Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's been going on?

Not a lot. Work, travel and other distractions have kept me out of the build for some time now. There is a little progress to report but nothing compared to my mate from Hobart, who is simply knocking out his sim in short order. More from him here:

Since flying the more realistic sim in Sydney, I've been obsessing about the look and feel of the yoke. On my set up, it neither looks nor feels like the "real thing", or best I can tell from my go on the more professionally turned out rig. The decision was made to replace what I have with one from Routech. They also offer the yoke with a more realistic looking neck than the big plastic electrical box I have on mine. Not only does it look more the part, it obstructs less of the PFD, a handy thing to have when you're on short final.

On one of my trips to Europe I arranged to pick up a new yoke from Routech. I'll spare you, Dieter (from Routech) and my colleagues based in Germany the whole story of what happened. In brief, when I arrived at our office and unwrapped the device, I was disappointed to see that it was defective - hairline cracks along both of the arms:

Everything else though seemed functional and the feel was much more solid. No problem, Routech agreed to swap this one out for a replacement. I picked it up on my last trip of the year to Germany and was much happier with the finish. One or two tiny blemishes but at this point I'm nit picking.

Of bigger concern was the comms (or push to talk) switch on the left hand side - it was completely seized up. Dieter has a replacement one in the mail to me... The neck comes with a sprocket and bicycle chain to connect up with a potentiometer presumably in the base of the control column. I'll need to re-engineer my set up - will be thinking of how best to do this in the coming weeks/months. May swap out the bike chain for something smaller and lighter that I can conceal in the neck itself.

For those of you who have been struggling with Project Magenta (and let's face it, it isn't the most robust, easy to use software and lord knows they charge enough for it...) there may be a better, cheaper alternative, ProSim737. Ian Sissons has been testing it and reports great results. Since it supports all of my hardware (according to this chart), I decided to give it a try. I've ordered a copy - will let you know my experience in a future post.

Anyway, I'm still working on the sideboard for the wife, it's in bits in my workshop. This will be the priority in the new year - will knock it out in January/February then back to the sim build. An early new year's resolution for you.