Build 2.0 is born!

The time has come to unveil build 2.0. I finally have time to document the progress.

Before I continue I want to caveat that build 1.0 was an attempt to build everything myself. For the most part, when I had the time to work on the sim, it was a satisfying project. For instance, I built my MIP by hand, entirely out of two pieces of sheet steel, and square tubing. I was able to learn a lot of new skills such as welding and powder-coating, but such endeavors come at a cost of time and supplies. Unfortunately, my work keeps me from my sim for long periods of time and moving to Europe added complications to finding the supplies I needed at the prices I was willing to pay. Economically, it just made sense to move ahead with build 2.0

I made the decision to rebuild following my third visit to FSWeekend in Lelystad. Six months later I can finally get you up to speed.

Stay tuned!

Trip Reminders

Look what I made today! I finally had some time to play around with my 3D printer.

I’m pretty excited. They came out much better than I expected. It took me a couple of hours to build the part in Autodesk Inventor, and another couple to print everything out. I used the Acetone method to smooth the piece, then three coats of flat black and a clearcoat to finish it off. I’ll have to resand and paint to get rid of the fingerprints but that acetone works a long time.

Here’s some pics:

Hope you enjoyed the post.

Panel Backlighting coming together

It has been a while since my last post.  I haven’t been idle, just busy working out a plan of attack.

Today I finally completed the initial prototype of my backlighting.  Initial fielding will be in my pedestal, then I will redo the MIP.  The first attempt seems promising, and as you can see, I’ve learned how to create PCB’s and solder SMD LEDs to them.

I tried two different type of SMD LEDs.  The larger ones are 3528’s in warm white (ACTIVE and STANDBY), while the smaller ones are 0603’s in white.  I think I prefer the 0603’s and while they are much smaller, they are easier to solder then the 3528s as they have protruding contacts that you can get to much easier with a soldering iron.

I hope to knock out the VHF and NAV panels this week, and I’ll post video as I get through them.

Here’s a video of the prototype

So the coolest thing just happened…

Had my first official visitor to my sim today, not just a buddy/enthusiast coming over.

So, at work, we have reservists that get assigned to us to do their mandatory annual service for about a month each year.  We stagger them to always give us some extra people and we normally get the same guys/gals each year.

Well, one of these guys that showed up to work in my section is a 737-800 FO with Southwest when he isn’t doing his reserve time!

Guess who just spent about four hours burning up the virtual skies in my sim!  He had heard about it, but it blew his mind when he saw it in person.

What had me all excited was watching someone sit in my left seat while I took the right seat, who knew what the hell they were doing.  Right down to working the seats…

I already had it queued up at Gate C15 in Phoenix, cold and dark with ground power available when he showed up at my place.  Coincidentally, he lives and flies out of Phoenix.  he plopped down in the seat, checked the power panel and hit ground power.   Then went right into getting it up and ready to fly.  he programmed a simple pattern into the CDU, and apart from my fueling the plane and providing pushback, got it into the air.

It was so cool me calling out 80 knots, V1, rotate, and once airborne, him calling for gear up, and I was on it, then through flap retraction and climb.

What it pointed out is that I really need to get FSCrew working…

He just left, stunned at what I had in basement.

Sorry…  this was my first real exposure to someone that understands visiting my sim.

New sim PC parts arrived (almost)

Well, surprisingly I had a big box from Newegg today.  It came a lot quicker than I thought it would.  One week for delivery to an APO address.  Better than normal.  the only problem…  one box still hasn’t arrived.  That is the box with the case so I can’t even get started.  That will probably take a month.  Oh well.

Parts for new FSX system

Parts for new FSX system

Ordered the parts to build a new PC for the Sim

Well, I finally bit the bullet and ordered the parts to build a new Main PC for the Sim.  The current PC will slip back to the number two spot.  It will more than likely allow me to actually drop one complete system out of the mix for a total of three.

I decided to go with an intel i7-3770K running on an MSI Z77A-G45 Mainboard with 16GB of G.Skill Trident X RAM.  I was originally going to just get 32GB but nothing I’ve read, nor anyone I’ve talked to leads me to believe it will be needed.  If it is, I can always get it later.

As for the video card…  I was going to go the Nvidia GTX 680 route but decided I could better use the $100+ elsewhere.  I settled on a GalaxyTech GeForce GTX 670 with 4GB of RAM.  I’m going to try out the surround video and see if I can actually get better FPS that way than through the TH2Go.

More to follow when my Newegg package makes it’s way to me.

Installed an EFB

Well, I figured out how to temporarily install my EFB next to my tiller.  It will work until I get around to sidewalls.  I’m using the Aivlasoft EFB and have to say it is an impressive piece of software.  My only complaint is that since my touchscreen monitor’s max resolution is 768×1024 (when rotated 90 degrees), I can’t get the whole screen to show.  the software’s minimum resolution requirements are 1024×768.  Not happy about that but, I was aware of it when I bought it.  Now looking for a cheap 1280×1024 touchscreen that size….01-10-2013 002