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Introduction to PHCC

PHCC stands for PIC HomeCockpit Controller. "PIC" refers the the line of microcontrollers made by Microchip Technology and are used as the "brains" of the PHCC system.

What is it?

PHCC was designed for flight simulation enthusiasts who like to build (part of) their own cockpit at home. (These people are sometimes also called "Simbuilders")

PHCC is an inexpensive way to provide real-world input and output to your flight simulation software. As such, PHCC is between your computer running the flight simulator software, and your cockpit hardware.

This gives you the opportunity to connect switches, LEDs, 7-segment displays, motors, servos, and many more to your home cockpit.


  • cheap
  • modular and extensible
    • one 100x160mm "motherboard"
    • daughterboards for switch controllers, display controllers, stepper controllers, digital out, servos, USB
  • if other solutions don't cut it anymore :-)
  • up to 1024 switches/push buttons
    • why so many ?
      • count things up: 3 CDUs, glareshield, MIP, pedestal, overhead, circuit breaker overhead, and more
    • can be upgraded in steps of 64 per daughterboard
  • 35 channels analog in
    • 3 primary: eg for aileron,elevator,rudder
    • 32 secondary: eg for throttles, reversers, toe brakes, steering tiller, radio volume control, brightness,...
  • unlimited 8bit digital out channels, used for:
    • 7 segment displays (including the often neglected decimal point)
    • LEDs
    • stepper control via H-bridge drivers
    • character LCDisplays
    • Relays/solenoids
    • lamps/Korry switches and indicators
  • servos
  • analog out (ADC using PWM)
  • uses 1 RS-232 Serial Port
    • USB daughterboard available
  • based on a PIC 18F4X2
  • uses standard components: MAX232, serveral 74HCxxx and 74HCTxxx
  • costs: (not counting the displays, LEDs, switches, pots, steppers and servos)
    • motherboard: about 35-40 EUR (includes all analog in channels)
    • daughterboards
      • switch controller 5-10 EUR every 64 switches. (about 2 EUR if you have switches w/ built-in diodes and you want to solder everything on the board)
      • check subpages for details of other daughterboards
  • all software is open source/free software according to GPL
    • this includes
      • firmware (PIC assembly language)
      • and controlling software on the host (PC) that talks (at least) to the flightgear simulator (FlightGear)
      • kernel drivers (eg. for the analog channels used for joystick input)
    • usually third party software is also released as open source, or at least as freeware