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  1. #1
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    I must be mad----Tristar

    Hi guys, I would just like to say a big thanks to Matt O for sorting my login problems out so quickly, cheers mate your a star.

    Ok he were go, or the question really should be which way to go?

    I am about to start out on project for my employers to build a ground based (non motion) sim to familiarise Aircrew with a glass cockpit environment. Now until I have a meeting with the guys on Tuesday I will not know how far down the line they want to go in regard to realism etc. I suspect, being aircrew they will want everything from not a lot of money. The aircraft type is a Tristar, good old 3 engine wide body that needs an upgrade of avionics

    Hence where i come in. Im an electronic engineer with lots of installation and project management experience, I specialise in Communication System, IS, networks, satellite comms etc, but I am also a very competent VB programmer, i have actually dabbled at making my own PFD using open GL with a fair bit of success considering it was learn as you go.

    I did also have a multi PC (3 main views, 1x PFD and 1x ND) FS2000 sim using FSUIPC, WideView with a basic throttle and yoke config However the wife got miffed with it being in the spare bedroom, so now its in the garage in pieces as i havenít had the time to sort it out again yet. Now to some questions that i need to pick at your experiences:

    Firstly I have used MS FS and i am familiar and confident with the environment, however I am not a pilot. From what I can gather though X Plane seems to be a better platform for more professional use. Again please bear in mind that i donít know the full scope of this project yet. Just trying to get some pointers, so

    Q - X Plane or FS Sim

    Next it goes without question that I will be using the excellent Project Magenta in some form or another, now being 3 engine could cause a major problem, saying that though i think the main focus will be on familiarisation with Glass cockpit, so:

    Q - PM Systems - can i configure for a 3 engine system, again please bare in mind that i donít know if the Glass cockpit will replace the analogue engine systems, or just the Nav and PFD.

    Hardware or Software, obviously hardware gives for a much more realistic environment, however its so much more to implement, so:

    Q - Does Magenta work on touchscreen displays, specifically the FMC and PM systems, (would be nice to have a commercial touch screen as an overhead panel, saves on a lot of wiring.

    Interfacing, so many choices, i will need something that is easy to maintain and is robust and reliable. Thereís lots of offerings, i.e. FS Bus, EPIC, Phiggits, IOCard i have also seen something that interests me, a 56 way IO based on USB (56euros for the kit), shouldnít be too bad to write my own Interface code for FSUIPC.

    Q - Whatís your thoughts and experiences?

    Displays - Multi monitor, projectors, flat screen ?????. Sounds daft but I actually have my hands on 5x 40inch CRTs, I also have access to projectors and numerous CRT monitors, and possibly a budget for TFTs or Touch screens, what a dilemma to have. Whatís your recommendations from experience, again especially for the systems displays i have access to lots of 1g machines. For the main display/displays I think that I would be able to source pretty impressive machines, i.e. i think i cold quite easily get hold of 5 or 6 top end P4's, 1 G Rams etc. However what Graphics cards do you guys use and recommend, if I do go top end machine i want to ensure that i use a card that can exploit the full graphics.

    Q - Thoughts recommendations?

    Ok last one for now - Flight Controls/ Throttles/ Peddles/ Trim, lots of cheapish options here, but If it does go big the, we would need to manufacturer some pretty realistic stuff here, this is the biggest sticking point as far as i can see. Anyone know of any manufacturers preferably here in the uk. If not any ideas??

    What I should also mention i that, I will have unrestricted access to a real aircraft, although not fitted with GC yet i will have electronic drawings of the new cockpit design, I will be able to do a fair bit of time to this project actually as my day job, I will also have access to some trained manpower, i.e. they work for me...... I may also be able to get carpentry, painting and metalwork done on site.

    Sounds all like the perfect scenario for a home simmer, possibly, but also a very scary one too!

    Regards and keep the dream going

  2. #2
    10+ Posting Member cbaye's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how touch-screens might fit into a professional envrionment but Here is an example of how I am implementing them in my home sim. The FMC and Overhead are touch-screens.

    Obviously a larger touch-screen would be better in a professional application. Keytec sells a module system for making very large touch screens to mimic a full-size overhead.

    - Chris
    Last edited by cbaye; 02-04-2007 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Layout
    Chris Baye
    KMSP(GEP DME4.0,R010)
    GoFlight, Project Magenta (Boeing)