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  1. #1
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    Creating my first 3 projector cockpit....

    Hi all! Just registered and thought I'd see if anyone has any opinions on a first time 3 projector setup. I'm finally moving to a house with a basement in a few months (although don't know the dimensions yet as we're still house shopping) and have convinced the fiancÚ that the basement is mine to do with what I please! So I've always wanted to build a simulator for flight, driving and FPS. I was originally going to use 3 Samsung 51 inch plasmas for the sim but was considering going all out with a 3 projector setup. I already have an Optoma HD33 1080p projector and figured 2 more would be about the same price as 3 plasmas. I've been reading the forums and have a few questions. I've read that the Immersive Display Lite 2 would be needed to warp the 3 screens together. Is there any blurring or loss of clarity with using this software? I've read a post that the screen is blurry when used, is this true? I would also like to build my own curved screen and have some ideas such as bending plywood or is there a better material? I was thinking of painting the end screen with Projector Screen Paint to remove the lines between the 3 4x8 foot panels. Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim


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    Re: Creating my first 3 projector cockpit....

    There's always going to be blurring with warp. The immersive display lite can be trialed in demo mode.

  3. #3
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    Re: Creating my first 3 projector cockpit....

    Quote Originally Posted by bsselp View Post
    Hi all! Just registered and thought I'd see if anyone has any opinions on a first time 3 projector setup. I'm finally moving to a house with a basement in a few months ..
    Very much like me, this is my first post, I moved into a house a few months ago and will now build my first cockpit in one of the rooms. My girl is gaming more then me, so when I broke the news that I would like to make a projector screen, build some sort of simulator, she just said: -Go for it!. Sadly tho my budget is seriously small compared to what everyone else seems to be talking about. I cant really afford to even get a new PC for a 2000$, so forget all fancy short throwing projectors, multiple big monitors . So I have to work the what I have, a half dead PC, some monitors and 1500$ of money.

    I have a room where I can use 3x2m (~9.8x6.5 feet) with the 3m wall being in the center. The room itself is probably 3x5.5m so placing the projectors outside of my assigned area is okey.

    Like the orignal poster, I would need helps with good links or ideas about how to place the normal throw projectors, what kind of screen to use, curved or not. How much distortion does a curved screen add? how much reallity to a simulator does it add? is flat screens as good?

    Since my PC (Core 2 Duo) doesnt boot, and Im writing this on my girlfrinends laptop, the first priority was to order a new 700watt power supply, some memory so it has atleast has 8Gb, and a graphic card Club 3D 7870 with 6 miniDisplay Ports + DVI,VGA adapters. Total:700$. When I have more money I will replace the PC.

    Yesterday I bought 3 used 1024x768 projectors on EBay, okey picture and bulb life left (about 50%). Total with shipping: 500$.

    For the cockpit instruments, I got three monitors at home, that I could use. Two 4:3 19" and one wide screen 21".
    I will also buy a Saitek Yoke and X-Plane for linux (since I can not reinstall my PC, I need it to double as a developer machine). Total:270$.

    As you see this will not be the most expencive setup, but three projectors will rock! Im super happy, and can not wait for the parts to arive.

  4. #4
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    Re: Creating my first 3 projector cockpit....

    Since this thread seems a bit lonely the last year, I will provide an update of my project here.

    Many things, good and bad has happened since my last post. Long story short, I had to switch room. Doesn't matter much, with the switch my project got it's own dedicated room! Well almost dedicated, need to double as a home office for development work (I'm a software engineer).

    A year has passed and I managed to get a Saitek Radio-, Switch- and Multi-panel, a sweat deal of $340. The build went forward in good pace for about a month after my last post, I managed to build myself a crappy looking construction that would hold my Yoke and instrument panels plus my 21" wide screen acting as glass shield. When I say crappy looking, I serious mean looking like a bunch of sticks pointing all directions.

    This year I managed to move my creation to the new room. Build projector mounts, saving me 3x $130, instead using the money to get a Saitek Annunciator-panel, a TPM for flying single engine and a second throttle quadrant for flying twin engine.

    projectors_smaller.jpg

    Yesterday I manged to collect myself and start the process of creating a pedestal, my old creation can be seen to the left. The new will look so much nicer. In the picture you also see all the hardware I got, the screens, the flight panels and my boat chair I got for $45.

    simulator2014_smaller.jpg

    Cheers!

  5. #5
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    Re: Creating my first 3 projector cockpit....

    After mounting the screens for gauges and adding a yoke mount. It was time for a test drive

    flighttest_smaller.jpg

    Test drives are always interesting, moving where I sitting compared to my old pit made huge difference in picture.. since my head was in the way for the left picture. Well problems is for solving, guess I have to move the sim back a bit, or to the right.

    All in all, the test drive was a success, there are a number of minor things to fix, but the immersion factor really took of compared to the old pit. Now if I only could get all projectors running, apparently I forgot to order two mini dvi to vga converters, so I will have to do that.

    Cheers!

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    Re: Creating my first 3 projector cockpit....

    Excellent post, thanks for the update, theres lots of guidance for curved screens here in this forum when you get to that stage soon,
    Best of luck,
    Geremy Britton
    Executive Assistant, MyCockpit Inc
    Head of GLB Flight Products
    www.geremy.co.uk

  7. #7
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    Re: Creating my first 3 projector cockpit....

    First of all I figured out that I didn't need those converters if I just moved my PC closer to the screens. Since I had a few DVI cables that would fit, the converters I needed was DVI-VGA ones.

    Second here comes picture of how it looks like when you have mounted three long throw projectors in one corner of the room, and you are displaying the image on the other corner of the room. Problem with this setup is that the images on left and right wall gets distorted, but in the longer run I need to run some sort of wrapping software anyhow to correct the image. For now it's looking fine if you asking me

    photo_smaller.jpg

  8. #8
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    Re: Creating my first 3 projector cockpit....

    Thought I would write a short note about how to align multiple projectors, home made style.

    The projector mounts you buy is adjustable but aren't for aligning multiple projectors. I have reed, and do believe, that bought projector mounts are hard to align, they are for aligning the projected image onto a movie screen. They are not made for sub-pixel alignment. Neither are they stable against shaking, miss align one projector and your have the pain to realign all projectors. I can not say that I found the solution to shaking, but I have found the solution to sub-pixel alignment.

    As always my three projector mounts, cost me 15$ for metal rods and some wing nuts. Adding to this I already had three small shelves and mounting kit from my the kitchen in my old apartment. Found some plastic water pipes a few screws, mount for flower pots (the kind you hang outside your window) and a broom handle.

    Let turn it into a sub-pixel alignable projector mount, MacGyver style.

    Attachment 9482

    The rods and wing nuts is where the magic happens, and what lets me sub-pixel align the projector. The flowerpot mounts acts as arms on the water pipe shaft. I would write here where the broom went, but, I think you have to try to figure that one out yourself. Hint, I didn't trust the water pipe with the weight of the projector.

    It also turns out that to get the alignment correct, you first align the pictures (on the wall) of the three projectors. Then you need to go into settings on the projectors align the image they actually produce. My projectors are VGA ones and has settings for pixel adjusting vertical, horizontal, VGA clock and something called phase (haven't figured out what that ones does). Apparently VGA projectors can leave out a small boarder of the VGA picture if you do not tune these setting correct to your VGA signal.

    Note this solves the alignment, but not the distortion created by screen placement, for that I will need wrapping software.

    As a treat here comes a picture, during the week I also manged to mount a glare shield and move my MCP from the center console to where it should be.

    Attachment 9483