The VKB Gunfighter with the Kosmosima grip appears to be a beautiful piece of equipment for simulated flying, but one feature that (you didn’t know) is missing is an alphanumeric keypad. In a brilliant feat of meshing simulated and actual military parts, hacker “MelkorsGreatestHits,” added an actual Rockwell Collins keypad to his simulated flightstick.
The keys of the new alphanumeric panel were mapped out with the help of a 37-pin connector breakout board, then piped Teensy 2.0. The Teensy passes data along as a USB HID device [device device?] to the flight sim computer, allowing it to be mapped to any game — or presumably used as an actual keyboard. The joystick conveniently fits through the built-in rectangular hole in the pad, enabling both to coexist without any modification to the already very nice joystick.
As you might note from the build pictures, the “stick” now has two USB cables, one for the Gunfighter, and the other for the keypad, keeping things nicely separate. It’s a truly beautiful project to behold, though in action one might wonder how you can use the keypad while its under your forearm. For quick messages in the heat of simulated battle, however, this has to be a fun piece of kit!