As the title suggests I am pondering a desktop simpit. I am very new to this and feel it would be prudent to bounce my ideas off the more experienced folks here.
What I have at the moment is a Warthog throttle, VKB Evo stick, pair of Cougar MFDs and some DIY rudder pedals that I am still tinkering with.
My idea is build one central panel with an old laptop screen for the cougars and a tablet that has DCS UFC and a few physical buttons and rotary encoders. To the left and right of central panel will be side panel button boxes each with a tablet again running DCS UFC.
First question is will there be a conflict between DCS UFC and DCS BIOS? ( is there a better program to export the MFDs)
Second question is can I used physical buttons and encoders to control certain functions on DCS UFC tablets? Like instead of tapping the touch screen I can use real encoder instead.
Third question is an open one. Where or what issues am I not considering. What path do I need to avoid from the start?
Hey PatMat. Welcome to the deep rabbit hole that is building your own simpit
I can’t answer the first question as I don’t currently use DCS UFC or DCS BIOS.
For the second question, for the controller/button-box that I built, it acts like any other DirectX Input device and I assign the buttons on it in DCS directly - it acts like a joystick. So any setup that you do like that doesn’t need DCS UFC or DCS BIOS - but I also don’t know if it can benefit from those two projects as I don’t know much about them.
The third question is the tough one really. I am on my 5th generation simpit. I started with an ABC thing (not sure I can dig a link up to that but it was (spelling mistakes all mine)), an Aker/Barnes Cockpit made up of plywood panels. From that I worked through various office/desk chair designs and finally my current VW Jetta drivers seat.
I get the feeling that you are considering something that can be clamped to your desk - and that’s a great idea. My suggestions:
Make sure you have a decent flight stick, throttle and pedals first. Those can be money sinks themselves but you are likely going to upgrade those as time goes on Consider that first.
VR/touchscreen. My first big update idea after building the ABC thing was to get a 22 inch touchscreen to mount in front of me. That worked well but turned into an upgrade pain in the arse. What I mean there was that any update to DCS ended up breaking that interface and I had to spend time fixing that instead of playing. Same goes for my Thrustmaster MFDs. I added screens behind them because it was cool and DCS could output to them … but it turned into a thing that I had to constantly tinker with (and more importantly, remember where all the bits were). As I transitioned to VR, I ended up abandoning them. I still used the MFDs (by touch) but not the screens. The main point of this story is to try to avoid going down a path that you feel is cool as heck (yeah!) and then realizing that you’re not really into it.
Plan and implement in small steps. I had big dreams and I tended to get discouraged when I wasn’t able to get them into reality without a lot of money, time and effort. What I found worked well was to do smaller projects that could be added to the larger whole later. Start small, and factor in future growth and expansion.
That’s it! 20 years ago I bought the plywood and a jig saw to build that. And shortly after started modifying it to add other pieces and fix problems. That was the start of my decent into madness
Thinking of that and my current setup … I am considering a redesign to be more VR friendly. I am a relatively short lad so all my button boxes and such are pretty close at hand. With VR, I can’t use any hand controllers without running into (aka punching) all the pieces. It may be time for me to move on to a 6th generation simpit soon
The button boxes,tablets and MFDs are the next projects. Im ok with wiring up the pro micros and I have a bunch of momentary button and encoders just arrived from the far east. I have read all the posts involving MMjoy2 and I can figure that out or ask for help here.
My main concern is the possible conflicts with the apps I mentioned in op. I do not have the space for a full on simpit and my PC is used for other stuff as well. I just want to avoid the frustration you mentioned by asking before hand.
Yep I have viewed that thread and many others for inspiration. Some fantastic creations out there for sure. I have a good idea of what I want. Just have a few questions that I have not found the answers to yet. Just do not want to spend the man hours on something that was not feasible from the outset.