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  1. #1
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    Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    Hello,

    I'm the proud owner of the following. You guys have any idea of what it may be worth?

    C-20 S
    The C-20 collimator is designed to offer the entertainment industry a simulation grade display system providing the highest level of performance. The wide angle C-20 S allows ample head motion and fields of view for most entertainment applications.

    The C-20 system includes several advanced technologies designed to provide maximum performance and minimum maintenance. Each system includes a fully adjustable mirror, beamsplitter and monitor to ensure proper component alignment. Our uniquely designed swing out mirror allows for simple routine maintenance and offers complete access to all major components while maintaining precise optical alignment.

    Each C-20 collimator system includes:


    • High resolution monitor
    • Commercial grade collimating mirror
    • Commercial grade beamsplitter
    • Self-contained, motion compatible housing
    • Complete assembly and alignment at the factory, ready for immediate installation

    Major features include:

    • Swing out mirror for access to all major components
    • Minimal maintenance requirements allow for maximum utilization
    • Multisync monitor will accept most video signals
    • Images appear focused at infinity for greater realism
    • Ruggedized system is fully motion compatible

    Entertainment Experience:

    • Engineering support for 250 Virtual World Tesla BattleTech cockpits
    • Marty Arrant at Applied Emerging Technologies, Inc. (AETI)
    • Kinney Aero at Fighter Town USA
    • Bandit Country
    • Optics design consulting and services for Redifun Simulation

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  3. #2
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim


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    Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    How much did you buy it for?
    Soarbywire - Airbus Flight Simulation and Engineering | Jeehell FMGS - Free professional A320 avionics software for the cockpit enthusiast.


  4. #3
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    Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    You mention FlightSafety, but it sounds like this is a system for the entertainment industry?

    As you may know, the old beamsplitter systems have been largely abandoned by the simulation industry in favor of seamless curved mirrors with rear-projection screens above the cockpit. These are vastly superior. Having said that, I'd imagine the old beamsplitter systems have some nice advantages when space is limited, or when you want something is that (slightly) more portable and less maintenance-intensive. This system was probably quite pricey when new. Sadly, these nice components tend to not be worth much on the open market. I have a rear-projection spherical screen from FlightSafety that I'm told cost them around $50k to have built. It has become very slightly tinted after years of sitting in front of CRT projectors (though not enough to make any significant difference when used with nice bright modern DLP projectors). Now, I'd be lucky to get ANY amount of money for it.

    Having said all that, I'm sure most of us here (including me) would LOVE to get our hands on a beamsplitter setup and do some experiments with it. A beamsplitter rig will provide a relatively narrow, flat viewing area, but should give you a great sense of depth, as well as some decent parallax effect. How about firing it up and taking some pics?

    Matt

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  6. #4
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    Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    I'll do just that and post them.
    Thanks Matt.

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  8. #5
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    Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    I fired it up and here's a few photos.




    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #6
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    Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    See Photos below,
    Thanks,
    Randy
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  11. #7
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    Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    That looks sweet, thanks for sharing! I'm curious as to how it's intended to be mounted, however....seems like that lower chassis would be in the way of cockpit structure. So, you gonna build a cool sim out of it?

  12. #8
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    Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    Glass Mountain was acquired by Flight Safety. They still have the same people working there after all these years.
    They recently told me that:
    The C-20 kit designed for use with a 20” monitor. It used a 40” radius concave first surface collimating mirror and entertainment grade beamsplitter.
    When the floorspace footprint doesn't matter, the other mirrors are probably the choice.
    Realize, this entire cockpit had a footprint of 3.5' x 7.5' including a forward cabinet for a computer server, large AC Isolation transformer, large DC power-supplies, and Audio amplifiers. Spacious room for the tech to service. Then, the seat held large, tall customers. No cramped quarters.

    Frame is well constructed. In a busy location or convention, these ran 7 minute "missions" in network mode. That was general public 6 pilots an hour for a long weekend.

    At least at the time, it is thought that the entertainment grade beamsplitter was made on the same assembly line. Having worked at Texas Instruments decades ago as the final AT Engineer, we know that often the same produces come of the assembly line. They differ by the cost and or testing of validating the specifications.
    While specifications might prevent these from being used to supply a GSA contract, they are in fact just awesome for other uses.
    The difference between looking at a projector image, or a large screen vs beamsplitter image with something in motion is a great experience.

    I own 12 of these. Wouldn't mind finding a group of people who could team to produce a modern version of some flight sim. But, it appears more and more the beamsplitter / concave mirrors are finding their way outside the old simulator design.
    Last edited by Tesla3D; 02-19-2017 at 09:02 PM. Reason: extra statements

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    Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    Hi Tesla, that's very interesting info about Glass Mountain. I didn't realize FSI still had anything to do with these older beamsplitter-based devices.

    I have a big honkin' Fresnel lens from a commercial-grade flight training device (a retired AST-300 from a flight school). It's noticeably better than the dinky overhead projector lense and similar types I've tried over the years. Like the beamsplitter, as you said, there is simply no comparison between this and even a large, high-quality flat projection system. What I'm not quite sure of is how this lens compares to a beamsplitter unit like the Glass Mountain rig. I asked on a flight sim tech forum a while back, and one of the guys there (who works on "big sims") insisted that using just a Fresnel lens did not collimate the image or change its focal point. Of course, I can tell first-hand that it most certainly DOES focus the image out quite a ways, and effectively enlarges the image as well. If the beamsplitter approach doesn't give any advantage over the better Fresnel lenses, then there's no point in me researching them further. I've only "flown" with a beamsplitter system once, it was on an older Lear 35 sim with night-only graphics, and it was 17 years ago. I really can't compare it very well to what I've been doing with my sims the last couple years.

    The sims sound interesting, do you have any pics? Still using them? Going to sell any of the visual systems?

    Matt

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  15. #10
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    Smile Re: Glass Mountain Optics / FlightSafety Intl.

    There are more than one type of Fresnell lens setups. At the risk of sounding like a consultant, my guess would be that "it depends".

    In theory a Fresnell sounds good.
    A mirror has other plus and minus. It is often still used for high-quality optics.
    The other point is the small footprint. One of the nice projection systems I was lucky to experience was at Kings Point (USMMA.EDU).
    This is a full ship simulator. You can even go out on the front of the and ring the bell. The projector screens are still massive and far away. When they simulate a near miss of a cargo ship, it is scary to be able to read the numbers on the cargo crates of the other virtual ship! While the sim is slower moving there are still a lot of physics including the windowless engine room simulator several floors down.
    Now this foot print is ... well massive of course.
    The beam splitters on the sims here are tiny as far as the floor foot print. The sims are hauled to conventions and other places.
    The photos above came out of these kind of units.
    There are 12 in this photo. The forward doors hold all the PC (server), DC power supplies, audio amp, and even a large AC isolation transformer plus the custom circuits that manage the serial connections to the multiple displays (6 in all with over 8 buttons each).
    Then the Beam Splitter is between the sliding door and the forward door. The cockpit is actually roomy. There are some large (tall) people with long legs who can fit in. The plastic cockpit shell with its multiple surround sound speakers is acoustically great! There are many circulation fans for both the cockpit area and the electronics Basically it not only cools, but helps with the dust management.
    The entire footprint is 3.5' wide, 7.5 long and 7.5 tall. In the day, the 20" CRT (facing down from the top) needed to be higher. The younger ones don't remember the CRT Yoke (not joke, yoke LOL).
    A couple of them were replaced with newer LED. M guess is that the newer OLED would be... very wonderful.
    That is a lot of self contained sims in a small area.
    Granted, this is only a single pilot. Its not a multi-seat unit. However, the fantastic effect of the beamsplitter and concave mirror with a small footprint in a unit on wheels weight about 550 pounds has its advantages.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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