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How to Add LED Switches and Pushbuttons to your Simulator / Cockpit

Adding LED Switches and LED Pushbuttons can be a cool addition to a simulator or cockpit. They can also help with identification, or helping us determine what is on or off in dark environments.

Most of the USB Interface Cards we use with Cockpit Setups, such as the Leo Bodnar cards, simple USB PC Interface Cards and Arduinos, connect through USB which uses 5V DC. Most LED switches operate at 12V DC, so we have to find a way to power up the switch, but isolate the 12V, preventing potential damage to the Interface card.

To accomplish this, we can use a Relay. In this video we explain how the 12V Relay is able to isolate this Voltage, and use two additional terminals to allow the switch to work with the interface card. These inputs can then be used in Flight Simulator, X-Plane, Prepar3d and any other game.

Items used in this video:
Please note: Always confirm specifications and quality when purchasing items. I would even suggest reading reviews as manufacturers change products versions constantly.

  1. Leo Bodnar USB Interface Card – You can also use a simple USB PC Interface Card or Arduino.
  2. Round Rocker Switches – Entire button lits up
  3. Round Rocker Switches – Small LED
  4. Oval Rocker Switch – Entire button lits up
  5. Oval Rocker Switch – Small LED
  6. 12V DC Relay, SPDT
  7. Multi-Color LED Toggle Switch
  8. LED Paddle / Toggle Switch
  9. Toggle Switch with Safety Cap
  10. Single Relay Module Kit
  11. Four Relay Module Kit
  12. Eight Relay Module Kit
  13. Large Push Buttons
  14. Wires with Spade Quick Connectors
  15. 12V Power Supply with Terminal Block
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