Forum Navigation
Please or Register to create posts and topics.

V2.0 Panel Progress by Project45

Hey guys,

I have been a little quiet lately on the hangar but very active in the background.  Over the past two months I have been working to push the panel drawings within 98% of completion.  At this point, I only need to finish the Circuit Breaker panels and break down all the drawings to make them easy to understand.  Last but not least, I have to make at least one of every panel to prove that they are good to go!

I have started this process with four panel sets:

  1.  Flight Guidance Control Panel (FGC)
  2.  The left and right Reversion Panels
  3.  Pitch Trim Panel
  4.  Hobbs Panel

Here is a photo of the beginning of the process with these four panel sets:

Start of panels V2.0

Most of the work done so far is backer panels, standoff support panels, back lighting panels, paint plug tools and the assembly of the dual function switches on the reversion panels.

During the process of "proving the drawings, I will be working on between two and four panels sets at a time depending on the complexity of them.  If you have a CNC and are anxious to see if you can make your own panels, don't worry, the drawings and the G code will be posted up on this website as soon as each set is proven.  If you have a request for a panel to be proven sooner rather than later, please ask and I will see if I can make it a priority.  I will say this, the Display Units are next on the "to do list".

One other item that I want to touch on really quick is a tool that I call Panel Paint Plugs.  Each panel drawing will include a Paint plug.  The purpose of this tool is to insert into the back side of the front panel to block the flat black paint from getting into the areas of the panel that we need to keep clean.  I will have more on this in the near future, but for now, here is a photo of a couple Paint Plugs:

Paint Plugs

I will post up another update next Friday.  Keep an eye out!

Good work Ron!!
Indeed i am anxious to try something out
I have allready most panels, but still some are missing.

I got a feeling that most of my panels will get a replaced at some point...

Looking really good Ron!

Quick update!  This past week I moved forward with the current panel sets by completing the light clads for the FGC, Pitch Trim and Reversion panels.  I had to make some more minor adjustments to the drawings and G codes which is why I want to make a few "proof copies" of everything before releasing anything:

Additionally, I have finished several component clads for the FGC including soldering all the switches and new metal encoders onto the clad.  We have enough Mountain switches for five FGC panels:

Next week I will be starting on the front panels!

Hey guys,

Another weekly update on the progress of the panels I am currently working on.  This past week I feel like I made three steps forward and two steps back.  Still, at the end of the week I was a little ahead of where I was the previous week.

I discovered I made a few errors in some of the clad parts I made and had to cut them again.  Additionally, I discovered that I needed to add isolation rings around the encoders on the FGC light clad now that the encoders we will be using have metal shafts.  Without the isolation rings, the metal shafts could touch the 12 volt lighting ground on the light clad and the body of the encoders are crimped to the ground on the components clad for the interface cards.  I have not tested what would happen and I honestly do not want to know.  So isolation rings it is!

I have the front panels for several Reversion panels and Pitch Trim Panels complete and started work on the FGC panels.  See photo below:

During this process, I had to make lots of countersinking and the insertion of brass inserts.  All these parts are going to fit perfectly!  Hopefully by the end of next week I will have the FGC front plates cut out and all the resistors and LEDs soldered onto the light clads.  Everything is coming along!

Wow...great job Ron!!

Looking good Ron!

Update on the new Drawings and Panels V2.0!  To date, 98% of all the drawings are complete and over the next few days they will be uploaded to the BUILDER RESOURCES page.  I have recently completed several FGC panels, Pitch Trim panels, REV panels and just about completed with the first batch of Display Units.  See the HANGAR PRODUCTS page for more information on these items and others currently available.

I wanted to make note that V2.0 drawings represent the newest version of a particular panel or part.  If a particular drawings is denoted with v2.0, this means it has not yet had panels or parts completed based on that drawing but will in the near future.

Drawings that are denoted as V2.1 have been proven and DO have panels and parts created base on the new V2.0 drawings.  This information is good to know if you are looking to build your own panels and parts based on the drawings available in the Builder Resources page.  Hopefully within the next year all panels and parts will be proven and all drawings will be updated to V2.1.

 

BACK LIGHTING POWER UPDATE!

Additionally, we are announcing a major change in the way we backlight our panels.  Instead of using 12 volt power to backlight our panels, the new path forward is to use  5 volt power.  Jason Hite ask the question and got me to thinking and doing some research on the subject.

As you may know, most backlighting in real aircraft is 5 volts.  And back several years ago when we first started modeling the Lear45, almost all the real panels in the Lear45 were backlit using incandescent 5 volt bulbs.  At that time, we thought it would be a good idea to use LEDs with  430 ohm resistors bringing the 12 volt power down to a level that the LEDs could handle.  The problem with that is if you happened to have real aviation panels, as an example, the CDUs or the Davtron clocks, they use incandescent 5 volt bulbs and are ready for 5 volt power.

At the time, we thought that 12 volts was the way to go because every other flight sim community was using 12 volt lighting systems.  Good or bad, we made the best of it and overcame most of the issues as best we could to make it all work.  But that is all changing!

After several weeks of research, testing and development, I have found an easy way to solve nearly all of our backlighting issues!  (I say "nearly" because although I have nothing in mind ATM, I am sure something will pop up.)

The solution moving forward is to use 5 volt power and use custom LCU (Light Control Unit) boards with individual resistors and plugs for each panel.  See photo below:

Without this LCU board, the backlit panels with LEDs come on faster and are brighter than the panels with incandescent bulbs when turning the PWM potentiometer clockwise.  So the solution was to make a board with individual plugs, each with it's own resistor.  On the LCU board above, the two resistors on the far left are 400 ohm 1/4 watt, the six in the middle are 300 ohm 1/2 watt and the four on the right are 0 ohm, 1/2 watt.

What I found is that if you have a panel with two or three LEDs, you will want to use a 400 ohm resistor.  For everything else up to 60 LEDs, a 300 what resistor will work just fine.  The 0 ohm resistors are basically just jumpers for any panels that use 5 volt incandescent bulbs.  In all cases, these additional inline resistors stay cool to the touch and are shedding the excess voltage perfectly.

 

The next thing I want to touch on is the PWM potentiometer The one we are currently using for 12 volt power does not work with lower voltages which means we will need to replace them.  That is not a big deal because there are a couple different products out there that can control voltage as low as 3 volts all the way up to 35 volts.  And they are barely $2 each!

These two examples are made by the same Chinese company, but one has the wire terminals on the sides of the PCB and the other has them at the rear of the PCB.  I plan to use the one with the wire terminals at the rear.  This is an example from Amazon Prime HERE

 

Power supplies are the next area of concern.  Obviously we are looking for 5 volt power supplies.  As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.  I conducted my testing with both a 5 volt 3 amp Mean Well power supply found HERE and a 5 volt 60 amp Aclorol power supply found HERE

Testing proved that in both cases, they performed flawlessly!  They are also both pretty good power supplies and I did not expect anything less.  I plan to use the larger 60 amp power supply to power all the 5 volt back lighting in the cockpit.  Yes, it is overkill by at least 40 amps.

I am concerned if I was to use a smaller amp power supply, like 10 or 15, that once it starts to take on the load, the LED lights will start to dim or not be as bright as they should.  I read several reviews related to the smaller power supplies and that issue popped up often.  If I use a single large power supply, I will never get close to using 60 amps, therefor, I will never run into that problem.

If you can afford a 30 to 60 amp Mean Well 5 volt power supply, that would be the perfect solution.  The only problem is cost.  But then again, I just found a 55 amp Mean Well for $63 HERE which was not available a few weeks ago.  Go figure!

 

Testing one or two backlit panels was not good enough to feel confident that there was not going to be any surprises further down the road.  So I grabbed as many panels, large and small, LED and incandescent as I could find to replicate one of the LCU channels.  With all three LCU channels, there are at least ten backlit panels and at least one of those panels uses incandescent bulbs.  Check this out:

Five FGCs, two Pitch Trim panels, two Davtron Clocks, a Airshow panel, a REV panel and last but not least a CDU panel.  The CDU and Davtron clocks are using 5 volt bulbs and are essentially receiving full power from the 5 volt power supply via the PWM.  Dimming from the click off to full bright is about as good as you could hope for with a mix match set of panels using both LEDs and incandescent bulbs!

To recap, I am using a 5 volt power supply and a custom made LCU board that distributes the power to each individual backlit panel via a PWM capable of adjusting voltage as low as 3 volts and up to 35 volts.  Each plug on the LCU board has it's own resister to slightly adjust the voltage to match the intensity with all the other backlit panels on the LCU channel.  All of my testing so far has been perfect!

Additionally, one of the really cool things about this solution is if you already have 12 volt panels, you do not have to do any modifications to the LEDs or the resistors within the panels.  The panels that I make and previously made panels by Eric Tomlin can either accept 12 volt or 5 volt, however, after doing all this research, it turns out that the 5 volt power looks more natural as far as the brightness is concerned.  The other cool thing about this is you can use either 5 volt or 12 volt power with my panels and you will not hurt the LEDs!  (Anything above 12 volts and the LEDs will fail)

More news and updates soon!

 

Hey guys!  Sorry that I have not updated this thread in such a long time.  It's not because I have not been working on anything, actually it's just the opposite.  I have been working on EVERYTHING!

Jason and I have been working very close with one another over the past couple years and insuring that his up and coming Jet45 AAS v2.0 software and my v2.0 panels mesh perfectly together.  We have been going through everything from the backlighting (see post above) to the specialty panels within our builds that have unique display windows, APU AMP window and Pressure Display window to name a few.  I can say with complete confidence that we have nearly everything resolved and the infrastructure in place to move forward with our new v2.0 Lear45 sim and now it is just a matter of writing the code (Jason's job) and building up the hardware and panels, (my job).  For the latest news on the up and coming Jet45 AAS v2.0 click  HERE

To step back a little, earlier this year, Jason and I started to put together a Master Interface Plan, also known as the "Jet45 Hardware Pinout"  which covers every single piece of hardware in the Lear45 cockpit and then some.  As of this date, it is 98% complete and only minor changes and tweaking need to be done.  If you would like to take a peek at this document, it is attached at the bottom of this post.  THIS IS A PRERELEASE VERSION!  In other words, take a look at it to get an idea of how we plan to interface our Lear45 to the Ardunio modules.  This document is going to be our "Interface Blueprint" for our new Lear45 v2.0!

In the meantime, I have finalized the new v2.0 Aluminum MIP and Glareshield and have several cut and bent.  The four sets you see in the photo below are just about ready for panels!

 

Speaking of panel, over the past six weeks, I have started on several sets of panels and as of this date, I can say that I am over 50% complete with the manufacturing and proof process of these panels.   The panels I am currently working on include:

Left Crew Panel

Electrical Panel

Gear/Hydraulic Panel

Pressurization Panel

Environmental Panel

System Test Panel

Engine Panel

APU Panel

There are no less than 55 panels on the bench!  All these panels are designed to accept 5 volt back lighting and are designed specifically to work with the new Jet45 AAS v2.0 and the future Jet45 Systems Software.  Here is a quick pic of the back side of a couple front panels.  The average time it takes to mill out the back side of a panel is just under two hours!

If you already have a set of panels, the only ones that you might be interested in among these listed panels are the APU panel and the Pressurization panel because of their updated display windows.

As an example take a look at the new and improved Pressurization Display window:

In the case of the Pressurization Display Window, we will be using a small 2.7" LCD screen that will be ran via one of the Arduino Interface modules.  This is a major upgrade from the previous solution we were using.

And there you have it!  There has a been a ton of planning, testing, prototyping and manufacturing going on behind the scenes during the 2020 year!

One last point worth mentioning again if you enjoy building your own parts.  Every panel I develop will also be made available in DXF and G code within the BUILDER RESOURCES page as they are proven!

More updates soon!

Uploaded files:
  • You need to login to have access to uploads.

Do you use an oled arduino screen for the pressurazation display?
I am also puzzling how to create this
7 segment....oled....tft...not sure yet ..

But ..indeed..you HAVE been busy!!

great work

 


Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.