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mil0001
06-22-2011, 04:41 AM
Hello, I've been interested in building a Cessna 172 (Just standard guages, not a glass cockpit)

And was wondering where do I start? Where can I find plans for the panel dimensions and what kind of material should I use? (I was thinking MDF board and just a hole saw to cut out the guages) I'm planning on using software guages on screens mounted behind the panel. Where can I find some good free guages?

Um, anything else I haven't covered? I guess things like electronics ect but I really just want to get the shape, colour ect of the panel, well, good :D

Tom_G_2010
06-22-2011, 07:37 AM
WELCOME! Always good to see another GA builder out there.

Do a search in the forum on this site and you'll find plenty of information on the 172 to include full scale PDF ans CAD drawings of the panel in the download section. As for gauges, I'm not aware of any freeware sets but I haven't been searching the freeware stuff much. But, there are a number of options to include purchasing some basic panel editing software and to build your own. Other options include Project Magenta (http://www.projectmagenta.com/), or Flyware's FSXpand (http://www.cockpitsolutions.com/).

You'll find that a couple hours of reading in the forum will give you plenty of info to get started. And, asking questions of the folks here is a great resource. I'm just getting started on a fuselage conversion and what I've found here is a real goldmine of information and experience!

AK Mongo
06-22-2011, 08:02 PM
Welcome aboard!

As Tom mentioned there are 1:1 PDF files that can be printed to use as a template in the downloads section. There is also a CAD file that you can manipulate and/or get cut out for you to use. When I built my MIP, I chose to do a 2 layer approach. The rear section is 1/2" MDF, and the face is 3/16" hardboard. I did this so that heavier gauges/controls could have a solid "bite" into the mdf, but smaller switches could still be mounted just through the hardboard by cutting out the MDF behind it. That is probably clear as mud, but there you have it. I have not done the final finish on mine, as I am ensuring I have kept it flayable all through contruction. I am currently at the stage of figuring out how to do the gauges. After that I will peel off the template I printed, paint and label the MIP. That made it sound easy, but it may take me years to do it in my spare time.

Here is a link to some pictures that will give you a better idea what I have done. Link (http://s885.photobucket.com/albums/ac52/akmongo/)

Good Luck!

Reid

AK Mongo
06-22-2011, 08:08 PM
By the way...Standard gauges vs. Glass

If you are going standard(steam) because that is what you want, then knock yourself out!

If you are doing it because it seems easier, then seriously look into glass. It will actually be much easier to put one of those in than trying to do the old fashioned way.

Just my 2 cents.

I am doing steam gauges because I am a knuckleheaded fool.

Reid

CessnaGuy
06-24-2011, 05:42 AM
All I can say is; Steam gauges will ALWAYS be around, gauges is the way to go.

Because of this I would build the 172 IFR panel or go down the 152 route as it uses less guages which means it is smaller in cost to build, also if you can conquer the 152 then the worlds your oyster especially in sim building anyway. I have a special place in my heart for the 152, I never used to, until you actually fly one you get hooked!

The 152 is very easy to implement by using an LCD especially by using 18.5" lcd widescreen. From experience do not bother trying to wire up OBS knobs next to gauge cutouts and instead go and buy a goflight rotary panel. Just add a com (and maybe a nav) and your pretty much sussed!

If you can afford it go with PM gauge software (its come down alot in price since) and get yourself a reg'd copy of FSUIPC to link fs to your external hardware and i/o cards.

A cessna build really is straight forward, all I say is that for the best virtual reality you need a high performance pc with an up to date graphics card, go with fsx if you can and buy REX addons. For the visuals in a C152 you can get away with 2 large LCD screens on a DH2GO adapter, or go 3 screens if you dont mind bezels in your way when flying, also a 3 screen setup is best required for a Cessna 172 setup.

Alternatively, A projector setup is very impressive if you can afford it!

If you need any help just ask us on this forum! or shoot me a PM.....

All the best, Alex

mil0001
06-24-2011, 07:39 AM
I like the idea of a simple (and cheap) 152. Great fun to fly. But the only problem I have noticed so far is how the yoke is in the way of the 18.5in screen? How could you overcome this without buying heaps of monitors?

CessnaGuy
06-24-2011, 07:54 AM
You simply can't, believe me I have been through this a million times when I built my 152.

You either have to not have a yoke pass through and just sit your yoke infront of the mip, or you mount the lcd on top of the yoke shaft which is in-accurate but would work, only problem with the lcd sitting on the yoke is the MIP becomes 'higher' at eye level and the actual reality of flying is incorrect, so is the flying posture.

2 small tiny lcd's may work, but I am yet to see this as of yet! If this can be done, the gauge size would have to be modified and the mip design gets complex because you are modding the panel design and you have to take into account everthing else so that it all fits next to each other.

The best way is the most expensive way! Buy real gauges!

Alex

AK Mongo
06-24-2011, 12:09 PM
Alex,

I agree about the best way to do steam gauges is with mechanical gauges. Not sure that buying complete gauges from a European mfg is the best option yet. There are some very promising developments for diy gauges through Arduino and servo's for example, that would allow you to build most of them for less than the cost of one from one from FI or Simkits.


Homebuilt may be a very attractive alternative, at least for the simple gauges. (VSI, Tach, engine cluster, Turn Coordinator....)

Reid

http://www.youtube.com/user/raysot?blend=1&ob=5#p/u/3/QdmeDlyIums

Tom_G_2010
06-24-2011, 01:00 PM
You simply can't, believe me I have been through this a million times when I built my 152.

You either have to not have a yoke pass through and just sit your yoke infront of the mip, or you mount the lcd on top of the yoke shaft which is in-accurate but would work, only problem with the lcd sitting on the yoke is the MIP becomes 'higher' at eye level and the actual reality of flying is incorrect, so is the flying posture.

2 small tiny lcd's may work, but I am yet to see this as of yet! If this can be done, the gauge size would have to be modified and the mip design gets complex because you are modding the panel design and you have to take into account everthing else so that it all fits next to each other.

The best way is the most expensive way! Buy real gauges!

Alex

Cessna actually produced a standard 172 panel layout that had no gauges above the yoke. Cessna moved the engine gauges over to the co-pilot side to allow three inch gauges to fit without using that space. I'm not sure why they did that but it's out there. I had started to hunt for small lcd monitors that might fit to either side, but the cost of small odd size monitors was way up there so I started leaning towards a glass cockpit while I save up for real gauges. Although . . . if I could find some affordable smaller monitors to mount sideways on either side of the yoke I might revisit that.

Roland
06-24-2011, 03:21 PM
It may not be 100% accurate, but 2x 15" LCD's at the left & right sides with yoke in between works quite OK for me.
http://www.simprojects.nl/modular_simpit.htm

At the end of below video you can see how the yoke passes inbetween the two panels. Not as good as real gauges, but a cheap and easy alternative. And you can use it for many different airplanes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrhGiVl1RNs

Tom_G_2010
06-24-2011, 05:36 PM
I think that is a great setup. I've looked over your site and videos several times while planning my pit. I have also seen setups like yours with a face plate mask over the monitors. And, in some cases with the addition of a few rotary encoders on the face plate. I think something similar might work well for what mil0001 may be doing.

In my application I need much smaller monitors to fit inside the existing panel frame of my 172 fuselage.

http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=5136&d=1305069771

I don't want to alter the frame any more than is absolutely needed since the long term plan is to put analog gauges in. My goal at this time is to find a viable alternative while I save up for the gauges.

CessnaGuy
06-25-2011, 05:40 AM
Hi All,

I dont know if you remember my Cessna 152 sim (I Sold it to Jordan Farmer), I will try and dig out the CAD file so that you can CNC cut the panel. Please allow a little time as I have a ton of work to do to day, but will try my best!

You will probably find a ton of my drawings and measurements all over this site!

all the best, alex

CessnaGuy
06-25-2011, 05:46 AM
Ps, Mil......

You need to take into account that there is a 1-2cm border around any lcd screen so this has to be added to the mip area left and right of captain panel plus you have to take into account the thickness of the side walls of the sim so effectively you would need to allow an extra 3cm either side of the left of the captain gauge panel, and take into consideration the curve on the upper left of mip. Your screen will be square and your curve is rounded so you will need to hide the screen and keep the curve without the screen showing so you will need to modify the mip to account for this too.

mil0001
06-25-2011, 05:46 AM
Thanks that would be very helpful. I'm not in ANY rush with this and I will probably end up going down the gauge way if I can't find a monitor with 200x200mm of display (Highly unlikely that I will find one)

So any information will help me heaps.

mil0001
06-25-2011, 05:49 AM
In reply to your PS:

Yes I have started realising this after an afternoon of research. I will just have to edit too much of the cockpit to fit these monitors in realistic way. I guess it would be better off if I spent a lot longer getting the money but in the end having great end results (And since this is a first sim, I can reuse the gauges on something like a 172)

CessnaGuy
06-25-2011, 06:01 AM
In an ideal world, just fit 2 ipads next to the yoke shaft! lol

mil0001
06-25-2011, 06:10 AM
If only :P

I may aswell get onto my next question! (What another one!? I still got plenty :P )

The Radio equipment in the 152 is very simple but I have yet to find one that looks ANYTHING like it. Would an ok option to take to repaint the front panel and maybe change the knobs on one of those modular ones? Any good ones worth mentioning (I liked the Desktop Aviator one until I noticed it doesn't actually have a 7 segment display :( )

CessnaGuy
06-25-2011, 06:27 AM
I wouldnt reccommend Desktop Aviator for a Cessna flight sim because it is too wide and you will need a 200mm cut out, when a cessna is 160mm wide, with go flight you can mount their panels behind a 160mm wide cutout and screw to the inside of the mip. Yes Desktop Aviator doesnt have digits....

You can make overlays for goflight using vinyl and changing knobs, you will need to use beige colours to recreate the legendary 60's ARC panels.....i love em!

CessnaGuy
06-25-2011, 06:32 AM
In a 152 you geneally have only 1 nav gauge such as a VOR or ADF, so you will only need 1 nav/com radio and maybe a xpdr.

Dont forget 152's are only trainers, you talk to tower on the com and maybe practice a little nav on your instruments, annd thats it....

Not much of a radio stack required!

mil0001
06-26-2011, 04:51 AM
Hey Alex.

Did you ever have a chance to find any of those files? To be honest I've only found like 3 images on the forums :P But I guess it's kinda spread over 500 topics lol. (Good time to learn to use a Build Thread :P )

CessnaGuy
06-26-2011, 06:32 AM
Infact I'm unsure how it even controls the two different numbers with only one knob?

You push and turn to control frequency, or just turn for frequency, you push the button in the middle to set your standby.

Ive got a million things on a moment, so will dig out some files when I can....

This is my old sim:

http://alexpilot.50g.com/mipwithgoflights.jpg

mil0001
06-26-2011, 07:21 AM
What kind of material did you use for your panel? The rounded edges on everything look great :D

CessnaGuy
06-26-2011, 07:27 AM
Used MDF for the MIP, wooden beading for some of edges, and used leatherette to cover!

(and used normal spray paint to paint)....