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View Full Version : Want A Cheap Solution To Cockpit Building



Ruiner494
02-03-2009, 11:04 AM
Can anybody tell me how to get a good quality cockpit but an affordable price?

tomenglish2000
02-03-2009, 11:15 AM
Thats a very expansive question!

Simming on a budget is very achievable. Usually through a DIY approach to keep costs down. However, you get what you pay for and so quality will suffer.

I would also recommend against going for the cheapest aircraft just because it is cheaper if it isnt what you want to fly.

To help you further what kind of an aircraft would interest you? Small aircraft like Cessnas and Pipers, Regional/Business jets like the Learjet, Medium Iron like the 737 or Heavy Iron like the 777/747? (Other Airbus aircraft are available!).

Its hard to give advice on what you can get without knowing what interests you.

Where abouts in England are you? There are many UK builders (myself included) that can help you out.

Tom. Stafford UK.

Jackpilot
02-03-2009, 11:15 AM
"good quality cockpit"
What type of airplane, cockpit, what is your idea of good quality ????

"an affordable price"
What is affordable for some is out of reach for others

Rule: you get what you pay for...

(exception to the rule: Throttle knobs!!!...lol)

Bob Reed
02-03-2009, 11:20 AM
Another thing to keep in mind is time frame. If you are not in a hurry, you can build a better cockpit as you can buy the parts. If I had to go out and buy all my parts at once, my cockpit would never be.

jonnydaz53
02-03-2009, 11:54 AM
Thats one way to look at it but on the other hand building a pit takes a hugh amount of time so i chose to do it once, start at the deep end jump in you will soon learn how to swim(sim) hehe . Dont forget you are not alone here at mycockpits ..... I started my build in august ..

http://s549.photobucket.com/albums/ii368/jonnydaz53/?start=20

Regards John d

EGMC

Joe Cygan
02-03-2009, 11:54 AM
Can anybody tell me how to get a good quality cockpit but an affordable price?

Iím assuming your talking about a complete cockpit with all the bells and whistles. IF so, I think you would come up short if you make an average income to find an affordable solution. This is a very expensive hobby no matter how you look at it. A lot of guys will tell you to do go the DIY route but remember that gets expensive too with time, time is money.

Personally I would just start out with the joystick and add monitors, go from there. But remember keep your sim flying at all times. Bob reed is an expert at this.

Good luck.

Ruiner494
02-03-2009, 04:08 PM
I am interested in 737 or 747 mainly the heavies. I have began using pro flight rudder pedals, throttle quadrant and yoke which i think are a much better realism than a joystick or keyboard. I have a lot of time to build this at the weekend. I have ooked at websites but everything is so expesive. I have a very low amount of money. So Far, £6! I am at the moment trying to fund raise by selling things that will not be any use to me anymore like my old joystick.

Ruiner494
02-04-2009, 03:13 PM
I've decided the 747-400 but need the cockpit dimensions so i can make a rough build out of wood to start with. I have a good throttle quadrant, yoke and rudder pedals. Just trying to work out a cheap solution to visuals. Any ideas?:roll:

tomenglish2000
02-05-2009, 06:56 AM
First, £6 wont even buy you a soldering iron. Sorry but I think you need to think realisticly about the £6000 mark. Even a homemade sim is likely to cost this and more!

Second, if you are building out of wood why not make it high quality first time. A rough build will only need replacing later on increasing your cost. Trust me I did that!

Third. Glad you are looking to build this weekend. But have you PLANNED your build. What will you be building and what order? Do you need a base for dual controls? How are you powering it? Where are your computers going? etc.etc.
Plan well and you will have less mistakes. I would spend this weekend drawing plans.

Tom.

Michael Carter
02-05-2009, 11:05 AM
There is nothing cheap about this hobby. There are certainly less expensive ways of doing things, but it all costs real money and a lot of it.

Do you have any experience in electronics, woodworking, metalworking, writing code, creating a computer network, etc?

Looking at cockpits here on the site and deciding you'd like a 747 in your bedroom with £6 isn't much to go on.

I don't mean to discourage you, but I think you should give some serious financial thought to how you're going to even start a project of this size, not to even mention completing it.

BHawthorne
02-05-2009, 06:33 PM
I think the initial question I have to ask is what is your target aircraft type and what is your budget you're willing to spend? Do you want to go GA, wide body or warbirds? I'd almost say, unless you're willing to put in at least $2500 over the course of the build minimum, you're not going to get anything of high fidelity. You could always make an Akers-Barnes simpit though.

skalarki
02-06-2009, 04:17 AM
Hi

Have a look at www.a320-project.skalarki.co.uk (http://www.a320-project.skalarki.co.uk)
If you are interested contact me and I will give you estimated costing for my project and how much I've sped so far.

AndyT
02-06-2009, 05:03 AM
Lots of cardboard and some colored markers will do it for you at a very minimal cost.

I should know. That's how I built my first pit.

motion2
02-06-2009, 10:52 PM
I will,share what I have done to this point, as well as how much $$ I have invested.
First, my goal is to build a 'generic' business jet cockpit, something between an Embraer Legacy and Citation X.
I have plenty of computer available, so that was not an issue, quad core 4gig.
dual ATI video cards. Be prepared to spend around $2000.00 on a computer, unless yours will handle all your applications. I am running FSX with Wilco's Citation X ($40.00) Embraer Legacy ($25.00) and 'Call for Legacy' ($20.00) and FSUIPC4 ($35.00)
I added a 24" widescreen for my outside display ($149.00), yeah I got a deal, and am using my 17" for PFD/MFD at this time.
Saitek yoke and rudder pedals, about $250.00. ( I have a Saitek throttle control if anyone is interested). My next purchase was from Go Flight for a com unit, console, landing gear/trim control and throttle unit. ($900.00).

My next 'phase' is additional Go Flight modules, (about $1200.oo worth) and then I will start building my MIP and cockpit shell. I will be adding TH2GO and 3-4 more monitors to achieve the visuals I am after. ($2000.00 or so)

This is an expensive hobby, but I will be spreading out my expenses over a 2-3 year period, and building the shell 'out of my head'.

BTW, mine will be in 'flight mode' during the entire process.

Mike

BHawthorne
02-07-2009, 02:43 AM
This is an expensive hobby, but I will be spreading out my expenses over a 2-3 year period, and building the shell 'out of my head'.


Yep, this isn't a hobby that caters itself to a weekend build and being done after a few hours. I suppose you could technically do that in some low fidelity builds though. Most of my fun is in the building, and planning. The journey of researching everything and piecing it together is the most fun part for me. I'm a horrible simpilot. ;)

couldabin
02-08-2009, 01:21 PM
As a relatively new "lurker", I am still busy absorbing all that I can about the network of flightsim cockpit builders around the world.

Also, as a semi-retired person, I am looking for a project to keep me busy. Having been a long-time flight-simmer I think this might be it, as for the first time in my life, I have the space available in our French home, and the time, so am thinking of a 737NG.

That only leaves the expense. I have some d-i-y skills and feel capable of handling the carcass and panels construction. The big question is, does anyone have an idea of the likely cost for the rest of the paraphernalia? I am looking for a high degree of realism and am also prepared to invest time in doing the wiring and switching, so I guess I am really trying to get a handle on the cost of hardware like radios, throttles, rudders and yokes.

Anyone "been there, done that" and willing to share their thoughts?

BHawthorne
02-08-2009, 01:30 PM
As a relatively new "lurker", I am still busy absorbing all that I can about the network of flightsim cockpit builders around the world.

Also, as a semi-retired person, I am looking for a project to keep me busy. Having been a long-time flight-simmer I think this might be it, as for the first time in my life, I have the space available in our French home, and the time, so am thinking of a 737NG.

That only leaves the expense. I have some d-i-y skills and feel capable of handling the carcass and panels construction. The big question is, does anyone have an idea of the likely cost for the rest of the paraphernalia? I am looking for a high degree of realism and am also prepared to invest time in doing the wiring and switching, so I guess I am really trying to get a handle on the cost of hardware like radios, throttles, rudders and yokes.

Anyone "been there, done that" and willing to share their thoughts?

Prices are all over the place low and high. It is really random. Depends on the rarity and the motivations of the seller. For instance, I bought my F-84F for $3500 and the trailer for $1500. I've got $1500 in manufacturer's microfilm for reference, and about another $1000 in parts off of ebay and I've yet to really get anything interfaced with a pc yet.

Surpringly enough, it looks like finding a real cockpit is somewhat easier in the UK than the US. It looks to be a very popular passtime to restore warbird demils in the UK. I've seen many sources for the fuselage sections at affordable prices. Just wish I had access in the US to more resources besides ebay and the odd collector's part colelction that costs too much to get things from. If my fuselage wasn't so complete I'd have to pour a ton of cash into ti to get where it is now. I lucked out I guess.

Check out the site below. I bet you could get some decent leads on getting a real fuselage:
http://www.internationalcockpitclub.org.uk/

Matt_Thomas
04-22-2009, 08:14 PM
Lots of cardboard and some colored markers will do it for you at a very minimal cost.

I should know. That's how I built my first pit.

I hear ya! Those were the days!

warvet
04-23-2009, 12:47 AM
My 2 cents worth is this ive been building for about 10 yrs my A340 sim which is now 40% disassembled lol Just in phidget I/O boards I have $1400, my overhead just the button, knobs and switches (not including wiring or panels) over $2000.PM Software $2000, 11 computers ranging from 2 main FS P4 3.6 3 video cards 4 gig ram $3400 P4 3.4 2 top Vid cards 34 gig 3 gig ram $2200 to P4 2.8 $900, p3 2.0 $400 P3.1.8 $100 etc TQ is almost $3000 CDUs and I had 3 of them were 1,000 each x3 =$3000 (now sold) FCU $2000 (now sold) almost $20,000 before screens computers, panels, rudder peds,switching boxes, TH2go, yokes/joysticks, wiring, tools, wood, screws, real parts,metal etc etc.Pretty much almost x my number by 4 and that will give you close to what I spent on my whole setup over 10 years.Originally when they were new I bought 2 42" LCD screens they cost me $4200 each also in beginning I bought 3 20" CRT they cost me $1000 each. One thing you'll learn about his hobby is you want it today but next year it'll be 1/2 the price but the new thing to replace your old thing again costs 2x as much but its 2x better lol thats why in this hobby you can never get ahead, you just have to either slow down cause your running out of $$ or be happy at a certain point with what youve got so far. Count realistically on these numbers:

Small rough sim 1 computer 3 screens total Cardboard/paint (not realistic) $2000
Medium sim few computers wood frame, flt controls basic panels $ 5000
Med-Lg sim panels, wiring I/O cards, CDus ,Software $15-20,000
Lg actual size realistic based 3-5 comps 6-7 screens etc $25-40,000
Lg actual high realism Max comps Max screens $40,000 +

Thse are just basic ideas so dont get all picky and start tearing them apart, just want to offer a base idea for guy to work from.

Tim

Geremy Britton
04-23-2009, 01:25 PM
I can't realy add much more to what the others have said. I can't deny this is an expensive hobby. But as was mentioned the quality you get is what you pay for. I've experienced that by not always being able to afford the latest stuff. Yet a year later i can, or just keeping a beady eye out for second hand.

Furthermore (as was said) I don't know if you are being sarcastic but £6 is no good. You'll struggle to buy one toggle switch for that. And when you said you're going to sell some stuff to make money i thought you were going to say you're TV or something. Not a spare joystick.

You'd need to sell quite a few joysticks to get the kind of money you need to even start planning a decent sim. And as you're building the biggest aircraft out (Well, second now) then the costs are going to be higher than a cessna for example.

My recommendation for your £6 is to go buy a copy of Flight simulator on disk(if you don't already) And install it and use your joystick and the screen. Flight simming at "as real as it gets" to quote the box because with £6 i'd say that's as real as you're going to get.

I wish you the very best of luck with your flight simulation route, though i would strongly suggest waiting a few years to save up some £££. Or at least until we're out of this economic trouble anyway.

JMTC

Matt_Thomas
04-23-2009, 03:58 PM
You know, you're time is worth something too. You might try starting with some smaller projects in order to
1. See what it's like to spend your evenings and weekends working on this hobby
2. Help develop your construction skills
3. You get a psychological boost by finishing a project, even if it's small. That can encourage you to do bigger projects.

gokhotit
05-12-2009, 04:43 AM
Even though I dont have much, I am still prolly 2000-3000 dollars into my sim, needless to say what time costs (2 years). It is not a cheap hobby, but it can be cheaper if expanded over time and you have a good source for free or vey cheap parts, and you build a lot on you own instead of buying pre-built.

Ebay is your friend.