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  1. #1
    25+ Posting Member brian95's Avatar
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    hi all, starting 737 cockpit, help needed.

    Hi everybody,
    I'm Brian, and I have used flight simulator since I was in grade 4 in primary school, but only recently I started attempting to fly 'more realistically' in FSX (only with the default ATC though), so I have tried to learn as much as I can about the 737 (B737 is my favourite aircraft). I don't know much about airline flying in real life though, as only started understanding about things such as SIDs and STARs very recently. And I only just learned how to fly by VORs last week! (Every other time was flying by waypoints in the FSX flight planner with the GPS)

    Well this is my first post, so i think it goes here.

    For my extended project this year for school, I decided to build a Boeing 737-style half-simpit (we were allowed to do anything). The project lasts an entire year, but I need to start construction very soon as I think i won't have enough time to work on this, so I will try and add as much info in the post as i can.

    So far, I'm still in the design concept stage, and my simpit only exists on paper. I've done quite a bit of online research about this. I plan to build the captain's side of the Main Instrument Panel, the centre pedestal/electronics panel, and the overhead panel. Of course i will have to simplify these panels a lot so that it doesn't get too complicated.
    To save money, I also plan to build the flight yoke, and throttle quadrant, and also possibly rudder pedals. Since my budget is about AU$300-500, I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on buying a mode control panel, I want to build this as well, with rotary encoders and 7-segment displays and all that.
    It would be nice if it could be all backlit, but the only way i see it involves using acrylic glass and some kind of paper, so I will stick with wood for now.
    All this has to somehow be portable, and my idea at the moment is to build it in large sections that can be easily taken apart, transported and reassembed again.

    At this moment, I think I need to buy FSUIPC, FsXpand (Project Magenta seems too expensive), maybe WidevieW or WideFS.
    For the hardware, I need to use some kind of controller card such as Leo Bodnar's BU0836X joystick card or other I/O cards.

    The overhead will have many DPDT toggle switches (one side connected to some annunciator lights and the other connected to the card). I have attempted to draw very sketchy electrical circuits for the overhead, and I know its not perfect because I only learnt circuits in electronics last year. For the power supply, I'm going to use a 500w ATX computer power supply unit.
    So basically I want the overhead to work like this:
    The BAT switch turns the PSU on (green wire connects with black)
    With the PSU on, I can supply power to the rest of the panel by using the APU.
    When the APU Start switch is turned on, an annunciator light turns on declaring "APU GEN OFF BUS". This light would turn off when both APU gen switches are both on.
    The main issue though would be building the panel itself, which I currently have almost no idea how to do. I'm thinking of a simple wooden frame covered with smaller panels (also made of wood or some transparent material for backlighting). I also have no idea how to make the annunciators (small boxes with LEDs inside mounted in rectangle holes?)

    For the radio panel I am going to use pushbuttons because I already have many of them, and after looking at the EventsID in the SDK, it seems to somewhat work to a little extent. (for example having a button to select NAV1 radio, then using two other pushbuttons for 'increase selection' and 'decrease selection' like + and - keys, but it could get very annoying.) I don't have FSUIPC yet so I don't know yet if I can somehow change this.
    For the frequencies, I might use 7segment displays, but I can also just have the Radio stack displaying on one of the LCD monitors, such as to the right side of the MFD above the throttles.

    The EFIS and MCP though would be a lot trickier, as the 7 segment displays are needed (not for efis). I have a very tiny idea of how these displays work but I don't know how to connect them to a display card or get it to work with FSX.

    The Main Instrument Panel will just be a simple wooden panel with holes cut inside where the PFD, ND and EICAS are, with computer monitors behind to show the information. Additionally, I am cutting holes for the standby instruments, some annunciators, and the flaps gauge.
    Any switch on the MIP would be moved into the center pedestal to the large blank area which would have been the FO's side of the radios.
    Making the Gear Lever is an option, or it can just be a (very) small toggle.
    I can use my laptop for the lower display with an on-screen FMC (laptop is a tablet) but I don't even have an FMC.

    Planning on the flight controls will come later because if it fails or i just don't have time, I can just use my joystick as a compromise.

    Since I don't have a Boeing 737 payware addon for FSX, this revolves around the simple default Boeing 737. Also, it doesn't seem as if there are any payware 737 addons for FSX anyway. If you know of any good ones please let me know.

    Thanks a lot for reading this.
    Any help or suggestions for improvement or pointing out any fatal flaws either with the construction or electrical wiring would be greatly appreciated.

    Brian

  2. #2
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level sobaya's Avatar
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    Re: hi all, starting 737 cockpit, help needed.

    I dont have experience.

    But i can tell you about the payware software for the FSX.

    There are 2 ways:
    1.- Hobby: Buy the airplane with liveries, systems etc, etc....... $70 dollars: PMDG 737NG (wait for the release in few months)
    2.- Professional: Buy the project magenta systems for the 737....... several hundred dollars.

    Luck.

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  4. #3
    25+ Posting Member brian95's Avatar
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    Re: hi all, starting 737 cockpit, help needed.

    Thanks
    I'll start with building the panels while waiting for the PMDG 737NG then (it's taking a while)
    I don't think there's any chance for me with project magenta, way too expensive
    anyway thanks again

    Brian

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