View Poll Results: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ? Multiple choice is allowed...

Voters
105. You may not vote on this poll
  • MCP/EFIS/CDU

    32 30.48%
  • MIP

    52 49.52%
  • PEDESTAL

    18 17.14%
  • SOFTWARE

    26 24.76%
  • OVERHEAD

    6 5.71%
  • YOKES

    24 22.86%
  • RUDDERS

    19 18.10%
  • TQ

    20 19.05%
  • EXT.VISUALS

    10 9.52%
  • COCKPIT DECK

    10 9.52%
  • SHELL

    13 12.38%
  • SEATS

    5 4.76%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1
    500+ This must be a daytime job Nick1150's Avatar
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    Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?



    I know this question has been answered so many times, but I would say a poll would solve many newbie's (mine first )confusions.

    Please answer having in mind ONLY FOUR CONDITIONS....
    1) There is already a generic or something like a cockpit to fly, 2) possibly few medium range spare PCs in the warehouse, 3) We are talking about a FULL sim at the end, and 4) the build should be fly capable at all stages.

    so here it goes....

  2. Thanks vybhav, Matt Olieman thanked for this post
  3. #2
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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    You missed two important options:

    1) Rob a bank

    2) Marry someone rich

  4. #3
    300+ Forum Addict jmig's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    You left out the most important item, Research. I spent two years just thinking and researching before I started to build something. I found T-38s on display and took photos. I measured them to get cockpit dimensions. I even made a LARGE caliper that I could use to span the width of the cockpit to get accurate measurements. I thought about the layout and how I would get things to work. Wiring issues and I/O boards. I made sketches and downloaded hundreds of pictures. I even bought a poster used by student pilots in the T-38 to memorize the cockpit. It was an accurate scale drawing. With it I was able to calculate the dimensions of the panels and instruments.

    Only after I had a good idea on how I would proceed did I start building. My first item that I built was the control stick. It was full size and looks like the actual stick. Next came the rudder pedals.

    BTW - Even after all that research, I had a few starts and stops. One major was the I/O cards. The original company from which I was going to purchase the cards went out of business, after i had laid out all of the wiring. The new cards used a different wiring setup. I had to rewire a large part of the sim. No biggie, I used that as an opportunity to redo a few things with which I was not totally happy.

    Today, If i was starting over. I would buy Mike Powell's book on building a simulator. It will save you far more than the purchase price.
    John

    System:
    ASUS P5Q SE/R
    Intel Q9550 O/C to 3.4 GHz
    4 GB 1066 DDR2 RAM
    300 GB WD 10,000 RPM Raptor SATA Drive
    GeForce 8800 GT 512 KB RAM
    Matrox TH2Go with three 19" Sumsung 940 BX
    IR Track 4

  5. #4
    Executive Vice President, MyCockpit


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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    And.... listen to MyCockpit Podcast "Tips And Discussions" with Ian (IAN@737NG)


  6. #5
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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    Cockpit building requires experience, skill and money. Without these then you will pretty much need to start from the bottom. Start off on small projects, make mistakes and learn from them. Confidence will enable you to invest money in the right products and maybe you will learn to adapt and grow within your project. Aviation knowledge gives you the knowledge to understand systems and how they work, then develop the ability to simulate them. Taking time to research, learn and practice building is key to cockpit building and having a creative mind may put you in a positive position to develop new ways and ideas of building elements of a cockpit. Mycockpit members are the tools and you are the developer, add this with your money, time, patience and knowledge and hopefully (fingers crossed) something pretty decent (and fun) should be within your hands!
    Building An Airbus In My Garage!

  7. #6
    150+ Forum Groupie verticallimit's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    I was very lucky to get a cheap throttle quadrant, so this was my first "hardware". But i started with gauges composer to aninmate engine instruments. Now i work on the flight guidens control panel.
    But in the poll I miss the option: Buy hardware.
    In this project I always have a look out for cheap hardware

    http://www.md80project.dk
    Sincerely,

    Claus


  8. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job Nick1150's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    Hi,

    I tried to enter a new choice with the name "other hardware", but I couldn't. I would appreciate if a kind admin or mod could do that for me

    I personaly believe that reserach is indeed the FIRST thing that one should do prior building his first simpit. My question therefore, goes after that stage of researching. So given that reasearch has been done.... where to start building a home cockpit ?

    I see that from the first votes, already the MIP is in first place. That's what I expected-suspected. Thanks guys for voting... I beleive that a few simple clicks in the above boxes from those experienced sim builders, can be a great deal of help to the newbie or new to this forum and without reading he or she can understand many things just by watching the results.

    Thanks MyCockpit

  9. #8
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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    1. CH Yoke (or similar)+ pedals

    Yoke with Tq and some additional function, the best for begining.

    2. Pedestal
    Using radio only we can fly at almost all planes, from Cessna to A380, default or addon.
    All other hardware depends on something else. TQ needs Autopilot, Autopilot needs FMS.
    Mip needs EFIS etc.

    3. MIP with AP and Efis.
    With TQ on Ch Yoke gives almost complet setup for nice virtual flying.
    However for longer routes we still need number 4..

    4.FMC/CDU.

    5.Finaly realistic TQ (fully usable only witch Autopilot and FMC).

    6.7.8... For more Fun OVHD,Shell, Motion, Visual, Seats....

  10. #9
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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    That's just a little bit more elegant than our current solution.The autopilot was there.We added the chartplotter, and didn't want to do anything permanent until we knew what we wanted.

  11. #10
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    Re: Where to Start Building a Home Cockpit ?

    First off... I love Captain Calamity's answer. I have a great generic home cockpit and I stress generic because I didn't want to pidgeohole myself into just one type of aircraft. I love all planes (ok..I have a top 100 list) and I wanted to be able to fly all of them. Therefore I knew my efforts would center around virtual panels for instrumentation surrounded by basic analog hardware some of which I have built myself. My advanced home flight simulator cockpit station has progressed in the following order which I think is a great checklist. My entire sim building progress has had an extreme focus on building something that looks and feels professional for the least amount of money.

    #1 - Simulator software. - I still use FS 2004 for a very large variety of reasons. (A+ sim, great freeware add-ons, gauge-ware flexibility)
    #2 - Yoke, rudders, and throttle quadrant. - I still use CH Products. (alot of people dump their stuff on Ebay for real cheap too!)
    #3 - More monitors - I started with 1, then 2, then 4, then added a projector. ( the DLP projector is also used for my home theater!)
    #4 - Sim Station Cockpit Shell - This I designed and built myself. I call it the XS-1 and I sell blueprints for it on my website.
    #5 - More software - I then got into buying advanced gauge payware that more accurately mimics real world aircraft gauges.
    #6 - Panel design - Once I set up my monitors for real world scale I then started designing my own virtual instrument panels.
    #7 - Cockpit seats - I got some great van seats off of Craigslist for free and then cut off the bottoms and mounted them to office chair bottoms. They are A+ !!!
    #7 - Trim Wheel-Speed Brakes-Flaps - As a first foray into mechanical / electronics building I built a very nice unit for these functions for $100.00
    #8 - Dual Mechanical Yokes - I am currently finishing my dual yokes which will be done this month. They have cost about $400 in parts.
    #9 - Throttle - A more advanced generic turbine / jet throttle will be next.
    #10 - Overhead - maybe next year!

    Everything I have accomplished so far has cost me about $5,000.00 (US) This includes my PC, all monitors, projector, the control hardware, my gauge payware, and my sim station components. Even though this may seem like alot to some it is actually at the very low, most affordable end, for something as advanced as what I have going. -- and while I'd love to have a 737 in my house like alot of these guys in here do, the reality is I cannot afford the $15,000 - $30,000 to make it happen. If was to spend that much I would much rather look for a real aircraft as my other goal apart from simming is to buy or build a real plane in the next few years.

    As far as my experience, I am also a real pilot in San Diego California and have several hundred hours in a variety of aircraft and I have a website entirely dedicated to helping people become more advanced sim pilots using the most cost effective solutions. Feel free to check me out at SimSamurai-dot-net. -- regards, Jeff.

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