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Thread: My C172 Project

  1. #1
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    My C172 Project

    I haven't posted here much but I have certainly lurked enough for inspiration. Thank you to all who have provided info about your builds!



    I based my design loosely on a C172 as that is what I fly most IRL. I don't have access to a CNC or anything but wanted something affordable yet professional looking. My panel is made from marker board sold at Lowes. It goes by the name "Mark-R-Board Wainscot". It's only about 1/8" thick, doesn't have a wood finish to it so it can almost pass for metal.





    The instrument bezels are made from 2 sizes of plastic cups. It took me a while of measuring every cup in 2 stores to find the perfect size. I must have looked crazy with a ruler measuring cups. The larger cups are about 3" diameter and the smaller are about 2 1/8". I measured the depth of the panel itself plus the depth of the rotary encoders and then made a paper template that I could wrap around each cut to draw a line of where to cut the top off so they are all cut exact. They are spray painted black with Krylon flat black. The paint didn't seem to want to sick so good so it took a lot of really finely misted coats.



    For the 2 rectangular instruments (compass and trim indicator) I actually used black foam weather striping on the inside of the panel between the mark-r-board and LCD and on the outside I used an adhesive black vinyl sticker cut to size to give it the appearance of a bezel. To cut the vinyl precise I drew on the computer an printed it on paper and overlaid that while cutting it out.




    My primary display is an ultra widescreen monitor. I decided to go this route because I figured it would be less taxing on the video card while still offering a fairly wide view although not as wide as 3 monitors. Combined with track ir it works good.



    To make the panel, I very carefully cut the shape with a jigsaw and used a 3" hole saw drill bit and a 2 1/8" drill bit for the instrument cutouts. You have to be very careful with this stuff because it is very thin and brittle. But once you have it all put together and screwed to a frame, it is strong enough.


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  3. #2
    Executive Vice President, MyCockpit


    Matt Olieman's Avatar
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    Re: My C172 Project

    I love this project, VERY nicely done and quite creative.

    Congratulations!!!

    Matt O.

  4. #3
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: My C172 Project

    Spray painted the upper part white and lower black.




    Putting the frame together. From the back side you can see the weather stripping for the 2 rectangular instruments.


    The glare shield is made from another piece of the mark-r-board and also some flexible aluminum on the curved part. The aluminum was found in the HVAC department of lowes.





    I then covered it with the vinyl fabric and batting. In the next pic you can see the side view with the slight angle back so instruments are easier to see. The slope back is 3" back over the total height of 17.5".



    Once I put the monitor in for the gauges, it is held in place with a threaded rod and wing nuts. It basically just rests there between the panel board and the rod.



    I first designed the basic layout in Sketchup so I could get all the measurements right. I'll attach my sketchup file in case anyone wants it. I made few minor modifications on the fly.


    List of materials:
    Saitek Pro Cessna Yoke and Pedals
    Saitek TPM
    Saitek Radio Panel
    Saitek Cessna Trim Wheel
    Desktop Aviator Flaps Control
    Desktop Aviator Cessna Switch Panel
    Desktop Aviator Fuel Tank Selector
    LG Electronics UM65 34UM65 34-Inch Screen LED-Lit Ultra Wide Monitor (Main View)
    Dell 2007FP LCD TFT 20" Monitor 4:3 Aspect Ratio (ancient, got it on ebay for the MIP)
    U-HID (Joystick controller for switches & roatary encoders)
    TrackIR
    Laptop with I7 4810MQ, 16 GB Ram, GeForce GTX 870M 6GB
    288T232R11 Rotary encoders used on MIP with OEJA-50-4-5 knobs
    M4-0.7 x 5mm DIN 912 Hex Drive Class 12.9 Black Oxide Finish Alloy Steel Socket Cap Screw SKU 39521 (just for appearence around the instruments, service no real purpose)

    Glossy Black Permanent Adhesive-Backed Vinyl by Vinyl Ease (for non-round cutout "bezels" on MIP)
    Black weather striping (to provide depth to the non-round bezels)
    32-in x 4ft Mark-R-Board Wainscot (from Lowes for MIP)
    Plastic Cups (2 sizes for instrument bezels)
    Krylon flat black spray paint fot plastic cups
    Viny/Fake Leather from Walmart for glare shield
    "High loft" batting (cotton stuff that goes under the vinyl to give glare shield soft appearence)
    Flexible aluminum (I think it's used for dryer vents, not sure. I found it in the HVAC department of lowes. It's silver and very thin & flexible. Easily cut with metal jigsaw blade. This forms the left and right curves of the glareshield)
    Black & white spray paint
    Various wood sizes to build frame
    Ikea table (ones where you pick each part yourself. Butchers block top with black telescoping legs so I could get the exact right height)
    Main Tools:
    Hole Saw Drill Bits (3" for larger instruments and 2 1/8" for smaller)
    Jigsaw with fine wood blade and also metal blade for the aliminum
    Circular saw
    Soldering iron for rotary encoders and wire to connect to UHID


    Primary Software:
    P3D v2.5
    A2A C172
    FSUIPC
    LINDA
    SPAD
    Simplugins Panel Builders with A2A C172 Addon
    Sketchup (for CAD design of panel)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #4
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    Re: My C172 Project

    Looks really nice! I've been working on my own Cessna 172 simulator for over a year now. I originally made an MDF panel similar to what you did with the whiteboard, although mine was a bit sloppy. I recently got some acrylic panels laser cut by a friend's shop really cheap. Haven't installed them yep as I haven't had any time. Anyway, good job on your pit.

  6. #5
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: My C172 Project

    Thanks guys! It's been a lot of fun! In case anyone wants all the specific measurements, here is a sketchup file.
    Attached Files Attached Files