Suitable USB interface board for this panel design?

I designed this panel around the dimensions of one of those plastic throttle quadrant faceplates available from desktop aviator. I want to buy a few of these plates (they’re cheap) and just cut the holes myself with a drill and scoring knife. I have a source for suitable switches/hardware but I’m only aware of usb boards from desktop aviator or leo bodnar and while these seem great they are a bit more than I’d like to spend. I think I need 16 or 17 digital inputs and will only be utilizing SPST on/off rockers, SPST mom pushbutton, rotary switch and SPDT on/on toggle switches. I bought one of those zero delay boards off ebay to introduce me using actual switches with a SIM but the problem is it only has 12 inputs. What are my options for under $25USD?

One option is an Arduino Leonardo board. It can act like a generic joystick and it has 20 digital inputs. Though you will have to program it yourself using C++.

Another option is buying an Arduino Mega and using MobiFlight. Then you have 54 digital and 16 analog inputs. (The analog inputs can be used as digital inputs too.) MobiFlight is free and doesnt require any C++ coding, but the Mega is quite expensive.

I’m not opposed to coding, I have SOME experience with LUA but I’m not sure how well that would translate over to C++. When I was learning the other language there was a repository of free to access excellent documentation with many examples and templates specifically for the game mod I was working with. It was an invaluable resource, not sure if I’d bode to well from scratch, at least in a reasonable amount of time.

While the MEGA does appear to be about as expensive as the boards from DA you seem to be getting more inputs and flexability for the money, which is attractive to me if I were to be honest. Does mobiflight support pots though? Not a deal breaker if it doesn’t, just figured I’d probably do a throttle quadrant in the future if this works out.

From your limited programming experience I’d say Mobiflight and a Mega board propably is the better way to go. Mobiflight supports rotary encoders (knobs) and 7-seg leds for showing radio frequencies and such. Mobiflight is really easy to use, check out its Web page.

Programming encoders and 7-seg leds on a Leonardo can be daunting, though there are some good libs you can use.

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That’s what I’ll probably end up going with then. Thanks.

Thanks for recommending MobiFlight! Define “quite expensive” for a Mega… they are 7-13$ a piece.

Look for the Arduino Mega Pro Mini - awesome form factor and cheaper than the bigger classic Mega2560.

Anywhere I’ve seen them they are $40ish, unless you’re talking about clones. I’m under the impression that when mobiflight says it’s compatible with arduino board X it specifically means arduino. Can I get by with the clones just fine? I like the size of the mega pro mini and price but it doesn’t seem to be USB powered, is there a version that is?

Well, where I live (in Sweden) they cost more, like 40$. Yet, there is cheaper deals on the net. Still, it cost more than a Leonardo board.
Anyway, Mega + Mobiflight is a lot of bang for the bucks. And very easy to use.

I have an Elegoo clone. It works like a charm. I’m using it with mobiflight. First project was a Garmin A/P before switching to a StreamDeck. Current working project is a simple encoder box for heading, V/S, altitude, baro and FMS dual knobs.

I’ve heard about elegoo before, anyone familiar with zyltech? ZYLtech MEGA 2560 R3 Board Atmega16u2/Atmega2560 for Arduino w/ Free USB cable | eBay

from my experience it doesn’t matter what brand it is as long as it is a mega 2560 r3 compatible board. sometimes these boards have a specific VendorID and ProductID and MobiFlight has trouble detecting them. In such a case simply report it and the IDs will be added to the list of supported modules easily.

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Good to know. Opens up so many options.