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What have you done for your simulator today?

Started by blueskydriver, January 14, 2018, 04:01:20 AM

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blueskydriver

Hey Warren,

You could just do a YouTube (YT) channel and post your videos, as well as your pics. You could just make a slide show of any pics and export them as a video to YT. Lot easier then doing a webpage....

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 |

RayS

Lately I've been working on converting the 1900 to be compatible with FS2020. Recently had to rebuild the entire sim system due to some unforeseen issues with FlightIllusion hardware.

Spent the past few nights adding DME and TCAS info to my Avidyne EXP 5000 PFD software.

The conversion should allow me to use both X-Plane and FS2020 with minimal config changes. 2020 (At least in my opinion) has come far enough to be (Somewhat) usable in the sim...

...if only I can figure out how to start the @@%$$@&# engines in it! (That still seems to be an issue and I've never figured it out.)

Ray Sotkiewicz

ame

Well, it's been pretty quiet here. What have I done for my simulator today?

I have acquired, temporarily, a laser cutter. I have to clean it up and check that it works before returning it.

It works, so I can do some quick experiments with making panels.

I can cut 3mm MDF. I can stack two pieces to make the 6mm (1/4") fascia for a panel, and engrave the decal into the top of the top piece.

So far I have tried engraving through blue painter's tape. It seems to work, but I need to wait a little longer for the acrylic infill to dry before removing the tape.

Now that I've had a go I think a better method will be:
Paint MDF with final colour, gloss finish
Engrave decal and cut panel in one operation (so that the decal remains aligned with the cuts)
Rub white acrylic paint into engraved areas. It should wipe off the gloss painted areas easily, but remain in the engraved areas.
Spray over with clear matt acrylic to seal the decal and give an overall matt result.

We'll see.

FredK

Summer is always a slow time for me for the "building" aspect of the sim.  Flying time recently is also diminished due to other outdoor distractions.

I would like to upgrade my visuals hardware to RTX3090 video cards along with the new Optoma projectors, but the outrageous prices for computer hardware right now preclude such (X3 in my case for my multi-channel visual system).

I am still mulling over whether to convert my NG to a MAX.

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

ame


sagrada737

Hello All,

Chiming in as well...   It's summer here in New Mexico, with outside temps around 104 degrees F.  Thank God for air conditioning!

My Sim Room is air conditioned, so that make things comfortable.   In addition, thanks to Fred's recommendation, I have the TripLite IP Cooler.  I have the IP Cooler pointed straight at the Sim Computers, blowing into the front of the Sim on its Motion Platform.  That helps to keep the CPU and RTX-3090 GPU  temps within range.

I am still waiting for the newly released 11th generation Intel 11900KF CPU, which Intel has now backordered.  Hopefully that will be shipped in a couple of weeks, then I can finish assembling the new Sim Computer.

In the meantime, I have resolved the 4K to HD "display shift" issue the best I can, to the point where it's hardly noticeable.  I'm counting on the additional 40% increase in the Sim Computer overall performance to completely resolve any display issues.

On another note...   I currently have a type of J-Rail system for my Weber Seats.  I uses inverted conveyor roller, which move nicely, but lack the smoothness of the real J-Rail system.  I decided to redesign my J-Rail roller system and make my own Roller Blocks.  When completed, it should perform as smoothly as the real deal.

Lastly...   I am getting back to working on constructing the AFT part of the Flight Deck, with its Circuit Breaker Panels, etc. back to the Cockpit Door.   When that is complete, the Cockpit will be fully enclosed, adding a bit to the Sim Immersion experience.

I might mention that when I am not working on the Sim, I also enjoy doing astro-photography from our home observatory with the newly completed 24" RC telescope and Fork Mount that I have been designing and building over the last 15 years.   It is now performing well, taking images of various Deep Sky objects in our own Milky Way Galaxy and galaxies beyond.  Just for fun...  Here are a few images from the new telescope to share with you.  I don't think Trevor will mind me posting these...

Take care everyone, and "Keep your AirSpeed Up!"

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.

MistyBlue

June 13, 2021, 07:03:42 PM #1081 Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 07:06:27 PM by MistyBlue
Guess I'll add my 2 cents as well.

Managed to snag an EVGA 3090 Kingpin at retail price direct from EVGA after being on the wait list for any 3090 for 5 months.  Didn't really want to spend that much, but you take what you can get these days, especially if you can get a high-end card at retail.

I've been experimenting lately with view groups versus NVidia surround on my collimated displays to achieve the smoothest perceived visuals I can. Any micro-stutters are unfortunately amplified by the collimator magnification so smoothness is critical or the effect can be a bit jarring.  Hence why I was thinking a 3090 would do the trick.  Yes and no.

Before today, after countless hours of experimenting, I have come to the conclusion that NVidia surround creates the best performance/smoothest visuals across the three displays.  The drawback is there is significant stretching at the far left and right of the 7680 x 1600 desktop.  This creates a bit of a problem because the three displays go from -90 to 0 degrees in my captain side FOV, meaning my forward view is always looking at the extreme right of the wide screen and thus the stretched portion of the screen.  I can compensate somewhat with Fly-Elise's warping software to where it's tolerable, but it's very time-consuming and tedious work, and it'll never be perfect.

With the new 3090 I decided to give Prepar3D view groups another try to see if I could get rid of that stretching and get some smoother visuals as well.  I had tried view groups a while back on my 2080 ti and an older version of P3D but found the performance hit was too significant and the stuttering was intolerable.  With P3D 5.1 and the 3090 I can now maintain a pretty steady 60 FPS with view groups, and no more stretching so the views look much nicer.  But visuals are still not yet as smooth as I think they should be, which tells me something else is at play.  I believe it's refresh rate synchronization.

Right now I'm driving three 2K 30" Dell displays per cockpit side/graphics card.  They look great, but they can only run 2K at 60Hz and I can't drop them down to, say, 30Hz.  Yes, I can set up 1/2 refresh rate which I can definitely maintain.  Yes, it's "smoother" in that there are less major stutters, but then I see the frames flickering which is distracting and just feels like micro-stuttering. 

Anyway, what hit the refresh issue home was when I bought a G-Sync monitor for my desktop PC not long ago and combined with the Variable Refresh Rate setting in P3D, it makes a big difference in perceived smoothness.

All that to say I have ordered a few 27" G-Sync monitors to replace the 30" ones and see if G-Sync makes a difference across 3 screens in view groups, or if not, then one wide screen in surround.  I think it will.  Fingers crossed because I'm getting tired of keeping all these hardware companies in business!

In the meantime, I'm filling out some smaller details in the cockpit with some 3D printing (cup/map holders, air vent knobs, decals, etc).  Next major task is to create a hinged back wall that opens up like french doors so i can put some fake CB panels and enclose the cockpit, yet open it up when I need to get in for maintenance and need space to move around.

And I did finally finish up my 3D printed recreation of an Airpath compass with LCD that came out pretty good.

bernard S


navymustang

MistyBlue,

I thought I had read that FlyElise said to not enable NVidia Surround when using their software?
My 737-800 full-scale cockpit has been sold. Now onto my full-size military helicopter project. An AOPA member and LifeTime member of National Association of Flight Instructors. Please note that I am a self-employed professional cockpit builder that provides consulting to defense contractors and civilian schools and airlines.

MistyBlue

Hmm, hadn't seen that, but I have had no issues using it with Surround, performance or otherwise (as far as I know).

I got my 3 G-Sync monitors in.  Definitely seems smoother, but as always there are so many factors that play into smoothness that I know G-Sync alone won't fix everything. 

Now comes the process of elimination to find that right balance of performance to quality.  At this point I'm honestly halfway tempted to turn just about everything down to mins if that's what it takes to ensure a 100% smooth sim all the time.

sagrada737

It is somewhat of an issue when using NVIDIA Surround, in that it will produce a "stretched" display effect at the left and right extremes of the display.  To eliminate this, you need to use some kind of Warping software, eg. FlyElse, etc.   However, the warp/blend software by its design, will rearrange and eliminate some of the graphic image data to achieve the resultant corrected warped and blended display.

For flat panel displays/monitors, the so-called warping software should have the ability to produce the ViewGroups or FXML files needed to make it compatible with monitor type of displays.  Also, that is correct that you do not use a NVIDIA Surround display with ViewGroups

As has been commented on...  Trying to get a smooth, stutter free display is a challenge using multiple monitors or a warped and blended projection type of system.

Then there is the issue of "hardware balance", where just adding a high performance graphics card  is not necessarily the total solution.  Optimization of hardware needs to be considered all the way to the monitors and/or projectors.

I am intrigued by your results in using P3D version 5.x.   I am using P3D v4.5x, which may indeed be slowing things down.   When I get my new Sim computer up and running, I will consider upgrading to P3D version 5. 

However, P3D v5.x may have some problems as I am using Sim-Avionics for the 737-800 flight model.  I had previously tried P3D v5, but my Flight Illusion gages did not work correctly, so I put the upgrade on hold while I worked out the 4k display issues with v4.5.  If there are performance improvements with P3D v5.x, then I think I need to get v5.x working correctly on my Sim setup.

Also, nice work in making the 3D printed Compass.  I would like to add that to my Flight Deck someday.

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.

MistyBlue

Hey Mike, thanks for the compliment on the compass.  I probably could have refined it a little more (3D prints are a real pain to sand and fill as I'm sure you know) but at some point you say "it's good enough."

I'm using FI gauges without an issue in P3D 5.1, but I use Prosim.  Not sure why it wouldn't work for you as the gauges are routed through your avionics software, no?

My displays are in three parts, and the mirrors are not perfectly continous, so that makes it a lot harder to get aligned.  If I had a standard curved screen it would be a breeze by comparison, but then it wouldn't be as cool. Unfortunately cool points don't come without a ton of sacrifice.

FYI, I tried 5.2 on my desktop PC (which is essentially my test bed) and I saw a lot of stuttering WITH my G-Sync monitor, so I'm holding off for some of the kinks to get worked out.

Agreed that a holistic approach to tuning is certainly the best approach.  If only there were more hours in the day, and more patience in the hopper!

Garys

Quote from: sagrada737 on June 13, 2021, 03:57:07 PMHello All,

I might mention that when I am not working on the Sim, I also enjoy doing astro-photography from our home observatory with the newly completed 24" RC telescope and Fork Mount that I have been designing and building over the last 15 years.   It is now performing well, taking images of various Deep Sky objects in our own Milky Way Galaxy and galaxies beyond.  Just for fun...  Here are a few images from the new telescope to share with you.  I don't think Trevor will mind me posting these...

Take care everyone, and "Keep your AirSpeed Up!"

Mike

That's a great setup and pics you have Mike. Astro is my other hobby as well. I would love to have your skies and weather up here. Bortle 6 and -0 temps in the winter make it a challenge for sure.

jackpilot

June 14, 2021, 03:07:41 PM #1088 Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 04:35:40 AM by jackpilot
Quote from: sagrada737 on June 13, 2021, 03:57:07 PMHello All,.........
I might mention that when I am not working on the Sim, I also enjoy doing astro-photography from our home observatory with the newly completed 24" RC telescope and Fork Mount that I have been designing and building over the last 15 years. 

Whaooo !
Fantastic. Please share other pics in the General disc. Board
Planets?

Jack



Jack

RayS

Been busy over here...

The XP to 2020 conversion continues (Although it's not really a conversion, it's an effort to enable the sim to run any platform with just a few config changes on bootup.)

Latest conversion effort is the Avidyne DFC-90 autopilot.

On the surface, this looks like any other autopilot with 2 exceptions:

1. Each button uses 2 colors: Blue for Off, Green for On. The FDS Interface cards can't replicate that functionality so I built a circuit as a go-between that enables bi-color LED functionality based on FDS outputs.

2. The DFC-90 actually has a "God button". Nothing more really than a button that levels out the aircraft across Pitch/Roll/Yaw. This maps directly to the Wing-Leveler FSUIPC offset.

Most likely this project will wrap up tonight... hopefully... fingers crossed....

Ray Sotkiewicz

MistyBlue

So I've done a lot more testing with my 3x 27" G-Sync monitors using both P3D 5.1 View Groups and NVidia Surround with my 3090 Kingpin card.

For my tests I've minimized most all important settings and I'm achieving over 120 FPS at Flightbeam's KSFO in both View Groups and Surround.  G-Sync is enabled and monitor refresh rate set to 165 Hz with P3D controlling refresh (VSync off, Variable Refresh Rate on).

That said, view groups are still often stuttery.  Surround is very smooth.  Looks like I'm going to have to go back to using Surround.

bernard S

i have been doing things and sorting other things Now that i am cooler than Elvis i need to get my thing in a thingy so i can do my thing

bernard S

today managed to get access ladder for my thingy   now to copy it as i need two

blueskydriver

Glad too see everyone is still progressing and posting along the way...thank you 😁

Had my 4th surgery this past Tuesday, so I'm all good to go per se, just gotta heal from this one over the next 3-4 weeks, and then it's HELLS BELLS TIME to get going again.

Already planning to get two exhaust fans up in the attic space of the shed. We had some sweating last year from running the AC rather low on hot humid days. If your insulation looks like it has dimples or rain drop pockets on top, that's from sweating. Anyway, we're planning too put the two Exhaust Fans up, one blowing in and one blowing out. And, if need be, will stable radiant barrier aluminum sheeting up by the metal.

Just a suggestion for anyone with or planning to build a metal building for your sim, think about the heat/air conditioning carefully. You might not have any issues with this, but do look into it; especially, if you live in an area that gets hot and/or humid anytime in the year.

Lastly, has anyone been hit with the MSFS 2020 please insert disk? Had it happen yesterday and just rebooting the computer and restarting MSFS fixed it. If it doesn't fix it on the first reboot, reboot again...read that on MSFS website....

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 |

bernard S

John if i recall you and went through this air conditioning at lenght as i have 8 tons plus going through my building ( i like igloo) the end result with ac is its not a home depot solution it requires professional help and instalation in my case he ducting had to be fabricated and  insulated the system i have cools my data centre the flight deck and play area as well as building for building insulation i went with R30 etc   but then my set up not that common lol

MistyBlue

I bought a 2.5 ton mini-split to keep my garage conditioned for my sim in this crazy Texas climate.  Mini-splits are very efficient and it can easily keep the 650 sq ft space with tall ceilings perfect all year round.  Also keeps the wife's car nice and comfortable (win-win...it's how ya gotta sell it!).

Anyway, depending on the size of area, that may be a good cost-effective alternative to a full blown AC setup.

You'd probably need 6 of them, though, to keep Bernards sim "resort" comfortable, lol.

bernard S


blueskydriver

June 25, 2021, 03:54:13 PM #1097 Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 04:05:17 PM by blueskydriver Reason: spelling
Hey Bernard,

Yep, lots of details back when we put the 3 ton mini split in and that works great for both heat and AC...actually too great!

We have R38 insulation on the ceiling and that keeps the air inside the interior really well. The problem is the radiant heat coming from the roof into the space above the insulation and below the metal roof; the radiant heat is a common issue with metal roofs as it heats up the air above the insulation causing moisture to form and drip.

Currently, we have ridge vents and two gable end vents, but we do not have eaves with vents, it's just a few inches of overhang and an opening at the bottom of the roof. So, the intake airflow is not adequate enough to remove the moisture/humidity; thus, the reason for installing gable fans...which is a common practice in my area.

Collectively, we are very happy with our setup, but we just needed too do the things that are routine for Wisconsin weather....

John

PS I agree you needed pro help, but in our case it's just a big 2500 sq/ft room in a metal box...lol! 
| 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

AAAHHH! The Summer Blues!

Like the Winter Blues, but for the Cockpit Builders' website.

It's where everyone is out enjoying the blue summer skies and not doing much with their simulator, nor posting anything about it here.

This is normal; however, there are many other things you could post about beyond your sim. Take a look at all the forum titles, as there are many too choose from...you could be laying on the beach posting about whatever you like.

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

Summer time...!


Jack

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