Sunday, 23 December 2012

The game gets seriuos

Another step on my project.

We begin to realize our first instrument panel: the upper part of the main panel.

Here is it...beautiful, isn't it?:

Just placed over the its definitive position

In this panel will be placed the 3 saitek panel. In order:

- Switch Panel
- Radio Panel
- Multi Panel

Then buttons and leds will be added.

The indicators which will be lighst up by leds:

Now assembly test:

Saitek Panel and indicators:

Added red and green buttons, with internal led:

For now I connected just saitek panels; with the help of two monitor I made my first test:

That's all fine. Now I have to connect all the buttons and leds to the interface cards.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Building the base

Second appointment...base assembling.

Here there are some shota of base panel:

And this is the final result with base and upper panel all together...

Next step will be the "tunnel".

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Upper panel assembling

Thanks to Piero and after a cup of coffee and a couple of cakes :) we began to assemble the wooden structure.

We started with the upper panel...this is a shot of the first screw :)

Step by step...screw after screw:

Upper panel completed...obviously without panels and instruments:

Next step will be the base...stay tuned

Saturday, 6 October 2012


In the end, the time to build the wooden structure has arrived.

I've got the material:

I drew all single pieces on the wooden plate. Now it's time to slice :)

It's a beautiful day and so I took all the tools in the garden and started to work.

Slice after slice, the pieces take shape

Here they are:

I took back all the tools inside the house and planned to assemble all the pieces with the help of an expert :)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The definitive design...I hope!

Finally I arrived at the end of the design of my Home Cockpit Learjet 45.

Logical schema of components is the following one:

click here to enlarge

This is the main PC where flight sim runs.

FSX Modules:

- Microsoft Flight Simulator X Gold Edition;
- FSUIPC: for the communication between sim and interface card;
- WideFS server module for interfacing the glass cockpit;
- IVAP server module for the integration in the IVAO world;

USB Interfaces:

- SAITEK panels:

** Yoke System with Throttle quadrant

** Multi Panel

** Radio Panel

** Switch Panel

** Rudder Pedals

- USB Keyboard Interface for interfacing push-buttons and switches;

- OpenCockpits USBOutput Interface card to manage leds;

LAN adapters:

- Network adapter: for network communications to internet and PC2


- 2 video adapter with double video output for each one;
- 4 monitor LCD WideScreen used with the software SoftTh to manage external views;

PC2 - Glass Cockpit and IVAP Client
PC to manage glass cockpit and IVAO services.

Modules and software
- WideClient: interface to the sim;
- GLASS COCKPIT: software FREEFD and Dave Ault's software - thanks Dave -
- IVAP Client: integration with IVAO services.

USB interfaces:

- USB Keyboard Interface to manage buttons for glass cockpit;
- Mic and phones: for IVAP radio communications;

LAN adapters:

- Network adapter: for network communications to internet and PC1;


- 2 monitor LCD 4:3: used for glass cockpit;

Visual System

This is the system which is changed from the initial idea, based on a projector. The definitive version instead has 4 wide screen monitor for external views. I chose this solution because a single projector take a big view (and this is positive) but this view is almost sensation to be there. While 4 monitors offer a 135° FOV which is more realistic and immersive.

The monitors are controlled by PC1, where sim runs. PC1 own two video adapter, each one with 2 video output. By this way PC1 has an horizontal resolution resulting from the sum of the resolution of single monitor.

This is possible thanks to a fantastic freeware software called SoftTh.

I made some tests with 3 monitor and two video adapter and it works quite good.

Physical structure and panels

This is the last version (I hope also the definitive one) of 3D model:

I made only litte changes regarding the previous one.

These are panels:



Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Buttons and leds test

Finally on August I could have much time to continue my project.

I tested push-buttons linked to the input and output interfaces.

I mapped buttons to the left and right engine start commands; so I was able to start up the Learjet using these buttons.

Here is the video:

I also tested leds indicator for flap positions.

Here is the secondo video:

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Test objects arrived

Finally, after so much time, China push-buttons arrived :)

Here they are:

In particular:

They are push-button with internal led.

In the meantime, the wood that will be used to build the structure has arrived.

Now, I have no more excuses...

Soon, the tests...

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Some design...

After a little pause, due to no free time, finally I was able to write down some design...

It's time to think to the physical structure of the cockpit.

Taking inspiration (I'd say copying...) from the omnipresent Dave (
and getting help from Piero, I defined the definitive (mah!) structure of the "thing".

I used Google SketchUp for 3D modelling and designing.

This is my target:

The system is made-up of two main blocks:

- the "main panel": frontal part;
- the "pedestal": the lower part of the cockpit with central tunnel;

In the main panel

there will be, in the upper part, 3 SAITEK panels:

- switch panel;
- radio panel;
- autopilot panel;

These panels contains the main commands of the sim.

- under the switch panel I'll set up leds for the lights notifications (because they miss in saitek panels);
- under the radio panel I'll set up push-buttons for the management of morse codes;
- under autopilot panel there will be a rudimental "MCP Panel" which contains the Markers (OM, MM, IM), buttons for the altimeter management, the flight director and the master caution;
- near the autopilot panel I'll set up leds for flap position, because the saitek panel lacks them;

In the lower part of main panel there will be glass cockpit; but I didn't think about it.

In the Pedestal

there will be:

- the pedals, just under the main panel;
- throttle, mixture and spoiler levers;
- the startup panel;
- the general panel;

In particular, the startup panel

and the general panel

Now I have to decided where the yoke will be placed.