Apart from 'how much does it cost?' and 'can you do a barrel roll?' a topic that often raises its head is how much you'd all like to build your own simulators given the chance.
Over the next few weeks we'll try to outline some of the tasks we undertake to fix and improve the simulators. Hopefully this will highlight the time, effort and expertise it takes to build such good looking simulators.
Which wire shall I cut?
The most recent challenge for us has been trying to work out why one of the engine start switches wasn't working all the time, having not had a problem for the last 6 months. Was it a fault with the switch, the wiring, the electronic board it plugged into, the software that drives it, the software that talks to PSX, etc. We spent hour after hour working through each possible cause of the fault which in itself presents a huge challenge. By the very nature of the simulator itself it's highly connected meaning one small change in one part can have a massive effect on another. This means that each change we made to try and fix the start switch was then followed by having to make sure we hadn't broken something else.
Consulting the wiring diagram again we noticed that the wiring for the number 1 start switch is subtly different to that for all the other start switches, thanks Boeing. This led to only one option, cutting a wire..
Selecting from a bundle of wires we had to carefully ensure we got the right one, otherwise it would of involved removing the whole wiring loom to rewire, we made the snip. The prognoses looks good however we're once again going through everything to ensure that this change hasn't affected anything else in the simulator. 1 month, hundreds of hours led to the cutting of one wire to make one switch work. Still want to build a simulator....