This is where I will document my initial panel building efforts and ultimately my cockpit project progress. I have wanted to build a fairly close and realistic facsimile of an airliner cockpit (multi-use 737, 757, 767) for many years but either didn't have the space, time or money (mostly all three at the same time) until recently. Well, I have two out of three now and the third ($) I still have to work on a little more:).
Anyway, I am very anxious to receive the Autopilot+ kit from Mark and get started.
Attached is my existing cockpit. I wrote a little about it under "Builder Support/Graphics Help Please". It has been a faithful companion for several years but is in dire need of an overhaul.
Just thought I would throw this picture in. It's of the Cherokee 140 I owned for many years. Great airplane and a blast to fly. Logged many hours in it.
I received the Autopilot+ kit from Mark on Monday 7/13/15 (by the way the shipping was incredible fast). But, due to torrential rains in the Louisville, KY area (4+ inches in a 48 hours time frame on top of 20 straight days of some type of rainfall) I had a flooded basement to deal with first. All is dry now so on with the project.
As I said the kit arrived very quickly and all contents were packaged extremely well.
Then it was on to the wire cutting, stripping and soldering. In addition to flight simming I am also an avid Radio Controlled model aviator and N scale train builder so I have quite a bit of soldering experience but nothing quite as involved as the Autopilot+ panel.
Even so, Mark's book and video helped make sense of all the wires and keep everything organized.
Couldn't wait to see what the components looked like in the panel. I even connected some of the rotaries and buttons to the BBI-32 board for a trial run and everything worked perfect (again thanks to the video and detailed documentation). I know FSUIPC fairly well but I know nothing about Lua or LINDA. I'll have to learn because eventually I want to control all my flight controls with FSUIPC or Lua through LINDA.
Anyway, hopefully will get the graphics printed today.
By the way; just wanted to let John (issgazer) know that I purchased the coolant oil hose and alligator clips from Amazon. Unfortunately they didn't arrive until yesterday and I already had the soldering complete. I did mount the hoses and did some test soldering and it is a great setup. Thanks for that bit of information. Keith
Well that didn't take near as long as I thought it would. Graphics printed fine. Still need to work on my printer settings as I did get a small white edge when I printed the graphic. I will have to learn much more about Photoshop or GIMP2. As you could see in the previous images, I chose to wire each component with a full length ground rather than daisy chain them together. In the future I will probably make modification to the Autopilot+ kit graphics, so as Mark suggested, I wired each component separately.
I did try a different method for mounting the graphic. It worked very well for me. Just food for thought. I have a hot/cold laminator so after I printed two pages of graphics I cut about an inch off the top and bottom of one page. I then placed one directly on the other, as directed, and then put a small piece of tape on each overlapping edge to hold them together. Then I ran the two pages through the laminator. Now this does create a thicker graphic but with the plastic covering on the photo paper, it seemed to make cutting the holes with a #11 blade much easier. I also printed my graphic on Matte paper as apposed to gloss. The laminate is shiny so I guess I got the best of both.
Anyway, I put the acrylic on the graphic, cut the holes, installed the components, wired the panel to the BBI-32 controller, ran the rotary configuration program, assigned my buttons and rotaries with LINDA and everything is a GO. Now I just need to figure out where I'm going to put the panel???
Mainly I want to set up for a B737/757. That has always been my dilemma with flight simming. I like to fly low and slow and the heavies. I belong to DeltaVA.org Virtual Airlines and fly primarily the B737 but I do like the CRJ-700 as well as the Saab 340 and ATRs/Q-400. I think I need three cockpits; low and slow, turboprop, and airliner. Right now I am extremely happy with the setup and can't wait to try it out. I really need to dive into the Lua/LINDA and Advanced FSUIPC documentation and learn some programing. That will be the biggest help for future projects. And, I won't hesitate to ask questions when they come up. Keith