Nothing like a deadline to add some motivation

And it’s true!   Tomorrow night I have some friends coming to fly the sims…. and the ManCave was is a real state!  The Skyhawk had it’s throttle out, awaiting installation of a new throttle , the Arrow had no pilot seat… and there was *CRAP* everywhere, stacked on every available flat surface.

So, tonight was a huge working night on the sims, and finally a big tidy up of the ManCave.

I mounted the new Thrustmaster TWCS throttle in the left console, which meant removing the left side outer skin, removing the old throttle and it’s associated wiring, then re-positioning the panels behind the throttle, to match the new footprint.

Since I had the drill out I figured I might as well finish off the mounting for the Gear and Hook panels, by attaching them permanently.  I also finally screwed down the aft end of the left side console and tidied up a bunch of cabling where it runs out the front of the panel.

With it all screwed back together and the outer side panels in place (the first time they have both been on the sim at the same time in years!) I thought I might as well fit the insulated lining on the right sidewall.

An ‘Arty’ shot of the HUD with the wall linings and Hook lever in the background

Next the Arrow got some attention; since it will probably be flown tomorrow I figured it probably needed a pilot seat, as the 737 Pax seat is just leaning on the wall next to the sim, so not a whole lot of use.   A couple of blocks of 4×2 and some long screws and it is a little more secure.  Though it is still not the right height, it is certainly better than it was.

The final part of the evening was getting all my ‘IT’ ducks in a row, so to speak.  at some point in my tidying I had inadvertently disconnected an Ethernet cable, effectively isolating the skyhawk sim, and server from the rest of the network, and the outside world. 

With all the issues sorted, it was time to bed the sims down and call it a night.

Looking pretty sharp after an evenings attention. Roll on tomorrow night!



Wall decoration

I get asked about the banner hanging on the wall next to the sim;

This came from an advertising campaign by Microsoft in 1994, and I thought it summed up what flightsim is about for me 🙂

I scored the banner during my time working in a computer shop.  Being the hoarder that I am, I grabbed the banner and stored it for some-time-in-the-future

Wiki Article on the Campaign


Cards, Boots, Camera and EFIS

It’s been a while since an update, and despite working long hours I have something to talk about!

I received a B737 passenger safety card in the mail, which will fill its place in the seat pocket..

Then, I bought a new phone, with a much nicer camera… So I had to try it out;

This was taken on the climb out of Trondheim, headed North and eventually to a small mining town in Russia.

During the climb I did some research on interfacing my new EFIS panel to Project Magenta. It appears that most of the functions I need should be easy to implement, and may only need some LUA scripting for the more complex tasks.

Initial machining on the EFIS panel is complete, now I just need to find some time to assemble and wire it! Once everything is fitted and tested I’ll remove the face plate, paint and engrave it.

The final bit of news is Huge… I got new boots today which means…

(drum roll please)

Susan the fighter pilot gets some boots at last!

Mancave ‘decorating’

Today was a pretty miserable day here in Christchurch, so it was ‘perfect’ to work outside breaking up a shipping pallet!  At work we receive 737 cockpits on nicely made pallets, constructed of good 4×2’s with 12mm ply on top… and these things are not small… So today I deconstructed one of the pallets and brought the bits home as framing and lining for the upstairs mancave.  This is the first of 3 identical pallets we have received, so I should be able to make a dent in the linings and ceilings of the ‘cave once I get the next 2!

Doesn’t look much…. but it’s part of the path to the dream 😉

737 New Paint flies

The 737 sim, sporting it’s nifty new paint left Tonga tonight, after testing the new model/paint in multiplayer…

And in other news… I got a new mouse pad!

I shall never scorn those who have large mouse pads again…

Cool Weather Website

Found this while I was looking for something else…. is a really cool weather visualisation website….

 I’m going to have this running on a monitor in the mancave… almost like an automated weather brief.
You can search for airports by their ICAO code, and it will display METAR and TAF’s

Non Sim work

Tonight I spent a bit of time in the workshop, not on “sim” work, instead I was turning old aircraft parts into a funky Star Wars themed gadget for Nathan. It was a good excuse to dust off the lathe and turn some parts!

More paint work

Some more details, and a second coat on the Arrow, and some more grey paint on the wall.  It’s amazing the difference a coat of paint makes to the old MDF walls.  Got me all motivated to paint the whole room!

After sitting back, admiring my work  I thought I could paint a propeller on the door, give the Arrow a bit more 3D

After my random thoughts about some stencils on the door… A quick sketch to show Nathan what I meant…..

Maybe with a bright Yellow door knob?  🙂   Maybe even some sort of warning about the real world on the other side of the door….

Coloring-in time

Quiet evening in the man cave…   something about idle hands…

First coat on the white, and blocked in the windows.  The grey is lighter than I was going to use, but I had the tin open anyway… It may get some dark added later, depending on how it looks.  I really need to make the access panel cover now!
What I also did, but didn’t take a photo of, was paint the rear bulkhead and centre window frame grey.

Next up, since I had the grey paint out, was to splash some on the man cave door and see how it looked.  Well, that was the plan, but it seems I may have gotten quite carried away!

Doesn’t look much in the photo, but it sure looks better than bare MDF!  I will be investing in some more paint, and continuing all the way along the wall, and onto the printer cabinet.  This has highlighted the fact that the window in the door is pretty ugly.  I’m thinking of some sort of frame, and maybe some sort of slatted blind or something.

Sitting back admiring my handiwork I started thinking that some sort of sarcastic/humorous exit sign was needed by the handle.  Something about “Caution Real World”…
Incidentally, I also fixed the door handle, which has been bothering me for the past 8 years, as the knob was held on by a bent nail…