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  1. #1
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Landing Gear Light Relay

    I'm building a glass panel Baron G58 cockpit.

    Anyone have or know where to get a schematic for a relay that will affect the landing gear lights as you transition the gear up or down? For my purposes, when the gear is switched to the down position, the relay would allows immediately the lighting of the red "in transit" light, then after 3 seconds the red light would go out and the green "gear down and locked" lights would come on. Ideally, the three green lights would come on in a staggered fashion within split moments of each other. When the landing gear is switched to the "up" position, then it would be opposite (and therefore a different relay I suppose). The green lights would go off immediately, and the red "transition" light would stay lit for 3 seconds, then go out. Placing switches for two relays doing this would be tricky - I imagine.

    Alternatively, and perhaps cleaner: Is it possible to tap into FSX and have FSX turn the lights on my cockpit panel landing gear on and off?

  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie Kerbo's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    The short answer to both of these is, yes that should be possible.

    I don't know of any off the shelf circuit that will do what you want, but this would be a pretty simple circuit. If you want to go that route I'm sure I (or one of the real wizards on here) could produce a schematic.

    FSX exposes just about everything through the SimConnect API or you can use FSUIPC. I don't have the SimConnect docs handy but I think you could have a program that monitored the gear state (IIRC it is a float with 0.00 being up and 1.00 being down) and set the lights appropriately. There is some sample code here from my early tests of using SimConnect for switch panel inputs. That and the various SimConnect tutorials on the net should get you started if you are interested in programming.

    I am not at this stage yet but plan to have a gear lever on my panel. Keep us posted on your progress.
    Kerbo on YouTube or Twitch
    github.com/wriley

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  4. #3
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    Sounds a bit like a timer would be used to activate each section of the gear movement. The switch as far as FS is concerned is just one click. So a timer circuit 1 for up and one for down. If your using multi colored LED then a voltage change I believe is in order for the 'lights' to change color.

    I would be interested in this as well as I want to build a similar set up for my wipline gauge.


    Sequence I'm thinking..

    Gear knob up.
    - Nose and main 'GREEN' go out
    - Gear Advisory light comes on
    - Main 'BLUE' comes on
    - NOSE 'BLUE' comes on

    Blue = Ready to land on WATER
    Green = Ready to land on LAND (Asphalt)

    Dim I'm thinking so the LED's don't blind you when flying at night..

    Any help would be great though as to a timer circuit to accomplish that. Something adjustable in time so the sequence can be made to fit the actual landing gear transit times of various aircraft.
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

  5. #4
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    Thanks WRILEY! That is helpful. I'm still in the research, drafting and parts buying mode. As soon as the garage is cleared out (ughhh!) I will be able to start puting things together. I'll keep you and all others who have shown interest and helped posted. It looks like late November at this point.

  6. #5
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    See WRILEY's response. I think it is very helpful in that I believe it best, and maybe even easier to do the sequencing through FS. Of course, it is not just about programming, but integrating with some hardward. As for programming - I know next to nothing. Luckily the guy across the street's a brain. His name is Craig and someone in the neighborhood told me he is the "Craig" from "Craig's List". Might be. I need to ask him one day.

  7. #6
    150+ Forum Groupie Kerbo's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    It sounds like one generic circuit might fulfill both of these needs. I'm thinking of a module that has an input for gear handle position and outputs for up, down and transit. I'll post a schematic in a day or two.
    Kerbo on YouTube or Twitch
    github.com/wriley

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  9. #7
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    That would be awesome! I searched a lot and saw some relays that looked like they might work, but my knowledge is unfortunately to limited to know one way or the other. Your schematic would certainly become a bit hit in this forum.

  10. #8
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    Thinking on this a bit more, it seems that if through programming a gear light could be cut off so as to demonstrare a "failure" programmed into the FS, that would help with realism.

  11. #9
    25+ Posting Member Rex Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Flyer View Post
    Thinking on this a bit more, it seems that if through programming a gear light could be cut off so as to demonstrare a "failure" programmed into the FS, that would help with realism.
    I'm still thinking. If the lights were hooked up in parallel, then one lead to each gerar light could be tapped to open if that particular gear were to fail in the FS program. That seems doable, while still using a relay board to otherwise govern the lights.

  12. #10
    150+ Forum Groupie Kerbo's Avatar
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    Re: Landing Gear Light Relay

    Here is a schematic of the prototype gear indicator module that I breadboarded tonight. It needs more work, such as output transistors to drive more than one led, dimming, etc, but does basic functionality. This design uses 3 common chips, a 555 timer, AND gate (7408) and an inverter (7404) along with a handful of resistors and capacitors. A small micro-controller would be more versatile but not everyone has a chip programmer.

    The operation is as follows:
    1) switch is open (Up position)
    The Up LED is lit and others are dark

    2) switch is closed (Down position)
    The Down LED is lit and others are dark

    When the switch is thrown from one position to the other the transition LED is lit for a short time and the others are dark. The time delay for transition time is adjustable from around 1.5 seconds to 15 seconds by trim pot R2.

    I'll clean this up into the "real thing" as time permits.

    Kerbo on YouTube or Twitch
    github.com/wriley

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