Hints and Tips for Simulator Builders

Before starting make sure you clearly decide on your objectives.
Understand that this will be the biggest project you will undertake in your life.
It will take more time and money than you can dream of.
It will push your skills and learning ability to the limit.
It is futile to attempt to create an exact replica of the aircraft, commercial simulators which get close to achieving this cost many millions of pounds.
So learn to compromise.
If you want to know how much it will cost you cannot afford it.
You will develop a new approach to life looking at everything to see if it will fill a need in the simulator. For example if you see some small round cheeseboards in a shop you will also see trimwheels.
The support companies whose products you wish to use are part of a cottage industry; you will not buy kits to build and assemble, you will buy a bag of bits, some of which may come in handy.
The software will not work and the instructions will be either non-existent or badly translated and be written so that only experts can understand them.
On the other hand the support by e-mail will often be very good and there is an army of willing advisors on the forums.
Avoid plug and play units wherever possible, they never do and there is nothing you can do about it.
Try hard to write down what you have done and how you solved a problem, you will not remember it two days later.
Murphy's law ( "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.") is alive and well and living in your project.
Put plenty of cable breaks (plugs and sockets) to enable you to take assemblies out.
When you buy detail parts, buy some spares.
Don't be intimidated by SIOC programming language, show it who is master.
If everything is working today the chances are it will not tomorrow.
Even so, if it is working, don't bugger with it.
Label all wires.
The simulator will never be finished.
Buy nuts, bolts, components etc in bulk where possible, small buys at the local hardware store are very very expensive.
Buy lots of little boxes with compartments.
Backup, backup, backup.
You will get a large new circle of friends and scroungers, learn to tell one from the other.
Do not expect your loved ones to be interested or understand what you are doing and why.
On the other hand you will get quality time with your grand-children but they will want you to fit guns.
Flying MS Flight Simulator on a desktop will seem dreadfully boring.