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Projector Screen Installed - 6dof Motion Platform

Started by sagrada737, March 24, 2020, 01:08:24 pm

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March 24, 2020, 01:08:24 pm Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 01:12:53 pm by sagrada737
Hello Folks,

I completed the refurbishing of the Projector Screen, painting it Satin Black on the outside, and the Kiltz Screen paint on the inside.  The Screen was also cut down a bit to match the fit requirements of the Motion Platform screen support structure.

Install was fairly easy with the help of my wife and a neighbor (keeping our 6' separation distance).

The Motion Platform Screen Support Structure has dampening foam to  minimize the screen rattling during platform movement.   I still need to do some trimming on the Screen to make it fit properly, after which I will use special clamps to hold the Screen in place at each end, with some clamps holding the screen up against the foam at the upper points around the Screen diameter.

If I haven't mentioned it...   I fabricated the Screen from two (2) 5' x 12' lengths of Formica, costing $240.  These were structurally bonded together, then sanded flush.  As I mentioned before, the Screen paint is Kiltz White Primer, which cost $30/gallon.   Before deciding on using the "Kiltz approach", I did some testing of various screen paints and materials.   My standard was a sample of a professional screen material costing about $35 per square foot.   The performance of the professional screen was exceptional, with great color and contrast with the Optoma GT1080HD projectors.  Other paint/material choices worked okay, but the Kiltz/Formica combination was very close to the professional screen, so it was a good, very low cost screen solution.

Once I get all the screen clamps installed and the Screen fitted correctly, I will then do the warping and blending with PixelWix, which for this screen geometry will yield a 210 degree wrap-around display.  Below is a photo of me standing on the Aft part of the Flight Deck after completing the Screen install...

P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

bernard S

March 24, 2020, 02:51:54 pm #1 Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 02:54:49 pm by bernard S
as cool as satin is imho   need to go matt as non reflective  i will text you the paint tonuse for screen  most think white is correct  but "screen goo" is what ya want and its two part and grey    i assume you can use a spray gun ?


Hi Mike,

Thank you for posting your progress and showing the pic of yourself on the sim, it definitely reveals the scale of your project...AWESOME!

Speaking of scale, in your pic and others you've posted I notice you're using a typical step ladder. Thinking about safety, have you ever looked at or used one of these warehouse style step ladders.

The one Karen and I purchased a couple years ago has been great to use. Not only for the sim, but for our loft area. Nothing like rolling it about and when you hit the first step the locks come down. Karen says it's the best thing I've ordered for her sake, no more 14-20' ladders.

Anyway, Uline and Northern Tool has them; cannot remember at the moment where we got ours, but I'll get the info for you.

Notice my pic is just a screen grab, that's because they're sold in different heights and I don't know what size you made need. Knowingly, you have a loft area, so I'd suggest getting one too reach that area as well as your sim's full height....

| 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 |


March 25, 2020, 04:32:55 am #3 Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 04:39:43 am by sagrada737
Hi John,

Thanks for the reply, and consideration of safety when using ladders.

Actually, I have plans for stairs to "board the Sim".  When the Aft section of the Sim is completed, it will totally enclose the Flight Deck, just like the real 737.  There will be a cockpit door as well.   Entry/Exit to the Flight Deck will be via Stairs positioned such that there will be no interference with the 6dof Motion Platform operation/movements.

In the photo, it shows the Motion Platform in its "Park" position, which is set by the Crew from within the cockpit.   When the Motion Platform is On-Line with the Sim software, it will move upward to its Mid-Position, further clearing the Stairs.

Until then, it is steps and ladders for working on the Sim.

Today I am trimming the Screen and setting clamps to hold the screen in place.

I plan to experiment with the "Screen Goo" paint product that Bernard mentioned, but that will be after I get the new Optoma ZH406ST Laser Projectors, which should arrive sometime in April.   If the tests show promise, I will remove the Screen, repaint with Screen Goo, and re-install on the Sim.

Right now, with my current White screen, the "screen gain" is about 1.2.  I have found this to be quite acceptable.  The darker, gray to black type of screen treatments all have different gains, and their various advantages.  From this, you might say that there is no perfect projector screen.  So... We do what we can to fiddle with our Sim Projects, where a great deal of fun is in the ongoing change and improvements that we make to our Sims.

If I do desire to make changes to the Screen, removing the Projector Screen only takes about 15 minutes with a few people to thread/un-thread the screen, so I can take my time to play around with screen paint strategies.

I should mention that I am not all that concerned with the outside display quality of the projected image onto the Screen.  Yes, it is important to have it good quality, and warp/blend done correctly, but in practice flying the 737 Sim is more of a Flight Deck Management exercise, with at times reference to the view outside the aircraft.

This of course is personal preference and highly subjective.  Some guys like extreme detail in the display graphics.   This is great on the ground for airport detail, but less meaningful after takeoff.  In the real world, the view outside is typically hazy, clouds, etc., that make it hard to pick out ground detail.   Flying in the Los Angeles smog and haze for example at times is like flying IFR. 

As a comparison, if you look at video from World Flight, mostly what you see is the CA and FO managing Flow and Checklist, Navigation and Communication, and other necessary Flight Deck Management responsibilities -- as it should be, with not much time to fixate on the outside view.

Anyway...  I'm into and enjoy the mental challenge of 737 Flight Deck Management, and trying to fly the aircraft correctly.  This is what I am looking forward to with my Sim.  All the immersive stuff is supportive to this, and IMO only adds to the Sim immersion experience.

P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.


March 25, 2020, 05:02:19 am #4 Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 05:08:08 am by FredK
Hi Mike...FYI....

I used a product called "Paint-On-Screen".  It is a viscous emulsion of suspended reflective aggregate particles. The company makes several grades and a range of color gain. I used a medium grey shade.  I was able to apply it using a thick nap roller working in a horizontal direction only along the curved surface (primed and sanded 1/8" hardboard).  No roller marks are evident whatsoever. You need to work quickly though. I did two coats. It is fairly expensive but provides a high quality screen surface.

P.S....I am enjoying watching the significant progress that you have made over the past couple of months!

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


Quote from: sagrada737 on March 25, 2020, 04:32:55 amI should mention that I am not all that concerned with the outside display quality of the projected image onto the Screen......  in practice flying the 737 Sim is more of a Flight Deck Management exercise, with at times reference to the view outside the aircraft.

Anyway...  I'm into and enjoy the mental challenge of 737 Flight Deck Management, and trying to fly the aircraft correctly.

100% with you on that one.


bernard S

i disagree in the nicesy way poss... if you are using vatsim or pilotedge ..then gnd ops are a huge deal as skills sets vary   having a good view is important   also alot like procedural flying .. gnd ops is heavy work load when completed properly   if something goes wrong at FL35  once addressed issue or issues   all remains is carry on or  divert then you back to gnd ops again    see my point ?


March 25, 2020, 12:45:36 pm #7 Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 12:47:17 pm by sagrada737
Hello Bernard,

I certainly respect your comments on the importance of Ground Ops.  I don't mean to imply that good visuals are not important for this important segment of flight operations.   

I tend to fly PilotEdge mostly, and I enjoy the challenge of short hops, where the ATC activity can "heat up" as one tries to manage the Flight Deck.  VATSim can be similar...  I have to say, that I would definitely like better ground visuals...

As for my Sim configuration and project build...   Here is something you (and perhaps others) might appreciate...   Recently, my wife "sat me down" and said "You have a lot of big projects going on right now.  You're involved in machining, astro-photography, building telescopes and robotic observatories, not to mention your 737 Simulator.  You should pick one, and concentrate on it to completion.   You're not getting any younger.  Now... Which one will it be?"   Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and admit that our wives are correct... :)    So I committed to her that I would work "full-blast" on the 737 Sim, and finish it up,  putting all other projects aside for the time being.

This was a plus and a minus, as I needed to demonstrate progress, as opposed to pointing to a half baked project in one corner of the shop.   All this to say, that I have had to make some Sim project decisions and keep moving on to the next part of the Sim Project in an effort to sequentially make progress in order to complete the Sim.  My commitment to her was to finish the Sim in 2020 -- hell or high water.  So...   That is what I am trying to do.  Yep..  I am moving fairly fast, and no doubt will compromise some parts of the Sim design/configuration.  I am hoping to make as few mistakes as possible in this "Home Stretch" effort.

What I am looking forward to once the Sim is fundamentally complete, is to make follow-on refinements to the Sim, such as improved visuals, faster computers, Flight Deck improvements, etc.   Along with this, once it is functional on the its Motion Platform, I look forward to sharing the Sim with others.

I'm guessing that you are among the few on this Forum that can truly appreciate the magnitude of effort involved in building the 6dof Motion Platform, with its hardware/software complexities -- all on a beer budget.   Refining the Motion Cues is enough to drive a person crazy!  In this regard, I appreciate your constructive comments on these various Sim Systems, and the myriad refinements that are possible to make it a better 737 Sim  -- the Projector Screen improvements among them.

As I mentioned to you a while back, giving a demo of my Sim Project to the President of Virgin Galactic and their Chief Engineer, was a real treat.   I think they expressed more enthusiasm and excitement for my Sim Project than I had seen from anyone in a long time.  Mostly because they know deeply what it is like to work on big projects, where at every turn there are opportunities to keep making improvements.  They also know the importance of getting something in the air -- in the spirit of Burt Rutan... :)   Their visit was quite timely, as it gave me a super boost to complete my Sim Project.  They expressed a desire to come back when it is completed, which makes for a nice incentive for me to keep plowing ahead.  In that same spirit of enthusiasm, Fred and Scott have been a big encourager along the way.   Thanks guys...

All the Best.

P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

bernard S

March 25, 2020, 02:40:32 pm #8 Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 02:41:15 pm by bernard S
lol    did i marry her sister  ? having same chat


March 25, 2020, 03:05:04 pm #9 Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 03:05:30 pm by sagrada737
LOL...   Yep... Sometimes our wives are guiding angels.  They love us, they tolerate us, and seek to help make our dreams come true.  For our part, we need to be respectful that our wives don't always understand the technical details of our Sim Projects --- many times they appreciate them from afar.  We need to be careful not to baffle them with BS in order to get what we think we need.  This is especially important, as these Sim projects can be very expensive -- a money pit if you will.  Much like having a boat or an airplane, there is always an ongoing cost that we constantly have to justify -- not only to ourselves, but to our spouses.

You know when you are pushing your luck when you say to your wife, "Honey I really need a new gizmo for my Sim.", only to watch her eyes roll back in her head, realizing that she has heard this line before.  At that point we need to think carefully about what our motives are, and how we go about getting what we think we want or need.

That said,,,   I really do need a new gizmo for my Sim... ;D

P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

bernard S

i dont bother   better and easier forgivness than permission 😇

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