Buttons, Rotary Encoders and Data for a G1000

I plan to make a reimagined G1000 hardware interface for MSFS - part of it might eventually have a layout a bit like this …

Firstly, I’m wondering if anyone can point me towards where I can buy momentary, tactile buttons with a similar look and feel or for information about buying/making button caps for commonly available (and cheap!) buttons like these …


Next, you can see from my design that the multiple dual rotary encoders have been rationalised into just one, with buttons to select which function it currently has. This is because they’re expensive! Several manufacturers produce them but I can only find the outer knob covers that go on them here. Does anyone know where else I can get them from or do people print their own?

Finally, for now, I’m seeing conflicting information about how to work with MSFS data. I’ve had success in FSX with an mbed dev board (LPC 1768) where I could send button presses from my test interface to FSX then light an LED with data back from the sim where needed. I’m wondering what the state of play is at the moment with MSFS.

I’m already following Any interest in Arduino + Rotary Encoders and MSFS2020?, How to monitor or find out what button is connected to what Event ID?, G1000 with simconnect and other interesting stuff on here.


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Hi, ordered coaxial encoders on Ali (search for “EC11EBB24C03”). Longing for delivery.

I’m currently working on a connector which sends data back to a board like the arduino (or any other serial communication capable device, it also has a library for Arduinos). https://youtu.be/HdnnXQ6SBhg. I’ve tested several approaches to sending data vs receiving light states etc.
Either I send the input as an input device (joystick/gamepad). This works fine and is easy to setup. It could also set light states correct indirectly if using toggles. With momentary switches I retrieve the light state from my simconnect application and set the leds according to the response.
The second approach which I’m using for throttle/mixture currently is a direct input over serial with a possible response over another serial line. This one is the most responsive. I’m now in the process of getting this to work with normal button inputs.
This was just my 5 cents about my approach.

I only now see that this post is 2 months old :’) I just saw your recent response and started reading the first one.

Did u ever find the Garmin style momentary push buttons? I’m starting a similar project right now. The encoders I have but I’m trying to find a reasonable equivalent of the buttons.

Hi @FlipperJeans470. I started off wanting to get the look and feel of the buttons as close as possible to the original. My first problem though is not having had contact with one of the original units!

Off-the-shelf I’m not finding a lot. These from Apem/Mec will do the job (or maybe some of their others) although they’re a bit pricey for what they are (a button with an LED in it!), or these from Shanpu in China, again buttons with LEDs but also, who wouldn’t want a rotary control with an LED screen in it!? I’ve had free samples from Apem/Mec and got a very quick email enquiry response from Shanpu just last week.

I’m becoming more convinced about buying cheap buttons without covers and designing my own covers and 3D printing them.

Hope that’s useful and good luck with the project.

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Hi so it doesn’t recreate the actual click feel fo the Garmin, but this gives the right shape. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2723972
The real garmin buttons have a very short throw and a very positive and satisfying CLICK. Like the buttons in an early to mid 2000’s Audi, Or the original Apple Magic Track Pad for the iMac/MacPro.

Propwash sims makes a good coaxial plus push encoder https://www.propwashsim.com/store/dual-encoder-kit
The knobs from the 430 3d print are much closer to how the Garmin unit feels. The propwash included ones are a bit skinny.

And the big one, This is the actual unit the G1000 uses for its range/map navigation direction plus twist. https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Alps-Alpine/RKJXT1F42001?qs=6EGMNY9ZYDTsBzSTrhiL0w%3D%3D
Whatever the click action is on that and the propworks encoder, is how the buttons should also feel.
If I had to guess, and I was looking to redesign the button caps, either this:
or this:

is probably what’s under there.

This also gives the more G-1000 style more square buttons.


Hey, thanks for all that RoboGreg, there’s plenty there that didn’t get caught in my researches.

Why are dual encoder knobs so expensive? I think it’s lack of competition. This is a genius way round though! https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4373531


thanks guys great info! I have a few of the propwash dual encoders ready for this project, next piece is the buttons then it’ll really get going. The buttons don’t have to be identical - but if i can get something closer then even better

Are you familiar with Digikey? Might be useful:

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