459: My Cockpit Rebuilding #6


My Post 111 described the swapping of toggle switches on the Saitek Panel to make them easier to be identified in a dim environment.   On my new Yoke, I have the toggle switches “color-coded” with heat shrinkable tubes.

The modification is a lot simpler and meet the same purpose.   And it prevents, or to the least covers up, oxidation on the switch handles.   Also, they are cheap and easy to replace if worn out. Continue reading

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450: VRInsight Flight Master Yoke-II Review

My new cockpit is still far from complete but it is operable now with the “new” VRInsight Flight Master Yoke-II (the Yoke) is in position.

Actually, I bought the Yoke nearly three years ago in October 2014, at which I had an intention to have it to replace my long-used Saitek Cessna Yoke and the Switch Panel altogether, because the VRInsight Yoke has already integrated most of the key switches found on the Switch Panel.

Unfortunately, the plan didn’t work out because I had mis-calculated (or more precisely confused by) the Yoke’s published dimensions.  With 26 inches or 66 centimeters in depth (the company uses Width), the Yoke was far too deeper than my old work-bench could accommodate.  So, it has been kept in the storage for the last three years until I finally get a bigger table to be able to use it now.

What a coincidence that VRInsight has just announced their Yoke-III.   Therefore, a review for the older Yoke-II, I believe, should still shed some light for those who are interested in the new one.   In particular their specifications are almost the same, except the new model has just further included a push-pull Throttle, a Trim Lever (not trim wheel), and a few pounds in weight. Continue reading

445: SIMAV8 CNT1 COM/NAV Radio Review

In any construction of a realistic cockpit, high-performance avionic instruments can be said the next most important equipment next to the control stick, rudder pedals and gauges.  However, choices available on the market are limited, especially to those designed for general aviation simulation purposes.

The CNT1 COM/NAV Radio by SIMAV8 is a new avionic equipment that is designed and built with this intention in mind.

Layout

In contrast to the bulky Saitek Radio Panel I have been using since 2000, the CNT1 Radio has an appearance of a real replica of a true-to-scale Bendix King Radio unit commonly found on most general light aircraft. Continue reading

406: Saitek Driver Toggler

As mentioned in my Post 380 back in mid-September last year, I was working on a utility that would allow the toggling of the ON/OFF status of the Saitek Driver because SPAD.neXt requires the Saitek Driver to be removed (or unloaded) from the system in order to run properly.

Here it comes at last and I call the utility “SToggler” (abbr for fsx_times_saitektogglerSaitek Driver Toggler“).

The utility was designed to serve my needs to keep both Saitek and SPAD.neXt drivers on my system and at the same time could be selectively used when either of them was called up without interfering the other.

What the utility does when executes: Continue reading

373: My First Impression of Flying VR

Virtual Reality (VR) is no doubt the hottest topic among game developers and players these days.   Last Sunday, I spent a few hours playing FSX-SE with FlyInside on my son’s HTC Vive setup using the “long-deserted” Eclipse Yoke digged up from my storage.
Tom_on_VR1Wow…was my immediate response after entering my first fight over the Friday Harbor in FSX-SE, while I was physically sitting in my son’s living room with the huge VR goggle putting on my face. Continue reading

356: My Cockpit Got Aligned

I have a spare FIP sitting around for quite some times, which is only used occasionally for various testings via my network computer.   Yesterday, I decided to throw in the underused FIP to the system to see how it effects.
Cockpit-Centered-GIF
Actually, the main reason for me not including the spare FIP to my system in the past was because the “6 FIPs + 1 Radio Panel across the top roll” and “1 Switch Panel + 3 FIPs + 1 Multi Panel” on the bottom constituted a pretty symmetric appearance in my 2-stack instrument setup already.   And I’ve been using this setup for a very long time. Continue reading

345: Saitek Panels Can be Networked, Too

Stefano Cancelli in Canada recently reported to me that the Saitek Pro Flight Radio Panel, Multi Panel and Switch Panel actually can be run on a networked computer, exactly like what the Flight Instrument Panel (FIP) does.

Post345

“I discovered it quite by accident.”

Stef said he was not aware that the panels were still connected to his network computer after reverting SPAD.neXt to Saitek drivers due to some issues.  When he started a flight, he then realized that the networked panels were all working perfectly controlling radios, auto pilot, switches, and everything on the main fsx computer.

“This was a big surprise to me since I do not believe it is ever mentioned in Saitek’s documentation,” he said.

Stef came to me and ask me if I could help confirm his finding. Continue reading

262: A Hardware Fix to GPS Dragging

After the two DVI ports and Display port on my graphics card had each been taken by a monitor, my newly added VRinsight GPS-5 was naturally connected to the remaining HDMI port on my GTX 780 via a VGA-HDMI converter in the first place.GPS5-Card-03

Surprisingly, while my FSX system continues to run smoothly, my P3Dv2 responds with serious stutters as framerates dropped momentarily under the same setup with the external GPS attached.  Feedbacks to such framerate dropping issues in the last post reveal that the phenomenon is common regardless of platform and monitor setup.

Based on the presumption Continue reading