Category Archives: PROGRESS

Progress updates for the site or cockpit simulator.

Measure Thrice, Cut Once

As the JetMax SKTQ MIP, and CPFlight Complete Pedestal/Forward Overhead Panel have been ordered,  I need to make sure I have the correct sized platform and space in the room to build it. Enter SketchUp. I frequent play with this modeling tool for its functionality and easier learning curve.

What you see above is the combination of many online measurements and plenty of JetMax photos. I think I have it pretty close, enough to find out how big the base needs to be. I thought I would share a image of the result.

Also, I put in an order for Flight Illusion gauges to replace the flaps, yaw damper, and chrono on JetMax. However, they make each order new so it will be 4-5 weeks on those. Speaking of waiting, we still have another two or three weeks on the pedestal and Jetmax. The wait is the hardest part!

I will be a ProSim’mer!

While I am waiting for the Jetmax SKTQ, CPFlight Forward Overhead Panel, and CPFlight Complete Pedestal to arrive, I have been trying out the time-limited demo version of the ProSim737 avionics suite. I built a dedicated PC just for avionics and began doing some side by side comparisons with my PMDG 737 NGX on-screen.  As the PMDG is my only working reference (outside the FCOMs), I am very excited with the initial results.

UPDATE: I did end up later purchasing the software and have posted my experiences in my ProSim737 Avionics Suite review article!

Time to get real, mostly

I know it has been a while, but this “hobby” is not cheap!

A big step towards the cockpit was taken today. I put a deposit down on a JetMax 737SKTQ with the MIP/CDU/TQ package. A big thanks to Peter at FDS for answering a steady stream of questions and being patient! I chose to start with the smaller, more affordable JetMax instead of the full dual-seater to see how this all goes. I can always replace it later and use most of the bits in a full MIP.

I am also in contact with Claudio at CPFlight to get my hands on his Forward Overhead Panel and Complete Pedestal.

All of these items have quite a few weeks of lead time, but I will update when I start seeing anything.

More to come!

More Horsepower!

All along during this adventure, I knew that my current PC would not cut it for FSX. It was an Dell XPS 8300 with an Intel i5 @ 2.8Ghz and bloated with years of games, apps, and other programs. Even with the fairly recent GTX760 video card upgrade, the best framerate I got on the ground at a decent sized airport was 12-18fps.

I know framerate isn’t everything, but it does matter. I managed to tweak sliders and textures and scenery to a usable degree, but it was time to step it up to something with more grunt.

Therefore, let me present my new FSX-only setup:

  • Corsair 750D Full Tower Case
  • EVGA Fully-modular Gold+ 850W Power Supply
  • Asus Z97-PRO (Wi-Fi ac) ATX Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-4790K CPU
  • Corsair H100 Water Cooler
  • 16GB of Patriot Viper DDR3-2400Mhz Memory (replaced the 1866Mhz Vengeance memory in the image above)
  • 256GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD (for the OS and non-FSX use)
  • 1TB Samsung 840 Evo SSD (For FSX and all related add-ons, scenery, etc.)
  • Gigabyte GeForce 970 GTX 4GB Windforce 3X video card
  • Three (3) Asus 24″ VN248H-P LED/LCD IPS thin-bezel monitors
  • Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate SP1
  • and some cheap Asus DVD-ROM drive…

After many hours of building, installing, optimizing, and pulling my hair out, it is finally alive! It even overclocks itself to 4.5GHz without issues. My old PC will now be just be my home use computer and I can leave all the flight controls permanently mounted to a desk dedicated to flight sim in it’s own room.

More to come!

Plans for the future

Above is my current desktop setup as of Aug 15, 2014. In this photo, I am preparing to taxi out for takeoff from Albany International (KALB). I apologize for the blurriness, but you get the idea.

It is a big step to get the CPflight MCP and EFIS as they are my building blocks to start plans for the Main Instrument Panel (MIP), stand, and pedestal. If the avionics software is the brain of a 737 cockpit, these must be the heart.

The next big piece to order is the MIP itself. I am looking at the FDS or FlyEngravity products. My plan is to attempt to visit FDS up in Canada in the next month or so to put my hands on their products before spending thousands of dollars on such an important piece.

In the meantime, I will be adding new posts about once a week. I have many additional reviews to post of products I already have, such as:

Saitek Throttle Quadrant

Saitek Switch Panel

Hifi’s Active Sky Next

FS2Crew PMDG 737 NGX

REX4 | Texture Direct

FSDreamTeam GSX

Aivlasoft EFB

Virtual Avionics Virtual CDU

and more…

A Bit More

Hello! I have been busy behind the scenes working on content. I have already completed and posted five reviews and have more coming very soon. I created additional sections, disclaimers, and privacy statements. Lastly, I updated the Primary PC and Visuals sections and wrote a quick history about myself and the site’s creation on the About page.

Next up will be the review of my CPFlight MCP 737 Pro. I just want to take some additional photos before I post it.