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y2kiah's A-10C cockpit build

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    #41
    Originally posted by pitbldr View Post
    Hey y2kiah,

    How are you determining the size of your panels? Do you have source for the actual dimensions?
    From official sources, all the panels are 5.75" base plate width, and the light plate I reduce by .05" on all four sides. For length, it is always a multiple of .375" (also the diameter of a DZUS screw. So the quickest way I determine a panel length is to eyeball how many DZUS would fit in the empty spaces.

    For some longer panels, this can be difficult, so I try to gather as many pictures from different sources as I can, and use the pixels to measure.
    Panel length = Height(px) / Width(px) * 5.75"
    Then round that to the nearest multiple of .375 and I usually have it. Sometimes, if the perspective on the source photo was bad, it will end up being short or long by 1 unit, but that becomes apparent when laying out the panel.

    This reminds me of something that bugged me for a while. I couldn't get my panel layout to match up with the DCS screen shots. I had the hardest time figuring out the length of the VHF Comm panel. It's so short that you would think it should be easy, but I was getting big discrepancies between source photos. I finally decided that the screen shots from DCS A-10C were the source of the error, I'm 99% sure that ED made those panels 1 unit too long. Because of this small error, it leads to a compounding error on the left console with the way panels align as you move backwards - so by the time you get to the last panel, it doesn't match up with its neighbor the way it does in the DCS screen shots. It's not a problem, just something I struggled through at first.

    If you haven't seen it yet, http://www.strandedduckling.com/ is a great source. http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/ also has some good photos of the A-10 cockpit.

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      #42
      Good work, y2kiah.

      I've started with the CDU panel on the right. The width of each unit is 146mm, just 0.5mm narrower than yours.

      Then I spoted the EWMS which is pretty interesting. It's probably the only VFD screen throughout the entire cockpit. If I have no luck finding a similar display, I might turn to 20X2 ASCII VFD components. Is it possible to find a picture with the display active? I'd like to see how it glows.

      Attached Files

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        #43
        Hi Alex, I think you have a good idea with the 20x2 VFD. It would be a lot cheaper than getting the dot matrix type LEDs, and will still look very good IMO. Photo-Etch makes the panel - at least it appears they do for simulation. Pics from their site:



        and another panel they make appears to use the same type of display, shown lit up here:

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          #44
          Thanks for that info! That will help tremedously in sizing my panels now!!

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            #45
            Thanks!
            @pitbldr: There are many documents to be had at www.everyspec.com. The attached document gives you the dimensions you are looking for.
            Attached Files
            I only respond to that little mechanical voice that says "Terrain! Terrain! Pull Up! Pull Up!"

            Who can say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
            -Robert Goddard

            "A hybrid. A car for enthusiasts of armpit hair and brown rice." -Jeremy Clarkson

            "I swear by my pretty floral bonet, I will end you." -Mal from Firefly

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              #46
              Originally posted by y2kiah View Post
              Hi Alex, I think you have a good idea with the 20x2 VFD. It would be a lot cheaper than getting the dot matrix type LEDs, and will still look very good IMO. Photo-Etch makes the panel - at least it appears they do for simulation.
              Hey thanks for the link, they've got some really nice stuff there. I guess I'll stick to my plan and utilize a character VFD module. It just takes the release of the sim for me to interface the hardware with the virtual aircraft.
              Last edited by Alex_rcpilot; 06-23-2010, 05:54 PM.

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                #47
                Thank you! Never referred to that site before. Very helpful!

                Originally posted by Avilator View Post
                Thanks!
                @pitbldr: There are many documents to be had at www.everyspec.com. The attached document gives you the dimensions you are looking for.

                Comment


                  #48
                  My pleasure
                  I only respond to that little mechanical voice that says "Terrain! Terrain! Pull Up! Pull Up!"

                  Who can say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
                  -Robert Goddard

                  "A hybrid. A car for enthusiasts of armpit hair and brown rice." -Jeremy Clarkson

                  "I swear by my pretty floral bonet, I will end you." -Mal from Firefly

                  Comment


                    #49
                    Originally posted by Alex_rcpilot View Post
                    Good work, y2kiah.

                    I've started with the CDU panel on the right. The width of each unit is 146mm, just 0.5mm narrower than yours.

                    Then I spoted the EWMS which is pretty interesting. It's probably the only VFD screen throughout the entire cockpit. If I have no luck finding a similar display, I might turn to 20X2 ASCII VFD components. Is it possible to find a picture with the display active? I'd like to see how it glows.

                    Had a bit of a look on Digikey, and assuming it is a dot matrix they appear to be very expensive. (Under "Display Modules - LED Character and Numeric")

                    EDIT: Around US$25 from Arrow for an 8 char, but I've no idea how you get two offset rows like that...
                    Last edited by obotNapalm; 06-23-2010, 09:43 PM.

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                      #50
                      Three more panels down on the left side

                      Comment


                        #51
                        Originally posted by obotNapalm View Post
                        Had a bit of a look on Digikey, and assuming it is a dot matrix they appear to be very expensive. (Under "Display Modules - LED Character and Numeric")

                        EDIT: Around US$25 from Arrow for an 8 char, but I've no idea how you get two offset rows like that...
                        I guess those are relatively dedicated LED's, they don't sell much of those and the price stays high.

                        Try to look for Vacuum fluorescent display(LED), or organic LED(OLED).

                        Like LCD, when refered to as "dot-matrix", it usually comes in no more than two solid display areas filled with uniform matrices of pixels.

                        On the other hand, alphanumeric display are quite like segmented display. Pixels are divided into individual groups, each with a number of pixels arranged in a pattern depending on the character they are capable of showing. Pixels may differ from each other in shape, and they are designed that way to make the characters look smooth and confortable.

                        In between, is characther display. It looks like alphanumeric display in character arrangment, as pixels also come in groups. But within each group, it looks just like a dot-matrix display which has uniform pixels.

                        I'm headed out to visit electronic stores, hopefully I may return with a character VFD in the right size.

                        Comment


                          #52
                          Hi, y2kiah. How do you manage to paint the yellow stripes with precision?
                          BTW, your software renders pretty well, it looks nice.

                          Comment


                            #53
                            Originally posted by Alex_rcpilot View Post
                            Hi, y2kiah. How do you manage to paint the yellow stripes with precision?
                            BTW, your software renders pretty well, it looks nice.
                            Thanks Alex, I use Sketchup. The yellow stripes took a lot of clicking, that's for sure... it didn't help that I ended up doing it all twice, but that's another story. I used intersecting lines, erasing parts outside of the stripes and painting the regions inside. It didn't take as long as it may appear though - Sketchup has a nifty keyboard shortcut for repeating an action X times. So, I would place a region then copy-move the lines x 20 to fill up a stripe in one shot. I've used other modeling tools like Blender, Milkshape, and some other freebees which are more powerful than Sketchup, but I tend to get bogged down in the polygon-oriented process of those tools.

                            Comment


                              #54
                              No probs. I use Solidworks. Default materials are limited, and I have to create texture to render my parts, which is also an overwhelming job.

                              Anyway, how do you plan to paint the stripes onto the actual acrylic panels?

                              Comment


                                #55
                                I was thinking about just stenciling them on. Would have to create the stencil first... maybe use some thick photo paper and cut with a razor. How were you thinking of doing it?

                                Comment


                                  #56
                                  Well, I'd vote for the latter - use some sort of hollow cut and spray paint. But it's also likely that I'll turn to some kind of factory for help. They manufacture panels and they have the right silk skin equipement. Allegedly it doesn't cost much, I'm gonna have more information when I come back. Gotta go.

                                  Comment


                                    #57
                                    I can't believe how freakn' awesome this is looking. Build two? One for free, please?
                                    sigpic
                                    How To Fix Your X-52's Rudder!

                                    Comment


                                      #58
                                      IFF Panel



                                      You may be wondering why I didn't include slots for the thumb wheels. That's because I bought these BCD switches instead.

                                      You also may be wondering why I'm bothering to make the IFF panel at all, because apparently it will not be simulated in DCS. I'm going to use it mainly for the civilian modes (3 A and C), because in FSX (and maybe XPlane) I will need some way to select the transponder code. I can also use the switches for another purpose, such as toggling miscellaneous simulator options.

                                      Comment


                                        #59
                                        [QUOTE=y2kiah;932380]
                                        You may be wondering why I didn't include slots for the thumb wheels. That's because I bought these BCD switches instead.
                                        QUOTE]

                                        These only go 0 to 7. Is that enough for this application?

                                        Cheers,
                                        Colin

                                        Comment


                                          #60
                                          I was thinking about these type of thumb and scroll selectors recently and was wondering whether it could actually be better to have them as digital systems. Ie use a 7 segment display, and two momentary push button switches. That way you can easily have your electronics reset them to default at game-start. I'm not sure whether mission designers can code in the frequencies for radios etc and the game can pass those out on LUA?

                                          Just my 2 cents

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