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computer2cockpit

Joysticks, pedals, monitors.

Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:57 pm

You see, this hardware was aimed at student pilots because this kind of aircraft is widely used in training. And it is complex.

I would like to know is this aircraft popular among FlightGear users?

And do they think that they could use most of computer2cockpit hardware for other aircraft models?

When it comes to nasal/xml configuration and flightgear joystick, we will pay more attention to that soon. You see one year ago i was doing some nasal programming to connect Quadrature Encoders via push-button interface. It worked like a charm. This interface will read QE-s and return them as push button signals. It will connect enough QE-s for both sides of cockpit.(Cockpit builders will like this). At that point i concluded that it was do-able, and didn't pay more attention to it. I'm currently recruiting a guy that is professional with this so he will be handling this. I'm prepairing the G-codes for CNC router, the prototype manufacturing begins. Than well migrate to laser cutting for production.

When it comes to weather it is viable, that will depend on how far do we reach. That's why we are here. to tell your community that we are soon going out-there.
And of course we know that is is a small and demanding market.

As i said before we are a small group of enthusiasts, and this is not a 5 million peace product. That is why we design for small production and every penny that we earn, we will return to the design.

I asked you what helicopter do you think that we could make hardware for?

You are the most skeptical FG user about this, but the only one who is following so i would like to continue this Q and E conversation.

And of-course that if we will have to develop around flight-gear to make this work that we will make this open.
The whole project stands on the fact that our users wont have to pay for simulation software license.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Hooray » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:44 pm

I wouldn't say that I'm the most skeptical user around here - I just bother to voice my concern, which many other don't seem to be doing at all.

I guess it all boils down to a signal/noise ratio - I have no doubt that people will be interested in your products, once you have something to offer - at that point, pricing and distribution will mostly matter.
I really wish you the best of luck, and want to see you succeed - but that alone obviously doesn't suffice :D

Regarding feasibility issues, I suggest to use the forum and the newsletter to reach out to the community, probably it would also be a good idea to conduct some polls, to determine how many prospective buyers there are, and how much they're willing to pay for certain hardware - so that you obtain some ballpark figures for starters.

Having a dedicated wiki article would also tell you how many viewers there are, in addition to your website stats.

I'd say, the Seneca is fairly popular among GA users, due to its mature development status, look at the quality of its documentation (wiki) and check the page view numbers at the bottom of each article.

That being said, I'm not sure if it's a good idea to specifically develop hardware for a single type of aircraft, or even a single airplane in general - I think most people would expect to be able to use your hardware pretty much like any sim-hardware from CH Products or Saitek - i.e. able to function with different aircraft.

Regarding helicopter hardware, it would also be a good idea to look for sophisticated models, such as the bo105 or EC135, but the wiki should provide more up to date info here.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:16 pm

That was a joke Hooray.

Yes i will do the polls soon.

The hardware will be compatible with many models, but it resembles the Seneca for other reasons like flight training and preparation.
Soon after, the hardware that resembles the Cheyenne will be available, but someone should make the Cheyenne model first :)

About dedicated wiki article. I created an user right now and i will complete the page by tomorrow.


Regards everyone, thanks for following!
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:02 am

Quick News:

Wiki page started:
http://wiki.flightgear.org/Computer2cockpit

Additional content coming soon.

Cheers
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Michat » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:28 pm

Good morning.

I whish to share my oppinion about your project, hoping that it can help you.

From long time I expressed the needed to cooperate with a hardware company that could be able to create products for FG in a way that we could offer bundles, benefiing all: users, company and FG org with independence.

My experience tells me that most of the new FG users don't have joysticks, however as soon as those new pilots are getting familiar with the simulator they'll need joystick to have better control. So is usual to see people asking for a joystick after using FG for months. New pilots budget ( they are mostly young people) is around 35-40-50 $.


I wonder if you could make a entry offer for a joystick instead of a Yoke in order to reach that segment of people.

I have CH product pedals (very good) and a CH Product Eclipse Pro Yoke (very bad quality), also I have an old thrustmaster afterbarner (bad quality), so I belong in to a different segment where the quality is very important, money too. I'm glad to see that you are trying to cover this mine segment.

Coming back to the new people I use to recomend joystick using this rule. Gimbal (drum) better than ball stick. The more button number the better. I hate those products that are made modular in the way that user need one more button, so he needs to buy another modular solution and so on. Unfortunately it's a bad practice from the manufacturers. I think and hope your modular system is and will be more friendly in that way.

The main and most important rule that I use to recommend a Joystick/Yoke is to divide price/number of buttons.

Young users are usually very impressed by design, while others veterans for quality.

Your goal is to offer, quality and affordable flight solutions with a good design that could cross the barriers that dominant manufactures are building between them and their customers.

With honor and honesty you can reach a good market niche.

I'll suggest some initial ideas.

1. Two buttom for PTT please.
2. Design a way that the yoke can be placed on the table an under the table. :mrgreen:
Over yoke base with keyboard stand, perhaps a lectern.
3. There are a lot of ideas to share.... Design is important and your pedals looks great.


I wish you best luck.

Congratulations for your project.
Last edited by Michat on Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:27 pm

Thank you sir,

This kind of feedback is important to us.

About joystick, i don't think that world needs another joystick manufacturer :)
Don't get me wrong, it is full functionality and similarity that we are selling.
We are not even targeting people that require yoke or pedals, meaning single part of cockpit. We are targeting people that want full or at least half the cockpit.

About quality, we will extensively test our products, and carefully chose our suppliers.

Two button PTT checked. may i ask why and on which side of the yoke? Would another rocker switch on right side of yoke be usefull for view change?

About under table mount, yes we are thinking about it. There is a leg room issue with people that have low tables. And we have the keyboard stand in mind. Thank you.

Do you have some other design suggestions, since you only mentioned pedals as good design?
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby ludomotico » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:16 pm

My two cents:

- I'm not sure about the idea of an interface as an external device. I prefer Saitek's approach: all devices have a USB connection and the yoke includes a USB hub. This way, the yoke includes this "interface" you propose internally: less cables on the table, less space necessary.
- I don't like the navigation panel. I don't like a single knob to change frequencies, I don't like these small buttons it has, I don't like the lack of a LCD to show the selected frequency. As you can see, I don't like anything about the navigation panel.
- I find the external fuel and trim device barely justified. I would prefer these controls integrated in the yoke.
- I like the autopilot integrated in the yoke. If you are planning to include force feedback, man, shut up and take my money. I know it would be way more expensive than a regular yoke, but afaik there are not any force feedback yoke for the general public, and you will have an original product.
- I like the switch panel.
- Nothing to say about the pedals. They seem ok.
- I don't like the design of the levers in the quadrant, they are too plastic. I understand this is only a render.

Good luck with your project!
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Johan G » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:17 pm

Hooray wrote in Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:48 pm:Thus, my suggestion would be to get started contributing to the project in some public fashion to introduce yourself to the community, i.e. by identifying opportunities to work on useful stuff, such as USB/HID support, according to the roadmap detailed by core developers like Zakalawe: https://code.google.com/p/flightgear-bu ... ail?id=619

Ideally, you'll use a gitorious branch so that people can track your work.

Another good thing with such a choice would be that there may come some suggestions on how to improve things. Some of them probably very concrete. :wink:
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Hooray » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:19 pm

regarding panel design: I'd suggest to look at existing panels, for both airplanes and helicopters (anti torque), and try to unify the design so that your pedals can be used for both without feeling "wrong".
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:52 pm

I will go backwards, if nobody minds.

Hooray, i never flew a helicopter, can you elaborate that with pedals. And about helicopters please explain to me why some sites have models for FlightGear that are not available on FlightGear page? Will they start charging for these models at some point? I'm aksing this beacuse FG model is not complete for Messerschmidt and i cant design anything for incomplete model

Johan G, ok, we'll come to that phase soon, we are recruiting a guy who knows more about this segment.

Ludomotico - you see i didn't point this things out previously but i will explain some things now.
Every second kid in the world has a joystick, you can buy one for 10$ and less. How many kids have yoke, rudder pedals, throttle quadrants, panels?
Flight simulation hardware market is, and your post proves it, demanding, small(this is affected by prices) and diverse.

There are three types of users: gamers, enthousists and pilots.
Gamers don't want more than a joystick - maybe a special kind, but a joystick. they will probably uninstall FlightGear within first week from installation.
Enthusiasts want to fly, they probably need flight yoke, rudder pedals and throttle quadrant to start. That's where all the commercial manufacturers target. The size of the market defines their prices, because mass production of these devices is expensive, and demand is not high. Once they are hooked to flying, and everybody is hooked to flying :) they don't have any room for upgrading their cockpit. And they can only dream about full cockpit interaction.
Pilots can't use any of commercial hardware because it is not functional, not similar, not complete for flight practicing, and finally, some more expensive than flight hours.

So what are we developing?

A hardware that is Realistic(full functionality), Modular( with sections clearly divided), Affordable.

We have chosen small scale production because, any design changes within large scale are not possible without huge expenses.
And demanding market like this will require design changes and compatibility.

We have chosen to have interface as link to computer because of:
1. There are cockpit builders on the market that want to connect their cockpits to FlightGear, and current interfaces do not allow for connection of entire cockpit. Just parts of it separately. $$
2. Cable management. Singe USB port on computer, Interface can be mounted under the table, so all the cables disappear form the table.
3. Reduction of certification costs. Each device having a chip would raise cost per product around 25$. This way anybody buying 3 or more products from computer2cockpit will benefit. And future upgrade will also be cheaper. (That is why i wrote that we aim at people who want the whole or at least half the cockpit)
4.Reliability. Simple equation, less parts, less thing to go wrong.

Saitek's approach is nice but, that is why every kid in the world has just a joystick.

Navigation panel - This navigation panel is designed to be within peripheral vision allowing you to change frequencies ect. while looking at screen. So all output is left at screen. We are developing full instrument panel, that will connect where navigation panel connects(having instruments radios and all the knobs and switches).
I will have design ready within 3 months. We are not just rendering, these designs are ready for production! Adding LCD's to our basic navigation panel that we are offering now would make it at least 70$ more expensive. But our instrument panel will cover that part, for more demanding users. Single knob will have the ability to change Mhz, and khz separately, i will explain that in more detail later, just ask me again. Unfortunately there is no commercially available rotary encoder that has dual shaft. we are planing on developing one, but not within this project. Keep in mind we are trying to make this affordable and we are not manufacturing switches, knobs, encoders, pots, but we are installing them in our design. That is the only way to achieve affordability on small scale production.
You will like it's price within this set and if you need more you will have full instrument panel available.

Fuel and trim panel - pilots will like this part. It is the only way to practice single engine procedures. Also part of every landing and cruise checklist is to open/close cowl flaps. So this panel will be most interesting to the pilots and serious enthusiasts.

Yoke and autopilot - Yes i think everyone is clear that we designed these cockpit parts not to push users to buy more, but buy what they need, and get more. We even have Flap handle on throttle quadrant. I rest my case :)

Yoke and force feedback - last time i read about force feedback it wasn't finished? is this available in FG now? Within first year from production we could offer this but, i'm not sure that price increase of around 60$ will be attractive (this is not exact information, just some calculation i have in mind, we are not developing this yet)

Switch Panel - I'm glad you like it, i'm proud of it!

Pedals - are nice but still under development. Non slip feature is a must here. I am sim user also and i dont plan to bring plywood board under my desk or bolt the pedals to the floor. And buying some fancy 1000$ stand is not an option.

Throttle quadrant levers - Once more this is not just the render, this are finished designs waiting prototype approval for production. These devices are designed inside out.
Levers are a bit plastic but you have to understand that the design is adapted for small production and hand assembly. So every new component makes thing more complicated and expensive. We decided to rather give you Carburetor heat control than fancy looking levers. And, would you pay 20$ more for this?
Propeller and mixture levers will probably be bent to the right in end product, because they are bent in actual cockpit to prevent fingers collision.
You didn't notice that these levers have aircraft lenght, and different heights?

To conclude, Our goals are: Functionality, Similarity(within the budget), and to provide modular cockpit building.

Please ask more.

Thank you for following! :)
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Michat » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:36 am

Good morning.

" Two button PTT checked. may i ask why and on which side of the yoke?"

One For PTT in FGCOm, one for mumble (voip), as a right handler I use mouse or throtlle with right hand and with left hand I control yoke and ptt. That's my preference.


Would another rocker switch on right side of yoke be usefull for view change?

Of course, rocket switches are very usefull I have two, a 360 rocker on left side and a 16 position rocker switch in right handle. However I have also two horizontal (left/right press) buttons on both handles, so if I press right button-right handle I look to the right wing, and if I press left button-left handle I look to the left wing so after depressed those buttons my view return to the center, so I can use 16 POV (right handle) hat to assign other functions, the left handle 360 hat I use only to change POV in external view and it needs to reset view by hand. Tus I find more confortable using those buttons that pov since I fly inside cockpit all the time, I can watch to both sides with a single and confortable pair of buttons by using the thumbs. So 360 free hat or 16 POV hat have their own advantages and disvantages, in all cases the more button near the thumbs the better control and confort. One trigger on each handle are very usefull and confortable, even I miss in my CH product eclipse some lateral buttons on the handles to operates with index fingers. The more buttons the better and that part of the handles are the most important spot. In that point hope to help with my oppinions.



"Do you have some other design suggestions, since you only mentioned pedals as good design?"

In general I find your product very acceptable with a lot of specific solutions and switches, really usefull. About the design aside of the placement or the number of buttons, I think your switch panel is really big size and perhaps you can reduce it a little with smaller switches. I like the big knobs of the navigation panel which is an advantage using big hands as I have, but as a single knob maybe is tedious to turn it when dialing freqs*?. For me is not so important to have LCD if there is a lecture using fg screen.

I'm agree with Ludomotico "- I find the external fuel and trim device barely justified. I would prefer these controls integrated in the yoke. "



Is there and option to set up QNH*? could some led diodes be used to improved panel experience*? maybe is a good idea to offer some adhesive or paper templates with different colors themes and design motives*?, maybe a clamp in the joke to fix some charts, or maybe a dedicate space to slide a custom template for aircraft speed table*?.
Perhaps the trim slider in the yoke is placed in wrong position (too hide behind the handle)*? could be better to use a wheel than a slider*?(I don't know) In both two last cases we must think in confort, accesibility and ease to use.


In my oppinion the natural steep to get a decent home modular cockpit is in the next order of importance where time to save money for the next module is important:

1. Grab money and buy a yoke
1.1 save money
2. Grab money and buy quadrant
2.1 Save money
3. Grab money and buy pedals
3.1 save money
4. Grab money and buy radio stack
4.1 end of mission.

I hope to help with my oppinions.

Thank you for sharing this brainstorm session.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Johan G » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:09 am

Michat wrote in Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:36 am:...maybe a clamp in the joke to fix some charts, or maybe a dedicate space to slide a custom template for aircraft speed table*?.

I really second the first idea, though maybe a protruding plate or sheet would do, as clamps are cheap as well as that one that way also could use an inexpensive blacklisted_site timer for procedures and navigation. The second idea is not too bad either.
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby ludomotico » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:21 pm

I'm a pilot in real life. I'm not really planning to get certified in two engines, but I'm truly interested in their simulation. I currently own a Pro Flight Saitek yoke and pedals, and I'm looking forward to making my simulation environment more realistic. As I understood, I'm the target of your company

Besides, I'm an electrical engineer with some experience in robotics. It was a while from my last circuit and my knowledge is outdated for sure.

computer2cockpit wrote in Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:52 pm:1. There are cockpit builders on the market that want to connect their cockpits to FlightGear, and current interfaces do not allow for connection of entire cockpit. Just parts of it separately. $$
3. Reduction of certification costs. Each device having a chip would raise cost per product around 25$. This way anybody buying 3 or more products from computer2cockpit will benefit. And future upgrade will also be cheaper. (That is why i wrote that we aim at people who want the whole or at least half the cockpit)
4.Reliability. Simple equation, less parts, less thing to go wrong.


1.- If the interface module allows the connection of existing serial port devices made by third parties, then I don't have anything to say. That's a good idea.
3.- Are you really planning to get certification grade equipment? This is going to be expensive! Each one of your devices DO need some chips: at least a 555, an A/D converter and a MAX232 unit. Adding an additional CP2103 (or similar) chip to convert from RS-232 to USB is not going to cost 25$ per device. 2$ is more likely. I bet you already have a micro-controller in each module that may already include usb commucations! In addition, serial cables are more expensive than USB cables. And using a standard USB-hub, you get rid of the external interface module that is going to cost more than 2$ for sure. I'm sure there must be other reasons to use RS-232 cables and a external interface unit I cannot see.
4.- I really believe that using any existing, well tested usb hub is more reliable (and cheap!) than designing and building an interface module from scratch.

Saitek's approach is nice but, that is why every kid in the world has just a joystick.


I don't have just a joystick. I have a Saitek yoke, quadrant and pedals. At my local flight club, they have an additional Saitek quadrant for multiengines, comm panel, switch panel and navigation panel. In one the flying festivals I attended lately, the remote station of an automatic drone for fire extinction used Saitek yoke and quadrant. Saitek is your competitor, and you have to do better to make us throw away our current Saitek products :)

Navigation panel - This navigation panel is designed to be within peripheral vision allowing you to change frequencies ect. while looking at screen. So all output is left at screen. (...) Adding LCD's to our basic navigation panel that we are offering now would make it at least 70$ more expensive.


There are some panels only a pro will buy: switches and radio panels. I think "affortability" is not the main issue in this segment, but features and comfortability. I really prefer a 7-segment LCD to show the current selected and stanby freqs for COM and NAV. In fact, I don't really need five radio panels (2xCOM, 2xNAV, 1xADF). A knob to select the current radio panel, a LCD to show the frequency and a knob to select frequency is going to have a price close to these separated 5 sub-panels. Notice: selection of COMM and NAV frequencies is already integrated on modern GA aircrafts! Something like Saitek radio panel, but I will be satisfied with a single row if the second row is modified to select radials, headings and speed:

Image

In fact, the only reason I don't have already a Saitek comm panel is because it doesn't seem to be supported by flightgear due to its closed driver :(

Yoke and force feedback - last time i read about force feedback it wasn't finished? is this available in FG now? Within first year from production we could offer this but, i'm not sure that price increase of around 60$ will be attractive (this is not exact information, just some calculation i have in mind, we are not developing this yet)


Again, I believe your cost estimations are not right. This time, I believe you are heavily underestimating the cost of the force feedback :) I won't be surprised if if increases the price 200$. FlightGear doesn't support force feedback devices because it was no interest in the past. It won't be difficult to send force feedback messages based on some properties like speed or pitch accelerations. In fact, you can just read these properties and implement the logic in the yoke microcontroller. I agree this is going to be very, very expensive! I don't blame you for not implementing force feedback, but I'm really looking forward for a force feedback yoke :(

Levers in the quadrant are just aesthetics. I don't like the plastic design but it won't be really an issue.

Regards!
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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby computer2cockpit » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:17 pm

Thanks everyone for joining discussion!

I think that i should form a FAQ section under wiki for some important questions, we have some good material here, and rewrite this there.

I will go backwards once again, it is easier for me. No hard feelings.

ludomotico - Yes you are definitely target of my company.

Interface will allow for connection of computer2cockpit accessories like - flight yoke, pedals, TQ,Nav, switch and fuel&trim panel. Not serial devices that existed before.
Throughout the production life interface will be the same, allowing for connection of controls and pedals whenever you buy them. Allowing for conection of controls and pedals of other models and maybe helicopter panels if enough people show their interest. Single interface, multiple panels.

Talking to you i developed a new moto: Computer2cockpit - where playing stops and flying begins. You see, these products that you put the pictures are multi-functional(you have to switch the function, then use them). And you are missing another panel to complete the stack. These two cost a bit less than what we plan to sell our full instrument panel. Something that this manufacturer you quoted sells for 1500$. I really don't want to compare right now because it is too soon.

You misunderstood the part about certification. We plan to sell non certified equipment when it comes to flying. But to put the product with high frequency chip on the market you have to have a certificate. That is why we have singe chip for entire cockpit. Having separate chip in every product would raise prices for about 25$ per piece. Certification and separate development for every chip is expensive.
So you have 2$ calculation based on chip expense. If you add certification costs, installation(these are not DIP chips) and PCB making cost, you reach these 25$ easily. So one thing is to do it yourself and other thing to put something on market. It is my job to make it affordable on the market.

When it comes to S. manufacturer you cant buy multi-engine panel, full radio and navigation panel, yaw trim, fuel selectors for multi. You are a singe engine pilot and you don't care. Any serious flying on multi requires these things. I explained earlier why. Now it is not fair to quote other people prices, but you can do it yourself. try to put everything that computer2cockpit has from S. products on paper and come back here and give me the price.(and the full list)

When it comes to your needs about Radio/Nav panel, that is because you probably don't practice IFR?. IFR is all about cabin management. I will not explain this any further. Some users will recognize this as better concept. After all i'm not here to offer you what is already on the market, the way it is already on the market, at the price that it is already on the market. That would be plain waste of your an my time.

I read something about 4 channels of force feedback, i may be wrong, but i read it somewhere. And price of such yoke, yes i don't have it right now since i'm not developing it at the moment. The fact that you think it should cost 200$ more is the part where our approach differs from other. We wont make it if we cant offer it affordable. There is enough manufacturers in the world that sell two throttle levers for 800$. But if i can offer it to you at extra 60$ i will.

Johan G. - something like kneeboard? do you have picture example? i find this a must, but still thinking where to put it. on top case of yoke maybe..

Michat - There is room for extra buttons on yoke. Will do it. this part is still under development and may change a bit. No plans for hat switch for now.
Not for twin engine piston cockpit. When it comes to more buttons, we like more unique functions, so you don't need 16 way pow hats. Again there are products that have this covered pretty well on the market.

Switch Panel is big, but making it smaller wouldn't make it cheaper, and it would not be realistic. once again we are not making buttons and switches ourselves, we are using finished products. These switches are the closest to actual in the cockpit.

When it comes to external fuel and trim panel - you have electric trim button on the yoke, so you don't need this on yoke. Fuel selectors and cowl flaps are really just for people who practice MEP. You will not have to buy every panel and control. just the ones you need and the interface.

QNH1/QNH2 OBS1/OBS2 HEADING knob, yes they are all on Navigation Panel, check on the web for bigger pictures and detailed functions list. www.computer2cockpit.com
This is unique feature.

This basic navigation panel will just have input. There will be output in instrument panel, and it will not be to expensive. Nav panel is to cover people with lower budget. We don't wont to leave them behind.

Explain this again about trim slider i didint get it, please?

About home modular cockpit, and natural steep.. we are working on something like:
grab money and buy interface, yoke, pedals and quadrant.
save money
grab money and buy Switch, Navigation and Fuel and Trim panel.

You see i'm a user myself and i'm trying to implement my needs into this product. To bring flying to everyone. You have to understand that price i quoted, 500$ for whole computer2cockpit solution, would drop within first year. but without selling first products we will not have funding to start the cycle. This means that first buyers will actually contribute to project and have our lifelong gratitude for that. But we'll talk about this in 6 months when the prototypes are over and crowdfunding starts.

I'm thinking about da42 cockpit as second phase when we enter production. What do you think?

If i skipped something it was by accident. Please repeat the question.

Thank you all for joining and helping. I will implement ideas form hear to the product. Every idea that i can.

Regards
Computer2cockpit - Flight Simulation Hardware designed for Flight Preparation and Training

Updates: http://www.facebook.com/computer2cockpit
FAQ: http://www.computer2cockpit.com/?page_id=771

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Re: computer2cockpit

Postby Hooray » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:07 pm

regarding feasibility/viability you may want to use a crowd-funding platform like kickstarter.com - that should given you an idea how many "supporters" you can find willing to back your project - this may require quite a time frame however, because it's usually not easy to reach out to the community for such things. To be honest, I would be really pleasantly surprised if we were able to find more than 20-30 people willing to pay more than 100-200 USD for such a campaign/effort in the beginning. But that's just my impression based on participating here, Curt/Gijs probably have more accurate numbers based on website stats (visitors per day, platforms etc). So another poll to conduct would be how many FG users have recently (12-18 months) purchased new hardware and how much they spent on average. I guess it would be a good idea to use as many channels as possible, including the forum, website, facebook and the wiki/newsletter. Otherwise, it will be hard to come up with representative numbers.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
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