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  1. #1
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Raspberry Pi 2 for cockpit instruments

    I hope to finally start building part of my cockpit in 2016 but I want to start with instruments. My target aircraft is a Piper Malibu Jetprop (PA46T) which has a glass cockpit.

    For secondary avionics such as navigation radios, transponder, etc. I plan to use an embedded computer. I considered the Arduino but it seemed too bare bones, then I considered Netduino because I am a .NET developer and for it I went relatively far in developing code for a Collins NAV radio and emulating it on the PC but Netduino does not seem to be very active and their h/w design is pretty much a roadblock so I chose Raspberry Pi 2.

    So,my plan is to use my newly acquired Raspberry Pi 2 (still need an HDMI monitor....) to do my NAV and COM radios, the DME and handling all other buttons. Then I would have a proxy application on the PC running FSX to continually pass information between the Raspberry Pi (connected via WiFi) and the PC SIM.

    So, has anybody used the Raspberry Pi for building parts of the cockpit?

  2. #2
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    Re: Raspberry Pi 2 for cockpit instruments

    I've used a Pi and a Pi 2 to build radios and switches. I used the Pis for no other reason than I had them laying around so it saved a few pennies.

    I have the Pi 2 hooked up to a small 5 inch touch screen which displays my radio frequencies, transponder, OBS, ADF heading, altimeter etc. I've attached 3 rotary encoders, one for OBS/ADF/ALT/HDG, one for freq. coarse and one for freq. fine. So basically I tap the touch screen to select which radio or OBS I want to edit and then change it using the rotary encoders.

    The older Pi is used for switching (fuel pump, pitot, carb heat, lights etc.) and sends data to the sim on the status of the switches.

    Personally I could never get to grips with mousing around the cockpit and clicking dials, so the important thing for me was to bring all the functions I use in-flight out to physical controls.

    It's not pretty, but it's functional. Although I'd love to build a full sim pit, I work from home and my desk is for working, so I need something I can put up and take down quickly. So my ugly little box with switches, rotary encoders and a screen stuck to the top does the job just fine.

    Software wise, I used Xojo for the Pi 2 code and Gambas for the Pi code. I interface with X Plane using the ExtPlane plugin, which makes it super easy to send and receive data. The thing I really like about my solution over a standard Bodnar board (which I was going to use for the switches) is that I run a quick check through all the switch states on startup and 'sync' the sim status to that of the physical hardware. So no issues of a switch being on in the sim and off in real life.

  3. #3
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    Re: Raspberry Pi 2 for cockpit instruments

    *** Sorry double post ***