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Thread: Another Embraer

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    Another Embraer Cockpit

    I'm not exactly new here, because I've been using this site as a valuable source of advice and information for some years, but with only the occasional posting.

    I was actually prompted to write this by reading the recent post from Embraer170 about his simulator, because my own sim is built around the Embraer 195 and in my view the E-Jets have many characteristics suited to a home cockpit, which don't seem to have been generally recognised.



    I began simming with the launch of FS95, then continued with all subsequent versions of FS, and also tried Falcon 4, which was remarkable for its time.
    I hesitate to think how much I've spent over the years on building new computers, and still finding them unable to cope with the demands of each new generation of software.

    About eight years ago I built my first generic home cockpit, using FSX with a mixture of VR Insight and Saitek hardware, with various modifications. I used the level D 767 and Coolsky MD80, and a vga projector for the outside view. The main frustration was the lengthy setting up time for each flight, due to the impossibility of saving panel states in FSX when using multiple monitors.



    Overall the effect was reasonable, but not what I was looking for. My background was in military flying, and while a home cockpit can never be like a real aeroplane, I wanted something that at least created the atmosphere of a real simulator. Then I came across a reference on this site to the B737 sim that Ian Sissons had built, and saw what was possible. I already had some handicraft skills and I learnt so much from his fantastic website at 737ng.co.uk. Although Ian has now sold his sim, the website is still operating and I recommend any new sim builders to study the mass of useful information it contains.

    In the meantime P3D arrived, and I decided to build a new simulator. Because I am restricted for space I can't incorporate the right side of the cockpit, but I still wanted the overhead panel, and as much realism as possible. I looked for a suitable aircraft to use as the base and soon discovered that most glass cockpit types only had virtual cockpits, or panels and gauges which could not be controlled by hardware at all, or where it was only possible with considerable programming skills. The exception was the Feelthere E-Jets v2 Embraer E175 and E195. So after some trials, that is what I went for, with a few simple alterations to the MIP layout to make it more suitable for single handed operation.



    Outside view is from 47inch HD Television behind acrylic window. The view is much better when sitting in the sim than it looks here.






    CDU is touchscreen. It doesn't show very well here with photo flash, but is clear in normal use.

    The original E170/E190 version for FS2004 had a few bugs and I have seen negative comments written by people who have obviously never tried the later version. E-Jets v2 is substantially improved, and makes an excellent base for a home cockpit. It was designed for FSX, but works perfectly well in P3D v1 and version 2.2 which I am currently using. I am surprised it is not more widely used. It does mean making your own panels and controls, but many people do this anyway for their Boeing or Airbus sims.

    Most systems are simulated, and pretty nearly every button and switch works, and can be assigned through FSUIPC. All mouse clicks can be identified by mouse macro and allocated to hardware. There is a fully working and programmable CDU and every function of the Flight Guidance Panel works. Moreover, if the controls are set up correctly, the flying characterics are realistic, within the limits of P3D, both for fully automated flight and when hand flying. Finally, and most important with 4 monitors in use, when I set up a flight and save it, I can reload that flight with all panels in place and working.

    As this post is getting rather long, I'll try to put together some of the construction pictures and notes as a seperate post, but I need to edit a mass of photos first.


    jbee
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    Last edited by Biggles2010; 06-22-2015 at 07:38 AM.

  2. #2
    10+ Posting Member Embraer170's Avatar
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    Re: Another Embraer

    Hi Biggles2010
    I agree with you when you say" the E-Jets have many characteristics suited to a home cockpit, which don't seem to have been generally recognised".
    Congratulation for your cockpit! really it was realized with acrilic parts? If yes, where did you send in stamp it?
    The cloche and the pedestal are the same of the original, very good. Can you send me in private these information and, also, same picture at 360° of you cokcpit please?
    Thank you in advance.
    Simone

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    MyCockpit Support Staff dodiano's Avatar
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    Re: Another Embraer

    I flew the E190 as a captain for 4 years! And is the aircraft I have enjoyed the most !! Amazing project sir!

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    Re: Another Embraer

    Hi Embraer170,
    I am sorting out my construction photos into suitable groups and will start posting them in the My Cockpit Update section in the next few days. The acrylic part I mentioned in my post was the front windscreen.

    Dodiano, I had no idea you had real world time on these. Where were you operating?
    I can see why you would have enjoyed this aircraft. The cockpit layout is so clean and efficient. It gives the impression it was designed by a pilot.

    jbee

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    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level mariocastillodelpino's Avatar
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    Re: Another Embraer

    Hi, Biggles. Congrats for an amazing job! I am currently building my own 195, carpentry so far. Do you have a blog, website or facebook where I can get some info about your project (computer-s setup, multimonitor, outsideview, switches, toggles and rotary switches conectivity to the Feelthere addon? I would no want to be bothering you with innecessary questions.
    Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Another Embraer

    Hi mariocastillodelpino

    I don't have a website or blog, but I am happy to answer questions via MyCockpit.

    I had intended to post construction details back in the summer, but just after starting this topic I decided to upgrade my main graphics card. Unfortunately, access to the computer is very restricted and I had to remove the seat, the pedestal and control column. So while they were out I decided to do some other modifications that I had wanted for some time, like making the windscreen bigger, adding a steering tiller and fitting a higher definition touchscreen for the CDU. Work is now complete and the sim is back in operation, so I can update my photos and hopefully start posting them.

    Regarding your particular questions, I use a single pc for simplicity. It's an i7-2600K overclocked to 4.5, with SSD drives, running 2 graphics cards. The main one is a GTX970 for outside view (47 inch 1080p HD tv) and the CDU screen. The other card is a GTX 450 which is adequate for the two 1280 x 1024 instrument moniitors. This computer works well but would not cope with extra outside views. That would need networked pcs.

    For software I use P3D because it allows me to set up the PFD, MFD, Eicas etc on the screens in their correct positions and save them. They then reload exactly where they should be. This was never possible with FSX.

    I am still using P3D v2.2 because it's working well and updating is a pain, although I see that others have tried the E jets with the latest P3D v3 and it works just fine. Note that Feelthere do not claim compatibility with P3d and will not offer support, but there is no problem in using it.

    The E jets 2D pop ups are quite high definition, but it is necessary to edit the panel config file and create additional panel views for the MIP screens. If you need more info on this let me know.

    The feelthere E jets use a lot of mouse activated controls, but every one allows creating a mouse macro using FSUIPC, and allocating it to a switch or button, or an axis control. For interfacing I have used the Leo Bodnar boards (5 BBI32, 1 0836X and 2 0836A).

    Hope this helps
    jbee.
    Last edited by Biggles2010; 10-21-2015 at 05:07 PM. Reason: typo

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    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level mariocastillodelpino's Avatar
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    Re: Another Embraer

    Thanks Biggles2010, i really appreciate your answer and the offer to give me a hand. Sorry to tell you that I will definitely take it and grill you with a newby's questions.
    Just tell you that I originally designed the plans for my shell and actually built the frame for a 320. But on the way of cutting, glueing, trimming wood, in the past six months, I fell in love with the e-jets. So I am now trying to adapt my present structure to the new plane. It is not a lot different, really. Just redesigning the glareshield shape and the general aspect would be almost ok. Of course, MIP, OH, PEDESTAL will be an exact replica of the real thing... but... purists will kill me, I will keep the sidestick configuration of the Airbus for several reasons: first, i have already build both sliding trays for keyboard and have no room now for a control column, it is much more comfortable for long flights and long legs, I mean both navegation and body members (we spend 90 % of flight time in cruise phase and we all know how inconvinient a yoke in front of us can be) and lastly, this will allow me to swap onto other planes I love in the future with similar configuration (Bombardier CSeries, A350, Falcon 7X...). I will lose the taste of the exclusive Embraer yokes, but... sacrifice and compromise is part of life.
    Thanks for letting me know that only one PC will sufice. I am not any computer expert at all so I shall copy your setup. I'll have no problem with outside views since I will use a projector for a single outside view instead of a monitor or tv set as you did and will use the other card connections for PFD and MFD in one screen, EICAS AND STANDBY INSTRUMENTS on a second one and a third for MCDUs on a touch screen in the Pedestal. The FO will have to be happy with a reproduction of the captian's EFIS.

    I also decided to go for P3D for this new project. Thanks for the info.

    Just one thing. You commented "The E jets 2D pop ups are quite high definition, but it is necessary to edit the panel config file and create additional panel views for the MIP screens". I am actually flying feelthere ejets with FSX and multiple monitor setup with the resized-undocked popups and works just fine. I am not sure what you mean by editting config files... You scare me. I have a lot to learn.

    thanks in advance for all the future trouble.
    Mario
    Málaga, Spain

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    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level mariocastillodelpino's Avatar
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    Re: Another Embraer

    I promise to update my progress with pics and videos. Thnaks again.

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    Re: Another Embraer

    It's probably not essential to edit the panel config, but I wanted to create a new panel for each of the two MIP monitors, so that if I set up a new flight from scratch, I can undock a complete panel to each monitor, rather than individual instruments. One new panel has the captains PFD and MFD, sized and positioned to match my cutouts. It also includes the caution and warning lights, positioned to show through two small cutouts above the PFD. The cancel buttons are in the normal positions on the coaming. They function but do not illuminate.

    The second new panel has the Eicas and a repositioned standby horizon which is still viewable and useable, plus the clock.
    The standby horizon is actually the co pilot PFD reduced in size and partly blanked off at the bottom). This allows me to set up the course on both PFDs for an autoland. The co pilot MFD is just a dummy display.

    Moving the standby horizon allowed me to fit the gear handle to the left of the Eicas. Not strictly accurate, but much more useful for single pilot operation.

    jbee

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  12. #10
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level mariocastillodelpino's Avatar
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    Re: Another Embraer

    Ok, I understand what you mean. Obviously I'll have to learn to edit panel config and create new panels. I'll start readind and researching about it. Any useful source to start from? Thanks for the idea and info.
    I will also relocate the standby instruments, put them to the right of the Eicas and bring both gear lever and autobreak closer to the captain's side all in a vertical row. Good idea. I thought that when I saw your pics.
    Mario

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