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  1. #1
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    Fokker G.1 project: many questions!

    Hi,

    For many years I have been working to build the fuselage of a Fokker G.1 aircraft. Now I have the idea to make the cockpit suitable to use for a flight simulator. I have no experience with sims at all so I have no idea what possibilities there are. I hope some of you are able to send me in the right direction.

    1st, Before I decide how to rebuild the instruments, does it make much difference what software I use?

    2nd, I should like that it is possible to use instruments without rebuilding them.
    I think that useing the temperature indicator wouldn't be so difficult, the ones I have are operated by a DC voltage, 0 degree is 0 V 350 degree is 3,5 V. But how about RPM indicators? The ones I have are operated by a 3 phase motor with dragcup, anyone experience useing such gauge in a sim?

    3th, Has any one experience with building/using a vacuumsysteem to operate the altimeter, VSI and ASI? I would like such system because I have some gauge which have high historical value and I don't line to destroy them.

    4th, anyone ever build a turning platform? Same here, I dont want to rebuild the genuine compass.

    I know several people who have collected/build instrumenst panel from luftwaffe aircraft, would be great if these could be used for sims. Also in these cases, the instruments are to valuable to rebuild them to sim instruments. Some nice penals can be seen at: www.germanluftwaffe.com

    More information about the G.1 and my cockpit can be seen at: www.fokker-g1.nl

    Best regards,

    Mathieu.

  2. #2
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    Re: Fokker G.1 project: many questions!

    A key point when selecting sim software is its ability to provide data for use in drivng the instruments. Both MSFX and X-Plane can do this. Other applications have limited capability, some, none at all.

    I don't know of anyone directly driving a drag-cup tach. In concept, it's straightforward to use a microcontroller like a PIC to generate a three-phase, variable frequency square wave drive. While the orignal tach-generator drive signal is sinusoidal, a square-wave, or modified square-wave show do as well. There would need to be some current limiting of the current into the tach gauge. The original tach generator produced lower voltage at lower RPM.

    There was a small amount of work done with variable vacuum systems and sensitive altimeters several years ago. (On Viperpits.org???) I don't think the accuracy or resolution were particularly tight. This is a doable project. A key element is accurately measuring the vacuum (or pressure) you apply to the instrument. There are sensors to do this made by firms like Honeywell and Freescale. For information see application note AN1326, Barometric Pressure Measurement Using Semiconductor Pressure Sensors. (www.freescale.com) Occasionally, tiny air pumps used in portable medical instrumentation show up on the surplus market. These look attractive for this application.

    As for the compass, rather than using a turning platform, perhaps you can mold a set of orthogonal Helmholtz-style coils the outside of the instrument case and control coil currents to rotate the compass card.

  3. #3
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    Re: Fokker G.1 project: many questions!

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your reply!

    Can you explain me what is the difference between MSFX and X-Plane?
    I have registered at viperpits and will ask there about there experience with vacuum systems and I have some contact at the technical university in The Netherlands and will ask also there if they have some ideas. Would be great if it is possible to use the gauges with out rebuilding them. Same with the gyroscope, I have a genuine Askania gyroscope ( a license built Sperry ) with Dutch text. This is really very rare instrument which would be nice to use hence my question about a turning platform. Building one is rather easy for me, I have the equipment (mill, lath, welding machine etc) and experience with steelwork etc, but don't know how to connect it to the pc.
    Any advice will be highly appreciated!!

    Best regards,

    Mathieu.

  4. #4
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    Re: Fokker G.1 project: many questions!

    I don't believe I could do justice to a comparison of MSFSX and X-Plane. Almost every flight sim forum, including this one, has at least one thread covering the topic. Those threads are probably the best start.

    Roland van Roy has excellent material on simulator motion systems. That's a good place to look for information ablout interfacing a turning platform to the simulation application. http://www.simprojects.nl/motion_platform.htm There are some additonal links in the (DIY) Motion System Information section of this page: http://www.mikesflightdeck.com/links_1.htm

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