Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Change out of Project Magenta to ProSim 737

Still here folks. Unable to do any work on the external visuals for scheduling reasons, so I switched attention to getting ProSim 737 installed instead.

One of the things that has always bugged me about this hobby is the number of computers you need to run to simulate all of the systems. Then I read this article in the prosim forum that got me thinking differently. The author of the post figured out that with ProSim he could run all of his avionics from 1 computer and then run FSX from another. I decided to go this way too.

First, decided to buy a reconditioned Dell XPS system with an Intel i7 chipset. It came with a 1.5 TB disk (more than I need), 8GB of memory and Windows 7 for a screaming deal. I can't complain.
Installed the ProSim display and cdu modules on it. On the FSX system, I installed the ProSim server and the MCP module (as recommended by the ProSim guys). A bit of tweaking of IP addresses and everything is speaking together just fine.

A couple of wrinkles to work out... the CDU/FMC only accepts kg for ZFW. I'm kind of used to using lbs myself. LNAV seems inop - will need to get to the bottom of that. Also looks like the NAV radio auto tuning is AWOL, another thing to check.

The biggest issue though is my good friend the Revolution Simproducts motorized throttle quadrant has decided to not perform after months of sitting around doing, well, nothing in particular - nothing at all in fact. Advancing the levers manually results in no change in FSX. The MCP is working, pressing N1 spools up the engines in the sim but the throttle levers don't budge. The trim wheels turn a little on power up and then stop. The stab trim indicator is pegged out at full nose down and makes a sick clicking noise. I powered the whole thing down and contacted their support guy for further guidance.


What else? Purchased a used datalink unit from a real airliner for $30 after reading another article in the ProSim forum where the author repurposed the keyboard for controlling the sim, instead of using a keyboard.

It will be mounted in the pedestal and I'll use it for controlling misc. sim settings using a Pokeys card
I ordered a couple of these little beauties, they seem quite capable in terms of trapping switch settings etc. and controlling actions in the sim. It can also control a 2 line LCD display - I may be able to utilize the one that's in the datalink to display METAR information, if not I can replace it with one that will. Or maybe I'll go with a printer option for full ACARS info. Check this link out! More on this as I build it out.