Arduino DCS Gaming Hardware

DCS-BIOS and Arduino TFT

I don’t use DCS-BIOS often. It somehow kills the idea of flexibility that the custom-built Control Boxes provide. Exceptions exist though, one is the TFT: it has to “speak” with DCS in order to get and then display information.

For the sake of experimenting I have bought a 2.8″ TFT, ready to be used with Arduino UNO and, of course, the first project has been focus on the Ka-50.
This is the TFT I used. I opted for simplicity and this small TFT is literally plug&play with Arduino UNO. I was surprised by how easy drawing on the TFT is; moreover a good number of tutorials and examples are available on Elegoo’s website.
After setting up the TFT, the next step is installing DCS-BIOS, which is a very easy thing and perhaps I will cover it later.

Once everything is set up and running, the job now is elaborating the values returned by DCS-BIOS into something that can be displayed on the TFT. As you can imagine is a long (yet simple) reiteration of the same type of function:

get data from DCSelaborate datadisplay on the TFT

This is the result of my first test:

This version was still WIP, although almost completed. My goal was replicating all those information that IRL you would get by a glance at your cockpit but, because of the low resolution or whatever other reason, it cannot be done when in front of a monitor. Therefore I have displayed on the TFT some of the info I check more often, such as SPU-9, R-828 and R800L1 for comms; lights and AP statuses; some functions of the PVI-800 and laser, parking wheels and DL Ingress activated.

Plans for the next update

Since the construction of the UFC/PRTz/PVI800 I moved the TFT on the left side so VVI and the “ball” have become redundant. I plan to replace them with the Engine Power Indicator, which is often disregarded but it’s quite important to ensure a correct Engine Management (thanks 132nd.Donkey for reminding me of that gauge!). I will also try to squeeze a Fuel Cross-Feed indicator that will change colour depending on how much fuel I still have in my tanks and will remind me to activate the X-Feed when a tank is low on fuel.


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