The GP-Wiz40 & Updates

This weekend I received my three GP-Wiz40 boards and so far so good.  Windows sees them as a joystick controller and works like any other controller.  I expect these to work great when hooked up in the Overhead.

Speaking of, as much as I’d like to dive in and wire up the overhead I’ll be putting that aside until I get the remaining the parts from Pro Sim Parts.   I want to get everything installed first, cover gaps with electrical tap, and then do the wiring.  So that’ll be put side probably until next month.

In the meantime, my LCD panel for the FMC unit from AliExpress shipped today so that should arrive in the next few days so I can continue working on that.

My CDU Bay from Gold Medal Sim is also enroute still.  Last update was on the 2nd that it’s in Memphis after criss-crossing half the USA (Seriously, it went from Florida, through my state of Louisiana to Texas, then north to Tennessee). So hopefully any day now it’ll show up back here at my door.

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.

Weekend Progress

Got the frame for the overhead completed.  Yesterday I gave it a coat of gray primer (and will probably leave it like that) so I’m just giving it 24 hours to cure before attaching panels.

Works on the FMC continues as well.  I have the switches all assembled and soldered to the PCB board.  Also installed a 40-pin header for connecting the USBKeys card.  Next step is to the glue the buttons to the switches.  I also ordered a 5.6″ LCD Panel which should be here in about 2-3 weeks probably.  so hopefully that works well.

The opencockpits kit doesn’t have an EXEC key that can light up, so I’m removing the button for the brightness dial just above the EXEC button and replacing it with the top portion of a gutted green LED indicator from radio shack I already had on hand.  It fits the hole perfectly and will light up for the EXEC button.

Joystick Controller

With the overhead panel under contruction now, I wanted to order my joystick controllers for it so I had them in hand when it was ready for wiring up.

I originally planned on using Bodnar BU0836X cards but got hit in the face with sticker shock when I went to purchase them. I need at least 3 cards for the overheard and the Bodnar cards are £49.99 (British Pounds) each. After conversion to US Dollars, it was $242 before shipping for 3 cards. Yikes!!

So I began searching around for an alternative and came across the GP-Wiz40 board.  It’s basically the same thing as the Bodnar board but cheaper and ships from the US.  They have 1 version with the push-in terminals and 1 version without.

GP40ECO_MEDI opted for the one without the terminals as it saved me about $36 on my order for 3 boards. I don’t mind a little soldering if saves money. Total cost for the 3 boards with 3 day shipping was $85.

I’ll post how they are once they arrive and I can play with them

737 MIP – Version 2

Here’s a mockup of the V2 MIP.

Biggest difference is the addition of a 16″ LCD panel for the MIP displays.  I’ve pretty much gone through and added all the knobs/switches from the MIP as well so I can move away from using the Virtual Cockpit.  There’s a flaps gauge, Display mode, speed settings, EFIS panel, etc…

To accommodate the LCD panel the MCP portion of the panel is pushed forward about 3-4 inches, so it’ll be a two piece panel this time around.

Opencockpits FMC Kit

Received my Opencockpits FMC kit, PCB Board and components the other day.  The parts themselves look nice but there’s no documentation at all on how to assemble.

I’ve kinda figured out the PC-Board replaces the white board that comes in the main kit and I think get how the rest of the plates and buttons go, but it still would be nice if O/C published some tutorials on it so people know what they are doing to avoid screwing up an expensive kit.  Another example is the components kit includes a couple LEDs, but I have no idea what they are for.   Backlighting some portion of the face I’m guessing.

I was also  little bummed that it didn’t include a few basic screws/bolts to fasten all the plates together. Nothing a trip to the hardware store can’t fix but I seems little a given that these basic parts need to complete assembly would be included.

But still looking forward to getting this little guy assembled soon.

I’ve also started working on the frame for the overhead panels so I’ll post updates on that as it progresses in the coming days.

SIOC and FSUIPC Virtual Joysticks

When I hooked my ProSimParts ATC Panel, I tied all the switches to my OpenCockpits hardware thinking SIOC would take care of the functionality. But afterwards I realized getting SIOC to send 737NGX control codes was a nightmare.

I then discovered that FSUIPC has the ability to create virtual joystick buttons and that SIOC can trigger those virtual joystick buttons. This enabled me to set the control codes like all the other switches on my panel. Happy Happy Joy Joy!

So here’s an example of how I setup the ATC Rotary Encoder to work.