Review: CockpitSonic Hardware and Marciano’s Driver

This review is a contribution by simFlight Italia, original written by Fabio Merlo and translated into English by Ugo Merlini.

In this review we’ll talk about CockpitSonic, about its products and their interfacing with Flight Simulator and specifically with the airplane Feelthere Airbus Vol.1.

We are going to speak about the two following products: Cockpitsonic MCDU for Airbus A320 and ECAM PANEL for Airbus A320.

For our test we are going to use Eric Marciano’s drivers which have been expecially developed in order to interface CockpitSonic’s products with Feelthere Airbus.

CockpitSonic was born in the year 2000 and has been working on products related to flight simulation ever since. It started with  gear level “base prototypes” in order of  adding reality to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Nowadays it works on hardware USB components as real as to confuse the real experience of piloting an airplane with simulated reality.

CockpitSonic is able to supply faithful copies of cockpit’s components of  today’s two major liners, Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. The company main product is the fully working 1:1´scaled Overhead Panel.

MCDU A320 has got a very good package. Ethernet cable, power supply and a protecting case with DZUS fasteners. This hardware is different from other MCDU on market because it is a real PC, not just a monitor. First install Windows EHID (included in the package) on your PC then link the MCDU via Ethernet; rightaway it is able to dialogue with Flight Sim, with the addon Project Magenta (A320 AND 737) and Fellthere Airbus Vol. 1 thanks to Marciano’s drivers.

Turning on MCDU unit you can enter setup mode on its own monitor so you can set ethernet IP address, DHCP, SUBNET, brightness and backlight.

ECAM PANEL A320 USB is as good a replica as it looks real. This hardware lets you select lots of information (FUEL , ENGINE PARAMS, TO CONFIG, BLEED, AIR COND, APU etc etc) that usually appear on ECAM monitor to be checked by pilot and copilot constantly. This package includes EHID driver, USB cable and power supply.

Both products are useable either in the real cockpit replica as on the desktop

We tested how the MCDU and the ECAM panel is interfacing with Fliht Sim X on Windows 7 with the addon Feelthere Airbus Vol 1 and Marciano’s drivers which you need if you want to use the MCDU with the Airbus collection produced by Feelthere.

This is the configuration for our test, a flight from Rome Fiumicino (LIRF) to Genova (LIMJ). We did really enjoy the fact that Eric Marciano’s drivers (http://emarciano.free.fr/Cockpit/) connect immediately in bidirectional way CockpitSonic’s hardware with digital replicas of  hardware in Fellthere Airbus (when cabin light are turned on a backlight is turned on CockpitSonic’s hardware) . Every single action made on Virtual Cockpit of Fellthere Airbus is repeated on Cockpitsonic Hardware and viceversa. Eric Marciano’s job is admirable, there’s no other driver on market so  “stable”  and easy to use for any addon.

Eric Marciano’s drivers  for  ECAM PANEL and MCDU Cockpitsonic are sold separatly for FS9 and FSX and are inclusive of  new functions and bugs correction.

Included in the Feelthere Airbus Upgrade there is a new procedure of Flight Plan Export from MCDU, new PFD with 32 bit graphic, new DIRECT TO function management, Navigation Display graphic improvement, better management of SID/STAR, added sound for Yellow Electric Pump and for Landing Lights.  It is possible to buy the version “driver only” or “upgrade only” for the ECAM driver and the MCDU Driver.

Talking about MCDU and ECAM PANEL functions we just can say that every feature of Feelthere Airbus is reproduced faithfully. All components are made of very good material, MCDU is metal made, colored as classical Airbus instrumentation and it is very resistant.

ECAM PANEL is a little more fragile because made of plastic but very welldone in colors and operation keys

Concluding we can say that both Cockpitsonic products are very good products we suggest to buy to any Flight Simulator fan. Positive note is also that these hardwares are self-existant, they don’t burden the system where Flight Simulator is running so that the Frame Rate stays the same.

We thank for this review CockpitSonic , Eric Marciano , SimAviatik Svizzera.

Author Fabio Merlo

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