September just disappeared … poff completely gone. Should have come further but then I remind myself that this is a hobby and I have no time pressure, so it takes the time it takes.
I am continueing to work with the sidewalls, sanded, filled and painted. The surface paint is a carpentry paint RAL9002 and a layer of matt clear lacquer has made a fantastic finish. I am super happy with the result.
3D printing requires a lot of work to make the quality acceptable. But install as it gets done. The walls grow slowly. The cup holder is scaled up slightly to be able to fit an IKEA coffee mug and / or a beer.
The current project is to get to the small shelf where the pilots can store their bags. Will be extremely much sanding work but I will be satisfied.
I have also tested the solinoid on the gear lever, it works all the way down to 12v. But I think it will run on 20v or 24v. Should be built for 28v but 24v can come in handy and be used for other components later in construction.
I have made a short film about how it goes for my cockpit construction.
In addition, there have received a shipment of OEM parts from Asia. A tiller from a Boeing 737, landing gear leaver also from a 737 model older but it will work well for me. Also some switches. It is an absolutely fantastic feeling with quality stuff even if they are a few years old.
Now the construction of the side walls continues and I now have the last components to be able to measure the MIP sheet and continue to draw in Fusion360.
The 3D printer runs hot, prints accessories and gadgets for the sidewalls. Oxygene mask, mic output, cup holder, charts holder, air vents and at the place where the ashtray original is located, there will instead be a USB socket to be able to charge ipads, phone or similar.
Everything gets a treatment with putty and paint. The technology with 3d writing is simply not qualitative enough.
Regarding MSFS2020, it is unfortunately not currently a simulator to build a cockpit on. SimConnect (the software that allows us to communicate with the simulator) does not work, mutiple views there is no support for yet and the whole feeling around the sim is more arcade games than simulator. We simply have to wait until 3rd hand developers come up with more plugins. But with that said, the new MSFS looks great! If you have not tried it yet DO IT!
The floor was installed fairly quickly, easy installation and plywood was installed on top the construction. When the sidewalls and the new MIP panel are in place, I will cover the floor with 2 or 3 millimeter aluminum sheet metals just like in a real aircraft.
Started with the sidewalls, mostly I build them in 12mm MDF and again follow Karl’s 737DIYSIM sidewalls dimensions. Bought his blueprints for v3 as it will align with both windows and MIP later. The drawings can be found here.
Rounded corners with hand router, I am super happy with the result. Can hardly wait until it is sanded, filled and painted. Cup Holder is again Karl’s design, available for free download at thingiverse. After the print to get a nicer finish, the 3d print is also sanded and filled before painting. Pictures will come when the painting work is completly done.
Now that MSFS2020 will be released in less than a month, I am currently skipping the warp of the screen for the time being. As I currently do not know if MSFS2020 is a simulator to build a cockpit against or upgrade my current P3Dv4.5 to P3Dv5.
The Warpalizer license I have today does not cover either MSFS2020 or P3Dv5 so the choice is still between upgrading the current Waralizer license or simply buying FlyElise. The price and choice of simulator may determine that later.
Started with building the floor. Bars in 120x45mm wood, 12mm board material on top of it and finally I will put an aluminum plate on either 2mm or 3mm depending on whether I need to get it stiffer or not.
I use Carl’s design (www.737diysim.com). Redo his measurements to suit my stuff and plans, but based on his drawing and builds the floor in sections. Mounted wheels 40mm construction height, if these are allowed to remain later, the ceiling height must determine. But during the construction period, they are extremely handy.
I bought a homemade Yoke column from a friend who went a straw sharper and bought an entire OEM column. On mine, the FO side is an OEM and the Captain side is a replica from opencockpits.com. The problem with this yoke is that it is made with link arms and thus can not turn more than about 140-150 degrees on each side. Whether I redo them before assembly or postpone it until much later into the construction, I will have to decide a little later. The plan is then a timing belt or chain.
I finally started painting the screen with the final color. A base grey color S1500 with AAA (Auto Air Aluminum Fine) additive. Mixed this together with 10% water to paint with a spray gun connected to a compressor.
I am very pleased with the result. Started to cover the space between screen and ceiling with black carpet. It was the blackest fabric I could find and since it is a fairly stiff material, it keeps the round shape perfectly. May be matte to the floor later instead of color when the projectors have reached their final position.
AAA additive I mixed the color with.
Microsoft has released release dates for their new simulator MSFS2020. Coming August 18, 2020. Looking forward to se if it is being a simulator I can build my cockpit against. Since I use ProSim-AR software to simulate all systems, I am very dependent on whether MSFS2020 gives me the opportunity to connect directly to the simulator, or if ProSim chooses to provide support for the new sim. Time will tell. But I am excited!
The screen starts to take shape, I have a long way to go, of course, but large parts end up in the right place. Regarding the color, I try a concept within the home theater builder concept with the color “black widow”. I have ordered an aluminum base color from Auto Air Aluminum which I will mix with my gray color in shade S1500. Have just grounded with S1500 without AAA and I think the contrast is totally okay so looking forward to testing with AAA. The reason for widow black is to get a as neutral background for the projectors to shoot at as possible. Read more about the German project with Widow Black here. https://www.hometheatershack.com/threads/black-widow-the-german-experience-for-beginners.73479/
I have painted the ceiling black to shut out as much light as possible, the screen at the bottom I will paint black later. Likewise, I mounted the projector temporarily just to test that warp image. Later on when I know to 100% where the overhead will be placed, I will probably have to move the projectors so that they are not obscured by the cockpit.
I also tested warpeing the image with Fly Elise software. However during the week will try Warpalizer software for which I have a license key. These are heavy and advanced programs so I just see what path I choose to hike after trying them both for a while.
I finally got the 3D printer on and started the job of printing rudder pedals. At least I will try to see if a 3D print can handle the power that arises from a hard sideway wind on short final. Otherwise I may have them manufactured in steel or chased by an affordable pair of OEM pedals. 5 and a half days Heavy print may be subjected to stress test and I will then evaluate.
Finally I came across a steering tiller sickly cheap. It’s OEM I know it’s not the Boeing 737, but the feel of the metal is cruel! Will modify some things and paint it and install as soon as I have the opportunity and sidewalls up there.
Okay, finally a little progress, The screen starts to emerge. The idea from the beginning was to build The screen in 4 sections so that if it need to be moved in the future it would be a relatively simple procedure. As I thought and build, all the joints between the 4 units will become somewhat visible. So I changed my plan and finally screwed the whole structure together in one piece and fastened it to the walls and ceiling.
Also, I was thinking of making the screen 1300 mm high as the final image will be, but my friend told me to extend the HDF board down to the floor and paint the superfluous surface black instead, so the dimensions today become less important at height. So of 2″3 wood I extended the construction at the bottom by 500mm.
The diameter for me is max 3 meters. Have tried the distance with my projectors so it should go well. The goal picture was to get as close as possible to 4 meters as it gives good distance and space around the simulator but I simply do not have that space. 3 meters in diameter will do for me, should go well not optimal but good.
The screen now feels stable and so far I am very pleased. I have added PDF file with my dimensions in the Download section of the website.
I have added a link “memes”. Aviation related memes that I come across I will post here on the site.
In the actual construction of the simulator and the other projects I have started, I am still planning. My approach to rebuilding is that I should not regret a few weeks after installation but that the quality should be high and well thought out before i build.
Sitting at the time of writing and projecting the curved screen itself.
In the meantime, I will continue to show other bloggers that is building simulators that probably helped me without their knowledge. Today I want to show Peter’s blog www.buildaboeing.com.
Peter is a Danish guy who blogs at an incredibly high level of detail on parts of his project. Build A Boeing . com is a must to follow if you like me do a lot of DIY. I may not fancy all his ideas, but the knowledge he shares is amazing. If you have not already come across his blog, be sure you check it out.
About a little over six months ago, I bought used overhead frame and panels. They are originally from Simworld and the quality is absolutley superb.
However there were some small parts missing but largely complete. The seller found some screws and a piece of plastic as well as the EGT gauge panel which he sent to me this week.
I have been wiring cables and chose to run all panels individually with DSUB connectors. Mounted parts and this is what the overhead looks like today.
More about the overhead later in the build as the unit approaches assembly.
Now finally all parts of the CNC milling machine have arrived. I am currently working with software control. I really hope I can get this thing going and lerning curve is smooth so I can start milling useful stuff.