737 Home Cockpit Project - Multiple Monitors

Any issues, problems or troubleshooting topics related to computer hardware and the Prepar3D client application
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:34 pm

737 Home Cockpit Project - Multiple Monitors

Postby Avi8or79 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:41 pm

Hey there!

I'm currently planning my 737 home cockpit, which will be a detailed replica of the PMDG 737 NGXu virtual cockpit, basically made of MDF and roof battens.

Beside the cockpit, the simulator will also feature the forward galley, including a fully working lavatory and the 1L and 1R entry doors + windows. The access to the non-existing pax cabin will be covered by a curtain with LED lighting behind, to give the impression that there is a pax cabin behind the curtain actually. The sensation of being in the forward fuselage of a b738 will be completed by different MP3 players + loudspeakers behind the curtain as well as behind the sidewall of the lavatory, the entry doors and the roof, for loop-playing original b738 air conditioning sound, cabin wind noise during cruise and passengers sound. As for the galley, it will be an actual replica of a real b738 galley (also made of MDF), and will feature a mini fridge, a microwave and a coffee maker behind locker doors.

The entire simulator will be an enclosed system, with a vent system for constant air flow into and out of the cockpit and galley. I'm not yet sure whether the entrance will be behind the pax cabin curtain (through a door) or through an actual working 1L entry door...

So, here is the deal regarding multiple monitors:

All windows in the cockpit will include thick plexiglass with TV screens behind. For the two forward windows (reduced window angles for a better viewing angle): 2x 32 inch LED (connected as "one" screen), and one 55 inch LED TV each for the two side windows on either side. So that's 4 LED TVs for the outside views. The side views will simply be replicated to one 24 inch LED monitor each behind the window of the 1L and 1R entry doors.

As for the instrument panels, there will be none! All panels will just show up on LED monitors, just as they appear in the virtual cockpit of the PMDG NGXu. That means: two monitors incorporated into the MIP for showing the MIP + glare shield panels (MCP and EFIS), one LED TV in the roof showing the OVHD panel, one LED monitor in the forward electronics panel to show the MCDUs and lower EICAS display, and one LED monitor in the aft electronics panel to show the throttle quadrant and NAV and COM radios etc.

As far as real hardware is concerned: two 737 yokes by Open Cockpits for a home made dual yoke system that actually moves a joystick located inside the forward electronics panel, a home made tiller and home made dual rudder pedals also moving a hidden controller below the center MIP, as well as a Saitek pro flight throttle quadrant with replicas of the 737 SPD BK lever, throttles and flap lever. The Saitek pro flight throttle quadrant will sit just on top of the center console LED monitor (probably mounted with velcro on top of the plexiglass lying on top of the monitor).

So, that's, all in all, 11 displays. While two of them are just duplications for the 1L and 1R entry door windows (showing what the side views in the cockpit are showing). So 7 views on 11 displays.

I did an initial test by just creating new views, undock them and drag and drop them along my LED monitor and a connected TV. The basic principle seems to work well. Adjusting all views necessary to display the views and panels on the corresponding TVs and monitors seems to be no issue. But there is a significant drop of FPS though, which I expected. I know it's a common issue of P3D (and FSX).

My question here would be: does make buying a hardcore, Intel-based PC a difference regarding FPS with the planned amount of views/displays?

My current system consists of an AMD Ryzen 2700X, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super and 16 GB RAM.

What are your thoughts/ideas/guesses/eperiences regarding PC hardware?

Thanks in advance and best Regards

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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:12 am

Re: 737 Home Cockpit Project - Multiple Monitors

Postby Aussie1234 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:31 pm

Seeing you are going to so much trouble building the fabric of the plane, I would recommend investing in Prosim 737 as a system. It interfaces great with Prepar3d.
My enclosed, two seat cockpit goes back to the cockpit door.
I use P3Ds View Groups to display the exterior 180 degree view. I have a 55 inch to my left (about 50cm from the window), 2 x 55 inch monitors to the front (about 50cm beyond the MIP). One 50 inch covers my right windows. (I removed the plexiglass to the front due to refection's)
All of the other hardware (which includes many Open Cockpits SIOC modules) interfaces through other (ex office) networked PCs. These also display the PFD, ND's on both sides, Upper and lower MFD, and also drive the OC FMC. That way your main PC concentrates on running P3D and keeps the frame rate up (I have a i7-9700k, 32Gb, RTX-2070 Super).

Many ways to skin a cat. :-)

Just a suggestion. Keep doing your research.


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