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My Cessna cockpit (photos)

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Hi guys, I thought you might like to see the current state of my cockpit.I am using the TRC "Basic ATD" panel, Flight Link KR-1 avionics, throttle quadrant and sub-panel and two GoFlight panels.I have 2 PC's driving the simulator; the main one running a Asus P4PE motherboard with a 2.6Ghz P4 and a Matrox Parhelia card driving 3 15" LCD monitors mounter on an Ergotron stand. The secound PC is the little black box micro-PC you can just see the side of on the far right. This is running a 1.8Ghz P4 and is connected to the 10" CRT on the left which is on its side and running Pivot software to turn the screen into portrait mode which is better for driving the instruments.I am using the 2nd PC for driving FSGarmin 530 and FSFlightMax (which you can see on the screen). Also running on this PC is Radar Contact 3, ActiveSky wxRE and ShowText (to show the text from AdvDisp on this PC). This is all linked to the main PC via WideFS of course.The small keyboard shown is connected to the main PC, but via FSUIPC and WideFS I am sending keypresses to FSGarmin530 on the other PC to control it. I have tried to do the same with FSFlightMax, but for some reason it does not work (any ideas?).Ultimately I shall be consolidating everything into a more realistic Cessna panel with correct throttles and switches using Peter Cos's panels when they are available.Thats it for now.David

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Hi, David. I like that set up. A couple of things come to mind:1- Can you run it on any other sim software?2- What does it cost? It would seem that you could have gotten your PP license, and flown for about a year, with that money. I am working on a similar set up, for when I will loose my medical. I have my CFI and can still fly after that but I will have to use someone else

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Guest gasebah

Wow, very nice setup. Very expensive too. What brings me to the part that nugs me. With all the money you spent how come you still have that crappy CH Yoke as your main input device. Go the extra mile and buy a PFC. Should make a world of differnce.Great setup,Alex

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Hi,1. The TRC panel currently only supports FS2002, however I could use the flight link hardware including the avionics on X-Plane. Of course the yoke and rudder pedals would support anything. Not to worried here though as I only use FS2002.2. As to the cost - way too much! I was lucky with the TRC panel as I got it before they increased the price from 3,000 to 5,000. The flight link KR-1 I have had for a number of years, in fact it was one of the first of the production line.Yes I could have got my PP license (almost) for the money I spent, but not flown for a year. It is in my plans, but currently it is not very pratical for me as I live in Manhattan and the nearest airport to learn and fly from would be KTEB and the reality is that without a car (no sensible person would own one who lives in Manhattan ;) I would not fly enough to warrant it. However, we intend to move to California in the next few years and that is when I will learn to fly.You are building a motion platform - WOW! Talk about expensive - I would love to hear more about it.

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Thanks and yes, but built up over a number of years.I agree with you about the yoke. I do have the Flight Link AV-IVR panel and yoke which is excellent and even has real electric trim and a Beechcraft yoke (with timer). However, it does not really fit in with the sim setup I have as it wold make the panel too high so I currently have it up for sale on Ebay and will get the PFC yoke.David

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Hi David. Thanks for the feedback. I remember reading about the TRC. My motion platform was intended to be a simple, low budget, but it turns out to be more difficult to implement. I use DC motors from automobiles, I started out with Electric drill motors, tested some steppers etc. This is only intended to be used for IFR practice, no fast motion, just sufficient to disturb the fluid in your middle year. The cost so far is under $400.00. Your setup makes a lot of sense. The problem with 2K2 is slow, erratic, and the wrong sequence, instrument updates, at least for the GA aircraft. In addition the perspective is off, you cannot present the proper view to the student, for landing, for example. The VC helps a little, if you get your zoom to about 50-60% but than the runway ids too narrow, the buildings are slanted, fish eye view. With Fly! most of these problems are resolved, except the update sequence, Xplane has better updates but the Scenery is not very good, outside perspective. I use some PCATD programs when I want to do some practice at home, and use Fly! with TerraScene generated scenery, to present a recognizable perspective, to a new student that is going to an unfamiliar location. If you ever get to CA, before I loose my medical, and you are around KLGB, or KSNA, I

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DavidNice setup, one question. Do you use a Matrox Parhelia videocard? I am in doubt for the visuals between your setup or a beamer. Your setup needs less room. But if you are in a turn how smooth is the transition from one monitor to the other? Because with the parhelia an item that disappears on one monitor immediately shows up on the next. Normally this would take a split of a second. This will get worse with conventional monitors with a bread rim around the screen. The only thing I can think of to prevent this are 3 PC with 3 monitors linked via wideview, but that increases costs and complexity.Or 3 monitors with a narrow rim as you seem to have.I woould be very pleased as you could post a picture of your monitor when you are in a turn.ThanksNorbert Boschthe netherlands

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Yes I am using a Matrox Parhelia card. The 3 monitors behave like one monitor and the transition from one to another is totally smooth and coordinated just like it was one monitor. There is absolutly no delay and you very easily forget about it being 3 monitors. This is one of the things that is so good about the Surround mode.I will take a picture of a turn when I get home for you.David

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Hi,What do you mean "The problem with 2K2 is slow, erratic, and the wrong sequence, instrument updates, at least for the GA aircraft".Also why do you say the perspective is off, as you can adjust many paremeters (eyepoint, seat height, zoom etc) to alter the perspective.I have to say that since installing the Parhelia card and having the 3 surround monitors, my landings have gotten significantly better. I think this is due to having "peripheral" vision provided by the monitor which helps with flaring at the right point.Thanks for your offer of help with my PP, I will defiantely look you up if I make it there in the near future. I have got very close on a number of occasions to starting it hear, but then my sane side reminds me that I will not be able to fly enough to warrant it.David

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hi david!compliments for your setup! looks great! :-)i've a question to parhelia too?what resolution do you use?whats about the performance using detailed scenery-packs?is the anti-aliasing as good, as matrox mentioned it?thanx in advance for your answergood luck and best from viennahans g.(LOWW)

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Hi, David."The problem with 2K2 is slow, erratic, and the wrong sequence, instrument updates, at least for the GA aircraft" You may not see that in your setup, if the gauges are driven directly?, but in a regular setup, if you attempt to change attitude / bank, with a large deflection, and observe the instruments, you will see them

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The maximum resolution available in FS2002 is 1920 x 480. This is not the limit of the Parhelia card but of FS2002 and the fact it was compiled with DirectX 7 which is what has the limit. FS2004 should not have this limit and I think the resolution will be somthing like 3072 x 768 which is the limit of my 3 15" LCD.Because of the current resolution limit the image is somewaht "jagged" and no where as good as the 1280 x 1024 that I ran my nVidia ti4 4600 at. However the significantly increased sense of flying is worth it. The feeling of looking through a "letter box" when flying with one monitor is reduced significantly.As to performance, I am running a 2.4Ghz P4 on a ASUS P4PE motherboard and I have all the sliders turned up to maximum and still get fluid motion pretty much everywhere. I have the USA Terrainmesh software loaded as well.Its, almost impossible to comment on teh Matrox anti-aliasing on FS2002 becouse of the relatively low res and the jagged edges that result. Howver on some of the demo games it look fantastic.Hope that answers your questionsDavid

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Thanks for the explanation.I certainly have not experienced any jumping from point to point with my real gauges (nor do I remember any on the on screen gauges) However, because both the on screen gauges and my real gauges are both driven from the same source I can not assume that there should be any difference. Could it be system performance driven (ie CPU etc)?As I have no experience of flying a real plane I have nothing to compare against and you may be seeing something that I assume is normal.As for perspective I understand your explanation. If you ever get the chance you should look at FS2002 running with the Parhelia card as it totally changes your perspective. My biggest challenge is trying to get the perspective/ height from the cockpit correct taking into account that all is shown on screen is the outside view and I have real gauges.I fly a Cessna 177 RG most of the time - if you have any suggestions on how to set the front view as near as correct I would be grateful. It would be great if I could sit in a Cessna and note how much I can see and then adjust my sim setup. At the moment I am just guessing.David

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thanx alot! yes, that answers all my questions!best from viennahans g.(LOWW)

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David, That looks like a great setup and is something I am aiming for. I have created a new thread asking for help, Topic #327. I copied the monitor setup from your cockpit, from the photo, and used it as a reference for my questions. I hope that is ok, but if not, let me know and I will remove it asap. Here is the link to the thread:http://ftp.avsim.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboa...rum=DCForumID42 Thanks for sharing your configuration, I'd bet you have spent many hours and $'s having a great time with it.Dave Branca

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