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  1. #1
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    Generic design - software

    Hi,

    I have a general idea of the type of project that I would like to build but I an wondering about the software.

    I would like to build a generic project based on the bit's that I like from all aircraft cockpits, and also whatever I can find out on the market. This way I can have it exactly as I like, and not be constrained by dimentions and specifics.

    I want to build a heavy 4 engine turbo prop, and I would like the flight model as realistic as possible and to use real flight performance data/manuals. As I am not a physicist my idea would be to download an acurate flight model of an existing aircraft such as a Hercules or a Shorts Belfast and use that.

    However when it comes to systems I want them to be completely my own design (anyway I will be making my own panels so....)

    How will I interface them with a simulator and make them 'work'? I am not a computer programer!!!

    what is the best sim to use, MSFS, X-Plane etc? And will I have to write my own code to get the systems working?

    I would also like to make analog guages by using stepper motors or the like, can this be interfaced?

    Basicly I'm just wondering how much work I will be facing when it comes to the software side of things because although I'm good with my hands, when it comes to computers - I'm useless!!!

    Cheers

    Rich

  2. #2
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Trevor Hale's Avatar
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    Hi Rich,

    I can tell you that it wont be as hard as you may think.

    First off, My suggestion to you is us MSFS as it is the easiest platform to interface to. Most interfaces on the market connect or communicate through FSUIPC (an add-on for MSFS)

    You can have what ever switches and controls you like in any configuration as well as those gauges you specify. However, when it comes to computer programming the interface for those gauges you may be in trouble. There are many (instruments) currently on the market that you can buy, out of the box they are USB and have the steppers/servos built in.

    Phidgets.com supplies a stepper/servo interface already so you could build your own instruments and use one of those boards and their software to drive them. This would be the closest you could get unless you tackle some of the projects for instruments at www.mikesflightdeck.com

    Have a look around at the photo gallery and these forums to get some ideas, this is not something that you can just plunge into. Make sure you have a plan and your plan is ready to go.

    Hope that helps,

    Best regards,

    Trev

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  3. #3
    300+ Forum Addict David Rogers's Avatar
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    Hi Rich,

    Good advice from Trev ....... also take a look at www.simkits.com where you can get 'plug and play' flight instrument gauges that could work well in a prop. They cost more than the route that Trev has suggested but are perfect if you want an easier build with minimal electronics, soldering, boards, etc.
    David R
    Durham, England

    1979 Mooney M20J Cockpit builder ......

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your replies.
    I have been looking at all these sites and it looks quite promising on the hardware side.

    As far as I understand though, if I want my own systems (let's say a hydraulic system thats completely unique) then I will have to make an aircraft in MSFS to actually ''make the system work'' just in the same way that PMDG wrote their systems for the 747 etc?

    Otherwise, lets say I shut off all the pumps, how will I get the flight control surfaces to become sluggish and effect the flight model, just for example?

  5. #5
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    one thing i might add with regards to the simkits instruments is to make sure they are compatible with the aircraft type you want to simulate, i have had some customers wanting to simulate certain aircraft that are not in MSFS and have had difficulties getting there instruments to work.

    They are a fantastic product but make sure you check with Simkits that it will work with the environment you are creating. It will save you alot of time and frustration.

    Also to my knowledge at the moment the instruments are not working with PMDG.
    Last edited by ozziesim; 12-02-2007 at 06:37 AM. Reason: missed somthing

  6. #6
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desjardins View Post
    Thanks for your replies.
    I have been looking at all these sites and it looks quite promising on the hardware side.

    As far as I understand though, if I want my own systems (let's say a hydraulic system thats completely unique) then I will have to make an aircraft in MSFS to actually ''make the system work'' just in the same way that PMDG wrote their systems for the 747 etc?

    Otherwise, lets say I shut off all the pumps, how will I get the flight control surfaces to become sluggish and effect the flight model, just for example?

    Right. Anything that is not written to an FS aircraft, you will have to write yourself.

    You might want to contact Superconnie about how he is going about building his sim. He's building a Super Constellation.
    Last edited by Michael Carter; 12-02-2007 at 12:12 PM.
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