Questions about 737 mcp
I have decided to start my 737 project with the mcp. This is something I could fit on my desk and start using right away. If I could build one, I could probably develop a good skill set for the rest of the cockpit. I am considering three choices.
1. Build an Open Cockpits MCP according to their tutorials.
I understand these tutorials very well until it comes to hooking up the digital LEDS of the mcp to the master and display cards. I don't want to make a career out of making one component. Even though it's a cheaper option, it's still a fairly large investment of time and money for something I may not be able to get to work. Plus getting stuff from Europe is a drag. Anybody have experience building open cockpits stuff?
2. Buy the Goflight MCP for $500. It seems reasonable but it's a lot to spend on one component especially the first one. Funds might be better directed to other parts of the cockpit, especially at first.
3. Build a simplified MCP. It would look good, have all the functionality, but certainly not be exact. For example the rotary knobs would actually be push buttons to select autopilot function (example heading button would select heading bug and be adjusted increase/decrease with 2 buttons on the yoke). I would also not use digital LED displays, but get the autopilot settings info from the PFD (it's all there). This could all be hooked to a keyboard emulator.
If after building the whole sim I really had to have an exact autopilot I could buy or build one at that time.
My best skills are in metal cutting/forming/flanging and wood working. I am a decent welder/ autobody painter, etc. I have a good metal wood/shop. Although I can solder quite well, my electronics/programming skills are lacking.
Thanks for the help and thanks for listening.
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ok...great skills you have. i was an oil refinery pressure pipe welder/ boilermaker and have loads of tools....so...you have a really great jump on most people. its very handy to be handy.
but...i think there is a real need to purchase some things...like a god pair of cdus, and an mcp. the rest will be easy for you.
it takes a while to get your dimensions together and angles..maybe a whole year of fiddling around making it look like excatly like the real thing....but the second sim will only take you two months to build. (ha)
its difficult to equate cost and quality.
mcp is the right choice to start with.
given your skills you could easily knock up a full size cockpit. you just need the correct panel dimensions...(usually by buying the panels first)...catch 22.
I think you are right. Some things are just better to buy. I don't think I would have any problem building a throttle quadrant, wiring some of the switches in the overhead, building the MIP. I am looking foward to building the cockpit shell, etc. And these projects would be enjoyable for me.
But wiring up and programming all those digital LED's, rotary switches, etc. No thanks. Best to buy it little by little, spend the money, plug it in and be done. MCP, radio stack, 1 working CDU, 1 dummy, 1 workin efis, 1 dummy.