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  1. #1
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    Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    I am amazed at the cockpits that many of you have built or are building. Whatever I come up with will not come close to what you have done.

    It seems to me that before putting a lot of time, energy and money into building a cockpit there are a couple of things one must get a really good handle on. The first is getting to know FSX in detail and adjusting settings and tweaking it to meet your needs. The second is learning to fly fairly well in FSX, especially learning to fly the type of plane your cockpit will emulate.

    Personally I would not want to go "all in" on a cockpit until I was almost certain that FSX and my own flying ability would not be the weak links in the chain. Does that make sense?

    What I would like to know from the super cockpit builders on the forum is

    1. What did you do with flight simulator, etc. before really getting into building your cockpit?

    2. Did you master FS9/FSX and flying in FS9/FSX first?

    3. If you were starting out new again, what would you focus on before starting to build?

    It also seems to me that there are a lot of setup "issues" with FSX especially if you go multiple monitors and multiple computers, etc. I don't want to be spending most of my time setting up each time I want to fly. Do you get your cockpits to the point where everything starts up smoothly each time without a lot of fussing about?


  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    I have found that working on my pit has definitely helped my flying. Where before due to the plethora of key commands, I did not pay much attention to anything other than pitch, yaw and roll controls. Adding a throttle setup helped with power settings immensely. For example, I went from firewalling it on takeoff, cruise and descent to minimum idle on final. The engine controls now have me paying attention to throttle settings, leaning and staying within the powerband. (I am a GA prop flyer, obviously). Adding a starter switch taught me the proper way to do engine run-ups, adding light switches made me pay attention to exterior and cockpit lighting. Radio modules have taught me more about proper radio navigation and ATC.

    Adding the tactile functions to my pit has really increased my depth of knowledge, and turned it from a game(which i loved) into something that is now my passion and hobby. Researching and playing with my sim, has really also renewed my interest in getting my real-world license.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Reid
    http://juneaucessnasim.blogspot.com
    N58243 (virtual)- Low and Slow...

  3. Thanks AlexJ thanked for this post
  4. #3
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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    Thanks AK for your response. I hear what you are saying and agree 100%. I currently have a a yoke, pedals and throttle quadrant. In the future I would like to add some switches and rotary encoders through a Leo Bodnar interface. Before that I am going to try the keyboard mods from Roger Dodger Aviation.

    I see these wonderful, life-like, cockpits on this forum and can only assume that they have FSX working to perfection. How do they do it? I would hate to build something only to find that I can't get it all to work together and cannot find the appropriate settings/tweaks/etc for FSX/computer/graphics card/etc.

    I'm also a little bewildered as to what type of plane to focus on. I started out flying only GA planes but now I've tried my hand at flying the 737 and CRJ I like them as well. So I'm currently thinking of building something generic to begin with. Maybe the multidue of options in FSX from planes to settings is making it difficult for me to focus. But for now I'm really enjoying may simple setup.

    Cheers

  5. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    FSX perfection is something that almost everyone here is striving for. Quite a few are even working on getting fs9 set up perfectly. Adding interface switches and encoders will make no difference in performance of either aim. They just don't use any system resources. Add on software like scenery, traffic, etc. will take a much bigger bite from your performance. This will change later if you decide to add multiple monitors, as graphic changes may task your system.

    If you are happy with your sim performance now, then add your input without worries. If you are nor happy, then do what you nerd to do to make it fun.

    I too started with the RD keyboard for inputs. It worked somewhat. If you google it, you can find keyboard labels that you can print yourself, that work better IMHO because they only take one key. Does not look as "cool" as the RD unit, but for most beginning pit builders, getting rid of the keyboard entirely is an early priority. Switches just feel better.

    One more note, buy a copy of fsuipc. It offers a superior way to interface your inputs with FS, compared to the ingame menu.
    http://juneaucessnasim.blogspot.com
    N58243 (virtual)- Low and Slow...

  6. #5
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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    FSUIPC is at the top of my software purchase list. Can't wait to get it actually even if at first it will be used just for calibrating/controlling my yoke, pedals, throttle.

    BTW I recently read a couple of books written by people who were for the most part "bush pilots". One is "Flying on the Edge" by Gene Manion about flying in Newfoundland/Labrador. The other is "Flying Canada" by Clair Schnupp about flying primarily in Canada's northland. Both very interesting and I've actually flown some of their routes in FSX to get a better idea of what they are saying. What would make it more realistic however would be detailed scenery and weather add-ons. These are on my list of future buys.

    On another thought (and I apologize for being all over the map), I saw an interesting tutorial by Gwyn Perrett on this forum about hacking a Microsoft Sidewinder Joystick. I have a couple of them in my junk box. Maybe I'll try to hack one before investing in Leo Bodnar's excellent interface mdoule.

    Again many thanks for your thoughts and support.

  7. #6
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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    AK and others ...
    I bought and installed FSUIPC4 today. I also have CH Control Manager installed on the computer and before purchasing FSUIP that is what I used (in direct mode) to calibrate my yoke, pedals and throttle quadrant. Now I want to use FSUIPC to control/calibrate these things.

    QUESTION: Should I remove CH Control Manager from the machine or is it OK to just not run it (keeping in mind I have run it in the past)?

  8. #7
    300+ Forum Addict nax228's Avatar
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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    Trolly:
    YES. Remove the CH Control Manager AND all your joystick axes settings in FSX/settings/controls. The buttons can stay, but I advice you to configurate them under FSUIPS Buttons page as well.
    Wherever it states x, y or z axes, remove those lines.

    Then save your settings and start up the FSUIPC axis config.

  9. #8
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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    Thanks nax ... I'm also thinking of disabling joysticks entirely in FSX and do both the axes and buttons through FSUIPC.

  10. #9
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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    Think I must refraze myself, cuz x,y,z, axis is for the throttle, pitch and mixture.
    Anyway, delete all joystick asignements and youre good to go. Buttons asignements is as told, optional.

  11. #10
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    Re: Preliminary to Cockpit Building

    nax ... Just saw your photos and descriptions of your 737 cockpit. That is just amazing. Congratulations!!!

    BTW thanks for taking the time to answer my newbie questions. My planned cockpit is going to look pretty shaby compared to yours. Maybe I should build a cockpit for an ultrlight.

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