View Full Version : How does one "Gang" three computers and monitors for maximum field of view?

04-20-2005, 01:49 PM
To explain, let me say first that I find the Wide view most like my normal field of vision, although when I'm lining up my shot, I will switch to Gunsight view.

IMO, even the Wide View, at 85 degrees is sadly deficient; I have a peripheral range of around 200 degrees to the sides and 180 degrees up and down, which I believe is about the norm. I can detect motion at the extreme edges of my field of vision, and start recognizing shapes around 20 degrees inside the limits, with the ability to 'snap' my eyes onto these objects and focus almost instantly.

To do anything like that with a single monitor is currently beyond the ability of affordable technology right now, so I'm kicking around the idea of 'ganging' three or four computors and monitors with a KVM (is that what they're called?) switch to get an almost 'full real' field of view.

I think the key is to get all three computers running the same mission at the same time, with as near identical settings as possible, with a different default view (left, center and right) controlled by the mouse/TrackIR rather than the POV hat. The hard part will be finding a box that will allow me to send the same USB inputs to each computer.

Can this be done with my three computers? One is an Athlon 2600+ with a Ti4600, one is a P4 2.4 Ghz with a GeForce 5700, and one is a P4 3.0Ghz with a Radeon 9800 Pro. All have 1Gb of RAM and an Audigy soundcard. Any refinements or suggestions?



04-20-2005, 02:32 PM
A KVM won't work, those are used to share one monior between 2 or more computers.

IFAIK, the only way of doing a 3-screen setup (that PF supports) is with a Matrox Parhelia video card, which, coincidentally, supports 3 monitors.

04-20-2005, 02:43 PM
Nice idea!

Me thinks, no way. Not yet anyways!

Yer talking waaaaaaaay in the future....

First: for this kind of setup (3 puters running the same mission, at the same time ), you'd need 3 identical puters: Turning yer head left, the cockpit view will be move to the right hand screen/puter, turning right, well, the other way 'round. Keeping things nicely synchronised.... well... what do you think?

Second: Even if you got 3 identical puters, it still wouldn't work. Todays net-technology (in MS-Windows) won't be enough... 'lag' will allways occur!

Third: Yer betting on the wrong horse! The problem isn't screen size related, or even CPU related, it's design related: the game isn't ready for it! The OS isn't ready for it! The PC isn't ready for it!

Nothing gamerelated is.

Just wait for further 'updates', or rather 'developments', where we either end up wearing a VR helmet, 'surround' glasses, looking at a 360 dgr screen, or any combination of those!

To get a bit nearer is like Jarink said, the one puter, 3 screen setup.
But, then, what about 12 o'clock high? Or low? Or 9 high? (...) (...)
You might wanna put up nine screens! Or maybe even more! All 'round!

Have Fun!

04-20-2005, 03:21 PM
the wide view can be as wide as you want escher in his house of schair made a 360º view, heres an interesting link:

04-20-2005, 03:27 PM
MS FS has had it since FS98... http://www.wideview.it/
Would be really sweet in IL-2 series, if it's to late.. maybe for BoB http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

04-20-2005, 04:34 PM
While the task of ganging up a bunch of PCs on you sounds fun, there's an easier way, with the vid card I'm running, the Matrox Parhelia.


It's called surround gaming, here's a list of supported games:


Before the onslaught of wary gamers comes flying in here with their NVidia and ATI flags, let me just say that I refuse to go back to 1 monitor, and until I see ATI or NVidia support games the way this card does, I'm not getting anything else. Yes, the FPS are not up to today's top card standards, but 3 21" monitors far exceeds the limited field of view one can provide.

here's a few wide FS2004 screenies:



04-20-2005, 07:24 PM
I am truly bummed. While I don't have the cash for a Parhelia video card, I do already have the computers. I had hoped that a KVM switch would allow me to control all three computers at the same time, but apparently, it only allows one to control one of the three computers at a time.

I need to look into the subject of three way splitters for my keyboard, mouse and USB inputs instead...



04-20-2005, 07:51 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gifHow about a LAN network?

04-20-2005, 09:44 PM
What you need is the Elumens Vision Station.


04-22-2005, 07:10 AM
Maybe I can ask for one for my Birthday?

04-22-2005, 07:38 AM
The VR helmet will be the next major advancement in gaming video technology, IMHO. I realize that there are a couple already out in the market today, but not with the resolution we've grown accustomed to.

Can you imagine a VR helmet capable of 1024x768x32, driven by a 6DoF TrackIR3, in a game that supported it?!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

04-22-2005, 10:59 AM

Yes i want 9 monitors so i can turn my head and keep an eye on that Z&Der above me. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gifI have been in flight similators and the screens all away around is fantastic and when they move with stick get ready to throw up and a suit on that gives the feeling of compression to yo body you learn real fast dont jerk that stick OWWWWW. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

a bunch of puters hooked together????DONT you have enought trouble making one fly?????? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

I need a new vido card and i think i have found it in this post cause i have tried two cards and all the differnt ways to get more views and well they no work?????THKS dexmeister http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

now to that site where i can get a coxpit that moves for 21000 dollars http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

I will always figgered it should work


04-22-2005, 01:34 PM
here (http://www2.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814106163)

I did some reading on newegg's webite about the matrox card. Now, it says that it has 2 DVI outputs, where one is getting split into 2 analog signals so it can run 3 monitors at once. As it is, my 5900 has an analog and a dvi output, so I could run dual monitors if I wanted, but I wonder if the DVI on my card could be split into 2 analog signals. Hmmm.

99th Obsidian
04-22-2005, 02:11 PM
Gosh, I find it absolutely amazing how much simmers will spend to avoid buying a $120 Track IR. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif. I strongly recommend that before anyone buys a multi-monitor support vid card ($300), multiple monitors ($400), and whatever else they need to see when they pan their heads around, that they at least try a Track IR for a month. You can return it if you are one of the 5% who dont think TIR is the best thing for flight sims since the joystick. I borrowed a high-res data projector and set it up with my PF rig on a 6' screen. When combined with my Track IR 2 all I can say is WOW http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif. Total immersion. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Though my view is set to wide, the projected screen enlarges all of the objects bigger than life. Thus I get a wider, more realistic field of view. Closest experience would be that of watching a IMAX aviation film (but I control the camera). So for me, I'm saving for a good high res data projector.

04-23-2005, 01:05 AM

I need a new card and there any where from 200 to 500 dollars at best buy so why not 300 for this card and i have 4 21 in monitors and iput trk r 3 above center one and then i can look around in wide vision . i dont like the lock on so i dont use. and my thumb is getting tired http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Just an idea http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

04-23-2005, 09:36 AM
The full guide for these lines can be found here (http://www.airwarfare.com/guides/config_guide.htm). I havent tried it so I am not sure if that is what you need. Along with a card that supports up to 3 monitors I suppose..... Dex should know as he has been runnig like this as long as I can remember so take his advice.

ChangeScreenRes=1 allows the screen resolution to be changed in game. Can be 0 or 1
FullScreen=1 forces display to be full screen and not in a window. Can be 0 or 1
EnableResize=0 Enables user to change window size. can be 0 or 1
SaveAspect=1 Forces 4:3 picture aspect. Can be 0 or 1
Use3Renders=0 Allows use of up to 3 screens. Can be 0 or 1

04-23-2005, 10:48 AM

Well i studyed this stuff till the weee hours of the mornning and i belive the tech of pc is at a point that i need track R and see no way to get the moitors too work . http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif

the cards allow two screens and how would i get third---spliter---and then soft ware to make two seperate views ???? it bogggles the mind http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

the matrick card is almost 700 dollars for the good one to replace my 9200 ATI with 256 memery http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

04-23-2005, 12:27 PM


This all done on FS2004 i believe but it might give you some ideas

04-23-2005, 12:42 PM
Too much emphasis on trying to solve a software problem with hardware. It doesn't matter how many computers you have or monitors, the game doesn't support it. FS2004 works because of additional software like FSUPIC and WideView. 1C decided to support the Matrox card only. No other solution would work. I had hoped Devicelink would be something we could work with but that protocol is so sloppy and inefficient as to be nearly useless.

04-23-2005, 02:08 PM
Yep... it's too bad the game doesn't have the required API's exposed to this kind of stuff. I've made simple 4-way 'surround' view games with FPS's several times at LAN parties... Your primary client joins the game, then you have your other 3 clients (sides and back) join and 'spectate' the primary player, with thier views offset +90, -90, and 180. Works perfectly.

Unfortunatley PF doesn't have any kind of 'spec' mode to do the cheap and simple way, and it doesn't support an informational feed or API to do the more direct way. Maybe BoB will correct it. My dream (assuming a winning lottery ticket or some such http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif) was always to buy a Sega R360 and mount 4 slim PC's in it, and 3 extra screens (left, right, and above). If the software can allow the sync of the extra view clients and attitude hardware, this would be about the best sim you could buy under $50 grand.

04-23-2005, 02:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CAPT_COTTON:

the matrick card is almost 700 dollars for the good one to replace my 9200 ATI with 256 memery http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Does the 256MB Parhelia come anywhere close to the performance of the modern ATI and Nvidia cards?

04-23-2005, 07:17 PM
Just give me a head-mounted display/VR helmet with head tracker. That is the real solution. The monitor is dead! Long live the head-mounted display!

04-23-2005, 08:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VF-17_Jolly:


This all done on FS2004 i believe but it might give you some ideas <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

that is sexy

05-01-2005, 01:51 PM

Your right spend 700 dollars on something that may not be as good as the others and on 1100 dollar a month budget[wish i was a rich man] http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

The things we use today were once the dreams of men http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

05-01-2005, 04:48 PM
the matrick card

Triple head G450? I wouldn't anticipate great gaming performance for it. It's great for driving multiple projectors for presentations, visualisation caves and the like, but not gaming.

As tachyon1000 said the VR helmet will be the way to go (along with tactile data gloves given that you won't be able to see your keyboard any more).

05-02-2005, 06:54 AM
people talk about how great a VR helmet/goggles would be, but, how on earth can you see the keyboard with that on ?