Finally In The Air - That Was Fun!

Heed Crunchmeister’s advice… May not work with Xbox.

Although, considering most keyboard and mouse set ups work with Xbox… Would a peripheral designed for Windows not also work on Xbox??

They’re definitely fun to play around with, though. If you’re serious about building from the ground up, give this website a look: Leo Bodnar, Simulator Electronics.

All the boards come ready to go(including software). Ships all over the globe. Sells everything you need (Switches, push buttons, rotary switches, Potentiometers)

It won’t work on Xbox. Guaranteed. I mean, you can try it. An adruino nano costs slightly more than a cup of coffee, so it’s not really an expensive experiment. But don’t get your hopes up.

Keyboard and mouse support is built into Xbox. Not the case for other peripherals unless they meet the criteria I mentioned earlier

  • the security chip is a bare minimum for basic controllers that replicate basic Xbox controller functionality or a subset of it
  • must have the drivers included in base Xbox OS support if it doesn’t.

As much as it’s Windows under the hood of the Xbox, the version of Windows on our computers comes with basic drivers for thousands of peripherals built in. That’s why plug and play works enough to get basic support for the majority of devices on the market. These drivers are typically either provided to Microsoft for inclusion into the OS, or their devices can use a generic driver already in the OS. When there’s no support, like for uncommon hardware, you have to install the drivers yourself.

Xbox ships with generic mouse and keyboard drivers and support for Xbox controllers and known devices that have the security chip and nothing else.

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It’s useful only if you use Air Manager, and if you use Air Manager, you don’t want to be without it.

I’m new to AM. Where did you get the radios, throttle controls, etc.? Did you adapt them from controls for other planes that are available on Sim Innovations or did you make them yourself using their API? I’d love to have something like that because I DO have a second touch screen that I’m not using, and my Knobster is installed, but I’ve never seen anything like yours in the free or premium sections on the AM Website. Please educate me.

I do have the payware C172 panel. That’s where my throttle and mixture controls are from. Otherwise…

  • The radios are freely available in AM. They’re the Generic - Bendix/King KX 165A TS0 - COM1/NAV1 and Generic - Bendix/King KX 165A TS0 - COM2/NAV2 radios.

  • Audio control panel (Garmin 340) is also a free instrument in AM (Generic - 340 Audio Panel)

  • KT 76A transponder is also a free instrument in AM (Generic - Bendix/King KT 76A Transponder)

  • Collins ADF is part of the payware C172 panels

  • Parking Brake - Comes from the Beechcraft Baron payware panel

  • Fuel valve and primer handle are both instruments I made. They can be found along with a bunch of other instruments I built at the link below.

  • The panel backgrounds (plane dashboard) I made myself from screen shots from the sim. I still have work to do on them, but will release them when I’m done. I have an idea for something I want to try.

I find the dials the most annoying aspect of MSFS (not a killer but annoying nonetheless) so would love to use a Knobster (though it would be fun explaining to wife why I had bought something called that!).

However, I only really fly in VR so I don’t think this would be usable? I don’t currently have AM but would happily get it if there was a way to make it work in VR.

At the moment I have a steam deck with my main dials mapped to Up and Down buttons (easy enough to remember the layout for operating by feel) which works well but something like this would be awesome. I see they do an XPlane plugin for VR, does anyone know if the same is planned for MSFS?

If you’re in VR, the Stream Deck is probably your better option to be honest. The other option would be to setup an encoder (or more) on a Leo Bodnar board and use that for input for knobs. The knobster per say wouldn’t really work in your situation. At least not ideally. Like 4 encoders (2 for each PFD / MFD or for GNS 530/430 along with your Stream deck for buttons would be pretty sweet for controlling Garmins when you can’t see what you’re doing.

My inner smart-■■■ has many comebacks to that comment that would be inapproriate for this forum. :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, the xbox does do generic keyboards, right? If you are able to create a proper usb descriptor, i would think why not? Be carefull with your vid&pid, it could still be refused because of these. But, if you can get it to work and want to publish it, take a look here How to get a PID code –

Fun experiment though, i have a ‘normal’ s, not a series. But guess that should not matter. Maybe i will try this weekend (if i have a spare arduino that is and if the family allows an experiment on the xbox :sweat_smile: )


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I just want to say, I’m liking this thread although it really doesn’t apply to my use case…it’s what the forum should be about. Folks helping each other out to make the experience better…and unless I missed nobody has broken in with a “this sim sucks” post. Hope to see more of this.


“Generic USB keyboard” is where my hopes are.

It’s good point.

Other, a little edgy, approach will be hard hacking some old keyboard :wink:


It’s a very small mafia boss.


Ladies and Gentlemen.

I have good news for every Xbox Maker.
I tested Raspberry Pi pico with Circuitpython and successful send keystroke to Xbox. So it’s very likely all CP (with USB HID capability) compatible board can be, with little wood and electronics play, change into virtual cockpit.
Sadly not all controls can be emulated this way.

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Interesting- so emulating a generic Keyboard worked? I should try this, I have a Pi sitting around

Care to share some more details on how you did this?

You saved me to disassemble a project. That’s good to read! Did you find any caveats with vid&pid identifications?

What would be interesting though, is how to do a proper analogue values.

I’m guessing you’re emulating a generic keyboard with it then.

Yes my method is to emulate generic usb keyboard.

No vid & pid problems, thx to AdaFruit, witch I thing embed properly made USB devices with vid & pid in libraries.

There is a very small possibility for generic USB joystick also work. Or some tricks with mouse emulating. Right now it’s outside my interest.

I’m not sharing any specific instructions right now. Only thing I do was program my raspberry pi pico (it was laying at hand) with circuitpython (has ready USB libraries) and write simple script. Everything is almost out-of-the-box. Just drag and copy one file with cp and one folder with needed library.

Right now my script just send one keystroke per 5 sec. Nothing interesting but proves concept.

I promise to share more, maybe even write tutorial when I make something a little more interesting.

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It’s what i do so far.

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