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mbunjes

Virtual cockpit

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Up to now I've always been flying 2-D cockpits. Now I'm trying to get to grips with the JS41 cockpit but so far I'm hating it. Don't get me wrong, the cockpit looks great but I never seem to know where my head is in relation to the cockpit, I mean, there's only one view forward that a pilot has, he doesn't move his head sideways or forward or up and down also because it would spoil his perception of the outside world and the angles for example when approaching a runway. A solution seems to be to only use the hat-switch on my yoke but that never centers accurately and the view of for example the overhead is so distorted you can't even see the switches.I don't want to use the keyboard and mouse because I have (or want to have) everything mapped to switches, nor do I want to give up precious switches on my yoke just to look around.Do you gentlemen have any tips for me or is TrackIR the only solution ?regardsMartin Bunjes

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I use EZdok and it works great. I can set different views to focus on any gauge or panel from any position you like. I also like it because you can have movement effects on certain views, and if you don't want to turbulance or shaking, you can turn off those effects so you can easily work at setting your dials or punching in commands.

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Martin,set a button on your controller to "cntrl-space" This resets your view to center but does not effect your zoom level. Having this button programmed is a life saver for me. I can look down and adjust the ap controls and then hit the button and be right back to flying.

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Ok, thanks guys, I definitely will try those suggestions.Martin

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By the way, if you plan to use EZdok, I wouldn't do so until version 2.0 comes out, as I just heard that the current 1.7 version is not going to be compatible or upgradable to 2.0. That means that anyone who had purchased EZdok before 2.0 comes out will have to pay for a full version of 2.0. I'm pretty upset about that, but that's something out of my control. I personally probably will stick to version 1.7 and become a silent consumer, which is one that won't argue the point, but won't come back to the store either.

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I'm kinda late to the discussion here but one thing nobody mentioned is Track IR. For me, I couldn't fly FSX without it due to the awesome immersion it gives to the VC. I know TiR isn't for everyone and it's another chunk of $$ to drop into FSX but to me it was worth every penny.

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TrackIR is great with EZdok, but like I mentioned, I wouldn't get EZdok until they come out with 2.0 at this time.

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If you don't fly with Track IR like me then you need to be sure you can adjust your head to setup a nice default head position. The J41 has a really nice cokpit layout and you can use one position for takeoff, cruise and landing . Just go into controls, view category, then assign keys for head movement. I set the arrow keys so right arrow, head back, left arrow- head forward, up arrow head up, down is down....the key says something like "eyepoint - move forward". Then when you enter the cockpit of the J41, you move your head further back and up a bit until you are happy with the position, if you look to the right you will see that your head position compared to the co-pilots seat is probably very accurate to where the real pilots head would be. This is NOT adjusting the zoom, this is moving your head. I use a zoom of 0.40 which seems to be the most realistic imo. If you save your default flight with 0.40 zoom then all future flights you start will be at that zoom.Then you can move your hat switch around and look around the cockpit, the overhead panel is easy to read, after a few flights you will earn the buttons from location anyway. When you want to look dead ahead again, then assign a button on your joystick (I assign the one direct under the hat) to reset your view to the front, be carefull you use the correct reset view, I think it is called "look (reset view to forward)" in the control options. This option will reset your view to dead aead but it will not adjust where you moved your head to with the arrow keys, so you only have to do that adjustement at the start of each flight......perfect.Iain

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If you don't fly with Track IR like me then you need to be sure you can adjust your head to setup a nice default head position. The J41 has a really nice cokpit layout and you can use one position for takeoff, cruise and landing . Just go into controls, view category, then assign keys for head movement. I set the arrow keys so right arrow, head back, left arrow- head forward, up arrow head up, down is down....the key says something like "eyepoint - move forward". Then when you enter the cockpit of the J41, you move your head further back and up a bit until you are happy with the position, if you look to the right you will see that your head position compared to the co-pilots seat is probably very accurate to where the real pilots head would be. This is NOT adjusting the zoom, this is moving your head. I use a zoom of 0.40 which seems to be the most realistic imo. If you save your default flight with 0.40 zoom then all future flights you start will be at that zoom.en you can move your hat switch around and look around the cockpit, the overhead panel is easy to read, after a few flights you will earn the buttons from location anyway. When you want to look dead ahead again, then assign a button on your joystick (I assign the one direct under the hat) to reset your view to the front, be carefull you use the correct reset view, I think it is called "look (reset view to forward)" in the control options. This option will reset your view to dead aead but it will not adjust where you moved your head to with the arrow keys, so you only have to do that adjustement at the start of each flight......perfect.Iain
Sounds daunting, but I'll give it a try, thanks.Martin

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I'm kinda late to the discussion here but one thing nobody mentioned is Track IR. For me, I couldn't fly FSX without it due to the awesome immersion it gives to the VC. I know TiR isn't for everyone and it's another chunk of $ to drop into FSX but to me it was worth every penny.
Agree smile.gif

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The OP asked what were the alternatives to Track ir. So it was mentioned in the original post. I think he doesn't want to spend the money or doesn't think it will work for him.I tried it for a few weeks and didn't like it at all, as mentioned befrore, it's not for everybody.Iain

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The OP asked what were the alternatives to Track ir. So it was mentioned in the original post. I think he doesn't want to spend the money or doesn't think it will work for him.I tried it for a few weeks and didn't like it at all, as mentioned befrore, it's not for everybody.Iain
No,no,sorry, misunderstanding, English is not my first language(close second though).I was trying to discover whether anybody liked the VC in FSX and if there was a way to get it to work satisfactory. I quite like the idea of TrackIR but it is a lot of money.However if my dislike of the VC doesn't lessen I'll definitely buy the TrackIR.Martin

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... I mean, there's only one view forward that a pilot has, he doesn't move his head sideways or forward or up and down also because it would spoil his perception of the outside world and the angles for example when approaching a runway...
Hi Martin, I think perhaps your starting point is a little off, and that is throwing everything else. Next time you are behind the wheel of a car, try to think about what you do and how. Certainly your head does not stay still! Sometimes you will take quick glances at things just to verify there is nothing in your mirror or that the speedo needle is roughly where you expect it to be, and sometimes you study things intently, such as getting the key in the ignition. When you grasp this, you can do the same in the VC. When on final approach, there is nothing you need to do in a well prepared cockpit that involves you taking your eyes completly off the runway, but that does not mean you must keep your eyes centered on the runway either. Move your head around so the runway stays in view and the different instruments you want to check become visible, exactly as a real pilot would do.

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Also, what I far prefer to the hat switch, is the space bar and mouse. With the space bar held down, the mouse changes your direction of view, and very importantly, the scroll wheel controls your zoom! Zoom out to get an overview of what is happening, zoom in to concentrate on a detail - again, very similar to the real world concept of glancing around or focusing on detail. It does take a little bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it is very natural. What TIR gives you is the same thing but using head movements instead of hands on keyboard and mouse.

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Hi Martin, I think perhaps your starting point is a little off, and that is throwing everything else. Next time you are behind the wheel of a car, try to think about what you do and how. Certainly your head does not stay still! Sometimes you will take quick glances at things just to verify there is nothing in your mirror or that the speedo needle is roughly where you expect it to be, and sometimes you study things intently, such as getting the key in the ignition. When you grasp this, you can do the same in the VC. When on final approach, there is nothing you need to do in a well prepared cockpit that involves you taking your eyes completly off the runway, but that does not mean you must keep your eyes centered on the runway either. Move your head around so the runway stays in view and the different instruments you want to check become visible, exactly as a real pilot would do.
Paul, thanks for your answer, but I think you might have misunderstood me. You certainly move your head when you are flying but you don't move the position of your head ! It stays in the same place when looking around and up and down. You don't zoom in and out by moving your whole head forward and backward, let alone up and down or sideways. This to me is totally unrealistic. You can keep your head in one place in the cockpit by only using the hat switch but that makes most of the cockpit unreadable.Also , as I explained earlier, I would like to eliminate the keyboard and mouse altogether, if possible.regardsmartin

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Paul, thanks for your answer, but I think you might have misunderstood me. You certainly move your head when you are flying but you don't move the position of your head ! It stays in the same place when looking around and up and down. You don't zoom in and out by moving your whole head forward and backward, let alone up and down or sideways. This to me is totally unrealistic. You can keep your head in one place in the cockpit by only using the hat switch but that makes most of the cockpit unreadable.Also , as I explained earlier, I would like to eliminate the keyboard and mouse altogether, if possible.regardsmartin
You do move the position of your head. You keep coming back to the same point, but yes, you do move it around a lot. You may think it unrealistic, but zooming is a very good and natural substitute. In real life, you can focus your attention to concentrate on a detail to the near exclusion of your surroundings. If you have done any motorcycle racing or advanced level sports training, you will be familiar with focusing your attention within your field of view rather then moving your head or eyes. That is a mental trick we all do regardless of whether we are aware of it. The zooming feature in FSX VC is a very good parallel for this focusing of attention. Whether you do this with keyboard and mouse or Track IR, this looking around, zooming, and even positioning of your point of view is how you use the VC. If realism is important to you, then you have to accept that this is, while not ideal, still far more realistic then looking at static 2D flat displays and pretending they are the aircrafts controls and displays.

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You do move the position of your head. You keep coming back to the same point, but yes, you do move it around a lot. You may think it unrealistic, but zooming is a very good and natural substitute. In real life, you can focus your attention to concentrate on a detail to the near exclusion of your surroundings. If you have done any motorcycle racing or advanced level sports training, you will be familiar with focusing your attention within your field of view rather then moving your head or eyes. That is a mental trick we all do regardless of whether we are aware of it. The zooming feature in FSX VC is a very good parallel for this focusing of attention. Whether you do this with keyboard and mouse or Track IR, this looking around, zooming, and even positioning of your point of view is how you use the VC. If realism is important to you, then you have to accept that this is, while not ideal, still far more realistic then looking at static 2D flat displays and pretending they are the aircrafts controls and displays.
No, I haven't done any racing but I've been a glider pilot for 15 years now and I know the importance of being able to relate the outside world to the position of your view. For the airline pilot there's an eye reference point in the cockpit to ensure the correct head position and that's my point : when I look forward in the VC it's always "sort of" forward, not the position my head was in to begin with.Anyway, it's a moot point since I probably won't be using the cockpit anyway, my hardware cockpit is almost finished. :(

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Lucky man...The calibrated eye reference point is that point you keep coming back to that I mentioned, it is necessary because in a tubeliner you have to move your head around so much, far more so then is even possible in a glider. It is not primarialy to do with viewlines on approach, but by positioning your seat so that your head comes naturally back to the correct place, everything is accesible and correctly aligned. If for example, you were to position your seat full up and full forward, instead of moving the rudder pedals back to met you, you would be unable reach anything on the rear of the center or side consoles and you would be looking down on the lower guages (such as brake pressure) on the front console, causing you to misread them. And as you have found, there is stuff you simply can not see properly unless you move your head.That said, I honestly think if you give the VC a serious try you will quickly get used to it and soon come to like it, and it will allow you to fly and enjoy stuff that your cockpit can't handle, such as the PMDG JS41, Aerosoft A320 and so on.

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How did you get on with the advice I gave you in my first post.It sounds like you are not happy with initial head position when you are entering the vc...correct?This head position can be set up (left right, up down, forward back) until it is exactly where you want it. You only have to reset to that position every time you load a new aircraft so it is no hassle. The HAT switch then moves your head around and use a button next to the HAT to reset your view to straight ahead. Out of all the aircraft I own, the J41 VC is one of the best VC's you get. ALL the important gauges, numbers, dials etc can be read without zooming in, the head position is perfect for takeoff, cruise and landing so no need to raise your seat during approach. The only thing you have to do is look down to check your Nav display, autopilot etc.

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reviewing the above posts, can anyone advise how to programme keys (like shift +5) for the auto pilot controls, for the overhead instruments. I find that it is always impossible to see the overhead switches without laboriously hitting the A key numerous times to finally arrive at this panel. a simple shift+6 would do the trick! help please

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Another solution would be to get a second monitor, undock the important instruments and gauges and arrange them on the second monitor to reflect their relative positions on the instrument panel. Then you can leave the main monitor in a foreward view position and glance across to the 2nd display as required just as you would do in a real aircraft without leaning forward or moving from side to side .

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