I'm a tenant and I live in a small flat so I don't have much space available: no way to build a proper simpit. I decided therefore to build a modular set of control boxes, each based on an independent Arduino board. My first control box was based on a video I found online (I worked with 8-16 bits PICs before, never with Arduino so that video has opened a new world to me).
The following control boxes have little to nothing in common with the first (which is great considering that the first example controls up to ~25 buttons, my latest more than 80). I have recently added a 7" 800x600 MFD and I plan to add a similar one later.
The problem is.. that this stuff is totally useless in SC. Besides the fact that the firmwares I wrote are always on/on and I have no idea how they react with SC (I can always change them); the fact is that SC is very arcade and a hotas satisfies its need of controls, killing the need of a simpit right away. Moreover SC has no decent controls management, not to mention the possibility to export avionics status. I remember an old goal about these features, hopefully that will be implemented sooner or later.
That being said, this is an old pic of my setup. I had changed many things but I haven't taken any pic yet.
This is the 7" LCD I use to export MFDs or other avionics. Hopefully sooner or later they'll work with SC.
The little screen on the top is a small TFT. It gets data from DCS and I wrote the firmware that displays different values and icons depending of the values it receives. In this case, it shows info about the Ka-50.
One of these boxes can be built with 30€-40€ depending on where you buy (china is cheaper but takes ages, I usually buy from Amazon UK – one day delivery at the lockers!) and if you have the basica material already (wires, soldering iron, etc). You write your own firmware so you can do almost whatever you want and you can change anything anytime.
These are a couple pics of what is inside the boxes. The F/A-18 UFC/ Ka-50 PRTz/PVI-800 is the latest I built and is a bit more complex than the others.
It doesn't take longer that 4-5 hours to build one.