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737NG Display Solution
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fvapres



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 113
Location: Deland, FL

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 5:11 pm    Post subject: 737NG Display Solution Reply with quote

Well, after much consideration, I have decided on using 6 6.5" Car LCD displays, 2 5.6" displays, 4 video cards, 4 VGA-RCA adapters and rescaling the size of my cockpit holes to 5"x5" instead of the normal 7"x7" (sorry Mr. Cos, can't afford the panels no matter how much I want them, so I'll have to try my hand at making them from lexan myself....)

The 6.5" displays will come from the following link:
http://www.cardiscountstereos.com/Catalog%20Page.asp?Product+%23=PLVHR65M

The 5.6" displays will come from the following link:
http://www.cardiscountstereos.com/Catalog%20Page.asp?Product+%23=LM56

The PCI video cards will come from the following link:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-139-151&depa=1

The VGA-RCA adapter will most likely come from EBAY and at current found a few for $50:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=180&item=5113085498&rd=1

The total parts cost right now for this solution is at US$1266 without s&h or taxes.



In researching the solution using LCD screens, 3 19" and 1 17" with the 2 dual-headed PCI cards would still cost more than US$1700 and using very unheardof parts manufacturers.

For anyone else researching how and where to get some ideas on the displays for a Boeing or even Airbus, here's a start for anyone unsure of where to begin.

Hope this helps.
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chrisw



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 244
Location: England, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm a little confused. Looking at the prices from the links you give, you're looking to spend around $884 for the monitors, will have to use RCA rather than VGA which will reduce quality (not sure how much, but I'm told it's very noticeable), and will have to butcher the FDS frames to make them fit, leaving a much larger 'bezel' than would be normal.

Did you take a good look at the CTX screens? I don't have any left, but there are still plenty on ebay. You should be able to get 6 for around $540 + shipping, wont need to buy any converters as they are already VGA, better quality display, correct size for the FDS MIP - no modification required, and you save a few hundred dollars. The Sony PSOne screens for CDUs seem to be around $40 each in the US. Again, these are perfectly sized, run RCA as standard and can be converted to RGA with a little (accurate) soldering.

If I'm repeating what I said before then my apologies, but I've now had several reports from simmers using the CTX screens and they are all delighted, and I know you said you were looking for the best solution for the lowest cost. It would seem that you are choosing a lower quality solution for a higher cost?

Cheers
Chris
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fvapres



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 113
Location: Deland, FL

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not using the FDS MIPs....I'll be building my own from some lexan bought at my local DIY Home Depot or Lowes (Right now, Lowes has the best Lexan at a VERY reasonable price), so the hacking of the MIPs isn't an issue as I don't have any measurements yet for the PFD/ND holes...

And yes, the CTX screens are nice, but I can't find anyone in the US or very few that will ship to the US that has any amount of them. All in all, I will only deal with a retailer for my main parts...the VGA-> RCA converters can be found locally, but most of the shops I have here in my little city in FL don't have websites, but the eBay link I found is close enough to what I have here to show anyone looking for the how-to.....

I will also only deal with retailers as I will test one of the RCA displays to see if there is a noticable difference in quality....If there is, their return policy will allow me to return the product within 30 days of receiving it....I already have an older VGA->RCA to test with on my current machine (using the VGA out) and only time will tell what results I will have...

This thread is only used as a recourse to show people who have no idea where to go with their displaying of their glass instrumentation and are on a VERY low budget (I work at Wal*Mart making $7.35/hour - barely enough to pay the bills let alone make this cockpit)....I nearly $1500 saved up, but will need some for the building materials for the MIP and the hardware...have been planning for 2 years and only as of recent have found a workable solution for the displays with my budget...again...If I can't stand the low resolution screens or don't feel that using them for my main source of visual information will be good, i'll also post about that trial and error to ensure nobody sees this as a way of going...

Anyone who has already tried it, please, post any pictures showing how terrible the resolution is so we can see how bad it is for ourselves....We all have different standards for our cockpits and what we feel is adequate...
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dc10747



Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with you Mr Parsons. I work at wal mart for the same wage as well. Plus I have to go the Army reserves, school full time, flight training, and a whole list of others.
For me, time, and school are an issue. But when I do have free time, I don't like to be disturbed. Focusing on building my 747 sim. take care.
dc10747
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mortenha



Joined: 03 Jun 2004
Posts: 7
Location: VardÝ, Norway

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:52 pm    Post subject: CTX screens Reply with quote

Chrisw!

Are you talking about those Panoview 540 10.4' TFT flat screens that are on the UK ebay web site?

I've read a tutorial on how to strip them down to make them fit the MIP. But I wasn't aware that they also would fit the CDU?

Not that I have the resources to buy these at the moment. But sometime in the future that would be a interesting prospect?

Morten
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Morten Haughom
VardÝ
737NG Artic Cockpit Project

"The only time an aircraft has too much fuel on board is when it is on fire."

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith
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fvapres



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 113
Location: Deland, FL

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah...those ones...

he had a picture of them all fitting on his panel....2 for cpt, 1 for upper eicas, 2 for FO and 3 for CDUs and lower eicas...all 3 in a row along the bottom hanging from the MIP in their position....

chris, if you can, post that pic again or a link to it....very cool pic and a great inspiration for me at least...Smile
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olealm



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 118
Location: Bergen, Norway (a few miles from ENBR)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the pedestal I think he is using 2xCTX530 (CDUs) and 1x540 (lower EICAS). The 530s are as far as I know 9' as opposed to the 540 beeing 10.4'. The total width of the 3 together was excactly the width of the pedestal. Some people just have that constructive talent!
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Regards,
Ole J. Almenningen
www.simbuild.com
www.737cockpit.no
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chrisw



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 244
Location: England, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All,

I think this is the picture you were describing?



Note that the two outer screens for the CDUs are infact PanoView 530s not 540s. O was quite right.

I've now moved on from this, still using 6 PanoView 540s for the main displays, but I bought 2 Sony PSOne TFTs for the CDUs. These are the PERFECT size. Haven't yet hooked them up.

I've only just ordered the CDUs from FDS, so when they arrive I'll be mounting the Sony TFTs and you can be sure I'll post pics on my site:

http://www.virtual737.com

Regarding those Sharp? TFTs fvapres has found - they sure look interesting. The resolution is higher than the CTXs so quality should be a little sharper. Again, it's a more expensive solution, but one I might well go for if and when the CTXs give up.

Cheers
Chris
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fvapres



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 113
Location: Deland, FL

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are the ones. That picture is GORGEOUS....very striking with the FDS MIP and the very nice looking PM graphics and displays....that picture to me is sheer gold and until I can replicate the pictire in my house, your setup as of that picture is making me dream about my own cockipt in the future when i'm as far along as you and a few others are....

I doubt the power supplies are included, but they appear to run off a 12V power supply (handy, isn't it, that a few other parts of our cockpit also run off 12V?)

The solution with the power supplies for a guy like me with a computer already in house for the displays with 5 PCI slots or 4 with integrated networking would be as follows:

6x 12.1" Displays = $450
6x VGA Controller = $450
6x Sharp Inverter = $240
2x 5.6" LCD Displays = $140
3x MX440 Video Cards (Dual Headed) = $150
1x MX4000 Video Card (VGA & Composite Out) = $44
1x VGA->RCA Adapter = $50

Total cost for display solutions as listed above is $1524 not including cabling or power supplies or shipping.

The first solution of this thread was only about $1266, but resolution, as Chris pointed out was the key...it wasn't going to be good with everything being composite resolution...Just $300 more and the resolution is pretty damn good in comparison...

Each video card would be logically sent to a display source (Cpt PFD and Cpt ND on Vid Card 1...FO PFD and FO ND on Vid Card 2...Upper EICAS and Lower EICAS on Vid Card 3...VGA->RCA adapter on VGA port on Vid Card 4...L CDU and R CDU on the composite outs on Vid Card 4)....the last PCI slot would be used for a network interface to allow the computer to communicate with FS, as well as having the wide connection client for FS data running (WideFS or FDSWideConnectionClient)...

The rest of the cockpit attaches to computer 1, FS and, in my case, EPIC and its helper programs, run on computer 1, as well as my FSLink server...my client program sits on computer 2 so my MCP controls can tell my cockpit software what button was pressed or what mode the ND is supposed to be in...the outside view source is attached to the AGP slot on computer 1... As of now, all bases are covered. Each display is attached and operating, the outside view is taken care of, the cockpit is connected and allowed to let the display computer see the cockpit knobs being turned, and we have the data streaming across our network into our gauges...

I hope this give newcomers to our group a little more sense in where to start with the costs on the more EXPENSIVE sides of our cockpits....
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chrisw



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 244
Location: England, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Aaron,

That sounds MUCH better than your original solution. I really think quality would have suffered too much using just RCA for the main screens.

RCA for the CDU's should be fine, as the native resolution is only 320 x 240 (i think). You could save some money (and some space) by checking out the Sony PSOne screens. I bought 2 new ones in the UK for £80 ($144) - even cheaper in the US. They accept RCA as standard and can be converted to VGA with some soldering. They are exactly 4" x 3" visible, which is EXACTLY the right size, and support up to 640 x 480 resolution. In a very confined space where 3 screens need to be crammed in, you need to save as much as possible. That's why I'm no longer going to use the CTX 530s for the CDU.

Here's another pic of the FDS MIP with the top 5 screens in place. I'm currently wiring up all the PC's needed to drive them. Will post pics of all 5 screens running later today!



I've also finally order the hardware for the MIP, the complete Glare Package (MCP + 2 x EFIS) and the overhead panels (as well as the CDUs), plus a few more EPIC modules, so hopefully this will be flyable in the not too distant future!

Cheers
Chris
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Allistah



Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 86
Location: Tracy, CA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are these displays visible from the side at all? Or are they those ones that you can't see from the side? Like if you were in the Captain's seat, could you see and read the displays for the FO?

Also, where are does one get these displays?

Thanks,

-Jaime
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Jaime Pirnie
Boeing 737 NG
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chrisw



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 244
Location: England, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jaime,

Yes, typically you can see them from the side, although this does depend on how you mount them. Mount them horizontally, ie in their 'normal' position and all is well. Mount them vertically, as you need to do to fit the PFD / ND displays, and solid blocks of colour can look a little different from one side (fine on the other side). Basically take pretty much any TFT monitor and it looks fine from many angles viewed from left, right and above, but look at it from below and it quickly deteriorates. Hope that makes sense. They are obtained from ebay.co.uk (NOT EBAY.COM), as they come from a UK bank. I had a few for sale but they've all gone. Got loads of spares though (28 cases and other bits Smile ).

By the way, did you manage to do the dimensional drawings for your pedesal? My aluminium man is raring to go!

Cheers
Chris
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Allistah



Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 86
Location: Tracy, CA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. When you say 12.1", is that corner to corner of viewable space? You also need PSUs for these things as well? If so, what kind do you use and how much do they cost?

I haven't got the drawings done yet. I just moved into a new house over the weekend so we have stuff everywhere. If my wife saw me working on the computer I'd be in big trouble. Wink Once things setting down a bit I'll try and get something together for you. Send me an email and we'll talk more about it. jaime (at) pirnie (dot) org.

-Jaime
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Boeing 737 NG
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chrisw



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 244
Location: England, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jaime - done.

Just a quick note to all about screen sizes. They are usually always quoted in diagonal visible size, in other words the distance between the bottom left visible pixel and the top right visible pixel.

Most screens are 4:3 aspect ratio, so from the diagonal measurement you can work out the height and width of the visible part of the screen.

For example, a 10" diagonal screen of 4:3 aspect ratio would be (10/5)*4 inches wide, and (10/5)*3 inches high ( 8 and 6 inches respectively).

This is from Pythagoras' theorem (3,4,5 triangle!!!) - he was the clever bloke, not me.

Note this does NOT work for 16:9 (normal widescreen) and other aspect ratios.

Chris
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fvapres



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 113
Location: Deland, FL

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the URLs to the parts from ShopEIO.com for the 12.1" displays and cards to use with:

Controller at $75.00/ea.
http://www.controller-lcds.shopeio.com/inventory/details.asp?id=656

Inverter at $40.00/ea.
http://www.inverter-lcds.shopeio.com/inventory/details.asp?id=488

Screen at $80.00/ea.
http://www.graphic-lcd-lcds.shopeio.com/inventory/details.asp?id=479

Still looking into the 5.6" displays to find a decent source...when all you need is the display, I'd hate to void a warranty on a product just because I tore it apart and discarded the rest...I'm thinking maybe their 6.4" display (viewing area is 5.1" x 3.8") for $50.00 plus the inverter and converter...but that would be almost as much as the regular displays...back to the automotive ones for $50-75 each with RCA ins....
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