• Review: Cockpit PHD Panels, Monitor & Levers

    The Throttle Handles

    Now changing my focus to the throttle handles - Cockpit PhD has several different throttle handles that are all created to be used with the Saitek 3-lever throttle quadrant, the PZ45. There are several versions for the Boeing B737 style, but also the Boeing B747 and the Airbus A320 are available. I have for this test and review used the set which includes five levers for the Boeing B737 and also included is the base which easily changes the position of the throttle quadrant to be more airliner-like.

    Cockpit PHD     Cockpit PHD

    The throttles are twin levers so that I am able to control each engine independently which is really nice - the throttles are created from wood it seems, which most likely is machine cut/drilled and the top of the handles are as far as I can see created on a lathe. Each lever consists of the top part (the handle itself) and two plates that are put together with tiny Phillips screws.

    There are no buttons or reverse thrust levers on this version, these levers are only a first grade upgrade of the Saitek throttle levers. The levers are painted with a white paint and they look very realistic, however without any kinds of legends, etc. Mounting the levers on the Saitek throttle quadrant is easy - they just slip down over the levers and are held nicely in place.

    The other levers included are the flaps lever, the speed-brake lever and a lever for the trim - the trim lever is a fictional lever which is nowhere to be found on the Boeing B737 throttle quadrant in real life since the trims are controlled by a trim-wheel instead.

    Anyway, the top part of the handles are all created from wood and applied with an aluminum lever-casing to make the mounting on the Saitek throttle quadrant as easy as possible - again to mount the levers you just need to slip the levers over the Saitek levers and they are hereby held nicely in place.

    In general the quality of the handles are fair, however the finish is a bit rough but that makes sense since these handles are indeed low-cost handles and are placed within a nice and affordable price range.

    Cockpit PHD     Cockpit PHD

    The base is on the other hand quite good quality - it seems to be created from a mold where the base probably were a straight piece of plastic to begin with and which then has been molded either by vacuum or by press. The base enables the simmer to easily mount the throttle quadrant in a perfect 45 degree tilted angle which provides the simmer with a more authentic experience of flying e.g. the Boeing B737.

    Inside the base there is a round hole of about 1.5 cm where the throttle quadrant's wiring can be inserted, so that the throttle quadrant can be mounted in the home cockpit without showing all the wiring.

    Placing the throttle in the base is easy, but the throttle does tend to be a little 'loose' - to overcome this issue I applied some double sided carpet tape and now the throttle is fixed and does not move at all.

    Conclusion

    To summarize my experience with the products tested then my verdict is the following:

    The panels are good quality laser cut aluminum panels with laser engraved legends supported by simple and user friendly USB-interface cards that works beautifully with all assignment / programming software that I tested them with. The buttons and switches are fair quality and the panels are certainly within a reasonable and affordable price range where they are very competitive.

    Cockpit PHD     Cockpit PHD

    In regards to the TFT monitor then this is absolutely a fine 7 inch HD color monitor that can be used for the home cockpit or simply just as an additional screen. Works perfectly with connecting to a computer by using either the VGA or the HDMI input, however please do remember to buy an additional wall socket converter if your country does not support the US-version.

    Furthermore the Boeing B737 handles that I tested was a great and positive surprise, easy to install on the PZ45 throttle quadrant and added great extra realism and authenticity to the experience of flying in the home cockpit. Of course I would have loved to see the handles also features reverse thrusters as well as the actual buttons and also legends, but I can see that Cockpit PhD's product range also includes these versions with the reverse thrusters. Pricewise the handles are also within an affordable price range and will absolutely be very competitive towards similar product from other manufacturers.

    Overall my experience of the products tested from Cockpit PhD is very good and if you are not strictly a specific aircraft home cockpit builder, then products from Cockpits PhD are something that I certainly would recommend.

    I would like to thank the team at Cockpit PhD for contributing to the flightsim community with these awesome products - they have been a very good experience to test and review! Keep up the great work!

    Raymond Andersen
    Rays Aviation
    www.cockpitphd.com

    Cockpit PHD     Cockpit PHD

    Review Computer Specifications

    OS Systems

    • Windows 10 (64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32-bit) (secondary system)

    Computer Specs

    • Intel Core™ i7-4790K 4x4.00GHz (Turbo 4x4.40GHz)
    • Asus Maximus VII Ranger (ROG-series)
    • Antec Kuhler H20 650 Water Cooler
    • Kingston HyperX Beast-series 32Gb DDR3-2133 RAM
    • 500Gb Samsung 850 EVO SSD
    • 3Tb Seagate Barracura (7200rpm, 6Gb/s)
    • Asus GeForce GTX 980 Strix OC 4Gb

    Internet Connection

    • 150/150Mbit Fiber Internet Connection

    Platforms and additional software

    • Prepar3D v4+
    • XPlane 11
    • FSX + Acceleration Pack
    • REX Overdrive
    • FSUIPC
    • SIOC

    Connections

    • USB2 / USB3 Connections
    • HDMI
    • VGA
    • DVI
    • Displays Ports
    • RJ45 GameFirst III
    • SATA2 / SATA3
    Tags: cockpit phd

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