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  1. #1
    10+ Posting Member jamcgee1978's Avatar
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    couple of newbie questions regarding companies, software,...

    Hi,

    Newbie question, i see from my research there are a couple of major players in products for your sim such as FDS, Engravity, CPflight, opencockpits.

    3 of us are about to start building a 737NG cockpit, the initial stages/plans are

    1. Ensure PM software successfully interfaces with the current build

    2.to construct the main housing for the MIP to be attached too and then construct the centre pedestal and throttle/fms housing in order that we can purchase the modules to slot straight in - this is where i get slightly confused. When building either the housing/pedestal for the radios do you first get the dimensions from the manufactuer or can you use the 737ng dimensions found via our downloads section. Do the companies all build to the same spec size wise (ie: 100% modelled from the actual) so that you can indeed slot the panels straight in.

    3. is it better practice to stick with the same company throughout

    4. would you guys say the PMDG 737ng powered by project magenta is the most popular route -

    5. can you really mimick every function of a real 737 cockpit via project magenta using pmdg as flight model

    we intend to add hardware bit by bit over this year and next so should be a steep learning curve lol.......

    6. finally any fellow builders in scotland?

    thanks in advance guys....what a find of a site....

    James

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job Sean Nixon's Avatar
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    Re: couple of newbie questions regarding companies, software,...

    Hi James

    Be very careful when building to dimensions found on the internet. A lot of them are not of the actual aircraft, but the 'best' guess of a particular builder, or perhaps just a size that suits his sim best. The best route would be to choose a manufacturer and either buy the product so you can build around it, or at least ask here for dimensions of the kit you intend to use. I wouldn't expect the manufacturers themselves to provide dimension information. It's not that they are unhelpful, but they've got to draw the line with help and support somewhere. I have the CPFlight/Engravity comms equipment I can measure for you.

    If you built your structures beforehand, you'll find you may be disappointed if you hope the purchased panels to slot right in.

    There are differences between the different manufacturers. They are pretty close to the original equipment, but even a few millimeters can throw your handy work out (especially if the panels are a few millimeters bigger than your slot)!

    Personally, I would stick with the same company as much as possible. It's not essential though, for a lot of kit, just do your research beforehand. In any case, you will not be able to build a fully functional 737 with parts all from the same manufacturer (unless it's Boeing)!

    If you are using Project Magenta, then PMDG becomes pretty redundant. You could use a cessna model (not that you would). Find a 737 that feels right for you.

    PM systems is pretty comprehensive, but I'm not sure it covers 100% functionaity. Again, if using PM, you wouldn't be using PMDG.

    I'm not in Scotland, but close. Newcastle upon Tyne. We talk funny here too!

    Best of luck.

    Sean

  3. #3
    10+ Posting Member jamcgee1978's Avatar
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    Re: couple of newbie questions regarding companies, software,...

    thanks for the reply sean i see - we will choose a company for the mip which is were we wanted to start and build around this



    aside from price what factors did you look at when comparing the different makes of say the overhead or pedestal - are there any that really stand out.


    I need to understand this, so as you incorporate the hardware/software into your build you are only actually using the flight dynamics and sounds of the model and that is it - i see - so openskies/wilco/pmdg are all possibilities just depends on what model you prefer.



    We are really after replicating the systems 100% if PM cant do this could you recommend alternatives i could consider - i was under the impression that PM was the standard for cockpit builders -


    some great advice many thanks you have really answered a few things that was sending me round in circles

  4. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job Sean Nixon's Avatar
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    Re: couple of newbie questions regarding companies, software,...

    Choosing a panel manufacturer is quite difficult in reality. In a shop you can compare different products side by side. We do not have this luxury. Manufacturers websites leave a lot to be desired, frustrating given the amount of cash some are asking.

    If you are really struggling to choose a manufacturer based on internet research (and you are not alone here), options are to find builders willing to show you their kit, or buy a small, cheapish item from your shortlisted manufacturers to compare (or dare I say, ask the manufacturer for a sample of their product).

    In the end, it depends on your aims. You say you want 100% functionality. That leads me to think you would like the panels to be close to reality too. If that's true, then be prepared to spend some cash, as like all things in life, the things you REALLY want are the most expensive!

    Any that stand out? FDS and Engravity are arguably the forerunners, but there are others. Again, try and see the panels in the flesh.

    You can use any 737 model you like if you are using 3rd party system logic software.

    Alternatives to PM? Check Sim-Avionics, Flight Deck Software, Sismo Solutions. There are others. I don't think any currently offer 100% functionality, but they are adding all the time. But there are ways around this. There are a few freeware products out there trying to fill the gaps. So you can get pretty darn close to 100%.

    Sean

  5. #5
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    Re: couple of newbie questions regarding companies, software,...

    Quote Originally Posted by jamcgee1978 View Post



    We are really after replicating the systems 100% if PM cant do this could you recommend alternatives i could consider - i was under the impression that PM was the standard for cockpit builders -
    Project Magenta is from everything I can see the standard for a Boeing simulation tons of experience in the professional market and enthusiast market. It is not however without its critics some justified some not . It will replicate the systems for you pretty well but it wont ( just like a level D sim do everything ). Do you really need the IRS to work for example in the AFT overhead.. probably not , can you live without tyre pressure will it effect your sim experience etc. From my research on software I can tell you not to set the bar to high or you will be dissapointed, stick to the main systems like displays, key overhead components , FMS , Autopilot etc and you will be happy.

    In relation to Sim Avionics at the moment its a bit up in the air , myself and another user here cant get answers to emails from FDS about basic things like cost etc but they may be down to transition, many people speak highly of FDS so i have to remind myself to be patient . SISMOs software is not complete Sismo sell the displays software ( Orion ) but you have to buy the overhead logic from another seperate company who dont have FMS/ CDU modules ready ,, bit of a mess and in addition their hardware support does not cover any of the mainstream hardware vendors and SISMOs themselves are very limited in the hardware that they produce.

    In relation to hardware I can tell you also to talk to as many people on Private message as possible and play attention to people who have been at this a while. Some people have been hesitant to express feeling about a particular product or company in public but can be more informative in private ( just my experience ) . Look beyond the marketing blurb aswell, every supplier I have talked to has supplied boeing for example, . If like me you are going to go down the mix and match route , keep it to a minimum , I have found you cant depend on measurements as somebody pointed out , e.g mega care around the MIP and EFIS etc . No Gaurantee a CDU from one manufacturer will fit the others CDU bay. If buying outside the EU make sure you factor rip off rates for exchange and then shop around for a good way to send the money ( careful with small outfits that nobody can confirm as trust worthy ) and also for foreign vendors outside the EU make sure you factor in import duties.

    Lastly of the manufacturers you have focused on Engravity , FDS and CPflight have figured positively in my research. Opencockpits hardware varies a lot in mileage commensurate with its price tag.

  6. #6
    10+ Posting Member jamcgee1978's Avatar
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    Re: couple of newbie questions regarding companies, software,...

    many thanks for your replies,

    after considering your advice we have decided not to start the MIP housing until we have purchased the panel, i dont want a load of firewood after all. With regard to software still looking at both PM and sim avionics. Currently just looking at purchasing 2 x 19inch and 2 x 15inch screens then configure the 3rd party software which will probably take me a wee while anyway. Like you said focus on the simpler task first and hopefully the rest will fall into place.
    [B][I]"Life is just a ride" - Bill Hicks Esq.

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