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Time off in Spades

We’ve certainly had our share of issues over the past several months.  Money woes, stability problems, and, of all things, PET problems have plagued us in our ability to continue work on the sim.  We have not, however, taken our eyes off of the goal of a fully functional Lear 45 sim.  Many new products have been released, or are impending, in the interim, and we’re excited to get going again.  We should be able to continue the structural build within a month or so, but no one ever said building one of these is a quick thing!

Anyway, hope to see and talk to you all soon, and keep us on your list…I hope you’ll see good things from us soon!!!


Just a Quick Note

We’ve decided to standardize on FS9 for the moment, as FSX, even with fairly high-end hardware, does not give the frame rates that we’d like to see, and intermittently gives frame rates as low as 3 fps.  We’ve done all of the tweaks and mods that we can to improve this, but there is still an intermittent and maddening degradation of the frame rates over time, the longer we run the sim software, the slower the frame rates become.

On another front, the BFG 7900 card is back from RMA and works like a champ.  We’ve cleaned up the basement (sim location) some, and we are going to relocate the electronics on the bench there pretty soon.  Currently, our testbed utilizes the Tremont cart as a base….I’ll post pictures when I get a chance.

I’ll be completing a second computer soon, for PM testing.  Weve worked out the bugs in the first computer (faulty XFi card drivers), and things seem to be running smoothly, with the occaisonal machine check exception blue screen.

So far, we’ve been testing with:


Active Sky 6.5

FSG Mesh

Ground Environment Pro 2



All seem to work and play well together.



Electronic Progress

We’ve completed building the main FSX computer. The computer hardware has not been without it’s challenges, despite the fact that my partner and I have extensive experience building and troubleshooting computers.  The base system is an Asus A8N32-SLI Mobo with an AMD 64 FX-60 processor,  2GB OCZ Platinum RAM (the minimum and base memory for this system),  Soundblaster XFi-Fitaly Sound Card, and a BFG 7900GS graphics card.  2 500GB SATA Seagate HDs are the current storage base, with Win XP SP2 (VISTA BAAAAD) as the OS.  The testbed consists of a Tremont Cart (Pics to come) holding 2 17″ flat panel screens (which will eventually be the instrument displays for the Lear), a Go-Flight Throttle Quad, Several Go flight modules, CH products yoke and CH Products Pedals.  Logitec Wireless Keyboard and mouse provide the OS input controls.

After construction of this box, we have had some problems with intermittent reboots.  We did also run into a faulty BFG Graphics card, which is currently being RMA’d, and have installed 2 eVGA 7600GT Cards in it’s place.  Even after updating all drivers for all hardware, we still have intermittent reboots, so it’s time to check RAM, each graphics card, sound card, power supply…..what a pain.

Also, the current test bed of Go-Flight hardware and software tends to be touchy, and FSX is nothing if not unstable anyway, so even tho things are slowly coming together, it’s a HUGE pain.  I’m going to probably go with a Triple Head 2 Go Digital model to do the forward views, and a second box networked in with Project Magenta gages to do the instrumentation.  I’m not sure if I’ll be using WideView or what for the direct left and right views……we’re now contemplating a 3 projector system for the left front, right front, and center views…..however, I’m not sure how to hold those view angles in FSX….more research.

Anyway, those who have expertise in how to set up the correct views (see above) in FSX, or just want to complain about FSX, leave a comment!

Pictures soon.

M and T


Hi all,

We continue to work at a bit of a reduced speed due to some logistical snags with family issues.  However, we’ll get back to posting updates within a few days, and hope that those of you following the project aren’t too disappointed.  Had to do some computer system upgrading in the process, but things look good for us so far!

Thanks for reading, and hope to get some cool suff up here soon!

M and T

For all of you that have been watching this blog over the weeks, don’t dispair (OK, so you weren’t going to actually DISPAIR), we’re working and havn’t had time to update things recently.  A small interruption in construction had to be endured as pseudo-spring comes to us here in Northern Michigan, but some personal issues aside, we’re still very much underway with the project.  We’re going to construct our computers soon, and begin the testing and burning in process….along with that, we’re almost done designing the ATC station, and are working on the logistics of the shell of the sim.

Won’t be long, we’re going to post some stuff soon…


Concurrent Project Initiation

I’ve been mulling over the initiation of a concurrent project, and have decided to go for it.  The secondary project, such as it is, consists of the design and construction of a dedicated ATC station, for my activities as ATC at vZMP.  This ARTCC is my home for controlling activities, currently I’m rated as a Senior Student, certified in MSP_CLC, MSP_GND, currently training on MSP_TWR.  In any case, I need a real place to do this, and to keep all of my stuff, so I plan to create a standalone Center type control station, sort of like this one.  Note that on his website, the builder also offers some great free software, as well as tips on construction of flight strip holders.  The whole deal will be made of MDF, and a touchscreen like the one pictured in the lower left will be included.   Of course, pics to follow!

Here are the pictures that you have been waiting so breathlessly for. The pictures show the Progress that we have made in creating the MIP and MIP Support, as well as the assembled pedestal. The pictures also depict, more or less, the stages in which the components were completed.  Our plans call for us now to turn our attention to installing electronics shelving in the MIP support, and then to begin to build the computers that will power the main functions of the sim….on the premise that we’ll need some displays in order to properly measure and cut the appropriale holes for LCD screens in the MIP.

The Partially Assembled MIP Support on it’s FaceThe MIP Support Stands AloneThe MIP Fitted to the MIP Support


As always, click on the picture for a larger view.

Well, that’s it for this entry, sports fans! Leave us some comments!!!!!! We’d like to know how you think we’re doing, and feel free to comment and criticize….(be nice).

We’ll talk to you soon!

Mark and Tom – – – Your benevolent hosts.

Out of Town

Hi All,

I was out of town this week, so no progress on the sim. I do intend to get those pictures up that I promised you, showing the drawing that we made for the MIP taper, and the cuts and construction that we’ve done on the MIP support structure. I also have aquired 3 Tremont wireless carts, which have, as part of their design, very nice 17″ flat panel LCD monitors, which will come in very handy for the project. One of the cart assemblies will be used to support my Dremel Routing Table and extension, and will allow the tool to be wheeled around the area, and then locked into place.

Hope things continue to be interesting for you folks, and drop us a line or a comment here on the blog!



Sorry about the delay in uploading more pics….bit of an interlude, but never fear…work goes on. We’ve fabricated the support structure for the MIP, and have created OSB support beams to solidify the desklike arrangement. We also have created the “shelf” assemblies for the support structure, and obtained bracket hardware to strengthen the entire structure.

We discovered some 1/4″ MDF at our Home Despot that we will be using to fabricate the backing for the MIP.  The MDF was labled hardboard panels, but it’s 2’x4′, and we’re happy with it.  I worked up the appropriate curve for the edges of the panel utilizing Photoshop CS and the ellipse tool to create the original shape, then converted the original elliptical selection to a path for minor tweaks.  Subsequently, I filled the shape with black on a white background, printed it to actual size with my Canon i9900 on 13″x19″ paper, and laid it out on our MDF panels.  It fit perfectly!  We’ll make and finesse the cut this weekend.

I am finalizing the order for Angle Steel, and will be ordering several hundred feet. The MIP Support will be finished this weekend, and the angle steel layout and design will be finalized. In the mean time, the basement will be readied for that phase of construction.

Pictures in the morning, folks!


Cockpit Shell Skeleton

We spent a lot of Saturday working out the details of the fabrication of the cockpit shell, and we have decided to go with painted 12 and 14 gauge angle steel (see this example: 737 Project | Construction diary ). We plan to obtain this locally, but if we cannot, we will order the materials from the following source (this source is also noted in the blogroll): Angle Steel