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  1. #1
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    Couple of questions

    Hello,

    My name is Cody, I've been flying FSX for 6+ years and have roughly 40 hours of actual aircraft time. FSX has been a hobby since I was young and up to this point I've stuck with the ol' joystick and desk setup but now I'm looking to expand and build a more elaborate cockpit system.

    I'm hoping to get a few tips for this low budget - continually expanding project...

    Should I start with a cockpit shell from an aircraft grave yard and built from the inside of that? The cockpit will be indoors already. I think that would add to the realism but I have no idea how much a cut like that would cost?

    If I was to stick with that idea, how hard would it be to find gauges and displays to fit the panel from the actual aircraft?

    I've also noticed that several flight simulators have the yokes that go all the way to the floor such as a 737 yoke but I haven't found any of these items for sale online? I've just found the basic style yokes like what would be offered at FSPilotShop...

    If anyone could provide me some tips for this project and some ideas on resource websites(other than this one of course that would be appriciated.

    Thanks!!
    Cody

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of questions

    A cockpit nose section would typically cost 10 to 15 thousand dollars, plus the cost to transport it. While gauges are relatively easy to find, in the end it would be easier and more cost effective to place the gauges on a monitor, as functionality for servo gauges can be quite limited. In terms of the floor yokes, most cockpit sections will still have them. If the section you buy doesn't have one, there's one important thing to know: build them, don't buy them. Anyone who tries to sell commercial floor yokes to you will take advantage of the fact that you're in a niche market and charge a ridiculously high price. Building floor yokes is simple, cheap, and easy to fix.

    Now that that's out of the way, why don't you tell me which aircraft you plan on building. I know a few people in the Boneyard industry who I can give you a website for. I think I remember someone selling an A300 nose section for a reasonable price.

    Cockpit building seems daunting at first, but don't worry. I was once a rookie like you. You learn things from the masters, then you learn things along the way (like not leaving your overhead panel underneath an old shelf full of dumbells)

    Good luck, and feel free to ask me anything, as I have plenty of time over the next few weeks.

  3. #3
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    Re: Couple of questions

    Thank you for that info. I'm not leaning towards a specific aircraft but just a "in general" cockpit. GA or airline cockpit mix. How would I go about building a floor yoke such as what would exist in a larger airliner that would work with FS?

    Thanks!
    Cody

  4. #4
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of questions

    Just place one potentiometer behind the yoke, and the other at the base. Simple as that. Shouldn't be all that different from building any other joystick.

    I wouldn't go generic if I were you. A lot of people seem to go that route, but it doesn't really have a ton of advantages. It would be difficult to set it up in a way so that you can control every system of every airliner. I would just choose an airliner that you like and that has good software support in FS. For instance, I'm building an HS748. I fly it a lot in the sim, it's relatively small, and Rick Piper's HS748 addon simulates almost every system. It's also coded in XML, so it's easy to find the variables to link it to the sim.

    I know of several addons, payware and freeware, that are home cockpit friendly. I could give you some suggestions if you wish.

  5. #5
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    Re: Couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Avro748 View Post
    Just place one potentiometer behind the yoke, and the other at the base. Simple as that. Shouldn't be all that different from building any other joystick.

    I wouldn't go generic if I were you. A lot of people seem to go that route, but it doesn't really have a ton of advantages. It would be difficult to set it up in a way so that you can control every system of every airliner. I would just choose an airliner that you like and that has good software support in FS. For instance, I'm building an HS748. I fly it a lot in the sim, it's relatively small, and Rick Piper's HS748 addon simulates almost every system. It's also coded in XML, so it's easy to find the variables to link it to the sim.

    I know of several addons, payware and freeware, that are home cockpit friendly. I could give you some suggestions if you wish.

    I would appreciate some suggestions that make a easy to build home simulator. Luckily I haven't started building on this project yet so I'm good to go in the planning stages still.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of questions

    You could go through the same steps I did. Here are the first five:

    Step one: Start narrowing down your choices.

    I want you to forget about FS and your cockpit for a second, and just name your top five favourite aircraft in the real world. They don't need to be in any order, and they don't need to be a specific role (GA, Airliners, Military, Helicopter, Etc.)


    Step two: Of those aircraft, are there any that have a realistic corresponding addon in FS?

    You might have to do some digging, but see what meets your demands on the software side of things, payware or freeware. This will probably narrow down your choices.


    Step three: Think of your size requirements.

    Will your aircraft's cockpit fit in your space? Pick your favourite from the remaining aircraft after step two. Since this is all before planning, you probably won't have an exact size yet. Make an estimate based on what you can find. It will be off by a foot or so, but it will at least tell you whether or not it is still an option. Do the same for all of the remaining aircraft. This will also narrow down your choices.


    Step four: Think about the complexity.

    Even if you love the Concorde to death, know how to fly it in the sim, and would love more than anything to have a Concorde pit, just one look at the flight engineer panel will probably tell you to look elsewhere. Note that this doesn't mean that aircraft with Flight Engineer Panels are out of the question. The Concorde's F/E panel is just unusually complex, and complexity = cost.


    Step five: Choose one.

    By now, it is time to choose. You might only have one left, you might have two. You might even still have all five. Either way, it's time to choose one and stick to it. This is where you start your research.