View Full Version : A dummies to wiring up a Hagstrom

David Rogers
12-02-2007, 07:38 PM
Hi folks,

I am considering picking up a Hagstrom Keyboard Emulator......

......but I have never wired anything beyond a plug!

So if I pick up some switches, how hard is it to wire them into the Hagstrom.

Is it just 1 wire per switch ? .... or multiple ?

I'm really just looking for some tips and starter points for a simple switch > wire > Hagstrom connection.

Thanks! :mrgreen:

12-02-2007, 08:53 PM

There need to be two wires per switch........... BUT....... the Hagstrom KE-72 (if that is the one you are buying....it's the best one) allows a common ground for all the 72 switches. So for example, 7 switches can take only 8 wires; one hooked to one pole of each SPST switch.............. and one connected in common to ALL the switches ground connections. So you COULD use only 73 wires for the 72 switches it will support.

I use CAT 5 cable to connect to many panels.... that allows 7 switches and one ground lead per cable. Keeps things neat. Each cable is labeled with wire labels as to its function and the connections are recorded in the "aircraft" flight systems operations book. All the ground leads of the numerous CAT5 cables can then get connected in common.

To make a connection you use the switch to connect the wire going to the pole to the ground. When that happens the Hagstrom knows a key is pressed. The programming of the card tells the Hagstrom card what to DO when the switch is "made" (closed) and when it is "broken" (open). It can do different things in each of those cases if you desire.



12-02-2007, 09:34 PM
:)JBaymore. You make it sound so easy.

I learn everytime you post about wirering. Great info.

Now here's a silly reguest. Could you post a pic of what you say above. In a drawing or something.

I to have not much wireing experience. I have done some but I seem to have used lots of wires to one switch?

Thanks again.

Michael Carter
12-02-2007, 09:58 PM
This is a shot of my LP24. It is wired in a matrix configuration that even with diodes has given me problems in the past. I'm seriously thinking of rewiring my overhead with the KE72 that JB is using.


Header cables are not included, but if you're handy with an iron, you can solder directly as I did. Use an extremely small tip at a medium temp and wire wrap the input pins. If you elect this route, have a magnifier handy to chaeck your work. This is very close stuff.

12-03-2007, 01:10 AM

Here's a link to an article that you might find helpful:


I just picked up a KE72 and 2 breakout boards off ebay (I became interested in them after reading the 36 posting of John's cockpit project over at the Simviation site).


12-03-2007, 06:21 AM
Dave I am also about to purchase a Hagstrom 72 thanks to advice from John who is answering my post on his forum (whilst it has gone unanswered here!)
Maybe someone could also write a dummies guide to switches.
Pushbutton - used for (example)
Toggle STSP - used for
Toggle DTDP - used for
Rotary selector - 1 pole 12 way
2 pole 6 way
3 pole 4 way etc - uses and wiring
Make before Break?
Rotary encoder - uses and wiring
I would like to get the switches ordered whilst awaiting delivery of the board here to UK.

12-03-2007, 12:00 PM
So,from what you say John. Intead of having 20 wirers coming out of my yokes(5 switches each yoke} I could have done it with10?


Geremy Britton
12-03-2007, 12:07 PM
sounds good:) - can anyone give a little more info on websites to purchase and what connection and how much etc.


Michael Carter
12-03-2007, 12:44 PM
You have to buy direct from Hagstrom. There are no distributors.

David Rogers
12-03-2007, 12:56 PM

Thanks John and all. Lot's of useful info there, that I need to consider and digest. I'll be honest, on the surface I'm still pretty confused by it all but that's normal with any brand new subject.

When you are talking about the CAT 5 cables, do you mean without the plugs on the end, and that you therefore use hte individual wire strands for each switch ?

Sorry - as I said, I really am completely new to wiring anything but I am determined to get there and set up a KE-72!

Mike - thanks for clearing up that Hagstron have no distributors - I was trawling all the electronics places in the UK but couldn't find any mention of Hagstrom - now I know why!

I checked eBay here in the UK but there were none available.

Will keep checking, or just bite the bullet and order from Hagstrom direct. At least they are east coasters so may not take to long to receive!

Henry - that's a useful link - thanks!


Michael Carter
12-03-2007, 01:13 PM
The wiring is very simple.

I think the KE72 is for direct input only, but mine cn be wired direct or in a matrix similar to the way a keyboard is set up.

There are columns from A-L and then rows from M-X. You would wire a switch leg to a contact in the row, and then the other switch leg to a contact in one of the columns.

The included software allows keystroke assignments to each row & column where the two points intersect in the matrix. Make the same assignments in FS or FSUIPC and you're good to go.

Once you click on a spot you have a switch wired, the keyboard will pop up to assing the keystroke. After you have programmed your switches you then upload the configurastion to the board.


David Rogers
12-03-2007, 01:45 PM

What is meant by 'Direct input only' (ie.... the KE72) ?



PS. Great screenies above - thanks!

Michael Carter
12-03-2007, 02:26 PM
It means that you do not have to wire in a matrix. It eliminates the need for diodes on the leg that sinks current. Without diodes in a matrix configuration, you can have key ghosting. This occurs when one keystroke (switch actuation) causes anothe unwanter keystroke.

You do not have to worry about this with a direct input type card. Mine can be used this way too, but it limits my inputs to 12.

12-03-2007, 02:40 PM
Yup... the KE 72 is direct input. I wanted to stay away from matrixing for just that "ghosting" reason. The KE 72 is their most expensive card..... but it offers a lot of features.

The header "Breakout Boards" they have are WELL worth the $ for making things simple. Everything goes to screw connections. Easy to set up and break down.

The software will allow you to assign a keystroke or HUGE macro of multiple keystrokes, with a different sequence when the switch is "on" and when if is "off".

When you order it, tell them to set up the keyboard LED indicators for connections. They will do this for free....... and it gives you three possible LED indicators to show the state of the Caplocks, etc.

Yes, using the CAT 5 cable without connectors.... just the twisted pairs. Remember to label all the cables and make a master sheet of the color coding that goes to which switch and the programming function assigned.



12-03-2007, 02:44 PM
So,from what you say John. Intead of having 20 wirers coming out of my yokes(5 switches each yoke} I could have done it with10?


If you take the left hand pole of each switch and connect it to the left hand poles of ALL the switches, and then run one wire back from one left hand pole to the GROUND connection on the Hagstrom card........... YES. The other poles of each individual switch has a lead going directly back to an input on the card.

This does not work with ALL hardware interfaces... only ones that allow it from their internal wiring.



12-16-2007, 09:51 PM
:pThanks John.

I will get one to. Do you recomend any of the Accessories (http://www.hagstromelectronics.com/products/accessories.html)!

Brenton Hill
12-20-2007, 08:15 PM
Wow Great reading ! KE-72 is going to be my next purchase. thanks for the help.