Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Welcome to the OpenHornet FAQ page! Here, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions to help you navigate your OpenHornet journey with ease. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced builder, this resource will provide valuable insights, troubleshooting tips, and important information about the project. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, feel free to reach out to our community or contact us directly. Let’s dive in and unravel the mysteries surrounding OpenHornet!

Why doesn’t the OpenHornet stick have force feedback?2023-07-28T12:34:26-07:00

Simply put, the decision not to include force feedback in the OpenHornet stick was mainly based on how the real F/A-18C operates. In reality, the actual F/A-18C aircraft doesn’t have force feedback in its stick, except for a specific mode called “mechanical reversion FCS mode,” which is extremely rarely used by pilots in the DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) community.

Since the mechanical reversion mode is seldom if ever used, incorporating force feedback in the OpenHornet stick would have added extra cost and complexity, without providing much practical benefit for most users.

But the flight manual mentions AOA feedback and stick force increase with AOA.

You are correct in noting that the real F/A-18C flight manual mentions AOA (Angle of Attack) feedback, which means that as the aircraft’s angle of attack increases above 22°, the stick force also increases.

In the F/A-18C, the stick input rate to the Flight Control System (FCS) decreases as the AOA angle increases. This means that the pilot needs to move the stick over a larger range of motion to achieve the same control surface deflection compared to making the same input at a lower AOA. Moving the stick to a higher deflection angle requires more force which in turn generates the force increase described in the manual.

The OpenHornet stick was designed to faithfully replicate the real aircraft’s range of motion, force gradients, breakout forces, and dampening forces. While it may not have active force feedback, it does provide accurate force responses based on the real F/A-18C’s design, ensuring an authentic flight experience for users.

Where is the OpenHornet software for the ABSIS PCBs available from?2023-06-18T10:03:36-07:00

It is not yet available, as the Beta1 Release is strictly for hardware (structure/electronics), but will be released with a future release. We are hoping for community engagement and contribution on developing the software.

That said, a ton of builders have written their own already and if you reach out on the Discord server, I’m sure they would be happy to help you.

Please note the software will be hosted in a separate GitHub repository than the main OpenHornet repository.

Where can I find the OpenHornet release files?2023-06-18T08:44:55-07:00
Where are the drawings, manufacturing files, parts lists, etc?2024-02-26T11:26:42-07:00

The drawings, manufacturing files, parts lists, etc. are all available from the Build Package. Check out the Start Here page to download the latest build package!

What version of DCS-BIOS does OpenHornet use?2024-03-25T20:43:06-07:00

We only support the DCS-Skunkworks (formerly DCSFlightPanels) branch of DCS-BIOS, available here: DCSSkunkWorks DCS-BIOS Fork

What tools do I need?2023-06-18T09:01:37-07:00

Our minimum tooling requirements are listed on the Start Here page. Check it out!

What specific wires do I need for which buttons and screens?2023-06-18T09:19:56-07:00

Follow the OH-INTERCONNECT drawing in the build package. You can download the build package from the Start Here page.

What sound system should I use for my sim?2023-06-18T09:54:36-07:00

We are flattered that you would like us to recommend you a surround sound system for your pit! There is a vast range of configurations and prices for surround sound solutions available on the market. Therefore, OpenHornet recommends builders choose whatever is available locally to them that suits their budget and individual requirements.

What phases of the OpenHornet build are there?2023-06-18T08:51:34-07:00

The build mainly consists of painting, structure, electronics, and software.


You will have to fabricate the MDF, Acrylic, 3D printed parts. These include:

  • Upper Instrument Panel (UIP)
  • Lower Instrument Panel (LIP)
  • Left Console
  • Right Console
  • Center Tub
  • Seat
  • Flight Stick
  • Throttle

After fabrication, you will need to paint the parts and assemble the parts.


  • Wiring
  • Backlighting
  • Panels
  • Screens
  • PCBs
  • Arduinos
  • Gauges


  • Arduino Code/Sketches
  • DCS Bios Setup


What metric MDF sizes can be substituted for the OpenHornet specified imperial ones?2023-08-21T15:56:33-07:00

OpenHornet is designed to use .75″ (3/4″), .50″ (1/2″), and .25″ (1/4″) thicknesses of MDF.

Some of our metric builders have substituted 6mm, 12mm and 19mm MDF successfully with a minimum of tweaks to the printed parts.

What displays should I use for the internal displays (DDI, AMPCD, IFEI, SARI and RWR)?2023-06-18T09:10:51-07:00

OpenHornet specifies all the screens required for the pit in our build package drawings. Download the build package from the Start Here page, and then navigate to the drawings of the parts that contain the displays. A part number is listed in the parts list for the screens.

Is there a walkthrough for wiring my OpenHornet?2023-06-18T09:19:20-07:00

Yes! Reference the OH-INTERCONNECT drawing in the build package. You can download the build package from the Start Here page.

I’d like to try making the structure or other flat parts by hand instead of using a CNC.2023-07-17T11:20:37-07:00

OpenHornet assumes all builders are using a CNC router so we don’t fully detail the CNC’d/flat parts on the drawings.

Don’t despair! A number of builders have successfully built the structure and associated parts by hand, using common woodworking techniques. You will need to layout all the SVGs contained in the build package so you can print them at 1:1 scale, and then use the resulting printouts as a template as you fabricate the parts.

I have the build package, but I really need the Fusion360 models?2023-06-18T11:32:23-07:00
How much MDF do I need to build the OpenHornet structure?2023-07-28T12:06:29-07:00

Approximately 4x 4×8′ sheets of .75″ (3/4) MDF, 1x sheet of .50 (1/2) MDF, 1x sheet of .25 (1/4) MDF.

Note that OpenHornet has designed to utilizing MDF. Any material substitutions are at your own risk.

How does an IO board/PCB work and how do I attach stuff?2023-06-18T09:25:46-07:00

The Arduino Based Simulator Interface System (ABSIS) is an Arduino-based electronics solution designed by the OpenHornet team. It consists of various PCBs that Arduinos are connected to, then you simply download (or write if you are adventurous,) the Arduino “sketch” to the Arduino and wire the PCB to the panel/component and into the system IAW the OH-INTERCONNECT drawing.

How do I mount the internal displays?2023-06-18T09:13:27-07:00

All displays are installed using the relevant 3D printed mounting structures specified in their relevant assemblies.

How do I make buttons work?2023-06-18T09:18:00-07:00

OpenHornet features its own electronics layer/system called ABSIS (Arduino Based Simulator Interface System). Obtain the correct PCBs by having them fabricated at JLCPCB from the manufacturing files in the build package, purchase them from an OpenHornet Authorized Vendor, or arrange a group buy in the Discord server!

Once you have the PCBs, you will wire everything in accordance with the OH-INTERCONNECT drawing in the build package. You can download the build package from the Start Here page.




Do third party (non-OpenHornet) panels fit the OpenHornet frame/structure?2023-06-18T08:39:35-07:00

The OpenHornet team has not tested any third party panel for compatibility with OpenHornet, so we can’t officially say yes or no. That said, several builders have tried various third party panels, and they generally do not fit.

Do I need connectors?2023-06-18T09:21:03-07:00

Yes. We primarily use DuPont and MOLEX connectors and several others. Follow the OH-INTERCONNECT drawing in the build package. You can download the build package from the Start Here page.

Do I have to attach the connectors myself or are there pre-crimped wires?2023-06-18T09:22:49-07:00

There are pre-crimped Dupont and Molex wires, just search for them on eBay or Aliexpress.

Buying several hundred (or thousand if you are Noctum) is a great way to spend your time wiring instead of crimping for not much more than just the wires and crimps would cost. You will still want to have the appropriate crimping tools for the oddball case of having to crimp your own connectors.

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