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arnobg

Building A C172 Cockpit...need Help Setting Up Multiple Screens.

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Hello all. I am about to start building my new flight sim all the way from building a new computer to the cockpit itself. It is going to be something like this:

 

http://hackaday.com/2014/02/06/building-a-cessna-172-simulator/

 

However, I want to use a 40" led tv to make a large "background" window view over the dash, as well as use a smaller 17" monitor in the cockpit panel itself for a glass cockpit look if possible.

 

This will be the most extensive thing I have ever done with a flight sim I am used to simply using a computer and a monitor. My question is how customizable is the fsx view to where I can make a "background" view on the tv with no cockpit view or guages on the screen just as you are looking out a window. Also is it customizable enough to get only certain guages on the "glass cockpit" monitor? To me this would be cheaper and look better than buying a bunch of individual guages.

 

What kind of video card setup should I use to run a setup like this with different views on different screens. Will one video card with multiple outputs run this type of setup?

 

Thanks for any help guys!

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Hello there. 

 

There are several ways to do this, and in that there are poor methods and very sound methods. 

 

First to answer your question, the "outside visuals" are accomplished by not running the instrument panel view in the sim. This is done in various ways. One way is to change the view with the "A" key. The other is to go in and "comment out" the virtual cockpit line in the aircraft file. This is done by putting "//" before the line in the configuration file that says something about the Virtual Cockpit. When you select that view, it's blank and you only see what's in front of the airplane. 

 

You will ALWAYS want to buy the very best video card you can afford. In fact, this type of sim really runs best with two or more computers. For something like what you see above, only one computer is required because the gauges are hardware-based. This means the devices are all USB plug and play and then the only monitor required is for the outside view. If you wanted to have more control over you instrument panel gauges, then you'd buy a program that allows you to set up custom gauges on a networked computer. One program that would work well for you might be "Panel Builder". 

 

See here: http://www.rcsimulations.co.uk/shop/page/?sessid=xANm45n4Jabo0Oiczd2XqwX1K6tEAvg7NX3YgInTJUc9U4R5u7IuYteYp0vtIGgE&shop_param=

 

Another is FSExpand. http://www.cockpitsolutions.com/

 

You will need to spend time looking at how all this works and goes together.

 

There are others that are nice too.

 

This will require FSUIPC, possibly WideClient. 

 

Then you might want panels. I make panels for various aircraft myself (see signature).

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Thanks for the helpful reply. When running dual computers on a network do the computers need to be equal hardware and on the same windows version? I have a computer already that is a core 2 duo (outdated) but plan on building an i4770k for the main fsx computer. Is the outdated computer sufficient for running only guages?

 

Also, if the tv was running the background view without the cockpit view, could the second monitor on the same computer just run the cockpit view but just be zoomed in to an area of instruments without that special software?

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I'm guessing your lesser computer might be able to run the separate gauges, but only a test will confirm. The software we use in our Learjet sims require better video cards than CPU power. As for the 2nd question, I would say it would be unlikely to give good results both visually and performance wise.

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