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So, we did some upgrading for our Cessna sim lately, it's still underway though.. Got two additional collimated mirror modules donated from Finnair training center.. Much thanks for them.One side mirror is bolted on.. there's been quite an effort by Jan to construct the support structure..http://www.mik.fi/gallery/albums/simu-teli..._0452.sized.jpg"Soon, soon we can fly again :)" http://www.mik.fi/gallery/albums/simu-teli..._0460.sized.jpgTweaking..http://www.mik.fi/gallery/albums/simu-teli..._0463.sized.jpgOnce we get two more large (25 inch+) monitors from somewhere, this will be one kick butt visual system.. and there's going to be some serious adjustment to make it work with the Parhelia, but we'll try. Lets hope we find those monitors from somewhere..http://www.mik.fi/gallery/albums/simu-teli..._0464.sized.jpgIt's been a heck of a 2 years to build this thingy... Once this visual system stuff is finished and we figure out the pitch trim and centering force stuff, this will be The Sim no doubt.. Amazing what good teamwork can achieve..www.mik.fi/simulaattori has more pics about the actual panel and stuff in action for those who are not familiar with the project from earlier time.. (unfortunately the page is in finnish only, but the photos are in english as well :))//Tuomas

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Tuomas You are a man with much luck Congratulations.SaludosRafael

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You guys are doing a wonderful and professional job. Thanks for the pictures.Is that you Tuomas, drinking the water?John

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What has always troubled me is .. why building a cessna sim ?No offence and I think it looks great. But .. I never realy found the thrill in flying a slow plane around in the virtual skys.I'd rather fly small & slow planes in real life than in a sim. When I sim I want to do something I know for sure I will never be able to achieve in real life. Like F1 racing (long time ago that I did but ..) I know for sure that I will never race a real F1 car. Maybe I could have but then I would have been into carts or something by now and training for it. But I'm not. However a sportsplane or an ULM should be doable whenever I find the time/money. A fokker50 seems less likely to ever happen.So here's the thing .. why a cessna ?

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I think it is for their flight club or school. From what I understand, they actually fly the Cessna 172 in the club.This is how I got into sim building. When I started flying again after a 20 year layoff, I used it to get comfortable with navigation and later to practice instrument approaches.I made a set of Cessna throttles and bought some Go-Flight stuff for the radios. You would be amazed how helpful it is.John

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>No offence and I think it looks great. But .. I never realy>found the thrill in flying a slow plane around in the virtual>skys.>>I'd rather fly small & slow planes in real life than in a sim.> When I sim I want to do something I know for sure I will>never be able to achieve in real life. Like F1 racing (longI know your point - I am building a twin piston sim at home, a C310 that goes reasonably fast and suits nicely for 1-2 hour flights.. That is the "wheee!!" -sim. :)On the other hand, the Cessna is built for real personal training and for the younger members of our club who cannot get a real license yet.Also, this is a more fundamental question: Is the idea of flying to get from point A to point B as fast as possible? Or is it to enjoy the time between point A and B as much as you can? :) 110 knots is still reasonably fast for visiting places compared to a car, plus for practicing basic instrument flight, training navigation and such one doesnt really need a very fast plane - and a too fast one is just too much work for a beginnin pilot. You can easly fall behind the plane in heavy workload. So like John says in his next reply, yes - it is built for purpose and there is a reason it is similar to the real planes in the club.Also, a GA plane is actually something you can simulate 100% with FS2004. For a complex jet, it is something that few people realize when they get started - they get the panels, they have PMDG 737 or PSS Airbus - then it dawns: you cannot interface everything. Plus the fact that I dont want to sit for hours watching the autopilot follow the magenta line.Our goal was to see how good a simulator you can build around FS2002 (and now 2004) - and it was from the start intended as a practice aid for us who fly real cessnas (you know, avgas is not cheap, and my own budget does not really stretch for too many EUR90 flight hours per month), so the sim is a good thing to keep me current with the practical stuff.And well, there is also a more practical reason - any hobby club depends on new members to stay alive and kicking. Traditionally clubs like ours have had youth sections where people build model airplanes and from there grow into the world of aviation, then get to know the pilots and get along to flights, then when they get old enough they hopefully get their own licenses and start flying the club's planes. This needs to happen for the club to stay alive.But nowadays it seems like different hobbies are more and more separated in their own groups - we have a model plane clubs that do that stuff and that stuff only. And todays young aviators fly FS2004 on their home PC.. This is one attempt to connect them and the real Cessna pilots together, and looks like we are getting somewhere, while having lots of fun in the process.Also, more and more people seem to think that the only way to fly an airplane is to get a air transport pilots license and do it for living - even though aviation is and can be a really good hobby as well. One that can be reasonably affordable to normal people with regular jobs.Especially when you can do some of the flying in the sim which does not cost anything :) It keeps me current in the procedures. and it is fun to practice the navigation and stuff and "check out" the route the day before in the sim by the way, before flying it for real. Especially helpful on night flights that are pretty scary in a way in real life - Finland looks _very_ dark and empty at night when you get outside major cities - it's pitch dark and you dont really want to get lost there.. >So here's the thing .. why a cessna ?Because basic flying is fun :) It's not just about getting from point A to point B - it's the time in the air. Beats sitting in the traffic jam even at 90 knots.John: That guy is not me, he is Santtu, one of the new members. I'm in this picture:http://www.mik.fi/gallery/albums/simu-teli...6_nef.sized.jpg//Tuomas

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Tuomas,>>>Especially helpful on night flights that are pretty scary in a way in real life - Finland looks _very_ dark and empty at night when you get outside major cities - it's pitch dark and you dont really want to get lost there..>>>>As a recurrent depressive guy I also wonder how one can live in Finland. I would die there in a first winter.Just joking but I am in fact very depressive and could not live there. I agree 99% of you statement about flying an C150, the spirit of an aero-club because I was several years vice -chairman of one in France.Just say that the job you and your friends are doinf there is simply remarquable, because it is the work of a team, a group a friends and that's one of the most important part in a life.The one remaining percent is just about MSFS, but just kidding.GreetingsRoger

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-------Also, this is a more fundamental question: Is the idea of flying to get from point A to point B as fast as possible? Or is it to enjoy the time between point A and B as much as you can? 110 knots is still reasonably fast for visiting places compared to a car, plus for practicing basic instrument flight, training navigation and such one doesnt really need a very fast plane - and a too fast one is just too much work for a beginnin pilot.------Ok, true .. that it is harder workload when going fast when navigating around an airport. But going from A to B .. I like to get variations in my flight and flying from EBBR to EBOS will not give me much variation in landclass or mesh or whatever. When flying over photoreal scenery sure it feels great in a ULM or a cessna but .. oh well, I don't like fast planes either but there is a gold middle way for me ;) But sure I can understand the training purpose.------Plus the fact that I dont want to sit for hours watching the autopilot follow the magenta line------Amen brother :) That's why I don't care about the FMC that Espen is going to program for the Fokker50 panel. Ok I like autopilot but I do all the navigation manual otherwise a flight once at altitude is just BORING!Ok, I read it all now and I kinda understand. But the sim you guys build is lees a home-sim than mine is then. That makes more sence.Good to see you on a picture :) Always nice to know who we talk to :(Either way, next time I go to finland, I'll visit you and you'll fly me around :) Cuz I went to finland once and I found it super to stay in a cotage near a leak but traveling from point A to point B by car was just waaaaay to boring! Nothing but the same size pine trees. :-lol I am quite sure I would enjoy traveling around finland much more fun by air. Then at least you see the leaks that are otherwise hidden by the trees :D

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Yeah, teamwork is cool indeed. Probably not very easy sometimes though. I can imagine that as there are multiple solutions to every problem that you guys don't always agree straight away about which way to chose.Different from what I do. I build everything alone and only help or cheers I get is from you guys. Although my new girlfriend seems interested and egor to join me in a flight (as long as she gets to operate a few buttons :( )

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>Tuomas,>>>>>Especially helpful on night flights that are pretty scary>in a way in real life - Finland looks _very_ dark and empty at>night when you get outside major cities - it's pitch dark and>you dont really want to get lost there..>>>>>>As a recurrent depressive guy I also wonder how one can live>in Finland. I would die there in a first winter.The snow helps a lot. The worst time is fall when it gets dark but thee is no snow yet, just wet and cold rain. But once we get snow it is a lot nicer.http://www.kuppilatiima.org/albums/Helsink...src15.sized.jpgThat's a pic a friend of mine took last sunday - the first snowfall and even Helsinki looks pretty :)Then again, summer is a BIG payback here, very very nice.http://tigert.gimp.org/tigert-albums/efhn01/aaa.sized.jpghttp://tigert.gimp.org/tigert-albums/patria/aaq.sized.jpgI guess one gets used to the dark - though it is quite mild in Helsinki - in the northern Finland you get something over a month of winter without seeing the sun.. THAT must be quite an experience. Then again, on summer it's the other way around - no night at all. Summer nights here is quite an experience - it's day VFR all night long around midsummer..>Just say that the job you and your friends are doinf there is>simply remarquable, because it is the work of a team, a group>a friends and that's one of the most important part in a>life.Yeah, this is one of the challenges even at the club - trying to get people together and hang around at the club. With the internet and such everyone tends to just check the weather briefing at home - and if they go flying they just get to the clubhouse to fetch the keys. We try to get more social stuff happening, the sim is a good part of that.. :)>The one remaining percent is just about MSFS, but just>kidding.Yeah :) It has been an interesting project learning what you can do with a $40 or so game program.. A HUGE thanks must go to Pete Dowson for his work to interfacing stuff, otherwise we'd all be reverse-engineering stuff ourselves..//Tuomas

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>Ok, true .. that it is harder workload when going fast when>navigating around an airport. But going from A to B .. I like>to get variations in my flight and flying from EBBR to EBOS>will not give me much variation in landclass or mesh or>whatever. When flying over photoreal scenery sure it feels>great in a ULM or a cessna but .. oh well, I don't like fast>planes either but there is a gold middle way for me ;) But>sure I can understand the training purpose.Yea, I see your point too - the Skyhawk is not a rocket, although the sim is the Skyhawk SP which has a lot more powerful engine than our trusty old lady:http://www.mik.fi/gallery/albums/koneet/oh_ctl.sized.jpegThen again, the sim is basically just an instrument panel, flying any single engine piston aircraft would work, all you need to change is the faceplate of the airspeed indicator (and perhaps add a manifold pressure gauge for constant speed prop use) - The Flight1 Bonanza is going to be an interesting plane for home cockpit stuff no doubt - fast and fun. And given Dreamfleet's good record for flight modelling, it should be a hot bird. Their gauges are usually also very good and with high resolution bitmaps, making them very suitable for home cockpit use. And since it's GA without complex systems, it should be interfaceable easily.>Good to see you on a picture :) Always nice to know who we>talk to :(Heh :) Would be fun to see the faces of others too - not just mugshots but rather pics of you guys working on the sim :)>Either way, next time I go to finland, I'll visit you and>you'll fly me around :) Cuz I went to finland once and I>found it super to stay in a cotage near a leak but traveling>from point A to point B by car was just waaaaay to boring! >Nothing but the same size pine trees. :-lol I am quite sure I>would enjoy traveling around finland much more fun by air. >Then at least you see the leaks that are otherwise hidden by>the trees :DHeh yeah. Check out the gallery at www.mik.fi/gallery - quite a bit of photos from this past summer and older too.//Tuomas

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-----Heh :) Would be fun to see the faces of others too - not just mugshots but rather pics of you guys working on the sim :)-----I will do just 1 thing in the near future .. and that is take some pictures from the tools I use for my sim. Most of it are old worn screw-drivers. An old little iron-saw, ...Wel basically, everything is very much used almost to the limit. So it's not always easy here to make things look good.For the shell I built, I am very sure that an electric screw-driver would have been wounderfull but I did all by hand. All I've got from powertools are a jig-saw and an old drill with no ajustable speed. And now recently a dremel too.On my wish-list are things like a drill with ajustable speed & batteries which can be used for screws just as well + a table saw + a mounting column for the drill. Those things could help a lot for the new panels I want.I tried last night if it was possible to engrave panels by hand with the dremel and the result wasn't that bad but one needs to be extremely cautious. Some sort of guidance for the movement might be handy though .. still thinking of the right invention to make.

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I'm attempting to make a home cnc machine to do panel engraving. Let me reword that, I will make a home cnc. I have the base made so far. When I'm finished it will have xyz movements. Coincidently, Claudio is making one too.David

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Yea, the powered jigsaw is one of the best things one can get, I am happy I got mine. The same weekend I got mine, I built the desktop console :)Most of you have all seen this, it's 2 years old stuff :)http://tigert.gimp.org/aviation/vatsim/coc...topconsole3.jpgAdd paint, the magic ingredient, and whoa!http://tigert.gimp.org/aviation/vatsim/coc...topconsole4.jpgThe jigsaw is unbelieveably useful.You can get those rechargeable-battery equipped drills that can be used as a screwdriver too for about EUR 49 nowadays, my chinese-built cheapo one has been a great help and has lasted fine for 2 years now.//Tuomas

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yeah cheapo indeed :(But I pay for my study & my dorm & my food & anything else myself this year. And thus I am on a tight budget.So I've got a priority list for my sim.First I'll get the PHCC for the LCD's. Then I'll get the LCD's. After that I will fine tune the interfacing of my sim. After that I might concider a new set of panels. Don't know how to do them yet but I am thinking some sort of MDF might be good. No backlighting then but I will try to get my panels engraved by a pro or a DIY CNC.I've finaly got a good mold here for the switches. Now I can make 10 at a time. So I've got 20 now and in a few minutes expect me to have 30 :-lolSo that is going great.The electric power tools however will have to wait a while longer. Either way I got access to most of those and even more nice working machienery at school.

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Is your website broken btw?I tried to look at your current panels - I had the impression there was nothing wrong with them really, they looked nice.Anyway, I'll either go with laminated paper over plywood or plain plywood, that is easiest to work on with simple tools, and its very easy to do any kind of panel designs wiht OpenOffice.org's draw program. Laminating makes them very durable and nice looking, then just drill holes in the corners of both the panel and the plywood backing and mount. It might not look "as real as it gets" but it will still look really nice and clean, and functionality will be good. Engraving sounds like quite a bit of work for not much gain in functionality.Have you considered a "black light" tube or two at various places in your sim (so you can eliminate most shadows) - those make all white things glow nicely - including your teeth and clotches - but it might work great for the cockpit "lighting" - just wear darker clotches..//Tuomas

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Blacklight came to mind yeah. I got one here at my dorm.Not sure though for the sim.Then for the panels .. I use laminated printed paper on hardboard panels for the overhead at the moment. Ok it does look good but the eges of the panel show that it is just plane wrong. The paper comes loos from the panels etc etc.The other panels are made of that PVC foam plate and that material is not good I think for making panels.Either way I'll see what I'll do in the future. I might try to send files to DS and have my panels made. I think that's the only way to get pro-looking panels.Other than that, make sure to note: http://www.fokker50.infothe .be.tf address is going crazy with spam lately as I've noticed.

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