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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Saitek Instrument Guage
I have purchased three of the Saitek Panel Guages. All of the devices work well and are in sync with MS FSX. They are somewhat CPU intensive, so one needs lots of CPU speed and memory. Their number one benefit is that they free the user to use the entre gaming screen for scenery. The gauges improve the feeling of realism considerably. Last point, they seem to be happiest...
Published on March 4, 2011 by Amazon Customer

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive for what you get
I would give it 5 stars if the price was lower. I once dreamed of having about 5 or six of them. But one big problem with them when you are not running FSX they display advertisments for their products. This is very distracting. I do like the 12 different instruments they display they are very sharp and accurate. They are good instruments but not for the price and...
Published 19 months ago by Darcy Edwards


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Saitek Instrument Guage, March 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
I have purchased three of the Saitek Panel Guages. All of the devices work well and are in sync with MS FSX. They are somewhat CPU intensive, so one needs lots of CPU speed and memory. Their number one benefit is that they free the user to use the entre gaming screen for scenery. The gauges improve the feeling of realism considerably. Last point, they seem to be happiest using a single dedicated USB port.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great addition to a flight sim, December 11, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
*****

UPDATE 11/29/12

I just bought one again. [sigh]

Officially, the driver/software from their website (update - the UK site only) has all 12 of the instruments shown. Unofficially there are many more on other websites. Enough different ones to make me buy one again, anyway.

Do a search for ""Pro Flight Instrument Panel " downloads". Particularly check out "simviation" and "fsxtimes" dot coms.

They're not the most economical way to get a separate, external, instrument panel, but I do like them more than a little.

If they'd just dropped the price a lot I'd put on a gorilla suit and jump up and down on the street corners waving a Saitek sign.

PS - Aside from using "G.A. Panel" you could also use a program called "Panel Builder" to create your own instrument panel on another monitor. BOTH have good and not so good points. The main "not so good" point is that both are for general aviation planes, not jets. "Panel Builder", though, has instruments specifically for helicopters. Read this - THESE PROGRAMS ARE MENT TO BE RUN IN ANOTHER MONITOR!

If your video card is at the bottom of the heap don't get either of these program OR the Pro Flight Instrument Panel.

* * * * * *

NOTE ON THE 12 INSTRUMENTS
Except for this panel I DO NOT recommend using Saitek Drivers and software.

There has been some questions about just where to get the FULL set of instruments, so here goes:
* DO NOT USE THE DISK THAT COMES WITH IT! The disk only has 6 of the 12.
* DO NOT DOUNLOAD THE DRIVER FROM THE ***USA*** SAITEK WEBSITE. The USA site only has 6 of the 12.
* DO download the driver **ONLY*** (NOT THE SOFTWARE) from the UK Saitek website. It has all of the instruments.

======================================================================================

MAJOR UPDATE 2/5/12
The Pro Flight Instrument Panel that I bought was getting a discolored area in the top corner of the screen, and was sent back.

Rather than getting a replacement I looked around for something that would cost less than $1,000. After all I ***WANTED*** 6 more of the little suckers.

My solution was to get a 9" USB monitor (DoubleSight DS-90U Monitor) to run "G.A. Panel" on. "G.A. Panel" (General Aviation) is an instrument program for FSX that is easily configurable for new or old light aircraft.

On top of that I also have a matching 9" TOUCHSCREEN monitor (DoubleSight USB Powered 9" LCD Touch Screen Monitor) that can be used to program/control the FSX GPS.
(UPDATE 11/11/12 - When I bought this touch monitor it was $180. Not its just over $200. Two non-touchscreen USB monitors might be a better value now - DoubleSight Displays DS-90U 9" LCD Monitor)

Had my original Pro Flight Instrument Panel not gone bad I would have kept it, and I can STILL recommend it. But the above is another, and MUCH cheaper, solution for a great flight sim setup.

======================================================================================

First a little bit about the unit itself:

OVERALL - 3 3/4" wide, 3 3/8" high, 3/4" deep. The plastic mount adds more depth, of course.
SCREEN - 3 3/8" diagonal. 2 3/4" wide, 2 1/16" high
INSTRUMENT BEING DISPLAYED - varies. Mostly about 2" in diameter, or less.

With the above dimensions you can find a few full-face pictures on the internet, shrink them down to the proper size, fold/cut to size, and see how they'll look.

The biggest difference is that THIS is a, full color, light emitting display. They can make a big difference in learning to fly.

My big concern, before buying one, was that the instrument images looked too small. Because the image is bright, though, I find the displays more than adequate. And I have poor eyesight.

There really is only one problem, and that's the price.

A complaint about Amazon - All reviews seem to start with those that have the most points. The problem with that system is that quit often those reviews are old and no longer accurate.

A case in point - the newest driver has ALL of the instruments shown on the Amazon web page. You don't have to search for, and download, anything more (officially).

Also of note is that some opinions in older reviews is misleading or based on misconceptions. Most good games will require fast computers and faster video cards. That's a given. But some people have no idea how airplane instruments work. The Pro Flight Instrument Panel IS NOT LAGGY! That's the way aircraft indicators work. Remember this - They tell you where the aircraft WAS and what it WAS doing, NOT what is happening NOW. Civilian stuff is like that. So if you want the very best, join the military.

If you run out of USB connections on your computer and don't have a powered hub to plug these things into DON'T BUY IT. Plug a lot of power hungry equipment into the back of the Saitek yoke (with power supply) and you can expect problems too.

Finally, you don't have to be a professional pilot, or licensed private pilot, to KNOW how to use this stuff. Does anyone really expect Saitek to make a manual comparable to The Instrument Flight Manual: The Instrument Rating & Beyond (The Flight Manuals Series), or actual flight school text books? True, some real pilots buy this stuff for many different reasons, and they DO know how to use it. But most of us buy these things for greater realism, and the simple fun of learning. That's part of the fun for me.

The point is that you need to understand, and learn, how to use the equipment that you buy.

REVIEW
(finally)

This item is almost all PRO (no pun intended). As I said the newest drivers have 12 instruments included, not 6 as on the web page. Some are for older aircraft, most are for modern aircraft, and one is almost a "glass" panel. The last (PFD: Primary Flight Display) is the only one close to being for commercial jets.

The main point of the instrument panels is that they are easy to read and always in the same place. When you're coming out of a turn and heading for the landing strip you don't really want to zoom in on the cockpit and try to read the altimeter and speed as you check on your glide slope. Are all of the adjustments made? Ok. NOW you can zoom out so you can look out the cockpit window.

Some on-screen instrument panels such as the Attitude Indicator, or the Turn/Slip Indicator have no numbers to read. A simple, short, glance tells the story.

A search online will provide a few more gauges as well as show you how to make modifications to the ones provided.

Did I say that the buttons on the left side are easy to re-program? Well they are.

I gave this item 5 stars because it really is good. If Saitek were to drop the price down to around $75 or $85 I think that they would sell thousands more than they're doing now.

This is the list of what I would like in descending order. But don't forget that you can switch the display if one or another looks more important to you.

1) 7 Instruments - Attitude Indicator, Heading Indicator, Turn/Slip Indicator, Vertical Speed Indicator, Altimeter, Airspeed Indicator, and Horizontal Situation Indicator. (Cost about $910)

2) 4 Instruments - Vertical Speed Indicator, Altimeter, Airspeed Indicator, and Horizontal Situation Indicator. (Cost about $520)

3) 2 Instruments - Horizontal Situation Indicator and PFD: Primary Flight Display. (Cost about $260)

Knowing that I want ALL of them, I have to say that the "Southern Cross Flight Panel" is a MUCH MUCH better deal at $999.

My intention is to get only one more Pro Flight Instrument Panel. But I'll probably order a Southern Cross Flight Panel after I can read some objective reviews. And who knows, with luck Amazon will be selling them by then.

The only problem that I ran into was about 30 - 40 minutes after loading the driver/software on to my Windows 7 (64bit) computer. The instrument display died. I restarted the computer and it hasn't had ANY more problems. It used to be almost mandatory for you to restart after loading drivers/software. That rule may still apply, it seems.

END NOTE
One complaint that I've seen is that it displays ads for Saitek stuff like yokes, throttles, and peddles. All stuff that you would buy long before you would buy one of these. An interesting side note is that you can delete all of the ads (except for the serial number screen which I think is hard wired in) and put in your own pictures. The actual display is 320 X 240. But if you just dump any size JPG into the folder it'll display properly. Almost, that is. Some pictures don't look their best unless you crop & resize it yourself. So right now I have it doing a slide show of various aircraft that I downloaded. When you start up FSX and switch to an instrument it'll stop doing the slide show.using Saitek Drivers and software.

There has been some questions about just where to get the FULL set of instruments, so here goes:
* DO NOT USE THE DISK THAT COMES WITH IT! The disk only has 6 of the 12.
* DO NOT DOUNLOAD THE DRIVER FROM THE ***USA*** SAITEK WEBSITE. The USA site only has 6 of the 12.
* DO download the driver **ONLY*** from the UK Saitek website. It has all of the instruments.

======================================================================================

MAJOR UPDATE 2/5/12
The Pro Flight Instrument Panel that I bought was getting a discolored area in the top corner of the screen, and was sent back.

Rather than getting a replacement I looked around for something that would cost less than $1,000. After all I ***WANTED*** 6 more of the little suckers.

My solution was to get a 9" USB monitor (DoubleSight DS-90U Monitor) to run "G.A. Panel" on. "G.A. Panel" (General Aviation) is an instrument program for FSX that is easily configurable for new or old light aircraft.

On top of that I also have a matching 9" TOUCHSCREEN monitor (DoubleSight USB Powered 9" LCD Touch Screen Monitor) that can be used to program/control the FSX GPS.
(UPDATE 11/11/12 - When I bought this touch monitor it was $180. Not its just over $200. Two non-touchscreen USB monitors might be a better value now - DoubleSight Displays DS-90U 9" LCD Monitor)

Had my original Pro Flight Instrument Panel not gone bad I would have kept it, and I can STILL recommend it. But the above is another, and MUCH cheaper, solution for a great flight sim setup.

======================================================================================

First a little bit about the unit itself:

OVERALL - 3 3/4" wide, 3 3/8" high, 3/4" deep. The plastic mount adds more depth, of course.
SCREEN - 3 3/8" diagonal. 2 3/4" wide, 2 1/16" high
INSTRUMENT BEING DISPLAYED - varies. Mostly about 2" in diameter, or less.

With the above dimensions you can find a few full-face pictures on the internet, shrink them down to the proper size, fold/cut to size, and see how they'll look.

The biggest difference is that THIS is a, full color, light emitting display. They can make a big difference in learning to fly.

My big concern, before buying one, was that the instrument images looked too small. Because the image is bright, though, I find the displays more than adequate. And I have poor eyesight.

There really is only one problem, and that's the price.

A complaint about Amazon - All reviews seem to start with those that have the most points. The problem with that system is that quit often those reviews are old and no longer accurate.

A case in point - the newest driver has ALL of the instruments shown on the Amazon web page. You don't have to search for, and download, anything more (officially).

Also of note is that some opinions in older reviews is misleading or based on misconceptions. Most good games will require fast computers and faster video cards. That's a given. But some people have no idea how airplane instruments work. The Pro Flight Instrument Panel IS NOT LAGGY! That's the way aircraft indicators work. Remember this - They tell you where the aircraft WAS and what it WAS doing, NOT what is happening NOW. Civilian stuff is like that. So if you want the very best, join the military.

If you run out of USB connections on your computer and don't have a powered hub to plug these things into DON'T BUY IT. Plug a lot of power hungry equipment into the back of the Saitek yoke (with power supply) and you can expect problems too.

Finally, you don't have to be a professional pilot, or licensed private pilot, to KNOW how to use this stuff. Does anyone really expect Saitek to make a manual comparable to The Instrument Flight Manual: The Instrument Rating & Beyond (The Flight Manuals Series), or actual flight school text books? True, some real pilots buy this stuff for many different reasons, and they DO know how to use it. But most of us buy these things for greater realism, and the simple fun of learning. That's part of the fun for me.

The point is that you need to understand, and learn, how to use the equipment that you buy.

REVIEW
(finally)

This item is almost all PRO (no pun intended). As I said the newest drivers have 12 instruments included, not 6 as on the web page. Some are for older aircraft, most are for modern aircraft, and one is almost a "glass" panel. The last (PFD: Primary Flight Display) is the only one close to being for commercial jets.

The main point of the instrument panels is that they are easy to read and always in the same place. When you're coming out of a turn and heading for the landing strip you don't really want to zoom in on the cockpit and try to read the altimeter and speed as you check on your glide slope. Are all of the adjustments made? Ok. NOW you can zoom out so you can look out the cockpit window.

Some on-screen instrument panels such as the Attitude Indicator, or the Turn/Slip Indicator have no numbers to read. A simple, short, glance tells the story.

A search online will provide a few more gauges as well as show you how to make modifications to the ones provided.

Did I say that the buttons on the left side are easy to re-program? Well they are.

I gave this item 5 stars because it really is good. If Saitek were to drop the price down to around $75 or $85 I think that they would sell thousands more than they're doing now.

This is the list of what I would like in descending order. But don't forget that you can switch the display if one or another looks more important to you.

1) 7 Instruments - Attitude Indicator, Heading Indicator, Turn/Slip Indicator, Vertical Speed Indicator, Altimeter, Airspeed Indicator, and Horizontal Situation Indicator. (Cost about $910)

2) 4 Instruments - Vertical Speed Indicator, Altimeter, Airspeed Indicator, and Horizontal Situation Indicator. (Cost about $520)

3) 2 Instruments - Horizontal Situation Indicator and PFD: Primary Flight Display. (Cost about $260)

Knowing that I want ALL of them, I have to say that the "Southern Cross Flight Panel" is a MUCH MUCH better deal at $999.

My intention is to get only one more Pro Flight Instrument Panel. But I'll probably order a Southern Cross Flight Panel after I can read some objective reviews. And who knows, with luck Amazon will be selling them by then.

The only problem that I ran into was about 30 - 40 minutes after loading the driver/software on to my Windows 7 (64bit) computer. The instrument display died. I restarted the computer and it hasn't had ANY more problems. It used to be almost mandatory for you to restart after loading drivers/software. That rule may still apply, it seems.

END NOTE
One complaint that I've seen is that it displays ads for Saitek stuff like yokes, throttles, and peddles. All stuff that you would buy long before you would buy one of these. An interesting side note is that you can delete all of the ads (except for the serial number screen which I think is hard wired in) and put in your own pictures. The actual display is 320 X 240. But if you just dump any size JPG into the folder it'll display properly. Almost, that is. Some pictures don't look their best unless you crop & resize it yourself. So right now I have it doing a slide show of various aircraft that I downloaded. When you start up FSX and switch to an instrument it'll stop doing the slide show.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good training aid for instrument students, March 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
Length:: 8:26 Mins

I am currently training for an instrument rating and this little device has been indispensable.I use this in combination with Flight Simulator X. It allows you to practice VOR tracking, holding, NDB tracking, NDB holding and approaches without having to use the mouse. Although this little thing is expensive, it lets you set up any scenario, dial it in and fly it. I also have a Saitek PRO Flight Radio Panel that I use in combination with this instrument panel in order to make the simulation "more real".

The six buttons on the left change the view and perform other functions such as identifying Nav Aids, or displaying maps. The two center buttons scroll through the 12 instruments. Additionally, there are two knobs that allow you to change two separate items. This is particularly useful if you are flying a hold with the autopilot because you can use one knob to change the heading bug and another to change the OBS on VOR 1.

This panel becomes more effective as a training aid if you have a yoke, rudder andSaitek PRO Flight Radio Panel to accompany it.

With rental rates as high as they are, it seems well worth it to add this thing to your "sim cockpit" and chair fly your instrument lessons. I was having difficulties with holding patterns, but after flying 8 hours or so with this little gem my skills improved a lot. My instructor noticed the difference and I was able to stay ahead of the airplane when we were actually in the air.

My only bother with this display is that it shows an ad for Saitek equipment as the 13th instrument if you will. This is only a minor annoyance, but it doesn't take anything away from the performance of the device.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome...but no better than instrument only view in FSX, September 5, 2009
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
I have the yoke and 3 lever throttle, the rudder pedals and 3 of the saitek Flight instrument panels and the Pro Flight Switch Panel. They work GREAT!

They are HIGHLY recommended.

I only have 2 complaints..sometimes all the panels don't get started at the same time (probably due to the USB power requirement) so I have to unplug them and replug them...but it's usually just 1 of the 6 devices.....mostly the yoke itself.

The other complaint is that there is no HSI option on the flight instrument panel...maybe in a driver upgrade.

These change the usablity of FSX from tedious to truly enjoyable!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than as advertised, May 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
When I first received 2 of these last week, I agreed with the other reviews, especially the airspeed gauge going to 360 knots. Doesn't work for the planes I fly. After a little research, I discovered that most of the complaints are easily fixed. The UK site for Saitek has 4 new gauges in the Blog section that can be downloaded. Why they have not updated the drivers and advertised these is beyond me.

After looking over the driver files, it became apparent that these gauges are easily programmable. A person with a little programming and graphics experience can do whatever they want with these gauges. The six buttons are easily changed to other commands in fsx, and the new gauges have some useful examples. Even the advertisements can be changed to pictures of your choice.

I generated a new airspeed background in ACAD using the original as a template and changed the numbers to go from 40 to 200 knots. Plotted to jpeg and converted to bmp and resized. Comparing the two backgrounds, I then edited the Airspeed.xml file to put the correct scale into it (the 40 remained the same). I now have an airspeed indicator that works for a 172. I will probably build a full size RPM and Manifold gauge down the road, as the small ones Saitek made are too small for my eyes.

I would have given this product 5 stars if the price went down a bit, but the quality of build is there so I can't really gripe about it. I would recommend this product to anyone if the drivers improved. Right now you need some computer expertise to fully utilize the capabilities of these displays.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant little add-on, August 26, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
While the Saitek Pro Flight Information Panels are quite expensive, they add a whole new level of detail and immersion into the Flight Sim world. And now that there are more than the original 6 selectable panels available with the latest software download from Saitek, they are even better still. I use a three screen, wideview setup and now that I have three FIP's I put nothing up on the monitors other than just the outside view - fantastic. I would dearly love to add more FIP's - eight would be ideal - but as already indicated, they are expensive little suckers. Only downside to the FIP is the rather large scale Airspeed Indicator (40 - 360 knots) which is just hopeless for things like the Baron or a 172 - I had to make my own with a much lower scale and that took a graphics amateur like me several hours!. I have read reviews of sluggish behaviour - those reviewers must have been flying the F16!! - on GA Aircraft they are just fine - no perceivable lag to speak of. If you're a serious Flight Simmer then give the FIP serious consideration.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive for what you get, December 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
I would give it 5 stars if the price was lower. I once dreamed of having about 5 or six of them. But one big problem with them when you are not running FSX they display advertisments for their products. This is very distracting. I do like the 12 different instruments they display they are very sharp and accurate. They are good instruments but not for the price and the ads don't help.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How many do you get? ONE not FOUR!, September 9, 2011
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
Just so you are sure, you only get ONE of the gauges, NOT four as shown in the listing photo.
The four gauge picture is a bit confusing.

Four of the gauges would run you about $520.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must have for flight simmers who have a beefy setup, January 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
As the title implies, this is a great piece of equipment, provided you have the gear to support it.

The software that it comes with is pretty basic. Six gauges, however if you download the latest set of drivers from saitek, you will get several more to make this more functional. The gauge itself is roughly 3" by 3" and is basically a digital photo frame. It will search for the requested gauge in it's folder and will modify the image to correspond to what your aircraft is doing. Additional gauges can be found online and will support a wide variety of instrumentation, from engine info to just about anything you could want. There are also instructions on how to have it show personal photos when you're not running a flight sim. Great selling point to the wife/girlfriend, "but honey, it will also do this". Or, if you're like me, you may find it's better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission...

That said, this is a resource hog. Let me be more clear, THIS IS A RESOURCE HOG AND WILL BOG DOWN AND OR SLOW DOWN YOUR GAMING EXPERIANCE. I'm running an 8 core, 16gb ram, 2gb video card, beast of a machine and found that these, I bought three, work best running on a USB3 port directly attached to the computer. I've tried running them from a USB hub and a powered USB hub, but they kept freezing up on me. The solution was to rewire my setup and have each of these directly plugged into the computer's USB 3.0 ports. That made them happy. There is also a bit of a lag between the plane and these gauges. Not by much, but perceptable. Maybe a 1/4 second or so, but enough to notice.

Overall, these are great little toys. Home cockpit style, piss the wife off, toys. It helps as now I van fly from an external view and still have all my needed info to fly. I can also eliminate the cockpit from the inside view and my viewable area almost doubled (depending on the type and size of aircraft panel). They are great but won't work for just anyone. There is some playing around to get them to work properly and you need to have a very beefy setup to support this along with a memory intensive game like FSX. I have not tested these with any other flight sim so I can only speak to their functionality with Microsoft Flight Simulator X.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too expensive, April 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pro Flight Instrument Panel (Personal Computers)
Shipping was excellent , came very fast!!

Items were packaged very well and was recieved with no damage

My negative review on these items has NO Bering on vender!! Vender was excellent in fast shipping and packaging

These panels are way too expensive for what you get one panel, that's it!! But I needed 3 more for my project. These panels will only work on 1 or 2 games out there in the market. I need them to try and program them to work on another game

Again, the vender was excellent !!

The panels are very expensive for what you get
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Pro Flight Instrument Panel
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