About

Boeing 737 cockpit building project

After a visit to the static flightsimulator of Simflying Amsterdam I got so enthousiastic that I started this DIY project to add some real-world touch and feel to my X-Plane flight simulator setup.
Due to limited space the original target was to build two cockpit panels and a throttle quadrant based on the Boeing 737 NGX 800 design.
An ‘auxiliary’ project was started to build a CNC router for easier processing of the 44 cockpit panels and throttle quadrant components.

During the course of the project another location was found for the cockpit so the original plan has changed and I’m now building a ‘1 1/2’ seat replica, i.e. full captain seat and somewhat narrow first officer seat.
Goals (in order of priority):
1) functionality
2) space
3) budget
4) realistic look

8 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello, Theo,
    where can I find the PCB design for the MIP?
    when will you post the STL for the flaps gauge?
    Greetings.
    Ole

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  2. Hi Ole,
    I’m expecting an update of the MIP PCB this or next week: after that has been tested successfully I’ll post it.
    There was a simple short in the current one, but more importantly I see the LED’s flip occasionally. I’m not sure if it is a hardware or software problem but I have made some changes in the PCB design that hopefully will fix it if it is a hardware problem.
    Now that I have completely finished my radio panels I’m working on the downloads and documentation for that (new radio backplane and updated Master panel) and once that has been done I’m going assemble the board for the stepper drivers and test the dual axis gauges.

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    1. That is good to hear, I admire your work very much!
      What changes to the Master Panel, I have already finished it?
      Do you already have STL files for the dual axis gauges? Then I could start 3D printing.
      Thanks for your great work!
      Greetings from Cologne
      Ole

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  3. Hi Ole,

    The small changes to the Master Panel are because I learned some new things meanwhile:
    1) the main change is related to the overhead panels. Initially I had the idea to use the unused clock multiplexer outputs of the MCP for the MAX7219 7-segment drivers of the overhead panels (there is a UTP socket for this at
    the MCP board). This saves an Arduino pin, but I didn’t like the idea of sending these clocks over a long UTP cable between the MCP and overhead.
    Later Vlad from SimVim learned me an interesting idea of ‘aliasing’ output multiplexers with unused pins: by adding an extra multiplexer at the overhead panels and sharing the same Arduino pin for both the MCP and overhead multiplexer the unused pins of one multiplexer can be used at the other, no cross connection between MCP and overhead is needed and the clock output signals in the overhead can be short.
    This change can be easily patched at the Master PCB that you have, I’ll post a picture how to do this.
    2) I only realized recently that two of the AFDS panel switch LEDs can be red and amber. My initial Master panel only has one LED signal for each switch, while there were some unused ouputs left. In the new Master PCB the connector to the AFDS panels has been widened with two pins to support the extra signals for the second LED color.
    Because of space limitations in the switches I have an idea to build the switches with an RGB SMD LED to support amber and red color, but I still need to test this.
    3) I added some larger and shorter texts for the various connectors at the Master PCB for better readability.
    No big deal, just a ‘cosmetic’ improvement.

    I do already have STL files for the dual axis gauges, but they have not been tested for reliability yet, for example will the tiny gears run smoothly enough, is the space between the two dials sufficient so that they won’t collide etc.
    So if you want I can share them already, but I can’t guarantee from my own experience yet that they will work reliably.

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    1. Hi Theo,

      sende mir doch bitte die neuen STL-Dateien zu,
      wenn du möchtest kann ich gerne für dich testen!
      Ich teste gelegentlich auch für Vlad.
      Wenn ich helfen kann tue ich das gerne!

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  4. Hi Ole,
    I need some time to find the individual files for the various parts (or export them again, that’s probably faster), but here is already a download link to the Sketchup 3D model that can be used to export each part to STL or DXF and see how everything fits together. There’s also a PCB that holds the bottom X.27 stepper and connects all signals including LED backlights via a single flatband cable to the stepper driver board.
    But as mentioned this all still needs to be assembled and tested.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wC3Ja63PIsY_v1ASAYY1SqpgabvSU8g4/view?usp=sharing

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