Items tagged with: Cockpit

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Home-built 737 cockpit

HN Discussion:
Posted by ycombonator (karma: 139)
Post stats: Points: 140 - Comments: 26 - 2019-02-18T22:12:32Z

\#HackerNews #737 #cockpit #home-built
Article content:



The visuals or the buitenbeelden (external views) are the various displays that one outside the cockpit can see in other words, the environment in which it flies or the scenery.

The scenery for an airliner-the pilot is limited to the airport area, some clouds and ‘blue sky’.

Yet the ‘external view’ as well as possible be displayed, you want as much as possible to enjoy the surroundings (scenery). This can happen in several ways :
\* Monitors;
\* Flat screen TVʼs;
\* Data projector(s).


To make a choice between a monitor or tv-setup and the use of dataprojectors (beamers) is a personal choice. Usually if you opt for monitors/tvʼs when one little place. Although with the current short-throw projectors can already been solved. Only can the dimensions and plaatsinname of the projection screen, a problem creating.

The data projector (beamer) is used more and more by cockpitbouwers and especially because the current devices with the necessary techniques and capabilities on board which improve the picture quality (Full HD).

Also the use of a ‘Short Throw’ projector, which the possibility is offered from a short distance project, is a big plus.

The use of flat screen tvʼs is more and more a advance to it. The current tvʼs have excellent image quality (FullHD and 4K) and the price of a projector or a big tv are now at each other daringly. For little money you already have a 65 inch tv. So the choice for tvʼs is definitely worth considering ...



\* Useful in a small space;
\* Very good image quality (colors and contrast and black color is really black);
\* Use in daylight.

\* Affected by the screen-borders (bezels);
\* Little spatial effect and depth perception;
\* Crabbing/ sideslipping effect;
\* With large screen tvʼs by size and weight, difficult to handle.

Data projector(s)

\* Large ‘merged’ display;
\* Spatial effect and depth perception.

\* The image quality is less than TVʼs;
\* Expensive maintenance (light bulbs!);
\* Rapid wear of the DLP/DMD chip (white pixels);
\* Additional costs for the purchase of Wrapping/Blending software.
\* Quite complicated to all the displays right to set off (wrapping and blending);
\* Fan sound.


The use of projectors with sufficient place or space is the best choice.

Unfortunately, I have a limited space with the use of a tv in this situation, the best solution is.

The further explanation is, therefore, how I have my TV setup I have running. All the info is a combination of the tips and experiences of other cockpitbouwers that TVʼs use for their external displays. And of course, our own experiences are offered.


I have 3 FullHD/4K tvʼs purchased from the brand Philips, with a screen size of 65 inch (165 cm). What certainly also played a role in my choice is the cheap purchase price at the time of purchase.


To get the most possible place to win, and the floor as much as possible to keep free, I have chosen to allow the tvʼs to hang on the ceiling.

Tripods on the floor, to which the tvʼs are mounted have a delicate center of gravity making them easily topple over. Therefore, the bottom sides of these uprights in the floor is to be mounted or bolted to the platform of the cockpit.
It should each stand also has enough space behind and on the side of the cockpit. Also a disadvantage of this is that the tv with stand is difficult to move to any work on the cockpit. Therefore, my choice of tvʼs to hang on the ceiling with a rail system.


I have special brackets purchased that are suitable for large tvʼs such as a 65 inch tv. These brackets can bear the weight of max. 45 Kgs.

These ceiling mounts I purchased at [4]

The brackets I can 180° rotation and 15° forward or backward tilting. One can also see the tv on the bracket to the left and right scrolling.
The 15° tilt is, however, difficult as the weight of the tv is very large.

The tv bracket I have mounted on a rail with roller system so I the tv, during maintenance work on the cockpit, can remove to the rear. Also is this rail system is very useful for the tv in the correct position.

This rail with rollers are normally used for built-in wardrobes with sliding doors. The rail with rollers 60 Kgs to carry.
They are on sale at the Brico or at the local do-it-yourself stores.

To the rail with the rollers on the right place to confirm, I first the shape of the tv cut out from cardboard and used as an aid to the right place to determine of the tv and so also where the bracket should come with the rail. The reference point is always the center of the cardboard shape perpendicular to a point on the ceiling. For the tvʼs that are on the sides should I have the cardboard form and placed at various angles. Every time it is the middle of the cardboard shape perpendicular to the top against the ceiling projected. The rail is then in-line placed against the ceiling corresponding to these different points on the ceiling.

Then you have later multiple choices under what angle the tv to best places.

The available angles for the correct placement of the tvs are, of course, depending on the available space around it. The larger the space, the greater the angle can be made. You may for example the angle smaller so the tvʼs running in parallel with the first side of the cockpit (65°) or, the angle can be open (45°). This depends on the personal preference of the ‘Field of View’ (FOV).


Two issues when putting up the tvʼs are:
\* The weight that is to be worn;
\* The proper physical arrangement of the tv’s (edges should be close to each other, everything must be level and perpendicular).

The weight is quite a bit:
\* Tv weight: 23,5 Kgs
\* Weight bracket: 6 Kgs

The total weight of the rail with rollers should wear is a +- 30 Kg. The rail with roller system can have a weight of 60 Kgs to carry . That is no problem.

But the ceiling itself up to 30 Kgs (90 Kgs)? Therefore, I have the rail attached, through the ceiling, with sturdy brackets against the heavy cross-beams of the attic. And this on 3 or 4 mounting points per rail. The ceiling is so completely relieved, everything is carried by the joists of the attic.

Since the brackets are hanging in a rail, the bracket susceptible to movements. By the weight of bracket and tv everything remains stable. For a horizontal adjustment of the tv (for leveling), I have at the top of the bracket, a no-load absolutely are mounted against the ceiling, press and the bracket which allows tilting to a certain direction so that the tv is level adjusted.

To the edges of the side tvʼs to connect it to the middle screen I have on the back of the tv’s at the top and bottom with a homemade bracket mounted to the edges nicely against each other.


As already mentioned, the choice of the angle at which the left and right tv to be prepared is a personal choice and depending on the place or space that there is and the possible FOVʼs.

The outer corner varies from 45° to 65°. Some prefer it to the tvs as short as possible to the cockpit. It may be that one of the comfort of the pixels and the viewing angle to the tv ‘sharp’ is where chromatic aberration occurs.

A wider angle gives you the risk of the outer edges (bezels) to see the tvʼs and the kameromgeving.

It is a compromise between the two setups.

The front tv I have virtually against the cockpitframe placed. My viewpoint (eyes) to the middle screen is 130 cm.

For me personally, it was the preparation of 65° (outer corner) to short against the side of the cockpit. The tvʼs were put in parallel with the side windows but the picture was too short so the image is no longer sharp and clear. Also the viewing angle is slanted which makes you the corners with the middle screen no clear picture obtains, and where the colors change.

My side tvʼs are on a outer corner of 58°. The tv edge (bezel) on the Capt side I do not see. The left screen-edge at the bottom I see a little bit. The left-hand side edge of the left screen, I see a little bit. When the sim gets up, I see this outside nothing. This is mainly because the background is black painted. Of all the other tvʼs I see no edges (thus, the upright edges in the middle).

Iʼve also noticed that there is color difference lies in the different views. Not that this is on the kleurafstelling of the tv but due to the different angles of vision.
A golden rule that I the meantime I have learned is that the only point of reference is the place where your eyes are in the cockpit (eyepoint) d.w.z the location of your eyes in the Capt seat. The rest doesnʼt count. At a different place in the cockpit everything looks different (colors, sharpness, aflijningen).

With a smaller cockpit in a ‘single-seater’, without F/O side, these problems less.


To the 3 external views on the various screens to compose, or generate, there are various methods available:
\* NVidia Surround or Eyefinity Technology;
\* P3D Viewgroup Management;
\* FlyElise Immersive LCD PRO;
\* Manually by creating 3 different camera settings in camera.cfg

NVidia Surround and Eyefinity Technology

Both techniques do the same job, they stretch the middle image over the 3 monitors. NVidia Surround is used for the NVidia cards and Eyefinity with AMD Radeon cards.

This technique is virtually the simplest method, only it is not very realistic. This technique stretches it out and makes it so no new views. The disadvantage of this is that it is easy to be a ‘fisheye’ effect, and that is no good.
But this ‘fisheye’effect can be corrected:
\* Open the Menu taskbar in P3D;
\* Go to Views;
\* Go to Manage Cameras;
\* Fill in a name for the new Camera view;
\* At the right from the list at the bottom check “Wideview”;
\* Set the zoom you want ( best-0.31 –> has to be higher than 0.30 );
\* Save as Scenario.

An advantage this Surround method is that you have almost no frame rate hit". So there is little loss of frame rates.

Not recommended for ‘real’ cockpitbouwers ...

P3D View Group Management

‘View Groups’ is a new feature in P3D v3.3 that a series of “views” can be created (which you can think of as “cameras”). This function is primarily intended to help us manage configurations with multiple monitors/TVʼs and is also the basis for the re-introduction of Multi-Channel (i.e., network-PC) configurations. Although the multikanaalfunctie is available only in the Professional Plus version of P3D, can be used in all versions ‘View groups’ are created and used.


[IMG]By Prepar3D can automatically views are generated on the basis of a fairly simple definition of the number of monitors you have and how they are physically arranged.

In the menu, P3D>View> you can ‘P3D View Group Management’ option. This will take you to the intern program where you are a viewgroup.xml " you can generate in which you are the 3 views for the 3 screens together and geometrically defined. It is an extra ‘feature’ of P3Dv3 or higher.


[IMG]Bv. a straight line that starts in the left-hand screen as a straight line to run into right screen and this without a corner or interruption form (e.g. the horizon, gebouwaflijningen, aflijningen of the runway, etc.).
Also should the TV edges no interruption in the scenery d.w.z the scenery must be behind the edges (bezels) to go through. Therefore, you must have the appropriate dimensions and values are entered in the program.


[IMG]The program is not easy to call and without a lot of explanation, it is hard to get a good result. Fortunately, there is a good guide to be found on the Internet that is written by Marc Hargrove.
It is a step-by-step guide that extensively explains you how the different views should be in each other crafts.

[9]Prepar3D View Groups

I have this manual a number of times read and subsequently the necessary calculations that were charged in the manual . Then the Viewgroup program in P3D started and everything running how it is in the manual is described. Attention, mistakes in filling in the different values is very fast. Focus, Focus is the message ...
The result afterwards was almost perfect. Everything was correctly aligned and geometrically.

The 2 views (view1 and view2) are then dragged to the left and the right tv.

It is subsequently recommended in P3D to go to ‘Full Screen’ mode, otherwise in "undock" mode to skip the several views, back to the middle screen at any menuaanpassingen of P3D.

FlyElise Immersive LCD PRO

Immersive LCD PRO is a program of [10]FlyElise who is performing the work what ‘View Group Management " in P3D. It is, therefore, an interface that is user-friendly and simple way ‘viewgroup.xml’ create. In this ‘viewgroup.xml’ are all the codes that are needed for the 3 views.
Also, one can in Immersive LCD PRO the ‘eyepoint’ move. You can download the program and the trial version for 30 days use.

On the website of FlyElise is there a guide available where everything is explained to you how the program should use. This manual is not as detailed as the ‘Viewgroup’manual of Marc Hargrove.

With the necessary information (dimensions, opstelhoek, resolution TVʼs) when the hand is on 10 minutes ‘viewgroups.xml’ created.

However, I must report that in spite of the correct geometrical delineation in their 3D model, the result is not entirely correct, it was in P3D.

For example, Iʼve a setup I tried it with a TV setup of 65° (outer corner), and the result was not entirely correct. According to FlyElise would be a tv resolution that is not compatible with Immersive LCD PRO , which I doubt ... (I have a custom screen resolution).

With arrays of e.g. 58° or less (outer corner) were the results or ok.
Different cockpitbouwers obtained often a better result with P3D View Group Management than with Immersive LCD PRO. Nevertheless, with tilt angles of about 45° to 58°, the results are good. So no fiddling with calculations, parts of frustrumwaardes, etc ...

The price of LCD PRO at the time of this writing, is €150. In 10 minutes time you will have with this program is a Viewgroup.xml created. If everything is nicely aligned and the images are geometrically well, the task of Immersive LCD PRO on it. Theoretically, once used. Not that itʼs cheap.

The support and assistance with any problems or questions to FlyElise is very fast. Within the hour youʼll get an answer. Only, that answer is often insufficient and not detailed enough, or not clear.

Camera-settings in camera.cfg

A last chance for our 3 views generate is manual all the data in the camera.cfg. For each tv (read: any camera) is there a separate view will be created in the camera.cfg. You can e.g. POVLeft, POVCenter and POVRight call.

You can use the zoom and rotation values in the Viewgroup.xml and you have obtained by Immersive LCD PRO to use in your custom camera settings.

Then you open two ‘sleep view’ and drag you to the respective tvʼs. Then select the ‘custom camera’s’ of each of the 3 views. You can then different images aftunen in zoom and/or rotation so that the aflijningen knock.

Personally, I have this method does not itself tested.

[11]Example TV Setup via Camera.cfg

Note. Perhaps there are even more methods to get the different views to generate, such as e.g. editing .xmlʼs but I have no experience with it.


The frame rates (fps) for cockpitbouwers with multiple projectors or tvʼs a hot issue and usually a pain in the ...’.

We stare at it of our often blind. What means enough fps to have in your sim (P3D)? Simple answer: when everything is ‘smooth’ moves both on the ground and in the air.

Usually we get a frame rate drop or hit (stutters) at heavy airport self made areas (e.g. FlyTampa-self made areas such as LEMD or EKCH)).

Often, we will attach a number using the fps-counter that we see in the upper left corner. It is also the only way to measure it. Usually the fps-counter is limited between 25 and 35 fps. But with less, it can also ... to the ‘smooth boundary’.

My expectations were with a scared heart to see what the result would be 3 tvʼs in FullHD.

And the results were generally satisfactory. Possibly a second video card to install here is not to the order.
\* Kastrup (FlyTampa): 42 fps
\* Brussels (JustSim): 43 fps
\* Innsbruck (ORBX): 49 fps – e.g. CPU: 39% and 35° c – GPU Temp is 51%, and 63°
\* Nice (P3D): 51 fps
\* Munich (Taxi2Gate) : 46 fps
  • Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080); * In P3D, all the graphics-sliders at 75%; * ‘Traffic’ is fully off (When Traffic sliders to max are I have a frame drop from an average of 7 fps); * With ‘Traffic’ on maximium (very busy traffic) on a ‘heavy’ airport, with very bad weather with lots of clouds and rain (via Active Sky, I am still at a fps of 25;
    * It is a little bit of the proper adjustment of the P3D to find where you are happy with. The more you ask the more frame rates itʼs going to cost ...

    My system configuration (march 2018):

    – Intel Core i7-8700K 3.7/4.7 Ghz 6C/12T 12M 14NM 95W IGP (overclockt to 4.8 Ghz)

    – Corsair Hydro H150i PRO RGB Liquid CPU Cooler

    – MSI Z370 GAMING M5

    – Corsair Vengeance RGB 2x8GB PC4-28800 16GB DDR4 3600MHz

    – MSI Geforce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X 11G

    – Samsung SSD 960 EVO 250GB M. 2 x4 NVMe 3200MB/s 1800MB/s (Win10)

    – Samsung SSD 960 EVO 500GB M. 2 x4 NVMe 3200MB/s 1800MB/s (P3D, ProSim, ...)

    – Western Digital Caviar Blue 1Tb SATA600 5400rpm 64Mb

    – LG DVD-RW GH24NSD1 24X SATA Black

    – Thermaltake Core P5

    – Corsair RM850x – Full Modular 850W Power Supply

    – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit DVD EN

    Note. P3D is in contrast with FSX plays more into the power of the video card but it is quite often the bottleneck is still the CPU.

    The GPU will power can give, in proportion to the CPU. So a powerful CPU is just as important than a powerful graphics card.


    A disadvantage with the use of tvʼs, and projectors, at a short distance is the ‘crabbing’ or ‘sideslipping’ effect. Both in the use of my projector in the past and now with the use of a tv I experience this adverse effect.

    Reason: the middle tv is to short t.o.v. the ‘eyepoint’ and the ‘eyepoint’ is not in the middle of the middle screen tv.

    Note. the distance between my ‘eyepoint’ and screen is 130 cm.

    When you are in the Capt-seat, is the ‘eyepoint’ on the left-hand portion of the middle tv. And when this ‘eyepoint’ deficit away from the tv screen, you get a distorted picture in which e.g. the aircraft is perfectly aligned with the runway centerline, " but the nose of the cockpit is pointing a few degrees to the left. As a result, a sideslipping takeoff, and so also in ‘crab’ a final approach and landing run (and then we have no crosswind). Not easy so ...

    How can we fix this?
    In single-seaters where the tv is in the middle and so also where the ‘eyepoint’ in the middle is will this ‘crabbing’ effect does not easily occur. Also when you are far enough away from the tv or projector sets itself as a problem. Only when a tv is that so difficult to realize due to the limited size of the tv picture.

    The intended position is the position of the ‘eyepoint in P3D’ a number of degrees to rotate to the right, beautiful in the extension of the runway.

    You can do this in FlyElise Immersive LCD PRO by the physical ‘eyepoint’ to shift to the left (position Capt-seat).

    On the other hand, you can in the camera.cfg manually the ‘eyepoint’ on its axis rotate to the right. You can then in the camera.cfg call as ‘Capt Seat’. Hereby, one must take into account that the other two images of the left and right tv also participate. M. a.w. on the image on the right you will be more scenery to see on the left image. Everything revolves on its axis.

    These adjustments can also be run in P3D View Group Management’ but then every view hands to adjust. Via the camera.cfg this is happening in one time.


    [IMG]If you adjust only the middle view, the true delineation and geometry is no longer with the other views ...

    Attention! When you have a view created for the Capt seat is only suitable for the Capt seat and so not from a different location (eyepoint) in the cockpit (F/O passengers). It gives from a different place, a distorted picture ... If you want a correct view for the F/O then you need a new view created from the position of the F/O.

    In the P3D menu-Views, you have the possibility to switch between Capt Seat’ or ‘FO Seat’.

    To the matter of the different views (cameras) to better understand I can refer to the following link: [13]Cameras in FSX/P3D

    Simultaneously, you can also try the ‘pitch’ control of the views. Hereby we can arrange how many degrees we slanted to be able to look for a more realistic look like from a real cockpit.

    [14]Improvement Crab/Sideslipping Effect


    When you have a Viewgroup.xml have been generated through Immersive LCD PRO LCD PRO zoom factor calculated in the .xml. You go into FS this change than knocking the aflijningen and geometry, not more. Not a good idea.

    To use the zoom a bit to optimize the best you plane for a long, wide building. A building that starts in the left-hand screen and ends up in the right screen.
    The delineation of the building should be in a straight line from left to right. The 2 side shields must be no corner in the building.

    By using the zoom to play can you test this and aftunen.

    In my TV setup is the zoom between 8.5 and 1.0.


    Different tips and opinions of cockpitbouwers of the Prosim forum. For which my thanks.

    * Fooflighters (Dennis)
    * NIgravity (Nico)
    * Chris08 (Chris)
    * RCarlson (Ross)
    * CBruce (Charles)
    * Daehee Kim (Kim)
    * Pelsrijcken (Koosch)





    Translated by [19]Yandex.Translate and [20]Global Translator

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