Boeing 737NG Style Hardware Clock Review
For the longest time I have been putting off getting a chronograph (clock) for my MIP. There were two reasons for my slowness. First, there weren't very many choices as far as venders were concerned, and those venders that had complete clocks wanted a large some of money (even for the most basic ones). Two, because it wasn't a piece of hardware that I absolutely needed, it was hard to justify the expense to myself. At first I was going to build one using Opencockpits parts, I figured I could make one for about $100, but that would take time that I didn't really have. One day, I was browsing about the Mycockpit.org classifieds as I normally do on a weekly basis, and I stumbled across an ad that seemed too good to be true. A gentleman by the name of Joe Lavery was selling replica B737NG clocks that he had made himself.
Here is the link to the ad: Message - Mycockpit Classifieds
I took a look at the photos, read the descriptions and thought this was a good buy. After all, at 110 GB pounds, this one the cheapest solution I had been able to find. I contacted Joe and asked some questions, first about functionality. This clock is just a basic clock with a timer. It doesn't interface with FS, so you have to set the clocks time every time you fly (not a big deal). The clock is completely back lit and looks just like it came out of an NG pit. After discussing the clock back and forth I committed to buy. Joe charged me 30 GB pounds for ship which brought my final total to 140 GB pounds or $224 USD. The clock shipped on Oct 31st via FedEx and arrived on Nov 3rd, even though FedEx said it would arrive on the 6th.
Once I got my hands on the clock, I knew I had made an incredible purchase. The clock was made out of heavy duty thick plexiglass with multiple PCB's to control the clock and lighting. Joe included all of the hardware and two sets of wires, one 5v wire for the clock, and one 12v wire for the back lighting.
Now, in Joe's ad, he states that these clocks are made for Engravity MIPs, but since my MIP is made out of MFD, I knew I'd be able to modify my MIP to fit the clock.
First, I had to take the clock apart to figure out how I was going to mount it to the MIP.
I decided that the outter clear plate and black laser etched plate would be on the outside of the MIP with the electronics tucked away behind.
First, I drilled new holes into my MIP to match the holes for the plates.
I then had to milled out a portion behind the MIP for the back lighting plate to sit.
This only took me about an hour to figure out so it was a quick and easy setup.
I mounted the front plates to the front of the MIP and secured the electronics behind using 4 large screws that I had (these did not come with the clock).
Once I got the clock mounted, it was time to wire her up. I wired the clock portion (5v) to my Opencockpits output card so I could control when the clock turns on and off via SIOC. I then wired the 12v back lighting to my panel lighting switch (which is run by a 12v power supply). The result was perfect! I could decide whether or not to have the back lighting on or off based on my backlighting switches and I could have the clock turn on and off via the main battery switch on the iFly itself.
Here is a test video I did showing the clocks functionality:
Overall, this was an amazing find, and I am happy I got to share it with you! If you are looking for a MIP clock, contact Joe first before you buy. He states in his ad that he is also planning on building one for the FDS MIP.
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