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  1. #1
    10+ Posting Member Pilotman11's Avatar
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    Boeing MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    Good day everyone! So, for Christmas I received 3 MD80 panels; I've been thinking of doing a home cockpit and I have decided I would in Prepar3d 2! Figured I would buy gauges ( over the years ) and that way I can have a full panel. I also literally have no space but I'll eventually find a spot. I will post a picture below of one of the panels. Thanks everyone!

    photo.jpg
    "If it 'aint Boeing I 'aint going!" - A wise pilot.

  2. #2
    75+ Posting Member BuildABoeing's Avatar
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    I really admire you guys doing the MD-80's

    I am sure you are aware there is a MD-80 project site/forum where ideas and solutions are shared: MD-80 Cockpit Project: Home
    Keep us updated.
    Best wishes, Peter
    Building a B737NG - Blog: BuildABoing

  3. #3
    10+ Posting Member Pilotman11's Avatar
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    Thanks for the link! & will do! On another subject; I'm not too sure whether to buy the gauges or too cut out the gauge supports and just add screens. I'm a little worried on breaking the panel if I do it that way, and I'm not too sure of any non - glass software for the avionics.
    "If it 'aint Boeing I 'aint going!" - A wise pilot.

  4. #4
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    Nice start to your collection, there's nothing like real parts.

    On your instrumentation decision, I can tell you this: real panels (like the one you showed) are somewhat expensive and hard to come by, and VERY well built. In the long run, I suspect you will be far happier with a bunch of real equipment in the real panel cutouts. But you will probably spend a lot of time and $$$ fleshing out that panel, not to mention the interface work.

    If you choose to just use flat screens behind the panel, you are going to be cutting out most of what makes the real panel special. You might want to consider something else instead: use your real panel as a template, and cut a new panel from fresh metal. Things like the marker beacon lights and the real sub-panels that you have now can be transplanted to the new fresh-cut panel. Then you can "fly" pretty quickly, and still collect parts to fill up your real panel.

    A middle-ground solution would be to find whatever real parts you can that are not too expensive and reasonably simple to integrate (airspeed indicator, VSI, etc), and use individual, specially-sized LCDs for the rest (ADI, HSI, etc). That's more or less what I did with my old sim.

    Real gauges are a LOT of work, but they are worth it. IMO there is simply no comparison between real steam gauges and any "glass" cockpit.

  5. #5
    10+ Posting Member Pilotman11's Avatar
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    Thanks, xplanematt! I decided to go with the "steam" gauges and keep my cockpit real. It may take longer and need more money, but in the long run I'm going to love it even more. I'll have an update once I get some wood from my local hardware store. In the meantime keep on 'Flyin!
    "If it 'aint Boeing I 'aint going!" - A wise pilot.

  6. #6
    10+ Posting Member Pilotman11's Avatar
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    Hi everyone! So tonight I added a VSI indicator to the collection of sorts. Now can anyone tell me how I interface avionics to flight sim ( I moved from Prepar3d to xplane 10 )? I know about V1 Avionics but they're still in their Dev stage. Thanks!

    photo.jpg
    "If it 'aint Boeing I 'aint going!" - A wise pilot.

  7. #7
    10+ Posting Member Pilotman11's Avatar
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    Good day everyone, so I've made a render with sketchup on how I'm going to hold the panels up; basically the yellow is the wood, the grey are the panels.

    panel.png
    "If it 'aint Boeing I 'aint going!" - A wise pilot.

  8. #8
    300+ Forum Addict Avro748's Avatar
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/cont...ace-A-Real-VSI

    A good tutorial for real instrument interfacing. I would go back to Prepar3d or MSFS, as the Leonardo Maddog is the best platform for home cockpit building.

    You are going to have great difficulty with the HSI, but one guy was able to do it:
    http://forum.mutleyshangar.com/index...ument-for-fsx/

  9. #9
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    Looking good! That's a nice looking VSI, good find. I would not bother with the V1 Avionics module for something as simple as a VSI (and I am eagerly awaiting the V1 stuff, just not for simple gauges). Good thing is a VSI is one of the simplest instruments you can interface to start with: only one needle, it's not continuous rotation, and there are no heavy moving parts. You also have a (usually) linear scale to deal with. A lot of guys use servos for stuff like this. This is definitely EASY from a programming and controlling standpoint, but a servo is really not the best tool for the job: they are designed to move heavy loads quickly and with reasonable precision. We want very precise, smooth movement, and are not so concerned about speed or load. I would go with an air-core motor. It's a bit of work to learn the interfacing and control methods, but once you have the circuit and software pinned down, it's very very easy to duplicate and control other instruments. I'm currently using them for my airspeed indicator and ADF (both real instruments).

    A third option is to use a DC motor and some sort of position sensor, such as a potentiometer or Hall sensor. This requires more mechanical engineering, but should be workable. You are basically making your own servo, but you have more control over its design and function.

    I'm going to have to disagree with Avro on the sim choice. You have made a solid decision going with X-Plane. Despite the efforts to keep MSFS limping along as Prepar3d, it's still completely outclassed by X-Plane at this point. I suspect FS/Prepar3d is going to end up as an old legacy product that will receive a multitude of patches, hacks, and band-aids in order to try to keep up with modern standards.

    Interfacing to X-Plane is a breeze...the API is mature, well-documented, has tons of support and third-party tools available, and is OFFICIALLY supported by X-Plane's author/creator (Austin Meyer), so its future is assured. Hooking into MSFS/Prepar3d is a hack...always has been. It's ugly. I am speaking from experience, I have gotten quite deep in FS9/FSX for myself on a couple of different projects on other sims.

    I am hoping to use the V1 unit for complex stuff like HSIs and ADIs. That HSI unit Avro posted is really awesome, but most real instruments do not use DC motors (I suspect that one is DC-based because it was designed for ground/sim use). If the V1 doesn't work out, I hope to have my synchro/resolver circuits and controller code working precisely enough to hook directly into the original AC devices inside real instruments....this way, I will only have to modify the wiring, no need to re-engineer the units to use DC motors/pots etc.

  10. #10
    10+ Posting Member Pilotman11's Avatar
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    Re: MD-80 Project! ( Newbie )

    Hi, xplanematt! Thanks for the tips, I'm thinking of the servo idea; although I've never worked with electrical and have a small knowledge of coding . So if anyone recommends a tutorial video for this kind of subject, I would appreciate it very much!
    "If it 'aint Boeing I 'aint going!" - A wise pilot.

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