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FSD Seneca now just like I like it (pic of home cockpit

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I had some initial issues with the FSD Seneca but after a weekend of tweaking the sub panels, it has finally supplanted my beloved C421. All it required was the engine instruments (including the engine monitor) and the Nav/Com2 radio on separate panels that could be dragged to a second monitor. Nav/Com1? The FSGarmin530 fits there perfectly and works well with the fake FSD 430. The remaining panels I've moved to the upper monitor because I seldom need to use them.All important switches have been wired via a Hagstrom board. The switch panels themselves are bitmaps from the C421, fitted with switches from Radioshack and Mouser. Rotary switches are just too much trouble and three-position momentary switches work just fine instead. The throttle quadrant is from an old Baron. I bought it on e-bay and converted it with linear slide pots using RC connecting rods. Notice the TrackIR, which I couldn't live without. I use VC mode exclusively on the primary monitor because everything else can be accessed through the switch panels or the extra monitors. The only thing missing is a suitable seat. I bought a seat from a Piper 150 on E-bay three months ago and still haven't seen it. I'm thinking I got screwed! Frankly, an old bucket seat from a car would probably be better anyway. Eventually I'd like a better yoke too.

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Lando,Don't be. Unlike some of the homecockpits I've seen on the web that make your jaw hit the ground, I started from the onset making one that would suit a number of different planes and could be expanded without costing much money. The Hagstrom board was a great investment - the EPIC card intimidated me too much and was too expensive IMO. Unlike building a 747 cockpit, making a generic twin GA is cheap and easy. I suspect the entire thing could be rebuilt for $500, including the CH yoke and pedals. Naturally I spent considerably more as I fumbled my way through it.The first step, naturally, is a decent yoke and pedals. I then moved to a SunCom split throttle for more realism. The TrackIR is critical but once you get hooked on it you will long for an easy way to control some of the key functions without switching back to 2D. Hence, the Hagstrom board. You can hook up 4 toggle switches to control Kohlsman, alt bug, obs1, and hdg bug and that will get you by for a long time. Pretty soon, though, you'll want more controls (esp radios). You can go the GoFlight route but that was too expensive for me and they're too big to fit in the spot I wanted them. Adding a second monitor is easy! The GEForce4 card has dual outputs already. I got all my extra monitors at the Salvation Army store.The additional controls you see in the mini-panel to the right of the yoke have grown over the last few months. I moved the switches for the OBSs, Kohlsman, and various bugs to it, added a ton of switches to make an audio panel, and added an AP panel. The smaller panel on the left arm has all the engine and light controls using the C421 model. This was all just icing on the cake though.I'm more than happy to help anyone interested in getting started so feel free to write.David

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Hi David,I cannot believe this!!!!This is almost exactly as my setup!!!I fly the FSD Seneca and the C421 mostly. My home cockpit is just about getting finfished. So far I cannot send a screenshot but I guess it will be ready in 2 weeks.Setup is as follows:Primary DisplayVC with trackIR (can't live withour it either)I use to de-tune the center position of trackIR a bit so that I am actually looking over the instruments of the VC when I have my head straight.To read instruments I still find trackIR a bit jumpy that is why I have the primary flght instruments on a2nd DisplayAll primary flight instruments as well as the annunciator.Locations is directly below the Primary display. The monitor is directly above the yoke (10,4") and canot be seen in the picture below as it is new. 3rd displayis integrated in a pedastal, that also holds a Flight-Link twin engine throttle quadrant (I love this one, did not have it yet when the picture below was made). I added one more axis from an old disassembled CH Yoke for the cowl flaps (did not find a way to control left and right separately).The other buttons of the CHYoke are also build in the pedestal and start engines or cut fuel.The diplay shows all engine instruments as well as Flightmax and the RealityXP GPS ( I will also go to the Garmin if all the issues I read in the support forum are resolved).All lights and other switches from the overhead are done with GoFlight units. The autopilot is also done with GoFlight as well as the radios.My AETI Yoke is programmed to do the ATC stuff.Too bad I still need the mouse to control Flightmax and the RealityXP GPS. Other than that I would not have to touch it once during a flight. I will send you a screenie soon so that we can compare stuff and maybe learn one or two things from each other. There is a screenshot in the Homecockpit Forum here http://ftp.avsim.com/dcforum/DCForumID42/142.html#13but a lot has changed since it was made.You might wanna join this ongoing thread btw as we are five or six people building twin GAs at the moment.Cheers,Alex

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Could you give us a closer look at the panel, and tell us more about the Hagstrom equipment?

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Psycho,Here are some closeup photos. The hagstrom board is a keyboard emulator that can convert almost any kind of switch to a keypress. For example, you can't just hook a normal toggle switch to a keyboard input because when the switch is "on" it will send a continuous signal to the computer (like holding a key down). There are ways to get around this using relays, etc. and I tried that route at first and quickly realized that it was going to cost far more money than the Hagstrom board. The Hagstrom board plugs in just like your keyboard (there is a USB version as well) and allows 72 different input. It's very simple to hook up switches using the optional connectors (can't think what they're called). You do have to program the card but it is very, very easy. Not at all like the EPIC, which is very difficult, I am told.

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