Frequently Asked Questions
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Common questions and answers are below.
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FAQ: THE #1 MOST-ASKED QUESTION
Most of the questions I get are about things I don't even make. Many people ask questions about graphics cards, monitors, joysticks, rudder pedals, software, etc. You should always ask the manufacturer or publisher those questions. Many of them also have support forums that can help you.
FAQ: THE #2 MOST-ASKED QUESTION
Q: Can I get your products for free?
A: The DIY Flight Sims online courses are actually the least expensive part of a home flight simulator so I recommend trying to find discounts on a computer, monitors, flight controls or other components. I am unable to process free requests right now because I spend most of my time at my day job.
I do occasionally run sales. Sign up for the Roger Dodger Insider newsletter and be the first to know about upcoming sales.
FAQ: THE #3 MOST-ASKED QUESTION
Q: How much does it cost to build one of these?
A: You might already have some parts of the project (like computer, monitor, and controls), so it's difficult for me to estimate. But I CAN help you make your own estimate! Check out the DIY Flight Sim Budget Tool. This is absolutely the best method for planning your flight sim budget, by far. Also, each project includes a Materials List so you can estimate how much you will spend at the hardware store.
FAQ: QUESTIONS ABOUT ORDERS
Q: How do I order?
A: Click on the Premium DIY Video you want, click [View Course]. On the next screen click [Free Trial] to enroll and see more of the course, or click [Buy] to purchase. Pay with your credit card or PayPal account for full access to all the videos, instructions, diagrams, printouts, and future updates. View on any device: tablets, laptops, desktops, even smart phones. See the detailed ordering instructions if you want to know more.
Q: Do you accept eChecks?
A: No. You won't have access to the course until after your eCheck clears, and eChecks seldom clear.
Q: How much is that in Euros (pounds, Canadian dollars, yen, rupees, etc.)?
A: Please Google "currency converter" and be aware currency exchange rates change daily.
Q: How much is shipping to Spain (Australia, Germany, Britain, etc.)?
A. Nothing is mailed to you. I only sell online training tutorials. Each comprehensive product includes video clips, instructions, measurement diagrams, and printouts that make building easy.
Q: Do you charge sales tax?
Q: Did you charge sales tax in the past?
A: Yes. At one time we charged sales tax because of a court ruling on Internet sales. More recently, the Kansas legislature has clarified the law and does not require us to collect sales tax on digital products sold and delivered over the Internet. This includes all the products we sell.
Q: You're not going to spam me if I give you my email, will ya?
A: I don't spam or sell email addresses. I do recommend you sign up for the monthly Roger Dodger Insider because it's the best way to stay informed about product updates, upcoming sales, prototypes and more.
Q: I have a pre-purchase question.
A: I answer customer question as soon as I see them. I answer questions from the general public when time permits. I have a full time day job now, so that takes most of my time and focus.
Q: I want to enroll in a course that was discontinued. Can I enroll anyway?
A: No. It was discontinued. This is why I discontinued some products.
Q: I represent a non-profit organization. Can I have something for free?
A: I don't normally have time to process free requests because I had to get a day job.
Q: Your projects are awesome... but I still want a discount.
A: I normally don't have time to process discounts because I have a day job now.
FAQ: CONSTRUCTION QUESTIONS
Q: Can you just build it for me and ship it?
A: Not at this time. In most cases, the materials have already been shipped to your town and are at your local home improvement store. This saves you money. It would cost you a lot of money for me to manufacture something in my house and ship it to you.
Q: Hi, I want to modify your design to include a ... (description of what you want to build).
A: That's very cool and you may notice in the Customer Gallery that many customers modify their projects to meet their needs. Unfortunately, it's difficult for me to imagine how a particular modification will work unless I actually build it. That's prototyping, but PVC pipe is great for prototyping! You can assemble and disassemble a frame many times until you find a design that works for you. Then, lock the fittings in place with self-drilling screws. You can read more about prototyping at the Builder Academy.
Q: What is the difference between item #T440 DIY Triple Screen Flight Sim and item #D250 DIY Deluxe Desktop Flight Sim?
A: That is a great question because the projects are similar, but they also have some important differences. I go into more detail in this article.
Q: Where can I find EPS or XPS?
A: Most materials can be found at Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, or your neighborhood hardware store.
Q: How much is the MAACS moving flight simulator?
A: MAACS was a big research project to explore a moving flight simulator platform and a virtual reality headset. It's not a DIY project. If there is enough interest, we may develop a DIY moving flight sim platform in the future.
Q: Hey! what is the price and availability of the virtual reality helmets?
A: I'm not selling the virtual reality helmet, it was just a fun experiment. I do a lot of experiments
Q: I can't find any EPS at the stores near my house, what else can I use?
A: Other DIY builders have had success with XPS, (extruded polystyrene) or thick cardboard, foam
board or foam core.
Q: Do you recommend CH yokes or Saitek?
A: I don't recommend either product more than the other. Honestly, no computer yoke is like the real thing.
Q: hey! i seen that in some of your flight sims you have 2 keyboards in 1 pc is that possible for windows xp and if so hw do you do it. thanks
A: Some of our videos include instructions for using two keyboards. If you see a picture of it, then we include it with that video.
Q: What are the 10-16 x 1" screws you mention in the plans?
A: For the 10-16 x 1" screws, the 10 is the thickness of the screw. The 16 is the thread count (16 threads per inch). The thread count is not a vital piece of info, you might find screws with an 18 thread count, or you may not know the thread count at all. I've used both #8 and #10 size screws. Either one will work.
The two important ideas about using screws with PVC pipe are this:
1. Get screws that are self-drilling (or self-tapping as some say). That saves you from having to drill pilot holes every time you attach a screw.
2. Get screws that are either 1/2" to 3/4" long.
Q: How large is the T440 DIY Triple Screen Flight Sim?
53.5" wide (but the monitors extend a bit out to the sides to 56")
Q: How large is the D250 DIY Deluxe Desktop Flight Sim?
55" tall (including a 29" tall table)
Q: What are the outside dimensions of the E430 DIY Flight Sim Pod?
98" long (or 116" with the optional tail boom).
Q: How large is the HDTV in the E430 DIY Flight Sim Pod?
A: It's a 40" HDTV. I used a Westinghouse model UW40TA2W, but it doesn't have to be this specific model. The HDTV is 36.75" wide and 22.5" tall.
Q: Where can I get that plastic light bulb protector for the Missile Lamp?
A: Home Depot, item #81920 (Westinghouse 5 1/2" x 3 5/8" Polycarbonate Threaded Neck Shade).
Q: Why do you use latex paint instead of spray paint?
A: That's a great question. These are the reasons I don't use spray paint:
1. I've tried it before and it was very frustrating, it's too easy to miss spots when spray-painting a structure made of tubes.
2. Most of my customers (and me) build these projects indoors where there is not enough ventilation for a lot of spray paint. I don't want to encourage people to kill brain cells or get overspray in their apartment, so I use indoor latex paint... tinted primer, actually.
3. I think the latex primer tends to seal the fittings to the pipes in a way that enamel spray paint would not. It could be my imagination, but it seems that a structure painted with latex is a more solid than an unpainted structure.
Q: How do I get flight sim to work on two monitors?
A: I made two videos that show you how. Check them out at the Builder Academy.
Q: Where did you buy that yoke and throttle quadrant?
Q: You showed in one of your videos that you had dual controls. I have two questions regarding this.
1. Do they both move when used?
2. Which yoke does the computer read from? Thank you in advance. Keep up the good work.
A: You have a sharp eye. We have used dual control yokes in the past.
We used CH Products USB flight sim yokes plugged in to two different USB ports. They are not mechanically linked so they do not move together. The computer recognizes a command from whichever yoke is moving at the time. For example, if the left yoke is moving, the computer pays attention to the left yoke only. If you stop touching the left yoke, then move the right one, the computer then gets its commands from the right yoke. One or the other, not both at the same time. Actually, this works out well because we don't want both pilots trying to fly at the same time either in a simulator or in a real airplane.
Q: Hi, I bought a video card, nvidia 8400 512gb and the card I had before, an nvidia 4000 128gb was running my simulator better then the one i got now! What could be happening? Its four times better and it doesn't run it better then the 128 Please help me! What can i do.
A: Please contact the manufacturer's technical support.
Q: I have two computers and I am getting ready to run FSX on both I would like to know how do I get them to run at the same time so I can multiply my simming experience....I want to network the computers to work at the same time.
A: Try Peter Dowson's website. He offers software that makes this possible.
Q: PVC pipe is so expensive where I live.
A: I made a video that shows an online source for PVC fittings. Check it out in the Builder Academy.
Q: Can you make a DIY rudder pedal tutorial?
A: No. There are already several commercial off-the-shelf rudder pedals available from Saitek, CH Products and Logitech that are very good. I don't want to "re-invent the wheel" because I end up spending more in resources, time, and effort.
Q: What is that view tracking / head tracking device you're using in your videos?
A: It's called TrackIR https://www.naturalpoint.com/ unless you see me wearing a VR headset, then it is Oculus Rift https://www.oculus.com/rift/
FAQ: OTHER QUESTIONS
Q: What does "DIY" mean?
A: DIY = Do It Yourself
Q: What is Roger Dodger Aviation?
A: Here's an overview of Roger Dodger Aviation.
Q: Great videos! Can I get that girl's email address?