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  1. #1
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    Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    Hello all. Brand new here, but not to the world of flightsim. Been flying desktop for eight years, but want to expand my hobby now.

    Been reading the web up and down on this topic, and i am amazed to see all the incredible home cockpits out there, from simple desktops with three screens to 100% accurate cockpits with real parts interfaced.

    Now, im thinking somewhere between. But i am a real fan of the older heavies, mainly the DC-10. Plan/vision is to build a 1:1 scale cockpit of the DC-10 out of wood, with MIP, overhead panel and the works. Ever been done before btw?

    Plug and play-gadgets are not produced for this type of aircraft, so i have to make it all from scratch.

    But i have a few questions first: Do i need software to make FSX work with the sim? I know 737/777-builders and some Airbus have software available. Is there any way of making this work with FSUIPC/interface cards? Planning to use the CLS DC-10 package for FSX. For the control panels, i was planning to use 1:1 cockpit-posters of the DC-10 from Avsoft, Inc. | Home, fitting them to plexiglass, drilling out to switches and buttons and backlighting it. TQ from Throttletek or modifying Saitek TQ.
    Would you use triplehead2Go with monitors/projectors or is there a better way for outside view?
    For the instruments, witch are analogue on the -10, i thought of using three smaller monitors mounted in the MIP, with cut-out plates and bezels, showing only the instruments. Will i be able to make all this work together to make a flyable cockpit?

    Appreciate all input!

    Cheers, from Norway

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    Well, your plan should work. There are builders of things other than 737s out there who do the same. The only problem is that the CLS DC10 is a "Lite" brand airplane made mostly for eye candy. There really aren't any full systems DC-10s out there.

    For a simple interface card, use a BBI-32. You can macro it in FSUIPC.

  3. #3
    150+ Forum Groupie mach7's Avatar
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    Re: Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    You are definitely on the right track. I am building a BAe146 sim, so I am fully aware of the pitfalls when trying to interface systems that are not available or recognized by available Aircraft payware, or freeware for that matter.

    I suggest you invest in the 836X interface board build by Leo Bodnar, with this board you will be able to connect real switches and rotary pots and set them up using FSUIPC with ease.

    You also might want to consider Open Cockpits USB servo boards and install real (modified) engine gauges like I did. This is definitely the jewel in my setup so far.

    For warning lights that are not supported by any software or add-on, I have developed an interface system which I call LMi, Lamp Module interface LMi operates in parellel with Flight Simulator, but does not actually interact with flight simulator.

    In brief, these system panel warning lamps work off programmable micro-processors that 'mimic' the operation of a particular system. For example, when the landing gear is selected 'up', the landing gear selector switch sends an output to an interface board (as programmed by FSUIPC) to give the 'gear up' gear down' signal to FS9, whilst at the same time the landing gear sequencing lights in the flight deck operate exactly as they do in the real aircraft.

    (Having flown the real thing for 23 years, I am an expert on how these systems work and what the should look like when they work)

    Some builders may scoff at this idea...but after you have done a few flights, you do not even realize there are two systems running side by side..one fake and one real....but in perfect harmony.

    There are other lamps that do not require mico-processors...for example i have hard wired the the engine low oil pressure lamps in directly into a switch inside each N2 gauge...so when the N2 accelerates above 30% the lo oil pressure light goes out...and when the N2 decelerates below this value the light illuminates.

    With respect to flight instruments...i suggest you use monitors behind panel cut-outs and use a program called FSpanel studio to move and resize the instruments to your specifications....this is what I did and it works very well..

    For visuals i would go (IMO) with something like Wideview. WideView runs in slew mode of the main server computer and will give you as many outside views as you want...the only limit is the PCs as you require one PC per view. I was looking at TH2go but find there are too many restrictions in monitor size and frame rates for my computer setup.

    There is a solution to every problem when building a simulator that is not in the 'main stream' such as a B737NG.

    Good luck and if you ever need any help feel free to mail me directly

    -Jim




  4. #4
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    You should really listen to Mach7, he's probably one of the most talented builders here.

  5. #5
    150+ Forum Groupie mach7's Avatar
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    Re: Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Avro748...if it wasn't people on this forum helping me out I would still be at square 1

  6. #6
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    Another thing about outputs; if the gauge is in XML, then it is very easy to find the trigger conditions and interface the outputs directly to FS. If it is a C++ .gau file, then you should probably do what Mach7 does.

  7. #7
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    Re: Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    Thank you so much for your replies, both of you! Been off this forum for a while, my computer lost a harddrive, but now i have ordered a whole new gamer-rig.
    I like your thoughts on my cockpit, mach7. Sounds like my vision on a simulator that is a little out of the ordinary can be possible.

    My new computer has a Intel Core i5-4670K ProcessorSocket-LGA1150, Quad Core, 3.4GHz, 6MB, 84W,
    HD4600, Boxed w/fan, Haswell and a MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB PhysX CUDA. Hoping i can use this setup along with my old computer (when i fix the harddrive), it has a 2,4 Ghz quadcore processor with two Nvidia Geforce GTX 8800.

  8. #8
    75+ Posting Member lenne's Avatar
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    Re: Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    Check out this simulator they built at västerås aviation museum here in sweden.


    http://m.youtube.com/results?q=v%C3%...0simulator&sm=
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
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    Re: Homebuilt tri-jet simulator?

    I`ve seen this simulator on Youtube, looks great! Want to go there some time to try it out