How To...Make The Lower Part Of A 737 Overhead Panel
By Claus Hansen (16 November 2010)
I decided to invest and make the lower part of a Boeing 737 panel. I ordered the panels from Opencockpit which arrived a few days later. Very nice quality, and ready for backlight, but I decided not to use that.
The panel I'm going to make will fit a 19" monitor. My space is limited, so I decided to rearrange the panel a bit.
All you need:
- Panel, e.g. www.opencockpits.com
- Wood to build the frame
- Contacts according to the functions (11 X On/Off, 2 X On/Off/On, 2 Rotary switches)
- Contacts should be the large one, 12mm diameter
- 2 Knobs
- A BU0836X Joystick controller from Leo Bodnar, http://www.leobodnar.com/products/BU0836X/
- Soldering iron
- Budget approximately 140 EUR
I made a frame of plywood 40 X 5 mm. It's very strong and easy to cut in.
Put all the contacts into the panels. According to different sites I turned them so they are OFF when they are switched to ON on the panel. Why, when you fly normally all the switches are mostly on, but then they will transfer voltage through all the switches. In FSUIPC you just invert the switch so it performs normally.
With the BU0836X controller you can use one ground to all the switches (or groups).
I have placed the controller in the "middle" so it's easy to connect the wires.
Regarding the rotary switch I used an easy way to connect it. I didn't use an encoder, but just connected three legs to the controller and then made a macro in FSUIPC for each leg/contact.
Mounted with all switches and knobs, then it looks like this.
Simply connect each switch to the controller. Connect it to your PC through the USB cable. If you want to use it with the PMDG 737, copy the 737 OHO.MCRO file from your FSUIPC folder into the Modules folder.
Go into FSUIPC, select Buttons + Switches and press the Switch you want to assign. When it's recognized select the FS Control and then the matching Control from the drop down list.
For the rotary switch I have made specific Mouse Macros to perform the switch correctly. If you don't want to read the manual, go to YouTube, search for FSUIPC and Macro, there are good tutorials.
A easy and funny project, which gives a greater pleasure flying FS. This way it's also easy to extend the panel over time (wife and budget!).
I hope that you can use this little tutorial, or get and idea to your own. Any remarks, questions, email me.