home Location: Austin TX
Re: What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 05:48:20 PM »
me one thinks these one need you
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 05:50:35 PM by bernard S »

Offline navymustang

  • Simulation Engineer
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  • Building a 737-800 full scale cockpit
  • First Name: Jim
  • Home Location: KMCO
Re: What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 07:09:38 PM »
MIrrage, that is such a big undertaking and I applaud you for even thinking about it. Is there a reason you don't want to use one of a dozen or so off the shelf cards specifically designed to do just that? And at very low cost!

If you need help with what set of I/O cards to purchase, there are many on the site who are truly experts at it.

Building a full scale 737-800 AATD for home use. Majority of hardware is from Sismo Solutions, software is Prosim under P3D. An AOPA member and LifeTime member of National Association of Flight Instructors
Please note that I am a self-employed professional cockpit builder that provides consulting to defense contractors and civilian schools and airlines.

Offline flyinghigh

  • CockpitBuilder
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  • Posts: 7
  • Super KingAir B200 Builder
  • First Name: Chris
  • Home Location: Sydney
Re: What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 07:32:20 PM »
Hi Mirrage,

Its not worth it. I thought about it once , but Opencockpits cards are so cheap and you can copy and paste code from their forum. Spend more time building , radios , panels etc.


Offline KyleH

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  • First Name: Kyle
  • Home Location: Ontario
Re: What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 07:53:11 PM »
I have the skills your looking for. I did microcontroller circuit and firmware design professionally for the last 6 years, and have done my own interface cards for my cockpit.

Specific Skills needed are:
- PC programming
- Microcontroller firmware programming (this is different from PC programing)
- Microcontroller circuit design
- Serial communication knowledge
- PCB design and manufacture

To be honest, unless your have the skills yourself, the cost of making prototype quantity circuit boards, and design charges involved, your better off just buying off the shelf components.

Offline kurt-olsson

  • I am chained to this website!
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  • Posts: 1,082
  • 737 -mixed year OEM panel builder.
  • First Name: Peter
  • Home Location: Gothenburg
Re: What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 02:28:30 AM »
Do it yourself!

For me, flying my sim is not the most fun. Learning new stuff always is and will be.

But i agree with Kyle and others, lots of areas to cover so it will be many hours of reading, connecting and programming.

Offline mirrage

  • CockpitBuilder
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Aviation Enthusiast
  • First Name: Panagiotis
  • Home Location: Peristeri, Athens
Re: What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 04:54:15 AM »
First I want to thank you all for your comments.

The reasons behind my thoughts are that my skills in coding and electronics are inversely proportional to my skills in 2d/3d design,
the difficulties that Majestick's software poses, the lack of complete and available to the public solutions. I know of a group that
works on a similar board but it is not ready yet and I am getting impatient.

Offline Pantu

  • CockpitBuilder
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  • Posts: 14
  • P3Dv4 Full PM Boeing suite, win 10pro OC MCP FSBus
  • First Name: Pete
  • Home Location: Munich
Re: What knowledge is needed to build an interface card?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2018, 08:29:06 AM »
Hi Panagiotis,

Unfortunarely I don‘t know Majestic enough but:
Most important question before thinking about interfacing is, whether  Majestic is publishing the ALL NECESSARY control commands (preferably offsets) to FULLY control the aircraft.
Then you may choose the appropriate Interface card(s)
If you really want to build the interface(s) yourself you may consider FSBus, a readily designed and versatile interface System.
I, myself use a combination of different interfaces from FSBus, LeoBodnar to opencockpits.
Basic electronics knowledge is needed at least unless you have constantly someone knowledgeable beside you.

Good luck

« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 08:41:42 AM by Pantu »




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