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Now or Never - another 737 builder

Started by RPPerry3, December 19, 2018, 08:24:45 PM

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RPPerry3

Hi everyone,  My name is Paul, I'm 34 and I was bitten by the Flight Sim bug nearly a year ago to the day.  My first sim is X-Plane 11 and I'm an infant in flight sim years with 120 hrs logged.  After researching for nearly 6 months I feel I've learned enough to finally embark on my cockpit building journey but I have a lot of challenges ahead.  I'm fairly good mechanically and with electronics and I think this will be a real test to the skills I've built up over the years.  I've built 2 "DIY" CNC machines and my latest with 4'x4' work envelope will make most of this possible. I have a modest sized home at around 1,300 ft2, and will have to build the sim in my garage (plenty of room!)  However, due to the humid and hot climate of South Carolina, I'll be building a fully enclosed sim witch will require a dedicated portable A/C unit with dehumidifier for use. I hope I don't get too discouraged along the way but it's bound to happen as most things in life worth pursuing bring headaches, drinking, or excessive profanity.  I'm really excited to get started on my sim but even with months of research and prep I'm really uncertain of the DIY electronics and interfacing.  I'm guessing it's like flying on VATSIM... It's scary at first, but the more I do it the more I accomplish so maybe the best thing to do is just pick somewhere small and get started!  Any and All advice is welcome, here are few details and links to my 2nd CNC machine I'll be using for a lot of the panels etc.

I have about 12 logged flights on VATSIM all with the ZIBO 737-800 which is what i plan to base my sim on.  I'm a member of Delta Virtual Airlines (DAL 13572) and I dream of the day I'm walking into my garage and firing up my Sim for the maiden VATSIM flight. 

CNC Machine
https://www.facebook.com/rpperry3/media_set?set=a.827327898227&type=3


I'm extremely thankful for www.cockpitbuilders.com and expect this would not be possible without the help of experienced builders in the community.

Paul

GyverX

My advise is allways the same for a start up Cockpit. Makes notes. Write down things your will need. and sketchup will be helpful on building your plan with the room you have. As far as interfacing XP11 with your sim, I would give this website a look over to help  you get started in that Direction.

Sketchup >https://www.sketchup.com/  main site.
I would recommend the 2017 version as it is a download app and not a web interface.
https://www.sketchup.com/download/all

SimVim > http://www.simvim.com/
This is the main site and the main starting point. Go from there for your interface.

Dont forget to share your progress report and pictures and the most important advise to give is, no question is to stupid.

Thanks
Jason

Trevor Hale

Paul,
Welcome to the group.
First thing is first, think of it like a hot dog eating contest.  Don't look at the entire pan sitting next to you full,  just eat one hot dog at a time.
At the end of the day, you need to be happy with what you have, take things little by little and then build on it.  Don;t try to program the whole cockpit, start with one switch and copy paste until you get 2 and so on.
We are always here to offer answers to specific questions and it is like vatsim..  take things bit by bit and overcome the mistakes and difficult times, and you will be successful.
Thanks for stopping by.
Trev
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

bernard S

December 20, 2018, 06:39:08 AM #3 Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 06:44:17 AM by bernard S
today is a day of my 2 cents    .. heres my suggestion 1.   budget   then double your best guess ..2.  time  guess then triple it 3.   build your support enviroment first    4..  dont get caught up in pretty lights   5..  buy as much turnkey items as you can ... 6.. regardless of stage of build alwsys kerp it flying... 7   do up down left right faster slower first  everything else is gravy .. 8... take free advice for for whats it worth... 9... spend at least 6 mths planing and searching before doing anything  10    always have wife on board ..11 seriously ask yourself what is your motivation for doing this .. thats a biggie.if i was starting over i would have done fighters lol . 12..after spending 6mths planning what skills do i need to get and what skills do i need bring in  ... the list is endless

RPPerry3

Quote from: Trevor Hale on December 20, 2018, 05:40:10 AM
Paul,
Welcome to the group.
First thing is first, think of it like a hot dog eating contest.  Don't look at the entire pan sitting next to you full,  just eat one hot dog at a time.
At the end of the day, you need to be happy with what you have, take things little by little and then build on it.  Don;t try to program the whole cockpit, start with one switch and copy paste until you get 2 and so on.
We are always here to offer answers to specific questions and it is like vatsim..  take things bit by bit and overcome the mistakes and difficult times, and you will be successful.
Thanks for stopping by.
Trev

Thanks for the welcome Trev,  and your advice is sound.  I'm thinking of starting with the MCP but so far I haven't found a newbie friendly step-by-step guide... one may not exist.  I'll keep it simple, one piece at a time but hoping to find some guidance in the forums to give me some direction.  I don't need full ILS III to hit the runway on this one, just vectors and I'll figure out the rest.

Thanks,
Paul

RPPerry3

December 20, 2018, 08:31:51 AM #5 Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 08:42:41 AM by RPPerry3
Quote from: bernard S on December 20, 2018, 06:39:08 AM
today is a day of my 2 cents    .. heres my suggestion 1.   budget   then double your best guess ..2.  time  guess then triple it 3.   build your support enviroment first    4..  dont get caught up in pretty lights   5..  buy as much turnkey items as you can ... 6.. regardless of stage of build alwsys kerp it flying... 7   do up down left right faster slower first  everything else is gravy .. 8... take free advice for for whats it worth... 9... spend at least 6 mths planing and searching before doing anything  10    always have wife on board ..11 seriously ask yourself what is your motivation for doing this .. thats a biggie.if i was starting over i would have done fighters lol . 12..after spending 6mths planning what skills do i need to get and what skills do i need bring in  ... the list is endless

Hi Bernard... I get the reality of what I'm facing, but in response to some of your points (which are very valid)
1) I really don't have a budget, but with a family to support and much needed repairs on our home (2 HVAC systems and New Roof planned for 2019, I'm going to do the best I can with what I got :-) 
2) Preach! every project I've ever done.
3) What are you referring to as "support environment"?  I can think of multiple interpretations.
4) Must have pretty lights...
5) I plan to build as much as possible both for enjoyment and expense. I've got a pretty well developed skill set consisting of (programming, soldering, electronics, carpentry, welding, framing, etc. etc.).  I know Time=$ but building the Sim is where the LOVE is! I had more fun building my CNC machines and seeing them come to life than when I use them for projects.  They're still fun to watch but I enjoy the "creation" from nothing to something aspect a lot!  The journey is the biggest thrill my friend.
6) I'll do my best :-)
7) Can you give me a little more input on that?  I value your advice, just need a little more specifics on this one.
8 Thanks for the free advice ;-)
9) Done
10) Wife's only concern is $$$$, By working on most everything myself, i will save money, and the time needed to produce each piece will keep the intervals I buy things spread out making it appear that I'm not spending as much.  Kind of like loan terms.  People often take the bait on making smaller payments for longer terms, I'm just using that psychological principle in my favor in this case.

RPPerry3

December 20, 2018, 08:39:31 AM #6 Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 08:44:18 AM by RPPerry3
Quote from: GyverX on December 20, 2018, 02:37:24 AM
My advise is allways the same for a start up Cockpit. Makes notes. Write down things your will need. and sketchup will be helpful on building your plan with the room you have. As far as interfacing XP11 with your sim, I would give this website a look over to help  you get started in that Direction.

Sketchup >https://www.sketchup.com/  main site.
I would recommend the 2017 version as it is a download app and not a web interface.
https://www.sketchup.com/download/all

SimVim > http://www.simvim.com/
This is the main site and the main starting point. Go from there for your interface.

Dont forget to share your progress report and pictures and the most important advise to give is, no question is to stupid.

Thanks
Jason


Thanks Jason,

Thanks to multiple resources I have everything regarding dimensions, angles, and I'm very thankful to those who came before me and provided so much helpful info so others could have an easier time. I hope I can provide direction for others that come after me as well.  My main concern is DIY Instruments and where to start.  I plan on doing them all myself due to the cost of premanufactured components like the MCP, OHP, THQ etc.  So much learning awaits... boards, LEDs, Arduinos, wires, resistors, potentiates, etc etc.  Thanks for the SimVim link, I'm also looking at http://m1sims.com/2017/11/21/ardsimx-interface/ for interfacing solution.

Thanks,
Paul

iwik

Paul,
Welcome and enjoy the journey. Have a look at this interface, boards are cheap and well
made. You can tailor it to what you want or go down the path of a 737 which the developer
chose.
https://phpjj.wordpress.com/
Les

Trevor Hale

Anytime Paul,
I have managed to do my builds over the course of 20 Years...  And on ver little budget a little at a time as I could afford.  Arduino interfaces are cheap and learning to code them is pretty easy with some sample code from the internet.
I am on my 4th simulator in the 20 years and every one gets better and better.  Budget builds are possible.
Pick up a 3d PRINTER also if you can, will save you some coin as well printing stuff yourself.
Trev
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

RPPerry3

Quote from: Trevor Hale on December 20, 2018, 11:10:05 AM
Anytime Paul,
I have managed to do my builds over the course of 20 Years...  And on ver little budget a little at a time as I could afford.  Arduino interfaces are cheap and learning to code them is pretty easy with some sample code from the internet.
I am on my 4th simulator in the 20 years and every one gets better and better.  Budget builds are possible.
Pick up a 3d PRINTER also if you can, will save you some coin as well printing stuff yourself.
Trev

Luckily a good friend who lives just up the road has 2 3D printers (very high quality) and a CNC Metal Mill with Lathe.  So I can work with him to produce some pretty high quality parts when the time comes.  Thank you for the advice Trev.

Paul

GyverX

As a term that is used often, "Throw the Ardim to the curb!"

Actually, You soon find out that Simvim is Ardsim. Simvim is the successor. Its a 2 man group Father son if memory serves. But The site has lots of info on set up and what not.

RPPerry3

Quote from: GyverX on December 21, 2018, 01:54:31 AM
As a term that is used often, "Throw the Ardim to the curb!"

Actually, You soon find out that Simvim is Ardsim. Simvim is the successor. Its a 2 man group Father son if memory serves. But The site has lots of info on set up and what not.

Not even an hour after posting the message above I found that Ardsim evolved into SimVim and I spent 3 hours reading through a lot of material on the site last night.  Thanks!

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