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Garmin GNS 30


The aim is to produce a hardware simulation of the Garmin GNS 530, using the Microsoft Flight Simulator add-on from RealityXP, replacing the on-screen switches with physical devices.

Front Panel Design

The panel was designed using Front Panel Designer and fabricated by Schaeffer AG in Germany.

Display Screen

The image will be displayed on a 5 inch colour LCD display removed from a Sony PSone.


A PCB was designed to hold the push button switches and fabricated by a company in Ireland.




The PCB was mounted on the front panel and used to hold the 5 inch LCD screen in place. Pair of dual concentric rotary encoders were fabricated from CTS288 devices, gearing and bent metal.


The PSone electronics to drive the LCD screen were attached behind the switch PCB.



The design was refined by replacing the fabricated concentric encoders with a better design and adding an electronic interface to enable the use of a VGA input rather than composite video.




The electronics interface to Microsoft Fight Simulator is achieved using a single MasterCard from  Opencockpits to provide and interface to the switches and rotary encoders.

The Finished Unit