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I've Had a Great Idea................"Oh No" (pt2)

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The negations with my partner have been progressing better than I had been expecting, she seems rather intrigued with my latest idea. Well I say intrigued but it could well be perplexed, concerned, humoured by, or she could be all of those things its a little hard to know. She did say to me "you are definitely having a mid life crisis" in that half joking half should I be getting concerned kind of a way.
I showed her my plans that I had drawn up thus far along with a rather large folder of items that I would require, and various other musings I had jotted down over the last few months as the idea was marinating away in my head. It felt like I was presenting a business plan to the bank manager. She was rather surprised with the amount of time I had already put in to this idea and shared with me that she thought I was having a mid-life crisis and I obviously had far to much spare time on my hands.
"Ok how much is this going to cost US", she made sure she emphasized the us bit, again in the half joking half concerned way. I had avoided answering that question over the last few days as I knew this was going to be the possible deal breaker, I couldn't really put it off any longer.
I had sort of a figure in mind but it was no more than a half educated half throw a dart at a dart board kind of guess. So after explaining about how the build would probably take me 12 to 18 months to complete and that I was going to do it as cheaply as possible, and so on, I gave her my figure and took a little step back and waited for the situation to go to DEFCON 4.
"15 to 20 thousand I reckon I can do it for", my god it felt good to get that out. I thought it would be closer to 20 thousand than 15, with the biggest cost being the computer hardware of course along with all the screens I would require for the panel, and I am still unsure if I will use moulded displays in the windows or a projector for the front windows and moulded screens for the sides. The projector, screen mix does work out cheaper and wont produce the same amount of heat as having it all screens, but the downside is there will be a visual difference from the front to the sides.
I can get my hands on a 737-300 instrument panel, and over head panel ( gauge free of course ), and maybe the centre pedestal minus the throttle quadrant. Having worked in the industry I am still close friends with a few people in the engineering department, and they still have some of the old panels from when the fleet changed over to the more familiar glass panels, so even if I cant get the originals they will fabricate some for me using the originals as moulds, I am very lucky in that respect. I am also lucky that they have offered to do the fabrication for me as the costs of getting that done is quite high. Of course that leaves the throttle quadrant, analogue gauges, and the panel buttons, switches, and dials which I am hoping my contacts can source for me at a reasonable cost. Many ( like the switches on the breaker panel ) I will 3d print myself as they are purely for looks and will have no function.
I will post pictures once the room is built and the cockpit build is under way to show anyone that is interested in the progress. I welcome any comments, suggestions, advice or questions you may have. I am not sure who if anyone reads the blogs but I will give regular updates with the hope that it may inspire others to do the same.
Oh and my partners reaction when I told her the cost, lets just say that my reasons for us to not get married are no longer good enough and she is planning a trip for us to her home town in Greece so we can announce our up coming wedding to her family in person................Oh no.

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  1. porchpooch4's Avatar
    Darryl, I loved reading your blog, and yes some of us do read the blogs on the website. Especially since I plan on traversing the same route in a couple of years once I finish my C172 simulator currently in progress. I have flown several 737 simulators around the world and I am very interested in building my own someday. I have not revealed this to my wife of 32 years but I am pretty sure she knows my ambitions. After all I just spent a little bit of money traveling to the Flightsimcon 2015 conference in Hartford CT with a connecting trip to Toronto Canada to fly a 737 simulator at Threshold aviation for four hours. I am planning on possibly making flight simulator flying a business here in Arizona since we have a huge aviation base and was one of the only places other than Reno to have our own air races.
  2. darryl737's Avatar
    Thanks for the comment. I have started my cockpit build, well sort of, I got a builder coming in 2 weeks to start building the room in the garage. I was going to build it myself until I found out that I needed a building consent for it, so it left me little option to get a builder in. I have some 737 parts arriving anytime now to add to the growing pile that are in the spare bedroom. Fantastic you are considering a build as well. My partner and I are looking at heading to the states for a holiday next year, and I am going to make so I can attend next years convention, which I am looking forward to. Fantastic you are getting 4 hours in a sim, time will fly by and you will have a blast I am sure.