Cockpit: Ken (KSQL, USA)

Following is the third DIY cockpit for flight simulation by Ken (an ATP/CFI) who earlier reported the “faulty” feature of the Radar Altimeter (RDA) on the Duke B60 and Duke Turbine by RealAir Simulations in my Post 548.

He said this set-up cost more, but it is pretty much “turn-key” and he can fire it up, fly, and have fun.

Builder: Ken
Location: Hillsborough, California, USA
ICAO: KSQL, San Carlos Airport



Project Notes:
This is my third simulation build.  The panel is constructed from medium density fiberboard.  There are (3) 24” Dell HD monitors for the outside view and an Acer 20” widescreen to host the instrument panel.  The Acer is nothing special, but it was relatively cheap, compact, and light.

I have the usual Saitek (Logitech) hardware which works fine, but if you want some beautiful high-end stuff, Google “Ruscool Electronics”.  I bought some dummy circuit breakers from them to make a circuit breaker panel.

The heart and soul of this project is the RealSim / Reality XP GTN-750 GPS and Foreflight on the iPad.  It allows me to maintain real world instrument proficiency (I am an ATP/CFI).  I also wanted to have fun with the sim so I did not make it specific to any type of plane.

I added Tom’s generic (G-5) PFD and HSI which are outstanding and sync with the Saitek autopilot.  I have the real G-5’s in my 182 so I am right at home.  I also added Tom’s radar altimeter.  His recent mod makes it function just like the real deal.  Great for those tight approaches.

I made a toggle switch panel (above the c/b panel) and linked them to a USB controller to operate spoilers, prop sync, flight director, parking brake, etc.  I’ve wired the second pole of the dpst switch to simultaneously illuminate corresponding annunciator lights that I bought from “dashkitmall” on e-bay.

I’ve added “master” fuel and electric system cut-off guarded toggles to the c/b panel as well as individual fuel cut-off switches for each engine mounted on the console below the “Desktop Aviator” engine start switch panel.  Everything is programmed through FSUIPC.

I have a separate (12-volt driven) toggle switch panel in the lower left corner.  Switches can select “red” (night) or “white” LED panel lighting.  One of switches activates a pc fan ducted to blow air through the eyeball vent to keep the pilot cool (works great).  Another switch activates a blinking led traffic display (just eye candy that I kept from a previous sim project).

P3D generated traffic is displayed on the GTN750.  The final switch is for lighting on the panel’s back side so I can easily see the wiring and do maintenance as needed.


Like so many others, you learn as you go along on these projects.  I’m pretty happy with this one.  I was always tweaking things with FSX and my old pc to try and get better performance, but it was a lost cause.

This set-up cost more, but it is pretty much “turn-key” and I can fire it up, fly, and have fun.

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