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Thread: Level D

  1. #1
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    Level D

    Ok so I have been reading up on the 767 from Level D. And FSCONV, that Nico has kindly made.

    Now the question. Who is Level D?
    Are they planning on making a 737?
    They should because if it came with a SDK and if Nico's FSCONV worked with that I am sure there would be a lot of people who are currently considering the use of PM systems who would opt for the massively cheaper alternative.

    Now the sugestion from a non programmer.

    Why doesnt someone write an aircraft without all the eye candy. That is no VC and no interior and no exterior.
    So how is this an aircraft?
    Well if it had some basic panels but came with a SDK that someone (NICO) could write an app like FSCONV to work with it.

    Then all of us 737 cockpit builders could use it for our sims.

    I know it may seem like re inventing the wheel, but I just cant get over the cost of PM systems. All that is, is new offsets and the logic of the 737 overhead etc.

    Maybe I have this all upside down, and inside out, and this probably just seems like a rant. But my point is this.

    If you model a 767 you buy Level D for $50 odd and use FSCONV and you can build a full flight deck with FMS and MCP.

    If you model a 737 you buy PM systems for $1500 or more and you build your flight deck.

    I am not sure if this point has been brought up before, if so sorry.

    It is not my intention to insult or stir up any one, I am just wondering why things are like they are.

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict NicD's Avatar
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    LevelD is a company that has produced the 767, wich IMHO is the best aircraft ever for FS. I don't think a 737 is anywhere on their horizon. http://www.leveldsim.com/sevensix_home.asp They are far more open with SDKs etc than other suppliers (like PMDG) and with Nico's FSCONV you can do almost everything that Project Magenta (PM) would otherwise give you.

    The 737 equivalent to the LevelD-767 is the PMDG-737. Similar advanced functionality etc. - but PMDG are a closed shop when it comes to SDKs and ignore cockpit builders it seems. Some builders are able to build a full size cockpit just using the PMDG but you cant produce a true 2 crew cockpit with it - with independant EFIS, NAV displays, CDUs etc. To operate the overhead (which has limited known offsets) builders use tricks like key2mouse software that maps mouse clicks to keyboard commands. Possible, but tricky.

    So for many 737 builders PM is the chosen solution - and yes ... expensive in comparison.

    With your idea of writing a base aircraft file without the eye candy... thats fine, but all the advanced systems programming and logic would have to exist somewhere. In LDS767 and POMDG737 these exist as part of the panel programming. So without the eye candy you loose the all the advanced systems and logic (CDU for example).

    Frustrating I know ... but its just the was FS is designed. What PM does is provide all the systems and logic EXTERNAL to any specific aircraft file.

    Given this situation, and the recent PM price hikes, I'm suprised that more new builders are not going for the 767 and just using the LDS product to build their sims.

    All this is not easy to comprehend at first - but hope this helps!
    Nic D'Alessandro
    737NG builder (Hobart, Australia)
    http://simsation.com.au

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    Exclamation

    Yes I think it was probably frustration that had set in that prompted my previos post.

    I am busy trying to get to grips with open cockpits IO coding and logic, and to run across Nico's website and see that it can all be done so easily by using a cheap fs aircraft just put me over the top.

    I did read that FSBUS had a GUI interface that allowed you to create complex systems. If I understand it correctly You could require certain switches to be on or off before other functions would work. that is even though those functions dont live in FS.

    Unfortunately that GUI has been removed from FSBUS, so I chose the IO solution which is proving frustrating due to the lack of an idiots guide to their systems.

    So I am back at square one looking through the PM systems price list...

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    So I am back at square one looking through the PM systems price list...[/quote]

    PMDG in a two seater works just fine Gary and is VERY reliable. Sure you can't simulate everything that PM does but I spend a lot of time flying my sim and enjoying it, I'm not chasing down endless problems. I suggest using it as a starting place, my intention was to use PMDG as a push on until I could afford PM but it's so good, I won't change it for quids. If PM was stable and worked flawlessly then perhaps it would be worth it. Flightdeck Technology are developing their own glass cockpit software and I'm waiting to see what they come up with. Sooner or later the penny will drop with some developer about what software a cockpit builder needs for a realistic price.

    Gwyn

    737NG using Prosim737, Immersive Calibration Pro, Aerosim Solutions motorized TQ & cockpit hardware, CP Flight MCP & FDS SYS1X, SYS2X & SYS4X, FDS PRO FMCs, AFDS units & Glarewings, Matrix Orbital ELEC display, Pokeys Landing & Cruise alt display, Buttkicker Gamers, 3 x BenqMW811ST projectors with a Matrox Th2Go
    http://www.aerosimsolutions.com.au
    Supporter of MyCockpit.org, please join me in donating!!!

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    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    Other choices.......

    As many of you might know, I have long been a big fan of FreeFD for my PFD and my ND displays. That's currently what I am using. Don Lafontaine did quite a service for the field in providing that stuff for free and supporting it for many years. Although not totally complete (FreeFD was still a work in progress when Don ended the project) those two instruments from the suite work pretty well.

    Well, if any of you have followed my sticky thread on FreeFD at the Simviation Homebuild Cockpits forum section....... you will find the new "evolution" of FreeFD by Don at the following website:

    http://www.elliesystems.com/

    It is now payware, and has not been released just yet...... so I have no idea about pricing or functionality. But if the original freeware is any indication of quality and support...... this offering by Don should give PM a bit of a run for their money.

    Then there is also the freeware cockpitware.

    Competition is a GOOD thing for the consumer.


    best,

    ....................john

    PS: And I agree with Gwyn on the "Keep It Simple, Stupid" approach to cockpit building. I'd rather be flying than tinkering with yet another software or hardware problem.

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    300+ Forum Addict NicD's Avatar
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    That is good news ... competition is what is needed. The only risk is that with such a small customer base that there won't be enough to go around. However it would be good to have at least 2-3 serious players in this field. And if the price and support are reasonable it may just bring more wanna-be builders into the game. Right now PM is scaring people off with higher $ and faltering reliability - which is a real pity.
    Nic D'Alessandro
    737NG builder (Hobart, Australia)
    http://simsation.com.au

  7. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    Nic-D,

    Don't know about the faltering reliability concept .... but the PM PRICE is what would stop me cold in my tracks if there were no other alternatives.

    In fact, the very fact that I even STARTED my whole simpit was finding FreeFD in the first place. The existance of the FREE program started me on the road. It opened up possibilities. Now............. thousands of dollars of hardware later...... ............

    I do understand the cost of writing code for a niche market, low sales volume product.... did some of that back in the early 80s. But my stuff was targeted for professional uses...... not for a hobby.

    best,

    ..................john

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    Found some PMDG Offsets

    I dont know if these work.

    But I came accross them while surfing the net.

    Could nomeone with more of a clue than me, please have a look and post comments.
    http://members.chello.at/spatat/pmdg.htm
    Cheers

  9. #9
    300+ Forum Addict NicD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBaymore View Post
    I do understand the cost of writing code for a niche market, low sales volume product.... did some of that back in the early 80s. But my stuff was targeted for professional uses...... not for a hobby.
    That could be the reason why PM has raised its prices ... keep the hobbyists at bay ..? Just glad I bought mine while it was still priced within the range of a hobby budget.

    Main reason I bought PM was my project was designed from the ground up for full/RW 2-crew ops. It has alot of nice features in that department. I still love flying it on my own but the greatest enjoyment for me is using RW checklists/procedures and honing our coordination / CRM. Otherwise I probably would have gone the PMDG route quite happily.
    Nic D'Alessandro
    737NG builder (Hobart, Australia)
    http://simsation.com.au

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    150+ Forum Groupie pdpo's Avatar
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    To Gary007,

    hi there,

    I have been using opencockpits hardware for some time now and have build up some expertise with SIOC programming. The beginning was also not easy but once you get the hang of it its not that difficult to program in it.
    Let me know what it is you dont understand and I'll explain it...no problem at all

    First thing you should do is play with it ... I mean...start up the config_sioc program and look at the help file...
    I know its not soo easy to build up a script in this program config_sioc and I never use it. I always write my script with a simple text editor and then load it in the config_sioc.exe (import txt file), compile it and run....

    You just need to understand what is below it all.... there is a program which can treat 9999 variables which in the beginning are all at an unknown value.
    When the variable gets a new value the script related to that variable is invoked which can modify other variables which causes their scripts to be invoked. The variable you define are linked to a hardware input, output, 7segment display, fsuipc offset for read (FSUIPC_IN) or an fsuipc offset for write (FSUIPC_OUT) or bidirectional (FSUIPC_INOUT)....thats the basic...
    Since the initial value of each variable is 'unknown' the initial pass of each
    variable will cause an initialisation phase. you can guide this initialisation by
    setting initial values to each variable in the VAR 0000 since this variables script will be invoked first.

    Well thats in a very small nutshell....

    If more info needed ... maybe we can once open a teamspeak channel to discuss about this....

    Greetz Peter

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