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Author Topic: Hardware Questions  (Read 1640 times)

Offline jmlohrenz

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Hardware Questions
« on: February 20, 2018, 11:54:09 PM »
I have a rather tight budget, so getting plug and play components are pretty much out of the question for me.  I don't mind the time, blood, sweat and tears it'll take to get it operational.  For me that's a good portion of the fun.

Anybody use FlightSimulatorParts for panels?  They have a nice 'starter kit' that I'm looking at and they are offering me a pretty good deal yet to boot after e-mailing them back and forth.

I'm planning to use the FDS SYS1-XT for the overhead components, and the FDS SYS4 for the MIP.  I won't have the servo gauges this time around, so I don't need an interface at this time.

Also looking at some used opencockpits P-N-P MCP and EFIS that I can get rather cheap.

I've got a saitek radio panel id' be using for now, and also a CH throttle quadrant, yoke, and pedals.

Am I opening a can of worms mixing and matching these components or should it be OK?

I'm looking to interface with iFly's 737 CBE.  I'd love to get prosim, but it is just not in my budget at this time.  Maybe sometime at a later date, but for a 1/3 of the cost, I can't complain.

Might be building the 'Airliner-X' from SimSamauri as I have a lot of materials already sitting around after just finishing my house a couple years ago or looking to buy something for the cockpit...not sure yet on that one.

Lots of questions at once I know, but thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 11:57:12 PM by jmlohrenz »

Offline Atomic_Sheep

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 06:36:51 AM »
Building a cockpit at some point gets to the point of, you just need to spend money. Don't expect blood sweat and tears to mean free or next to free.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 06:37:22 AM by Atomic_Sheep »

Offline Bob Reed

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 07:44:06 AM »
Just go slow. Pick a section and work on that section. I would pick the MIP and start there. As for mixing interfaces, I would not worry too much about that. I am using several different manufactures and all works well. Things will change as you go. As you progress you will learn, as you learn you will get better and as you get better you will see better ways to do things. The old adage, measure twice cut once? Well do this in triplicate when shopping for parts, interfaces. Double and triple look at specs and ask lots of questions to the manufacturer. If they do not want to answer your questions, or to you, they seem to take too long to respond? Pick another because it won't get better once they have your money.... Everyone will approach the same task differently. Does not make any one way the "right" way. Enjoy this hobby the way it was intended to be... It will keep you busy. You will enjoy it, hate it and be extremely frustrated with it. And there will be just as many times you will be in heaven with it.. Oh and probably all in the same hour!!  :P

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 01:21:21 AM »
Hey Jason,

We've PM already, but I just wanted too let you know in regards to your questions above, that you need to visit me soon. My surgery went well and I'm on the mend...

Also, Scott is open for visits and he is an amazing builder, so you should plan a trip to his place, just PM him and provide some details about your goals. Heck, I am even planning a re-visit...lol...sans Mask and Gloves (right Scott); hopefully, it'll be mid March  :)

Best Regards,

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Offline Atomic_Sheep

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2018, 04:33:21 AM »
Don't take my words as discouragement, I'm just trying to add some reality checks along the way. I thought that I was going to be able to build something amazing on the cheap. Unfortunately, the way it basically goes is, the closer to reality you want something, the more you have to pay. Just bare that in mind. You'll learn a lot doing it this way and sounds like you've got the right attitude in this regard.

Offline jackpilot

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2018, 08:19:30 AM »
Beware: reality is an illusion, just sit in a real NG, touch controls and knobs and you will soon realize that the best sim you can ever build will be a pale plastic imitation of it.
(That is why Rob/Scott classics are so appealing.)
Budget is the main concern, hence why do we have to spend fortunes and hours on trying to duplicate the exact shape, layout or screws size and number of the real cockpit.
Let's talk about the NG for instance: the upper and lower engine DUs are not aligned vertically as in the A320 because Boeing did'nt start with a clean sheet in the first place. But we copy it faithfully even if it looks odd.

My point is: You can alternatively design your own cockpit MIP around cheaper solutions (General size of the cockpit, monitors size and positioning, location of knobs, gear etc) Using a two bay pedestal (which solves the J-Rails issue) Build your own TQ based on a much cleaner and easier design (777/87 style) , design a modern and short landing gear lever (instead of that huge ugly rod ) even use a stick (à la Airbus) instead of a costly yoke etc etc
Because Boeing did it their way does not mean you have to!

Meanwhile you can use all the nice avionics displays and logics available today, which will work perfectly with your own personal re engineered 737.
A lot of money can be saved that way and you can end up with a very convincing airplane!

Just my 2cents Guys.





Jack

Offline jmlohrenz

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2018, 10:33:00 AM »
Appreciate the opinions, but would like any personal experience with tie items I listed.  I think you may have misconstrued my desire to be budget minded to wanting to do things cheap.  I enjoy the challenge of designing and building.  While the plug and play options out there are expensive and ready to go, I like understanding how it works, how it's interfaced etc and the pride and probably frustration that comes from doing it myself.  It may take longer, but I enjoy the fact that after I've finished I can say, I did that.
My career in IT and ethanol plant management has been around designing, optimizing, and managing complex systems.  In my spare time before delving into this hobby I restored old snowmobiles and rebuilt engines for classic cars. So I've got the background to manage the wiring, programming, and interfacing.
I've already invested close to $4k in my computer(s) setup so by tight budget, that is relative too.  Anywho, just wanted to clear that up as I'm sure there are a lot of novices that jump in only to realize how overwhelming this can be.  I've noticed that as I've been finding lots of items on the secondary market by guys/gals who wanted to to this, bought a bunch of stuff, and then throw in the towel due to the complexity and time.

Heck if I don't fly this thing for a year because of the time it takes to build it that is fine with me.

Offline Atomic_Sheep

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 04:20:31 AM »
Sounds like you might just finish this thing. Although I think it might take more than a year, but hey, whatever it takes.

Sorry can't comment in relation to the products you were asking about, no experience with them.

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2018, 05:15:27 AM »
Hi Jason,

Again, I suggest you come visit me as soon as possible...not to sell you stuff, but too answer those questions whirling around in your head...yes, whirling...lol!

Seriously, I cannot phantom the idea of what my life was like before flight simulators and after all these years, I can tell you everything I do revolves around it. Try to imagine starting with a CH Yoke/Pedals/Throttle setup for a desktop computer and FS9 (before FS9, it was just a mouse and keyboard). Then, as of this very moment, I am sitting in a 40'x60' building that is bigger then my house in square footage and its sole purpose is for flight simulator(s).

In other words, going from the family room to the garage to this building has all been a result of doing this hobby. Mind you, I am by no means bragging at all, I am just saying that once you start, it will always be like this; build, fly, build some more, fly, build 3 times over the amount of flying, build again, fly some more, and then finally sell it all off in order to go bigger, better or relieve boredom (yes, you can become bored with a simulator setup...ask Scott, Rob, Trevor, Bob and the list goes on...lol.

Anyway, my whole point here is, please, please and please again go visit a sim builder before going any further. I cannot stress this enough because you will find that what you see in those website pictures or YouTube videos does not truly reflect the 5 W's and the H (Who, What, When, Where and Why, plus How) of flight simulator projects. And, please do not take what I am saying as discouragement; instead, I am saying that it is a huge encouragement too see, hear, feel, and smell a real cockpit or one that someone has built.

Finally, like Jack says, you do not have to replicate your sim too be exactly 1:1 to the real thing, nor use all the same materials. Just ask any real pilot about the differences in the real plane you wish to build and they will most likely say "no two planes are exactly alike". Additionally, it does not matter what the outside looks like, it can be a box shape or any shape really, just as long as the inside looks close to the plane you're replicating...if you look at all the real airline simulators, they're either a box or combination of a box and a saucer cup shape. Take a look at this video:

https://youtu.be/SIQSIuLojCU

Or, you can go the Jim Price way, like many of us have; look here:

https://youtu.be/J5BmA3ejyHY

Whatever direction go, just enjoy yourself and have fun, because that is one of the main reasons for doing this hobby...

John

Ps PM me, if you want too come visit...
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Online bernard S

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2018, 01:13:57 PM »
okay   I be the one to tell you how it is  .. and i will not pull any punches but give it to you direct ...

because of yiur budget constraints   its just not going happen .. it's that simple .. yiu way better off just getting a cdu.. and mcp..from fds .. and enjoy your desktop sim

it's cleaner its faster and its doable ... and get get simple desk top controls .. do not be fooled .. it takes years and years and years .. and bucket loads of money .. these guys will never tell you how much they have into.it ..not will.anyone admit they coukd not resell  for what they into it ..

okay say you bite down hard wife says sure darling buikd your sim.. what you going to do with it at end ..? o am not being harse just trying to get you to.understandvwhat yiu letting self in for ..

before you even start first qurstion where to house it .. the list of what needs to be done first will prolly scare you lol





Online Joe Lavery

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2018, 01:58:22 PM »
Jason,
Most of us who frequent this forum have been where you are now, and Bernard is right, if just a little bit jaded. Not really the way to encourage new members.  8)

However it took me nearly three years to get mine into a flying state and the best advice I was given was to get it flying ASAP. Even if you don't get all the components working at first. Stop and enjoy the flying, or it will (as Bernard rightly said "become a chore"). As you've already found out many people never finish their projects, yet with your expertise you should make it I feel.

To be truthful most of the folk here never finish their systems either, there's always that new bit of kit to add, or changing something that you were never quite happy with. In fact I'm in the middles of making a new set of pedals, 2 new yokes and a new TQ, but I still have a system that works, so I can still enjoy the occasional flight until I get everything installed again... One day.... ::)

As ever just  :2cw:
Best of luck
Joe.
'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!'

www.pcpilot.net


Online bernard S

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2018, 11:29:15 PM »
here's a more balanced response...... my sim is built in a real deck and i havev100 percent OEM parts wired to the aircraft computers ..coupled to a full collimated.display ... full.arinic interfacing etc etc etc .. I suggest a trip to tx so you can see touch and feel the extreme end of this hobby.... do not be alarmed there are compromises   but it going to require a couple of visits to people's sims i think all of us tgat dontnmind come and play days ..from these visits people will.share with younthr experience they have had only the way more openly than in a forum

the three major considerations are :

1  time    its the one thing you can not get back   why do I putting first.. the amount of time you have free and unrestricted by life family etc etc  is going to effect the complexity of your chosen sim.

2.. space .. you have never have enough and relates directly to.point 1

3  budget    be realistic its going to cost way more than you first may think  add tools wires crips the list is endless

my suggestion would be add from a desktop enviroment and always always always  keep it flying..

make friends  you can not build all by yourself and study study best wishes for your buikd

Offline fsaviator

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 11:19:36 PM »
I think I'll weigh in here now as I've been doing this for a while from the more realistic side of the budget.

I'm on my third 737 build (for various reasons you can search back and read).  I've also put together a couple of GA builds over the years.

I've gone the build it myself route; I've gone the convert OEM route; I've gone the cheapest (best deal) from each manufacturer and make them all work together route.  I've easily spent at least $40K on just the parts I'm using now, not counting the boxes of OEM and simulation parts, pieces, panels, modules, and PC equipment in my garage.

I've learned how to program; how to work sheet metal; how to powdercoat; how to work with MDF; how to build and use a CNC; how to use a laser cutter; how to CAD; how to solder, weld and cut.

I've told myself I love the building more than the flying; the challenge is better than than the easy buy; the work is worth the wait.

If you want to fly your sim instead of build it:  Pick a reputable manufacturer, buy it all in one fell swoop, assemble it and fly it....  Any other route will take ALL your free time and lead you to the same frustration that you mention you've seen in others.

subscribe to this channel on youtube to see what it is like to just fly... all the time (motion platform aside): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFrr16hu6X_-mnVaIGJZ5MA.  Nico flies every day.

Bottom line:  the faster you get up flying the better your chance of sticking with it (at least until you've sunk so much money into it you have to stick around).

My advice:  Buy an MCP, an FMC, and outfit a pedestal with 2x COMM, 2x NAV and invest in a good yoke, TQ, and rudders.  Pick an avionics suite and commit.  Don't worry about 180 degree visuals yet.  Buy a nice HD 60" screen for your front visuals that you can add to later for other views.  Now fly...  alot.  See if you really like sitting in a cockpit for four hours staring at the scenery.  If not... scroll up and read Jack's post.

Hope this helps you (and others as this isn't the first time we old-timers have had this conversation)

Warren "MTN385"
Florida

http://www.B737NG-SIM.com and https://www.facebook.com/fsaviator on facebook
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Offline KyleH

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2018, 10:54:37 AM »
I think I'll weigh in here now as I've been doing this for a while from the more realistic side of the budget.

I'm on my third 737 build (for various reasons you can search back and read).  I've also put together a couple of GA builds over the years.

I've gone the build it myself route; I've gone the convert OEM route; I've gone the cheapest (best deal) from each manufacturer and make them all work together route.  I've easily spent at least $40K on just the parts I'm using now, not counting the boxes of OEM and simulation parts, pieces, panels, modules, and PC equipment in my garage.

I've learned how to program; how to work sheet metal; how to powdercoat; how to work with MDF; how to build and use a CNC; how to use a laser cutter; how to CAD; how to solder, weld and cut.

I've told myself I love the building more than the flying; the challenge is better than than the easy buy; the work is worth the wait.

If you want to fly your sim instead of build it:  Pick a reputable manufacturer, buy it all in one fell swoop, assemble it and fly it....  Any other route will take ALL your free time and lead you to the same frustration that you mention you've seen in others.

subscribe to this channel on youtube to see what it is like to just fly... all the time (motion platform aside): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFrr16hu6X_-mnVaIGJZ5MA.  Nico flies every day.

Bottom line:  the faster you get up flying the better your chance of sticking with it (at least until you've sunk so much money into it you have to stick around).

My advice:  Buy an MCP, an FMC, and outfit a pedestal with 2x COMM, 2x NAV and invest in a good yoke, TQ, and rudders.  Pick an avionics suite and commit.  Don't worry about 180 degree visuals yet.  Buy a nice HD 60" screen for your front visuals that you can add to later for other views.  Now fly...  alot.  See if you really like sitting in a cockpit for four hours staring at the scenery.  If not... scroll up and read Jack's post.

Hope this helps you (and others as this isn't the first time we old-timers have had this conversation)

+1 from me.
Well said Warren.

Offline jmlohrenz

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2018, 11:51:32 AM »
Thanks all for the feedback.  Yep, I'm fully planning to keep my existing desktop setup functional until I can move over to my new cockpit...mainly for that reason.  I can still enjoy flying, while working on the next level up.

Offline fsaviator

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Re: Hardware Questions
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2018, 08:26:45 PM »
Thanks all for the feedback.  Yep, I'm fully planning to keep my existing desktop setup functional until I can move over to my new cockpit...mainly for that reason.  I can still enjoy flying, while working on the next level up.

Perfect!  Please don't think anyone here is trying to discourage you.  We just want everyone jumping in eye's wide open.

You have access here, to the most experienced and varied range of builders I have ever seen.  If you can't get an answer here, it probably hasn't been answered yet.  We just ask that you utilize the search function first!

Jump on in, the water's great!
Warren "MTN385"
Florida

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FSX, Prosim737 Suite, FDS DSTD 2.0 MIP, RevSim Proline TQ, ACE Dual-linked Yokes, Intel 3.5GHz i7-3770K, MSI Z77A-G45, 16GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400, Galaxy GTX670 GC 4GB, OCZ 60GB Vertex 3

 

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