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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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