A newbie question re cockpit panel development

Hello everyone . I am looking to take the plunge and start making my own cockpit panels. Ive learned so much from you all already but i wondered about starting really simply.
If I where to use an old usb joystick/ game controller, and took it to bits could i not in theory utilise the board that is in it as the basis for my first project. ie rewire in my own buttons and switches to the ones that are presently on the joystick …that way once connected i could map the old/ new buttons to whatever i wanted into the cockpit…
does this makes sense or is it not possible at all to do this.


IMHO you would be a lot better served by using Arduino boards. It is a very mature ecosystem and there is a LOT of documentation and sample code out there. This might involve a bit of up front effort in learning the basics but will pay off big time in the long run because you will have a system that you can change, add to and re-program as often as you need to.

There are several Arduino variants that can act as a fully compliant USB HID joystick with just a few lines of very simple Arduino code.

Have a look here to get some ideas.

I second using Arduino boards. The Arduino Leonardo can easily be coded to act as a generic joystick.

Sure you can. I did this some years ago. It was fun to do and allowed me to personalize my cockpit without a lot of expense.

hello JCSLOVE thanks for your support, since my initial decision to make my own cockpit ive been busy , firstly wiring in bits of old electronic encoders into the joystick and i managed to get things to work to some degree. Then I read about the behringer xtouch mini and managed to get hold of one of them cheaply. bought the axis and ohs program and was able to configure some of the encoders and use it now for flying the a320 …but hit a snag that some functions i cant find script or adapt scripts for , my script writing is very poor… unable to find how to control the nd range and mode knob …or the qnh knob either. but ill get there …so once again thanks for your reply also ive been busy making mods for folk for the visible pilots pilot shirts …check out flightsim.to if interested.

cheers the noo

and above all happy and stay safe flying

Have you seen Mobiflight. It’s free. It makes using $20 mega2560 boards a breeze. I’m building a button box with 2 of them. 68 inputs per board.

There is also a free module by Mobiflight which opens up a lot of the functions for different aircraft enabling you to allocate to switches if you cant find them listed in msfs. Look on the mobiflight website or the fsuipc7 forum.