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  1. #1
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    Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Hi All.

    Recently I have been following some tutorials on flying the Wilco Airbus A320 and has flown (quite badly) some of the tutorial flights. I am just using a stick and pedals and was wondering if its possible to build an in-expensive FCU / EFIS unit for a more hands free experience. I am certainly not looking to build anything such as a replica or anything with displays, just some plexi with some rotary encoders and switches maybe. I am not building an airbus cockpit so I really don't need or want to spend much at all. I would like to achieve some sort of generic panel to use instead of mouse clicking. I know that I can create mouse macros within FSUIPC to assign functions to buttons, but I have not done this before so was curious if anyone has done anything similar?

    Kind regards.

    Alex
    Building An Airbus In My Garage!

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Wilco? Wilco? WILCO?!

    I'm sure your flying skills are better than Wilco's addon developer skills.

    If you want to make a simple switchbox, there's a great set of beginner tutorials that can be adapted to your needs here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTHg-X6eA-4

    If you are a true beginner, watch the video entitled "All About Switches" as well.

    Mount your panel in front of a monitor, and use Notepad (or FS Panel Studio) to place the instruments.

    If you're from Europe, use one of Bodnar's boards instead of the one he mentions.

  3. #3
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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Hi Alex

    When I started out with building bits for simming I built a little panel for controlling the parts of the airbus.

    A little video:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/chicofrostie/5126706392/


    Prototype Desktop Sim - Pic3 by chicofrostie, on Flickr

  4. #4
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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Hi All.

    Well I have designed my FCU and Captain's EFIS and I am going about it this way...for ease and cheap cost.

    Panel being printed as a decal and then being applied to the top layer of a 3 layer assembly.

    Buttons and encoders being mounted to the 2nd layer and and 3 layer provides depth.

    I am using just cheap square black push buttons. Nice and simple and easy to make.

    Panels are being laser cut as we speak.

    More to come

    (By the way Alex your panel looks fab... )

    fcu preview.jpg
    Building An Airbus In My Garage!

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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Have you tried jeehell'a FMGS?

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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Hi Omni Atlas

    I have not tried it, however I am fully aware of it, but not sure exactly how it works or what it does. It comes across as a complex topic due to the ever ongoing discussion / posts on the matter that I see on Mycockpit every day. I have the Wilco Airbus Series as a graphical add-on, and rather for fun, followed the tutorial and got quite into it. I am not 100% how I would use Jeehell or where to begin, hence being very unfamiliar with it.

    I know with Wilco I can create mouse macros to hook up switches and rotaries to a DIY fcu but again not sure how you go about building hardware for Jeehell Platform, maybe you could elaborate in simple terms what it is all about and what it does, and rather more importantly how I would use it.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Thanks you.

    Alex
    Building An Airbus In My Garage!

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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Hi Alex,

    FMGS is built specifically for cockpit builders -- the problem with using wilco is that its a real drag on your resources because it has to render unnecessary parts of the aircraft (such as a 3d cockpit). Jeehell FMGS is primarily concerned with simulating the systems of the airbus, and it does so very very well (and free!).

    There are also other advantages of using FMGS -- including being able to use the software over a network (so you're not dependent only on one computer), hardware support (including open cockpit, skalarki, etc), evolving software which is updated very frequently (a few times a month!).

    Check it out on the website http://fmgs.co.nr/

    You have nothing to lose, and there is a great community right on this forum (check out the jeehell section) if you have any questions

  8. Thanks cptburgos, AlexJ thanked for this post
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  9. #8
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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Thanks for your informative reply.

    I will definitely give it a look and read the manual. I was wondering though how DIY hardware is linked to the system as I am building my own fcu, I assume the offsets are available and scripting will provide the comms from software to hardware?

    Again thanks for the reply!

    ----------------------------------------------------

    EDIT: I have just read some of the manual and I think I am getting the hang of the idea, really surprised to see it as a complete system, unlike many other addons. It almost comes across as a flight sim system within FS which is truly quite amazing really, especially this being free, I cant understand why cockpit builders are not building the A320. Its quite remarkable really!
    Last edited by AlexJ; 05-29-2014 at 11:09 AM.
    Building An Airbus In My Garage!

  10. #9
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Removing the vc is very important, I did some hex editing to remove it from the HS748.

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    Re: Building an inexpensive FCU for Airbus A320

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexJ View Post
    Thanks for your informative reply.

    I will definitely give it a look and read the manual. I was wondering though how DIY hardware is linked to the system as I am building my own fcu, I assume the offsets are available and scripting will provide the comms from software to hardware?

    Again thanks for the reply!

    ----------------------------------------------------

    EDIT: I have just read some of the manual and I think I am getting the hang of the idea, really surprised to see it as a complete system, unlike many other addons. It almost comes across as a flight sim system within FS which is truly quite amazing really, especially this being free, I cant understand why cockpit builders are not building the A320. Its quite remarkable really!
    Well, I am surprised too, but I switched from my 737 build since I discovered JL FMGS, and probably others may have too

    If you check out the last few pages of the user guide JL has published several pages of FSUIPC offsets you can use with your hardware.

    Have fun, and let us know if you have any further questions.

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