Dream Flight Adventures simulators can be built just about anywhere. Their space requirements are quite flexible, and they use off-the-shelf-parts. Here’s a summary of the technology equipment typically used for a simulator installation. You might have some of this already, in which case you can use what you have. There is no “one right way” to build a simulator; items listed here can be substituted with comparable equipment, based on your own needs, goals, and budget.
The focal point of the bridge is your main Viewscreen, which can be achieved by either a large-screen TV or a projector. Here are some examples:
Large Screen TV
Example: Sony Home Theater Projector ($678) + Spare Bulb ($60)
Note: Depending on your space and mounting situation, you might be able to use a standard projector instead of a short-throw projector, which is more cost-effective.
Every station has an important role, and most of them require dedicated consoles. Our simulator software runs on Macs, PCs, Linux, iOS, and Android devices, including inexpensive low-end devices like the Amazon Fire tablets. If at all possible, we recommend touchscreen devices.
Tablets or Touchscreen PC (26x*)
Examples: 10.2-inch Wi-Fi iPad ($330) or HP Pavilion 24-inch All-in-One Computer ($540)
Note: For tablets, the smallest capacity (16GB or 32GB) Wi-Fi only models will work fine. It’s not necessary to buy the latest model; any recent model should work well for many years.
Mounting: Tablets should be secured safely at each station. A wide variety of mounting options are available. Choose whichever best meets your needs.
Handheld Devices (4x*)
Example: iPod Touch ($200)
Note: The smallest capacity (16GB or 32GB) models will work fine. It’s not necessary to buy the latest model; any recent model should work well for many years.
* The quantity of devices you need depends on how many crew stations your simulator supports. Of our 32 crew stations, three (Captain, XO, and Pilot) do not require any console devices. Three (Red, Gold, and Blue Squad Leaders) require small handheld devices, like iPod Touches. The Surgeon requires both a small handheld device like an iPod Touch and a larger device, like an iPad or computer. The other 25 stations only require larger devices, like iPads or computers.
Flight Sim Yoke or Joystick
Example: CH Products Flight Sim Yoke ($110)
Note: This allows the Pilot to steer the ship. Please ensure that the device you select is compatible with your Viewscreen computer (detailed below).
Speaker Systems (2x)
Example: Logitech Z623 400 Watt Home Speaker System ($150)
Note: Stereo + sub-woofer (2.1) speakers are sufficient. Full surround sound (5.1 or 7.1) is not required. Two sets are required: one connects to the Viewscreen and plays the sound effects and music; the other connects to the Flight Director computer and plays the character voices.
Example: Shure CVO-B/C Centraverse Overhead Cardioid Condenser Microphone ($89)
Note: This microphone lets the Flight Director in the Control Room hear the crew on the Bridge via the crew audio mixer & speakers (below). We recommend choir mics, which are designed for picking up sounds in large spaces while reducing ambient noise. Depending on your other audio equipment, you might also need an adapter.
Lighting is one of the most powerful tools to create an immersive simulator. It’s inexpensive, easy to implement, and extremely effective.
Color-Changing LED Strips
Example: 32.8ft or 16.5ft RGB LED Strip Kit ($20)
Note: These strips can be daisy-chained together and cut to fit specific spaces. Also, consider adding a dimmer to give you fine-tuned control for dramatic scenes (power fluctuations, taking damage, etc.). Very handy!
Viewscreen and Flight Director Computers
Example: Apple iMac ($1,100) or HP Pavilion All-in-One Computer ($900)
Note: Our simulator software runs on a wide range of devices. The most important device you use, by far, is the computer that powers the Viewscreen. It should have a dedicated graphics card and at least 8GB RAM, and its image should be displayed both inside the Control Room and on the Viewscreen TV/projector inside the simulator.
By contrast, the Flight Director computer does not need to be as powerful.
Flight Director Microphone
Example: Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone ($40)
Note: This allows the Flight Director to speak and act as the various characters the crew encounters during their missions. A noise-reducing microphones is recommended. Be careful not to pick up sounds from the simulator itself, in order to avoid audio feedback.
Security Camera Feed Monitor
Example: Acer Widescreen Monitor ($130)
Note: This displays the camera feed from the security camera system (listed below) to allow the Flight Director to observe the crew throughout the mission.
Crew Audio Mixer & Speakers
Example: AmazonBasics Computer Speakers ($15) and Rolls MX51S Four-Channel Mixer ($55)
Note: These speakers allow the Flight Director to hear the crew on the Bridge (which is picked up by the Bridge Microphone, above). The mixer allows the Bridge Microphone to connect to the speakers.
Example: Linksys Mesh WiFi Router ($180)
Note: This allows the various devices to connect with each other.
Security Camera System
Example: Wandwoo Indoor Outdoor Cameras Surveillance Systems ($350)
Note: This allows the Flight Director to observe the crew throughout the mission. Night-vision cameras are preferred.
Furniture, Theming, & Decor
There are all sorts of things—big and small, simple and elaborate—that you can do to make your simulator unique and immersive. Attention to details makes all the difference.
Crew Chairs (30x)
Example: Hodedah Armless, Low-Back, Adjustable Height, Swiveling Task Chair ($30)
Note: We recommend chairs without armrests, to prevent crews from pinching their fingers against the desks when swiveling. Choose a color that accentuates your theming.
Command Chairs (2x)
Example: Office Chair Ergonomic Desk Chair Mesh Computer Chair ($50)
Note: Give your Captain and XO a sense of authority with prominent classy chairs.
Diamond Plate Flooring
Example: HDX 7.5 ft. x 14 ft. Diamond Black Universal Garage Flooring ($1-2 / sq. ft.)
Note: This gives your simulator a true metallic look. Plus, it’s durable and easy to clean.