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  1. #1
    150+ Forum Groupie mrmaster's Avatar
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    The big panel issue

    Hi all,

    still I am in progress of finding a compromise for the panels in my 737 homecockpit.

    What do you think is the best (quality and price)?

    1. Buying a CNC +doesn'T take a lot of time to get used to -verrrry/too expensive parents say NO.
    2. Building a CNC +cheap (I planned one for approx 550 --> would be building it with my grandfather who was engineer at BMW we made models, plans, parts list etc etc) -huge project that will distract my attention from school and the cockpit
    3. Buying the panels +everything will work -expensive and not really homebuilt (which ones do you have which do you recommend? What is the price for a complete panel set for one b737 cockpit?)
    4. Finding someone with a CNC mill to do it for me
    5. Go to a company that does that^^for money

    please send me some recommendations, information, tips etc etc I AM LOST AGAIN.....

  2. #2
    Have CNC-----will build.
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    Re: The big panel issue

    Remember, once you get the CNC built, you now have to buy software to run it, approx 300 USD, and a dedicated computer. (I mean dedicated computer because it gets very dirty around the CNC machine, I bought mine on EBAY for 100 USD.) You will then always have a CNC machine. The one I built cost me about 900 USD complete with the software. I do much more with mine than merely making panels. Buying panels is expensive, then there are the electronics. When you are cutting your own panels, you can make the mounting holes to match the switches, leds and so on, that you have or are purchasing. When you buy a panel you must work with what the vendor has given you, or give the vendor more money for the parts that will fit his panels. Go for the CNC, any questions, just ask, as I have built 3 before finishing the one I have now. But keep the school work as you number 1 priority, nothing should take precedence over that.

    Milt

  3. #3
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    Re: The big panel issue

    I'm in the very early stages of taking this hobby abit more serious i.e build me own cockpit, obiously still in the D&L phase no doubt and I have alot of learning to do, as I hae very little knowledge if any at all. however, what you suggest has crossed my mind aswell, weighing the pros and cons is defienitly a good start. I can really give more so first hand experience, for me personallly i would really love to make me own panels (more freedom, experimenting) however i have to weigh in the learning curve as i have no experience.

    my 2cents worth and good luck

  4. #4
    300+ Forum Addict RobiD's Avatar
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    Re: The big panel issue

    I built my own CNC as well, built the driver boards from free plans at http://pminmo.com/discrete/discrete.htm (there's some pictures of my actual boards at the bottom of the page).

    I scavenged an old pc that could run win98, downloaded TurboCNC and ran it from DOS.

    All up, it probably cost me around $150, but you have to think laterally to get all the bits. Really enjoyed the challange of building it. Once I had it, I could do it all.

    I cut and engraved my panels for the overhead, and did it in a way that I could backlight the panels. I designed and cut out on the cnc machine all the parts to hand make all my gauges (dimensions thanks to Mike Powell).

    It's been a great part of the building.

    Hope you enjoy too.
    David