06-25-2008, 10:33 PM #1
Greetings from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Iíve been lurking here for about the last six months as Iíve been doing research and planning for a cockpit project, and I figured it was finally time to introduce myself. About 10 years ago I started thinking about making my own controls and controllers for games like MechWarrior and Freespace, but I never got really serious about the idea until more recently.
Iím a fan of old warbirds and stick mostly to World War II era games. These days I spend most of my time in the IL-2 Sturmovik Collection, but I also enjoy flying FSX, which, for me, is just another delivery mechanism for vintage aircraft. From time to time I fire up Lock On, X-Plane, and MS Combat Flight Simulator (mostly for the Over Flanders Fields WWI mod). I suppose the point is that I enjoy variety, and so my goal is to build a multi-functional cockpit (meaning multi-game, multi-plane, multi-game-genre).
Iíve been using a slew of off-the-shelf controllers thus far, but Iíve never been totally satisfied with them. For years Iíve shopped around for better gear, but even the ridiculously expensive stuff doesnít really offer what I want. Iíve realized that the only way that Iím going to get what I want is if I make it myself. Thatís probably the biggest motivator behind my cockpit project, and that is where I intend to start. I want to build controls and then build the cockpit around the controls.
So, Iíve been researching, brainstorming, sketching, planning, thinking, rethinking, and researching even more. I havenít hesitated to dream during this period, but I know that many of my ideas still need to be tempered by knowledge, budget, space, and, perhaps most importantly, my time. In the meantime, Iíve written pages and pages of descriptions for my various ideas, and Iíve done my best to illustrate them while organizing the informational resources Iíve gathered (including potentially relevant equipment/part makers and vendors). Despite all the progress to date, I still have a lot of questions, so I hope to take advantage of the obvious wealth of knowledge here in this community. Iíve found this site to be a great resource and jumping off point these past six months. Iím impressed with the level of activity, all the inspiring examples, and, not insignificantly, the friendliness and willingness of the community members to share their knowledge. I hope to find a home here.
06-25-2008, 11:16 PM #2
We're glad to have ya. Welcome aboard.
Sounds like you been doing a lot of research and planning. As such, it's sime to start cutting plywood and buying screws and glue.
You can plan and dream until you retire, but you'll never get started until you start. You will make mistakes. It is inevitable. There is no instruction manual for building a simulator of any kind unless you work for a simulator manufacturer. What is that they say about the best laid plans of man?
Don't be afraid of making a mistake. Everyone here has done it, it's part of the hobby.
Have fun, now get started.Boeing Skunk Works
Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!
We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!
Powered by FS9 & BOEING
06-26-2008, 12:08 AM #3
Thanks for the welcome and prod to action. I am truly eager to get started doing something. I feel like I could research and plan forever without ever feeling (or actually getting) ready. Unfortunately, I really need some advice before I pull the trigger on any purchases. My first controller project is the creation of trim controls, but I'll outline that and solicit advice in a new thread in a more appropriate forum.
Until that gets underway, I plan to spend my time on a series of badly needed desk-area enhancements: a monitor shelf to hold my hodgepodge collection of CRTs, a shelf to hold my TrackIR sensor so it's still in range when I'm sitting back behind my yoke, a frame and stand for a fresnel lens I bought to play with, an articulated shelf to hold my keyboard and mouse and FPS pad, chair modifications (experimenting for eventual positions of controls by using my existing off-the-shelf controllers). None of it is glamorous and all of it is only tangentially related to the cockpit project, but it'll keep me from buying impulsively (something I have a bad habit of doing).
As you can see from the image below, it's a necessary series of early steps.
06-26-2008, 12:27 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
- South West, Western Australia
Hi and welcome,
Good to see another warbird builder. I'll look forward to seeing some progress. As has been said, just roll up your sleeves and make a start,"Tony"
In memory of Flt Lt Tony Hill who, on 5 December 1941, at the request of Doctor R V Jones, successfully photographed a small "WŁrzburg radar" at Bruneval on the French coast. This from a height of only 200 ft, at high speed, under fire and from a camera mounted obliquely behind the cockpit.