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  1. #1
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    Hi guys, I have just decided that I would like to build a simulator in my garage. I will be building a generic GA Twin running FSX, which hopefully will be a mix between the Dutchess, Seneca and Baron. At the moment I have 2 dualcore PC's, 3 21INCH Dell LCD monitors and a 32 Inch Generic HD LCD Monitor - Hopefully this will do the job. I have searched through quite a few posts now but still seem to be lost on how things work and how I would set things up. I would like to use Project magenta for the Ins panels etc, but im struggling at the moment finding out how I would build a HDG and OBS knobs etc and Switches onto the panel so I could manually set them. Do I need to buy some sort of Card? if so where/what would I need to purchase? Sorry if this sounds very newbie but its the first time Ive ever attemped to do any kind of project like this.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Executive Vice President, MyCockpit


    Matt Olieman's Avatar
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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    Welcome aboard. You're in a good place to ask those questions. You'll get answers from fellow builders who will gladly help you. There are multitude of products available for your project.

    Glad to have you on board and we look forward toward hearing about your progress.

    Matt Olieman

  3. #3
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    Thanks Matt, im looking forward to the experience.

  4. #4
    150+ Forum Groupie Atomic_Sheep's Avatar
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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    Well, firstly, I wanted to say that from what I hear and unless you haven't read the same stuff I have yet... project magenta is quite pricey. I don't know how pricey but I'm sure other member might be able to provide you with cheaper alternatives but don't quote me on that one.

    The answer is to your OBS and heading knobs. Since you're not making a faithful replica I can think of a simple solution that might not be totally elegant. Basically, you have one of your monitors (I'm guessing it will be your generic one)... that will run the insturments. On top of it, you can install a cover panel and I'm pretty sure you could mount a basic knob in the approximate location of the proper OBS and HDG knobs but I'm sure you could get the alignmnet spot on but I'm not sure whether it's possible to have this panel flush against the screen for maximum effect of realism but I think it's more to do with the design and finding the right components... either way, my logic (and my limited experience at this point) tells me that what you are looking for can be done and done very nicely and convincingly.

    For the time being, try to get a knob working and then work on getting it to look like the real deal i.e. the cover with the writing and all that... for that you could buy them or make your own cast/mould and make your own.

    In terms of getting the thing to work i.e. the physical knob to be recognised by the computer, I think what you need is an interface card. I recently purchased Leo Bodnars BU0836X I think it's called and into it you can connect various wires which then go to knobs and switches. There are other interface boards and all it is, is a simple circuit board, which connects to your computer via a USB cable in most instances but I'm sure there are ones that connect using Serial ports I think they are called... anyway, the card basically has inputs into which you plug in wires which then lead to various components like buttons and knobs etc. I'm not sure what kind of knob you would need in order to have something like an OBS or a HDG bug knobs because they inflinitely rotate whereas most potentiometers that I know of at least have ranges but I'm guessing there are some that rotate 360 and keep going which is what you would need.

    So you need to figure out which I/O (input/output) card you need/want, get the card or study electronics and make your own but that's a rather time consuming thing in itself but fun if you have the time for it. Then you buy a knob and some wiring, plug it all in and then bobs your uncle.

    I think you will need FSUIPC (the full registered version) in order to be able to add custom hardware controls into it for it to recognise it. Basically the electronic circuit card is recognised by the computer as a simple game controller... if you plug it in and go into the game controllers page in control panel, the card will be recognised in there and if you have anything connected, if you press or twist anything, it should light up or change values in the graphic display thing. Once thats working, you go into FSX and I think through FSUIPC, you basically use mous trapping for which theres videos on youtube in order to allocate the action that youre performing with a switch or a knob... to be recognised by FSX as a particular action.

    If I have made mistakes in what I have said then I'm hoping other more knowledgable members will correct my mistakes.

    Hopefully this cleared a few questions up for you.

  5. #5
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    Thats fantastic and I really appreciate the time you have taken to write all that information down

    Since writing the last reply I have decided to to buy 2 19INCH LCD monitors for the instrument panels the other 3 I will use for the visuals. I am happy with the idea of building a custom panel and mounting the flat screens flush-up behind it also cutting out places for all knobs etc.

    With regards to the radio stack, has anyone created a high resolution radio stack like the project magenta panels? I say this because in theory if you can assign any external button to any internal button then the same could be done with a radio stack. Build a custom panel with an LCD Flush to the back displaying a High Res radio stack, cutout the displays for DME, NAV, COM, ADF, XPDR etc and mount the knobs and buttons in the exact places as per the real thing.

    With regards to the knobs, I understand the concept after your explaination and will experiment.

    Thanks again, all the info I can get would be great.


  6. #6
    25+ Posting Member smendlik's Avatar
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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    The visuals may not be as nice as PM but for the price they looked good enough to me ==> http://www.peixsoft.com/ I haven't had a chance to actually use the instruments and radio stack in flight yet but I have run them and they look fine to me. I'm waiting to get a 2nd PC networked in to run the radio stack running this software (with FSUIPC & WideServer).

  7. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    Might want to look at this thread for inspiration:

    http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/show...MIP?highlight=

    Reid
    Last edited by AK Mongo; 01-05-2011 at 11:26 AM. Reason: spelling
    http://juneaucessnasim.blogspot.com
    N58243 (virtual)- Low and Slow...

  8. #8
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    That is just stunning! Love the panel. Anyone know if he is running FSX or XPLANE? Looks like I need to have a think about the ins layout, and plan the panel in something like a CAD program so it can be cut. I dont yet have a yoke or TQ, i see plenty of people using the saitek stuff.

    Thanks Guys

  9. #9
    150+ Forum Groupie Atomic_Sheep's Avatar
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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    Doesn't look like microsoft to me, either FSX or FS2004 in my opinion. I'm more used to FSX but I'm thinking about changing over to X-Plane... will be a learning curve but I think both are similar enough and offer similar features. X-Plane might be a bit harder to work with because there's less applications so I suggest you stick to FSX if you like it. Both sims are pretty similar.

  10. #10
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: Just starting to build a GA Cockpit HELP!

    if you click on his name in the top left of the first post you can see all of the threads he has started, answers may be in there. Don't discount the power of the search function here either. chances are that someone else has already had and/or solved your problem elsewhere.

    In the downloads section there is a cad file of a Cessna 172 Instrument panel. Might be a good start for your MIP.

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

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