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  1. #1
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    F-15 site updated...

    The whole site (for the most part) has been ported to Wordpress and there are new updates on the Fuel & IFF panels. Videos too.

    http://www.f15sim.com

    tnx.

    g.

  2. #2
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    Re: F-15 site updated...

    Great site. One question - where do you suggest going for the wider field of view LEDs you mentioned.

    Actually - one more question - you mentioned "edge lit" - can you explain a bit more of you lighting technique and what you've learned to make it work well?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  3. #3
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    Boeing Re: F-15 site updated...

    Quote Originally Posted by m_gansler View Post
    Great site. One question - where do you suggest going for the wider field of view LEDs you mentioned.

    Actually - one more question - you mentioned "edge lit" - can you explain a bit more of you lighting technique and what you've learned to make it work well?
    Thanks Mike!

    I mention the FOV issue at the bottom of this post: http://www.f15sim.com/?p=70#more-70

    The IFF panel is an OEM part and is "offically" known as a Class 1-W, Type 5 Integrally Illuminated Panel.

    The Class designation defines what kind of lighting is used:

    1-R describes a black painted panel with red illumination.
    1-W describes a black painted panel with white illumination
    1-BW describes a black painted panel, with blue-filtered white illumination. The blue filter makes the illumination compatible with night vision devices (NVIS).

    There are 5 "typical" types of edge lit panels.

    Type III is an older (think 50's to late 60's) design that uses a bulb in a special holder that actually penetrates the entire panel and screws into a socket mounted to the panel.

    Type IV panels have the incandescent lamps and wiring literally embedded into the panel. These are easily identified if you look at the back of the panel. You'll see a winding white line that begins and ends at the power connector on the back of the panel. White dots along that line show where the bulbs are. These are a *nightmare* to fix. You literally have to dig out the area of the panel that has the burnt out bulb. Very costly to maintain.

    The Type V panel is the most common "modern" panel type. It consists of a .200" acrylic panel and a very thin (1/32") single sided circuit board that has all the lamps soldered to it. When mated to the acrylic panel, the lamps intrude into the interior space of the panel. If you take a peek at the top section of this page: http://www.f15sim.com/pre_blog_news-1.html,
    you'll see exactly how a Type V panel is constructed.

    The Type VI panel is constructed similarly to the Type V, but instead of the circuit board with lamps on it, a sheet of Electroluminescent sheet provides lighting across the whole back panel surface.

    The Type VII panel is identical to the Type V, except that instead of incandescent bulbs, it uses LEDs. The EW panel that I'm building will be a variant on this. The same vendor that had the 180 degree FOV green LEDs also happened to sell the same FOV LED in a "warm white" color. I'm going to try those out to see how well it works out. The LEDs will be attached to the metal backing panel instead of mounted on a separate circuit board. This will make the construction a bit cheaper and less complex.

    The panels I've scratch built to the Type 5 standard are a bit different from the OEM parts. First, the bulbs I used were standard "T1" types. These bulbs are a bit larger than the very tiny and very expensive bulb that is normally used. To improve the light reflection within the panel itself, I glue a little bit of aluminum foil into the bottom of the pocket that the light bulb occupies in the panel. I'll do the same thing with the EW panel and see how that works out.

    If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to help!

    g.

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    Re: F-15 site updated...

    Great stuff.

    Does your friend Mike Powell order the LEDs from Digikey or Mouser and have a suggested vendor and part number?

    I've built a simple CNC based loosely on this design (http://www.rockcliffmachine.com/gallery.htm) and am coming up the learning curve on engraving panels as well. So far I've just been experimenting with painting acrylic and engraving through the paint. I need to level my work surface better though since engraving isn't very tolerant to variation in the z-axis!!

    Looking forward to seeing how your latest design works out.

    Thanks,

    Mike

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    Re: F-15 site updated...

    Quote Originally Posted by m_gansler View Post
    Great stuff.

    Does your friend Mike Powell order the LEDs from Digikey or Mouser and have a suggested vendor and part number?

    I've built a simple CNC based loosely on this design (http://www.rockcliffmachine.com/gallery.htm) and am coming up the learning curve on engraving panels as well. So far I've just been experimenting with painting acrylic and engraving through the paint. I need to level my work surface better though since engraving isn't very tolerant to variation in the z-axis!!
    Mike, if you go to the page where I describe how the "new" version of the indicator is built, there's a link to the vendor where I purchased the LEDs from. They sell through eBay.

    That's a neat little machine. I'll have to check it out.

    First, you need to make sure you've got a "spoil board". This is a replaceable surface that is bolted or otherwise attached to the machine. This is where all cutting material would get mounted to. It's known as a spoil board because it will eventually get "spoiled" by tool path mistakes, etc.

    I would recommend a sheet of 3/4" MDF for a spoil board. When you've got it cut to size, you need to "surface" it to ensure that it's perfectly flat with respect to your tool's Z axis.

    On my ShopBot I use a 1-1/2" bit that's specifically designed for surfacing a spoil board. You can do something similar with a smaller bit, it just takes longer.

    What you want to do is design a tool path that is essentially a rectangular spiral that goes from the outside, in. Each time the spiral moves "in", it only goes about 3/4" the diameter of the bit, ensuring you don't have any ridges left from the surfacing process. Before you begin surfacing, make sure that the bit you're using is as perfectly perpendicular to the table surface as you can make it. If it's not, you can end up with a slightly uneven surface along the opposite axis of the alignment error. If it's small enough, you can sand down the resulting "humps" very quickly with some 220 grit sandpaper.

    By taking small bites at a time, you ensure that you're removing the minimal amount of material necessary to get the job done. After the process is complete, you'll have a work surface that is perfectly trued to your tool, +/- the error factor in the design of the machine itself.

    g.

  6. #6
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    Re: F-15 site updated...

    Thanks for the suggestion - I have some scrap MDF that I'll use.

    I went to what looks like the new panel page (http://www.f15sim.com/?p=111#more-111) and didn't find the ebay link. I surfed around some more and am still not finding it. Sorry to be a bother. I looked on ebay and found this link - is this the vendor you suggest?:

    Item number: 260365357479

    They seem to have a surprisingly good price on 180deg wide angle white LEDs.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  7. #7
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    Re: F-15 site updated...

    Quote Originally Posted by m_gansler View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion - I have some scrap MDF that I'll use.

    I went to what looks like the new panel page (http://www.f15sim.com/?p=111#more-111) and didn't find the ebay link. I surfed around some more and am still not finding it. Sorry to be a bother. I looked on ebay and found this link - is this the vendor you suggest?:

    Item number: 260365357479

    They seem to have a surprisingly good price on 180deg wide angle white LEDs.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Yep, that's the vendor I purchased mine from.

    If you check my YouTube page (http://www.youtube.com/f15sim), I think I have a video in there that shows the 'bot doing a surfacing so you can see exactly what I'm talking about.

    g.

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    Re: F-15 site updated...

    GRRR LOL i get so jealous when i see your Panels and know that i could also do something like one day only if i knew how to make my own CNC machine LOL Seems easy to make one but not fully sure on how but hey Great Work on ALL your stuff!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: F-15 site updated...

    I've had some better success using the "spoiler" plate and these bits
    http://cgi.ebay.com/30-degree-bits-f...3A1%7C294%3A30

    But I'm still coming up the learning curve. I'm using 1/8" acrylic painted with a few coats of black spray paint. Using an end mill always leaves the edges raggy. Using the V tip engraving bit (above) does a better job, but I haven't had much luck with leaving a mask (tape) on. If I leave a mask (packing tape, masking tape, scotch tape) on before I engrave so I can paint the engraved letters white, the tape always gets too raggy and lifted up. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  10. #10
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    Re: F-15 site updated...

    Quote Originally Posted by 388TH_A View Post
    GRRR LOL i get so jealous when i see your Panels and know that i could also do something like one day only if i knew how to make my own CNC machine LOL Seems easy to make one but not fully sure on how but hey Great Work on ALL your stuff!!!
    Thanks! I cheated and bought my ShopBot already built. That and I really cheat because I use an Epilog Mini-24 with a 45W laser to do the lettering on the panels.

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