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  1. #1
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    A glass cockpit Baron 58

    I started researching, and buying parts, to build a fully enclosed two seater glass cockpit Baron 58. My skills and time are limited compared to some of the mad skills some folks have, so I'll be buying stock parts and modifying and integrating them as much as possible. I plan on using Saitek yokes, pedals, and throttle. I'm definitely building the stubby console that has the throttle quadrant and making the trim tab controllers and flaps controller that are on it. I'll also likely be making the landing gear controller, and possibly, if I live to be 100, I'll make the three backup gauges (air speed, attitude, altitude) instead of using the high priced Saitek guages or displaying them on a third monitor. Anything else is just out of sight price wise.

    Question: Does anyone know of an off the shelf landing gear controller?

    Bigger Question: Has anyone hacked into a Saitek yoke? I'd like to extend the rod so that behind the panel I can synchronize the left and right yokes (moving together) as in a real airplane (most likely with belt over a sprocket on the shaft). I've seen a CH yoke hacked to extend it, but I'd really rather have Saitek.

    Another Question: Has anyone ever synchronized Saitek pedals so the left seat and right seat pedals move at once? Or, perhaps you have seen it done, or have an idea on how to do it.

    I have purchased some monitors for the glass and a few other parts, but I have not yet purchase the yoke or pedals, so I'm a bit clueless.

    Any other ideas would be greatly welcome.

  2. #2
    Boeing 777 Builder


    Kennair's Avatar
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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    Hi Rex and welcome to the home of mad skills folk,

    Mycockpit member SKA200 has extended his CH yoke and you can see some photos HERE. Not sure about the Saitek yoke but I'm sure the principle will be the same. I've modified two CH yokes by completely removing them and attaching them to my custom control columns, but thats probably more than you want to do. As for synchronising the rudder pedals, yes I have seen this done during my endless trawl of the net, but can't recall where. Again this was done with two CH pedals not Saitek and was just a mechanical linkage attached to both pedal bases to join them together. Take a look at my rudder pedal mechanism HERE and see if it gives you some ideas.

    Most of the off-the-shelf landing gear tend to be Boeing or Airbus related (and priced accordingly!) but its easy to make your own for GA craft for only a few dollars. I did it with some 6mm plastic and the wheel of a cheap castor for the handle.

    Hope that helps,

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


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  4. #3
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    Thanks Kennair. I love this site because of the friendly help. Just wish I had the time to build a real looking set of pedals like yours, but I'll be happy enough, I hope. Your encourage is inspiring, I will find a way to synch the pedals, and I will build the gear and flaps controller myself.

    Another question:

    In my plan, I'm just pulling up the graphic for the PFD and MFD from FSX for the glass cockpit Baron 58. Each to a separate monitor. I'll be using a touch pad, mounted on the center counsel in order to "reach" the computer drawn dials and buttons around the face of the PFD and MFD. It then struck me that it must be possible to have real dials and buttons that send a signal just like a mouse would. To do this one would have to: (1) make sure the computer drawn image was always in the same position on the monitor (seems possible to me), (2) know the X and Y coordinates for the mouse position sought to be emulated (I know that is possible but don't recall how), (3) make a dial or button that sends a signal emulating the mouse for that X/Y coordinate and "click" (seems possible).

    Have you heard of such a solution before???? Has anyone???? I am reading Mike Powell's new book (Building Recreational Flight Simulators), and if it is in there then I have not gotten to the right chapter yet.

  5. #4
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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    Hi for a landing gear, I made one for a few 's by designing this simple circuit:



    Very simple and effective!
    Building An Airbus In My Garage!

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  7. #5
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    Alex - I like it simple!! Thanks so much.

  8. #6
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    I read that a problem might be booting up with the lever up, but the program at start up will have the gear down. In FSX, the "G" key puts gear up and down, so another switch, recessed behind a small hole (like a typical "reset" key) would be helpful and prevent the need to restart the program. When you boot program with lever up, just lever down, then hit the reset button with the end of unwound paper clip and presto!

    I love your idea though because it's something I can start on now, complete, and put aside for future integration into the panel.

    BTW, wouldn't a trasformer supplied current be better than a battery? Especially keeping current to 5v.

  9. #7
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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    BTW, wouldn't a trasformer supplied current be better than a battery? Especially keeping current to 5v.
    Yes definitely, but I am a lazy man and a 9v battery did the job lovely lol, lasted forever on one battery by interupting the circuit with a switch to turn on and off power!

    Glad to be of help!

    Cheers,

    Alex
    Building An Airbus In My Garage!

  10. #8
    Boeing 777 Builder


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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Flyer View Post
    Another question:

    In my plan, I'm just pulling up the graphic for the PFD and MFD from FSX for the glass cockpit Baron 58. Each to a separate monitor. I'll be using a touch pad, mounted on the center counsel in order to "reach" the computer drawn dials and buttons around the face of the PFD and MFD. It then struck me that it must be possible to have real dials and buttons that send a signal just like a mouse would. To do this one would have to: (1) make sure the computer drawn image was always in the same position on the monitor (seems possible to me), (2) know the X and Y coordinates for the mouse position sought to be emulated (I know that is possible but don't recall how), (3) make a dial or button that sends a signal emulating the mouse for that X/Y coordinate and "click" (seems possible).

    Have you heard of such a solution before???? Has anyone???? I am reading Mike Powell's new book (Building Recreational Flight Simulators), and if it is in there then I have not gotten to the right chapter yet.
    There certainly is such a solution, a few in fact. One is Key2Mouse by Luciano Napolitano, then there is Pete Dowson's mouse macro's which is part of his ever popular and flightsim essential module FSUIPC, and then there is the recently disovered (for me anyway) and free application AutoIT. These all convert switches via joystick buttons or hardware interfaces and turn them into mouse clicks on screen. It depends on the addon aircraft you're using as to which is more successfull but I think they all offer some sort of trial testing period for you to try. Certainly for FS default aircraft all the above should work. I am about to try the free AutoIT on the Cessna Mustang as I believe the other two payware apps don't work adequately.

    As for the gear lever, mine is essentially the same as Alex except I have one microswitch for the down position only. I have this programmed in FSUIPC so that when pressed i.e. Down, the gear is down, but if it is released i.e. Up, the gear comes up. You do however need FSUIPC to gain this sort of programming as it isn't available as a default FS assignment. And as for the gear up issue when sim is started, you can make it part of your pre-flight procedures to ensure the gear is down and locked prior to sim start and in fact make it part of your pre shutdown checklist so its ready for you upon next startup (as you would in a real craft). Another option would be to pause the sim, put the lever down and then un-pause.

    Hope that helps,

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


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  12. #9
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    I have come across Pete Dowson's name many times already. He must definitely be one of the holy gurus of this hobby. I had seen the acronym FSUIPC bantered about but had no ideas what it did. Big, but fun, learning curve going on here for me!!!

    "And as for the gear up issue when sim is started, you can make it part of your pre-flight procedures to ensure the gear is down and locked prior to sim start and in fact make it part of your pre shutdown checklist so its ready for you upon next startup (as you would in a real craft)."

    You are right. It's about the total experience and should be part of the preflight checklist.


    "Another option would be to pause the sim, put the lever down and then un-pause."


    Thanks. I had not thought of that. It's simple and saves me from my thought which involved more work.

    I have not seen yet any schematic or suggestion as to what type of microprocessors to use. My understanding is they can be plain Jane, "click on", then "click off" and don't need to be momentary if passed through a program that essentially turns the contact into a momentary one. I read already about a programmable interface for such purposes.

    You have been a great help. Much thanks.

  13. #10
    Heli Builder fweinrebe's Avatar
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    Re: A glass cockpit Baron 58

    Building a Baron 58 you must look at Scott's Baron 58 project. Maybe there is something there you will like.

    http://home.exetel.com.au/flightsim/
    Last edited by fweinrebe; 09-12-2009 at 05:33 PM. Reason: spelling
    Fritz -> Helicopter Cockpit Builder
    (FSX | TH2Go | Arduino | C# Avionics | CNC)

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