LED hardware for X-plane

The SimulConn I/O-Led board is acting as an interface between your LED outputs and the X-plane flight simulator.

LED connections

The board is using the following connections:
– ribbon cable connection to the Extension board (AWG28 14-way)
– 64 connections to the LED diodes (screw terminals)

The board is powered from the Extension board via the cable and has a voltage regulator, maintaining the incoming current at 5v.

SimVim LED configuration

The hardware in the example above is fairly easy to configure. The data.cfg file looks like this:

L2.34 AT_Thrust_On
L2.37 AT_SPD_On
L2.39 AP_FLCH_On
L2.42 AP_HDG_On
L2.44 AP_APPR_On

And in the web configurator, its done like this:

  • Click the Master board pin that the I/O LED board is connected to.
  • Click “Add LED Driver, Serial”.
  • Click the LED you want to connect in X-plane.
  • Click the LED Serial you created above.
  • Click the LED diode output number relevant to the one connected on the board.
  • Click “SAVE” and put the file in the SimVim folder in X-plane.

In this example, I connected the board to the Master board pin 2. Your pin number will change according to your setup.

Mounting of components

The LED board supports 64 led’s on a single Arduino pin. It is not necessary to mount all components if not all 64 led’s are to be used.
On the below image example I only need 48 led’s for a section of the cockpit, so I have only mounted terminal block connectors for output 00-23 and 32-55. The reason for this solution rather than using 00-47, is that now the two voltage regulators are loaded equally. IC6 is driving IC1 and IC2, and IC7 is driving IC3 and IC4. Even though the voltage regulators are designed for the board current, it is advised to use a heat sink, of course depending on the surrounding environment.

The components for the LED board is as follows:

  • R1, R2, R3 and R4 : Variable or fixed resistor to control LED brightness. (Suggestion: 2K2 ohm)
  • C4 and C9 : 1uF capacitor
  • C1, C2, C3, C5, C7 and C10 : 100nF capacitor
  • IC6 and IC7 : L7805CV voltage regulator
  • IC1, IC2, IC3 and IC4 : DM13A (dip24)
  • IO connector : IDC connector 14-way
  • X1 – X16 : Terminal block connector 2.54mm