July-Aug

 

Welcome to the Bi-monthly  newsletter.

In this issue we'll be looking at software for customizing instrument panels for those who would like separate instrument displays and the ability to manipulate the instruments to create that perfect setup.

The  newsletter will give you insight into the different types of flight simulation, technical articles, tips and reviews.

We will also look at the products, accessories, hardware, software and just about anything that makes the world of flight simulation more realistic and enjoyable.

The newsletter will also keep you abreast of what other enthusiast are doing in the community.

Your newsletter ....   We invite you to participate  and email any stories, interesting tips, events, announcements or any contributions you feel may be of  interest  to the flight simulation community. Please email any contributions to: newsletter@kwikpit.com

A Plug .........
The KwikPit Company was created and is ran by  a flight simulation enthusiast. Our goal is to introduce products that add to the enhancement  and fun of flight simulation without the complexity or high  costs.

We hope you enjoy our unique line of cockpit products. We have strived to keep prices low as compared to anything else on the market.

Check out our products at www.kwikpit.com  thank you for your patronage.

Regards,
The KwikPit Team,
Greg and Dawn

 

                                                                             
Instrumentation 

Hello all, we hope Summer finds you well and enjoying  your flight sims. This issue will tie into last issue and carry on the discussion about displaying instruments on  separate  monitors. Once a multiple monitor set up has been implemented most simmers want to use at least one of  the monitors for instrument display. In the previous issue of  our newsletter  we showed how to achieve this with Windows using its native multiple display support. Using this method the instruments can be separated from the main display but no customization of the instruments is possible. There is no ability to reposition, resize, add or remove instruments.

As usual, the flight simming community has remedied this problem. There are several software programs  that give total control over customizing your instrument panel. We will take a look at some of the packages that can accomplish this for the average simmer without any need for extensive programming knowledge, some are based on the Drag & Drop and others require inputting numbers into simple interfaces. There is something available for just about any enthusiast that wants to take the next step.

The EzeMod MKII  has also been out of stock for the last few weeks as you've probably noticed. The good news is that we should have them back in stock by the end of  June or first week of July. Thanks for your patience.

 

                               
  
Instrument Panel Software

There's a wide variety of programs available for customizing aircraft instrument panels and making your sim more realistic and enjoyable. We'll only cover a few of  the more common ones here giving a brief overview of each. Some are relatively inexpensive and some are not. None of these software packages are that complicated to use.

Panel Builder 2

Panel Builder 2 from SimPlugins is compatible with X-Plane, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prpar3D, DCS and Condor and comes in various configurations for box purchase or download. The software can be installed on a separate computer or even a laptop.  It also has the capability to be installed on the same screen as the flight sim program if you only have one monitor.


A Typical Layout

The instruments are designed to sit in any position on the screen. This gives the option of dragging, repositioning and adjusting the size of the instruments. The instruments can be grouped to form a custom panel for any of the aircraft being flown. The instruments are also configurable with such things as speed ranges and dial markings being customizable.


Partial Glass Panel

The instruments work using a network protocol. Information is passed the same way information is passed to computers on a network using TCP. The software receives the instrument data from the flight simulator and delivers it to the correct instrument.

There is a detailed review of this product by Joel Lawford at:  http://www.mutleyshangar.com/reviews/joe/pb2/pb2.htm.

      Below are some screenshots of the product from the review.

          Panel creation screens


Gauge selection screen

       
               Building a Panel                           Completed Panel

The steps are pretty straight forward with little complication. The current version of this software is 2.9 which has some added features and fixes to version 2.0. Check out the detailed review for more information. Price is currently $49.95.

There is a free demo version you can download for evaluation at: http://www.simplugins.com/html/downloads.html

See  the product in action at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAoM_hweK40

Reality XP

Reality XP has been around for some time. Although aged, it's  a proven package. This company offers its gauges and other instruments in various packages. The Flightline T package includes 29 gauges which represent the standard T stack found in general aviation aircraft.

These instruments replace instruments on the original panel and don't offer a way to display on a separate monitor so the native Windows multiple panel support is used to accomplish this.

There are several styles for each gauge  that match a particular aircraft. The software is compatible with Flight Simulator 2004 and FSX.

The instruments have a 3D look that rivals the real thing when view on the instrument panel.

Installation and configuring is pretty straight forward. The manual includes several user guides and a configuration tool which helps in understanding how the software works and how to install the  gauges.

The gauges are configurable for each aircraft and are smoother than the stock gauges when running the flight sim software.

One note of caution, there's no Drag & Drop, if you don't own any panel design software you will have to use the MFS config files to make the changes for instrument installation. This could be a pain to anyone not used to dealing with cfg files, not difficult just tedious. The price of this package is just $29.95 foregoing the panel designer tools.

Reality XP also produces several navigation instrument packages.. The Flightline N package is a avionics package that adds or replaces the avionics instruments in the standard aircraft in the flight sim.

Check out a review at: http://www.avsim.com/pages/0506/XPT/XPT.htm


FsXpand
 

FsXpand is another suite that can make use of a separate monitor for instrument display. Itís compatible with MSFS 2004, FSX and X-Plane 10. It also runs by networking PCs although it can be run on one PC with a network card. The gauges run on PCs containing the client and are displayed through monitors connected to the computer. The combination of PCs and monitors is almost endless, a couple of examples are shown here.

           

         

 

   
The gauges are customizable as in some of the other software packages. You can drag and drop to create a copy of any aircraft panel you desire.

          

The Installation of FsXpand is straight forward. Setting up the other components may require a little knowledge of IP addresses and assigning them manually if need be. Below are some screenshots of some of the set up interface boxes.


Client Connections

 
Aircraft Setup


Sound Settings

Various bits of information is input into the boxes. This information includes number of clients, aircraft selection, sound settings and various menu options.

This package sells for $112.00 at the time of this writing. It should be noted that this software also requires FSUIPC which is an advanced interface by Fred Dawson. It basically interprets input codes for the sim so that expanded inputs can be used giving more control over the simulation software..

More iinfo and a downloadable demo can be found at: http://www.cockpitsolutions.com/


GA Panel

GA Panel is a Flight 1 product. This particular package is designed for FSX and Prepar3D. It provides a set of custom gauges that can be ran on a separate PC and monitor or the same PC as the sim software but it can display the instruments on a different monitor.

The gauges are in preset configurations ready to use. You can use the configurations to customize a setup by resizing and dragging the instruments with a mouse.

 

The current price for this package is $124.00 as of this writing.
You can find more info here:
http://www.flight1tech.com/Products/AvionicsSimulations/GAPanel.aspx

SimAvio

SimAvio  from Fly This Sim is a fantastic package designed for X-Plane. When combined with separately available aircraft panel packages it produces commercial quality instrument displays.

 

 

The software operates within X-Plane, it replaces the native instrument display panels with high fidelity replicas of several modeled aircraft.  The instrument display can be moved to any monitor for display. The software is priced at $39.95 and the various panel packages from approximately $39.95 to $79.95.

If you are an X-Plane enthusiast this is a must have package to increase the realism and fidelity of the X-Plane instrument panels.

More information at: http://www.flythissim.com/store.html

There's a wide choice of software packages to get those instruments displayed on a separate monitor for anyone looking to add more realism to their simming experience.

Of course the perfect cockpit for any of these packages is the KwikPit HomeFlite cockpit. It's built from easy to follow plans and designed for multiple monitor support in both standard and widescreen formats,  It's perfect for that ultimate setup.

            
                   Standard Display              Widescreen display

 

   HomeFlite Cockpit Plans

  
    Get Your Gear of Your Desk
    Put Controls in a Realistic Position
    Multiple Monitor Support
    Easy Build Plans for Beginners
    Room for Commercial or DIY Panels

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                           EzeMod MK II 

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