Q&A B58 Sim Terms of use

RealSimControl - System Architecture

The central control unit of the RealSimControl system is a single "master" controller board Mega2560 (Arduino2560) with RSC firmware uploaded to it once (until next firmware update).


  1. All toggle, momentary, rotary switches and encoders are connected to the system using simple input extension boards (multiplexers), totally up to 500-800 digital inputs can be configured (depending on how many pins you reserve for output devices). Also, direct connection can be used for simple cockpits.
  2. Up to ~1000+ LEDs can be connected using the output extensions - LED drivers, up to 64 LED for each extension. Also, direct connection can be used for few LEDs in simple cockpits.
  3. At least 32 seven-segment indicators can be connected to the system, using output multiplexers. A few indicators can be connected directly to the master board.
  4. Additional "slave" controller boards (Arduino Nano/Uno) are used: for servos (up to 32), stepper motors (8-19 motrs now), LCD displays (10-20 LCDs) and key matrix inputs (+176 buttons). More slave boards can be added in future.
  5. You can connect up to 24 PWM-driven moving-coil gauges or other PWM controlled devices or LEDs, using one PWM driver. Also up to 15 direct PWM outputs can be use on the master board if you have free pins not assigned to inputs/outpus.

All pins that are available in the CONFIGURATOR can be assigned for inputs/outputs or extensions

    Functions of the control/address bus pins:

  • Pins #22,23,24,25 are reserved and used as four address lines (S0 ... S3) for all INPUT multiplexer board and for multiplexers used as output extension for 7-segment displays.
  • These signal lines are reserved for outputs only - LCD, 7-segment displays and LED drivers, see more in the related sections:

  • #26 - "S (SIG)" Output port for OUTPUT extension boards
  • #27 - "L" - Control signal for all 7-segment displays (except TM1637), Serial LEDs, PWM
  • #28 - "D" - Data signal for all 7-segment displays (except TM1637), Serial LEDs, PWM and LCD displays.
  • #29 - "T" - Control signal for TM1637 7-segment displays only
  • Note: These 8 pins are configured as outputs, so you may think about common precautions not allowing outputs overload when you mistakenly short the pin to the GND. You can add serial safety resistors (30 - 100 ohm to each signal line) for current limiting, but in RealSimControl firmware these outputs are always in "low level" and for only a very short period of program time they can be in a high level state, so it's unlikely you will overload the address line.


  • The pins #14...19 can be used for serial communication with slave driver boards (steppers, servo, LCD drivers).
  • The pins #10, and 50-53 can not be not used in LAN version, they are reserved by Ethernet module.

NOTE: The +5V output pin can be used as a source for all multiplexers connected to RealSimControl bus and also it can be used to power some low-current output devices. See more detail about system powering here.


You can create a flexible modular system and have full set of input controls for any complex cockpit and easily expand it by adding more extension modules at any time.

RSC FIRMWARE

The RSC firmware is a heavily optimized program code, written from scratch (without using third-party Arduino libraries) to handle a large number of inputs, synchronize data control for a large number of different input/output devices, exchange data between plugin and “slave” boards.

RSC interface doesn't allow to use the controller board as a "usual" Arduino and users can't add any custom code, as there is no Arduino sketch, and the plugin uploads firmware directly to the board. At this moment the Atmega2560 is used as a convenient and easily available controller platform for RSC firmware.


Here you can download the latest or beta Firmware version if I place it here (or on the Patreon blog) and inform users about update. Download and place the RSC_firmware.dat file to the SimVimX plugin folder and it will be uploaded automatically.

This system is designed to work with Roman's SimVimX plugin.

NOTE: The latest stable firmware is usually included in the plugin database file SimVimX.dat , the firmware can be updated very rare (once in a few months or year), even if the SimVimX plugin or database is frequently updated. The RSC Firmware is loaded only once, directly from the SimVimX plugin menu, as described in the SimVimX download page.

Firmware

Download Version Date
Latest RealSimControl Firmware file (if not included in the SimVimX plugin) Latest included 21 July, 2021

Other downloads

"Barebone" King Air C90 model for RealSimControl RSC_C90B.zip Aircraft folder
-------- Download

A "barebone" plane is a model without any virtual panels, instruments and custom scripts, it's just a flight model with full external visualization. This is all you need to build your home cockpit using RealSimControl for hardware and SimVimPanel for cockpit instruments.

Place the plane model in the X-Plane aircraft folder, for example "Aircraft/HomeCockpit/.." folder.

News, latest changes and descriptions of updates are published on the Patreon blog, beta versions for regular patrons can also be downloaded there.



Alternative controller boards

You can use any ofthe Mega 2560 based controller boards available on the market. In the photo you can see three mini controller boards that are tested with RealSimControl/SimVimCockpit, the firmware was uploaded to every of these boards from SimVimX plugin menu without any problems.

There are some other atmega2560 controller boards on the market like "Crumbuino-Mega", various "core" modules. You can find them yourself using such keywords as "2560 core", "atmega2560 mini", etc.


RealSimControl / SimVim / SimVimX 2012 - 2022