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The wife finally let me build my simpit

Posted By: L0stS0ul

The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/28/12 07:01 PM

I sure wish I would have found this forum sooner. Lots of great stuff in here that would have really helped me build mine. About 3 weeks ago I got the bright idea that I would build my first sim cockpit and after showing my wife drawings and pleading on where I wanted to put it and showing her the measurements she finally let me start it on fathers day weekend smile

The wife had a few requirements.
1. it be as small as possible
2. able to be torn down quickly
3. I only had fathers day weekend to build it

I decided on a simple setup. Two 30 inch deep, 27 inch tall, and 4 1/2 inch wide side walls with the cockpit panel sitting on top at 38 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and 15 inches deep. Trying to keep it modular I made made the monitor mount 6 inches deep and the panel 9 inches deep but I should have built it as a single unit and when I redo it I will make it a single unit.



I really struggled with how to get the curve on top and it's no where near as drastic as I wanted but again, it's a prototype so I was trying to work quickly.

Here's some pictures of the sides. Simple construction using 1x4's with 1/4 inch plywood on the outside. There is some structure inside to boxes to give me locations to screw into.



Here's the first test fit of everything after I put the face on the panel and cut out the spots for the chproducts yoke and saitek pro flight panels.




It was at this point that I realized I needed something to assign keys to as I didn't make a place for the keyboard. I found this little gem on amazon and they actually shipped it to me the same day smile

Razer Nostromo

I realized after that arrived that I needed more than the 4 1/2 inch area to mount the thing on so I made some arm rests out of some scrap. I also started looking at where to mount the throttle quadrant.




I got the location figured out and mounted it with some scrap 1x4 and it works great. Pulled it out towards me about 2 inches more to keep room for the controls. If I had made the panel taller I would have mounted the pro panels higher but oh well. It works well. I also got everything hooked up and started testing it out to make sure the 10 port USB hub work work out for all this stuff. It does smile



Finally I got to do some flying with it.




But I right away realized I had made a serious mistake in my design but I did find something to rectify that smile




All that is left is to finish painting it. I coated the arm rests with plasticoat spray on plastic. Looks pretty darn good and gives a good not slip surface for the nostromo to rest on. I am going to get a track ball for the right side so I don't have to pull the mouse over there. It would be nice if the nostromo had the ability to control the mouse. I couldn't find one for a decent price that could.

I've really been enjoying it. It really does help feel more realistic. I want to add 2 more monitors to the setup when I get some more funds.

Now that I've been able to use it I think I made it a little to tall and should have made the base sides 25 inches tall with a 10 inch cockpit panel but it was a prototype so I'm pretty happy with how it turned out smile. If I ever get the chance to do another one I know what I'll change.

Thanks for taking a look at my project. It's been fun and I can't wait to get it all painted up. Trying to decide between a GA scheme or an old WW1 style paint job.
Posted By: - Ice

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/28/12 07:40 PM

Welcome to the world of pit building! You are right when you say this will NOT be your first pit. Is the wife ready for version 2 yet? smile

Very good and simple design and I am glad you got your "priorities" right!

I would suggest you keep on tweaking this prototype until you are happy with it, then think about making version 2. You will notice that the height of everything will depend on your chair height.

Good luck!
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/28/12 08:16 PM

I'm not sure she's ready for version 2 yet but I'm already figuring out what I'm going to do with it smile I think I want to have the option of switching between yoke and stick when switching simulator types in the next one. In the mean time I am going to finish this one up and get it painted and make it look as good as I can. I won't have time with a kid entering our lives in the next month to be able to do a whole new build for a while smile

Thanks for the tip on the height of the chair. I think that was one of the things I miscalculated when I did the original rough measurements for the height of the current one. The monitor is a little low and needs to come up about 3 inches to be comfortable and that gives me a lot of extra room in the panel.

I've also been looking at these USB Touch screen 7 inch monitors to mount on the left above the switch panel to use for the built in FSX GPS display. I've read about someone using that before for the GPS.
Posted By: Cali

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/29/12 04:50 AM

Originally Posted By: L0stS0ul
and after showing my wife drawings and pleading on where I wanted to put it and showing her the measurements she finally let me start


Awesome pit, I liked seeing the add-ons as the time went on. This sentence opened you up to a lot of jokes. Keep us posted if you add on anything else.
Posted By: Apache600

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/29/12 05:02 AM

Love the cup holder (and contents). Freakin awesome!
Posted By: Bluedeath

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/29/12 08:47 AM

Great job!
Posted By: - Ice

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/29/12 09:33 AM

As always, the "ergonomics" of the pit is hard to nail down right the first time, that is why some people start off with a cardboard mock up. I did my pit in Sketchup, but even then I had to do some adjustments especially on the screen-height part.

And remember --- if you at any point change that chair...
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/29/12 01:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Cali
Originally Posted By: L0stS0ul
and after showing my wife drawings and pleading on where I wanted to put it and showing her the measurements she finally let me start


Awesome pit, I liked seeing the add-ons as the time went on. This sentence opened you up to a lot of jokes. Keep us posted if you add on anything else.


I have a habit of opening myself up to jokes like that smile I honestly didn't read that sentence like that until you pointed it out lol
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 06/29/12 01:52 PM

Originally Posted By: - Ice
As always, the "ergonomics" of the pit is hard to nail down right the first time, that is why some people start off with a cardboard mock up. I did my pit in Sketchup, but even then I had to do some adjustments especially on the screen-height part.

And remember --- if you at any point change that chair...


That was one of the things I wish I would have seen before I started mine. It didn't even occur to me to mock it up with cardboard smile I was browsing the forums here and saw someone show their mockup and I was like "GENIUS" smile

I tried playing with sketchup but was not having much luck getting it to work. I just can't think in 3 dimensions when dealing with computer models for some reason.
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 07/28/12 11:38 PM

Thought I would update this. I've now painted the pit and I think it looks really good. I've tested the ability to take it down like the wife asked and it comes apart in less than 15 minutes and is only a few parts so yay me smile I have also made a few modifications. I've bought a flight stick and throttle for jet sims and needed to have the ability to convert from GA to flight stick. Ended up coming up with this option. It works really well but I have the huge gap where the flight yoke goes that I need to fill somehow. Still trying to figure that out. I did have to move the cup holder though frown Not as nice a location...







Posted By: Cali

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 07/29/12 02:06 PM

Wow, that looks amazing! You can come paint my pit if you want!
Posted By: choowy

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 07/29/12 10:01 PM

Nice finish and really effective setup there, well done.
Posted By: Beazil

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 07/31/12 08:11 PM

Now THAT is a nice DIY setup! Great work. I always appreciate when someone posts thier work. S!
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 02/11/13 06:49 PM

Thanks guys, Sorry it's been a while since I updated the post. Not a lot of changes since the last pics until the last few days. The biggest change is an upgrade to a 40 inch screen. Makes such a huge difference. I've also done a quick video of how it all works with Flight Simulator. I'm really pleased with how this all came out. I still need to paint the mounts for the stick and throttle black. It's always that last 1% that takes forever to get done smile





Posted By: Force10

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 02/11/13 07:51 PM

Excellent job...looks great! Also, I think you have achieved something never before seen in simpit history...an unused electrical outlet right under the pit. That's gotta be a first!
Posted By: 531 Ghost

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 02/12/13 11:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Force10
Excellent job...looks great! Also, I think you have achieved something never before seen in simpit history...an unused electrical outlet right under the pit. That's gotta be a first!


A first? I wouldn't say that... wink Looks great though L0stS0ul!
Posted By: Force10

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 02/12/13 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: 531 Ghost
Originally Posted By: Force10
Excellent job...looks great! Also, I think you have achieved something never before seen in simpit history...an unused electrical outlet right under the pit. That's gotta be a first!


A first? I wouldn't say that... wink Looks great though L0stS0ul!



lol Ghost! That's a very clean looking set up you have there. Are all power cables under the carpet? Or just out of view on the right side of the pit?
Posted By: 531 Ghost

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 02/12/13 05:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Force10
lol Ghost! That's a very clean looking set up you have there. Are all power cables under the carpet? Or just out of view on the right side of the pit?


biggrin

In that picture you can see some of the cables wrapped in aviation grade teflon spirial wrap (PT/TQ). All of the cables (FS,PT,TQ, DT225 and speakers) are wrapped and along the right side. The Saitek panels are also wrapped and kept tucked up under the shelf my CPU is on plugged into a powered USB hub.
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 02/17/13 04:09 PM

I've been trying to find a way to get a second screen on my pit for a while now. I was at home depot yesterday and they had a tablet mount for $20 so I bought it. The mount that they had was not going to work for me but I figured out a way to change out the arm for something that would work on my pit. It works really nice. There are lots of good apps for the iPad but not so many for android. Right now I'm using fsMoveMap which works pretty good but there are a bunch of features that I want that it does not have. I think I'll work on building my own moving map app for android over the next few days. I want something that will fit aesthetically with my pit smile

Here's a video and some pics of it all working smile very happy with how it worked out.




Posted By: HitchHikingFlatlander

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 02/17/13 10:06 PM

Very cool, wish I had a tablet to play with for things like this. Some day.....
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 02/22/13 05:25 AM

I wasn't joking when I said I was gonna build an app. I've got the bones of it working now. I can get the geolocation info out of flight simulator via a windows server app I wrote and send that data over UDP to an android client app using the google maps api. I can update it about 1 time a second in order to allow the maps app to refresh. Any more than that and it looks like google maps can't render fast enough. At least that's how it is on my phone and on my tablet. Both are pretty high end tho.

Now that the bones are done it's time to play around with some UI stuff. I'm planning on wrapping the map in a kinda GPS look and feel and then on large tablets I'm going to add some gauges to the right side. Right now I'm planning on bearing, airspeed, alt, and fuel. For phones I'll come up with a different ui later that will likely switch between map and gauges.

Having a lot of fun building this.

Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 03/11/13 01:52 AM

Well the app is coming along nicely. I'm getting close to release. Here's a few screenshots and a quick demo of some of the features. I'm really happy with how it's turning out. Soon I should go to Beta and will be needing testers. I'm currently targeting 10 inch android tablets running android 4.0 or above (should be almost all by now)






Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 03/18/13 03:23 PM

I'm getting close to a releasable point with the App but I'm not seeing much interest and it looks like no one is interested in helping me test it. If you wanna see new screengrabs and start talking about it I've got a post in the General Aviation area.

http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3752923#Post3752923
Posted By: 531 Ghost

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 03/18/13 03:39 PM

Believe me, if I had an iPad, I'd be all over this!
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 04/18/13 03:19 PM

If anyone is interested in the app it's been released for Android. I've started up a blog about the app here where you can find more info:

http://vineripesoftware.wordpress.com/

There is a free trial version which is fully functional but only works for 5 minutes at a time

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vrs.flightmap.trial

and then the full version which I've priced at $4.99

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vrs.flightmap

Turns out Google takes a pretty large chunk of that $4.99 lol. If I make enough to purchase a nexus 7 I'll add support for that device and others like it.
Posted By: PropNut

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 04/18/13 06:07 PM

Lost, my hat (figurative) is off to you! That is dedication to the hobby and those of us who end up using your software thank you.
Posted By: HitchHikingFlatlander

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 04/19/13 12:29 AM

Woodbridge Va represent lol (don't live there anymore). Nice work on the app I don't fly civ sims but this is awesome nonetheless!
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 04/19/13 04:08 PM

Thanks you all. Near Woodbridge myself smile The app really fills out my simpit. I can't imagine flying without it now. I just wish Rise Of Flight had some interfaces I could integrate with. I would so build a WW1 themed version that worked with that if I could. I wonder if DCS has anything I could work with as well? hmm might have to look into that smile
Posted By: f15sim

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 04/19/13 04:56 PM

DCS will _bury_ you in data. smile

g.
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 07/26/13 05:43 PM

After all of this time I finally got around to painting the last few bits of the pit. I'm really pleased with how it came out and use it all of the time. Swapping out the yoke for the stick does take a minute or two but is pretty easy to do and really changes how the whole thing feels. Now I really wanna get a curved screen for it tho and make it something I can sit inside. We'll see if the wife allows me to smile




Posted By: HitchHikingFlatlander

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 07/27/13 05:42 AM

Nice work, looking great, one of these days I'm going to get a copy of FSX and fly some Cessna's with my yoke. I guess blowing stuff up is still my primary thing when it comes to simming though (when I have time to sim).
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/02/14 02:37 PM

I've been doing a little more work. I picked up a second tablet and thought it would work really well as a gauge view. The tablets are so cheap now with tablets like the asus memopad hd being under $150. The 7 inch form factor really works well on my pit. I might actually replace the 10 inch tablet with a smaller one.

Posted By: HitchHikingFlatlander

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/04/14 04:09 AM

Cool nice work!
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/07/14 02:35 PM

Thanks smile
Posted By: Lupus

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/20/14 10:40 PM

What app are you using to pull down the instrumentation?
Posted By: komemiute

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/20/14 11:01 PM

A little curiosity, do those Saitek panels work also with other simulations or just FSX?
Thanks...

and, GREAT WORK!
PS: What do you use to paint?
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/20/14 11:20 PM

Howdy and thanks smile

I painted it with some cheap acrylic paints that Home Depot had in the paint section. I tried to spray paint it first but that was taking forever so I switched over to the acrylics and it worked great with a roller.

The saitek panels work with FSX, P3D, and XP10. I have heard that there is a third party library that is attempting to make them look like joysticks but I don't know how far along that is. I think the goal is to get it to work with DCS.

The map app is my own app called FlightMap. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vrs.flightmap&hl=en

The gauge app is called FlightGauge and I'm working hard to get it released. The 7 inch tablet version has been finished for a while but the 10 inch version has taken some time to get completed. You can find out more about both on my blog here: http://vineripesoftware.wordpress.com



Here's a quick little video of the apps in use.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTo5w4ccDqA
Posted By: komemiute

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/21/14 11:40 AM

Thanks!
Good to know... Do you use a compressor and an Airbrush to paint with acrylics?
Posted By: L0stS0ul

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/21/14 05:11 PM

I just used a hand roller to do it. I found that spraying was taking way to much time and with the wood I don't see any difference in the areas painted with a sprayer or with the roller. In fact I was able to get it more even with the roller. I really like the Gorilla Painters Tape for fine edges. Works wonderfully.
Posted By: komemiute

Re: The wife finally let me build my simpit - 01/22/14 11:51 PM

Yeah I used a hand roller too. But yours came definitely better! biggrin
I blame my impatience. smile
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