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  1. #1
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    737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    With hardware starting to take shape outside thought I'd start posting some progress updates here about my desktop cockpit.

    More information and photos can be found on my blog also: Blue Skies - A 737 Cockpit Simulator Project

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here's a look at my current custom MIP:






    Haven't added backlighting and probably won't to the MCP and radio panels. (The rest of the panel is not backlight-able). I never fly in a dark enough room to require it so I may just save myself the work for now.

    And here's a look at what I'm planning to update the MIP to:


    The MIP Version 2:





    Biggest difference is the addition of a 16" LCD panel for the MIP displays. I've pretty much gone through and added all the knobs/switches from the MIP as well so I can move away from using the Virtual Cockpit. There's a flaps gauge, Display mode, speed settings, EFIS panel, etc...


    To accommodate the LCD panel the MCP portion of the panel is pushed forward about 3-4 inches, so it'll be a two piece panel this time around.

  2. #2
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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    Got the frame for the overhead completed. Yesterday I gave it a coat of gray primer (and will probably leave it like that) so I'm just giving it 24 hours to cure before attaching panels.





    Works on the FMC continues as well. I have the switches all assembled and soldered to the PCB board. Also installed a 40-pin header for connecting the USBKeys card. Next step is to the glue the buttons to the switches. I also ordered a 5.6" LCD Panel which should be here in about 2-3 weeks probably. so hopefully that works well.





    The opencockpits kit doesn't have an EXEC key that can light up, so I'm removing the button for the brightness dial just above the EXEC button and replacing it with the top portion of a gutted green LED indicator from radio shack I already had on hand. It fits the hole perfectly and will light up for the EXEC button.

  3. #3
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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    Overhead panel is just about completed. Found a I few (minor) pieces missing from the kit that ProSimParts will be be sending out. But it's pretty much pretty much ready to have the switches wired up once my controller cards arrive. ProSimParts is hoping to have the annuniciators completed by the end of the month.





    And here's a look at the overhead on a stand I built for my desk to make it, well... an overhead





    I made it so it's removable from the stand using 2 of these flush mount hangers on each side of the frame along with 2 bolts on each side that screw into T-Nuts embed on the inside of the frame for extra bracing. I surprised myself when it actually worked! It's pretty sturdy doesn't move around when flipping switches and stuff.

    With the overhead panel ready for wiring, I ordered my joystick controllers for it. I originally planned on using Bodnar BU0836X cards but got hit in the face with sticker shock when I went to purchase them. I need at least 3 cards for the overheard and the Bodnar cards are 49.99 (British Pounds) each. After conversion to US Dollars, it was $242 before shipping for 3 cards. Yikes!!


    So I began searching around for an alternative and came across the GP-Wiz40 board. It's basically the same thing as the Bodnar board but cheaper and ships from the US. They have 1 version with the push-in terminals and 1 version without.

    I opted for the one without the terminals as it saved me about $36 on my order for 3 boards. I don't mind a little soldering if saves money. Total cost for the 3 boards with 3 day shipping was $85.


    I'll post how they are once they arrive and I can play with them

  4. #4
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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    To make wiring a little easier on some components I built some custom PCB boards.

    First one I did I was a simple LED board that I'll use with my HISPA Panel Sixpacks.




    Then I got a little fancy and made a PCB board for my new Opencockpits USB LCD Card. The wiring for this card can be a rat's nest. Here's a look at the wiring diagram.


    So I built a small board that plugs into the back of the LCD. The two pots are directly on the board along with a display # jumper (The USB LCD Card can control up to 4 LCD screens.) It connects to the the USB LCD Card by a single 40-pin connector. Way easier than dealing with all the wiring.



    And here's with the components installed:


    And here it is in action:


    To build these boards, I used the free version of Diptrace to design the boards and OSH Park to fabricate them.

    Now I'm trying to figure out if I can make some boards to make the wiring of the Radio 7-segment displays a little easier.

  5. Likes skino liked this post
  6. #5
    300+ Forum Addict skino's Avatar
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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    Looks great. Great changes to the first version. Thumbs up!

  7. #6
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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    A few weeks ago I did a little update on my throttle quadrant. I sold off the ThrottleTek TQ and picked up a JetMax one. I'm pretty sure over time my ‘budget desktop’ cockpit will morph into a fullsize single or dual seat trainer so I figured I’d better upgrade the most expensive part now.


    After about a 6 week wait, I came home to this yesterday. Eek!





    Didn’t take long for me to crack it open




    I’m pretty sure at this moment I said to myself “Holy !@# that looks awesome!”


    Ok, enough typing. Photos!






    So far the TQ feels fantastic. Everything is nice and operates smooth. I need cut a little base to mount the TQ and the CDU bay on to secure them down and then it’ll be ready for a maiden flight.



    Also, my new MIP panels will be arriving tonight so that'll be coming together soon too.

  8. #7
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim


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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    Heh, I got my jetmax throttle a few weeks ago too. I had to wait a few months though so lucky you. Nice piece of hardware though I wish it was completely made in metal.

    Next up will be the cpflight MCP. Still trying to decide between 2/3 MIP or full. Will probably go 2/3 so I can fit it into my cinema room.

    The hardware cdu can wait for now -- there is one releasing for ios coming within the next few weeks.

  9. #8
    Executive Assistant Geremy Britton's Avatar
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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    Hi Sean

    Progress on this looks great, you'll almost be ready to make that leap from a desktop setup to cockpit setup!
    Always downhill from that day on!

    All the best
    Geremy Britton
    Executive Assistant, MyCockpit Inc
    Head of GLB Flight Products
    www.geremy.co.uk

  10. #9
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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    Today all of the PCB's I made for my 7-segment displays arrived. I was eager to see how they worked so off to work I went.

    Here's the PC Boards. 1 card to attach to the Opencockpits DisplayCard, 1 for the Nav panel, 1 for the Comm panel, and 1 little jumper for the ATC panel.



    Interface board attached to the DisplayCard.



    Interface board attached to the back of the NAV radio panel. The displays are soldered to the board and then a 40-pin IDC ribbon cable connects the displays to the DisplayCard.



    And when I fired up all the digits....

    Success!

    This will make wiring up the displays soooo much easier.

  11. #10
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    Re: 737NGX Desktop Cockpit

    Great Job!! I really need to get hotter working on mine. Been thinking how I'm going to work the 7-segment displays.

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