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  1. #1
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    777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Howdy all!

    After visiting the United Training Center on Saturday (pictures to follow), I decided that I truly HAD to build a 777 cockpit. I built a throttle quadrant and am currently working on the MIP and MCP, but I have one question: what software should I use? I am only in High School, so stuff like Sim-Avionics ($500) is pretty much out of the question.

    Maybe some of you experienced builders could help me out. Thanks in advance!

    Steve

  2. #2
    Boeing 777 Builder


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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Hiya Steve,

    Sim Avionics is in my opinion the best 777 software out there however you would need to add another $1000 to your estimate if you were to purchase. The single seat version starts at $1000 CAD and ranges up to $1700. There are lots of 737 versions but not much for the T7 apart from Sim-A and PM. Don't let that discourage you however as there are cheaper alternatives and certainly ones that can get you started while you save the cash.

    I assume you are using FSX as your sim platform? Run multiple screens off the one PC and undock your panels onto screens and just use the installed 2D panels that come with your chosen 777 model. Get yourself FSPanel Studio for panel customization and a good picture editing program. As for 777 aircraft models I use the Posky 777 but you can use the FS2004 777. You can also purchase a 777 panel suite from the likes of Friendly Panels and add to whatever aircraft you choose. Coming out quite soon I hope is the PMDG 777 which is promised to be one of the most comprehensive 777 models released for FSX, this will offer you highly detailed panels along with realistic systems modelling.

    Of course you may choose to down the X-Plane path as many are currently and not a bad choice in my opinion however you will need to network multiple PC's in order to get panels onto separate monitors. There is a highly detailed 777 model in the works for XP10 too.

    Lots of choices for you Steve so good luck.

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


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  4. #3
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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Ken,

    I was actually hoping that you would post.

    Yes, I am running FSX, and I have just begun to venture into multiple screens and networked PC's. I mounted a monitor in my pedestal to use as the FMC screen (eventually) and the lower eicas/electronic checklist display. It works, but I'm not sure what program to use for the actual checklists. If I had the money, Sim-Avionics would be my first choice, but it is way out of my budget. I'm also very excited for the PMDG 777, but I'm not sure when that will be released.

    At the moment, the only program/aircraft that seems to have semi-accurate systems and a decent price is the Captain Sim 777. Any thoughts?

    Steve

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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Hi Steve, am also T7 builder. I use Posky model, VasFMC's PFD's and ND's, FreeFD to standby's and eicas. Tomorrow i get 22" screen to pedestal for VasFMC's CDU's. All these are free. Currently i have 3 PC's and one projector to outside view. You can get very nice and realistic free T7 checklist addon from Flightsim.com.
    Am not sure if all these will work with FSX, i have FS9.
    Regards
    Marco

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  8. #5
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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Hi Steve,

    Welcome the pit building party by the way Marco has some good suggestions with the freeware apps and they look like they will work with FSX as well. They do appear to be 737-centric but I'm sure you can adapt and live with that. I started out simply customizing FS panels and undocking to multiple screens which worked really well, particularly as you can model all sorts of aircraft very easily however it does require a reasonably powerful PC. As for checklists you have the option of external printed or pdf versions to follow but if you want something displayed on the Lower EICAS then you will have to live with whatever is included in the aircraft model of your choice. Posky has nothing except that which comes with the addon panel you install. I'm not familiar with the Captain Sim model but this may have an option. The other option is the Wilco model but I wasn't too happy with its flying characteristics but it would certainly get you started until something like the PMDG is released.

    Lots of research and trial and error but thats also half the fun.

    Cheers,
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Ken and Marco,
    Thanks for all the advice from both of you! At the moment I am leaning toward either Posky or Captain Sim 777 for the base aircraft, then probably FreeFD for the systems. I also was looking at a program called ProMFD 777 Collection. It looks like a pretty good avionics suite, but the information seems slightly out of date. Do either of you have any experience with this particular program?

  10. #7
    Boeing 777 Builder


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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Hi Steve,

    No experience with ProMFD however its being distributed by a long time 777 builder Robert Prather who is well respected in the sim building world. I would suggest downloading the demo and trying it to see if it meets your needs. I haven't heard any comparisons between it and the likes of Sim-A or Project Magenta. It was written some time ago for FS9 so not sure of its compatibility with FSX but contact Robert and I'm sure he'll furnish you with details.

    As for the aircraft choice as I said I don't know anything about the Captain Sim 777 but the Posky works very well for me, its also used in my commercial venture along with the full Sim-A suite however the aircraft.cfg file has been tweaked and Sim-A has been configured specifically as well, so these things need to be taken into account for your cockpit, nothing works straight out of the box in this hobby/business.

    Good luck and have lots of fun

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Hi Steve,

    I fell in love with the 777 pretty much the same way... at a United training facility 777 is such a beauty! I will warn you though, it is a very expensive sim to build (accurately). Not at all trying to steer you away from it, but there aren't nearly as many resources for the 777 as there are for sims like the 737, so your options for things such as hardware and software will be limited. For instance, with the 737, you have cost effective software such as aeroSystem737. I must say though, it is a VERY fun and challenging sim to build!

    Ken, thank you for your very kind words my friend! I tip my hat to Mark for Sim-Avionics. I've known him since the software was in its infancy and he's a very talented developer. I haven't had an opportunity to update ProMFD since FS9 (life , but it's slowly coming back to life along with the rest of my sim. I haven't tested it much with FSX, but since it's free you are more than welcome to play around with it!

    Does anybody have the Phidgets20.dll?

    Feel free to browse my site for some solutions that may help you with cost effective electrical interfacing and software. I was in the SAME position you are in... in High school, looking for ways to make this dream-sim a reality. I'm still working at it 14 years later, but don't regret a second of it!

    Regards,
    Robert

  12. #9
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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Ken, you made a good point. Until now, I realized, I was looking for an out of the box solution, of which there seems to be none, (until the PMDG 777, of course). I'll keep that in mind as I build.

    Robert, thanks for your input as well. I understand that the 777 is a very difficult aircraft to even represent, let alone completely simulate. However, one of the things I love about this hobby is creating the various parts and pieces of the sim, and seeing the cockpit take shape. It seems that the 737 is so popular because there is so much product support for it, both hardware and software. But I don't want to simply BUY a simulator. I want to BUILD a simulator. I don't expect this to be a short project by any means, and am willing to invest the time, money, and effort that it requires. I doubt I would be able to create something as great as your cockpit, or that of Ken or Marco. But I enjoy simply trying.

    As for ProMFD, it looks like exactly what I've been searching for. I'd been trying to find more information about pricing (based on the evaluation version and commercial pricing options I had assumed it was payware,) but it is great to know that it is free! If it is indeed not compatible with FSX, I do still have my copy of FS9 to try it with.

    Thanks for everyone's help!

    Steve

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    Re: 777 Flight Deck- What to Use

    Steve, you've definitely got the right attitude! You'll definitely have fun building the 777. Shoot me a PM or an e-mail and I'll get you started with software.

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