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jmig

What is the best order to build your sim?

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A question formed in my mind from reading and commenting on a recent thread involving the use of older software or more current software in your sim project.What is the proper order to settle upon, build and acquire components, software, hardware, etc.?The pioneers of this hobby were the ones who cleared the forest, fought off the indigenous natives and built this hobby. In the language of sim building, they often designed alone and spent good money to purchased prototype hardware and software. Sometimes they were stuck with older less useful software and components. Those who are new to sim building owe them a debt of gratitude and can learn from their experiences and pioneering efforts. I have a background that includes training in mechanical engineering. As a project manager, I quickly learned the benefits of planning. Sim building is a hobby that often starts small and quickly consumes all your time, money and room. So the wise sim builder will plan what he/she wants to build and have an idea of what order he/she should build and purchase.This thread is to solicit feedback from you, as to your ideas, so we can all benefit. I will start by giving a brief rundown of what I am trying to accomplish and in what order.My goal is to build a T-38 jet trainer. I hope to eventually trailer mount the similar and bring it to various functions, such as Civil Air Patrol meeting, air shows, etc and give kids and young people a taste of flying the hot jet.I am basing it on the T-38C, which is the new glass cockpit version. However, I am willing to give complete authenticity for practicality and usefulness. So it will probably end up a mixture of the original T-38 that I flew and knew, the NASA version and the new

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"I think it is better to wait and see what is available at the time you need it, than to buy something now that is obsolete when you get there."I totally agree with you on that one. Right now I have FS2004 running on a computer that can barely run it with all sliders on left. However why buy a computer and other software now? I don't even see FS2004 as the version to power my project. By the time I have made enough progress to fire things up, I'll get more bang for my buck as far as computer parts are concerned and more updated software. As for the order to build, my idea was to build the main instrument panel first, throttle/pedestal second. As I see it, once the MIP is complete, I can actually have a little fun, even if I still have to use the keyboard a bit.

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Hi John, it seems to be the million dollar question, where do you start ? I like you am building a jet fighter/trainer pit, it seems to be hard to get exact plans that you can build from, particularly when it comes to military pits.I am not trying to replicate any particular aircraft but my basic objectives are these:1) Immersion into the sim (probably every builders no.1 on the list)2) Dual seat Front/rear (currently working on the front)3) Real switches, knobs & displays, no longer do I want to fly with a keyboard & mouse on a desk.4) Has to be something that you physically have to hop into, this probably relates alot to (1)As I investigated what was available to me and considered my own personal limitations as to what I could build myself & what I had to buy, I experimented with software & hardware to see what solutions I could find, this investigation period took me about a year, before I finally commited to getting out the tools & making my first cut.I have browsed & browsed many a builders site including commercial airliners & military pits, many of them just knock you off your chair!It is great looking at other builders sites not only pictures but also their comments about how things were done & problems that they encountered along the way. All this information is important to take on board in your planning stages to try & help yourself not to make the same mistakes or implement an idea that you like.I decided the best place for me to start was the pilots chair or ejection seat in my case, from there I have estimated dimensions by looking at other sites & also by actually sitting in some real pits such as a Macchi trainer & Mirage fighter just to get some estimation as to where things should be in relation to where I am sitting.So thats where I started, I built the chair late last year & have now moved on to the pit itself, so far so good & have not made any major mistakes yet, I think the best thing is to take your time with things, never rush into an idea until you have analysed it thouroughly.I might add too that I am an electronics guy by trade & still work in that area with computers of coarse not so much at component level anymore, I have never scratch built anything from wood in my life, the only wood work I have done was at school & that was 26 years ago.I have found working with wood to be a real pleasure & reasonably easy, all my cutting has been done by hand saw to this point except for the Jigsawing I have had to do.Best of luck with your project.Cheers Glenn. You can check out my Simpit Project here:http://www.simhardware.co.nz/forums/viewtopic.php?t=33

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As I answered before I have the impression that many people start off with building an MCP and then build around that. This indicates that many people like controling a computer which in its place controls an aircraft. Sad but true ;) Ok I think it's sad personally but everyone has the right to their oppinion.Other than that I believe that the order in which you plan is very much a choise one can take for himself. There is no right, there is no wrong.HOWEVER.Here are the steps you HAVE to start with:1) find many many pictures (even try contacting real pilots and have them take pics for you). a clear view on each part from every possible side will help you re-create right and exact first time around.2) next step is to find a 3D program and make a few 3D model of your cockpit and individual parts. this will help you A LOT ! you can compare dimensions, measure angles etc etc. You'll know it will fit before you start making it in real.3) chose which options you want active and chose your interface. It is not essential that you purchase an interface before starting to build but having an idea is a good step.then comes a bunch of steps one chan re-arrange the order as they want.-) build the throttle quad and/or pedestall-) build the shell-) build the panels-) build/purchase interface-) build MCP or glareetc etcOne thing I would suggest though is not to postpone building the panels to much. You will need a lot of switches and buttons to go into those and the cost of this must not be underestimated.

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My experience:Go slowlyLook on the net to compare the other projectsLook on forum to avoid some errors or bad directionsthink a lotsmake lots of shematicsDuring this 6 month my project idea have evoluate from a simple module on my deck: it became a double seatclosed cockpit with overhead, pedestal and videoprojector ...Try to avoid buying component you won't usefor example now with the CCC logical interface of FSBUS I don't need to make complicated wiring of my overhead to simulate function that are not in the game. Now I just connect all to FSBUS and programm it in the soft, lots of electronics conception is now no-need.And some of component I've bought are now uselessBOB

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>"I think it is better to wait and see what is available at>the time you need it, than to buy something now that is>obsolete when you get there."There are two sides to that... In my case, I have waited 6 years for a throttle quadrant. Hiroshi Yabuki went ahead a bought one from Chris Benton and called it a day. The ones that are available now are ceratainly a lot nicer, but he didn't have to wait 4 years to get a flyable sim either :-). If you wait for top of the line, you may be doing A LOT more waiting than flying.Like with computers, it doesn't appear that processor speeds are going to become saturated any time soon. Plus software requirements are typically relative to the processor capabilites available. So those who waited a year for the heralded 1 GHz computer were still dissapointed when the 1.5 GHz machine was released shortly after. It compels us to upgrade machines every few years, but top of the line is only accurate for about a day. Although the technology in this hobby will eventually become saturated, You may want to be flying long before then :-) I've been building my sim for 6 years now and I have never "flown" it :-(. My best advise is to build the controls FIRST! Get your throttle quad done, mount your yoke and rudders, then build around that. Then move to avionics, and add other functions as you feel necessary. At least your sim will always be partially flyable.Robert

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I just found this forum today actually, even though I'm very familiar with Avsim from the past.I have been toying with the idea of building a flight deck for very long, and I'm just now in the process of actually starting. So alot of planning has been made. Anyone seen Turbulence the movie? anyway, it's what really turned me on to this and I will be building a 744, even though its a 742 in the movie.My project will take years. I don't have too much space at the moment, and dont have alot of money to spend either.I see the building process actually just as much fun as acually flying.Now to the point. The way I plan to start is:1. Pedestal2. Throttle Quad3. MIP4. Glare ShieldAnd then add the rest from there.I think by the time it's all built, I can concentrate on the computer and FS20XX then. In the meantime I'll continue flying my FS9 on my old computer.

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I did a lot of planning for the sim and collected reams of internet based ideas first. That took a bout 3 months. Then, once I started, I knew exactly what iwanted to achieve and strived for that effect. The most important thing was to build in Phases and get each phase immediately flyable. So, the phases for my A320 were as follows:Main Panels with Computers networked...1 monthCenter Pedestal...3 monthsOverhead...4 monthsGlaresheild...5 monthsThrottles...1 monthFraming...windows 1 monthLot's of overlap...whole project to 85% Completion was about 1 year.It has always been flyable in some sort of way. Comnpleted last year and I now have over 300 hours on the sim.

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Just my 2 cents:I started with the important things first (in my opinion anyway)I finished till now:control yokethrottle quadrantcduNow I start with the MIP and the frame for that (first buy the monitors)Now you can built everything around it.Sometimes I see a very nice pit with alle the (FDS) panels in the center pedestal. But then I know it will be almost impossible to put a 5,6 TFT behind teh CDU. there is just no space for it.Same with the monitor and building of the main structure to support the mip. I have the MIP from FDS. It gets very crowded behind the MIP. So building is only possible with the monitors in place. So in short: start with the details and put them together later. You will be sure that way that it will fit.regardsNorbert

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