Author Topic: The Ultimate Toy for playing FSO, or ANY Space or flightsim  (Read 3034 times)

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The Ultimate Toy for playing FSO, or ANY Space or flightsim
***WARNING: Half asleep, and i get ramble-ly(?) when I'm tired.... you can skip this and check out the ***RECAP*** at bottom if i bore you, because this is something YOU MUST SEE!!!!***

   Just thought you would like to know about this neat little toy I found. i have been searching for something like this for a long time, and was beginning to think that if i wanted to build an instrument panel for a space fighter sim, i would have to build my own hardware and then i would have to do it for each game. we have all seen those neat looking flight sim setups that people have put so much work into. all they lack is a toiletseat under the chair cushion, a microwave, (since some of them already have a fridge, lol) and a Mr. Coffee maker. I think at one time we have all wished that we could have an instrument panel that mirrored what was available to us in freespace, wing commander, privateer, or the privateer remake and most especially in the evochron mercenary game, which has oodles of instrumentated eye candy in the cockpit. aside from getting a degree in hardware design, or paying thousands of dollars for some not very well adjusted tech saavy fanboy of the mustachioned, track suit wearing, pocket protectored, coke bottle glasses wearing 37 year old virgin who insists you refer to him as his proper united federation of planets rank and title, Lt. Commander Jeff "kobiyashi maru killer" Geoffreys III, esquire, to build one for you.......(yes, we all know a jeff....)... then you are probably, and in some cases literally, SMURFED.

Sure you could always lay down a grand or more to get some nice shiny hardware panels (USB) that you could easily program to do just about everything any freespace mod could dream of, and still have 4/5ths of the keys left unmapped, such as in the saitek pro flight setup, but you will still feel like a dork, flying around in your peppy little spaceship with the UBER retro controls you salvaged from an old earth (ie modern/todays) airbus passenger plane. you would probably feel like someone had plopped you in the seat of the newest generation of experimental fighter, able to jump as far as any capship, take a massive whooping due to its 4 independant and redundant omnidirectional shield emitters, and your hybrid plasma beam/disruptor/feminine massager that some shady agency just backwards engineered from some unknown alien uber race, and when you gleefully turn on the cockpit lights, it looks like they ripped the control modules straight out of kirk's old enterprise, busted them up, and repaired them with superglue, popsicle sticks and duct tape (which i firmly believe to still be a quintessential tool even in the 31st century!). needless to say, that given the cost of a setup like that (seriously like $1400.00) its not going to look even remotely like it belongs anywhere near anything futuristic, unless you are flying around in a mobile early earth aviation museum.

   Back to the point of this post, and the reason that you are gonna be pooping yourselves in delight (those of you who havent came across this wonderful item). what we all want is a panel that we can put together like lego's and program any way we want, and make it look as cool as we want, and we want it to be cheap (relatively) and easy to do. Well..... the wait is over.
Please, feast your eyes on the ultimate accessory for any and all of us who have ever flown a flight sim, space sim, combat sim, or even a mech sim. (truthfully, it would be killer for ANY GAME that had more than a few keyboard key functions.)

http://www.chproducts.com/retail/mfp.html

   If there are any atheists out there, i highly suggest dropping to your knees, and thanking god for this wonderful gift. (or meditate on the buddha, make an offering to loki or thor, heck, even you devil worshippers, not to be confused with satanists, go ahead and sacrifice a... ummm... cockroach? to his infernal hornedness)

   Though i have not the 200 dollars for one now, believe me, I will go on a ramen noodle diet to save enough for it, right after i get my nice little x52 stick and throttle. so if one of you lucky buggers gets your hands on this before me, had better start working on an underlay template that would match freespace. i imagine it would lend itsself nicely to the cockpit design of some of the high end mods you fine folks have here. and really, what could be better, than completely getting into the game's story, by increasing your immersion, putting all your obscure targetting systems (like the fairly superflous nearest enemy, and nearest enemy targetting you..... arent they usually one in the same target?)

   at any rate, please forgive any typos, except for the lowercase i since i dont really care about those. while i pride myself on my linguistics, grammer, and writing ability, it all tends to blur together into neverending overly descriptive rant about something simple that i, like most of my former (and sadly, current) girlfriends tend to do, i take something simple (a link to something i think everyone who has ever wished for a custom controller will love with all their heart and souls) and i complicate the hell out of it, with an overly elaborate, albeit slightly amusing (i hope) anecdote to pique the reader's interest, and keep them awake through my rambling post (which i have failed to do for myself, at least 3 or 4 times just during the typing of this post).
ack. enough of this, my eyes will barely open at this point, fatigue has made them so dry..... so let me recap, for once, breifly, for those of you who hate rambles as much as my sleepy subconscious seems to adore them.

***RECAP***

   This CONTROLLER is what every person on this board should have or at least desire.
yes, this truly is the programmable, fully customiseable, BUILDABLE (lego's, yay!!!) ALPHA & OMEGA of all controllers, EVER.
http://www.chproducts.com/retail/mfp.html

And we need templates for it. i will work on one for you if no one beats me to it. but i may seriously just flat out sell my ps3 to get some cash for this thing.

Anyway, sorry for the long windedness of my post, but i feel that its content outweighs any ammount of half awake ramblings, and run-on sentences.
i will check EBAY and see if a used one could be procured thats still functional and cheap.
i will let you know if i manage to get one, and i will post any templates i manage to make for everyone else.
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Offline headdie

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Re: The Ultimate Toy for playing FSO, or ANY Space or flightsim
bloody hell, is that thing still going?  I can remember PC format making a big deal out if it (probably a previous incarnation) years (a decade?) ago.  It's still not cheep mind you.
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Offline Dragon

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Re: The Ultimate Toy for playing FSO, or ANY Space or flightsim
CH Products is a place to go for any flight sim fan, I have a full HOTAS made from their controllers and I must say I never used anything better. MFP would be a great addition to my set (of course, someday I'd like to have 4 MFPs and 3 or 4 monitors arranged in a cockpit-like fashion, like in F-22).

 

Offline MetalDestroyer

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Re: The Ultimate Toy for playing FSO, or ANY Space or flightsim
How does work the MFD display screens ? Is it working in all kind of titles or specific one ?
However, I looked a little in their other product like pedals, joystick and so on. I find them very cheap.
The X65F from Saitek is more bad ass and have integrated MFD on the throttle stick. But don't know how it works.


 

 
Re: The Ultimate Toy for playing FSO, or ANY Space or flightsim
The mfd are not screens. it's like the mfd from thrustmaster.... it's painting ^^
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   ( has-time-elapsed "0" )
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Re: The Ultimate Toy for playing FSO, or ANY Space or flightsim
its not like those other things.
its not even like this setup, which is pretty cool in its own right
http://cgi.ebay.com/THRUSTMASTER-MFD-Cougar-Pack-2-PANELS-PER-PACK-NEW-/120749609838?pt=AU_Input_Peripherals&hash=item1c1d3cd36e
basically, imagine a keyboard, with all the keys ripped out. now imagine you can take those individual keys, and stick them on a glass plate, in any arrangement you like. it comes with blank decals for each of the keys. you can make each key say whatever you want, and do whatever you want. (even control the mouse or mouse macros, even the joystick and all its axes.) now, you can put a printout underneath the glass to make the "board" look like anything you want. once you put the keys on the glass, they stick there. you can remove them and reuse them as many times as you like. once you get it looking how you want it, you program all the buttons, the same way you would any other game pad, but with tons more options. now, i could be wrong, but i think i remember seeing somewhere, that you could get little switches, knobs, and even levers (kinda like little throttle sticks) that will also stick the same way the keys will, and you can program those the same way. once you are done, you will have a square board of keys and switches, put in any arrangement you like. and you can completely do away with the keyboard. i will give you a great example of how it could be used in freespace. a diagram of your ship sits on the bottom left of your control panel. each shield facing is right there, and all you have to do is press the side of the shield you want to augment. if you want to equalize the power distribution, simply touch the center of the ship diagram. works the same with weapons, and your ships reactor power distribution, want some power in engines? touch the engines on the ship diagram. want to lower it? touch the red icon below the ship and then touch the engine. no more mapping stuff to hat switches, shift commands or any of that junk that takes so long to get the hang of, you simply use an intuitive custom GUI that you can literally make look like and control like anything you can imagine. if you want, you could set it up to look just like the cockpit controls of your favorite sim, be it aero, or space. and whats so great about it, is that you can have multiple setups for all your different sims, and if you dont feel like rearranging the buttons when switching sims, and dont want to spend another 200 on a seperate MFD, no problem. the glass that you set your buttons on, is completely removable and interchangeable. you can buy a seperate glass for 15 bucks, and i think extra buttons are cheap too. Switching sims is as simple as popping the setup you made off, and putting on another custom one. no need to buy multiple MFD's. not only that, but if you dont feel like creating your own setup, then a lot of games already have the backgrounds created by someone else, complete with markers on where to place the buttons, and if you get the profile for it, you dont even have to program any keys. thats why i put this here. if anyone has a MFD, or would like to help me, once i get mine, we could create a generic freespace 2 background, which could be easily customized for any of the mods here with a slight change in button placement and graphics. considering you spend 200 bucks for a decent stick and throttle (ie. X52) its not that expensive. and as i said, there is always ebay, and shopping around. im sure you could get one for 100 bones or less, give or take a bit of shipping.
but really, the true worth isnt the customization, its the implementation of a seamless cockpit. no more keyboard, no more mouse, your setup is just like your characters setup in the cockpit. the only way to increase the immersion in the game further would probably be to get our stereotypical Lt. Comm. Jeff to build you a cockpit which will seriously put a dent in your fraternization with the opposite sex, unless you met her at a sci-fi convention. and even then she's gonna think you're a freak for taking it that far. quite frankly, the only way you're gonna get or keep a member of the fairer sex, is if you yourself ARE a woman. (and if you are, im talking marriage material, baby!) or else you got the ol' snip, clip, tuck and sow operation (and if you are.........just dont tell anyone, k?) and at that point, if you have set yourself up as a social pariah, then why not take all that filthy lucre you would have spent on dates and buy one of those hydraulic chair setups, and get your immersion up to its highest level. (just set a little cash to the side for some professional services, you silly Buy-sexual  :nervous:)
anyway, the point is, there is no cheaper, more customizable and immersive peripheral on the market. you are limited only by your imagination, and the commands in the game you are playing. you dont even have to worry about compatibility, since its basically just telling the computer that you are hitting keyboard keys. no worries about an MFD being supported by your favorite game, not even the ORIGINAL  Elite.
so, does that explain what the MFD is a little better? i guess i could compare it to a Lite Brite. you set down a template, put your pegs/keys down, and Viola! instant Art/Killer Control Setup.
i just think it would be cool to get some templates made for freespace. thats the whole point for all of this. if you were willing to drop the dough for an X52, then why not complete your setup with one of these, for roughly the same price. i guarantee if we can put out a great template that lives up to the standards of the art assets made for this game, then a lot more people would be interested in getting a MFD themselves.
oh, and if you would like  another opinion/explanation, check out flightsims.com's review, here
http://www.flightsim.com/main/review/chmfp.htm

last but not least, i cant afford one for a month or two, but i found a link to amazon. they have 2 new ones available at 172$ each, with free shipping. anyone interested can click here.
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=ch+mfp&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=7204767297&ref=pd_sl_3yn6mrnrq5_b
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 08:49:08 am by Volyren Nightsong »
"Think you've got what it takes to beat me? HA! You don't have a paper dog's chance of catching an asbestos cat in Hell."