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THE ALIENS HAVE LANDED!

Or at least the Alien-ware has landed. The Fed Ex man came by the house the other day and delivered my brand new computer. Tobee, my dog is getting to be on a first-name basis with the driver … as long as his name is “Arf. Rrr-Arf Arf!” At least he wasn’t sitting on the throne reading that magazine.

Boy, was it heavy! Quad core processor with i7 Intel chipset, 12 gigs of memory and 4 megs on the motherboard or something like that, and liquid cooled to boot. To say it is a screamer in the video department is a small exaggeration at best.

This accounts for my being a little incommunicado for last few days. And the fact that the celebrations and observances for the 175th Anniversary of the Texas Revolution have begun here in San Antonio. So to say I have been a little busy is putting it mildly. This weekend, I will be tied up with San Antonio Police Department Explorer Competition. Another weekend of flying shot to heck!

Awaiting the arrival of the flight yoke. throttle quadrant and rudder pedals to make it truly a sim and then I will have to start making the drawings and setting up the panels for the sim. This will be interesting to say the least.

Bronco

Posted October 10, 2010 by broncosix in Uncategorized

On Final   Leave a comment

Well, the news from the Fed Ex website is that the computer should be delivered today. I am waiting, like a father in the hospital waiting room, for the computer to arrive. Quad core with an overclocked processor and with 4 megs of cached memory, 12 gigabytes of memory. While all this technical gobble-de-gook probably doesn’t mean much to my faithful readers, it translated into a FAST system that should handle FSX quite well.

A trip to Loews yesterday for a lot of PVC pipe and fittings will allow me to continue to construct the framework of the aircraft simulator’s fuselage. I have ordered from a graphics company markings for the body, which will add a little atmosphere to the sim.

More reports this afternoon after the computer arrives …

Posted October 6, 2010 by broncosix in Uncategorized

Pre-Flight   Leave a comment

Sitting. Thinking. Planning. Trying to decide what to do next. The framework of the sim is floating in my mind. I received from a vendor a great book called “Cockpits”, a collection of color photographs of WW2 aircraft and their cockpits in full color. Kinda gets the juices flowing a bit for the design process. I have accepted the limitations that what I build will be make-believe and there is little that I could do except to try and recreate the feel of a WW2 fighter cockpit. One can only accomplish so much with a modern computer as a basis and then PVC pipe and Extruded Poly Styrene Foam for the panels. But since this is all a flight of fancy and the simulator models will carry the burden of reproducing the actual aircraft (and there are some beautiful ones out there), I guess we can all imagine. That is, if you want to go along with me on this journey.

With the desk installed and the 32″ monitor mounted on the desk, I have sat and stared at it for hours thinking about what I can do to improve the set-up of the view portion of the sim. I already have planned for a smaller monitor in front of the big monitor to display the instrument panel, But I would like a good, clear view of the sky, of course historically obstructed by the windscreen frame and perhaps a mock gun-sight. Looking and contemplating the set-up, I determined that I need to raise up the main monitor slightly to help he view over the small instrument monitor. With that in mind, I trekked off to Loews’s to pick up some PVC pipe and some joints. With these, I constructed a frame to raise the monitor about three inches. which provides the perfect clearance over the instrument monitor. The main fuselage of the cockpit will be attached to this frame. The site at http://www.rogerdodger.net has provided inspiration and techniques for the construction process and I am looking forward to actually starting the build, (when my computer arrives from Dell.)

Speaking of a view, I have purchased and will install a system called Track IR ( http://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/ ) that tracks the movement of one’s head and moves the view in a game in the corresponding fashion within the game itself. This allows you to look around the sky, with your movement translating into view movement on the screen. The movement is exaggerated so that a slight movement to the right will make a movement of greater intensity on the screen. A simple move of 5 degrees may become a movement of 45 degrees within the game and on the screen. It’s technical but see their website for more information on how the system works. It’s a great system for flight simulators and other games as well since it translate head movement to the screen.

Now if my computer would just get here (foot tapping impatiently on floor) …

Posted October 5, 2010 by broncosix in Uncategorized

Beginning   Leave a comment

In the beginning, my desire was to find a new hobby with which to occupy my time. Now that I am recovering from my accident, I have a lot of time on my hands and need something to do,

Although I have been a dedicated Mac user, my desire to play the Microsoft Flight Simulator X (or 10) forced me to make a hard decision to go with a PC_based system in order to support my Flight Sim needs.

With help from my brother Steve (who is a computer expert extraordinaire – I won’t insult him by calling him a geek), we worked through the Dell catalog and selected an Alienware computer with the latest bells and whistles. It should support FSX fine.

Starting out (after ordering the computer), I had to make the decision about how I want the display to be set up. Originally, I had wanted a triple-monitor set-up, which would encompass the entire view of the front of the aircraft and the peripheral vision from the position of the pilot’s viewpoint.  After determining that I wanted the simulator to be based on the P-51D Mustang fighter of WW2 (See above), I settled on a single large monitor (LG 32″ TV with HDMI capability) mounted on the top of a corner desk with a display in front (19″ HD TV with HDMI/DVI capability) for the display of the instrument panel in the cockpit.

Basic research was done on the Mustang using the Internet. I also purchased a book on WW2 cockpits, which showed colors and locations of switches and the like and also purchased a few DVD’s on eBay showing the basic aircraft in operation during the war. Miss JOdee has really taken on the operation of research and has been searching the yard sales and swap meets for information on the Mustang and related subjects.

In addition to this gathering of data and information, I went to the website for Roger Dodger Aviation (http://www.rogerdodger.net/). Matt has some wonderful ideas and I encourage anyone thinking about pursuing this same madness to take a look at his site and gather some ideas. I also encourage you to purchase some of his video packages. They’re full of inspiration and ideas that you can incorporate into a sim of your own. Although I am not building strictly to his plans, I have taken ideas and techniques from Matt’s videos to help me design my own sim.

More posts to follow as the sim gets firmed up and I begin the assembly process.

Bronco

Posted October 5, 2010 by broncosix in Uncategorized