Category: Overhead

Throttle Bay Progress

This weekend I was able to get the final bits of wiring done on the Throttle Bay and began programming all the inputs.  As of last night I was able to get everything setup in FSUIPC in P3D V4 except for the FMC keys.  I’ll need to use opencockpits SIOC for that, so that’ll be this weeks project.

Throttle Bay

Of course it wasn’t until I was programming the toggle switches I noticed I have the “off” and “on” labels for the logo and collision lights reversed.  Whoops.

I was hoping to make some progress on the MIP wiring but I ended up running out of wire, so that’s on hold till my reorder of wire arrives this week.

MIP MIP

So in the mean time I started working on a overhead panel project.  For this panel I was thinking rather than having all the text and such etched on the panel directly, I’d create a printed overlay with it all along with some colored panels.  This way the panel could just be made with the cutouts for indicators and switches, cutting it’s cost by 50%.  It’s an early look at the photoshop file for the overlay.

overhead

Progress Update

I’ve been making progress trying to get the overhead complete.  I’ve got about 75% of the indicators installed.  I need to pick up another bottle of flat black paint tomorrow so I can airbrush the rest of the indicator boxes.  I have a OpenCockpits USB Output card that’ll power most of the LEDs, while the rest will be powered by a Mastercard I will install.

 

Not crazy about the ProSimParts knobs so I may eventually replace those with some from Opencockpits.

I also installed Display card kit and was able to use some of my existing display card PCB’s from my radio panels to make the wiring nice and tidy.  A 2nd display card will be installed for the electrical panel.  I have a custom PCB on order for those displays.

 

May need to insert some sort of tint to the electrical display panel so the 7-segment displays aren’t so visible when off.

And here’s a USB hub I installed.

 

I’m trying to consolidate cables as much as possible to reduce the number of cables needed to connect the overhead to the sim.  With a custom PCB I made for the mastercard, I’ll be able to carry the Mastercard signal, up to 3 servos, 5v power and 12v power if needed on a single ribbon cable along with a single USB cable.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 5.58.53 PM

 

I also made a custom Input/Output board for the Mastercard.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 5.59.00 PM

I can get three of these for about $23 versus $33 for a single Opencockpits board.  One side is used as an Input board while the other is used as an Output.  There’s solder pads for direct soldering to the board or 2.54mm pitch headers for terminal block or pins.  The board is small enough that with you could plug it right into the Mastercard with the right connector (or some just pins if you build the cards yourself).

737 Landing Light Caps

My 3D printed landing light switch caps arrived and turned out pretty good.

 

The inside diameter of the tube was about a 1.5mm too large so it kinda wiggles on the switch arm.  But I figure once I glue it into place it should be ok. The length also was about 2mm too long but I’ve already trimmed that off.  Next up will be painting and then attaching.

I also received my first batch of overhead indicator boxes.

Once these kit painted I’ll be working on installing those.

Overhead Parts

I recently posted about replacing my overhead with a mini, custom one. Will I decided against it. I’m gonna keep the overhead just in case I ever get room for a bigger cockpit 🙂

So with that, today I ordered a batch of parts for the overhead indicators. I ordered up the full set of indicatos from Opencockpits (I’ve given up waiting on ProSimParts) along with some white switch knob covers.

674x501_1179219_1100324_1372342030I also ordered the first 20 of 100 3D printed custom boxes I made to fit the panels. I ended up cutting down the box size to be about half the depth of what OpenCockpit uses. I still get a nice spread of LED light on the indicators, but cuts about 40 cents off the price.  Not a lot but after I order 100 of them it’ll save me about $40.

 

674x501_1020889_933600_1365705356Along with the boxes I ordered 4 of my Landing Light switches to see how they turn out.

Change of (Overhead) Plans

Seeing as how my ‘cockpit’ will probably never evolve past being a desktop-based cockpit I’ve decided to replace the my fullsize overhead with a custom “mini” overhead. Here’s a look at the print out of the first design.

I’ve compacted most of the overhead down into a 23″ x 14″ panel. Most gauges have been left off along with some non-essential switches that I’ve never ever used. I may remove some more as well that I’ve simply never touched. The panel is small enough that I could use sitting on my desktop or still mount to an stand like my current overhead, but just not be so huge.

Here’s a comparison shot on the fullsize overhead.

In other news, if you’re looking for an overhead I’ll have one for sale soon. 🙂

Overhead Switches

Today I finished wiring the first batch of switches to my GP-Wiz40 Joystick Controller board.

This includes all of the light panel switches plus the #1 and #2 Fuel pump switches. Here’s a short video of them action:

The GP-Wiz40 board works great.  No issues with it so far. If you need a joystick controller I’d recommended checking them out as a cheaper alternative to the Bodnar board.

And if you’re wondering, yes I did some hacking on my frame. I wanted to get rid a piece of support that was directly behind the EGT gauge as that’s gonna be the first overhead gauge I try hooking up.  Here’s the modified frame:

Overhead Video

Playing with a new camera this week, so here’s a video showing off the Pro Sim Parts Overhead Panel.

My only real complaint so far is that the 2nd row from the left is a few mm shorter than the rest.  I think that blank plate needs to be just a tad taller so they’re all level. You’ll see it in the video. The gaps between panels is just my (not-so) handy frame construction. I’ll cover the gaps from behind with electrical tape to prevent any light leaking through.

Planning on starting some of the switch wiring this week.

Painted Overhead Frame

Masked off the panels and gave the overhead frame a coat of RAL7011 paint to see how it looks.  It’s a perfect match pretty much.  Looks much better now.

Before on left. After on right.

Overhead Progress

Overhead panel is just about completed.  Found a I few (minor) pieces missing from the kit that ProSimParts will be be sending out.  But it’s pretty much pretty much ready to have the switches wired up once my controller cards arrive.  ProSimParts is hoping to have the annuniciators completed by the end of the month.

And here’s a look at the overhead on a stand I built for my desk to make it, well… an overhead 🙂

I made it so it’s removable from the stand using 2 of these flush mount hangers on each side of the frame along with 2 bolts on each side that screw into T-Nuts embed on the inside of the frame for extra bracing.  I surprised myself when it actually worked!  It’s pretty sturdy doesn’t move around when flipping switches and stuff.

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