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Home cockpit - Ideas and stuff

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Hey everyone,

I was wondering how you guys enhance your flight sim experience at home? Not around the sim itself, but your cockpits at home. 

I'm looking for ideas to enhance my setup. I'm thinking for example clipboards for charts and stuff like that.

Hit me up with your ideas and maybe pictures of your own cockpits! 

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Second monitor (which you can pick up CHEAP at a second hand store, Tablet and Pad a Paper (okay, a pen too).  Indepensible.



Best wishes!


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Dave showing off the upcoming CRJ from Aerosoft lol.


Nice setup by the way.

Best regards,


Neal McCullough

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Thanks Neal!  Yeah, that's the bird... she's TERRIFIC, people gonna love her!

That photo was taken to show someone else my system setup. Believe it or not, all of that monitor and tablet real estate is completely full during a regular flight, being taken up with screens for:

- P3DV4, P3DV3, or FSX:SE

- Stream software (OBS)

- Stream Chat Software across multiple stream outputs (Youtube, Twitch, OVPA Website, etc.).


- Aivilasoft Electronic Flight Bag

- Group Voice and File Transfer Server (Discord)

- Charts (of course)

-  Weather Engine (shown only when needed)

- Test Software reading networking and SimConnect

- Web Browser



All the above software runs at the same time on a single water cooled i7-4770K running 4 cores at 4.5GHz and GTX1080 (recently upgraded from a GTX960) and I get 30fps in high-end payware aircraft at high-end payware airports with well above average settings in P3DV4. The water cooler is nothing special, just a Corsair H110.

By the way, that screen shot was taken in P3DV3 sometime ago, running under my past GTX960.  I'll have to take another under V4 and the GTX1080 - looks far better!





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Thomas, watch this video. Everyone who visits the sim glances back using the mirrors and sees passengers aboard. Very realistic. Additionally, we have other features such as the smell of coffee waving in through a scent cup driven by a small rotary motor.




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Hi thomasrohdejensen. One suggestion would be force-feedback controls, which I am trying to develop for my own setup.

How I hope to do this: program an Arduino to read the sim data for IAS, then square it to represent the aerodynamic force on the control surfaces (1/2 rho v**2 s) and use this number as the position target for a stepper motor driving a leadscrew (the kind used in imported folding workbenches looks good for this - big, strong and cheap). The leadscrew then moves the anchor point of the control return springs, so that allowing for Hooke's law the control return force is more or less proportional to the square of the IAS. This should produce control feel roughly approximating to that of a real a/c, adjustment being possible both mechanically and in software.

Another suggestion: for me, one of the most distinctive sensations in aviation is the sudden cessation of vibration and wheel noise on takeoff, and their equally sudden onset on landing. This ought be replicable somehow; if the sim data includes a squat switch output, this could easily be used to gate a vibration/noise signal to transducers attached to the cockpit floor or seat. I'd like to make this work but haven't started researching it yet. The biggest problem might be separating main and nose gear effects.

I think the most important thing - much more important than visual appearance - is ergonomics. Sitting in an aircraft cockpit is physically unlike sitting behind a desk. From the training point of view it would be best if a blindfolded pilot were able to place a hand on the appropriate control from memory of the real a/c. Controls need not, IMHO, be exactly like the original, particularly given that switches, etc. are often quite different in individual a/c, but they must be in the right place, and be roughly the right shape and size, and work in the same sense.

Having done ten years at Martin-Baker I naturally also think of a mechanism like the original Swinging Arm, which, when one has had quite enough and pulls the black and yellow handle, hurls one bodily through the ceiling, to descend on a crane-supported genuine parachute harness into some astonished neighbour's garden. Flight helmet compulsory.

I do like PebbleBeach's wafting-engine for the coffee, though. That's class, that is.

By trade formerly technical author (computers), industrial TV producer (business systems), research cameraman (aircraft safety), now medically retired; private pilot and motoring enthusiast (alas, no more); X-plane 11 with AirManager; self-built flight controls and other hardware; designing own aircraft for PlaneMaker.

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Those little touches? I have:

Mock up fire extinguisher in the footwell

Car seat, on a track that can move upright, with seat belt (for the checklist!)

Carbon monoxide detector fitted to the dask board. 

An overhead roof with inbuilt fan, Car sun visors, little spot lights and second keyboard (for my airliner controls)

Sign  on dash saying lifejacket is under seat (and there is an airliner lifejacket under the seat!) Jet2 donated some stuff to my school for a project, and that included life jackets, oxygen mask and 737-800 saftey cards!

An A5 aircraft maintence report folder (in which I log all the changes and updates I make to the sim, so I can back track if things go wrong. 

Laminated checklists for all my main aircraft.

RW maps and Pooley's airport guides (from 2007, so they fit with FSX) - all kept in an actual pilots flight bag by the side of my car seat! 

For flying in the Caribbean I have a logbook too, recording all my air taxi flights inan Aztec for 'Swift Air'...

Oh, and finally, something I would never be without: my Pearl 'Throne Thumper' chair vibration device, big brother to the Buttkicker. 




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Here are the few upgrades I have done :

- bought a pilot tab for my paper, such as checkilst, notepad and such

- got myself a plastifier, so I could print and plastify all the checklist I use.

- on the side of my desk I have put a small folder to store the checklist. Very handy.

- I own a tablet, so bought an extension arm. The tablet displays Navigraph Charts, and is on my left side.

- A DJ stand to put my laptop. This way it does not take too much space on the desk, and I can store some stuff below it. I use it for flight planning (and movie shows during long flights).

- 2x21" monitors for secondary display (I think I bought them almost new for like 100€). One is below my main display, this is where I usually have my internet browser and popup FMC's. The second one is on the right hand side of my main display, this is where I put all the secondary informations : Active Sky, Chase Plane, payload managers, IVAP ...

This way, my main display (36") is totally devoted to the sim itself and is never polluted.


My Flickr Gallery : clicky clicky

CPU: Ryzen 3900X at 4.5 Ghz Motherboard: Gigabyte AORUS X470 Ultra Gaming RAM: 32 Gb GPU: 1x RTX 2080 TI OS : Win 10 PRO Display : Philips BD4350UC (4K 43" display) + 1 AOC 21" FHD side display
Hardware: HOTAS Warthog, Virtualfly TQ6, Saitek Rudder Pedals, VRInsight CDU II, Goflight MCP Pro, 2x Saitek Radios, 1x Saitek Multipanel, 1x Saitek Proflight Switch, Custom homecockpit.

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