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Guest MikePowell

Your opinion please: What topics for new simpit book?

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I am seriously considering writing another book for home cockpit and flight deck builders. I have piles of notes, but would very much like to know what each of you think. What topics are of interest? How detailed should topics be presented? At what level should they be covered?Mikewww.mikesflightdeckbooks.com

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I wouldn't need such a covering, but i think that an inroduction to the basics of interfaceing could be of interest to many many people.The abstraction required to pass from a material and tangible switch, to the code in a software is often considered very difficult to obtain, involving logic and programming knowledge not readily available to the majority of people.Many could benefit from such a discussion, probably enhancing their knowledge acquired by merely buying and putting to use some hardware interface, and thus finally takeing their interface to the point were it is used as it was meant to.You may also consider flight control systems reproduction as a wide topic, for maybe a book of itself?There are many things that can be said about realization of flight controls: from the simplest to the complete replica of real things.I bet you already have 90% of the material ;)

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Mitch Morrell posted in another thread that he suggested to PC Pilot that they run a simpit column, but they said they didn't have the resources..... have you thought about talking to them? Maybe a tip-of-the-month column might allow you to write on whatever facet happens to be grabbing your attention at the moment.Richard

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Hi MikeI also think covering the various interfaces available, freeware and hardware would be a priority, including set ups both hardware and software. Just look at the questions on this forum regarding types and setting up of different rotary types etc.Also some detailed information about suitable power supplies and circuits for all types of cockpit lighting. I have found this is one neglected area and difficult to find precise information.Another topic would be computer networking for sims....covering the different requirements for multiple views, multiple panels etc. This area would cover available software and indicate the suitability of each for different tasks, as well as set up and configuration information.Because many subjects are subject to recent updates, maybe a book that is loose leaf and can be upgraded periodically with the latest information might be a consideration. This would allow updates for patches, new manufacturers etc., to keep the book current, and some updates maybe on individual projects and ideas.Well there's a few ideas to start...I'm sure I will think of a few others.Thanks for your ongoing support on this forum

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Hi Mike,I am also convinced that a new book about the electronic side of our hobby going from all kind of switches, lamps, leds, pots and every I/O interfaces, related softwares would be imho a priority.By the way they are some small hopes that have been light up since I announced that I had to give up my simpit documentary. If there is a new chance going some news unexpected ways to finance it I will come back to you.Best regardsRoger

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Maybe a way of DIY paneling and the results VS buying from Flight Deck Solutions or Dakenskys panels (mucho $$$, but excellent quality). A lot of new designers can't really figure out how to make their own panelling and just resort to spending half their sim on the panels and still have lots of hardware to do. If they knew of an alternative that was feasible yet less expensive (maybe more time consuming for the builder, but thats what it's about, isnt it?), maybe it would help the new guys get started...My main flow of any simbuilding book would be like such...Hardware - Where to get it and what to look for - guide to interpreting the switches and knobs on a panel and knowing what part you need to buy to replicate itInterfacing - what types of solutions are available, where to purchase if necessary, pros and cons of this solutionElectricianship - how to wire them all up - basics on soldering, grounds and leads, and precautions to take while soldering so as not to fry your $400 EPIC card or have to rewire that new board you just built from scratchComputer Setup and networking - How to set up the computers in a particular setup and get them talking to each other. A certain setup may require 2 computers (1 for main FS and another for displays with 4 PCI of video cards in it) or another setup may require 5 computers, 3 with specs capable of running FS for outside views. This would be the part that gets them thinking of just how much they want their sim to cost as if they don't have the computers lying around, this can be the expensive part to get the sim running. A FS-Capable computer isn't cheap, but ones just for running programs like PM can be 5+ years old and still run fine. This would also be how to get the computers setup so when the sim is turned on, the rest of the computers turn on and automatically load the software required for the sim without human interference.Cockpit Framing - Where to start and what to plan for - usually start MIP with gauges and main controls, then usually pedestal to have throttle controls and radios, then finally overhead for engine starting controls and mics. systems. With MIP, tips on how to go about building that B777 or B737NG glass cockpit with LCD or CRT screens and what sizes and hardware is required to get it set up. With the Overhead and Pedestal, how to keep a panel or frame modular. You are going to have to move it someday unless your 70 and not moving from your current house until you die. Ideas like making your pedestal with a male connector jack for the EPIC bus and Output BUS if using EPIC (is a good idea that very few use) so you can unplug the Pedestal and carry it around as a totally separate part from the rest of the cockpit.Cockpit Shell - various places to get one and how to build one yourself. Lots of schools of thought on this one. If dual-linked controls are whats in need, then don't forget to mention that most linkages are hidden in the floor, so they'll have to build a base high enough to hide the linkages.Painting - Best methods available and codes for colors hard to find. I found a great color code from a builders site with the RGB color code from a panel they have. Using that color code, I plugged it into a place called EasyRGB.com and it gave me most of the brand-name paint suppliers on the North American continent and their paints that very closely matched the RGB color I put in. Very useful info for most as for the Boeing Grey color, most have RAL colors that the paint shops around me don't know how to convert or compare to the colors they have. Also, best methods to apply to surfaces. Like for DIY panel builders, can't forget to mention to prep the surface with Plastic primer first.With all that info, even some old vets of simbuilding would need to take a look to see if your book would have a better way for them to do something. It would also be a very good guide on how to build a sim, from start to finish.

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I very much appreciate everyone's comments. They are all the more valuable because they're heading in a direction different than I had expected.Please keep the comments coming.Mikewww.mikesflightdeckbooks.com

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Mike,My suggestion would be to build the book around the building of actual sims. I am sure that many of the people in here who have completed sims or, are in the process; would be happy to share their creation in your book.You could have a GA sim, Airliner and fighter type sim. The book would be build around building these sims. Then you could have chapters based on the various substructures, such as, planning, panel, cockpit, control assemblies, visual systems, etc. The chapters would use pictures and actual designs of existing components and sims.John

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