The poor mans sim pit

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The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:10 pm

Flight sims are interesting to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. And we all have differing needs, resources, and circumstances.

Many of us can only look at the full blown 747 cockpit built on a full motion platform with a curved projection screen and dream.

But at the other end there are many using a cheap joystick, or even a mouse and keyboard, and trying to save up enough money to buy any yoke that they can afford. To them, a comparison of which $1,000 or $1,500 yoke is better, is pointless.

And the person sharing a small apartment, or living in a small studio apartment, can have no dream of that full sized cockpit. The one computer and a small desk may be all that is available to them.

What's needed for us is an area where we can talk of maximizing what's available at the lower end. What is "THE BEST" is of less interest than the question of "Can I afford it?" "Which yoke, CH or Saitek, will be best for me". Or "Now that I have a yoke, what's the next thing to buy?" "Should I buy something else less costly instead". "Should I buy it used"? "Will I like it enough to make the purchase worthwhile?"

In the end, bit by bit, we may end up with enough buttons, levers, switches, and screens to satisfy us. But it will be bit by bit, and within the resources of time, money, space, and family that are available to each individuals circumstance.

Over the past 2+ years I
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Bass » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:26 pm

Welcome.

Ok!
What do you use then?
Last edited by Bass on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Speed of flight » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:55 pm

I must agree completely with you. If I'm lucky, and the wife is in a great mood, I can buy computer parts.
All my investment is in just a few basic parts, and a lot of time learning how to get the most of it.

All my specs are listed. It's taken years to accumulate all this stuff. I'm still using a Saitek X-45, for Pete's sake.

Curious about what the original poster flies...

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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:02 pm

I first used a flight simulator then the buildings were sticks or blocks. I think that it was either Flight Simulator 1 or 2.

That didn't last long. It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I tried it again.

Not knowing if I'd play with it any more than I did back in the early '80s I didn't even buy a joystick. I used my keyboard to try to fly. Committing suicide by papercuts would have been more fun.

So I bought a Logitech Attack 3 joystick for about $12-$13. INCREDIBLE! I can FLY!!! Actually, it wasn't bad at all. The Logitech software let you set any key to act as a shift key thereby almost doubling the number of keys to use with FSX.

So a bunch of time goes by and I'm thinking that I might want a yoke. It took me about 5 or 6 months to decide which yoke to buy. I chose the CH Product yoke because I still wasn't all that sure that I'd keep on flying.

The big advantage, for me, was that it already had the rudder, throttle, prop, and mixture built in. AND a ton of buttons. NOW I have it all - NOTHING else to buy!!! :)

Wellllll, maybe one or two more things. But that all.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:43 pm

Welcome.

Ok!
What do you use then?


I ended up getting most of the Saitek stuff. But there have been some places where I've gone in a different direction.

For instance - I Really like the Saitek Pro Flight Instrument Panels. But you really do need at least 6. And THAT costs a lot.

My solution was to buy two 9 inch USB monitors, one of which is a touchscreen monitor. I use a program called G.A.Panel from PEIX Software to place flight instruments on them.

When you have it all set up with the gauges that you want, you save it. The next time you start G.A. Panel it opens in the screen that you last saved it from. The flight instruments are where you placed them.

Put one set of instruments on one screen and save it with a name like CESSNA1. Create another set of instruments on another screen and save it with a name like CESSNA2. Open both and you have 2 screens filled with your instruments.
Last edited by OldAirmail on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:58 pm

SIDE NOTE
Because I use my desk for more than flight sims I have a self made shelf to hold my monitors at eye level. Some of the Saitek panels are held (by screws) to the underside of the monitor shelf. There
Last edited by OldAirmail on Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:12 pm

I must agree completely with you. If I'm lucky, and the wife is in a great mood, I can buy computer parts.
All my investment is in just a few basic parts, and a lot of time learning how to get the most of it.

All my specs are listed. It's taken years to accumulate all this stuff. I'm still using a Saitek X-45, for Pete's sake.

Curious about what the original poster flies...

See you up there!


I tell her "At least I'm not out with the "boys" having a drink or two".
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:29 pm

USING 2 USB monitors is MUCH cheeper than 6 Saitek Instrument panels. And this setup lets me drop them in, or remove them in about 2 minutes or less.

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by OldAirmail on Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Speed of flight » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:33 am

I am compressed! You've got quite a setup there! I'd never be able to convince the wife to let me get more than one display. Granted, it's a 25", but the 6870 has room to plug in 2 more. Just sayin... You've done quite a neat custom trick with the 2 monitors. I'm going to have to find some way to make that software work for a heavy, if it can.

Most of what I put my effort into is the pc. I run AMD, but only because they're cheaper and (and although I'll catch hell) comparable, as of late. On some level they are, but of course they're not swinging for the i7 3900 series, but plenty powerful still.

I'm concerned with speed, in every component I can get it from. So, most of what I'd have to show is the case, and what's in it. Probably not as interesting, but it's pretty fast, I guess.

I'm at a desk with 1 monitor, stereo speakers with a sub, the X-45, a coolermaster HAF 932, and a passion.
Speaking of which, I'm going to fly.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:45 am

Believe it or not, this IS an economy setup.

The board is a few years old. If I recall correctly I bought it from Newegg as a refurbished (used) board. The same for the i5 2500K CPU. The memory from my old board was used in this one, although I did add another 8 GB when it was on sale at Amazon. But thanks to a gift card I only spent $14.97 of my own money to get it. I got the video card on sale  also.

The Old hard drive is in this setup too. The case is about 7 or 8 years.

One of the things that I like about a desktop computer is that you can replace components when you need to and when they're on sale. This 3 year old board will take an i7 CPU. When I bought the board the i7 cost about $1,000. I just checked on Amazon and the one I want is, now, just over $300 now.

You may want to check out the AMD prices. You might find that the fastest CPU that your board will take is FAR less than you think. If you
Last edited by OldAirmail on Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Fozzer » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:58 am

Being forever conscious of the fact that that what I am viewing in front of me every day, is merely an image on a computer monitor, and my joystick is merely arranging pixels in various colours, and configurations on the monitor screen in front of me, and bears little, or no resemblance whatsoever, to flying a real aeroplane, I am tempted to spend as little money as possible on my computer "Game", and reserve it for real flights in my local flying clubs real Cessna 150/152 instead!

At present I have a 13-year old Intel Pentium P4 2.8 GHz, with a nVidia GF 9500 GT video card, on my Dell Tower Computer, a 17 inch LCD monitor, and a useful Saitek Evo Force Joystick, enabling me to pretend that I am "flying" around the World with my copy of FS 2004, and exploring different places, with the aid of Google Street Maps and Wikipedia, for local information...

When the warning signs of smoke from my kitchen reminds me that my Dinner is burning in my oven, I am reminded that I am actually playing a computer game, and not flying a real aeroplane!
...the rest is all in the mind...trust me... ;).... ;D....!

Like most things in life, I tend NOT take things too seriously!... ;D

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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:57 am

[quote]Being forever conscious of the fact that that what I am viewing in front of me every day, is merely an image on a computer monitor, and my joystick is merely arranging pixels in various colours, and configurations on the monitor screen in front of me, and bears little, or no resemblance whatsoever, to flying a real aeroplane, I am tempted to spend as little money as possible on my computer "Game", and reserve it for real flights in my local flying clubs real Cessna 150/152 instead!

At present I have a 13-year old Intel Pentium P4 2.8 GHz, with a nVidia GF 9500 GT video card, on my Dell Tower Computer, a 17 inch LCD monitor, and a useful Saitek Evo Force Joystick, enabling me to pretend that I am "flying" around the World with my copy of FS 2004, and exploring different places, with the aid of Google Street Maps and Wikipedia, for local information...

When the warning signs of smoke from my kitchen reminds me that my Dinner is burning in my oven, I am reminded that I am actually playing a computer game, and not flying a real aeroplane!
...the rest is all in the mind...trust me... ;).... ;D....!

Like most things in life, I tend NOT take things too seriously!... ;D

Paul..little boys and toys!... ;D...!
Last edited by OldAirmail on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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First step to The poor mans sim pit

Postby OldAirmail » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:08 am

I have absolutely no idea if this will help anyone with any other version of MS flight sim but this is what gave me the highest frames per second. And best of all, IT'S FREE

It was in an old Aerosoft.com posting by Mathijs that no longer seems to be available. I saved a copy of it at the time, but the only place that I can find it now is on a (presumably) Spanish website.

This is within posting # 73 by vaca. The artical within the posting is in english, and is titled
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Re: First step to The poor mans sim pit

Postby pegger » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:04 am

[b]I have absolutely no idea if this will help anyone with any other version of MS flight sim but this is what gave me the highest frames per second.


Glad it's working out for you. Theres one thing I've always noticed about FS tweaks that people recommend. What works for them, does not always work for everyone else.

There are more FS tweak recommendations and GPU settings, and ENB ini file recommendations out there than you could shake a stick at. These all seem to be geared to specific issues that people have with frame rates, graphic quality, and other little "hiccups" that they experiance with their unique system setups.

I believe that may be the point I am going for. Every system is unique. For example, Fozzer gets his enjoyment with his very basic but capable setup. You get your enjoyment with all your control peripherals and mulitple monitors. I get my FS enjoyment with my unique setup (with exactly zero tweaks or payware addons).

Thanks for sharing your setup with us.
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Re: The poor mans sim pit

Postby Fozzer » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:34 am

I have FSX as well as FS 2004...(and Sinclair Spectrum 48K, Commodore C64, Amiga 1200, Flight Unlimited II, Pro Pilot '99, FS '98, FS 2000, FS 2002, and CFS 2), but my present lowly Hardware floats my FS 2004 boat admirably, in calm waters, with no necessity to spend any more money on upgrades, etc, allowing me to spend cash on all my other hobbies; musical instruments, bits and bobs for my motor-bikes, food, drink,....and loose women... [smiley=2vrolijk_08.gif]....!

....it all comes down to personal priorities...>>>

(a) Loose Women.
(b) The rest.

Paul... ;D... ;D...!
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