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Old 03-05-2019, 07:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by MajBach View Post
Why are clickable cockpits so much better? And, how to you operate within one? I can't fly stick with my left hand and using a mouse lefty is damn near impossible but the touchpad is do-able for my views along with the hats on the joystick. My understanding of the clicky cockpit is you have to activate the mouse cursor, move the pointer and click. Seems rather the long way to do just a keyboard shortcut so what am I missing.?
Well, many reasons. For example:
- I find it much easier to remember switches and buttons that I can see in the pit, than having to remember some abstract keybindings.
- Flicking switches adds a lot to the immersion.
- The non-clickable aircraft all have simplified systems with abstracted functionality which makes them less realistic. In reality you can't just start your engine with a single button for example. In the clickable aircraft you have to go through the entire procedure of an engine start which can be quite a handful depending on the aircraft. Same with all other systems. I want to see you going through all the subsystems of the flight and weapons computer of an A-10C by just using keybinds, without pressing the buttons in the pit. That would be fun to watch

Originally Posted by MajBach View Post
How popular are touchscreen monitors for this purpose? I read today I may be able to get one of my other laptops (that is a touch screen) set up as another monitor. Has anyone else tried this with success?
I've never heard of someone doing that and I've been a while on these forum. So I would say it's pretty uncommon. I didn't even know that this is possible.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:57 PM   #12
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I prefer the feel of buttons and switches. I don't use the mouse and keyboard at all.
A touchscreen certainly has been done. Don't ask me how.


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Old 03-28-2019, 08:00 PM   #13
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New user here, too (just got started around the new year).

Based on advice I read, my first module was F-5. It is the simplest modern clicky-pit and I love it! Very easy to learn since there just isn't much going on in the Tiger: guns, IR missiles, very basic radar, plus dumb bombs and rockets. I also got the two different campaigns for it since they are training to fight with it.
Basically, the advantage of the click-pit is, IMO, two fold: 1. immersion is greater when you can look down and activate a switch/button, and it's in the exact same place/type as IRL. And 2: I find that remembering the functions becomes easier when you're "really" doing it in the click pit.
The downside of click pits, though, is that no aircraft has the same, or even similar, controls; except for obvious stuff like gear handle and trigger. A good example is Flaps - the control of, lever location, and even what the Flaps actually do when activated - varies significantly across the different aircraft. So a full-fidelity click-pit increases your immersion, but also effectively limits how many aircraft you can really handle (and makes you appreciate why most RL pilots only ever get type-certified in a very small number of aircraft).

Contrast that with the FC3 planes where "F" gets you flaps pretty much no matter what. The downside is that I don't really know where the Flaps lever is in any of the FC3 planes...but since I know when I need them, knowing I can get them with "F" in any plane is helpful.
I tend to use the HUD more or less exclusively in FC3, where I use almost all the instruments in the click-pits.

Still, if I had to do it again, I'd have gone FC3 first. Doubly so since you've taken the time to learn the Frogfoot (the RU aircraft all seem to have the exact same HUD symbology - and it's pretty nice!). And since even in the Eagle and Hawg-A the keyboard commands are the same across all the FC3 aircraft, the rate at which you can learn which type of flying you like is highly accelerated.

In FC3, you can get just about all your jollies: Air Superiority with Eagle and Flanker, Dogfight with Fulcrum, Ground Pound with Warthog-A and Frogfoot, even carrier ops with Sea Flanker! AND you now get Fox 3 with the China Fulcrum (J-11A). Should make anti-Eagle / anti-Hornet somewhat of a fair-er fight. And Fulcrum recently got the Professional Flight Model, too (i'm not familiar with it, tho).

Best part is that FC3, with all of those features, is right about the same cost as a single full-fidelity clicky-pit aircraft.

If you've really got the itch to get more planes "right now", I'd say that FC3 is worth paying full price for since you get so many different types of flying/fighting out of it. I'd wait for a sale on the click-pits as you can essentially get 2-for-1 pricing, and you ARE going to want more than one!

As for which full-fidelity module as first, I would've made my first clicky-pit the Mirage rather than the Tiger. Not too much more complex, but ever so much more capable (I will freely admit my pro-US bias caused me to ignore the Mirage at first).

Get used to using your mouse left handed for non-HOTAS controls. Even if your plane is perfectly trimmed, it will wander way more than you think once you take your hand off the stick. It's easier than remembering all the key-binds for sure.

Also if starting again, I would skip VR and go TrackIR first (particularly since compact mobility is a factor for you), so don't be disappointed in your laptop. And TrackIR should be no sweat for your system, unlike VR.
Having the abilty to look around the cockpit with...y'know - your head...makes it MUCH easier to transition into clicky-pits. And I can't imagine trying to dogfight without TrackIR or VR...unless i imagine dying a lot.

The key with the clicky pits is to have a good HOTAS: then you don't really need to interact with the cockpit all that often. It will, as IRL, also make your flying/fighting much quicker/smoother/better-er. Arguably, the more complex the aircraft (like Hornet or Hawg-C), the more important HOTAS becomes.
Consider the Logitech X-56 since it has the most assignable buttons at a reasonable cost. But according to a poll I've read here, most everyone goes for the Thrustmaster Warthog; something to keep in mind.

I don't have a touchscreen on my gaming rig, so can't comment on that. I could see how it *might* help, but HOTAS and TrackIR should be a much higher priority than touchscreen, IMO.

p.s.: also since you're USCG, the volume consumed by a VR setup is better spent on HOTAS & rudder pedals. I wouldn't have been able to run a VR setup back when I was USN just due to the lack of space. Then again, when I was USN, GPS was a new-fangled thing - forget about laptops of any sort!

ETA: since you're a bush pilot, too, give the Me-109 a try. Take offs, landings, hell, just taxi-ing is challenging!

Last edited by coduster; 03-29-2019 at 06:08 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:57 PM   #14
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Newbie questions.... I also have been curious as to best channel to post them in. I've learned some good stuff on this very page, nonetheless.......

re: the value of clickable cockpits, needing to fly with left hand, etc..... figure that in actual flight, the pilots are dealing in realtime with flight physics, decisions on radar signals in terms of power/direction/etc, which weapons to deploy, potential for collateral effects upon delivery, a horsefly on his/her tail aka "enemy", and oh yeah permission....... the kind that's granted as the targets disappear into storm drains/caves/hotels/hospitals..... you can certainly polish your multitasking skills when needing a third hand for keyboard commands..... hopefully getting all preparations together before "launch aborted", "GCAS break", and other such annoyances
Ever ask the software "whose side are you ON????"

Lastly, and pursuant to Yurgon's appreciated speculations, that hesitation/stutter is the kind of stuff that drives hardware upgrades. That an SSD can have such benefit? Just in time, I've got 2 500GB SSD's awaiting my procrastination to change shift...... DCS is exactly why I've gotten them.

Lastly now for real, clickable cockpits give you a reason to recognize the grouping of switches and knobs in terms of their tasks..... usually, anyway It helps me, anyway, seeing associations...... a feeble too-much-fun-in-70's memory bank needs such devices
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:25 AM   #15
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Here's my $.02 on the clickable cockpits:

If you like keyboard shortcuts, that's great. I use shortcuts a lot myself. However, having a clickable cockpit means that you don't need to map or memorize an excessive number of shortcuts. You have the option of either using the shortcut or the mouse. I like to use shortcuts for commonly used items, or items that I want to be able to use by feel instead of having to look away.

Second, getting used to a mouse with the left hand is a great idea. I use a Kensington ambidextrous trackball with a scroll ring. This is the only reasonably priced ambi or lefty trackball with a scrolling action that I've found. I keep the trackball behind my throttle, so I can easily use it while keeping my right hand on the stick.

Finally, since the sale is going right now, I would pick up the Mirage 2000C module. This is a very good module to learn the clickable cockpit because 1) it has an outstanding autopilot that will let you play around the cockpit without having to worry about crashing, and 2) many of the switches are single use "set and forget," so you configure things the way you like and leave them in place.
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