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Making Flight Simulator Cockpit Panels Pt8

Finally Got the Yellow Stock in I was waiting for to do the Cockpit Panel Hazard Stripes on the F18 Hornet Panels

The stock is 0.1mm thick with an adhesive back. Firstly I need to figure out where to apply it to, so I do a quick VERY light engrave on the plate after engraving the text.

Now I get the adhesive material peel of the back and apply gently over the area that will be cut out. then give it a vector cut with just enough power to cut through the yellow material.

Now I weed out the cut material and we are left with the below,

Give it a bit of a cleanup and finish the rest of the panel and we are done.

I think this method is much better, i still need to do a bit beteter on the application, the smaller piece above moved when I weeded it out, so I will be more careful next time, but overall I think this is a fantastic solution.

Now to keep working on the Master Arm Panel and how I plan on doing that, along with a few options for the Rotary Jettison switch

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Flight Simulator Generic Toggle Switch Box Part 3

So the Screws have came in for the Generic Toggle Switch Box , it was harder to get black pan head screws locally then it should be.

Now we are securing the panels down we get a nice finished look to the box. This below is going to be the “Standard” Sizing, enough for 4 rows of toggle switches.

This unit is feature complete from the mechanical side of things, just doing a bit of tweaking on the software to act as a HID device joystick button. Also as an option I have DCSBIOS working as well, but obvioulsy harder with it not having “Generic Controls”.

Now I am working on a Larger Unit, this will be F18 Specific and utilse DCSBIOS. This is going to be larger, and as part of this I am spending a bit of time redesiging the guts to make the unit much more rigid.

What I have come up is utilising the DZUS Rail holders more for support by giving them an L shape, and also I am Capitalising on this design to add in a cross brace. This has 2 purposes, 2 reinforce the Sides to reduce flex and also allows a convenient place to mount the LED Strips. Below is the mockup.

These are actually quite a solid bit of kit now, so I’m thinking instead of just a Generic Toggle Switch Box I am going to offer just these boxes up for sale in kit form for those who are building a pit and want something to mount panels even if they aren’t mine, as these are all standard DZUS Spacing. I migth take a segway on this train of thought and look at angled side panels as well.

Also this can be more than just a Toggle box, Below I am experimenting with mounting of a Push button and LED, it wll look quite smart in the final product.

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Making Flight Simulator Cockpit Panels Pt7

Been a little bit busy with a few R&D Projects, but have managed to squeeze out a few more plates mainly the F18 Hornet KY58 Panel.

KY58 was not certain what do do for the Fill, but I think I have sourced a decent 6pin DIN panel mount that I’m waiting to arrive, I sized the hole appropriate to that. Found a few different versions floating around, but chose the one that is in DCS.

Also squeezed in a cheeky little Video Panel as well

Currently I am working on the Master Arm Panel, just currently trying to work out what to do with the AA A/G buttons and the best way to handle that, but still keeping it generic for anybody interested in getting plates.

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Making Flight Simulator Cockpit Panels Pt6

Ok I have gone through and done some more work on F18 Hornet Panels , first up the ECM panel

Here I went for some Mattisse Acrylic paint to infill for the hazard striping. This looks better than the spray paint I think. I have some thin adhesive material on back order, but until that comes in to experiment I’m happy withthis result.

Here is the ELectrical Panel. I have a stepper motor gauge on order to play around with before I do any housings etc for this panel

Flight Control system panel done, just need to get a flip toggle cover, but the sizing I went for matched all the standard ones I saw online.

Exterior Lights redone

Ground Power, here the NATOPS didn’t show “auto” , but DCS does.. without knowing why NATOPS has it missing I went for whats in DCS .

APU sorted, this is one that will need the post paint on the bottom plate to mask off I believe.

Interior Lighting done..

Next panels to work on is the Master Arm Panel and KY58 and the comms F18 Hornet Panels

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Flight Simulator Toggle Switch Box Part 2

After a bit more Playing around with the design, I discovered that firstly 3 DZUS holes high for each toggle row was just a little 2 tight, so first thing, is I increased that to 4 holes high (38.10mm)

Then upon a bit of reflection I felt that it definitely was a bit overkill having the plates interchangable for each row, so I ended up settling on make it 2 rows of switch per panel. This meant each panel was 8 Dzus high.

So time to get cutting new base and middle plates mount the switches and we end up with this.

Shortly after engraving the 2 top plates we are now starting to look like below.

Definitely taking better shape and looking much nicer.
Note that white line between the plates will practically disappear once its screwed down.
I have had to order some black m4 bolts from EBAY, the local hardware has nothing but zinc and I’d rather not go the route of spray painting
bolts !

Now to throw in some LED backlighting to see how this looks,and it definitely pops looking smexy.

Next up is getting these nuts in when they arrive, and getting the bolts on the inside and some cable routing.

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Flight Simulator Toggle Switch Box Part 1

Something I have had on the back burner for quite a while now is a Generic Toggle Switch
Box that is as modular as possible.
As part of my effort making panels I took the opportunity to get this off the ground as it shares a few features.

Something I wanted to be able to offer is a Generic Toggle Switch Box for those flight simmers who don’t want full specific panels, but still be modular in a way.

I did a bit of thinking and thought I would do the initial concepts below.
Able to swap and change positions of switches where practical
Able to have a customisable top plate that can be swapped out showing various control names
Able to be Back lit.

What I have come up with utilising the design of what I am going to be using my own F18 panels. A box that is confirming to DZUS standards. It will accept a panel 146.05 wide, and be the Standard DZUS 9.525 hole spacing.

A quick mockup is below, the Box is MDF that when close to finalising I am deciding if I will vinyl wrap (carbon fibre perhaps) or enamel paint for a nice finish. The “rails” are 3mm acrylic that I will tap for an M4 bolt to secure the plates on.

The plates I am thinking to be as convertible as possible will only be 3 DZUS holes high (28.575mm) and will hold 4 toggles / rotaries etc.

This will be made up of a 3mm bottom plate to secure the toggles etc to, then a 3mm middle plate to space capture nut, then a 1.6mm Engraved ABS top to give a nice white surface.

One of the biggest problems, being generic is I had to come up with what I would engrave the top plates with by default, below are some of what I came up with that are relatively standard across most aircraft.

The plates with multiple will line up like below

Obviously being modular means there is a thin gap between each plate which I’m not sure I can eliminate, but if clients required and knew there exact layout I could do larger or a single plate to avoid that look.

The Benefit of this box being DZUS spaced is that my standard fighter plates can also be dropped in as well, and this is what I will be using to build my own personal simpit as I don’t have the space for a full cockpit build.

Some thoughts are to work out, how high do I do as a standard (currently 15 dzus holes high ~ 150mm) I think that’s a good starting point, but obviously can customise as much as required.

This box was a rough Mockup, I have a new one cut and waiting for the glue to Dry, once that’s done I’ll work out how I mount the LED strips for backlighting, and also work out how I will handle the cable wiring.

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