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Wannabe builder needs some advice...
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Ric_Barker



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:48 am    Post subject: Wannabe builder needs some advice... Reply with quote

OK, that's it, I've had it! Twisted Evil

After spending countless hours drooling over FDS's amazing products, I've decided to set about planning and buildng my own flightdeck.

I'll admit right here and now that I have no idea what I'm doing, and I would really like some input/suggestions. I also have a few questions I'd like to ask, so please bear with me!

After some brief thought, I've decided to build an A320 series flightdeck, reasons being that I can't afford/engineer the yokes etc. Also I just "prefer" the sidestick approach.

What really concerns me is I have no (and I really mean NO) programming or electronics knowledge, so:

1. What is the most simple/cost effective way of iterfacing my flightdeck's physical controls with FS2004? Is there any soloution available where I can literally "assign" any button to any function without programming? I'm thinking of a drop-down type list, similar to the default FS2004 one.

2. If I were planning to use Project Majenta software, are there any flight models available that will aloow full functionality. Is FBW modelled by the PM gauges, or the actual FS flight model? Are there any functions that are not yet available at all in FS, such as hydraulic systems?

3. Where do you start when building a flightdeck? Is it best to buy parts as you move along, of buy in one go? Are there any discounts available for bulk orders like the one I am considering here?

A320 Elite MIP
A320 Nova throttle unit
A320 Overhead
A320 Nova Glare/Main panels
A320 Main/Glare Key Kit
A320 Nova Series Pedestal Panels
A320 ECAM Accessory Pack
A320 Pedestal Switches
A320 Overhead Switches
A320 Fire Warning Units
MCDU Kit x2
FCU Knob (however many needed)
Gear lever mechanism

Is this all I need (other than monitors/displays etc)?

What sort of after sales support is provided? If I get completely stuck with something (I'm not entirely confident in my building abilities Rolling Eyes )?


That's all I can think of for now, aplogies if some of my questions seem silly, but I find the whole prospect of having my own cockpit equally exciting and daunting at the same time.
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Ric Barker - Proud iFDG Modeller

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MOlieman



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
Posts: 157
Location: MyCockpit.org

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ric, Don't do what I did and not listen to this advise Smile I learned the hard way Crying or Very sad Get the panels first and then build around the panels. It seems the last couple of years have been a lot of redo's.
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www.A340Project.us
www.MyCockpit.org
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Bob Reed



Joined: 29 Nov 2003
Posts: 59
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TechWorks and PC are about to make an announcement that will make integrating the electronics a lot easier so stay tuned.
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Ric_Barker



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies guys, any more thoughts? I'm trying to get as many opinions as possible.
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Ric Barker - Proud iFDG Modeller

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remont



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 63
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For programming, whatever will be your choice, you'll have to do a minimum programming. You'll find much help on the Net among the numerous Forums. don't worry for that.

For A320 software, the best is to have both PM airbus and HCSDT system ware.
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http://www.a320.fr
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Nils



Joined: 09 Nov 2003
Posts: 29
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best way is, to bulid out of the box. many builders spend a lot of time to get the right messures. If you buy the main panel incl. glare and pedastal, you have already all you need to start. The overhead could be made at a later stage of project. That was the way I began (make your own dessicion but wathing ˇut my pictures here in the Forum (B777)

To get a feeling of all details, print out many pictures of your favorite flightdeck at airliners.net. Still after month you will see new details which could be build.

the are several methods for communication between PM FS and hardware. I think the interface it will be a very easy way to work with hardware.

The FBW can not be simulated correctly yet. Real Airbus pilots wrote several tests about that problem. The systems of the real one is too complicated to simulate (yet). The FS doesn┤t allow a full implemention.

I hope I could help.

Nils

Please apologize my english
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ribel



Joined: 24 Feb 2004
Posts: 85
Location: EGNT

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ric!

You seem to be in the exact same position I am in right now. In fact, I would have typed your original post, word for word. I have so many questions, I don't even know which ones to post first!

I have been considering starting my A320 project for over a year now, and in that time, the FDS panels have come on heaps. The new Elite panels look fab!

One of my original concerns would be that something really important would not be available to finish the sim. Or that I would not find switches that fit the cut outs in the panels. My current thought is how to get an accurate replica LED display for the FCU and EFIS panels. And that's what's keeping me from starting. I always keep thinking of the problems!

But looking at the kit that is coming available, I'm sure all these issues will be solved.

So it looks like I will be buying some panels real soon. Then the fun'll really start.

Best of luck.

Sean
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Ric_Barker



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ribel,

You're right, it does sound as though we are in the same boat.

EGNT isn't that far from me, when you get your panels, would it be alright if I had a look first hand? If you want a hand with the build - I'm your man!
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Ric Barker - Proud iFDG Modeller

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ribel



Joined: 24 Feb 2004
Posts: 85
Location: EGNT

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ric

You are more than welcome to pop over to see the panels 1st hand if I get them before you. Where abouts do you live? As you've guessed, I'm in Newcastle (North Shields, to be exact).

Perhaps we can form the FDS Northern England branch! Suggy in these forums is an A320 builder just starting in Hull (hello Darren). And there's Norman and his A340 in N.Ireland (I was gonna do an A340 as my cousin fly's these for Virgin, but I prefer the short/medium haul sectors of the A320!). If any of you A340 builders need any info you think my cousin can get you, just ask and I'll see what I can do. I also have some excellent A340 'stuff' on CD-ROM that would be useful to most Airbus builders.

Back to the project - It would be good to get everything you need in one go, but two stumbling blocks for me here. The time needed to assemble it all (I fear a lot of it would sit around waiting for me to catch up) - and the missus! Spreading the cost as the sim progress's seems the more sensible approach for my circumstances. Plus this has the added benefit that you will get FDS's latest products further down the line - look at the progress they have made over the last year or so.

I'm thinking of getting the MIP and Glare and possibly the pedestal (panels only). Then try and get flying ASAP concentrating on the Captains side only at 1st (saves the cost of the F/O's monitor until it's needed). I would then concentrate on getting the lower half of the framework done.

But like yourself Ric, the electronics and programming side of things seems really daunting at this point in time. I'm sure we'll get by, especially with the wealth of knowledge out there, not least in these forums.

Are there any more cockpit builders conferences/exhibitions planned? It would be good to attend one of those and meet other builders.

Bye for now

Sean
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dannyq8



Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject: Blackpool Show Reply with quote

Hi Ric and Ribel,

I'm in the same position as you two. Just getting started out, I've built my main section and have made PFD and Eicas panels and also Left hand side joystick area. I'm waiting for my MCDU which should arrive any day now.

I've just returned from Kuwait after 3 years rebuilding tucano's so have a bit of experiance building cockpits although i am at a disadvantage on the control hardware side.

Anyway just to let you know that there is a simulator show in Blackpool, fs2004nationalshow.com , it's not strictly a builders show but might be of some use.

Cheers Danny
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Ian



Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Posts: 59
Location: Reading UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys
I too am building a A320 sim down in Reading.This is year two of the project The first year was spent getting the network up and running with PM and HCDT software. Pete sent over the VAC MIP's at Xmas these are a must .This years target is to get the center pedistal panelled and finished with the new Elite series which I am expecting anyday
I suffer from Electronic "haze" like other posters here.but products are coming online which deal with that issue. Also in the near future I will be launching a website covering the build which might be of some help
All the best
Ian
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cwbalmer



Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 293
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With regards to the original post.....

I would possibly suggest the MIP and glare panels 1st, and work out from there.....that seems to be a common way of doing this.....


and.....

There is indeed a show at Blackpool this year for flight simming....I will be there under the auspices of my work with simFlight.com - perhaps we could hook up there for a get together? Smile
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Administrator, Screenshotworld.com
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Norman



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
Posts: 186
Location: Flightdeck Solutions

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst I doubt I can make the Blackpool show, (albeit I never say never!) I will be at the annual show run by RC Sims (this will be the 11th year of the show).

My intention is dismantle the whole setup (its a 330, not a 340 btw) and transport it over for the event.

If nothing it will be a challenge Rolling Eyes
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PRIEST
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 7:38 am    Post subject: Builders Unite Reply with quote

Good Day Gents,
Wow it's great to see so many fine ppl dedicated to a hobby that is so exciting. Unfortunately fer me I live in Western Canada and not the UK, you gents sound like a load of laughs, however due to the internet I would love to still have the opportunity to bounce ideas,concepts and thoughts around. Ill start with what im doing and my setup I am building a Fullsize A340 at least thats my goal so if anyone has thoughts , questions or suggestions Ill be open for all of it.
CPU #1 P4 3.3 gig 250gig hd 3 gig ddr ram Matrox parhelia triple head 512
Audigy 2 platinum sound card.
CPU#2 P4 2.8 gig 100 gig HD 2 gig ddr ram Radeon 9500 dual head SBcard
CPU#3 P3 850mhz 80 gig Hd 1 gig ddr ram Gforce iv card
CPU#4 P3 750mhz 20 gig hd 256 ddr ram basic vid
CPU#5 P2 350 mhz 20 gig hd 128 ddr ram basic vid card

Hagstrom KE72 encoder and 2 10X boards and imputs.

all are networked together running MSFS 2004 Project Magenta Airbus Software PFD/ND FCU EFIS EICAS CDU/FMS FO ND/PFD RCDU MCP

3 21" Monitors 2 15" Monitors 2 14" Monitors
7.1 Surround sound with 2 10" subwoofers and 12" subwoofer under a homemade wood soundfloor.
Hitachi CP-X275 LCD XVGA Projector up to 200" 1024X768 1200 Lumens

My cockpit fram is 7ft HX 8ft W X 10ft L (2.5m HX 2.75 m W X 3.3m L) approx
2 sets of PFC Rudder Pedals
2 Wingman 3D forcefeedback Joysticks
2 Automobile Seats for observers
2 Aircraft Chairs built to Airbus Specs

Waiting on my FDS Order Glare Shield/MIP Pedestal, Overhead, FCU, ECAM, Throttles (340) all switch kits also asked for Peter Cos's kitchen cupboard lol still waiting for his response on that Smile
Approx $2000.00 in addon scenery software not to mention freeware.
Well thats pretty much it guys for what I got noww just need to figure out what the hell I'm doing .

Any suggestions please send it over.
Thanx for any help in advance guys
Tim
Vancouver Canada
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ribel



Joined: 24 Feb 2004
Posts: 85
Location: EGNT

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestion would be to send all that kit to me immediately! Think of the headaches I'll spare you from!

Seriously though, best of luck with your cockpit. Do you plan to set up a web-site? If not, at least post some pics here.

Sean
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