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  1. #1
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    Self-Panel Design for a Newbie

    Hello guys.

    Because of the lack of an affordable Airbus FMC unit, I've decided to take a bold step and try to build my own.

    However I have no idea what I am doing, so I thought you guys might be able to help me with this.

    I just need to be able to control the HDG, VS, ALT, and Speed knobs as well as the baro pressure setting, autopilot 1 and 2, LOC pushbutton, APR pushbutton, IAS/MACH PB and the little one in the middle that changes one thing to another (lol).

    I plan to have a small thin LCD screen right above the homemade panel, so I have no need to display any of the data on the homemade panel. (IE the numbers I'm tuning in).

    So far here's the list of buttons I know I will need from Opencockpits:

    5 Standard grey knobs (2 Euro each)
    4 Pushbuttons with LED (2 Euro each)
    2 Round Switch Button (1 Euro each)

    I then will need to either find: A. Rotaries that can be pushed in and out (that the knobs would fit over aswell) or B. Little buttons to put below the rotaries that do not move in or out to simulate the pushing and pulling of the knobs. I still need help finding this.

    And of course I have no idea what cables, cards, etc I will need. I'm sure it'll be quite a long list, and I was hoping for some help.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job autocadplease's Avatar
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    Re: Self-Panel Design for a Newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by coolmanak View Post
    I then will need to either find: A. Rotaries that can be pushed in and out (that the knobs would fit over aswell) I still need help finding this.
    Get rotary encoders with keyswitch. They are dirt cheap on Ebay.

    Just make sure the I/O card you get supports rotary encoders. I would suggest Leo Bodnar's BU0386X http://www.leobodnar.com/products/BU0836X/ , however it is only an input card.

    In terms of "cables", just use what ever wire you have around (phone wire, light gauge wire, ethernet cable wire) to connect the components to the card. The I/O cards usually are just a USB connection.

    A great source of info is Ian's site http://www.737ng.co.uk/technical.htm & http://www.737ng.co.uk/components.htm
    Grant D.
    Nelson,B.C. Canada
    Win7 32bit, FSX, PM Boeing, TH2GO, GEX, VoxATC

  3. Thanks Westozy, coolmanak thanked for this post
  4. #3
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    Re: Self-Panel Design for a Newbie

    Hi,

    I am bit confused by your posting:

    What exactly are you referring to?

    1) An FMC = a flight management computer?

    or

    2) An FCU = a flight control unit?

    are you making a replica are just a generic panel?

    Cheers,

    Alex
    Building An Airbus In My Garage!

  5. #4
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    Re: Self-Panel Design for a Newbie

    Thanks for the help.

    Sorry, I ment FCU. I'm just building a generic panel to control the basic autopilot functions and baro pressure settings.

    So pretty much all I have to do is purchase the card, the buttons, and the rotaries and connect them with some wire?

    Also, is wire needed, or can they be connected directly to eachother?

    Are there any rotaries which will both push and pull, but not lock in either possition?

    Thanks for the help guys! This doesn't sound so hard as I predicted.

  6. #5
    500+ This must be a daytime job



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    Re: Self-Panel Design for a Newbie

    Hi Coolmanak,

    I might be able to help you with this. I made my own FCU and it turned out quite usable. My first question is which solution do you have for input interfacing? I use IOcards and the Bodnar card. I have several encoders and pushbuttons as well as LED displays for the various readouts.

    Also, how are you going to get the FS data to the LCD? I have used FSLCD for this, and IOcards also has a LCD solution.

    Buddy

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