Get an overview about all the different devices that are supported by MobiFlight.
MobiFlight supports a range of different output devices. You can use these devices to display information from the flight simulator on real-world hardware. This is sooooo cool!
With MobiFlight it is super easy to connect simple outputs like lights and LEDs. Outputs require one pin on the Arduino board and as of Version 8.2 MobiFlight also supports PWM which allows you to dim your LEDs. This also makes it possible to drive analog gauges where needles are turning based on the provided voltage, e.g. CDI, EGT, and others.
One of the first features of MobiFlight was driving MAX7219 based 7-segment LED Displays. You can get those super cheap pre-assembled on eBay or other stores on the internet. You can also drive custom built setups, as long as the driver chip is a MAX7219.
7-Segment LED Displays require 3 pins on the MobiFlight board. It is possible to daisy chain up to 8 modules (MAX7219) chips. So in total this allows you to connect 64 segments with using only 3 pins. Woooohooo!
Servos can be connected to MobiFlight using 1 pin and any pin can be used, regardless whether it's a native PWM pin or not. MobiFlight has been tested with the widely avaiable and very cheap micro servos SG 90. Servos have a lot of torque and can also mechanically move things, but be aware that the servos will make some noise when moving and also while maintaing their position. The range of motion can be controlled by MobiFlight between 0-180 degrees.
Steppers are awesome for creating "steam gauges" and when you need precision and smooth rotation. Some users will use steppers in their throttle quadrants to create a auto-throttle function.
The cool thing is that MobiFlight will always auto-home your stepper, either by a home position indicator (e.g., switch) or after manual calibration by moving back to that position on shutdown.
Steppers use typically 4 pins on the MobiFlight board.
LCD Displays are amazing because they are very flexible to configure and can display a great variety of information. Supported LCD Displays are any variants of those modules that can be driven by i2C - advantage on the MobiFlight side: only the 2 i2C pins are used.
Running out of pins? Shift Registers to the rescue! Shift Registers allow you to expand your output pins. We will soon add more documentation about what kind of shift registers are supported.
Wheter you want to build a full-fledged home cockpit or a simple button box - you will want to connect switches, encoders and potentiometers to control your virtual cockpit in your favorite flight simulator.
Check out the options that MobiFlight gives you:
Airplanes have many switches, and that is what you want to connect to your MobiFlight boards. You want to get rid of using a mouse, you want to configure switches of all sorts and let them control your virtual cockpit.
Forunately MobiFlight allows you to connect switches, buttons, etc and allows you to assign different actions on pressing and on releasing your switch.
If it is not controlled by a simple switch, chances are it is a rotary encoder! Many avionics in a plane have rotary encoders to allow the pilot to dial-in radio frequencies, set the name of your next waypoint or navigate through more complex menus and options efficiently.
Rotary encoders come in differnt variations, single-shaft vs. dual shaft and different number of detents per complete rotation. MobiFlight provides you the options to configure most of the widely available encoders that you can purchase on the internet.
Controlling the plane in your flight simulator also sometimes requires setting values across a range, e.g. for controlling throttle axis, flaps, ailerons, elevators, panel lights and so on.
This can be achieved by connecting a potentiometer to your MobiFlight board and controlling the resistance on one of the analog input pins. MobiFlight supports such devices through "Analog Inputs".