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Comm panel

Comm panelI have spent my spare time over the last few weeks crimping cables and this morning soldered some 7-segment cables for the next stage of my cockpit plan. I had aquired a 737 comm panel with the components for a display, but not wired up. This morning’s effort completed this. I also had to do some work on the buttons as they had been glued to the supporting frame using wood, so I took that out to hold the panel together with M3 bolts instead. The standby digits … Continue Reading


Sat in the Oratory on Ash Wednesday (where as a treat there is no Allegri Miserere mei!), I have been deliberating as to how to mark Lent. Previously I have given up alcohol, not shaven, or some other sundry sacrifice. The fact is, I can’t see this being a huge sacrifice. This year I have been looking at my charitable donations, so it seems fit that I should support some charities as my “sacrifice”. Currently I am supporting the new Music Building at the University of Birmingham, and the Midlands Air Ambulance. So I will find something else to add … Continue Reading

More Opencockpits cards

I today bought a collection of second-hand Opencockpits boards for my cockpit. Most of them are copies of boards I have in place, giving me a bit of resiliance in case of disaster, but amongst them were two input/output boards which I can use to install temporary switches, and a (sadly Boeing) COM box kit, partially complete. Hopefully soon I will get to put them all together, at the moment the priority is to build the MIP where my old futon was so that I can free up the desk. I’ve not flown for a long time and I am … Continue Reading

Hull Visit

On 8th August 2009 I had a trip up to see a couple of sims in the Hull area. These provided me with a fantastic opportunity to see two very well advanced A320 home cockpit constructions. Both are very different, one by Barry Kensett having more of an infrastructure, and one by Darren Sugden being more functional. Both have Opencockpits cards and SIOC (the programming system for them, which reassures my decision to go with these cards.

Barry Kensett's FCU

Hispapanels FCU

After a bit of a hulabaloo I now have panels for an Airbus FCU, EFIS and MCDU. I didn’t actually order the MCDU, it came accidentally.


I won’t get time to build the MCDU for a while as I want to print a circuit board for it and need a screen, but I have a USBkeys card for when I’m ready.(And, yes I know the buttons are in the wrong place, I only placed them for the photo.)


I have started … Continue Reading

Flight Simulator

One of my long term projects is to build a home cockpit. Initially, it was to build a cockpit for a Piaggio Avanti, and my first module, a throttle unit, was intended to reflect this. The following pictures show the first incarnation of the throttle (one axis only with a potentiometer sellotaped to a crossbeam), some buttons, and the same throttle unit with a second axis (for the props/spoilers). The controls for the throttle and these basic buttons were connected using the OpenCockpits USBaxis module (essentially creates a USB joystick interface)…. Continue Reading