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  1. #1
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    Advice on the best sim out there

    737NG OR A320?

    Dear Aviators,

    Im looking to build a great sim. I have been flying flightsim since 1998. Now i have decided to make the next step and I need this great community to help me make informed choices on what to purchase. I have been researching for months, looking at Chris Kilroys sim on youtube is something that leaves me amazed. I am very serous about this project and am looking to put it together but due to lack of workshop just cannot build components (as much as i would like to). Your help is renowned and invaluable.

    Would i be right in thinking that the airbus would be cheaper as there is no need for a motorized thottle or expensive yokes?

    What I think that i need :

    3x computers + / 3x projectors/ immersaview/ TH2GO


    Really what im asking for is this: A list of the parts available that would make that perfect sim.


    Cheapest price/ Best value for all panels for the A320 and 737NG. ------------ MIP/OH/Thottle/Fire/Radio Pedestal/ Shell/ and liners.

    ...........................................................................................................................................................

    If money was no object what would you buy? - we've all bought something and wished we had spent a little more to get i looking right.

    Thank you, your help will make a difference.

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job Sean Nixon's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on the best sim out there

    Hi

    I'll give my opinion for what it's worth:-

    Set as realistic budgets and timescales from the outset. Unless you plan on building a LOT of your own parts, then this needs to be in the region of 10's of thousands of UK pounds (20-30k) and possibly 5 to 10 years (eg. the 3 PC's/3 Projectors/Sol7/TH2G you mention will set you back £2-3k).

    If your looking at Chris's setup for inspiration (as I did), then you'll need the space too. A typical UK size double garage would be a minimum.

    I don't think there'll be that much difference in price in the end between a 737 or an A320, so I would go with your personal preference (if you have one). I went with 737 - partly because I think it has more character than the Airbus, but largley due to the prevalance of 737 part manufacturers and builders out there. There's always 73 stuff coming up on the 2nd hand market too.

    A list of parts is harder to give, there are that many. But you've mentioned a few already, so you know what you need. What order you get them in is also your choice, unless you have the time and money to get everything at once! Most people seem to start with the MIP and a pedestal.

    Also consider what I call a Mark1, Mark2 progression. If you cant afford a proper realistic fully kitted out pedestal to start, get the minimum panels (COMM/NAV/etc) and make a crude wooden box painted blue to put them in. If it's only ever going to be a temporary affair, then time and money spent can be kept to a bare minimum and put towards what you eventually want. It's amazing how much effect these temporary fixtures can have on your flying experience.

    What end of the market to pitch in at is also something that can only be your choice. If your striving for realism, then expect to pay for it (refer to 1st paragraph)!

    Having said that, I've seen several sim's that don't have the high end panels in them, and they look great. Try and visit a few.

    If money was no object... I know what I'd be doing!

    Bet your no further forward now!

    Sean

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    Re: Advice on the best sim out there

    Thanks for the input Sean, lots to mull over!

    Ok so if money was no object what would you buy? If i was going for the 737 i suppose the list might look as follows- Your thoughts would be helpful! I have the money for it - I was going to do my ATPLs and then have to pay for the Type rating, the degradation in T&Cs + the economy means that I would rather have a stable career and a complete sim in the garage.

    So the list:

    O/H - symmulatory
    Shell/Liner - FDS
    Yoke- ace
    FMC-
    THROTTLE- FSC
    MIP- flyengravity
    fire panel-
    radios-
    Pedistal-

    I could make the pedistal box and FMC holders i suppose- please add components ive missed - it would be good to get a complete view of the market by listing manfacturers.....

    KR and thanks!

    nick

  4. #4
    150+ Forum Groupie choffmann's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on the best sim out there

    If money was no object, I would call Thales right away...

    Chris

    No no kidding:
    I believe, I would not combine parts from various manufacturers, as they are all linked in some way, e.g. background lighting etc. -
    This holds true especially for people who are a little far from the "engeneering" side of cockpitbuilding, like me.

    So if money was no object, ..... , I would go for FDS.
    Just my 2 cents

  5. #5
    500+ This must be a daytime job Sean Nixon's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on the best sim out there

    Hi Steve

    If money is no object (and you steer clear of Thales - cheap crap!) AND you are going with a 737, then I would go with FDS or FlyEngravity for the panels (MIP & Overhead). I personally went with Engravity and would certainly recommend them. FDS are similar quality.

    As Chris has suggested, definately keep the same manufacurer for as many panels as you can, certainly the main ones. You'll run into trouble here, as I don't think any one company makes every panel just yet, but there are ways around this.

    Check out SimVionics here in the UK. Phil is relatively new on the panel supply scene and has recently buckled to the pressure to enter the 737 market! Some great panels coming out of the NW.

    I think FDS make their own electronic items (MCP/COMM/NAV/ADF/TXPR/etc). Engravity and CPFlight do a sort of joint venture, CPFlight using Engravitys front panels for their equipment. I use the latter and very happy with it.

    FMC - Both FDS and Engravity make their own.

    Pedestal - Ditto

    Yoke - can't give any advice here, I've yet to see one I'd be happy with. But keep an eye on a certain new French company.

    Throttle - The new French company Revolution Simproducts have recently entered the throttle market. I've seen this unit and it looks very promising. Those early adopters that have received their throttle are certainly more than happy with it. It's already onto the MarkII version, after rigourous end-user testing.

    I'm not going with an outside shell, but hope to do the internal linings. There are few suppliers of these items, but it's way down my list, so I'm not devoting too much time on researching this yet.

    You'll also need Glass Cockpit software/System software. Project Magenta were once the only serious choice. It's one of the best out there (others will disagree), but it's got pricey and there are a few new kids on the block. Look at FlightDeckSolutions and Sim-Avionics, to name a couple.

    There are a load of other items you'll want to consider, from gear levers and knobs, through to interface panels (for the switches and LEDS) and things like seats. The list is quite long!

    Of course there are more manufacturers than FDS and Engravity for most of the items discussed here, but it sounds to me like one of those would fit your bill best.

    Have you seen Ian Sissons site? www.737ng.co.uk

    Ian lists almost every manufacturer on the planet somewhere on his site, as he has encountered one of their products somewhere during the evolution of his excellent sim. Interestingly, Ian has taken a much more hands-on approach to building his pit, rather than buying his way out of trouble . Ask him nicely and he might let you play with it!

    There's a bit more for you to mull over. Don't lose too much sleep, if you think of anything else, just ask.

    Regards.

    Sean

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  7. #6
    75+ Posting Member MortenHa's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on the best sim out there

    Hi Scooby!

    My two cents if I had the money!

    But first some advice!

    You should brake up your project into logical parts:

    Core Simulator
    What simulator software to use?
    FSX, FS91 or X-plane.
    The choice isn't as obvious as you would think. Use of FSX will not be as certain as FS91 when it comes compatability with software and hardware parts. FS91 has a longer track record than FSX. X-plane? well it is the only generic simulator that is still up and running. Like it or not the software and hardware industry will move to this one, even if it takes 10-15 years.
    Perhaps the new company Cascade Game Foundry (with designers from ACES) drums up something in the meantime, who knows

    In addition, what aircraft to use to get good flight characteristics: PMDG? Ariane?

    Outside view
    WidevieW?
    Projectors?
    Collimated lenses?
    Frensel lenses?
    Curved projectors?

    Physical Construction
    Materials?
    Measurements?
    Size?
    Ligthning?
    Panel assembly?
    Wiring?

    Instrumtentation&Control
    Panels (OVH,GLARE,MIP,PED)?
    TQ?
    Yokes&Pedals?
    Software?

    Sound
    Speakers?
    Positioning of speakers?
    Sound files?

    Motion
    1DOF-6DOF?
    Buttkicker?
    Seats with (sound)vibration?

    If i had unlimited money i would go for this soultion (for a 737)

    Panels from FDS. Simply because they have the longest track record when it comes to panels!
    CDU also from FDS
    Gauges from Simkits
    Software from Project Magenta (Glass cockpit and PMSystems)
    Throttle quadrant from Opencockpits
    Yokes from AXE
    Hardware interface: IOCards from opencockpits. They are the cheapest cards than spans every possible need you might have. Together with a very powerful scripting language! It will take care of all your needs.

    Hope this helps

    Morten

  8. #7
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    Re: Advice on the best sim out there

    My thanks to all whom have replied.

    would i really face an uphill struggle if i went down the a320 route? are there so few manufacturers atm?

    Morten your help here was great. especially the last part. Ok so heres what i do know:


    I have the PMDG 737 so i guess i would use that model. I also have a room 24 foot by 17foot and the hight is fine for the fds shell. would that be enough for long span projectors- i already have one, but i suppose i could use two short span for the side views.

    Outside view

    3x Projectors plus curved screen.


    Physical Construction

    Materials- would i be right in thinking that if i bought the shell and liners the mip and overhead would fit without any home made (wood) brackets or does it come with brackets?
    Measurements- hopefully correct by manufacturers.
    Size- fullsize
    Ligthning - would the panels come with backlighting or would i need to rig up some christmas lights behind?
    Panel assembly- should not be a problem.
    Wiring - how do you power it? - could i use a computer power supply?

    Instrumtentation&Control

    Panels (OVH,GLARE,MIP,PED) yes
    TQ as discussed
    Yokes&Pedals AXE if they do pedals
    Software?

    Sound
    Speakers? yes have them.
    Positioning of speakers? sorted
    Sound files? do not know.

    Motion
    1DOF-6DOF? 1DOF for now!
    Buttkicker? nO.
    Seats with (sound)vibration? Car seats- unless anyone can recommend a website!

    Thanks guys,when its all completed (ever! im a perfectionist lol) your welcome to come round and fly.

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