737 Maritime Patrol?

Low pass of HMNZS Canterbury departing the Chathams

HMNZS Canterbury, and the 737 were both in the Chathams.   Tonight Canterbury departed, heading for Tokelau, so I did a wee flypast, masquerading as an Orion 😉

It must be 737 Saturday

Today was a quiet day spent at work, on call….  so I got plenty of design and development work done on the 737!

First I drew up the Air Speed Indicator bezel, and 3d printed the parts, then after a little finishing and painting I machined the “glass” for it out of 2 pieces of 6mm polycarb,

While the bezel was printing I started to pin-out the NAV radio, and with the help of the support guys at Gables I have the first of the connections made, power is on, “Active” and “Auto” lights are working properly… next step is backlighting control and finally (and this is the bit I’ll need help with) getting the 2×5 data out to a controller so that I can read the set frequency!

Lots of wires, post-it notes and “beeps” from the multimeter 😉

And to wrap up the day… compiling all my drawings together!

And now with added bezel

First, very rough, bezel test….  Looks pretty good, needs more details and provision for clear acrylic to simulate the gauge glass.

From this test it has become quite clear that I will need to de-case the monitor to get it fitting closer to the front of the panel.  This may also mean I willbe able to have at least a partly working clock!

Also in this pic is the first test run of my new CDU!  The screen is very dim, and there is significant image distortion on one side…. but, it was still a bargain, and most definitely usable!

In a not completely unrelated mission tonight I fired up one of the touchscreens I scored from the ATR sim tear-down and tested it with my ‘Skyhawk Instructor Station’ software.  Apart from needing to be re-sized for a smaller screen it worked really nicely!  It has been my plan to re-write the IOS for the Skyhawk anyway, but now I plan on making it work with the 737 as well (with suitable changes to aircraft graphics, fuel quantities etc)

737 Avionics Test Run

A quick run of the avionics software running with the screen in place.  Looks pretty good!  Now I need to design some bezels for the gauges and some smoked filters for the EADI/EHSI displays.

Also in this pic, for the first time;  My new, second hand, Engravity CDU.  I picked this up from a fellow simmer for not much (which is about where my budget is at) because it has a dead screen….  The screen actually works but is very dim… I’m hoping I’ll be able to repair it and have a nice working CDU 🙂

Big night for the 737

Over the past couple of evenings I have been trimming the back of the MIP panels on the 737 to fit the 20″ monitor in place.  Tonight, with the final panel completed I test-fit the screen with it all assembled.

20″ Screen test fit into the ‘modified’ panel structure.

The fit is perfect for the primary flight instruments, with no compromise on size.  Looks good with the panel “filled in”, now I can’t wait to get some software running on it!

The eagle-eyed will have noticed that the RH panel has changed…. I swapped out the United panel for one from ‘Magnus’, Nigel’s project.  The change of panel was to allow for the screen to fit easier without having to remove all the switches from the original, but there are a couple of un-planned advantages of the new panel;  There is provision for a 4th “Aux” Fuel tank gauge, which means I can have more range, and there is a NORM/TRUE Heading switch, essential for polar operations.

The second piece of good news was the arrival of a TV for the visuals.  An older, 50″/720p LCD which will be fine for the sim!

TV test run… nice image quality, despite the low resolution

Old phone/new use

Jenny upgraded her phone, which left her old phone spare….   So now the Arrow has a smaller, but much faster GPS display.  Still running FSRadioPanel, but on a much better device it is way more responsive.

New Clock for the Skyhawk

This came up on a website recently in the “misc bits” category;

Listed as “broken/not working”… but it was cheap.  Once it arrived I discovered that the sweep hand does still reset and even runs a bit… so I have hopes of getting it repaired, a new glass and installing it in the Skyhawk!  Now I just need a compass 😉

Cool Weather Website

Found this while I was looking for something else….   www.windy.com is a really cool weather visualisation website….

 I’m going to have this running on a monitor in the mancave… almost like an automated weather brief.
You can search for airports by their ICAO code, and it will display METAR and TAF’s

737 Home again!

After many, many miles and some months away, the 737 arrived home yesterday.

Turning finals to 29 in a good Canterbury Nor’ Wester

The plan was to have all 3 sims online, the Arrow on the ground at NZCH, and the Skyhawk would intercept the 737 and trail it down to Christchurch…   Well the plan *sortof* worked…. I was late getting the Skyhawk airborne, and so had a tough time catching up, and only joined briefly before the 737 started it’s approach.  Not quite the roaring success I was hoping for, but it is nice to have all my sims “home” again.  Even HMNZS Canterbury is in NZ!

Shutdown at NZCH