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rickalty

What makes flight sim hardware great?

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Your two cents needed!I'm currently in the process of developing a commercial flight panel/radio stack for use with flight simulators such as MSFS, X-Plane, etc. Since so many flight sim fans hang out here I thought it would a good place to get people's thoughts, opinions, suggestions, etc.So come on folks! This is your chance to put in your two cents and shape the development of one of those absurdly expensive mail order gizmos. What do you like about what's available, what stinks, what would you like to see? Do driver issues drive you nuts? Is charging $800 for a radio stack criminal? How important is realistic appearance?Feel free to use specific examples to make points, but please go easy with the criticism. Every product you see is the result of delicate tradeoffs, limited R&D budgets, and other real world constraints. It'd be great to have a full scale replica of any given cockpit that was light, took up no space, realistically simulated every instrument and cost $4.95. Life is full of tradeoffs and I'd like your help in making some intelligent ones.Thanks a million,Afonso Arantes

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Ok, I'll give you my two cents, or more. Do you give change? :-) I Have often thought about purchasing add ons such as this but the price seems to be a limiting factor for me, not that there is an issue with me being able to afford it but the cost seems too high for an ever changing market. I do understand that the costs of producing these products on a limited basis is high, thus the high cost but to me the bottom line is if I spend $800.00 now will this product have full functionality for many years. I guess that I worry about the next version of FS not being able to support, or fully support, the use of an add on produced a year or more earlier. Microsoft could at any time change the way that FS handles various routines and then leave an add on such as this completely useless. I realize that the manufacturer could make it work but who knows if that manufacturer will still be in business or even want to support it's older hardware. If the costs were lower I would be more inclined to take the plunge or if there were an iron clad guarantee (yeah right!) that I would be able to use the product for at least, say, five years no matter what Microsoft does then I would feel better about the purchase. Honestly I am very interested in building a home cockpit, but do not know much about what is required and have only looked at a few of the products available. Most of what I know is based on various posts and complaints about hardware not working correctly, version conflicts and my own experience with different versions of various flight simulators. I may be too paranoid here but to me the costs are too high compared to the risks for most of the currently available products. Now as far as realistic appearance, I would love to have everything look as real as possible, but if I could get a product that was substantially cheaper and looked a little less real I think that I would be happy. To me getting the color or texture of a piece of equipment exactly right is not worth a large cash lay out. I may expand upon my comments later as I have to leave for a meeting now but what I said pretty much sums up my opinion. I do wish you luck in your endeavor and wish you all of the success that can be had!Thanks,Philip Olsonhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/supporter.jpg

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I agree with Philip. The main thing in my mind when looking at these components is price. Philip summed that up nicely. The next thing is ease of use. I would hate to lay a ton of cash on an addon that takes me many, many weeks of trial and error to get it to work right. Another thing I would like to see in an addons is customizability of the display. For instance, if I flew 737NGs and 777s around in FS exclusively, but wanted to use the same hardware, in one of those planes I would have to deal with the equipment not looking as it should for the particular plane. So if the addon you are developing enables me to do something like change the faceplate between the NG grey and the 777 brown, without changing hardware functionality, then I would be a happy camper :)

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I think you'll find that for everyone willing to spend thousands on a full set of Peter Cos' magnificent panels, there are probably hundreds who'd pay a couple of hundred for something that separated them from the keyboard even if it didn't look exactly like a specific aircraft.As an example of a less than fully realistic - but very cheap - panel, here's my homemade radio stack - well under $100.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/72388.jpgIt actually looks better now since I added some knobs and labels,Richard

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