Updates to Henkie's ViperPit construction website

full view at my ViperPit (wishfull thinking ... no picture yet)


11/2011 Designed the hardware for the LIGHTING panel on the right console. It has four continuously dimmable light channels for the instruments and flood lights in the pit, and it implements the function of the MAL & IND LTS switch, which is in fact the fifth dimmer channel. Each dimmer channel is capable of dimming a load of several Amps.
11/2011 A follow-up of the theme "panel backlighting". The approach for the INSTR panel is not working for the panels MISC and FQS, because the console construction behind the panel is "massive" steel. For the FQS panel I used a dremel to cut "pockets" and "trenches" in which SMD LEDs and wiring can be laid. After that the cut-away plexiglass is filled with glue.
11/2011 I visited the Flight Simulator Weekend in Lelystad and saw the F-16 pit of Arend ("white-eagle"). The panels in his pit are all backlighted. That looks so cool that I decided to update my panels (there are just a few at the moment) to have backlight. EL Foil is expensive and not reliable (from what I read), so I tried another approach. The INSTR panel (on the center console) is the result of this: LEDs behind the panel!
Build a mechanical construction for the Fuel Quantity Indicator using two servo motors. The difficulty is the 5-digit display in the lower half of the dial. The two needle pointers work fine with the servoes, gear ratio changes the 180 rotation of a servo to approx 290 for the needle pointer range.
10/2011 This month I spend most of my time to build the landing gear handle. Most of the parts were ordered from "Dunk", but there is a lot of puzzling and work to be done before the landing gear handle box is complete to be installed on the Left AUX console!
09/2011 Engine indicators with aircore motors built. I tried several approaches. LEDs on a piece of circuit board with the aircore on another piece of circuit board turned out to be sub-optimal. What works best is mounting the aircore motor on the rear side of a circuit board and solder SMD LEDs on the other side around the shaft of the motor.
08/2011 LEDs for the Caution panel soldered. The LEDs are soldered in a matrix. I used "normal intensity" LEDs, but because of the method how they are connected (matrix, pulsed on/off) the light output is too low. I replaced the LEDs for "high-brightness" LEDs. That works a lot better. But in the end, I think that connecting each LED to a separate output is the best solution allthough it requires a lot more wiring (and digital outputs). The advantage, however, is that the light output from the Caution panel can be dimmed, as in a real F-16.
I managed to drive the compass without opening or destroying the compass. I used a small magnet installed underneath the compass. A servo is mounted behind the compass, because of space restrictions (Pilot Fault List Display), and rotates the magnet using gears.
07/2011 Spent some time on the design of some hardware to interface rotary encoders, but got distracted. I will return to this design at some later time ...
06/2011 I dowloaded the Eagle CAD program and entered the schematic in it. OK, I had to redo it, but learning by doing is the motto here. In the end I got a nice layout of the circuit board. I have faith in myself and sent the files to Olimex. In less than 2 weeks I received two circuit boards, really looking great. They could have been even better, but I am new on this ... I had to make a few minor corrections, but the board works; I can control both HYD PRESS indicators!
04/2011 Great progress on the control hardware for the HYD PRESS indicator! I can move the indicator needle to any position I want! However, there are still a few things to investigate / test ...
03/2011 I just could not find any suitable TFT displayes for the MFDs. But now I think I have a totally different solution for the MFD displays. Check out the "MFD display" folder!   Also started to investigate how to control the HYD PRESS indicator based on a so-called synchro. Read about my progress in the folder "HYD PRESS indicator".
01/2011 Big progress on the RWR indicator project.
Started to build the RPM PERCENT indicator based on an aircore motor. The indicator will be lit by LEDs.
See the "Aircore indicators" page.
12/2010 Started the RWR (RADAR Warning Receiver) indicator project page.
The hardware, a PIC and a (dual) DAC, are soldered and initial software is written. See the "RWR indicator" page.
11/2010 Copied the PHCC hardware and PIC programmer tool pages that I had written into this frame.
Started the FFI (Fuel Flow indicator) project page.
10/2010 The ideas for my ViperPit construction website are getting some form. Initial lay-out created.