View Full Version : New to homecockpiting : JeeHell & Hardware : SIOC/Arduino - FSX/Xplane

08-23-2014, 07:25 PM
Hi to everyone,

I'm new here, please let me introduce myself in a few words : I'm french, 27 years old, working in computer sciences, passionate by everything flying ;). For some months ago, I seriously consider building my A320 home cockpit, so, as many of you (I suppose ;)) I already spent hours (days, nights,...) reading the web, learning what exists, etc).
Since it's a huge project and i'm living for now in a small apartment ;), I'm just planing for the coming months to make the FCU, not even "looks like" the real, just some hardware on a breadboard to forget the mouse a little bit ;).

Until now, I was just flying with a A320 in FSX, in a "standalone" way.
After one day discovering JeeHell software on a desktop computer (+ one laptop), I'd like to ask some technical questions :

I read many homecockpit builders used the SIOC Card hardware interface. Do you recommend it ? Is it still up to date ? are there other equivalent systems ?
Does the SIOC system really come with usefull pre-built features ? Is everything possible with it ? (For example, is it possible to output a PWN signal in case one special LED is too bright ? Or, are the radio frequences may be propagated during a VATSIM flight (can't remember software names)
I'm familiar with Arduino. I've seen it's been derived to teensyduino to interface with XPlane. I think that today, Arduino cannot be linked to JeeHell software right ?
Does a technical documentation or SDK exists about developping a such module to link JeeHell software to an Arduino system ? (I didn't find that) Or maybe it should communicate via WideFS (I'm not yet totally clear about all the softwares running here and there ;))
I'm still not determined about FSX/Xplane, I was prefering XPlane, but I recently had a flight in a real "professional" simulator (French AviaSim company, running FSX) and the instructor told me the flight dynamic was realistic, and that flight dynamic was closer to my FSX than my XPlane. Of course it depends of the model used but, what is your opinions ? How about Prepar3D ?
If it's not too complicated, I'd like, as far as possible, my hardware to be compatible at least with both FSX and XPlane, in case the one or the other become better than the other in the future. Some people has the same wish or is it totally inconceivable ?

About interfacing the hardware, on the one hand, I like Arduino because over the last years, it has become quite popular and is cheaper than SIOC cards, but on the other hand SIOC is already integrated to JeeHell software so it can save me a lot of time...

And of course, a huge thanks for all the work done by Jean-Luc!

Thanks for your answersStephane

08-25-2014, 11:00 AM
Hello Stéphane,

I'll try to asnwer your questions as much as possible:

1&2) I do not recommend any hardware. This is very difficult to have a preferred manufacturer, all I/O boards have their pros and cons. It depends mainly on what your are able to do software- and hardware-wise.
SIOC / opencockpit system is quite stable, they are still producing new hardware every now and then, the users are numerous and still growing. The SIOC scripting is OK, not perfect, but it allows to do a lot of things.
For instance, I don't think direct PWM is possible, but I know they recently added a LED dimming feature to set the brightness of LEDs/displays.
What is powerful with SIOC, is it can be easily accessed through TCP/IP by third party software (what I actually do). So, if you have your own hardware and some programming skills, a LOT is possible.

3) Arduino cannot be linked as is to my software. Arduino is a generic name for a series of microcontroller boards. It all depends on what you flash on it, and I cannot provide support for that, it would be almost a full time job by itself.
If you have the knowledge to use arduinos, you surely have the skills to make that interface using the same IOCP interface I use.

4) If you really interested in that route, and have a good enough programming knowledge, you can contact me by email.

5) I personnaly do not like xplane for several reasons. The only thing I like about it is its SDK. P3D is FSX with steroids, you won't get any changes on the aerodynamics side.

6) Again it depends on your skills mainly... But in the end I see no reasons not being able to make something compatible with both.

Jean Luc

08-30-2014, 07:04 PM
Thank you very much for your answers !

I have continued discovering your software. I now understand a bit more the role of each application.

During the following weeks , I'll try to make the FCU using Arduino (Teensy to be more accurate, which is an Arduino-like board). Indeed, I already have experimented, with success, linking a Teensy board to your "HardwareConnect" executable. I wrote a little serial/tcp bridge with some conversions to the Teensy board side (IOCP Variable ID=>Variable names, found in HardwareModules/JeeHellWare.txt) in order to use a readable variable name in the source code.

This is the design, SIOC is replaced by the TCP/Serial bridge :


If people are interested, I will give news and why not publish the arduino lib and bridge source/bin.

Thanks again,

09-22-2014, 01:53 PM
Have you tried xpuipc to see if FMGS can be compatible with XP? Regards.

09-25-2014, 02:24 PM

No I didn't try.
In fact, since I have understood a bit more how all the stuff work together, I have focused on the hardware connect side.
For now, I'll keep using FSX, at least until my FCU will be fully working et finished :)

07-29-2016, 02:26 AM
Sorry to dig up an old post, but I found that you were doing exactly what I am about to do (i.e. starting by building an FCU w/ intention to interface with Jeehell's FMGS and Arduino). I am still trying to piece together (in my mind) how all the components will fit together. I was wondering if you're still working on the project, and if so how far along are you? Perhaps, you could share your experience?

Thank you and best regards,

07-29-2016, 10:09 AM

I've initiated a github project to host source code/presentation of this project : https://github.com/VirtualGit/JeeHellDuino/wiki. (Maybe in the future, I'll do something more interactive (with forum), but for now I think it's enough.)

As you will see on the planned tasks, I didn't work on it for a long time due to a blocking joystick issue, that is now (in July) solved, but it's still a project I really want to work on. So I should continue to work on it soon :)

There's no source code neither documentation uploaded yet, as I prefer to consolidate these first.
You will also see on the home wiki page how far am I, not so far, but I think I have good bases to make a real framework.

You're welcome if you want to help/suggest ideas. I'll try to do my best to upload first stuff as soon as possible.


07-29-2016, 04:56 PM
I am about to rebuild my FCU as my interface is obselete. I have built many other components on my sim and with the experience I have I plan to use Open Cockpits cards and SIOC supported by a Leo Bodnar card for the encoders.
There is so much support out there for this hardware that it is low risk.