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FSX and a Multi Monitor Journey

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A Multi Monitor ReportI've just recently completed an enhancement to my FS setup, and figured someone might benefit, or even be inspired by this. I'm certainly no computer hardware or software expert, but like a lot of folks, I work with computers all day long, and one is bound to pick up something. And of course, Avsim is a great source for so much simming wisdom. I don't recall just which version of MS Flight Simulator I first had, but it was sometime back in the 80's. I've been hooked ever since. I always yearned to see more

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Noel,Thanks for taking time to build that post. That is absolutely incredible ... for the thousands of single screen sim pilots like myself.Obviously, working with computers and having the funds makes such an adventure a possibility.My life is too busy at this point, even to think about going much deeper than I am.Just wonder, are you a real world pilot at any level?I hope so. I have limited means at this time and am unable to pursue my flying at this time. I still blessed with health at 60 years old and am able to keep my weekly running going at 20 miles or so. I still hold a second class FAA medical certificate. Though I know I could never accomplish what you have done with my limited computer knowledge, something about half way between what you have done and what I have would be nice when my health is finally shot for an FAA medical certificate.For the mean time ... your post has reminded me that when I have some more money, I'm going to go strap on a plane and enjoy the real sky again, do some instructing and pleasure flying, and cease the sim spending until my health goes south. Again, thanks so much. Really enjoyed it!!! Take care and blessings to you,Steve

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Great post! I use multimonitors as well, but only 2. You might want to do a search for a program called 'PanelStore', its a real time saver when setting up other monitors.

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My thanks also for the very informative post. The photos were especially helpful. I just upgraded from 4 monitors to 5, and I see I have a ways to go.Robert

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Great to see someone giving a multi monitor rig a go, Noel. Both software developers and hardware manufacturers have clearly meant users to assemble a multi monitor rig since most graphics cards now have dual monitor ports, and you can now get motherboards which support a triple graphics card configuration. I think it indicates the direction in which gaming is going, and MSFS is probably groundbreaking in this regard. I have a four monitor rig, and you may have noticed quite a lot of discussion about multi monitor displays on this forum recently. It seems that a lot of simmers are considering these possibilities.I've got a dual graphics card rig and my four monitors are plugged directly into the cards. I undock new VC views and drag them over to two of my other monitors and the last one displays 2D panels such as the GPS, radio or HSI. I think I prefer this kind of setup because I like to see a good VC, I admire the artwork and you get a sense of being surrounded by a really cool thing. I prefer plugging my monitors directly into the cards because when you undock your VC views and rotate them into alignment you get a greater than 180 degree view which I don't think you get with the TH2Go. It feels like I'm driving a bus when I can look left and look right before I proceed without having to rely on any kind of view rotation. I'm hooked! I'll never go back to a single graphics card rig. I don't really know what the future holds for me in terms of assembling an even more elaborate rig. For now four monitors provides me with a pretty good view of a really magnificent simulation.

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Noel,Thanks for taking time to build that post. That is absolutely incredible ... for the thousands of single screen sim pilots like myself.Obviously, working with computers and having the funds makes such an adventure a possibility.My life is too busy at this point, even to think about going much deeper than I am.Just wonder, are you a real world pilot at any level?I hope so. I have limited means at this time and am unable to pursue my flying at this time. I still blessed with health at 60 years old and am able to keep my weekly running going at 20 miles or so. I still hold a second class FAA medical certificate. Though I know I could never accomplish what you have done with my limited computer knowledge, something about half way between what you have done and what I have would be nice when my health is finally shot for an FAA medical certificate.For the mean time ... your post has reminded me that when I have some more money, I'm going to go strap on a plane and enjoy the real sky again, do some instructing and pleasure flying, and cease the sim spending until my health goes south. Again, thanks so much. Really enjoyed it!!! Take care and blessings to you,Steve
Hi SteveIn answer to your question, yes, I'm a rw pilot though not current. I'm all too familiar with the cost of airplane ownership, though in a weak moment I'd consider building a Vans RV at some point. Come to think of it, that 'point' doesn't look likely considering the outlook for the economy! I used to joke about my 401K becoming a 201K. I think it's a 101K currently!Back to rw flying...simming is a great compliment for flying. When flying to an unfamiliar approach, I make sure to fly it on the sim the night before, with my Jepps, and favorite yoke mounted egg timer. I usually mess something up...but not the same thing on the real approach. Great confidence builder for a low time instrument pilot. I do miss the taste of $100 hamburgers.Noel WBrisbane

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Hi SteveIn answer to your question, yes, I'm a rw pilot though not current. I'm all too familiar with the cost of airplane ownership, though in a weak moment I'd consider building a Vans RV at some point. Come to think of it, that 'point' doesn't look likely considering the outlook for the economy! I used to joke about my 401K becoming a 201K. I think it's a 101K currently!Back to rw flying...simming is a great compliment for flying. When flying to an unfamiliar approach, I make sure to fly it on the sim the night before, with my Jepps, and favorite yoke mounted egg timer. I usually mess something up...but not the same thing on the real approach. Great confidence builder for a low time instrument pilot. I do miss the taste of $100 hamburgers.Noel WBrisbane
Noel- many thanks for the pics of your FS "cockpit". Truly outstanding! I have been "flying" a triple mon/ triple views setup for some five years now. Your "essay" adds emphasis to what I've said many times- a triple wide, 135

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gman- have you flown with triple wide/synched views?Yes, the Alienware hardware looks quite interesting. But what's also needed is a screen that is FULLY concave- vertically as well as horizontally. Then we could get rid of the horizon twist that occurs when the aircraft pitches up or down- in much the same way that angling the outer monitors toward the pilot eliminates horizon twisting in roll mode. (see the pic above- approach into Seattle R34 to illustrate how flat screens warp the horizon in pitch up/down.)Alex Reid

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gman- have you flown with triple wide/synched views?Yes, the Alienware hardware looks quite interesting. But what's also needed is a screen that is FULLY concave- vertically as well as horizontally. Then we could get rid of the horizon twist that occurs when the aircraft pitches up or down- in much the same way that angling the outer monitors toward the pilot eliminates horizon twisting in roll mode. (see the pic above- approach into Seattle R34 to illustrate how flat screens warp the horizon in pitch up/down.)Alex Reid
Hi AlexYou bring up a good point...the 'warping' of the horizon. One thing I've noticed, is that your eyepoint, the height that you are viewing the screen, determines if the horizon is straight or not. I have an adjustable chair, where I have the height just right, and I don't have that issue. The sides of the runway, taxiway, horizon, all appear contiguous. The distant horizon can change slightly, but at the pitch angles I fly, it is not noticeable. All of this is assuming the Matrox 'bezel management' is properly adjusted.But, if someone is standing just behind me, the view is messed up. In the case of the KSEA approach, the camera was at the wrong angle for the outside views. You almost need your head perpendicular to the center of each of the three screens. Perhaps you've noticed the same thing with your setup.In any event, I couldn't agree with you more...having a wide view is surely a very good thing, though there are certainly other ways to get there, like TIR and the monitors gman pointed out. I actually had a wider FOV when using WideView, but drifted back to TH2go for several reasons, one of which was anticipation of a hardware upgrade. I couldn't see upgrading four CPU's at one time! The networked PC and Mac I employ can handle their menial tasks for the foreseeable future, leaving me free to upgrade just one box.One thing I forgot to mention - I use an FSX magnification of 90%. I suppose it's just that this looks about right to me, balancing FOV, with the fisheye effect, and being able to see the runway at a proper distance.Noel WBrisbane

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Hi AlexYou bring up a good point...the 'warping' of the horizon. One thing I've noticed, is that your eyepoint, the height that you are viewing the screen, determines if the horizon is straight or not. I have an adjustable chair, where I have the height just right, and I don't have that issue. The sides of the runway, taxiway, horizon, all appear contiguous. The distant horizon can change slightly, but at the pitch angles I fly, it is not noticeable. All of this is assuming the Matrox 'bezel management' is properly adjusted.But, if someone is standing just behind me, the view is messed up. In the case of the KSEA approach, the camera was at the wrong angle for the outside views. You almost need your head perpendicular to the center of each of the three screens. Perhaps you've noticed the same thing with your setup.In any event, I couldn't agree with you more...having a wide view is surely a very good thing, though there are certainly other ways to get there, like TIR and the monitors gman pointed out. I actually had a wider FOV when using WideView, but drifted back to TH2go for several reasons, one of which was anticipation of a hardware upgrade. I couldn't see upgrading four CPU's at one time! The networked PC and Mac I employ can handle their menial tasks for the foreseeable future, leaving me free to upgrade just one box.One thing I forgot to mention - I use an FSX magnification of 90%. I suppose it's just that this looks about right to me, balancing FOV, with the fisheye effect, and being able to see the runway at a proper distance.Noel WBrisbane
Hi Noel-Yes, changing eye height compensates for the up/down horizon shift in pitch mode. This maintains the eye to horizon angle at 90

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Hi Noel-Yes, changing eye height compensates for the up/down horizon shift in pitch mode. This maintains the eye to horizon angle at 90

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You are correct when you state that the TH2Go view is the FWD view stretched across 3 monitors. However, you can shrink that view to the centre monitor and then undock, drag and re-size the FWDL and FWDR. If I remember correctly one of the up-grades to FSX was the ability to drag undocked views / panels accordingly and then save the situation. Thus not having to re-position again like you did in FS9. Is this correct? And if so what is the procedure?
Slip-stream- In FS9 I set up the the three views LFwd,Fwd,RFwd on the three monitors, with 2D main panel on center mon. Then open most/all popups,undock and drag them to the outer mons where they are positioned & resized to please the eye. Overhead and Com panels are FPS hogs so I hide them after sizing and only bring them up as needed. When you have everything tweaked to your satisfaction- Save the flight.Next session, just restart that flight and you are ready to go! Simple.Adjusting the outer views for the exact width of the bezels is done in Panel Config in FS9- (I believe in Config in FSX by adjusting cameras). That's a separate topic & not difficult. When you get this right, the three views blend into a single image. Remember older cars that had a two piece windshield? The view you saw through the windshield and side windows (4 different scenes) were seen by your eyes/brain as just a single picture. Same with synched monitors.Hope this helps.Alex Reid

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Thanks for posting your setup information and photos.As a builder, we are always interested in what others are doing with outside views from the cockpit.I'm getting ready to try and set up a WidevieW network solution myself in a few days when the parts arrive. I've been using a 24" monitor for my only outside view now for a little over 18 months. I'm going to try and add a left & right 45

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Thanks for posting your setup information and photos.As a builder, we are always interested in what others are doing with outside views from the cockpit.I'm getting ready to try and set up a WidevieW network solution myself in a few days when the parts arrive. I've been using a 24" monitor for my only outside view now for a little over 18 months. I'm going to try and add a left & right 45

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Thanks for posting your setup information and photos.As a builder, we are always interested in what others are doing with outside views from the cockpit.I'm getting ready to try and set up a WidevieW network solution myself in a few days when the parts arrive. I've been using a 24" monitor for my only outside view now for a little over 18 months. I'm going to try and add a left & right 45

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---------------------Regarding WidevieW...one can certainly get a greater FOV. You can just keep adding more side screens. The vertical view is a bit more challenging. I wonder if someone has lined up the outside view screens with them all rotated 90 deg? It would take more screens to get the same lateral FOV, but the vertical FOV would be increased. Maybe it's not needed. After all, the flight deck windows in an airliner limit up and down quite a bit. Dunno.Thanks for sharing...very, very nice.Noel WBrisbane
------------Noel, here is a composite pic to illustrate your point- the view in a jet is remarkably narrow vertically- but wide to let the crew see what's around them.Alex ReidPMDG 747 triple views & inset, the real McCoy for comparison! (Inset photo courtesy Manuel Marin/jetphotos.net)

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Yes, vertically there's not much height to worry about. The forward view is pretty well handled with the 24" and covers nearly the whole window opening top to bottom. If I had just another 2" or so it would be perfect. That would mean moving to about a 28" monitor (which wouldn't be all that bad! just costly). The part that isn't covered correctly is where the glareshield slopes down toward the #2 window.For experimenting with the WidevieW side views I'll only be using 19" monitors I have on hand at the moment. If succesful then I will move to a pair of 24" or 28" monitors. I really hope for a higher immersion level in the sim.I gave some thought to using the TH2G digital version, but I don't really want or need that wide of a forward view. More to the sides for better SA in visual conditions. It'd be nice to watch the scenery moving by at FL330 too. I see a lot of smaller airports in FS that don't make it to the Hi-Altitude charts I use to navigate.You have a great visual cockpit. It wouldn't take too much effort to wrap all of that in a hardware sim.Here you can see where the screen is missing the view as the glareshield slopes toward the #2 window (this was before I disabled the VC using a hex editor):IMG_0092-1.jpg

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------- I really hope for a higher immersion level in the sim.I gave some thought to using the TH2G digital version, but I don't really want or need that wide of a forward view. More to the sides for better SA in visual conditions. It'd be nice to watch the scenery moving by at FL330 too. I see a lot of smaller airports in FS that don't make it to the Hi-Altitude charts I use to navigate.You have a great visual cockpit. It wouldn't take too much effort to wrap all of that in a hardware sim.IMG_0092-1.jpg
-------------------I vote for the widest view possible- as an attempt to replicate the normal human 180

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-------------------I vote for the widest view possible- as an attempt to replicate the normal human 180

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Very nice report Noel!Nice to see a TouchBuddy user in the FSX world, there don't seem to be too many of us!I'm just getting into FSX myself though (this is actually my first post here!), but now I'm totally hooked :DI must say having a touchscreen running touchbuddy really enhances the experience! My shorttime-memory is no good for remembering pages and pages of keyboard-commands lolThe Touchbuddy profile I'm using is for FS9, so it's lacking a lot to say the least, allthough very helpful at the same time!I have some experience with the TB-profiler (did some work on a profile for DCS Black Shark ie.), and I am really interested in having a closer look at your touchbuddy-profile if you're willing to share!Cheers,Trond

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Hi Noel!I was searching around the forum when I came across your post. Very informative! I am actually tasked to redesign my uni's flight simulator (in sydney... ) and your review has just got me a few ideas on how to run it. I am not too sure if this works but if I were to crossfire/dual SLI with 4 DVI ports, can I output to 4 LCDs?

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Hi Noel!I was searching around the forum when I came across your post. Very informative! I am actually tasked to redesign my uni's flight simulator (in sydney... ) and your review has just got me a few ideas on how to run it. I am not too sure if this works but if I were to crossfire/dual SLI with 4 DVI ports, can I output to 4 LCDs?
Some awesome shots of multi monitors using FSX.I too am a non-current pilot, got my IR some 5 years ago. I also have 2 monitors, used usually so that I can work on one (Excel, e-mail, etc.) when working from home, and have an DSX session on the other. My monitors are at 12 and 3 o'clock from my head, so not joined or even in close proximaty to each other.I tried undocking a VC view (from New View), moving it to the 3 o'clock monitor, then panning the view to look out over the right wing. That worked OK, other than the undocked view is very small, but when putting the 12 o'clock view back in focus, the pan control still works on the 3 o'clock monitor. How do I set up a simple side wing view on one monitor?Thanks, Bruce.

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Hi Noel!I was searching around the forum when I came across your post. Very informative! I am actually tasked to redesign my uni's flight simulator (in sydney... ) and your review has just got me a few ideas on how to run it. I am not too sure if this works but if I were to crossfire/dual SLI with 4 DVI ports, can I output to 4 LCDs?
HiIf you are suggesting installing two PCIe cards in a machine, and running four monitors from the 2+2 DVI ports, I think the answer is "yes", but I don't think they would be in SLI or Crossfire mode. I have no experience with SLI...so others may be better at addressing that aspect.You might have a look at this thread, as the use of individual monitors on separate ports is discussed. I'm using TH2go as I'm sure you noticed.Need Help with Mulitiple Monitor SetupIf you have a generous budget, you ought to be able to build a great system. You'll have to be sure and let us all know what you end up doing. Sounds exciting.Noel WBrisbane

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