Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 18, 2013.

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A hardware interface to open up a low-cost avenue to connect real surplus flight hardware to MS FSX and Laminar X-Plane.

V1 Avionics is a startup in the US in partnership with a team of avionics engineers in Spain. Our company is rooted in real world avionics development and building and designing of safety critical hardware. Building simulators is our passion and V1 Avionics is based on our desire to bring the high standards of aerospace engineering to the serious amateur simulator builder community at a pro-sumer budget.  

V1 Avionics ARINC42911 Interface
V1 Avionics ARINC42911 Interface

The SIM42911 interface will open up a low-cost avenue for the serious simulator builder to connect the Laminar Research X-Plane or Microsoft FSX simulator directly to real surplus flight hardware that uses the ARINC 429 protocol. Real flight hardware is hardware that was removed from actual aircraft such as a Boeing 737, 747 or Airbus and has recently found its way to e-Bay and other online auction places specializing in surplus analog avionics. Or, perhaps your already own a complete surplus simulator and just want to make it work again!

The SIM42911 interface will provide one high or low speed ARINC 429 compatible transmit channel and one receive channel. SIM42911 simply plugs into the same Ethernet port the flight simulator is connected to, and, if used with a Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch, does not require an additional external power supply. 

This real avionics bus provides the capability of tapping into real surplus equipment available on eBay and other places to the consumer and pro-sumer sim-pit builder on a reasonable budget. The interface comes with all the necessary software integration pieces to connect directly to the two most popular consumer flight simulator platforms as well as the ability to program the interface directly in C/C++ via a SDK.  

Interface Configuration Panel Example
Interface Configuration Panel Example

The alpha devices are assembled in Europe and Firmware development happens by a joint team in the US and Europe. Initial volume production is planned to be executed in the US and includes board making, assembly and testing. Enclosure manufacturing is planned to be executed in Asia with final assembly in the US. Further volume production of the complete interface may be in North America, Europe and/or Asia depending on demand.  

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The main risk to the project and the delivery timelines are complications in the volume manufacturing of the interface boards. However, all of the hardware components chosen are supplied by current and major manufacturers in the US and Asia, which have large quantities of the components on hand. Therefore, volume production of several hundred units should be no problem, however, component availability is always a degree of uncertainty in the hardware business.

FAQ

  • The interface uses FPGA technology at it's core. The FPGA communicates with the ARINC 429 compatible hardware via line drivers.

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  • To determine if an instrument is ARINC 429 you normally have to do a little bit of research on the Instrument. In many cases it also helps to know what aircraft the instrument was de-installed from. For example, instruments coming from a MD-88 or B757 or B767 are most certainly ARINC 429. Many instruments that come from DC-10s or DC-9s, for example, are also digital but follower the ARICN 429 compatible standard called ARINC 575. So it really helps to know a little more about the instrument to know if you can drive it with an ARINC 429 digital avionics interface. Below is a link to a document that explains the basics of the ARINC 429 protocol.

    http://www.aim-online.com/pdf/OVIEW429.PDF

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  • The SIM42911 Interface as proposed with this project has no affiliation with Aeronautical Radio Incorporated. The interface loosely implements the electrical and protocol standard of standard 429 as available to the public from the Aeronautical Radio Incorporation which is a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group. To get the full details of the named 429 standard, please purchase the necessary documentation from ARINC. The proposed SIM42911 interface is for amateur simulator use only and is not designed and/or certified for the commercial flight simulator market. The device is not FAA certified nor will it be developed using DO-178 methodology. No FAA certification or commercial use of the device i planned or anticipated. All references made to "ARINC" in the project are for reference only and reference "ARINC" as the publicly available standards document and not to "ARINC" as a legal entity owned and operated by the Carlyle Group.

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  • Instruments removed from real aircraft typically require either 24VDC or 115V 400Hz (this is AC) power; sometimes both are required. The SIM42911 interface does not supply power to the instrument. The SIM42911 interface handles the data transfer between the flight simulation software and the instrument only.

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    Basic - At this level you understand that the product we are building here will have great applications in the consumer and pro-sumer flight simulation market. As a thank you for your contribution we will send you a certificate of your founding contribution to the project as well as a project t-shirt.

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    Enthusiast - You are a flight simulator community enthusiast and will probably pretty soon be building your own sim-pit in your garage. At the Enthusiast level you understand that the product we are building here will have great applications in the consumer and pro-sumer flight simulation market. As a thank you for your contribution we will send you a certificate of your founding contribution to the project as well as a project t-shirt and you are entitled to a 25% discount on the first device.

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    Second Officer - You are a flight simulator community enthusiast and you are building your own sim-pit in your garage. At the SO level you understand that the product we are building here will have great applications in the consumer and pro-sumer flight simulation market. As a thank you for your contribution we will send you a certificate of your founding contribution to the project as well as a project t-shirt and you are entitled to a 50% discount on the first device.

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    First Officer - At this level you are supporting some serious simulator device development here. Perhaps you have not quite gotten into “real” flight hardware in your sim-pit, but you are about to and you have been asking yourself how would you connect your X-Plane and/or FSX to this ARINC 429 based device? As a thank you for your support on the First Officer level you will receive the first device at a 75% discount and will also send you a project t-shirt as well as a certificate stating that you have been a founding contributor to our venture!

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