09-13-2009, 12:59 AM #1
767 conversion for the saitek pro throttles
Hi guys, I have posted this for anyone who is interested. I am currently building a 767-300 cockpit which is coming along well. However I am using the Saitek yoke, rudders and 2 sets of throttles. The throttles are ok but don't really give the feel of a 767, so I decided to have a go at modifying the look and feel myself. Please understand this is my way of achieving an overall "better feel" and in no way an attemp at a 100% rendition of the true 767 throttle system. The throttles are not to scale but work well in providing the look and feel of a 767 throttle compared to the standard Saitek throttles.
The first thing I needed to do was work out how to seat the throttles so that the throttle ark matched more that of the 767. As you are probably aware the Saitek throttle system has an ark from 90 degrees horizontal to 90 degrees vertical. I overcome this by tilting the throttles forward on the base so that the edges formed a v shape and then locked (wedged) them into place with wooded blocks. You may wish to vary how you secure them. Now when the throttle levers are moved they follow an ark of about 45 degrees back to 45 degrees forward as seen below.
The throttle arms were hand drawn onto wood and simply cut out and sanded to form the necessary shapes. I studied many different 767 throttles both homebuilt and the real counterpart to get the shape I required. I used 3 pieces to make a throttle arm. The outside arm of the lever is a light weight wood 16.8mm long. The middle piece is from the same wood and is 14mm long. The inner piece is made from 9mm MDF and is also 14mm long. The 2 inner pieces I joined together and then traced the Black Saitek throttle lever and round knob on one side. I only left a few milimeteres between the bottom of the new wooden lever and the throttle ark.
I drilled the holes just a bit too small on purpose and then made the vertical cuts afterwards. I made the holes too small so then I could sand them out until the wood slid over the standard controls to create a snug fit. NOTE: At the base of the wood I have some dense round foam cut in halves and place on each side of the throttle. The duck tape wrapped around the base to is hold it in place. The reason for this is there is now extra weight for that little black throttle to support and I found that when you moved the throttle, once it was on the down slope is slipped by itself all the way forward to the stop..not so realistic! So the foam creates a nice friction between the wood and throttles and helps stiffin the levers up aswell. Once again you can change how you would go about doing this and perhaps achieve a better result. This worked for me ok. Just remember not to stuff too much foam underneath or the pressure will force the black knob off the throttle lever! (Unless you decide to permanently glue it on). I will put a cover eventually over the holes on the side to help tidy up the look soon. The white throttle handles I made by using the wood from a tool that builders use to mark straight lines in concrete. I bought the tool from bunnings for about 5 dollars. I removed the wood and threw away the rest then simply cut the wood in half and sanded each one look like it does now, then painted them white.
The flap lever is a piece of aluminium with a horizontal bend in the end to attach the wooden flap handle. The length of the flap lever from top to bottom is 11mm. I then simply screwed it to the black Saitek lever.
The speed brake was done in the same manner. The speed brake is 9mm from top to bottom.
I am toying with the idea of making the flap lever the lift and lock type found on the real 767 throttles. Making the mechanism small enough for these throttles will be a project for the future. See the pics to get the idea.
To use the reverses you can use the standard by pulling the throttle levers back into the detent. However I'm thinking that might be a bit hard on the old throttle levers over time. I am using the most right push button on the throttles for reverse initially until I make my reverse levers.
button seen here.
The buttons below each throttle lever are my fuel control switches until I get the switches installed in the pre drilled holes.
I am going to use the middle 2 levers for reverse for better effect, utilising a small micro switch that will be attached to a bent piece of aluminium at the front middle of the throttles. when you want reverse you pull the levers back and they push on the switch activating the reverse (f2). The switch will have to be interfaced with an interface card of course.
I used thin aluminiuim for the covers and bent them into the necessary shape. 9mm mdf for the outside wooden shell.
So you can see that its certainly not the real deal but it provides a better 767 solution than just the plain Saitek throttles. There are many improvements to these throttles that can be made. The silver colour for instance is a little too shiny for my liking. I will recoat the throttle levers with a more matt finish for a better look. These throttles are only temporary for me until I can reproduce the real thing.
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