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  1. #1
    75+ Posting Member Crescent's Avatar
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    How does one make gauges?

    How does one go about building their own gauges? What are the components needed and is there a guide out there?

    The reason I ask is because for my Lancaster I'm not going to find even close to the real gauges for sale at a reasonable price and for what is out there I won't be able to complete the panel.

    Thanks.

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    Mike Flight Deck Books

    You could try Mike Powells:
    Building Simulated Aircraft Instrumenst book, available from http://www.mikesflightdeck.com/

    I reviewed this for PC Pilot and it shows exactly what you're looking for, but it needs a fair degree of electronic and engineering skills.

    Regards

    Joe Lavery.

  3. #3
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    Re: How does one make gauges?

    wow i love to see some pics if any i love wwii stuff i played around with a p38 cockpit an now a motion simulator an once i have these motors sorted out on this 1 i will build a fully working spit an yes gauges r going to be hard to sort out i did see some photos taken from real gauges an then printed of computer in put in behind the gauges an looked very good so keep in touch on this
    cheers bolton

  4. #4
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Jackpilot's Avatar
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    Re: How does one make gauges?

    The basic flight/nav gauges are the same for all aircrafts, it is just a matter of faceplates.
    Check Flightillusion and Simkits.
    For the others you are on your own.
    Jackpilot
    B737-700 Posky
    FS9/P.Magenta
    without PMSystem

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  6. #5
    75+ Posting Member cscotthendry's Avatar
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    Re: How does one make gauges?

    I'll second what Jackpilot said. Unless you have a reasonably well equipped machine shop, it's fairly difficult to make gauges from scratch. That said, Mike Powell's book is definitely good value. Even if you don't intend to build from scratch, there's a wealth of info on how the gauges work that will stand you in good stead when you're trying to figure out interfacing issues.

    Your next best option is to buy some Simkits gauges and print your own faces on some self-adhesive labels. The other advantage to using something already made is that there will be a lot of information about interfacing the gauges to the computer and the flightsim.

    Another option is to create gauges with the flightsim SDK and display them on a flat screen monitor behind the panel with holes in the panel so you can see the gauges on the screen. It doesn't sound too flash, but it looks OK. From memory Dash used this technique in his Baron sim

    www.baron58.com


    HTH
    Regards: Scott Hendry
    www.scotthendry.com

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    Matt Olieman's Avatar
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    Re: How does one make gauges?

    I've got to add to this, all though it was mentioned earlier.

    If you haven't read Mike Powells book (http://www.mikesflightdeck.com/mfdbooks.htm). You don't know what you're missing regarding building your own gauges.

    Mike makes it simple and I know several builders that have posted here with guage projects with the help of Mikes book.


    Matt Olieman

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  9. #7
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    Re: How does one make gauges?

    Wow! Thank you, Matt and Joe!

    And because Scott referenced the book's coverage of interfacing, I'd like to mention that there is a second book, Building Recreational Flight Simulators, which has expanded coverage of interfacing, and includes sample software. The book is in the hands of the production people and should be available in (fingers crossed) early August. (THIS year, Scott )

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  11. #8
    75+ Posting Member cscotthendry's Avatar
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    Re: How does one make gauges?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike.Powell View Post
    Wow! Thank you, Matt and Joe!

    And because Scott referenced the book's coverage of interfacing, I'd like to mention that there is a second book, Building Recreational Flight Simulators, which has expanded coverage of interfacing, and includes sample software. The book is in the hands of the production people and should be available in (fingers crossed) early August. (THIS year, Scott )
    LOL, I've been pestering Mike.. hence the "this year"
    Regards: Scott Hendry
    www.scotthendry.com

  12. #9
    300+ Forum Addict RobiD's Avatar
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    Re: How does one make gauges?

    Crescent,

    Here's a link to a thread about Mike's book. I've posted a couple of pictures up of my cockpit with the gauges I've built from Mike's book.

    I chose to interface through FSBusdll, which I've finished coding all the gauges, including aircore, L and R fuel gauges, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, Fuel Pressure and amps.

    http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16091

    Mike's book is definately a good start on how to build the gauges, and you can customise the gauges to suit what ever aircraft you want.

    I use CorelDraw to draw out each piece which you can then print and use as a template. I have a home built CNC machine, so I exported the CorelDraw file to PLT then imported it to RAMSGold to generate the G-code for the CNC machine, and then all the pieces are cut out for me and I only have to assemble and hey presto, a gauge.

    Mind you though, it took me a long time to work out how to do this. I built the CNC machine myself, then had to learn about G-code, then all the errors in cutting you make while you are perfecting it. But, gee I enjoyed it all.

    Hope you do too.

    Regards
    David

  13. #10
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    Re: How does one make gauges?

    I can only agree to this !

    I bought Mike's book earlier this year and its a MUST HAVE for anyone wanting to build their own gauges. HIGHLY reccomended.

    @ Mike: Mike are the pcb designs and the compiled firmwares also available in an electronic format ?

    Another solution i like for gauges is the simkits multi-controller. This controller allows connecting of 23 servos (or leds or switches of a mix of them) and offers many offsets for gauges like: airspeed, atitude indicator, egt, fuel flow, fuel pressure, hydraulic pressure and quantity, N1 tacho, trbine rpm $ oil pressure, quantity and temp, Turbine bleed air press, ITT, EPR, TAS, TAT, etc etc etc

    Thinking more and more of finally building that 707 sim.

    stef
    www.boeing737ng.com
    ___________________________
    The Dutch 737 Simulator Project

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