DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby Keith Smith » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:55 pm

Picked up a DesktopAviator.com Garmin 430 head unit yesterday: http://www.desktopaviator.com/Products/ ... /index.htm

It's working like a champ!

You can map the buttons and knobs to anything you want in xplane (no drivers needed) so it can drive the stock 530, or the Reality XP software.

We have no affiliation with these guys, just wanted to share the experience. I've avoided having sim hardware for a long time but acquired this as part of a video we're putting together, and I'm glad I did. I find myself using the 530 a lot more now as a result.
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby sono » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:57 pm

Ok thank you, that looks excellent. Unfortunately it is showing as out of stock at time of writing, probably all the xplane owners...!!

Did anyone try it with xplane 11, (it says 10+ on the site, so I am just being cautious in asking this )
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby Keith Smith » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:23 pm

Yes I tried it in XP11 only. It's a USB input device (similar to the buttons on a joystick), there's not much to it, you don't have to worry about xplane version compatibility.
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby Kilstorm » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:32 am

Very cool. I have a few things from them (key switch and fuel selector switch) good stuff at a low price.
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby sono » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:28 am

I have ordered this today so look forward to receiving it.

I am amazed to read that Keith is saying it doesnt need any drivers - is there any configuration for xplane 11 to do to make it use it at all ?
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby Keith Smith » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:42 pm

Think of it as a joystick. You're going to map the buttons to whatever you want in X-Plane. It doesn't drive the GPS (or anything) by default. It just triggers USB button presses. It's up to you to tell XPlane what you want each button to do.
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby Keith Smith » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:30 pm

Quick update, I've been using the unit quite a bit. The upcoming build of the PE plugin implements 25Khz spacing for the COM1 radio. That certainly helps in getting to the assigned freqs faster than the stock 8.333Khz spacing which is in place as of xp10.30 and beyond.

That said, I've noticed the rotary encoders are a tad slow to respond and are easily overwhelmed by input. This is fairly typical for low cost units like this. The other buttons can be pushed very quickly and they're instantly responsive, so this isn't a USB issue. It's 100% specific to the rotary encoders only. I've reached out to the developers of the board with the feedback, letting them know that pilots who use PilotEdge will be relying heavily on the encoders for freq changes and flight plan input. I still recommend the unit, but be warned that freq changing is still relatively slow.
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby Keith Smith » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:05 pm

Update #2, evidently there is programming software to adjust the speed of the commands that are sent...so, I'll give that a try now and post an update.
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby Keith Smith » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:14 pm

The software helps a lot, the freq changes are much more comfortable now. I love it.
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Re: DesktopAviator Garmin 430 head unit

Postby Kilstorm » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:14 pm

Just put an order in for one as well. I need the ability to enter a flight plan into the 430 without using a popup panel in XP11 because right now using FlyInside for VR, there are no pop up 2d panels. Radios I've got with my GoFlight module and by luck I have the space needed on my GoFlight Rack for the GPS to be mounted. I might have to ask you more about that mod file Keith but it seems like that was more for the radios than the GPS part so maybe not.
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