Building your first Sim....
Lets start, you don't need a budget like a millionaire to get into this hobby! The whole reason I started this website was to share my build on a limited budget. But, hey money of course Helps!
If you need a guide on what components to buy, how to program Prosim and MobiFlight and how to connect the Ardunio Ardunio Mega, download here:
Software is probably the most expensive part, I started with P3D and 737 PMDG. 737 PMDG was brilliant! Its going to get you that effect of making a good sim! (but not every aspect will work- but if your starting out, and on a budget, trust me, this is good enough!) Now if your after complete functionality, with absolute every algorithm and logic switch, Prosim is your way. But its expensive! But its integration of any kind of hardware is exceptional! Do you need it? No not really, not unless your going for ultimate realism.
Now there are other programs out there, but I have not used them. Any forum search will reveal there flaws and good points! X-plane is out there and with the ZIBO mod supported by ANDRE Els, your onto a winner! But I have never personally used it! but the community is massive!
Software aside, comes the panels and the way your going to interface your sim. I started by making my own panels. Buying a4 size white opaque Perspex from ebay at $5 per sheet. The results varied and you need a CNC machine or laser to get good results. If your after making your own panels, my designs are available in the downloads section.
Now this is a bold statement to make, but if you want professional looking panels at a cheap price , visit :
( I am in no way sponsored, linked to this website, but if your starting out and on a budget like myself, here's where you start out! There are also lots more companies out there.)
For around 200 pounds for a pedestal, MIP or overhead, you cant make it cheaper! I've tried. They take time (due to there growing popularity), but the quality stands out. You will have a professional looking cockpit out of the box! Of course its up to you to connect all the wires, provide switches and lights etc!
I have used Arduino Mega's (lots of them at around £4 each from eBay. 52 combined input or outputs. Used with Mobiflight, interfacing is super easy. For Controls, a Leo Bodnar BUX card is recommended.
UPDATE 2019: After looking through Ebay, (JAN 19) Ardunio prices have doubled from when they first came out.
I will publish all prices for my sim soon!
THE SHELL/INTERNAL FRAMEWORK
I have designed the shell/framework complete and have pretty much proven it all. If you fancy building it yourself for that extra realism feel, head over to the downloads section or shop. The plans are free or you can purchase more detailed plans, with guide, cost, parts list etc. The plans in the shop are to help support the build and keep the website running for everyone to download.