Monday, August 20, 2007

been a while!

I haven't posted any updates but that doesn't mean I haven't done any work on the sim!

The Nostromo speedpad is finally configured. It takes the toggle switche commonly found in light aircraft, elevator trim (on the wheel), and ignition switch simulated by the D-pad.
I scored a Saitek X36-X35T joystick throttle combination at goodwill for $6.
It works fine but it is the gameport version and I can't yet get full functionality through my Radioshack USB adapter.
I don't use the old yoke anymore as it sticks too much. I will post some pictures soon hopefully.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Rudder 'peddles' V2

Ok, I learned my lesson.

Never skimp on flight controls. My simming has gone way down in the past two months as you see from the lack of updates. Granted, I was busy with other things, but one of the factors was the shittiness of my flight controls.

The yoke sticks like glue and the $2 pedals are uncomfortable to use.
Can't do much about the yoke except lube it every time I use it, but I had been rolling around an idea to greatly improve the home-made pedals.

I did that this weekend in about half an hour using stuff I had around the house. Pictures upcoming, but first I want to test it a bit. It is a lot more comfy to use that its predecessor, but maybe there's more room for improvement. Keep you posted.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday Update

Well, finally, over the weekend I posted pics of the home-made rudder 'peddles'.
Check them out in the 'controls' section.

Meanwhile I am working on assigning commands to the vertical keyboard and the Speedpad. The Speedpad is mounted on the computer case, unmodified save for having removed the round adjustable wrist pad.
It will control trim, ignition and the usual Cessna switches and pictures are needed, yes I know :P

Monday, April 16, 2007

a test flight!

I had a short test flight on Friday. Just a couple of patterns around DAB.
The yoke was still rough but I hope with more lube it will smooth enough for flying.
The rudder 'pedals' (darn, I have to put those in the site, they're a riot) are very sensitive (you'll know why soon)
But I am getting used to the setup and made some decent landings even without a lot of controls yet installed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

well finally

managed to get com 1,nav 1 and nav2 configured. 1 radio should be enough. I'll post my .cfg file when I get all the command sin.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Update

So lately I have been reassigning radio commands to the side keyboard, in such a way as to make it resemble a real radio panel in terms of button arrangement. Flight Simulator has many commands that do not appear in the menu, but can be coded through the .cfg file. Go to for a list.
Assigning keys for all the functions of the radio stack via ASCII codes takes a long time...this will keep me busy for a while!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Yoke again

More progress

Bought INOX lube and used it on the yoke, seems to be moving smoother but I didn't get the chance to test it in flight.

Rearranged the Cessna instrument panel in the configuration more suitable for covering with a panel.

Next step is to reassign keys on the panel keyboard.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Site Update!

I updated the construction section and the flight controls section with pics of the panel on the desk and the yoke, now clamped to the desk.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


The yoke has finally been clamped to the desk. Hope to have pictures soon. It sticks a lot. I bough some silicone based lube and used it on the shaft (sounds so dirty), but it still sticks in certain combinations of pitch and roll. I will try to let it seep in more before I wipe it off. I put levers over the knobs that control throttle and rudder (rudder pot has been assigned to control mixture). The levers need to be light in order to stay in the assigned setting, so I can't put any handles at the top. Still, it's better than knobs. I use the levers in IL2 as well, but it doesn't let me invert the throttle so it works in reverse. Bummer.

Friday, February 23, 2007


This week I received the yoke and the monitor cable. So the setup is in essence functional. I placed it on the desk and I put the big 19inch lcd monitor on top of the computer case. This will be the main external view. It's sitting kind of high but it saves a lot of space!
The yoke -cheapie, from a manufacturer that has long ceased to exist - is an old clunker that has controls for both rudder and throttle, in the form of knobs on the side. The rudder control has been assigned to the mixture, since it rotates in the same plane as the throttle. I already have some ideas for a simple way to mount levers over the knobs. I'll probably do that tonight and post pictures over the weekend. The yoke came with suction cups to mount it on a flat surface, but they cannot hold it in place when pulling towards you. I will make a better clamping system tonight, if I have time.
So this is the status...yeah!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Go to the construction page. Just posted pictures of the panel so far.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Mini USB Keyboard was mounted to the side of the case, sideways. changed some of the screws holding it together with longer ones to be able to attach brackets which in turn would mount to the computer case.
Took pictures. Pictures upcoming :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And now....

Well I managed to install the 12" LCD inside the computer case, using some hardware store brackets and a lot of Erector set beams and hardware.
Now I have to mount the keyboard to the right side of the case. Then make the front panel, the facade with instrument holes and a keyboard overlay.
I plan to use buttons which will go over the keys, without taking the keyboard apart. I will remap the FS keyboard functions to group related commands.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

V 2.0 Desktop Panel Considerations

Based on the limited space available and an upcoming move, I have decided to make this setup as small and portable as possible. Basically just a monitor and a keyboard.Then I changed my mind and decided to make it a little bigger, adding one more bay for radio modules which I might purchase eventually.
I started buying the hardware, Aluminum angles and brackets. I realized that in order to make the frame of the setup strong enough to comfortably support the monitor, I needed some beefing. I gutted an old computer and kept only the outer frame, which turned out to have the exact dimensions needed to enclose the 12” monitor which would be the MIP. It also has a lot of holes ideally suited for mounting components inside and outside.
Then I thought, why not eliminate the outer frame completely… so the original idea of using a keyboard for all the needed buttons resurfaced.
And this is where we are right now…I admit this is the simple way out, but it would take less time and I don’t have much of that. The monitor will be inside the enclosure, the keyboard on the right, and a removable panel will cover the whole thing to make it look like a GA instrument panel.

Friday, January 19, 2007

First Post!

Hi everyone.
This blog will document the construction of a cheap, simple and portable instrument panel to be used with MSFS and other sims.
This will be my second 'cockpit'. The first one can be seen here: