More Comms work

Another evening of experiments and testing.  I now have a rough “fold back” happening in the Skyhawk so that pilot and instructor can talk on open mics, then by activating a push to talk (from either cockpit) both mics transmit to the other sims via TeamTalk.


Now we have pilot and instructor in the Skyhawk, pilot in the Arrow, and the Laptop upstairs in the ManCave…

TeamTalk v5 is an awesome, light weight VOIP/Conferencing package which works really well, and has features which really work for my sims!

BearWare – Home of TeamTalk

Comms system check

Nathan and I spent some time this afternoon repairing, configuring and testing headsets and helmets in the Arrow and Skyhawk sims. The Skyhawk pilots helmet needed a bit of rewiring and re-soldering, but is now working well.   Sadly my GA headset adapter didn’t work, only providing a “buzz” when the mic was touched. Swapped the headset and adapter out with my old faithful PC headset and it all worked beautifully.

Final testing was successful, with Skyhawk pilot and instructor as well as the Arrow pilot all being able to communicate well.  Nathan and I went flying and tested the system in “action” 🙂


The helmet also got some TLC and a clean, and had the visor cover removed.  Without the cover it looks a bit like an Alpha, so maybe it will stay like that… not sure

Skyhawk Compass and Clock

Fabricated out of styrene sheet and acrylic offcuts, with laser printed graphics stuck on.   These are only dummies for now, but the clock will work…. I have a clock mechanism on it’s way from China.  The clock will be literally “just a clock”, not linked to the sim, and without a stopwatch function.  At least I’ll know what the real time is 😉

A little sunrise mission

It was a nice evening for a quick anti-shipping mission.  HMNZS Canterbury was once again the prey, and as ever the weather was her friend.  I would really like a radar in the Skyhawk which would show stationary targets….   Visual searches are so hit-and-miss!

The A-4 prevailed in the end 😉

In the beginning

“Timehop” popped up this memory today…


That was day 2 of the frame build, on the original layout bench used for the 737 development at work. So much history in this photo 🙂

Delivery!

I love it when little packages arrive from Aliexpress!  Small parcels of goodness…


Looks like a lot, but is *mostly* packaging.   I still can’t figure how they make money out of this stuff, but then, I’m not complaining.


Plenty here to keep me going till the rest turns up 😉

iBNet Work

Last night I was working on getting iBNet to show “effects” properly across the multiplayer session….  to no avail…   More work needed 🙁

So, after some configuring and restarts of sims, I figured I needed to get both aircraft in the same location to test… The Skyhawk was at Ohakea, while the Arrow was at Rangitaiki….  Cue an excuse for a couple of flights, which turned into a bit more than a couple 😉

1 – Skyhawk to Rangitaiki, buzzed the Arrow, then headed to Taupo and landed…
2 – Arrow from Rangitaiki to Taupo… Buzzed the Skyhawk then landed.
3 – Arrow Taupo to Napier
4 – Skyhawk Taupo to Napier, joined on the Arrow for some formation practice enroute….

Ready for Departure in Taupo

Together in Taupo

Formation enroute to Napier

Formation

Dusk arrival in Napier

Landing at Napier

And finally the Arrow arrives in Napier

Arrow Arrival

Not successful from a technical perspective, but a really great evening of flying…  More work required on the “effects” stuff for iBNet, but when I get it working it will be awesome!  It will let other players see things like the guns firing, and bombs dropping from the Skyhawk, and WP Rockets firing from the Arrow, when working as a FAC 😉

New CAD Project

Tonight’s project is the ARC-159 UHF Radio. I built the current one some years ago, using “ACCIS”, the original sim interface by Stuart Whelan. The encoders have never really worked properly, but the 7 segment displays are still going well after 15+ years!

Initial design was done years ago in Corel Draw 4….  Now thanks to the wonders of Fusion 360, converting the original drawings into a 3D model, and preparing for machining is easy!

And now… for the original panel…

This was made so long ago…  best guess would be 2002 or 3?   Back plate is aluminium, cut and drilled using a paper template taped to the surface. The faceplate is 5mm MDF, cut and drilled in the same manner, then a laser printed paper drawing glued to the surface.  It actually looks ok, until the paper starts to wear 🙂
I will keep the digits, which are driven by ACCIS, (current version was written in 2003!) as they work fine, but the encoders will be wired to a BBI32 along with all the inputs currently handled by ACCIS.

Flight Testing

Tonight was spent testing some AFCS mods, aiming on making the autopilot more responsive, and to test the the “phantom” auto-throttle issue was resolved.
The first part of the flight: Testing the AFCS tuning went well, with the aircraft being much more responsive and predictable.  But it showed a problem with the AFCS mode switching, and the auto-throttle issue reappeared.  The good thing about the autothrottle issue was that I proved that it was not related to the HUD/UFC software as I had previously suspected.  After figuring what had caused the issue I was able to disable the autothrottle and land safely.

I have to re-think my AFCS implementation.  At the moment I am using MobiFlight for all my autopilot functions, I may end up shifting the mode switches to a BBI32, and driving the switches directly from FSUIPC.