Fold-away simpit - early thoughts

Spirited from @Troll’s ever so amazing Simbox (and also having, ahem, domestic factors of similar ilk), I’ve been half-heartedly drafting up sketches of a foldaway simpit for the home office.

There’s a wee corner in the office, which currently houses a small bookshelf. There’s a built-in wardrobe on the other side of the wall, which creates a “nook” 1000mm wide by 600mm deep:


(sorry about the mess)

I’m currently trying to come up with a feasible plan for the space, and something like this comes to mind:

Basically I’m thinking about an aluminium extrusion frame with veneered MDF “cladding” to make the item “furniture-like” when folded away.

The dimensions in terms of width seem to work - I can have just under 300mm in width on the right side for a mid-tower and 700mm for the cavity that houses the cockpit itself, i.e. pedals and a seat with HOTAS that pulls out when in use. You should just be able to fit a 32" screen under the folding lid - otherwise if that gets too complicated, I can always just wall-mount the screen, that wouldn’t be too bad visually.

The biggest challenge is the depth for the seating position. I only have 600mm of depth to play with - @troll’s setup is 1500mm long, however my Crosswinds move horizontally i.e. your sitting position is more upright, so I probably need a little less. I’ll need to do some more measuring to see if the concept is feasible. Ideally you’d pull out the seat assembly and have some adjustable slots to lock it in to the rest of the pit so you can push the pedals without pushing the seat back.

The seat base could look something like this:

Aluminium extrusion base with a bit of extrusion sticking out at the front to set up the HOTAS (initially a TMWH base with an extension, later down the line one of the higher-end bases, probably). The cavity should have enough space on the side to put a plate for the throttle on the left side and a small mouse pad on the right side.

Anyway, early days but I figured I might as well start recording this here and get your valuable thoughts!

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How much room do you ave in your yard?

Just kidding.

One thing to think about is how VR has really changed things. I was well on my way to building a pit-like area in my man cave but ended up with a very un-pit-like area once I realized that with VR, you really do not need a pit, you just need the controllers properly placed. My flight sim area is much more austere than it has ever been…OK, not having to have a gazillion game CD/DVDs around is part of it.

Another thing to think about is what are you flying? If just DCS then a “fighter pit” is definitely the way to go…unless you are doing DCS helos. But if you are doing. a civ flight sim (XP, P3D, etc.) as well as DCS then you probably want something a bit more flexible - swap in/out yokes and throttle quads for HOTAS.

Taking a look at the photo…have you thought about something that folds down from the wall. I’ve see beds (called a “Murphy bed” in North America) and ironing boards that do open up that way.

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Beat me too it but that was what came to my mind too.

Wheels

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Good thinking!

I like the way you think - I do need an extra garage for simming, why didn’t I think of that! I shall present this idea to the board right away! One moment!

Okay - new garage not an option. Next plan! :sweat_smile: :crazy_face:

You are right - unfortunately, in my circumstances, both having a pit in the garage and going VR both loop back to the same things: needing to be at least a little bit present at home and being able to do short sessions that may end abruptly. VR in particular gets strong opposition - I hope to eventually win this argument, but in the meantime, “happy wife happy life” applies and I think my next immersion step is a ~30-32" screen, maybe with a curve to it.

You raise a valid point. At the moment, I don’t have a range of controllers, so I fly everything with the TMWH HOTAS combo…including my beloved DCS helos.

It would be good to have a design that can accept a collective / yoke / throttle quad in the future without having to amend the core structure.

Having a space for a collective on the left side of the seat doesn’t look too hard.

Yokes / quadrants will need a bit more thinking, as they’d probably require an extruder crossbar in front of the seat, which in the current sketch design would prevent the seat being pushed in for the stowaway position.

I actually thought @chipwich’s rally setup was pretty neat, though - not foldaway in the same way, but tidy. Might give some thought to an open extruder bar design like that also, see what seems best.

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