In the early hours of this morning HMNZS Canterbury arrived in Malta, I expect there will be some shore leave coming up 😉

Gear up!

Final wiring completed for the gear lever.  Connected the switch and warning lamp up to a connection board which will mount behind the MIP.

Also took the opportunity to repair the gear safety cover which I broke…. oops.

Then it was off for a quick test flight:

it was about this point I worked out that the gear switch was wired back-to-front…..   a quick in-flight mod and it is all working perfectly!

All that is left now is to mount the mechanism properly, and paint the bracket (although I have conflicting photos on what colour to paint it.


After a very long transit of the Indian Ocean, F421 can see land again!

Land ahoy!

Well into the Gulf of Aden, and that’s Somalia in the background. Travelling up the Gulf, then the Suez Canal and finally the Med!

Radar Panel ready to be installed

Tonight I got some machine time on the CNC router and tested a new technique for making engraved panels.

First test showed an error in my drawing, which was quickly corrected….

With the panel assembled all that remained was to paint the machined edges….

Looks pretty good, especially compared to the old version!

Testing of the wiring, and updating the firmware on the controller completed, and half of the LUA scripts written to make it all work.

Next step is to reinstall the panel, mount the controller and run the cabling.

More LUA Scripts makes the UFC come alive!

Installed and configured the second batch of LUA scripts, and configured more UFC buttons.   Now I have COM and NAV tuning, display options for A-A targets and AFDS settings, CRS Adjustment and BARO.

A good evenings work, topped off with a quick test flight around Ohakea, an intercept on a Macchi and then an ILS approach 🙂

Ticking a couple of small items off the list

Having a To-Do list is good for motivation…  I use the “list” as a way of recording thing that either need fixing, or ideas I’ve had to upgrade the sim.  This makes it easy to find something to do on the sim 😉

Knocked off a couple over the last few days;

After getting my headset adaptor working I really needed somewhere to hang the headset!  On an unrelated trip to Bunnings I found these really nice, black plastic brackets, 2 for $6 I couldn’t miss!  Now I have headset hooks for the Arrow and the TA-4K Instructor.

Next up was replacing the broken ejection seat handle.  The old one was quite flimsy, made from a thin piece of copper pipe with a yellow fabric wrap around it.  The new one (this is only the test-fit sample) will be 3D printed ABS painted and vinyl graphics applied.  This test fit was a success, and with a couple of small mods it will be ready to print!

Radar Control Panel CAD/CAM Work

A quiet Sunday night CAD/CAM session, and I have the drawings and toolpaths complete for my Radar Control Panel.  Renderings from Fusion 360 look pretty cool, and let me fine-tune my design.  Way better, and surprisingly quicker than the old-fashioned 2D CAD I used to use! Including the Knobs in the design means I can check clearance of the knobs and engraved lettering.


Fusion has a really nice render feature, which lets me produce these nice looking images, for no better reason than they look cool 🙂


The biggest change from my old design work-flow is that Fusion 360 has CAM built-in, so you step between modelling and CAM in the same application, really streamlining the complete design process!

Radar gets even better!

Eric Marciano, creator of the awesome F-16 Radar I use in the Skyhawk, has shared with me some technical details to help interact with his gauge from my RCP hardware.  Now I can directly set the radar range from the panel, *or* increment/decrement it from button presses on the RH DU.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it really is another step-up in the realism of my sim.

Check out Eric’s great addon’s for FS at:

I will be using his External EasyFMC for my 737 build.

Radar Control Panel Re-wire and update

This was the first Panel I built for my last Skyhawk sim… and was interfaced with a cheap game-pad, wired to the switches. It *did* work, not perfect but functional.  At some point last year the USB interface died, and left me without a radar. I have since mapped the radar controls to the RH DU as a temporary fix.

Tonight I pulled the Panel and disconnected the IO wiring, refreshed some of the switches, and completely rewired the panel to interface with *another* Leo Bodnar BBI32.

With its new more correct knobs fitted.

New wiring on the back. Now all positions of the switches are wired, all I have do is write some clever LUA scripts to make it all work!

And the finished product in place in the cockpit.

To do:

– Run the 2 CAT5 cables from the connections on the back of the panel to the BBI32.

– Write the LUA scripts

– Eventually… machine a new faceplate… the old one is showing it’s age!