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389 Lens and Frame Kit Discussion

(Original thread started on 06-22-09 by Ron Rollo)

Hello members of Hangar 45!

I finally have 99% of the parts for the 389 Replica kits. This kit will have over 200 laser engraved and cut parts in it. I have taken great care in making sure that all of the Chromolux 389 switches in the flight deck of the L45 have been taken care of in this package. I also included several duplicates of every piece in case something gets lost or damaged:

Ron 1025


NOTE: The protective paper is still on the lenses which will be removed by the builder. Sanding the face of lenses with 1000 grit sandpaper will create an authentic look!

Ron 1026


NOTE: There are three sets seen here.


The Lenses snap into the frame and the frame snaps onto a AML51-A10W clear cap, (Not included). This in turns snaps onto a AML-21 switch body (Not Included). Of course you may have other thoughts or ideas for these little beauties!


I currently have four sets available and plan to make several more if the demand is there.


The price per set is $50.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling for the guys in the USA. For those outside of the USA, we will have to figure shipping out. If you are interested in a set, please email me.


I would like to thank Eric for bouncing our ideas back and forth, forming the 389 Replica Lens Cap solution you see here!


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 06-24-09)

To clarify on what parts are needed and the costs involved to use these parts as intended, Ron and I wanted to list out the info for what it takes to build each one.


Each switch will require:

(1) AML21 Momentary or Alternate Action Switch

(1) AML51-A10W Cap


Plus the Frame/Lens that Ron is making available above. There are many sources for the AML21 switch but we have only found 1 reasonable source for the caps that the kits mount on to.


Suggested source for switch: eBay (Hard to find but they are there.)


Suggested source for caps:


A close up view of the laser work done from the back side:

Ron 1027


NOTE: The cross hatching is for the 'transit' stage of the landing gear and does not belong with the START plate; Ron was merely demonstrating the split lens after getting excited with the results and was in a bit of a hurry- Thanks Ron for the pictures!


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 06-29-09)

For those of you have ordered or are thinking of getting a set of the 389 Replicas, you will need to cut a channel down the center of twelve AML51-A10W white caps to accommodate the double window frames. The channel is to be cut .0625" deep so that the double window frame will sit flush on top of the caps.


For those of you who do not have a CNC or a precise cutting tool to accomplish this cut, just send me 12 (plus 1) caps and I'll take care of it at no charge. (These caps cost as much as $2.30 each so the last thing we want to do is screw a bunch of them up!)  In the future, if the demand for the 389 Replicas grow, I'll also make available a kit which includes the 12+1 AML51-A10W caps with the channels cut in them.


(Posted by Rick Trantham on 07-01-09)

I just got the replica lenses from Ron and they match perfectly with the real Korry 389s I have.


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 07-01-09)

Thanks Rick, this says a lot about all the research and development that Ron and I put into these suckers. We didn't have a real one to put our hands on, but combining the 389 documentation along with ingenuity and a little bit of luck, it sounds like our hard work paid off in regards to the size.


Thanks for taking the time to post this, it makes it all worth it when we hear how well we've worked an issue out like this! If you get a chance I'd love a side by side comparison shot.


I would like to point out that the design that we created was intended to be used a bit differently than the way some people may imagine at first. Initially we planned on having these surface mounted on the BACKER and have a recess on the back of the Front panel. However, we decided to make a very tiny shelf/channel recess on the front of the backer to allow the switch to sit a little deeper to help conceal the height plus it is easier to cut that recess on the front of the backer than the back of the front panel.


In other words, we will have the switch mounted in the panel BACKER and then the FRONT panel's .25" thickness would conceal all but just the last little bit of what you see as the white sides shown in the pictures above. Of course, just as Scott pointed out, you must paint the sides and top edges black in order to conceal the white and bleed through.


I also want to point out that it's very important to not sand the lenses on their edges or the inside of the frame at all as these are designed with very tight tolerances and (at least I've found) there's really no need to even glue the lenses into the frames.


The main thing is that these are kits so they do require a bit of finishing to get them looking as real as possible. The hard work of scaling the dimensions and actually cutting has thankfully been accomplished.


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 07-12-09)

Here is a picture of the light dividers for the double framed caps by the way. There are 12 AML21 switches that require a double framed 389 cap. These 12 + 1 light dividers are included in the 389 Replica kits:

Ron 1028


Now for the important stuff. For those who have a CNC or a precision cutting tool, we need to cut a channel down the middle of 12 + 1 of the AML51-A10W caps. If you do not have the means, just send them to me and I'll cut them at no charge!


If your doing it yourself, here are a few tips to make the job a little easier for you. I created a .59" X .59" hole in MDF that was .30" deep. The AML51 cap fits super snug inside the MDF hole. I used a .0625" bit to cut a channel .065" deep directly down the center of the cap. I used a paint can opening tool to hook the cap and pull it out of the hole after the cut was complete.  I had to grind the head down a tad so that it fit into the new slot without damaging the plastic cap:

Ron 1029


You may have to go back and knock some of the plastic burs down with a file like this one. I'm also a part time hand model if you couldn't tell:

Ron 1030


Be sure to run the channel so that it lines up with the preexisting holes in the AML51 caps. This is important so that the light dividers will snap into the caps correctly:

Ron 1031


Here is a set completed and ready to be shipped back to the owner:

Ron 1032


If you would like to order a set you can email me at

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