Now Here's A Real Aternative - The Revolution 737 TQ

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  ++ 24/12/08 Parking Brake Offset Note Added - See Bottom of Page ++ UPDATED Friday 11th September  2009
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   SYMULATORY - POLDRAGONET Throttle Quadrant

FIRST THE BAD BIT ..... January 21st 2006   There is a knock at the door and the mailman is stood there with a HUGE parcel.   It can only be one thing... the TQ has arrived from Symulatory in Poland!       I have saved long and hard for this and of course I am really excited.   The Original Cost was 1270 euro's plus shipping.  So slowly I open the package in anticipation and to my horror the TQ is damaged, i'm devastated.  The no.2 throttle lever is broken and the TQ body does not seem to be 'square'.    I also have ordered some replacement parts which were broken on the last delivery and even these are broken again.  I am so angry and disappointed.

SYMULATORY TQ Broken No.2 Throttle Lever SYMULATORY TQ Broken No.2 Throttle Lever SYMULATORY Broken Gear Annunciator Surround
NOW THE GOOD BIT .... ALL's WELL THAT ENDS WELL    WOW I have it working well and it looks the part too and it impresses the hell out of everybody who has seen it  even real 737 pilots who come to play :o)

Throttle Quad and Fire Panel TQ & Fire Panel 737NG Symulatory Throttle Quadrant and Fire Control Panel 737NG Throttle Quadrant and Engine Fire Panel

Simply click on a thumbnail and we'll take a walk round it. OK, first and foremost we have a seperate throttle for each engine. Keeps you on your toes when taxiing because of asymmetrical thrust. Then the Flaps Lever is so realistic. You do have to spend a little time setting it up for accuracy so that the amount of flaps set corresponds with the detente.  But that said, mine runs very accurately now and the flaps deploy exactly where they have been commanded to. Thirdly is the Spoiler Lever, again some accuracy is required here.  I spent quite a bit of time getting this accurate.  First of all i played around with sensitivities in FS and then 'fine tuned' the axis in FSUIPC.  Now I can use the Spoiler in flight and return it to the down position, no problem.  The satisfaction on Landing and using the Thrust Reverse Levers is great, especially when your Virtual Co-Pilot in Flight Deck Live tells you 'Reverse Thrust Engaged' and 'Reverse Idle' - AWESOME.
Add to this the fact that the TOGA, A/T Disconnect, Fuel Valves and Parking Brake have been introduced into the cockpit as hardware controls makes for a very realistic addition to the whole experience.  The CPFlight MCP and the SYMULATORY Throttle Quadrant are the two most important purchases I have made.
 

How it all works is quite simple really. Imagine your joystick, it has several axes which are assigned to different functions, the most common being the Ailerons, the Elevators and the Throttle.  Well these axes can be assigned to any of the functions that require an axis to drive it.  So, the TQ has six potentiometers built into it.  Each throttle lever has one, each reverse thrust lever has one, the Flaps Lever has one and finally the Spoiler Lever has one. Originally, i connected the TQ to the PC via the Opencockpits Joystick Emulator.  But sadly this card only offers you 5 axes.  A step by step guide on how to connect your TQ using a Joystick Card is on the left.

Then I came across the BU0836 Controller from Leo BODNAR.  This card in it's native state can control upto 8 seperate axes and gives you the expansion of 32 extra joystick buttons and a Point of View Hat if you need it.  PLEASE NOTE!  If you use FSUIPC, it will only see the first 6 axes, but that's OK, it's all we need.   I have built the BU0836 card into the TQ and here's what it controls.......

 RED ARROWS are all axes and are assigned as follows:
No 1 is Throttle 1. X Axis     No 2 is Throttle 2. Y Axis     No 3 is Reverser 1. Z Axis
No 4 is Reverser 2. X Rotation    No 5 is Spoiler. Y Rotation    No 6 is Flaps Lever. Z Rotation
All Axes have been assigned and calibrated in FSUIPC

BLUE ARROWS are all connected to the BU0836 Joystick Buttons Matrix. Then the button is read in FSUIPC and then the command sent to the sim to action that command. 

PURPLE ARROWS The Parking Brake and the Annunciator are connected thru the CPFLIGHT MCPEX1 which gives me an accurate On/Off state

How I Got the Trim Wheels WorkingGREEN ARROWS Elevator Trim. is controlled by a clever little component called a PULSE SWITCH. It is basically two rotary switches in one and only contacts momentarily at each detente in the direction of rotation. Connected to Leo's Joystick Card as two seperate buttons, rotating it has the same effect as constantly pressing a joystick button.  In FSUIPC the buttons are assigned to Elevator Trim Up and Elevator Trim Down.  So rotating the trim wheel works.  Symulatory build in two gears on the trim shaft (one drives a rotary encoder which i have replaced with the Pulse Switch). The wiring to the Pulse switch is routed via the STAB TRIM switch to give me a Man and Cut Out position.  Also going to route the Yoke Trim Switches thru the other one, so i have Man Elec and Cutout. See the diagram.

click here for the button connections         click here for the pot connections

BACKLIGHTING  Straight from the manufacturer, there is no provision for backlighting.  However i saw on a Norwegian Builders site a very clever Idea.  What he did was to use flexible striplights like you see in cars.  This is something I have investigated.  In the end I have used a couple of simple MES Bulbholders with 12v bulbs powered from a simple PC Power supply (See the Components Page).  

Boeing 737NG Engine Fire Control Panel TQ & Fire Panel Boeing 737NG Boeing 737NG Throttle Quad

AUTOMATION.   I am investigating the options open to me for automating the Throttle Levers, Spoiler and Trim Wheels.   At Present, the favourite is PHIDGETS, but that could change.......(added 11th Sept 2009,  EVERYTHING HAS :o))  )

LET's LOOK INSIDE IT   Ok, basically it has 5 inner panels held together by a series of positioning blocks which are machined and jointed to hold the plates in place. 4 potentiometers are situated inside the assembly for the two throttles, the flaps lever and the spoiler lever.  It's real clever how it all fits together.

Parking Brake Lever & Microswitch Fuel Levers  Another peek inside Symulatory TQ

Thru the centre runs a 10mm Threaded Rod.  This is what the Trim wheels bolt onto. It sits in two roller bearings inside the side covers to support it either end.  Now here's the clever bit.  The rod runs inside a polished steel tube onto which the handles/levers rotate.  A second tube is situated also inside the assembly on which the idler or transfer gears rotate.

Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ
Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ
Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ

HAVING PROBLEMS WITH SYMULATORY?
You are not alone. Sadly things in Andrychow seem to have gone from bad to worse. Several colleagues have been telling me about their bad  experiences and they read like a Horror Story.   If your email is ignored try this one: 
 biuro@symulatory.com 
or here's the phone no. 0048338753776 
and if that doesn't work here's their address:
JAKUB GAIK
ul.Żwirki i Wigury 2
34-120 ANDRYCH”W
POLAND

Boeing 737NG Throttle Quadrant Boeing 737 Throttle Quadrant  

Throttle Quadrant, Fire Panel & Radio Bay 737NG Engine Fire Panel in My 737NG Cockpit

SYMULATORY Throttle Quadrant.
I have the USB version. This controls the various operations by the use of axes. For full functionality, you need 6 axes as follows.....
1. No 1 Throttle
2. No 2 Throttle
3. Spoiler
4. Flaps Lever
5. 2 Thrust Reversers.
and 4 buttons for....
Capt.& F/O TOGA Buttons (tee'd)
Capt.& F/O A/T Disconnect (tee'd)
No.1 Engine Fuel Valve
No.2 Engine Fuel Valve

In FS the Parking Brake is a toggle, so it just reverses the state of the Parking Brake. I have actually wired this switch thru the CPFlight MCPEX board so that i have an ON and Off state and used one of the outputs to give me the Indicator Lamp.  But for those who don't have this function, i suggest fitting a second micro switch to allow an On/Off state to be obtained in FS.
First of all I deleted the axes assignments in FS2004 then assigned and calibrated them finally in FSUIPC.. The result is very good. The throttles are very responsive from the rest position.  The Spoiler reacts exactly where the indications are on the Quadrant Housing and most accurate is the Flaps Lever which deploys the correct amount of Flaps at the Correct detente in both the extending and retracting directions. Fine tuning does take a little bit of 'pissing' about with, but it sure as hell is worth it.

Symulatory TQ Wiring Diagram

Symulatory Throttle Quadrant Wiring Diagram

PMDG737 Idle/Cutoff Levers

I've discovered that it is possible to accurately control the Idle/Cutoff Levers on the PMDG by manipulating the offsets.  These levers respond to the FS commands for the Fuel Valves.    in the FSUIPC Buttons and Switches Menu, in the FSCONTROL dropdown Menu is an item Offset Byte Set. this is where it's at. the offset for Eng 1 Fuel valve is 3590 and for the Eng 2 Fuel Valve is 3594 (don't know if this works with the 747, but Eng 3 is 3598 and Eng 4 is 359C). setting the parameter (based on your switch) will give you an accurate on/off state of the levers. parameter 1 for valve open and 0 for valve closed.
This only works with continuosly on switches (toggle or microswitch) and not with pushbuttons i'm afraid.
Simply select your button or switch and let FSUIPC identify it. select the Offset Byte Set item, change the ofset to x3590 for eng1 (or the offset for the engine valve you want to control) and put a zero in the parameter box if you want the valve closed when the switch is closed (or vice versa). then go down to the 'when button released' section and reverse the parameter. See HERE

PARKING BRAKE...(added 24/12/2008) The same technique used on the fuel valves (in FS9.1) can also be applied to the Parking Brake using Offset 0BC8. Parameter 1 = Parking Brake On, Parameter 0 = Parking Brake Off :o))

Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ

Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ

Inside the Symulatory TQ Inside the Symulatory TQ