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  1. #1
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    Overhead functionality?

    I'm new here and have been browsing the forums on this website for many months now because I am interested in possibly starting a 737 sim myself. I am still a little confused on one major issue though and I hope many of you with obviously greater experience and knowledge than I have can make sure I'm understanding something before I decide how to proceed. What I can gather from many threads on the issue of overhead panel compatability with FS9 aircraft, either default or payware addons like PMDG 737NG, is that there is limited functionality of the many swiches, knobs, or annunciators unless you are running the expensive pmsystems program with FS and FSUIPC/Wideview? If one doesn't purchase pmsystems, and still wants to build an overhead....after wiring it all up with LED's, adding switches and knobs, interfacing with an I/O card like FDS SYS1 card ...etc, will there be any activity on the overhead itself as far as annunciators lighting up after switches are thrown or knobs are turned or will the overhead panel look like a "cold/dark" cockpit even though you might have FS running with let's say the default 737 in FS9 for example? If the panel requires logic from pmsystems to duplicate the real world fuction of a 737 overhead that's OK I guess, if that's what your ultimate goal is. I know Ian Sissons has info posted on his website about "mousetrapping" most of the swiches using the macros supplied by Pete Dowson, does that also include any of the rotary functions as well? Do these then make the PMDG 737 or default 737 or any other 2-engine jetliner recognize most of those functions or are they still "blind" to any of the inputs from the overhead panel unless you have pmsystem? Will the annunciators light up at all without pmsystems? I'm no electrician so I found that some of the "wiring" or "work around" diagrams I've seen posted on some threads and websites have been waaaay over my level of understanding and was hoping someone who has completed an overhead and is not running pmsystems could give me some idea how much functionality they have with their overhead or some basic intructions on what to do, what to expect, etc. I guess what I'm getting at is that it doesn't have to be 100% accurate for me to enjoy but I would hope it would have some annunciators that light up and switches that could be thrown as you work through a checklist or are just cruising along, I guess for just a little eye-candy more than the real-world accuracy. Thanks in advance to whoever takes time to reply..it is greatly appreciated and I'm sorry my first post was so long, but I feel like I'm trying to see the forest through the trees!!

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job ian@737ng.co.uk's Avatar
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    Re: Overhead functionality?

    hello doc.......
    with any 737 either add-on or stock, there is no way to access what you want without resorting to either expensive software packages or building your own system. my first setup was done using DPDT switches. these are two seperate switches in one case. one side was connected to the input card (BU0836X) to action the software switch using the mouse trapping technique and the other side was connected to a 5v supply to turn LED's on. worked a dream. the idea has now been developed further using PIC's which not only give synchronised annunciator lighting and software switch position, but also follow the logic that is employed on the 737 overhead.
    Mark Deponeo has now taken this one step further and is looking into having the overhead control boards made commercially. so, with that in mind, i can't really go into more detail.
    but if as you say, you are looking for a simple solution because electronics are not your thing, then go with what i did initially and use DPDT switches, one side controlling the software switch thru FSUIPC and the other side turning the LED on and off. even that is a major step forward
    any more help needed then just ask.
    good luck and hope you get it sorted........
    regards from the welsh borders ... ian
    Mr. Ian. P. Sissons is hereby recognised as an Honorary Flight Sim Captain following his passing in February 2016. This is in recognition for his commitment to Flight Simulation.

    www.mycockpit.org Featured Builder August 2008 www.737ng.co.uk
    FS9/PROSIM737/CPFLIGHT/Lots of BU0836X's and a Beer Fridge

  3. #3
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    Re: Overhead functionality?

    Thanks for the reply Ian, so if I would use the switches that you suggested could you give me an idea how many of the LED annunciators would be linked directly to these switches when thrown on or off. Also, can any annunciators light up when rotary knobs are used? Are all the LED annunciators on a 737 overhead actually "paired" up with a physical switch or knob or are there some that would light up or come on just as an "indicator".... so the later would require the logic from pmsystems? I guess I'm still a little confused. So all the videos and pictures I see of others sim's and overheads either have pmsystems running or have DPDT switches set up like you suggest cause I've seen many with different annunciators lit up @ different times and around different areas on the overhead? Can anyone give me an idea how much pmsystems is going for($$) these days and how easy it is to intergrate into your setups. I downloaded their demo to have a look and browsed through their user manual and it seems pretty complex and I couldn't really make sense of it. Also, I remember coming across a thread back in Aug. 2009 of several people trying to work on an overhead logic program or board that would be available for retail purchase. Ian, is that what you were referring to? If so, do you know if that is that still being considered and in the works, because it looked like the thread on that topic ended back in August with no more info. Thanks in advance once again.

  4. #4
    150+ Forum Groupie twisted8's Avatar
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    Re: Overhead functionality?

    If you are not completely sold on a 737 a great option is building a 767/757 using Level-D's airplane. It's affordable and it comes with an SDK that easily lets you control every aspect of the airplane (inputs/outputs).

    I use Level-D's 767 + Nico's free software (Lekseecon ) + opencockpits I/O cards. Once you get a hang of the programming part, it's really easy to expand. And did I mention is affordable? No need to buy expensive software or build your own logic. check it out

    http://www.leveldsim.com/
    http://www.lekseecon.nl/
    http://www.opencockpits.com/

  5. #5
    25+ Posting Member Michael S's Avatar
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    Re: Overhead functionality?

    Maybe you want to have a look at this thread.
    Greatings from Germany

    Michael

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