Newcomer to cockpit building, trying to recreate a Cessna 152 in VR, is a radio panel worth it for MSFS?

Hi guys,

I’m a newcomer to Flight Simulator, bought it in December to dabble with in VR, and have now become hooked. I’ve just started putting together my own flight cockpit and it’s coming along nicely.

I’ve got the following setup.

Playseat Airforce seat
Honeycomb Alpha Yoke
Bravo Throttle Quadrant
Thrustmaster TPR rudder pedals
I fly exclusively in VR using my Quest 2.

Now I’m getting to grips with the sim I want to start using the radio properly. I’ve looked at a few threads on here and seems there are issues with the Logitech/Saitke radio panel working in MSFS?

Just checking if people are using it and it works well? Do you think it’s worth getting one to use in VR? I hope that I’ll be able to work it fine once I’m familiar with where the buttons and dials are as I’ll see the display in VR, but would like peoples feedback on this!

I’m trying to recreate a Cessna 152 experience as faithfully as I can, are there any other recommendations you can think of?

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Subscribing as I’m interested to. I’m also considering the Radio Panel but want to know if there are issues.

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In VR you must be able to reach to and to recognize the knobs, buttons, switches in blind, by touch only. So it’s good to place the controls as far apart as possible. And you don’t need any displays as you won’t be able to see then with the headset donned. This inspired me to build the following panel. Most important for operating in blind are dual rotary encoders, giving you 5 inputs in one hand position.

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I like what you’ve done there. I must say I’ve managed to find some videos of people putting the Logitech/Saitek radio panel on top of the Honeycomb yoke or throttle and in my opinon it looks awful. They don’t fit properly and ruins the look of those products.

Your home made panels fit much better and look a LOT better, but the cost and level of time investment to build is more than I want to do, I’m a simple plug and play guy!

The Logitech radio is £89 in Currry’s in the UK, which is easily affordable for me, and the functionality looks good, but looking at pictures of them on peoples Honeycomb yokes, they are an eye sore for sure :-/

Do we know if Honeycomb themselves have plans to release a radio panel that properly matches and integrates on to their yoke’s and throttles?

If you are not yet ready to build your own panel designed with VR in mind, consider Behringer X-Touch Mini:

  • 8 rotary encoders + pushbuttons (e.g. HDG bug, ALT bug, Altimeter, OBS, COM1 - 2 knobs, COM2 or NAV1 - 2 knobs), pushbuttons on COM/NAV knobs great for active/standby swap in the same hand position - convenient in VR,
  • 16 buttons,
  • 1 axis (e.g. flaps).
    Biggest issue - not easy to recognize the buttons in blind, however you can attach something to them for tactile recognition. This is MIDI device so requires some freeware to work with the sim, all explained under the links provided.
    Please remember - if the panel has a display you won’t be able to see it with VR headset donned. This is especially difficult, if a panel has different modes, set by some knob or button, indicated on display - you won’t be able to see in which mode the panel is.

I use VR with Honeycombe Alpha & Bravo + 2 Radio Panels Saitek. You just need to reach the knobs and work really well. I hardly use a mouse for VR. I recommend it.

Alternatively having a knobs and buttons panels (as in VR you cant see screens) may be a good investment (and cheaper)

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This looks the easiest solution for sure. I have seen online people have been able to adjust the fit by drilling holes into the mount which makes it look a lot better. It seems to be the cheapest and easiest way to get a radio panel so I’ll order one today and see what it’s like.

Can I ask, why do you need two radio panels though? I’m a complete beginner just wanting to fly the Cessna 152 then 172. Will I need two radio panels to replicate the functions of those planes?

Each Saitek radio panel includes two radios. The basic setup:
COM 1 - for ATC (especially nice when using Pilot2ATC for voice communication with ATC),
NAV1 - for ILS approaches, if you will need them (not required for VFR flying).
Rarely you will need more e.g.:
COM2, NAV2 - theoretically you can switch the panel mode using the knob on the left side, but this will be a bit challenging in VR without actually seeing the knob position - you will need to learn to feel it or you will just see which standby frequency is changing (COM1, COM2, NAV1…) if you will set the mode knob in the wrong position.

People often start building their panels with light switches and radios, while there are other controls used more often in flight.


  • HDG bug,
  • Altimeter setting,
  • ALT bug (for a plane with autopilot or equipped with Garmin G1000 or G3X),
  • OBS (if you will use old fashioned NAV/VOR navigation),
  • gyro drift if you have simple plane with mechanical gyro heading indicator and want full realism.

Switches/buttons (you can use Honeycomb Alpha/Bravo switches):

  • elevator trim,
  • flaps,
  • fuel pump,
  • fuel tank switch (not so important in Cessna 152/172),
  • carburator heat (not required in default C172),
  • VR in/out,
  • VR center,
  • head position up/down/left/right,
  • pause or ESC
  • external/cockpit view.

Just make a flight and note down which knobs, switches, buttons are most frequently used.

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Thanks, so for me as a beginner one would be fine for now at least? I only used the call ATC button for the first time yesterday and used the text options to request taxi and take off and it felt marvellous, I think the ability to dial in the radio myself will be even better. I’m just loving the immersion of this sim and want to get to the point where I never need to make a mouse or keyboard press again, at least until I’m knowledgable enough to program the Garmin 1000.

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Update, I just ordered the Saitek radio panel from Currys. They were selling for £89.99 and Honey got me a £5 discount so £84.99 delivered, which doesn’t seem too bad. Hopefully I’ll be able to work out how to drill the appropriate holes to make it fit more flush and improve the look!

propwash has some good prices on his PnP panels. I use his dual rotary encoders for my builds.

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Let us know how you get on. Mine arrived from the same place today!


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No issues for me, at least not insurmountable ones. I use my radio panel all the time, and considering getting a second one.

I don’t use the Logitech drivers, but SPAD instead. SPAD let’s you customise what the panels can do, the Logitech drivers do not.

Awesome, did it work ok?

Thanks! I expect the threads I’ve seen might be older too, and things get improved over time. I’ve got the Bravo Throttle Quadrant working fine for my needs now so should be able to tinker with this if required to.

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So my radio panels arrived, but I’m struggling to get them working.

One of my screens has arrived with an ugly scratch on it so I will have to exchange for another. In the meantime, I’m having issues using it.

I’m trying to tune to my local airport frequency which is 119.805 but my panels only have two digits after the decimal point so I can only input 119.80. Is there a way to input the 3rd digit?

Secondly, once I’ve set it up properly, will I be able to make selections via the radio? E.g request a push back or acknowledge an instruction as right now I have to use my mouse on my lap to make those selections.

I can’t see a way on the radio to scroll through selection options and choose my option?

UPDATE - Ok, stupid me, there were transfers on the radio panel, so peeling them off has fixed the scratches, that’s a relief!

It looks like in game I can tune to the right frequency without the extra digit, the game automatically puts in on the right setting, so if I tune 119.80 it displays as 119.805.

So it’s just my last question that remains;

How do I select options without requiring a mouse? If I can’t map my radio can I map a button on my yoke or throttle quadrant to move through the selection options to make and acknowledge requests?

So I’ve been using the Saitek radio for a few days now. I like having the extra immersion of dialing myself but its functionality is quite limited and disappointing.

Firstly, I still need to pick up my mini keyboard, and use the trackpad to select ATC options once I’ve tuned them which is really annyoing. I bought the radio hoping it would mean I could manage ATC without the immersion break of using a mouse and keyboard at all, but sadly I still have to.

Secondly, and more annoyingly, I can’t tune to certain frequencies because the frequenct will end in something .805 and my radio will only tune in multiples of 25. e.g instead of going .750, .755 etc it will go .750, 775. 800 etc. Thus I can’t tune certain frequencies and have to use the ATC automatic tune anyway which renders the radio pointless.

Does anyone have a solution for this, can I set my multiples to 5 rather than 25?

I have my radio panel configured so that pressing, and holding the transfer button switches between 25Khz, and 8.33Khz channel spacing. This works been for aircraft that don’t support the feature.

For the ATC interactions, I have a Streamdeck XL, and have a keypad style setup to easily interact with the 1-0 options.

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Thanks, am I able to configure my radio panel the same way? So far I only seem able to use it with the first starting airport. If I fly anywhere else I either can’t dial the correct frequency or I can but it still doesn’t bring up the options for that airport and I need to press the autotune in the ATC options to get it to work.

That Streamdeck looks cool but I play exclusively in VR so wouldn’t really work for me. Plus I’m using a Playseat Airforce Flight seat which is about 5 meters away from my PC and table so nowhere to mount one. Currently. I’m using a Rii4 mini keyboard with a trackpad to make selections but I want to eliminate it as much as possible once I’m up in the air.