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Author Topic: Newbie, probably basic questions  (Read 5426 times)

Offline zk-tui

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Newbie, probably basic questions
« on: April 12, 2016, 01:02:01 AM »
Hi everyone!
I'm new here but not entirely new to FS. I used to play long ago, but following that niggling feeling, I'm looking to get back into it, in a literal big way!

Basically, I want to build a 737 cockpit (cliché I know, but the 737 is my favourite aircraft!). I'm planning a very DIY build; I know that I'll need to buy some parts, but as much as I can, I'll be aiming to build myself (like the throttles, the shell, the MIP etc.). Really to keep a lot of costs down!

But a really newbie question; how do these cockpits actually work?

I know a standard cockpit has a program like Sim Avionics or ProSim or Project Magenta etc. (the only ones I can name off the top of my head) on one PC which is networked to a PC with FS on it.
  • Is this for computing efficiency? I assume you could do this on one computer but it would be too much stress and FS probably wouldn't run smoothly...?
  • Do these programs just provide visuals and interact with the hardware or do they have the systems modelled? (i.e. you wouldn't connect to the default 737 if it's just the former as it doesn't model the aircraft systems very realistically?).
  • These programs have flight models and sounds available; is this mostly for the most coherent set-up? I assume you could link it to, say, the PMDG 737 NGx, but that this would be harder to set up and link all the controls etc. to the PMDG aircraft in FS?


My assumption, please tell me if I'm correct, is that the FS computer has a 737 plane on it, ideally with all systems modelled. If these systems aren't modelled then you'd essentially have dummy switches on your overhead etc. The FS computer feeds the aircraft data (location, speed, height, engine thrust) which the hardware/instrument PC turns into visuals which in turn is also listening for control inputs and the flicking of switches or moving of throttle levels etc., which it relays back to the FS PC, and so forth.

I think I'm basically confused as to the broad idea behind the setup, because if these programs only provided the visuals, then hypothetically you could do it on one, rather powerful, PC and simply undock the instruments each time (I know, that would be very annoying though!).
Hopefully this isn't confusing what I've written, but I accept it probably is!

Thanks!

Online KyleH

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 09:11:07 AM »
See if this diagram helps explain it better: http://prosim-ar.com/prosim737-suite-modules/

Offline kurt-olsson

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2016, 09:26:26 AM »
I would say, use x-plane and x737 datarefs. Completely free and easy to integrate. Not as sofisticated as prosim but prob will be in acouole of years.

I would also recommend buy some parts instead of building. Like the MIP, the parts you get for your own build will cost, but the finish will be nowhere near simworld or flightdeck solution. My tip is to add some money and go for the professional panels. It separates the "professional" builds from "hobby" for a small amount of money.The cost of your "custom-parts" will always be higher due to "some tool" or "some other component" needing to complete your custom build.

My approach is cheap but NO compromise with scale or looks. But i might lack some functions here and there, but aimung to add step by step.

I might step on some toes here and its up to everyone themself, but if you want to go more custom with integrationsand teensys i reeeealy recommend X-plane instead of FSX.
FSX is ten years old and when i see amazing build cockpits running 18FPS old FSX or P3D with stutters and ugly lightningtextures it breaks my heart. =)



« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 09:30:38 AM by kurt-olsson »

Offline jackpilot

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2016, 10:01:23 AM »
To  make it a simple answer:
1)The FS 737 is a incomplete basic aircraft with next to no systems modeled.

2)Forget PMDG completely. PMDG is a fantastic desktop simulation but not designed to be used on a full cockpit setup. Even if some managed to use it more or less, you're in for trouble.

3) Add one or more networked computers for your avionics software (SimA, Prosim, PM etc)
The avionics software will add all real systems (flight instruments and all electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic systems logic) and use the 737 flightmodel specific to and supplied with the avionic soft of your choice.
One PC for FS and one for avionics is a minimum.

4) Interface each physical switch and annunciator with your avionics computer(s).

5) As said above , start with a professional made MIP. You will save hundreds of hours of work and frustration calculating dimensions and angles and ending up with things that do not fit or match.

6) ask for help here if you need it.... :D
Jack


Jack

Offline 727737Nut

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2016, 12:24:40 PM »
To  make it a simple answer:
1)The FS 737 is a incomplete basic aircraft with next to no systems modeled.

2)Forget PMDG completely. PMDG is a fantastic desktop simulation but not designed to be used on a full cockpit setup. Even if some managed to use it more or less, you're in for trouble.

3) Add one or more networked computers for your avionics software (SimA, Prosim, PM etc)
The avionics software will add all real systems (flight instruments and all electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic systems logic) and use the 737 flightmodel specific to and supplied with the avionic soft of your choice.
One PC for FS and one for avionics is a minimum.

4) Interface each physical switch and annunciator with your avionics computer(s).

5) As said above , start with a professional made MIP. You will save hundreds of hours of work and frustration calculating dimensions and angles and ending up with things that do not fit or match.

6) ask for help here if you need it.... :D
Jack

Sorry, gotta totally disagree with statement #2.  In fact out of all the sim's i've built up to this point, the PMDG only was the most fun simple and enjoyable one I did till the latest 732.  I used a 42" TV, 3 monitors and 2 video cards.  I moved the the PFD ND and EICAS to the remote monitors.  Presto!  Instant perfecly functioning 737 NG with realistic systems running on 1 PC.

Sorry, doesn't get any simpler or better than that.     I h ave used Project Magenta, ProSim, and many PC's  and it is a hassle compared to the PMDG only with multi monitors. 
Just my humble  :2cw:

Rob

FYI, My PC Specs here that I used and still use,
https://www.twitch.tv/raflyer
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 12:28:18 PM by 727737Nut »
737 Junkie

Offline jackpilot

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2016, 02:12:29 PM »
PMDG: Did you manage to interface all switches, rotaries, lights and digit displays  including full  OVH Aft OVH and Pedestal ?


Jack

Offline 727737Nut

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2016, 03:56:20 PM »
PMDG: Did you manage to interface all switches, rotaries, lights and digit displays  including full  OVH Aft OVH and Pedestal ?

PMDG made all those offsets available!   To me it is the ONLY way to go for FSX or P3D   I had a partial O/H as well ;)    There's more than Sim A out there  ;)

Rob
737 Junkie

Offline jackpilot

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2016, 06:35:18 PM »
I know you can do wonders !!!  :)
Most people cant. >:(

PS: I use PM not SimA. :P

Cheers and keep the good work on.!


Jack

Offline zk-tui

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2016, 08:20:53 PM »
Hey, thanks heaps for all the replies!  :)

Well my question has been answere; the avionics pretty much circumvent the FS and do all the systems modelling themselves... Leaving FS just for the scenery.


Quote
I would say, use x-plane and x737 datarefs. Completely free and easy to integrate. Not as sofisticated as prosim but prob will be in acouole of years.

You've said something I was gonna follow up with! I would like to do this all on x-plane (I'll be honest, my memories of MSFS very much have it looking like a game, but x-plane is starting to look nicer along with the amazing looking night lighting - important for a home cockpit as plenty of night flying would be going on!).

The x737 datarefs, is that just assigning the hardware controls to the controls in the aircraft? (And then I assume moving the instrument panels like the PDF to the appropriate screens in the home cockpit).

I know that somepeople (like XOrionFE on this forum) have used x-plane with an avionics suite which to me sounds like a good long term track to go down... But what's the actually advantage in this case of using PM or SA over just moving the instruments and assigning the buttons in x-plane?

Thanks again

Offline kurt-olsson

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 12:55:16 AM »

You've said something I was gonna follow up with! I would like to do this all on x-plane (I'll be honest, my memories of MSFS very much have it looking like a game, but x-plane is starting to look nicer along with the amazing looking night lighting - important for a home cockpit as plenty of night flying would be going on!).

The x737 datarefs, is that just assigning the hardware controls to the controls in the aircraft? (And then I assume moving the instrument panels like the PDF to the appropriate screens in the home cockpit).

I know that somepeople (like XOrionFE on this forum) have used x-plane with an avionics suite which to me sounds like a good long term track to go down... But what's the actually advantage in this case of using PM or SA over just moving the instruments and assigning the buttons in x-plane?

Thanks again

Yes, i have integrated the whole mcp this way. It does need some level of scripting if you go with teensy and this way.

The advantage with Prosim and other software like this is that you dont have to write one line of code in most cases. You do the setup in their software. ( that is why it cost)

I havent setup the PFD and NAV display yet but i am sure there are lots of options. Worst case, one more computer and zoom these screens in the new v5 model of the x737

« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 12:58:16 AM by kurt-olsson »

Offline jackpilot

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2016, 09:40:19 AM »
Hey, thanks heaps for all the replies!  :)

But what's the actually advantage in this case of using PM or SA over just moving the instruments and assigning the buttons in x-plane?

Thanks again

The avionics suite is more than lifesize and smooth instruments like PFD/ND/EICAS it contains the logic which makes all systems work together.


Jack

Offline zk-tui

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2016, 01:31:14 AM »
Awesome; so what I'm reading into here. It's obviously possible to just link monitors and switches to an actual addon aircraft but the most comprehensive and best user experience is really gained through using the avionics software.

I'm not shy of code, so I'm not sure what my best path for the future I wonder might be at first linking to an addon before migrating properly to an avionics suite? (They're not cheap; and doing this all in stages appeals to me).

Have others done it this way in past? Admittedly, I'm getting very excited about the whole process and I think my first step will be to do a TQ. (Good first challenge and it should be one I can use off the bat as a usb controller).

Offline kurt-olsson

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2016, 01:49:02 AM »
The thing that is important to me is platform independence. I would not buy any hardware gear that only supports fsx. That is one reason i do the integration myself (and because its the greatest hobby ever).

I would have bought the simworld if they just made the outputs readable to a controller. Maybe its possible with tweak but also, if you build you can repair and be in total control of your hardware.

Start small and see if you like it. Throttle is hard due to mechanics and not by software.

Offline jackpilot

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2016, 08:05:24 AM »
You do not need any add-on. Spend your money wisely.
To get the hang of cockpitbuilding and its possibilities use the default  FSX 737 and add this bargain avionics suite which will open a new world to you, read the site from A to B and you will start to figure things out.
http://www.aerosoft.com.au/aerosoft_australia/home.html
http://www.aerosoft.com.au/aerosoft_australia/set_up.html
Jack
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 08:09:19 AM by jackpilot »


Jack

Offline kurt-olsson

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2016, 10:37:17 AM »
That aerosoft package looks sweet. Wonder what the best package for x-plane is? Xhsi or some other display-renderer.

Offline XOrionFE

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2016, 03:09:16 PM »
I will jump in here.    When it comes to the 737 and X-Plane I believe you have really only 2 choices with a third coming....

For an NG you would use a combination of the x737 (with its plugin removed) along with XPUIPC and Sim-Avionics.    I have run this and there are some other extremely experienced builders who have this currently running and working great.   The x737 itself does not have all the features needed to run a full NG cockpit.   Sim-A gives what you need.     Whilst Prosim is also great Avionics it unfortunately still does not support X-Plane integration.   So if you want X-Plane and an NG then you need to buy Sim-A.

Now, 737-200, you could go the route Rob and I have taken and use the FlyJSim 732 in X-Plane and program all of the interfacing to whatever panels, switches, and gauges you have using Arduino.  Daunting but a great option as you have a lot of control over your build.   In our case using real panels and gauges takes the realism to an entirely different level.

Finally, there is a 737-300 Classic coming for X-Plane from IXEG that shows great promise and would be completely workable in theory with direct datarefs and whatever panels you have available.

That is pretty much all of your options for a 737 in the X-plane world.   

As for FSX and P3D....they suck!   JUST KIDDING GUYS!    :P   

Flame away  ;D

Scott

Offline Ridgenj

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Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2016, 05:16:21 PM »
Scott and fellows, for the NG/x737 alternative, any arsuino/teensy interfacing experience?

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk


Offline kurt-olsson

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2016, 01:41:33 AM »
I am currently integrating the x737, but i know there are some system lacking, like the aft overhead irs alignment for example.

I will try to integrate ixeg 737-300 and see if i can draw the displays in NG style, other than that the datarefs should be pretty much the same as the -800.

Offline zk-tui

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2016, 05:12:39 AM »
Hey,

What was mentioned above about the IXEG 737, this is something I've been following a bit... I must say, I'm at a bit of a fork in the road...

The 737-300 is actually my favourite aircraft, but the 737NG has way more support. With the IXEG coming, I'm still considering doing a 737 classic. The only thing that's very obviously different between the NG and Classic is the MIP. For all intensive purposes, the overheads are basically the same, pedestal very similar and I know that some classics have the NG style FMC installed. (Basically I wouldn't be overly particular for anything other than the MIP in terms of visuals...).

My understanding is that the datarefs is the data x-plane sends out to interface (thinks like, say, the vhf 1 frequency). But if I were to use the IXEG, how would the PFD and ND be sent to the actual cockpit screens? (How is it done with the x737 when not using an avionics suite?)

As for that aerosoft avionics, that looks like a really good option! (Although possibly doesn't cover overhead panel...? But then again, you could just use datarefs for that...?)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 05:19:32 AM by zk-tui »

Offline zk-tui

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2016, 01:29:54 AM »
So...  IXEG has been announced... http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/102525-ixeg-737-release-date-announced/

Now, I've been thinking on it... I really want to give a 737-300 a try. In the screenshot below I've got what I would think the basic MIP idea would be. I would guess over time, I would swap the left and right screens with smaller ones for the PFD and ND and either acquire or make actual gauges.
I've put a screenshot of what my rough plan is...

My plan is to do this in x-plane (with the IXEG obviously). So I'm assuming that the datarefs that I understand will be available on this aircraft would be used to interface the controls.
But what about the instruments, particularly the PFD and ND? How is something like this done in the case that I'm not using pre-existing avionics software? (As far as I know, there are no programs for the classic 737...)
Again, got a pic below of a flow chart that I think describes what my thinking is...

Hopefully I can start on some sort of construction for this in the next month or so!

Offline lorenzinmarco

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2018, 02:30:08 PM »
Have you had problems moving PFD and ND displays to monitors?
I have FSX with PMDG737. I undocked PFD and ND displays and I moved them to another monitor. I also resized undocked windows and saved the flight.
Starting PMDG737 from cold & dark, display images don't fit to resized windows. Was it happened to you?

Offline Trevor Hale

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Re: Newbie, probably basic questions
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2018, 05:31:44 PM »
I have never heard of that issue..  It would depend if the resolutions of your monitors changed or not.

You should be able to undock your windows, move them and save the flight.

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