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CrashEd

CPFlight MCP and Engravity CDU users - your commments please!

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I have now officially been bitten by the 747 bug ;-)Being a sucker for new hardware, I'm looking in to getting an MCP and an FMC to build a small, desktop cockpit (just the essential items ;-). From what I've seen the CPFlight MCP and the Engravity FMC seem to look like the best bits of hardware available at the moment. I was just wondering if anyone used either of these in FSX/Vista etc and would be kind enough to comment on what they are like? Are they worth the money? Are any other software/drivers required to get them to work with the PMDG 747-400X?Cheers,


Ed Haslam

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Another quick question...Sounds crazy but can the CPFlight 737 MCP be used with the PMDG 747-400X?? Can you configure the controls to perform some of those in the 747?


Ed Haslam

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I can only comment on the MCP and it's use in FS9 and Windows XP! However, the handling and feel is of course the same regardless of FS- and Windows-version. In FS9 and Windows XP there is no special driver to make it work - it uses the file with key assignments in the PMDG aircraft folder. As I understand it that's also how it works in FSX and Vista. In the CPflight forum, the developer himself writes: "I have installed FSX, CPflighttools, fsuipc 407. I have installed also the usb driver for the MCP and i have tested MCP_CONF, FS_COM and TestCPflightHardware and all this software work perfectly with Vista and FSX. So, there is not compatibility problem between CPflight and Vista.(http://www.cpflight.com/forum/ShowMessage.asp?ID=1793)PaoloCPflight"Mind you, as I understand it he doesn't refer to PMDG but default airplanes in the sim.As for the feel and quality, I'm very very satisfied which also should be expected considering its price. It feels very sturdy and of high quality material. I have the MCP737 version (and EFIS) and not the Pro (which only works with Project Magenta). Whether they are worth the money can only really be answered by you. I'm very far from rich but flight simming is (sadly?) my main hobby and using hardware to control stuff like radios, adds A LOT to the feeling.I'v contemplated purchasing the FMC from Fly Engravity too, but for me with my simple home cockpit, it's just waaay to much money. Also you are restricted to using it with the PMDG 737, 747 and the LevelD (I think). Personally I intend to buy a touch screen monitor - cheaper and more versatile. While you don't get the sense of pressing a physical button, you can use it with ANY FMC.


Krister Lindén
EFMA, Finland
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I must confess now that from the CPFlight forum I cannot conclude whether the MCP works with PMDG 747 FSX or not. There is a thread from December 07 where a user reports problems with the 747FSX and the developer says that he hasn't tested the the MPC with that airplane.But at least with the PMDG 747 for FS9 you can control most of the MCP functions with the unit. The 737 MCP, which of course the CPFlight unit is based on, doesn't have the "Heading hold" function, but you can achieve that pressing the "Heading select" button two times. There is no dial to control the bank angle but if you press the "Heading select" button for a while, the bank angle is displayed and you can then adjust it. The only funcion I find lacking is pushing the "Altitude" dial.If you decide to purchase the CPflight MCP I also strongly urge you to buy the EFIS unit. It's just not complete without it!


Krister Lindén
EFMA, Finland
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Hi Krister,Some very useful information there - many thanks. I didn't realise that the Pro versions of the MCP were tied to using Project Magenta. This could make a 'Pro setup' quite expensive. Do you know what the additional cost of Project Magenta would be for this?I heard that Flight Sim Labs (www.flightsimlabs.com) are writing a driver for the 737 MCP Pro/PMDG and that it is almost ready. Hopefully this will solve the FSX issues.Finally, I heard some info from Claudio at CPFlight and they are planning the design of a 747 MCP (and Pro) version. They will begin in September and hope to have somrthing ready for Q1 2009. This is good news for me, as I mainly fly the 747. This is the reason I asked the question regarding compatibility, becasue I can't decide whether to wait or get the 737 one. At least now I know they are pretty much useable between the two, I will wait for the 747 version.But I know what you mean, it is a lot of money for a piece of equipment that is designed specifically for one aircraft.Cheers!


Ed Haslam

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Ed,regarding the 737Pro compatibility it's only what I've read on the product page: "MCP737PRO interfaces with Microsoft Flight Simulator through Project Magenta MCP software". If it had direct support for MSFS I suppose it would be stated.I've never seen the price for PM stated on their web page, but perhaps two years ago they said that they would change their focus to the professional users and that would also be reflected in the price. I don't know if that change was carried through and regardless I realized PM was not for me. I don't have the time, money or intelligence to build an advanced home cockpit and also there are just too many wonderful add-ons to fly that I can't tie myself to one single. My simple cockpit with the CPFlight stuff and radios from Goflight is good enough for me. Although I of course drool when I see the amazing projects some have undertaken! :)


Krister Lindén
EFMA, Finland
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I just received an email from PM with their (private use) prices - HOLY SMOKES! This s/w is more expensive than all of my addons/fsx/vista etc put together!!For the full left hand side cockpit software it is 800 EUR!! The 'pmSystems' software, which deals with switch logic etc is still 400 EUR. Not cheap! I imagine this is what you would need if anything.If this is the only way of using the CPFlight MCPPro with FSX/PMDG then I won't be buying one. That is just crazy. Spending 400 EUR on some software that lets you run a 1400 EUR piece of harware!I'm with you, I really enjoy simming, but not if it is going to cost that much. I may as well put the money towards flying lessons ;-)Can any 'Pro' users confirm whether it is *necessary* to have Project Magenta installed to run the CPFlight 737MCP Pro??


Ed Haslam

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I emailed Lefteris from Flightsimlabs and he said that you only need to buy the driver from them to use the CPFlight 737MCPPro with FSX/PMDG (79.95 Euro). So I'm still tempted to get one...


Ed Haslam

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I certainly can understand your temptation! :) I actually didn't know that Lefteris has started supporting CPFlight - the last time I checked with him he said that as long as they couldn't get a unit from CPFlight for development purposes, it was out of the question.Personally I would still go for the 737USB. While the Pro certainly looks much sweeter and is a 100% scaled version, it also cost twice as much as the 737USB that I have. Of course, we all have different financial possibilities and if I had the money I would no doubt get the Pro. But the 737USB is already a brilliant piece of work, especially together with the EFIS, and I'd be paying twice the money for a better looking unit doing basically the same job.So please buy the 737USB so I don't have to be jealous and buy one myself! I have to afford nappies for my daughter and soon-to-be-born son too! ;)


Krister Lindén
EFMA, Finland
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