I am working towards the next step in my simpit build which is to create a MIP using third party gauges (probably Peix) on a second computer and monitor. I would like to add an overlay panel to this monitor including some rotary encoders to control things like heading bugs, OBS settings, etc. I plan to use some 6 mm MDF with holes cut for the gauges and directly mounting the encoders on the MDF. They would be connected to a board such as Bodnars or DA.

However I also use this second computer/monitor for Widefs obviously to allow for networking of the 2 computers as well as Squawkbox for VATSIM and Servinfo. I still need to be able to open these additional programs as well as the gauge program from the desktop or Start menu on the second computer. I know I can add Run optiosn in Widefs.ini to open three programs once Widefs itself is open. How would I be able to do that if the entire monitor is covered except where the holes are cut out for the gauges?

Some options I have thought about include

- hinging the overlay panel to the frame of my "desk" to allow it to be opened and closed as needed to see the whole monitor. Could be a problem with the wires running from the encoders to the board.
- including additional openings to the allow me to see a part of the monitor to open and manipulate the additional programs as required. Not very realistic
- adding a second monitor to the "client" computer to place the necessary icons, etc to open and manipulate the add on programs. This would make 5 monitors and 1 PSOne screen as my GPS in my overall setup which presents a space limitation problem.

Can anyone share any thoughts or ideas they have on this situation or perhaps what you have done in your setup?


PS I tried to add a photo of my current setup but can't seem to access the attachments portion of the forum. It says I have rights to to add attachments but nothing happens when I click on the icon or the button.