If you don’t know what the Knobster is all about, you should really check out my articles on it, but I will tell you what it is, in a nutshell.
But, trust me, you need to go a bit deeper in trying to understand what it is because the concept, while simple, can be a bit confusing at first.
The Knobster is a small hardware unit, developed by Sim Innovations that has 3 controls: 2 rotary encoders and 1 push button. Basically, the top encoder can be pushed.
It sounds like nothing special, right? Rotary encoders to change your COM or NAV or barometric pressure or whatever. Nice. So, we need a bunch of them for everything we need to change in our aircraft.
That’s the beauty of it. You only need 1 Knobster to control multiple instruments.
You see, Sim Innovations developed a plugin (for X-Plane first) that allows you to select a instrument and control it, by using the push button.
Here’s how it works: the plugin shows you a panel inside the sim, with a list of instruments. You can push the upper rotary encoder for a bit less than half a second and that will allow you to use the same encoder (by rotating it this time) to select another instrument. Push the encoder again and the instrument is selected.
How you can rotate both encoders to change whatever instrument you selected.
Easy, fast and intuitive.
It really one of those little pieces of hardware that I think don’t get enough credit for what it does.
And now Sim Innovations has finally released a plugin for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The plugin, which you can download here, is very easy to install and use. Just double-click the executable and go. Then, inside MSFS, you’ll get a new menu item for the Knobster, which shows you the panel. You can add or remove instruments from the existing presets to remove any clutter from the list.
And you can also add your own stuff, via a simple JSON file. Pretty sweet.
If you hadn’t heard about the Knobster yet and you are not fully convinced, I really recommend you take a look at my articles about it. I love well-thought out hardware and software and this is just one of those products that I definitely give my stamp of approval.