So here we are, nearly 4 years later… and pretty much right where I was 4 years ago. Actually, I’m more behind now as over the last few years my flight simming got pushed off to the side and much of my equipment sold. Doh!
But then I saw P3D v4 get announced and that it supports 64-bit. With PMDG supporting it as well, it peaked my interest and kinda got me wanting to starting flying again.
After a few “Why did I sell that?!” moments, I dug out the old files and began hatching a plan.
The first item on the list is a new Main Instrument Panel (MIP). As in the past, I’m still limited to the space at my office desk, so I’ll be building up a custom MIP for the space. My last version of a MIP looked like this:
At the time I was thinking about getting into DCS A10, hince the 2 Thrustmaster MFD panels.
But this time around it’ll just be for FSX/P3D with the 737, so I want to gear the design that way. While doing some surfing for ideas, I stumbled across this beauty:
and said “THAT! That’s what I want.”
This unit is (or was?) made by company as an all-one-package for desktop simming. MIP, TV Screen, computer, throttle, etc.. for like 20,000eur. But that MIP layout helped form the basis of my new cockpit.
Here’s a shot of my initial mock-up for planning out the design.
I had to make a few changes to accommodate keeping my monitor at a reasonable level. My initial design was a little taller but this resulted in me having to look up towards my monitor, which eventually strained my eyes and neck pretty quick. So I cut the design down as much as I could. The landing gear panel was pretty much my minimum height. So I lowered the MCP extended piece down as far I as I could but had to to cut it short on the right hand side for the landing gear panel. It does block the view of the landing gear annunicators right now, but I may extend it a little more to the right all the way to the gear panel and put the gear lights it on it, next to the EFIS panel. We’ll see.
Previously I was also working on a mini-overheard as a replacement to a full-size I had. It was one of “This is just too big” things at the time, so I started working on a mini panel. However, after the initial quote came back at around $350 for the panel I started rethinking if that was the ideal thing to do. So now I’m toying with going back to a full-size unit as I can buy a full-set of panels for nearly the same cost. Or do smaller overhead using actual panels… but not all of them. That way I’ll be able to re-use those panels if I continue on to a full overhead. So the overhead plan is still being developed.
The last piece of the puzzle is the throttle quadrant. Previously I had a JetMax 737 TQ, which I’m kicking myself for for selling as JetMax no longer sells them separately. Gah! I’m toying with the idea of trying a self-build using some plans and tutorials I’ve found online. Initially I may just use a Saitek throttle with some 737 handles on it while I work on the MIP.
So that’s where we are today!