Tobias, a member of Mycockpit.org and a student of the University in Braunschweig,
working at the Institute of Flight Guidance
, has contributed tutorial on "Using the FDS RMP as RMP3 in an A320"
I (Tobias) don't know why, but when I am thinking about flight simulation I have the weirdest ideas just to make the thing as real as it gets. This week I was playing around with the interfaceIT API, released by TekWorkx to write your own software for interfacing. This can also be used to work with the A320 RMP and this is how my first project started.
In the A320 it is possible to order a RMP3 which is then mounted into the overhead panel. You can see it on pictures like this:
Of course it is an optional item, like a lot of things are (even ADF receivers are not standard), but it ist found in some A320's.
As you can see the optional RMP3 can be found just underneath the ACP in the overhead for the third occupant, in some setups it is mounted vice versa. At this position a blank panel replaces the RMP:
So open it up and try to put in the RMP:
Well actually this does not work, because the L shaped RMP construction is far to long to be mounted into the overhead (the pedestal is a lot deeper of course).
Well but this was not a stop point, it was another challenge! So I began to disassemble the whole RMP into the front plates and the two PCBs and I found out that there where already two mounting holes in the USB interface PCB and the one in the front plate, so another hole in the front plate would make the whole design shorter or lets say flatter, because it is more compact after:
The second whole was just taken from the USB interface PCB and it was pure luck that their are is no connection in that area. Now I took two plastic PCB spacing stackers and mounted them in the wholes:
The interface PCB can just be screwed on them:
Of course we need electric connection between the two PCBs, that can be done via normal 40 pin flat ribbon connectors:
The whole thing is then a nice box which is short enough for the overhead:
So let's mount it where it belongs to and with some programming it is able to let it look like the one in the first picture in the real aircraft, which is really nice, because in that way you have a dedicated RMP3 which is used for the ACARS system on board your aircraft: