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  1. #1
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    Some more planning questions

    Hi all,

    As I am getting more and more into the planning (and mostly the financial side of things), I am realizing that I know less than I thought:
    • When you buy a panel from some of the many vendors, say a RMP for an A320, and you elect to buy the "hardware option" also, will it also include, say, holders for the 7 segment leds?
    • When buying the hardware mentioned above, will it come with a PCB, or are you totally on your own as to how you decide to wire things up?
    • The hardware that many of the panel vendors offer, is that in any way specialized, or is it just switched/knob etc that resemble what is found in the aircraft of choice, and so potentially something you could find cheaper yourself?
    • When running software like PM or AST, how many computers other than the FS computer do you need? Reading PM manuals, they recommend one computer per major function (so, PFD and ND, ECAM, FCU/MCP, FMC/MCDU). Is that really needed?
    • Is there any preferred board maker that people would recommend to me? I am thinking of going with phidgets, but that just because I have heard one or two at work talking about them in a totally different context.


    I am deeply thankful for any advice that you guys can spare me. I hope I will one day be able to pay back
    Thanks,

    Boaz
    KSEA
    Lose money - ask me how.

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job


    Efe Cem Elci's Avatar
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    I've worked with Open Cockpits so I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge.

    When you buy a panel from some of the many vendors, say a RMP for an A320, and you elect to buy the "hardware option" also, will it also include, say, holders for the 7 segment leds?
    I believe this varies according to where you buy it from so I'd check into the detailed list of the hardware sets. Opencockpits has the 'buy hardware option' but mainly for the more advanced FMC and overhead panels which don't have 7-segment display holders.

    When buying the hardware mentioned above, will it come with a PCB, or are you totally on your own as to how you decide to wire things up?
    Open Cockpits lets you deal with getting the circuit set up so unless you're getting IOCards (which are available with PCB fully assembled or in kit form for home assembly) you will need to get circuit boards if necessary and deal with the planning and implementation of the wiring involved.

    The hardware that many of the panel vendors offer, is that in any way specialized, or is it just switched/knob etc that resemble what is found in the aircraft of choice, and so potentially something you could find cheaper yourself?
    Unless very specialized items are needed, they are pretty much generic things that can be gathered separately. Some builders prefer the ease of getting all parts without the fuss of having to cross-reference various sites while others take joy in getting down and dirty to find components. It is generally cheaper to gather them yourself, and it also allows you to cater to your own preferences in regards to various components (i.e. getting aircraft maker-specific knobs for a bit more) that you need. However, some items requiring mass ordering might be available for retail sale through the sites selling the panels.

    When running software like PM or AST, how many computers other than the FS computer do you need? Reading PM manuals, they recommend one computer per major function (so, PFD and ND, ECAM, FCU/MCP, FMC/MCDU). Is that really needed?
    Recommended vs required. It is ideal to have one per major function but many people tend to group them so that you don't take up the already limited space available to most of us with computer cases.

    Is there any preferred board maker that people would recommend to me? I am thinking of going with phidgets, but that just because I have heard one or two at work talking about them in a totally different context.
    As I stated earlier, I've gone with OC and have no experience with phidgets so I can't give you a comparison. OC is good but can get downright frustrating sometimes and thank god there are lots of builders that choose to share their experiences because OC isn't great on English language support and it would take me ages more to figure certain things out otherwise.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    75+ Posting Member
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    Thanks a ton for you reply

    Quote Originally Posted by efecemelci View Post
    As I stated earlier, I've gone with OC and have no experience with phidgets so I can't give you a comparison. OC is good but can get downright frustrating sometimes and thank god there are lots of builders that choose to share their experiences because OC isn't great on English language support and it would take me ages more to figure certain things out otherwise.
    Do you know if there is an API to program against the IOCards and OC?

    Is it customary for cockpit builders to etch their own PCBs?
    Thanks,

    Boaz
    KSEA
    Lose money - ask me how.

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