• Rays Aviation Project Home Cockpit

    If I mounted my iPad in the MiP as being the glass cockpit and connected that to the computer with the IPObjects software to run the PFD, NG and EICAS I would have solved the issue without investing a lot of money. I know that I hereby also did compromise my original idea with only one computer, since the iPad is actually an independent computer, but this way I could keep the costs down and still get a realistic layout.

    During this change of the MiP I actually saw that I could, if I wanted to, fit 2x iPads into the MiP and hereby gaining both a PFD and NG in full size. However since the funds for the project were already spent, I had to limit myself to only one.

    I had one issue though with the iPad solution - I had already cut holes into the MiP and the iPad could not cover these holes so...... again what to do.... I did not want to do the process of re-building the complete MiP, so I created a frame around the iPad, which in my opinion came out quite okay, and this frame gives the look of the iPad being integrated into the MiP in a good way.


    Going along with this new idea I suddenly found my two TFT touch screens from Lilliput and my set of MFDs from ThrustMaster to be excluded from my project - this I didn't like and therefore I started to look for a solution where I could still use them in the setup, but now as an "option" and not a must.

    I looked at several real world cockpits to get ideas and I realized that a solution could be to add the TFTs as information screens containing a live feed from a third computer (primary was my FSX computer and secondary the iPad). I mounted the two TFTs including the MFDs on my right console and connected the TFTs to a third computer that could then be used to show SIDs on one screen and STARS or other airport charts on the other - this computer I then connected to the internet and I could now use Google to search for free airport charts to use for these screens.


    The MFDs I still connected to my primary computer to be able to assign various commands to the buttons and use them within FSX. A different solution could of course have been to connect these MFDs to the third computer, add a "library" of airport charts, SIDs, STARS etc. to an Excel spreadsheet and then write a few macros that could be assigned to the MFDs buttons; this would result in actually using the MFDs for the TFTs.

    This solution was an "option" that was not necessary for the project, and this way I could regain a little pride of not compromising my original idea too much. Still I had included the iPad as PFD, NG and EICAS so I had added a secondary computer to the setup and thereby I could not meet the criteria of my original idea, however I found it to be necessary and I could not find a different solution without investing a lot of money.

    After I had mounted the iPad and the new location of the TFTs and MFDs to the setup, I started drawing a new connection diagram to support and to give me an overview - drawing the complete connection setup did bring me a good overview but also scared me a bit, because now I could actually see how complex this project turned out to be. On the other hand it also made me quite proud because this showed me that I was able to create all of this.

    1. aarmin's Avatar
      aarmin -
      Congratulations on a project well done and above all getting joy and fun out of it.
      Many happy landings!
    1. henrystreet's Avatar
      henrystreet -
      Thanks for the in depth look. Will likely use some of your ideas
    1. dgsmith37's Avatar
      dgsmith37 -
      Awesome results. I can see your next project being a wrap-around screen. It's amazing how much you learn building a project that requires more knowledge than we start with. Thanks for the write up and pictures.
    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Quote Originally Posted by sammonsb View Post
      Don't see a tailhook lever. Must be a softie pilot not able to land on a boat.
      Well - actually on the Rays Aviation light and mission panel on the left side console I have a switch on/off/on named HOK => that switch controls hook up/down ... I could only fit 3 letters in the legends when cutting the panel with the water cutting machine.

      But you are right - my skills for landing on a carrier are not excellent

      Merry Christmas All

    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Thanks for the feedback all - if you need guidance in a similar project or just has questions, I would very much like to help out and share my experience with home cockpit building.

    1. jpgregg's Avatar
      jpgregg -
      This is fantastic! I love it. If you like, check out my setup (link below). It's very similar, although your interfaces are much more advanced. Do you have a website? I will be checking back with this article often as I upgrade my system. Thanks for posting!


      Happy New Year!

    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Quote Originally Posted by jpgregg View Post
      This is fantastic! I love it. If you like, check out my setup (link below). It's very similar, although your interfaces are much more advanced. Do you have a website? I will be checking back with this article often as I upgrade my system. Thanks for posting!


      Happy New Year!


      Hi Paul,

      You have a really cool setup!

      3 projectors gives an awesome view - what specs do your projectors have?

      My website is www.RaysAviation.Mono.Net and you are very welcome to visit :-)

    1. jpgregg's Avatar
      jpgregg -
      Thanks Ray. I will check out your website.

      I bought the projectors used, on Craigslist, for roughly $80 each (it's been a little time and I don't remember exactly). They are not identical. I have two 3M MP8670s, and one Panasonic. Also, my youtube vid says I'm running two 9800 GTs, but I upgraded a while ago, and am now running a single GTX660 (much better performance, as might be expected). Since I'm running 4 monitors off a single card, I run the projectors at XGA resolution, to keep frame rates in check. I also use megascenery, with autogen turned off - which also helps keep my frame rates in check. The projector screens are shower curtains purchased at k-mart, stapled and taped in the back, and stretched flat with a heat gun... works quite well.

      Thanks again for the link to your website, I'll be checking back often!

    1. TheSchwartz's Avatar
      TheSchwartz -
      Absolutely fabulous. I have been toying with the idea of doing something like this, but maybe on a smaller scale. Is there a tutorial somewhere on interfacing hardware to flightsim programs (particularly X-Plane)?

      A link would be appreciated
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