Flight simming with multiple aircraft and having a reasonable accurate control layout for each one is near impossible. Major compromises have to be made when using general “one size fits all” button boxes. Too often I found myself wanting to adjust the position of particular controls or to substitute a specific control for another when switching between different aircraft.
To provide a solution to this problem, I designed a simple 3D printed modular system that allows relatively quick and easy customisation of control inputs and their corresponding labels to match the desired cockpit layout. This video outlines the design and build:
The four panels I have built so far can accommodate between 12 - 20 control modules. Each module supports controls with up to two discrete inputs (e.g. 2-way rotary encoders, On-Off-On switches, 2 x On-Off push buttons, etc).
The modules are connected to the USB control board (Leo Bodnar) via 3 pin plugs (2 button inputs + 1 shared ground). Each module connection is labelled so I know which button inputs it is connected to (for the Leo Bodnar boards you need to set inputs as either standard toggle switches or rotary encoders via included software).
The modules are secured to the panel with two M2.5 bolts.
Obviously there is still a lot of room for improvement and I would be grateful for feedback from my fellow flight simmers on what I could do to further polish the design. I already have some ideas, but it would be great to hear what others come up with. Thanks!