• How To... Build The Ultimate Home Simulator

    The Ultimate Home Flight Simulator

    by Shawn Hill

    The computer I have running the simulator is a Pentium 133 with 32MB RAM and about 2 GIGs of hard drive space. The operating system I am running is Windows 95, and the simulator software is Microsoft Flight Simulator v5 and BAO's Flight Shop with all addons. Beware FS5 with all addons takes about 101MB.

    I purchased a G-force yoke which made my flying a lot more realistic than with a mouse, however the throttle on the yoke was faulty. I decided to repair it and in doing so thought of creating my own external throttle. I did this by placing the same size potentiometer in a home made casing and lever. This can be seen in the picture to the right of the G-force yoke.

    After mastering the yoke I wanted more. Browsing the Internet I found an advertisement for Pro Pedals, which I tried to order from the UK but being in Africa it was a little difficult. I eventually found them in South Africa and purchased them. Wow, what a combination the yoke and the pedals. I thought this was the ultimate, but I had one problem, when wanting to use the keyboard I had to lean forward over the yoke (boy am I lazy) and it became irritating. Then while looking around the workshop I found some switches, this made me think. I decided to build a control panel.

    First of all I had to find out how the panel was to communicate with FS5. I came up with the idea of a Y-cable for the keyboard. The problem is that if you plug in two keyboards into one computer the computer gets confused with two clock signals. I then removed the keybaord chip from an old keyboard and traced the keys needed for FS5 and created a circuit which worked.

    The control panel, namely Desmonds Deck, has all switches needed from autopilot to gear to all radios. My next project is to create pitch and mixture levers.

    Please feel free to mail me if you have any questions:

    Shawn Hill, bryan@id.co.zw