- Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 10.4 x 6.6 cm ; 499 g
- Shipping Weight: 975 g
- Item model number: SCB432040002/04/1
- ASIN: B004ING98M
- Date first available at Amazon.ca: Feb. 1 2011
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #116,839 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
Mad Catz Saitek PRO Flight BIP Backlit Information Panel (SCB432040002/04/1)
- Backlit annunciate Panel
- 24 Individually controlled segments
- 3 user defined colours - Red, Orange and Green
- Over 70 different legends included in box
- Works with Microsoft Flight Simulator X and 2004
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Amazon.ca Product Description
Compatible with Microsoft flight sim x and flight sim 2004, the pro flight backlit information panel provides users with clear and authentic information during flight. Supplied with over 70 individual 'command tiles' which display a wide variety of inflight commands and information, users can customize their information panel to display flight information relevant to their aircraft or personal preference. In addition, users can assign a choice of three colors to each or the 24 segments, allowing different command tiles to light up with different colors during flight. Command tiles not illuminated remain invisible to the naked eye, allowing aspiring pilots to accurately access the information they need, when they need it. Connectivity: usb 2.0.
From the Manufacturer
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The BIP is the same dimensions as Saitek's other panels, so it fits perfectly within any existing configuration. The only aesthetic difference is the shiny front translucent panel, which would otherwise conceal the annunciators it illuminates. It supports 3 rows of 8 backlit panels each, so you can have up to 24 annunciators operational at any time. The BIP also comes with many additional panels so you can choose which ones best suit your preferences from a total of over 50. Each panel can then be programmed to illuminate with your choice of Amber, Red or Green when certain conditions are met; for example, a stall warning would ideally remain unlit for an entire flight, but you want to see it when it happens. It's also reassuring to see an annunciator confirm that the landing gear is lowered and locked, or to remind you that the cabin door is open.
Could it be improved? Overall, I'm very happy with the product and have no regrets. Some minor things I'd like to see would be a greater range of panels as there are some fundamental functions not included such as flap position, transponder status etc. Also, it would be great to have the same panel illuminate in different colours depending on the situation; for example, Autopilot could illuminate in green when engaged, but in red when disengaged. To be fair, I'm running it on a Mac with X-Plane via a custom plug-in, so I can't comment on whether the limitation is unique to my configuration, or the same for all users.
This has grown on me so I changed my ratting from 4 to 5 stars.
Although I'll fly a jet every now and then I really prefer some of the older prop planes, big or small. And most of them used the "O M I" airport guidance system.
This usually consisted of 3 lights and loud tones as you passed over each radio marker near the airport. The "lights" on screen in FSX are pitiful. This is a very big improvement.
The Outer marker was a blue light, the Middle Marker was amber/yellow, and the Inner Marker was white.
Thanks to SPAD I can get pretty much the same setup for more realism. But in the real aircraft you just have 3 round lights in a row (vertically or horizontally). I had thought of making 3 round transparencies, one in each position, but decided on text instead as the rest of the BIP is text.
The Saitek BIP comes with one tile labeled "MARKER". I don't know if the Saitek software lets you use all 3 lights, as needed, or just one light color.
If you look at the 2 pictures on the main page you can see how I did it.
First get some printer transparencies for your printer (inkjet or laser). Colored paper or film underneath the homemade tile can enhance the displayed color.
You can check out my pictures at the top of the main page, but basically you print out the transparencies and tape them in place with black electrical tape. Then you assign the color that you want to the position that you want.
The BIP has 3 light colors available for each tile place - red, green, and yellow. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good blue color for the Outer Marker. If you put a blue colored transparency between the yellow LED light and the transparency you get green. Not what I wanted, but not too much of a biggie.
First - This is one of the best *built* Saitek products that I've seen. And the ability to choose the tiles that YOU want, and place them where you want, is very very nice. The ability to EASILY change the color that will light up those tiles is great.
But my initial thoughts on this BIP was that it wasn't of much use. How often are you going to have problems with your oil temp or pressure? Do your engines catch fire all that often?
If you want to set up FSX to practice emergency flight problems this would be great. Otherwise ....
A lot of the tiles cover 4 engine planes and are variations on a theme:
* Engine 1 Fire, Eng 2 Fire, Eng 3 Fire, Eng 4 Fire.
* Eng 1 Oil Pressure, Eng 2 Oil Pressure, Eng 3 Oil Pressure, Eng 4 Oil Pressure
* Engine 1 Oil Temperature, Eng 2 Oil Tem, Eng 3 Oil Temp, Eng 4 Oil Temp
* Left Eng Fire, Right Eng Fire
* Left Fuel Low, Center Fuel Low, Right Fuel Low
Some are more general:
* Eng Fire
* Eng Pressure
* Low Temp
* Oil Pressure
* Fuel Low
The full list can be found in an online search.
If you only fly general aviation planes with 1 or 2 engines a lot of the above is over-kill. If you occasionally fly planes with 3 or 4 engines that's fine because the un-lit tiles don't show up until they're lit up.
The bad part is that if you use the 4 Eng Fire, 4 Oil Pressure, and the 4 Oil Temperature sets of tiles from the first list (above) you're going to use 12 out of the 24 slots on the BIP panel. Add in the ones for a single engine plane (Eng Fire. Eng Pressure, Low Temp, Oil Pressure, and Low Fuel) tiles and now you've used 17 of the 24 tile spaces. Only 7 spaces left now.
Of course you would like to have all of that stuff so that you can cover any problems ***no matter what plane you're flying***. The only solution, of course, is to buy 2 BIP panels. BUT NOT AT THIS PRICE!
So is it pointless to buy it? No.
I actually had a lot of fun just deciding what tiles to use, and where to put them. In the end, I made the best choice I could to cover what I considered the most important 24 tiles.
But this panel should be at the end of your "Want" list.
I keep harping on using the SPAD drivers and not the Saitek drivers. The BIP no exception. You WILL get more, and better, options with SPAD than you will from Saitek. I have SPAD auto start every time I fly.
One of my most wanted indicators was an OMI indicator. OMI stands for Outer Marker, Middle Marker, and Inner marker. No doubt you've heard FSX making some awful beeping noise and wondered if something was wrong with your plane. Those noises (if your navigation is setup correctly) are indicators of how close you are to the landing strip/airport. Many planes have OMI light indicators to alert you visually. With SPAD you can use the MKR tile and make it turn green for Outer, red for Middle, and yellow for Inner. You could also print on a laser or ink jet transparency the letters "O", "M", and "I" and put them in 3 different tile positions (and make them light green, red, and yellow) for added realism.
Another use for SPAD is to change the values on some indicators. For instance engine temperatures are quite different on a Cessna 172 and a 747-800. One setting doesn't fit all.
It's the small things that can make a flight sim better, and it's sad that this cost so much. It is worth having, but at this price very few will buy it.