Monday, October 29, 2012

Planning for new panels

First snow arrived last Saturday and that definitely means that this summer is gone and cold winter is arriving. And when this happen I start planning the new improvements for the home cockpit.

I am planning three panels right now but I have not yet decided their layout. One panel will go on top of the second monitor: there will be all the annunciators from the header panel and from the glare shield. They will be realized with OpenCockpi because it is very easy and fast. I have also noticed that the new version of LekSeeCon has improved a lot during the summer. In particular the part regarding the proximity warnings of the glare shield. The library now connects to FSUIPC too and there are new status bits that, according to Niko, make the behavior of annunciators more similar to the real 767. Current version is 9.2 and there are a lot of improvements and changes comparing to the 8.2 I have installed at home. So I have to upgrade as soon as possible.

Last winter I prepared the wooden frame to put the landing gear and other instruments but at the end I bought and installed the FMC from OpenCockpits and I am really satisfied of this device.
In the frame, I will install the landing gear and something else as I have free room there. The problem is that this panel goes just in front of the joy so it is not very easy to reach. Should I put there some gauge instead?

The third panel will go in the far left side aside of the main monitor. I want to put there some of the controls. For example flaps and brakes but maybe also the switches to communicate with the flight attendants and that to ask for the pushback. The layout is not decided yet, of course.

At this point I have to plan carefully what to put and where because my available space is finishing: I have to concentrate on the most important (i.e. most) used switches, leds and gauges. And for the same reason I have to plan all the panels at the same time even if I have to admit that the panel with the annuciators is almost stand alone and I can start working on that.

I have no room for installing more monitors but I could greatly improve the realism by installing gauges. I have found those produced by flightillusion quite interesting even if very expansive. There is a card to be connected to the PC with a US, the GA-55. It is possible to connect gauges to this card like for example the altimeter (GSA16) and the attitude indicator (GSA34),  and the Radio Magnetic Indicator (GSA-RMI-DME). Quite expansive I know but they seems really good and easy to interface with the simulator. To make the system good enough I would need also a vertical speed indicator.
Considering that I already bought the OpenCockpit gauges for the flaps and the digits and knobs for the ILS tuning, with this gauges and the panels I wish to build I could probably fly without keyboard and without the glareshield in the main monitor.

I started a survey with the hardware producers and I found a very interesting post in with a  List Of Third-Party Rudder Pedals, Yokes, TQs, etc... I put the link here as I think is a great reference for everybody.

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