G-1000 button box interface?

I have acquired a very clever home built button and knob interface for the G1000, with all of the switches, keys and knobs! It interfaces perfectly with XPlane, which has well named keybinds for each G1000 function to match the knobs and buttons. But the joystick settings pages in MSFS 2020 do not seem to have any keybinds named for the G1000. It is possible to set this up in 2020?

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There aren’t enough keys to bind all possible controls, so you will need to monitor and manipulate the sim variables directly. For that you’ll need one of the three main tools folks use, spad.next, axis and ohs, or Mobiflight.


What hardware does it use (Arduino, Bodnar, etc…)?

I have no idea. It has buttons, and both single and dual concentric rotary knobs (quite similar to those in the G-1000). Inside of it is a couple of units that have, as inputs, all of the wires from the switches and knobs on the panel, and as outputs apparently two USB cables. The computer seems to consider this unit as actually two identical boxes, each with half of the knobs and buttons.

FS2020 recognizes these two things, and it picks up a large number of inputs for the devices on the box. What it does not do is have clear, identifiable functions for the G1000 to be assigned to these inputs through the controls section. 2020 has a bunch of functions, but none are unique to the G1000. I suppose that I could try, say, to hook the heading knob to some general HDG function in the controls section of 2020, but how would that play out? Would it work for the G1000 as well as all other heading inputs, perhaps even those on the jets?

Before I start off in that long and winding direction, I just wanted to see if there was any ancestral wisdom here! Someone has probably done this before…

BigCow74 mentioned 3 possible software solution available. Knowing what board is in the unit would help us to suggest the best path for you to take. Is there an access panel you can remove to (hopefully) gain access for a look-see (and a pic or 2)?
Mobiflight is freeware but requires the board to be either a MEGA2560 or UNO. The other 2 options are payware but have a demo you can use to see if they work.
You could install Mobiflight and run it. The program will offer to setup the board if it is compatible. If not, try with the each of the other ones.

Make that 5 main tools. Air Manager and FSUIPC are also popular choices. It sounds like you have a couple of boards in there that are each recognised as a USB HID but doing anything like this with a HID is always limited by the default bindings thst MSFS provides. It’s no Xplane in that regard. Therefore you need some more capable third party software to get the job done. Mobiflight is the only free option but it doesn’t support HID AFAIK so it would likely require a board change.

Let me ask my friend, the maker of the button box, what hardware is in it. I presume that you mean the USB interfaces - everything else is just buttons and knobs, as far as I can see.

They are Bodner BBI32 boards

Yep USB HID boards. Axis & Ohs or SPAD would probably be the best bet in this particular instance unless you are up for changing the boards to Arduino’s and using Mobiflight.

An alternative is (or more) Elgato Streamdeck together with AAO. Then you can handle all instruments as you want. Here a screenshot from my G1000 MFD

Well if we are going to suggest things way outside of the original question why use a stream deck profile when you can have a representative G1000 in Air Manager or a physical one with Real Sim Gear or the like. I think the OP is just looking for a solution to get their button box working with MSFS and all these are way out of that scope.

Sling 380, you are exactly right. I got this home made box for a song, relative to what I have seen in the way of more realistic hardware such as Real Sim Gear. It has ALL of the knobs, buttons and so on that the G1000 has, but it has no screen, so I still need the visual image of the entire cockpit of FS2020 - I am not trying to create some sort of custom instrument panel or any sort of home cockpit.

What I am looking for is information. XPlane has the functions (or whatever they are called) very clearly labeled in the control setup menus - things like PFD COM OUTER KNOB TUNE UP. It is very easy to correctly assign all of the desired functions to the appropriate switch or knob. FS2020 does not seem to have any specific call-outs for G1000 functions; it does have, say, something that says HDG, and apparently a medium variety of other nav and instrument functions. But nothing specific for G1000. As Sling says, all I need is to know how (or even if it is possible) to get the correct knob associated with the command for the correct function, so that these knobs and buttons “control” the operation of the proper knobs and buttons on the G1000 in the sim.
I have a vague knowledge of at least the existence of FSUIPC, having sprung for the pay version of it over a decade ago to try to control reverse thrust on some jet or another. Does FSUIPC have its own definitions of G1000 functions that can be assigned to physical switches to control the ones on the “panel” of the sim?

Or, perhaps, does one merely assign the HDG button on this box to whatever looks most like a HDG function in FS2020’s joystick assignment pages; hoping that in that manner, the physical button would be operative in every cockpit that had any sort of HDG knob, including the G1000’s?

One other thing - things like StreamDeck appear to allow for a sort of touchscreen interface only. If this is true, that is not what I am looking for. I fly and teach the real G1000, and I need real physical knobs and buttons to make it realistic enough for that purpose (of course, none of this is FAA certified, but it can still be used to great effect in training that is not logged for credit). Touch screen, while OK for jet FMC’s, is not good enough for productive training on something like the G1000.

If you are attempting to do this strictly with what shows up the the MSFS “Controls” menu, then no. Many of the auto pilot control inputs and outputs are LVARs, for which you need the aforementioned tools.

I don’t have the knowledge to tell you if your HID controllers work with LVARs, however. It sounds like they do not from what I’m reading, but others know more than I.

Well, I was able to hook up one button to the COMM1 flip flop, and it does work. But that is the only thing I could identify on casual glance that seemed to be labeled more or less as I would expect it to be. There is also a BARO INCREASE and a BARO DECREASE, but hooking those up to the appropriate directions of the baro knob on the box has no effect on the baro setting in the G1000 in the sim.

So it looks like the box may work, but there are apparently few functions in FS2020 that are clearly called out enough to be recognizable. And nothing at all appears for the G1000 soft keys, and the like.

Do these aforementioned tools have their own functions for all of the geegaws on the G1000, and some way to communicate that to the sim?
It works fine with XPlane so all is not lost.

I’m guessing here that those two functions are designed to be assigned to a button press, and I’m also guessing that your box instead has a rotary encoder?

Encoders aren’t buttons, so controlling them is a bit different. I’ve never built my own but have messed around a bit to think I have some knowledge on how it works, however weak that knowledge is :slight_smile:

You can go on Hubhop and search/filter on the various presets that people have created for Mobiflight to find the variables that control what you’re looking for. For example, to increase the altimeter you need to write to this H variable:


This is just one example, and there is syntax to reading and writing to the different types of variables. It’s not rocket science, but if you’re unfamiliar with the formatting or don’t have some previous coding experience, it can be confusing.

The H: prefix denotes a HTML event. So you use it like a regular K event not a variable. Most of the G1000 controls use H events. As already stated though you will need external software to do this as all of the G1000 specific controls are not available in the built-in sim bindings.

Wow! This is rocket science far beyond my simple ATP brain’s capabilities. I have no idea what any of those last two posts is talking about, although I think it translates roughly into “stick to flying airplanes!” I can barely turn the computer on and off! I’ll have to see if my friend who built this box has any knowledge of such things. I’m just glad that XPlane is so much simpler… and I thought that was mind-numbingly arcane when I was doing it yesterday!

My rotary knob, when looked at in the controls section, sends two messages (signals?) to FS2020 - both show up as what I would have thought were button pushes. Each click one way is button so and so, and each click the other way is another button. I would have imagined that this would work like certain of the inputs on the Honeycomb Bravo unit.

Thank you very much to all who chimed in. I’ll try to do what BigCow74 suggests, in terms of looking, at least, for these apparent variables. When you speak of “writing”, do you mean writing or modifying some kind of computer program?

-------------This just in!!! I looked at some of that stuff, and a few YouTube videos, and this is waaaaay beyond either my pay grade or my competence! MSFS will have to wait for another day, more’s the pity. Glad it works so well with XPlane, though. Again, thanks to all for the info!

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Thanks for expanding my understanding.