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RMU's and Display Units by Project45

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hmmm that is a good idea Ron!

I did receive some nice knobs from china, they do look nice, and fit well to the DU.

So still figuring out which to use.

Hey guys, first, I want to apologize for not posting more news and updates.  I can assure you that there is a ton of work being done in the background to get our Lear45 V2.0 up and running!  During this process sometimes things come up that I realize might need a quick tutorial on.

In this case, how to solder 22 gauge wires to a clad board, especially those wires that have to get "U" turned around.  In the future, clad boards like this will eventually be replaced with PCB to eliminate this small problem.  In the meantime, here are a couple tricks that I use to get the job done.  By the way, I know there are many ways to skin a cat, this is just one way to go about it that I found to work very well.

Two things that you will need besides the obvious and that is Scotch tape and the fat edge of a work table.

(Right click on all photos to get a real close look)


What the tape and edge of the table does is acts like a couple extra hands.  And if you have done much soldering, you can never have too many hands!  In the photo above, I have the LED ground line already soldered and I am ready for the power line.

In this photo below, the red wire is already soldered to the clad but what happens even though I try to avoid it, the wire ends up with some exposed wire and needs to be pushed back up into the clad.  Here I have the clad sitting on end holding it with my pointer finger and with my thumb and middle finger, I am getting ready to push the wire into the clad.  My left hand has the soldering iron and will touch the solder that is already connecting the wire to the clad for just a second, just long enough to gently and carefully push the wire in.  Be careful not to push too hard or you will bunch a ball of wire insulation up on the back side of the clad.


In this photo, all but just one of the wires is soldered to the clad.  To this point, the others have been pushed up to the clad from behind and they all still need to be trimmed.


At this point, the hard and HOT part is over!  Carefully push the wires through the access wire hole making them "U" turn back the other direction.


Last but not least, trim the access bare wire on the back side.  And your done!  This method is actually not too difficult but it can be time consuming.  But once it is done, it's done!


Thanks Ron.  Good information here. I did not use your method and damaged my boards as a result (as you know).  This type of knowledge comes from frequent and direct experience I guess!

Don't attempt to solder the wires AFTER you have bent them through the opening as it stresses the newly soldered joint.

Jason Hite FlightDeckSoft

........ and for those who are too nervous for this close soldering turning into a disaster.

There is also this option. Wire glue. Just put it into google and other sites for purchase will show up.

Coop has recently used it with success so living proof.

Mark S.


Hey guys,

I have been recently working on a set of Display Units for Terry and over the past two years, I have apparently developed some pcb design skills and thought I would apply it to the internal clad parts!

Thanks to Jason Hite for pushing me forward on the Arduino Module design and to Will Sasse for making some suggestions with overseas pcb production, I have become fairly proficient in designing and making pcbs.  As a matter of fact, I have found it to be way easier than clad and way less expensive.

From here forward, I plan to use professional pcb wherever practical and appropriate.  As an example, I will be using pcb in the future v2.0 RMUs and the Project45 CDUs when I get to them.  I will still use clad on the larger backlit panels because that is how the real panels are made.

Unlike all the Arduino Modules that are the color blue, I decided to make these internal pcbs white in color because they are inside a light chamber.  We want warm white light and if we need to tint the color of the light for any reason, we can do that with paper filters.

The fit of the new pcb that will be taking place of the old clad is perfect!  The only catch is that the clad is .031" thick and the new pcb is .039" thick.  You might be thinking, "That's less than .01", what's the big deal?"  The thing you might find that you have to do is sand the bottom of the buttons for a minute.  I found that I had to do this with my set with the buttons on DU1 and DU4.  Without the little bit of sanding, the buttons felt like they did not have the full click once they were pressed.  A little sanding of the bottom of the buttons fixed that.

The other thing worth mentioning is I believe I soldered the encoder tabs to the clad of all the sets I sent out thinking that they would be there forever.  That was a mistake.  Trying to desolder to save them is not worth the time and aggravation.  So to avoid that headache, I have new encoders included in this free update kit!  And, just in case you fear the tiny size 1206 SMDs, I have them solder in place too.

However, you will have to desolder the push buttons and the wires from the old clad.  I found it super easy to remove from the clad and install on the new pcb.  Hopefully you will too.  But no worries, if you need me to solder up some buttons, I can do that too. Or if you need replacement DU pcb, I have plenty!

One last point, there is no need to feel like you have to immediately pull your sim apart and make this update.  The original clad and this new pcb works exactly the same, there is no difference in functionality.  I would recommend getting the free upgrade and putting it on your "To do list" the next time you have to pull your MIP out.

This update only applies to the Project45 Display Units.  If you have a Project45 DU set and would like the free update, just let me know and I will get one out to you ASAP.


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