Of course when you do have your first MCP you are very happy. But as the time goes by you find more and more things which are are not satisfying. As you can see in an older post, the MCP Ver 1 was based on a piece of MDF material for stabilization. The LEDs for the mode selection have not been placed on the push buttons but above or next to them. No FLT intv or SPD intv buttoms were available. But the thing which was most annoying was the way the cables have been organized. Totally chaotic and a lot of hot glue was applied to provide some stability for the soldering points.Read more on the related page
The FMC has been installed at its place.
The FMC itself consists of front panel, buttons, circuit board, psone screen holder, psone display and the related control board. You can see on the picture how it is assembled.
It is backlit with the usual 12V LED stripes put behind the front panel. It is very bright at the moment so i will control the brightness of the backlight with a LED dimmer from hongkong i pulled from ebay for 1€ per piece and 3 euro shipment fee. Read more under the related page…
The cockpit has been moved from the basement into the cockpit room. You can see the current status on one of the pictures. At the moment i do a lot of work to fill out the empty places in the MIP. This needs a lot of time. When this work is finished i will take care about the throttle quadrant.
One interessting aspect maybe: I managed to get the FMC running on my android galaxy tab using the iview app. But it runs very unstable and the response is not satisfying. Maybe a new software update has fixed these problems – i did not check.
I managed to buy a new CNC router (Moederl) which is far better than my old diy router. Now i am able to do my pieces in much shorter time because i can run at higher feedrates. You can see the AFDS panel and also (yiep yiep) the first homebuilt pcb board for it. I also can mill aluminum now. This will be handy when it comes to a new gear lever.
Having a cnc router gives you the problem that you really need to spend a lot of time for planning the parts. My workflow is the following: The autocad dwg drawing is the source of all information -> panel export as dxf for Cut2d cam software -> in cut2d i plan the tool paths and create the nc code -> export to Mach3 Software which drives the router.
Recently i started to plan the panels in 3D with Audodesk inventor. This increases the ammount of planning time dramatically but i can be sure that the parts will fit together and i do not have problems in during assembly.
Overall, i am quite satisfied with my current cockpit but i see 3 major issues which cause headache for me. 1. The encoders used in the MCP have the known problem that the BU card does not read the signal fast enough so when i turn the encoders, the BU cards misses some detents. This problem is known but i didn´t get a good solution yet. I will make a new MCP and can solve this problem then using a LUA program or using alps encoders which simulated a turn of the know. 2. The MIP is not made out of PDF but out of some weaker material (MDF was oput in the shop when i bought the material so i choose other material calles pressspanplatte. Now i am not satisfied with the stability but i do not want to make everything new. 3. The room where the cockpits is installed is too small for 3 projectors and an enclosure : (((.
A last thing, when i ordered electronic equipment here in germany, i found out that reichelt has some good knobs which are not as expensive as the OC stuff… check this linkhttp://www.reichelt.de/Drehimpulsgeb…6ef5c099aa99ee
Cokcpit has moved into its new room. Visualization with 1x projector.
First PCB Board fresh out of the home production
i think it is time to provide some updates for my project.
After i got my CNC machine running (with fixed chinese controller card TB6560) it is possible to do my own parts. So far the MIP structure is nearly finished and the first panel is backlighted. I use the SMD LED stripes for backlighting.
At the moment i work on the MCP. The front panel is finished and engraved (with 0.5 mm end mill) and backplate also ready. I do not use a 45 or 60 degree engraving mill because i have issues with the height of the panel. What i do is to set Z Axis to Zero for each new block of letter i want to engrave. The workbed is not 100% even so this is the solution which works good for me.
I did test with a self constructed engraving head but no big success.
Last week i received my first 500 € shipment from Open Cockpits with important components like master card, output card, switches, buttons and knobs. I did some molding tests to make my own knobs with silicon form and epoxy resin and you can see in the picture what comes out if you can´t wait till the mold is dried.
I try to get the MIP, MCP and EFIS Panels finished till i´ll move the whole structure into my cockpit room. For software i discovered the PROSIM 737 solution which seems perfect for my needs – not to mention that the package is free at the moment. Next steps will be all the wiring and of course many hours learning SIOC.
MCP Ver 1 front panel on the MDF router
Engraved Letters and Backlighting
Gear LEver Panel and Backlighting
My first knobs fresh out of the mold