View Poll Results: Backlight an Overhead, a no brainer?

Voters
85. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, no overhead without backlight

    81 95.29%
  • No backlight, it's makes it more chalenging

    2 2.35%
  • I don't care

    2 2.35%
  • I do not like an overhead panel..so...

    0 0%
  • What is backlight?

    0 0%
  • I do not want to share this private information

    0 0%
  • I do not have a meaning about this

    0 0%
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  1. #1
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    Boeing Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    Dear all,

    I’ve started the Overhead Panel Project recently by gathering all information needed to complete the panel.
    The current status is that I’ve the frame almost completed to mount the panels, so far I see the simplest part of all.

    Now I’m busy determining which I/O solution I will choose. Below I made a compact comparison between Phidgets and
    OpenCockpits in terms of pricing.


    Phidgets Solution:

    6 x € 93,00 = € 558,00 (016/16 Phidgets I/O Cards) (6 x 16 = 96 inputs)
    2 x € 93,00 = € 186,00 (LED64 Phidgets Cards) (2 x 64 = 128 led outputs)

    Total = € 744,00

    OpenCockpits Solution:

    2 x € 62,95 = € 125,90 (Master Card)
    2 x € 43,95 = € 43,95 (USB Expansion Board)
    3 x € 21,95 = € 65,85 (Input Connection Board) (3 x 35 = 105 inputs)
    3 x € 19,95 = € 59,85 (Output Connections Board) (3 x 38 = 114 outputs for the leds)

    Total = € 295,55

    I’m sure there are differences between the two solutions and I am not 100% sure the shopping list is complete.
    If I only go for the nice price the way to go is easy but
    I think there are big advantages like software support for the Phidgets.

    Hopefully somebody can give me advise based on experience.

    I’m looking forward to more information before I make the next step.

    Thanks in advance,

    Regards from Bas
    KLM077

  2. Thanks Steve A thanked for this post
  3. #2
    300+ Forum Addict Steve A's Avatar
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    Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    I'll watch this thread with a lot of interest as im about atthe same stage with my overhead on order. Thanks for asking the question and lets hope for lots of info from members who have already passed this stage. Personally i think i'll be using open cockpits boards.

  4. #3
    500+ This must be a daytime job mpl330's Avatar
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    Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    I'll let you know in a few weeks - just starting to use the OC cards for my OH. Didnt get the Input connection boards (yet) but I may regret this
    Will also be keen to hear anyone else's experiences.
    Cheers
    Mike

  5. #4
    150+ Forum Groupie twisted8's Avatar
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    Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    I have never used Phidgets but I have been building my overhead with OpenCockpits parts and I think their stuff is amazing for the price. Works great and it's easy to use once you get a hang of if. Fast shipping too. I personally don't see any negatives about opencockpits, it does everything you can think of.

  6. #5
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    Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    Bas

    You are a little light on your assessment of OC cards for the led outputs. Each mastercard has 38 outputs available for leds etc, so you will need to factor in either another mastercard or 64 usb output card. Also your inputs appear to be on the low side. On my overhead with most switches hooked up I need all 144 available intputs. You will also need a servo card or two if you are going to have working gauges together with one/two display cards if you want to show the cruise/airport altitudes and power consumption digits.

    I am using OC cards for my complete sim ie MIP,Pedestal Radios etc, FMC,MCP/EFIS, overheads and controls. The majority of units are built and work independently, running on the OC SIOC programme. SIOC takes a bit of getting used to but it is worth the effort. I fully endorse the use of OC cards, though would suggest that unless you are experienced in soldering small pc boards, that you initially buy the cards already completed.

    Regards

    David

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  8. #6
    300+ Forum Addict oal331's Avatar
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    Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    Hi,

    here is my setup :

    For FWD Overhead, i have 2 Phidgets LED64 to control only the announciators. I choose them, because i need no extra software for them, as PM Systems recognize them and controls them direct.

    For Overhead's switches i have Opencockpits. (2 Master Cards conneted to a USB).

    For all my MIP, i have also a 3rd Master card for all the switches and announciators.

    Sioc is a very good and powerful software to do whatever you want and control everything at your cockpit and the quality of Opencockpit's cards is super !!

    regards
    Eddie Armaos
    Athens-Greece


    [

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  10. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job mpl330's Avatar
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    Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    Quote Originally Posted by fordgt40 View Post
    Bas

    You are a little light on your assessment of OC cards for the led outputs. Each mastercard has 38 outputs available for leds etc, so you will need to factor in either another mastercard or 64 usb output card.
    Hi David,

    You got me worried now as I too ordered 1 usb connector card and 2 master cards as on the OC site it states
    "Master card.
    It controls 72 digital inputs and 64 digital outputs"

    The bit here I thought that 64 digital outputs was 64 leds???
    Although I have then re-looked at the manual in one place it states 38 outputs then it states 45...

    Confused - I am now!!
    Cheers
    Mike

  11. #8
    500+ This must be a daytime job mpl330's Avatar
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    Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    Oh dear!!!
    Just found this in the OC forums:

    "You have in teory 64 outputs, but only can use directly for your leds 45 because the Master Card use 11 for Display Cards (expansion port has beed defined for others devices but only the display card has been developed), and 8 for multiplexed inputs. "

    Wish they'd made it a bit clearer in the shop details that you havent got 64

    Cheers
    Mike

  12. #9
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    Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    Personally, I have OC Cards and I have FDS SYS 1-2 Cards for my FDS FWD Overhead. For my MIP its Sys 2-3. I prefer the FDS cards; they're simple to hook up and they have an easy "InterfaceIT" software solution already written for them. Once you connect the input/outputs, you use the software to easily select predefined XML's and that's it. It works! If an XML does not exist, you can use it too work with FSUIPC to design your own. The cool part is, if someone else as already invented something and are willing to share (most cases they are), the work is done. More or less, you're not reinventing the wheel over and over...

    As for OC cards, I like them as well, but they do require a little more. If you're looking for quick and easy go FDS, for more details and a larger learning curve go OC.

  13. #10
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    Boeing Re: Forward Overhead Panel 737 Interfacing

    I desided to build the complete FW OVH panel from scratch. After reading all the feedback and conversations i have chosen for Phidgets. The reason it that the cards are easy to setup and manage. Complete wiring schema's are available. I've seen the 0/16/16 card shown with the ProSim737 software from Marty, great!!

    I will keep you all posted during the building process.

    Building in progress: sofar : base layer of plexi of 5mm, this is where the switches and annunciators will be mounted on.
    On top of this a layer of 2,5mm plexi will be placed with the legends.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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