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.


  1. Hey - I have my issues and problems too... Nothing is how it seems :)

    I see it takes an Australian sim in Sydney to turn your eye :)

    I'll be keen to hear of your adventure with ProSim. I'm using Sim Avionics and am impressed too date (although it is very early to make grand assumptions). Any software that doesn't collapse and roll over when I mess with it has to be good :)

    Sorry to hear about the yoke...Why don't you consider a real B737 yoke? Let me know if your interested and I can put you in contact with a face I know who can help. I've messed with a bicycle chain set up - one issue is that the chain when it moves isn't smooth - it goes from lug to lug and you can feel this when you turn the yoke. Not sure how to rectify this - maybe a belt or a plastic style fan belt used in four wheel drive vehicles - a friend used the latter and reported it was a lot smoother

  2. Well you called it on the sim I flew in Sydney, you'll be sorry to hear it was built by some Kiwis though!

    On the yoke front, I didn't want to trash the column, the mechanism or the electronics, just wanted to swap out the bit you hold on to. Maybe a few years down the road if I decide to put in an interlinked column on the FO side i'll consider the real deal.

    Regarding ProSim, what drew me to it was that they have already figured out the interfaces to all of my hardware, including the TQ. And the price was right too.

    I doubt I'll use the bike chain - may swap it out for bevelled gears.

    Already Jan 1st for you Iain so I'll close by wishing you happy new year.

    1. belated new year FlyWJP!!

      Beveled gears - wow sounds interesting; make sure you do a post on this. Yes Pro Sim is very good - especially for the Fly Engravity fliers :)

      Finally, after many many hours I am to the time when I can begin to flight test. It has taken an inordinate amount of time to get this far.

      Luck for 2012 and let's keep in touch, Iain