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KJConlon

CDU choices

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Sorry for the cross posting but not a whole lot of activity on this when I posted in the hardware forum...

 

I am in the market to add a CDU to my home system. I am looking for some practical experience and wondering s which pathway do I take?

All of my hardware is all GoFlight (listed in the signature) but I would slowly like to replace with something more realistic.

I would like Boeing style, fully assembled, backlit and easily interfaced - I don't want to spend weeks configuring it. It should also be robust 737-747-767-767-777 I know there are differences but the actual CDU is software controlled.

The way I see it my choices are:

  • OpenCockpits - least expensive (by A LOT) but no backlighting
  • FlightDeck Solutions - Nice quality, I have met Peter. Not keen on the incadescent bulbs used in backlighting - I would like LED due to the longer lifespan
  • FlyEngravity - I contacted them over 2 months ago but have never heard back.

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks

Kevin

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The FDS CDU is by far the better choice of the 3. First off, as you have experienced, the Engravity support is not the best. I purchased an Engravity CDU for $700 from second hand and one week later I had it sold. When I got the unit I was not impressed by the quality. It was cheap plastic, was slow to respond, and only had a black and white LCD. I don't have any experience with OC CDU, but my cockpit is mostly OC hardware. Like the Engravity CDU it is also cheap plastic. If you want the EXEC and other CDU lights to operate, you'll have to purchase the LED's seperatly, wire them yourself to an output card, and program a script. You really do get what you pay for. I switched to the FDS CDU and would recommend it to anyone. It's all metal, not cheap plastic. The screen is a beautiful color LCD screen, and it was easy to setup. Peter and all the FDS folks are quick to respond to support issues and are very helpful. All the CDU lights work, no wiring or scripting needed. As for the backlighting, even though you may not be a fan of the incandescent bulbs, they are the actual bulbs used in the real aircraft and I don't see them burning out very quickly.

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As a point..

In our IBL PANELs... we use real aircraft bulbs...

in OUR CDUs all the key backlighting is LED. No bulbs in use at all.

BTW.. The Incandecent bulbs we use in ouer IBL panels have a 40,000 hour lifespan.. I doubt you could get close to that!

Peter (Flightdeck Solutions)

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No doubt do not hesitate! FDS is from far the best one! If I could I would replace all other components I use by FDS parts.

You may now do the right choice! Do not miss the occasion...

Alain (Canada)

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Do the work with the NGX? I thought I read where the SDK didn't support external CDU's? If they do I'll definitley jump on this.

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I am interested in this too.. Not to Hijack the OP's issue/question.

 

But can anyone explain what software choices are there. Do I have to get Project Magenta to work with the FDS CDU? Or can it work straight off the PMDG 747 and 737 and LVL-Ds?

 

Manny

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All right I have one more question.

 

I see that the Open Cockpit CDU and the FDS CDU both work with the 737NG directly without any software (payware).

 

But the thing is, If I add a 4th monitor to my 3 monitor FSX setup is ok as long as I don't open a window in FSX and drag it to the 4th monitor. So using the 4th video may not be an option.

 

I see that the FDS CDU could work on a client PC ..I believe the Open cockput CDU may do that as well. How much do these client/server software cost? Any ideas ...where I can check them (these softwares) out?

 

Manny

 

I wish the MB video out could be put to use for stuff like these. What a waste that we can't use the MB Videos outs.

 

I see the FDS s/w but it does lot more than just the CDU.. its for a full fledged system on different PCs...

 

http://www.flightdecksolutions.com/pcupload/FDS-SIM-A-ENTHUS-Sept0110.pdf'

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Hello Manny,

 

Please take a look at this link http://ifly.flight1.net/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=5924&title=ifly-home-cockpit-edition-beta-video and watch the videos I have made demonstrating the iFly home cockpit version.

 

While the price is a bit hefty, for what you get it is worth it. Plus, there is a 30-Day money back refund policy. If you don't like the software, simply return it.

 

We have been able to interface every switch, light, and gauge using a tool we created called iFlytoFSUIPC. I currently use the FDS CDU with this software package on a client machine.

 

Have a look at my cockpit build diary at http://thenewawe.org/forum/index.php?topic=291.0. I haven't updated it in awhile, but I have added a bunch of stuff since my last post.

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Have a look at my cockpit build diary

 

Thanks Jeremy.

 

Its a lot of material. Good. I'll need to spend some time to take a look. thanks for the post. I really appreciate it.

 

Manny

 

BTW.. this IFly client server architecture/sw..does it work with PMDG aircrafts or is it only for Ifly 737NG?

 

The reason I am asking is, I am a bit of a crawler... I crawl in my build rather than commit to a full fledge 737 cockput. LOL :) I may get the s/w and put 2 or 3 PCs with just the FMC and then maybe a co pilot PFD/.. monitor....to start with .

 

BTW,,,, I love your setup.. Sheesh.. Let me save all these links and enjoy them at leisure.

 

:)

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Thanks Jeremy.

 

Its a lot of material. Good. I'll need to spend some time to take a look. thanks for the post. I really appreciate it.

 

Manny

 

BTW.. this IFly client server architecture/sw..does it work with PMDG aircrafts or is it only for Ifly 737NG?

 

The reason I am asking is, I am a bit of a crawler... I crawl in my build rather than commit to a full fledge 737 cockput. LOL :) I may get the s/w and put 2 or 3 PCs with just the FMC and then maybe a co pilot PFD/.. monitor....to start with .

 

BTW,,,, I love your setup.. Sheesh.. Let me save all these links and enjoy them at leisure.

 

:)

 

Hi Manny,

 

No, the cockpit software like all other cockpit software out there doesn't work with PMDG. PMDG isn't a cockpit builder's aircraft. Cockpit builders need server/client type of software to share the load of running a full sim over multiple computers. I run 2 computers in my sim, and a third "utility" computer for charts, weather, etc. The nice thing about the iFly Pro software is that you can choose to run it on 1 or multiple computers depending on your setup.

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Thanks Jeremy for that explanation.

 

MAnny

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