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F18 Hornet UFC Part 1

With the F16 ICP finished, the next step is to start working on the F18 Hornet UFC.

I have started to have a bit of a noodle, on it and started to make some design choices.
Firstly I am going strictly 2.5D, For the bottom row of buttons and Comm select rotaries the extra effort involved to get them realistic is not worth it so everything will be on the same level. However I definitely am going to be doing the Bezels, this is important for going by feel and will add some depth to the unit.

The Measurements I have and are using is 183mm Wide, 157mm High. If anybody has an exact measurement for the panels I can use please pass them on 🙂

A rough render is below showing the look I will be going for.

I have been trying hard to source Decent 4 Digit 16 and 6 Digit 7 segment displays, but despite receiving some samples and testing, when it came to order the china suppliers became very problematic.

Based on the above, and the costs involved of working Displays I have decdied, at least initially to go for a Functional switch unit without displays. This will keep the price down, and me suitable for those in VR anyway.

As part of the design I will try and make it so that I could provide “add in” modules later for Displays, but I think this might be a bit more trouble than it is worth again, but it will still be in my mind.

With the lack of Displays and going for a Tacile only unit I am wondering if I even go to the bother of backlighting this version as well, I will see what impact it will have on the design as i go on.

next i am going to start looking at how I am going to do the enlosure for this, once thats done I will start cutting out in MDF for test fitting and go from there.

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DCS F18 Hornet Cockpit Right Panel Part 4

I have gone through and finalised the design and the DCS F18 Hronet Right Cockpit Panel is finalised.

A video of the unit in action is available to see below.

As we had the INTR LT panel the INST PNL potentiometer is what is used to dim the backlighting.

There are a few hotspots and dim spots but this is just something that can’t be helped with LED backlighting but overall it does look rather nice

Some pictures of the Final product and it is available for order Here. I have also got a smaller more compact Multi Version still available as well here

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DCS F18 Hornet Cockpit Panel Toggle Box Part 3

So the First incarnation of the F18 Hornet USB Controller was designed as a “multi box” combining elements from both the left and right panel.

Now the next step is making a Right Replica panel. This will mean the 3 Elect Panel Switches, Environmental Panel, Interior Lights panel and the Sensor Panel.

The layout of these will be replicas of the real right panel, so the positioning will be perfect for those relying on Muscle memory, IE VR Cockpit Pilots.

After some work this expanded the size of the Panel Box out to 310mm high, and still keeping the standard 152mm wide.

Went through an did a dry fit of the toggles and Potentiometers (currently awaiting more rotary switches)

Then I throw the Top engraved panel on, this still has masking tape on at this stage to help keep it protected from my grubby fingers, but you can still see quite clearly the layout.

Seems a bit more work to do as a few leds aren’t shining in the right spot. I will also be raising the plate 3 mm, this will help diffuse the backlight more and reduce the hotspots.

Once I get the rotaries in I will be able to get back to it and finish this bad boy off.

In the mean time I’m starting mock up an idea for a F18 UFC panel to complement this next.

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