click here to visit the Flight Illusion Website

  UPDATED Sunday 19th July 2009
 e-mail us 
Quick Find: - HOW IT's DONE

  I am getting so many e-mails regarding how it all went together and paticularly how i use the PMDG 737, I decided to put together a page to assist other PMDG 'drivers'. This is general, but I will expand when time permits......Click Here ->   

OK this is the basic setup of the system. I will give a general overview here before going into detail for those of you who want to try this for yourself...........

COMPUTER 1 (called Cockpit) Runs MSFS2004,  the PMDG B737-600/800, WIDEVIEW, FSUIPC, WIDEFS,  FsXpand and FS_COM (the CPFlight Configuration and Communication Software)   It has a dual output NVidea 8800GT PCI-X Graphics Card which gives me my Main View and on the Second Output I have set up a new Window in FS2004 for the re-written Main Panel which gives me the PFD/ND.  This output is sent through a VGA 'Y' cable which gives me the PFD/ND Display on both sides of the Cockpit onto 2 monitors.  
2 x Digimate 19" Monitors & 2 x INFOCUS X3 Projectors

COMPUTER 2 (called EICAS) Runs  FsClient from  for the Centre Display.  This gives me the EICAS engine instruments (5 different screens) and the 3 working standby instruments (HSI - AI - Dual Boeing ASI/ALT).     It also supplies me with other supplementary information, faithfully re-creating the actual different 737NG EICAS screens.
DELL 17" Monitor
COMPUTER 3 (Called WideviewL).  Runs FS2004 and Wideclient to give me Capt. Forward Left and Left views.
COMPUTER 4 (Called WideviewR). Runs FS2004 and Wideclient to give me F/O Front Right and Right views.
4 x DIGIMATE 20" Widescreen TFT Monitors
COMPUTER 5 (Called Services) runs Wideclient, Active Sky, Flight Deck Companion (for background chatter only), Navigraph, & Squawkbox for online flying.

Boeing 737ng Control ColumnBasic Flight Controls are Input via One Custom Made Yoke which I bought from SimMotion and One which I made myself. Both Yokes are connected to a single BU0836 Joystick Controller using 4 of the 8 available Axes inputs. Trim, Autopilot Disconnect and PTT buttons are all Build Your Own 737 Yokeconnected to the same card and operational.
On the left is the finished F/O Yoke and on the right is the 'How to Do It' document.
The Rudder Pedals for both sides are CH Products. These again have been directly connected to the main computer and configured thru FS2004 and FSUIPC to calibrate Yaw and Braking Functions.
Both Pilots have a
STEERING TILLER for Ground Handling. The Tiller themselves came from ROUTECH and the Steering Indicator Plates I got from Marcus at LAUSITZ AVIATION. These are basically a potentiometer mounted on a frame and attached to the Tiller Handle with a piece of 8mm PVC air pipe and pinned to prevent slippage. The Pots are connected to two more of the Yoke BU0836 controller Axes and assigned in FSUIPC as Steering Tiller.

Visit Navigraph HERE


Automatic Flight is provided by the excellent CPFlight MCP. By using the 737kbd file, it directly commands the PMDG 737 when the Autopilot is engaged.

Then I also have the Superb Engravity CDU which faithfully replicates the action of the PMDG Software CDU. When paired with the MCP, the LNAV and VNAV functions come into play Automatically flying the pre-progammed flight right down to the threshold on any commanded runway at any Airport in the Database. And of course by keeping your Arrival/Departure Database upto date at the Navigraph site, the aircraft will also fly current SID's and STAR's too !

CPFlight MIP737 Expansion BoardEXPANSION BOARDS....I have the CPFlight MCPEX1 and the MIP737 expansions on-board. The MIP737 takes care of all the annunciators on the MIP and also allows me to Input the Exact position of the Autobrake.
Power Supply.   I use stabilised 400w Power Supplies from ATX computers which output both 5vdc (for annunciator lighting) and 12vdc (for backlighting). A cheap, simple solution.
Power Switching.  The CPFlight MCPEX1 has 10 on-board switching relays which can be used for turning on and off LED's or Low Current Indicators based on 'Stock/Standard' commands or you can write extras if you so choose. I use 3 of these for the Red/Green Gear Travel (Red) and the Down & Locked (Green) Position Lights. A fourth powers my Parking Brake Set Indicator and I use two to light the Spar Valve and Engine Valve Annunciators on the overhead panel.
Systems Switching   I also use the MCPEX1 to translate Toggle and Rotary Switch Motions into commands which the PMDG 737 will respond to.  For example the Overhead Light Panel commands all the Lights seperately and the APU and Jet Starter Switches are also wired through the Board.

Click Here To See The EFIS UnitFlight Information is provided via the EFIS Panels.  From here I can select to display on the ND any thing I need to know. Plan, Map, Airports, VOR's, Waypoints (and WP Data) I can also select which baro setting to use, I can add Metres to the PFD Altitude Display and set Std Pressure Setting. In fact anything that is available on the PMDG software EFIS can be switched from here.
Build Your Own EFIS units REAL CHEAP.Obviously things evolve and since the original photo that you see, I set about upgrading the EFIS units given that Leo has now included the ability to use rotary encoders with the BU0836 (and X) cards.
On the right is the 'How To' document showing how you can build your own EFIS unit at a fraction of the cost of buying one commercially using components from OPENCOCKPITS and the BU0836 board.
INSTRUMENTATION    Now I have the 5 displays working.  The PFD & ND are from the PMDG re-written panel.cfg file.    


FSXpand Full EICAS & Standby Instruments Then, I met a guy at the IFC2005 exhibition, Gert Heijnis, who has provided the answer to my Centre EICAS/Standby Instrument problem.  Check out FSXpand Second Eicas .  There is a great program called FsXpand which allows you to assemble a panel of your choice and then configure it as you need, using drag and drop, resizing and colour etc.

First Officer Instruments Captain's View PFD, ND & EICAS Instruments

Nice Dusk View in The Cockpit EICAS Instruments FSXpand Flaps Gauge