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4K Projectors for 737 Sim

Started by sagrada737, April 21, 2021, 01:38:07 AM

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sagrada737

April 21, 2021, 01:38:07 AM Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 04:25:51 PM by sagrada737
Hello Guys,

I finally got around to installing my new Optoma ZH406ST Laser projectors on my 737-800 Sim Project.  The video link below is kind of a show-and-tell of the display quality as seen during an Approach into Munich.  The intent of the video is to share with you what the scenery looks like on an actual flight.
 
I should qualify that these are actually HD projectors that can receive up to 4K input, and down-scale it to HD output.

These three warped and blended Laser Projectors create a 210 degree wrap-around HD display from the 4k input to the ZH406ST projectors.  The effect of this is that the Pixelwix warping software loses about 30% of the pixels in the warping process.  Hence, the loss at 4K resolution before entering the projectors is negated by the down-scaling of the projectors, thus preserving the HD output resolution as seen on the Screen.

In addition, the laser projectors have a very crisp and clean display, which tends to be clearer, with the color more consistent and even across the entire screen for each projector.  This helps a great deal with the Blending of the warped display as projected on the Screen.  By the way...   The 4K projectors used in this video are right out of the box, with no special settings -- all projectors have the same default settings.

On my 737-800 Sim, I am using two computers...  One high-end Gaming PC running at 4.5GHz using P3D v4.5x.  The second computer is a standard PC running the Sim-Avionics 737 Flight Model. The Sim computer also handles the 6dof Motion Platform operations.

The 4K graphic information is a lot for the Sim computer to process, and I would say that I am pushing this system to the max.  I managed to purchase an NVIDIA RTX-3090 graphics card, which runs all three projectors, including a standard HD monitor.  I use optical HDMI cables to the projectors.  The RTX-3090 GPU lives up to its performance claims, and the projected graphics display seem to keep up nicely.  By the way...  These high-end graphics cards are currently very difficult to find, in part due to crypto data mining applications.  If you can find one, it's best to buy it.

Overall, the 210 degree projected display image is much improved over the previous GT1080HD bulb-type projectors that I was using before.  The bulb life on the GT1080HD projectors is around 3,000 hours.  The life on the laser in the projectors is around 30,000 hours.  The Throw-Ratio is 0.5, which is the same as the GT1080HD projectors.  This made physical mounting and projector installation not too difficult.

One thing I did notice during initial testing of the new laser projectors, was that there was some vibration of the projected image when the 6dof Motion Platform was in use.  I determined that this was due to the change in MASS of the projectors, which set up a resonance whenever the Motion Platform was in operation -- Taxi bumps, etc..  To resolve this, I simply place rubber supports on each corner of each projector.  This stabilized each projector and canceled the vibration -- problem is gone.

These Optoma ZH406ST projectors cost around $1,700 and I believe are a good value for their performance

Anyway...  Here is the video to give you an idea of what this setup looks like during an Approach into Munich.  I hope the video is not too boring, so view as much as you like.  Link below...   If you want to get a good sense of the projection quality, watch the video on a Home Theater system, and turn up the sound.

Also...  Here are a wide-angle photo showing the physical installation of the 4k projectors, which are mounted on top of the Sim; and a photo showing the Innsbruck-LOWI FlightLine while parked at Stand 6.  The flight from Innsbruck to either  Munich-EDDM or Salzburg-LOWS is a great flight for testing the Sim.

Mike

Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

kurt-olsson

Holy moly. That picture is really sharp!

Nice!

FredK

Impressive projectors!

Very impressive overall project!

Fred K
Boeing 737NG-800, Prepar3D v4.5, Sim-Avionics 1.964, SimSync multi-channel (curved screen), Optoma 1080GTDarbee projectors (3), Fly Elise warping, FSGRW weather, FDS OH panels and CDUs, SimParts MIP, FDS SysBoards (OH), CPFlight MCPPro and pedestal panels, FI Gauges, PFC controls, converted motorized TQ (SIOC), Weber seats

blueskydriver

Awesome video Mike!

Next, make a video of you flying starting from Cold & Dark to Shutdown, but put the camera on sticks (tripod) back far enough where we can see the entire sim in action (motion). It'd be great to see a T/O, T/G and F/S landing with it all moving....

Kind 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 |

blueskydriver

Hey Mike,

If you make a video like this it'll really help me more than you know...I've been on the fence lately.

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 |

jackpilot

Do not stay on for too long, might hurt !  :D

PS Laser tech more reasonably priced now.


Jack

sagrada737

April 22, 2021, 08:46:25 AM #6 Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 09:19:32 AM by sagrada737
Thanks for the comments guys.  I'm still playing around with the projector system.  The 4k surround display of 12288 x 2160 resolution, plus the 1080p monitor, is really a heavy load on a single graphics card -- even the new RTX-3090.

Jack -- Thanks for the heads up on the login to the Forum.  I didn't see where I could LogOut.  I'll be careful to limit my login time in the future. 
By-the-way...   I think the Galley build on your Sim is absolutely great!  I wish I had room for such an addition with my Sim, but it's impractical with the Motion Platform.

Mike
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

blueskydriver

Is there issue with staying logged into the forum?
| 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 |

ame

I think it's an issue for being on the fence for too long.  ;D

Joe Lavery

Quote from: ame on April 22, 2021, 12:20:17 PMI think it's an issue for being on the fence for too long.  ;D
Or amassing too many projects you can never possibly build 😜
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain

Journalist - writer for  PC Pilot Magazine

sagrada737

April 23, 2021, 12:14:42 PM #10 Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 12:23:57 PM by sagrada737
Hi Guys...   I enjoy a few laughs now and then...  But I see now that my thread has taken a different turn.  I haven't seen this happen too much with other folks on this forum.

Regarding the Login and Logoff...   I see how to login, BUT I don't see where you can "Logout" on the Forum.  Maybe someone could explain or comment on that.

Anyway...  I was simply trying to post a status on my new projectors for my 737 Sim, which I hoped might be of use or interest to others on the Forum.

As an update on the laser projector status...  In order to see the difference in display quality...  I did a calibration with the Laser projectors using a standard 1080p - 1920x1080 HD resolution.  The brightness and clarity of the laser projectors was still there, but the lower resolution as projected on the screen was the same "blurry" quality as I had with the previous Optoma GT1080HD bulb type projectors. 

Changing back to using 4096 x 2160 resolution for each projector, and feeding that into the ZH406ST laser projectors definitely showed a significant improvement on the projected wrap-around screen image, where the "down-scaling" ability of the laser projectors brought the display quality back to true HD quality.

Now, when I say "HD Quality"...  There is definitely a big difference between HD on a PC Monitor, vs. HD as projected on a 210 degree wrap-around screen.  The quality of the PC Monitor wins out every time.   But, you can't get the same effect and Sim Immersion with flat screen segmented monitors, as you can with a nicely done contiguous curved screen type display.    That said, in the real world, it is rare that you have crystal clear seeing as viewed from the cockpit under typical weather conditions.  Thus, I find that there is a big benefit with  projected display quality due to its subdued appearance and balance representing what the Sim is doing on the ground and in flight.  As always, this is highly subjective -- everybody having having their own likes and dislikes...

Safe landings...
Mike
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

jackpilot

Sorry about the perceived "hijacking" of your post. Was not intended to.
Your input is much appreciated as most of us are not at the "laser" stage yet.
As for the logging and logging off, not sure I understand your remark, you may stay logged on as long as you wish. (Re-logging at each visit is a pain in t-b.. .)
This being said, please keep us posted on your visual fine-tuning. 
Jack


Jack

FredK

Regarding projection blurriness...

Keep in mind that if you use a butted image projection method (rather than overlap) you will have a more concentrated screen pixelation density....about 33% more dense. This results in a sharper picture.

That is how I have mine setup using a 4:3 format.

Again, this is a matter of personal preferences regarding the tradeoffs. I have vacillated back and forth but fixated on the butted method about three years ago and never looked back.

Mike.....Were your old Optomas the Darbee model?  The Darbee model is noticeably better than the HD model. I was wondering how running the laser model in HD format compares to the Darbee.

Thanks for the update....you have me thinking about investing in the lasers.  With my multi-channel setup I do have enough CPU overhead to run 4K off off each computer for each separate view.

Fred K
Boeing 737NG-800, Prepar3D v4.5, Sim-Avionics 1.964, SimSync multi-channel (curved screen), Optoma 1080GTDarbee projectors (3), Fly Elise warping, FSGRW weather, FDS OH panels and CDUs, SimParts MIP, FDS SysBoards (OH), CPFlight MCPPro and pedestal panels, FI Gauges, PFC controls, converted motorized TQ (SIOC), Weber seats

sagrada737

Thanks for the comments Jack.  I greatly appreciate your dedication to the CockpitBuilders Forum.

Hey Fred...   Yes...  Your setup with the "butted projector displays" indeed shows greater clarity.  There is something about the fine lines between projectors that kept me from going that route.  That said, as you have pointed out, after a while you don't even notice them anymore.  I agree.

My previous Optoma projectors were the GT1080HD models -- not the latest Darbee models.  Actually, the GT1080HD is still a wonderful projector.  I was just looking for higher resolution.  I may end up selling these here on the Forum, which would be a great value for someone starting out.

The great thing about the Sim building hobby, is that there are all kinds of ways to accomplishing putting together a Sim-- everyone putting their own touches on the Project.

Here is an update on my Projector Calibration...   As I mentioned, I am using PixelWix AutoBlend v3,2.   This is essentially the same product as FlyElise, as they are in partnership together.

For the Grid Calibration setup, I was using 6 Rows and 28 Columns.   This last Calibration run, I doubled the Grid to 12 Rows and 56 Columns.   In the multi-point mode, this allowed me to more easily align the projector overlap, which resulted in a better blending of the projected display.

I just took Carol, my wife, for a test flight to show her the new HD display quality.  She agreed that the projection display quality is significantly improved, and confirmed that investment in the laser projectors was well worth it.

Fred...   Regarding changing out your Darbees for the Optoma ZH406ST laser projectors...   I think this would be a great idea for your setup.   Especially since you have individual computers running each projector.  This would make running 4k into each projector an easy task.  For this, you could use the RTX-3080 GPU, which is less expensive, but quite adequate for the above configuration.  You might not have to change GPUs at all...

I think I am done tweaking the projection system for now.  My next task is to continue on with fabricating the AFT part of the Flight Deck back to the cockpit door.  Onward, and upward...

Mike
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

ame


blueskydriver

Hey Mike,

Definitely appreciate your work and postings/videos; thus, my request of seeing your motion sim in operation from a wider angle.

Regarding, the "being on the fence" comment, it was not meant to take away from your post. Instead, it's the posts and videos from you and a few others here that keep me going or keep me motivated in this hobby. However, those posts/videos have/had been lacking lately.

Plus, the thing is, I've been on the fence about quitting and selling all my flight simulator items off like I did my RC planes. That sounds crazy of me and I didn't want too say it out loud, but I owe you that to clarify what your postings and videos really do for me/us.

Lastly, I keep hinting at visiting and seeing your simulator someday. I still want...need too, but I got one more surgery to go through at the end of May. Then, by August/September I should be healed up and able to road trip to your place...assuming you'll still let me visit  ;D

Kind 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 |

sagrada737

Hey John...   Good to hear from you!  Thanks for your openness and honesty.  I know what you mean about having thoughts of quitting Sim building.   I don't know how many times I came close to tossing my 737 Sim project in the dumpster... :laugh:   Then we come to our senses and persevere.  In the meantime, life goes on, and medical issues can take priority, which in some cases means we must or should shut down hobbies and move on to other things.   That said, I truly wish you well.  I know you will land on your feet no matter what you are involved in.

regarding the videos...  I enjoy making them, but I am not very good at it.  I do hope to do another video showing the Sim on another short flight -- something that will highlight the new projector quality.

Take care, and may you stay well.

Mike
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

blueskydriver

| 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 |

brianwilliamson

Thank you Mike for update on the projectors....very nice .

I am debating which way to go, as your setup I believe does help in some areas, so I am now building a new all out computer just to try the single computer instead of the 3 I am running on 3 projectors at the Moment Basically the same set up that Fred is running.

I am now on my 3rd set of projectors.....

Biggest headache is trying to buy a 3080 video card......what a racket !

Looks great...........Brian W.
3 X 6700K @ 4.4Ghz, W7-64 bit, 3 X GTX 1070-- 3 X Optoma 1020 GT Projectors, Airbus A 320 Flight Sim
plus 3 control computers.

bravolima

Hello Mike,

does this 4K Projectors mminimize or vanish the dark black effect during night-flight? Can you post a few night shots? Warp&Blend with Calibration Pro or similar right?

Thanks in advance

Bernhard
PREPAR3D v4.5 FDS MIP, CDUs, Clocks, Shell, Liners, Tiller; FLIGHTILLUSION Brake-pressure, jaw-damper CPFlight: Overheads, Pedestal; MCP EFIS, OPENCOCKPIT Pedals; FCS: linked Yokes (modified); Weber-Seats on RAIL, ProSim B737 3.0, Aivalsoft EFB Version 2, Navigraph, FSC, BenQ1080 3 Beamer-Visual

sagrada737

Hello Bernhard,

Unfortunately, I do not see any improvement in blending during night flights.  This might show improvement with Fred's approach.

The Pixelwix warp and blend is the same as Calibration Pro.

Mike
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

bravolima

thanks. Good flights, looks great.

Bernhard
PREPAR3D v4.5 FDS MIP, CDUs, Clocks, Shell, Liners, Tiller; FLIGHTILLUSION Brake-pressure, jaw-damper CPFlight: Overheads, Pedestal; MCP EFIS, OPENCOCKPIT Pedals; FCS: linked Yokes (modified); Weber-Seats on RAIL, ProSim B737 3.0, Aivalsoft EFB Version 2, Navigraph, FSC, BenQ1080 3 Beamer-Visual

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