I didn't buy it, I built it myself! Well, about 98% of it, using plywood, MDF, plastic and paint. All of the cockpit panels I designed myself and laser cut in my garage. All of the switches and buttons are cheap ones I bought from eBay and Aliexpress. There is only a few real specialised items that I splashed out on. Even the screen surface is just painted 3mm MDF on a timber frame!
Thats the number one question I get asked! I did a very detailed breakdown over a two part video a couple of years ago, listing almost every part I used and the cost of it all. Click below to watch!
The total cost for the cockpit structure, including all the panels, buttons, switches and electronics was $4,211.66 AUD.
The grand total cost, including the screen surface, projectors, peripherals and all displays (everything except for the PC) was $7,874.74 AUD.
It's important to remember, I didn't pay myself for my time in anything other than beer and skittles. Anticipate the costs being much higher if you were paying someone else to do it for you. I also did not drop that amount of cash on it in one hit. Those amounts are spread out over almost 10 years. All up- thats under $1000 a year. It's not a cheap hobby, but it cost nowhere near what some people think!
Again, one of the reason is that when i started this thing VR as we know it was a only a dream.
I do actually use VR today in this cockpit- I have an Oculus Rift S and a HP Reverb G2.
Both VR and physical cockpits with large screens have their pros and cons, and I enjoy both!
I dont think VR has replaced physical cockpits... just yet. But i really hope it replaces the projectors one day.
I have recorded a video covering this topic, click below to watch!
DCS World, with the A-10C II Tank Killer module. I do fly other DCS modules in this cockpit as well, namely (in order of awesomness) the Tomcat, Harrier, Hornet, Huey, Fishbed, Mustang, Blackshark and all the FC3 jets.
Mainly because I started flying DCS way back in the day- when DCS World as we know it didn't actually exist and it was a standalone A-10C Warthog game! No other aircraft (other than the Blackshark) modules existed, so my choice was rather limited. Having said that- why would I not want to commit to the Warthog? One word: BRRTTT.
This changes often. I'm a card carrying member of the PCMR and I like to build things, so it gets upgraded every couple of years (2020 doesn't count...).
Once PC parts actually become available to mere mortals again I will be upgrading.
Right now it is:
The screen has a 1.2 meter radius, so it is 2.4 meters wide. The surface is 1.2 meters tall, and the whole thing is lifted up off the ground 50cm on legs. If it were laid out flat, the surface would 5.65 meters wide. By my calculations, thats the same size as a 227 inch TV! There are three short throw projectors that are mounted on the roof displaying the image. I'm running DCS at 7680x1080p (four 1920x1820 outputs - three for the projectors, one for the main instrument panel) I used a normal light greyish paint mix, without any ridiculous expensive 'special additives' for the surface.I have also recorded a couple of videos on the screen, click below to watch the latest!
Three Benq 1080ST's. They are discontinued nowadays- the replacement is the W1210 ST model. You can still pick the 1080ST up on eBay every now and then for under $300 AUD sometimes!
I use software called 'Immersive Display Pro' by Fly elise-ng. This software is very capable (and very expensive). In a nutshell- it takes the output of a projector and 'warps' the image, so it looks correct on a curved surface. It then 'blends' the three projector images into one large wide view. It also compiles a DCS World .lua file, which will get the game to output three seperate full resolution viewports of the outside world. It then warps them for a perfect perspective in the 270 degree screen! No streching on the edges, just a view of the outside world like you are looking out a window.*Please note that I have no involvement with Fly elise-ng other than being a normal customer- I paid full price for an ultimate licence version for my own use. The link below is only so you can see what I'm on about!
The software used to output the gauges on the Main Instrument Panel, and also to map every single button and switch in the cockpit, is called 'Helios'. Link is below, and again- I'm not a developer or sponsor, It's open souce and programmed by members of the DCS community. I link to it only because it is what I use, and it just plain works.
Yes and no. I can fly basically any game that has HOTAS controls and VR support whilst sitting in the cockpit and using a VR headset, however using the projectors in other games is complicated. Immersive Display Pro software will work with DCS, Prepar3d* and X Plane*, but not many others. I've had it running in ARMA3 and Elite Dangerous, however the warp is nowhere near as good looking. The end result is basically having a good forward view, but massive stretching on the outer edges. *I dont own Prepar3d or X Plane so ive never actually tried it. Because I like BRRTTT.
All up there are three USB cables from the cockpit to the computer. Each console has a powered USB hub in it, and those hubs are connected to commercially available USB cards, such as Leo Bodnars, Groovy Game Gear, and cheap Arduino Clones.
Sorry- but nope!
This is a hobby only. I work full time in real life and all my limited spare time goes on this project. Plus, now its nearing completion (it will never be 100%) I'm just enjoying flying it, streaming and making videos.
Thats the reason why I've shared and released all my files copywrite free to the community.
I'm not building them- so you can have my designs and make your own! Or even somebody more business minded might make them and sell them to you. As long as you get flying!
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