Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good News and Bad

Awoke this morning to an email from Revolution Simproducts that my TQ will ship on Monday. Hurrah! Doubt I'll see it by Thanksgiving but at least I now have a FedEx tracking number. Eren also offered up a suggestion on the pedals, so we're back on plan with those.

Other good news is that I got my Project Magenta issues sorted out. The latest build I tried installing a few weeks back, was remarkable in that as soon as you started up the software (sorry, can't remember which module it was, I'm guessing the MCP) it deleted itself... Yesterday I downloaded build 482 and the problem went away.

That's the good. Now the bad.

Last night I followed the instructions on my new CP Flight units, upgraded the firmware in the MCP and plugged everything in. All worked well - the units are happily communicating with Project Magenta and FSX. The bad news though is that my CP Flight MIP board has stopped working. Tried swapping around the power supply (you have the option of plugging it into the MCP or the board) and the jumper, still no joy. I sent an email off to CP Flight support last night and this morning they had replied with some troubleshooting ideas. Now that's what I call customer support, something CP Flight are well known for. I'll let you know how it goes.

Finally, received a couple of emails from Ian Sissons today. Not only was he instrumental in sorting out my order issues, he provided positive feedback on this blog, having just read "all of it :o))". Good to know. I would like more feedback from anyone else that is reading my blether, so please drop me a line or a comment with you impressions and ideas for improvement.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lelystad photo wrap up

As promised, more photos from the show.

The new fire panel from CP flight. Very nice!:
Ian Sissons in full demo mode at the Revolution Simproducts stand:
From the left, Jean, Eren and Oral (seated) setting up the Revolution Simproducts yoke column, pedal and TQ demo:

Close up of the pedals and yoke column:
And a pilot's eye view of the TQ (assuming the pilot has slipped out of the jump seat and is on his/her knees):

Here we see the craftsmanship that goes into a Revolution Simproducts TQ:

Meanwhile over in the GA section, Mark Verschaeren of Flight Illusion puts his rig and new force feedback yoke through its paces:

Center console from Opencockpits (my winter project will be to make one for the CP Flight modules I purchased at the show):

Overhead from Opencockpits:
Vs the one from Engravity:

The FS Holland screen gazers (what are they doing? Sorry, no idea. There was a guy with a microphone that was explaining what was happening but it was all in Dutch):
And finally a short video of a home built 3 axis of movement platform (sorry about the poor light and shaking camera):

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lelystad wrap up

End of day one I met up with Ian and others for dinner at the Flantuas. The vibe was convivial and for me, meeting other cockpit builders was the highlight of the trip. To my left was Gert from Flyware. Across from me was John Perrin and Ian, on the end of the table Peter Wilshire (what a gentleman!) and Steve Mitchell. To my right Oral from Simproducts. Back to the hotel for beers and tall stories, then to bed.

Sunday morning had breakfast with Georg and Philip from (except Philip wasn't eating much - he looked a bit green...). They have a number of products, the most interesting is an interface concept of connecting real aircraft instruments up to your sim. I got an invite to stop by on my next trip to Germany - will take Georg up on his offer.

The rest of the day came and went with no sign of my Revolution Simproducts rudder pedals. The only ones I saw being delivered were to Peter Wilshire, and I helped load them into the boot of my car! I was thinking of jumping in and absconding with the kit before he could climb in but no, as mentioned previously Peter is a gent. I couldn't do it to him...

I'm going to cancel the order. Let's see how that goes down.

Monday morning I headed off to the Luchtvaart Hobby Shop near Schipol:
What a joy! You should not come to Amsterdam without taking a look around here. What a concept - they actually have sim parts on the shelf that you can put in a basket, pay for and use the same day... Why they didn't have a stand at the Lelystad show is a bit puzzling but hey, what the heck. Was able to pick up a CP Flight trim panel (last one they had), some DZUS fasteners, toggle caps and knobs from Engravity.

No tiller handles though - sorry Gianluca...

They have an outstanding collection of books and guides and a limited selection of real pilot supplies. The visit made my trip complete.

Next up - a week of business then get home ASAP to plug all of these CP Flight panels in.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lelystad day 1

Rain in November in the Netherlands? Who would have thought it. It didn't seem to impact the crowds however

Pleased I beat the rush and was able to wait inside the building. Still took 20 minutes to get through the cashier's desk. I guess they're not used to handling such crowds. I'm also guessing there's not a lot to do in Lelystad! The turnout was quite impressive. Listening to the voices in the line, not only were the Dutch there in force, I heard French, English, German and Italian.

As for the show floor itself, mostly enthusiasts or local sim clubs showing their chops, albeit in an odd, non self conscious, staring into their screens while others look on way. A public exhibition of their gaming fetish before paying voyeurs. 

The vendors on the floor were the usual suspects. Revolultion Simproducts,, Engravity, Flight Illusion and (be still my beating heart) CP Flight. I made a bee line to the CP flight desk to see what they had to sell that day (sadly, most of the guys were just taking orders). Angel rummaged through the "for sale" box and offered up 2 nav radios, 2 comm radios, an ADF and ATC. Only thing he didn't have that was on my shopping list was the trim unit.

What he did have (will post photo when I get home) was a new fire control panel. It looks stunning. Angel ran through the features and lit up all the lights in an ad hoc demo for me. Pricing sounded reasonable (I won't post anything before he does) and as with all of his gear the quality is top notch.

Back at the Revolution Simproducts area, Eren informed me that the pedal kit I had pre-ordered for "pick up at the show" wasn't available... He'll strip down  a demo unit for me tomorrow for me to take home. Hmm, not impressed.

I must admit, after about 90 minutes I'd seen everything I wanted to see and was done. For any of you who are considering traveling from afar to visit this show, I recommend you have other things to see and do while you're here. In other words, don't plan a whole weekend around the show.

Tonight we're off for the dinner at the rather unfortunately named Flantuas (Flatus?) restaurant.

Lelystad - first report

At the sim builders show in Lelystad, the Netherlands this weekend. Spent yesterday evening with Ian Sissons and Eren and Oral from Revolution Simproducts. All splendid chaps. Helped unload the van and got a sneak preview of their new yoke set up and of course the rudder pedals and TQ. There wasn't any time to set anything up but I did get to see (and inspect) some of the components from the TQ and the build quality is superb. You can tell that Eren puts his heart and soul into his work.

Eren committed (over a beer) to getting my TQ shipped between November 10th and 25th. Looks like my December will be busy!

While propping up the bar in the Lelystad Airport hotel, Mark Verschaeren from Flight Illusion came over. Mark is friendly and approachable - I enjoyed the conversation. Even got my digs in about why the holes in his gauges don't line up with the ones in Engravity's MIP! (see prior post). I'll be tweaking Robert about it too if I get the chance. Sadly though, I let the side down - jet lag kicked in around 11:00pm and I just had to turn in.

Show opens in about an hour. I'll head over there, pick up my pedals from Eren and check out the other vendors. I'll take photos but don't expect to see anything hi-res until my return home next week - I left the camera cable behind...