29 April 2014

Why do you build a cockpit

A question by an amused bystander, "Why would you build a home cockpit".

Answer by Baldrick, "Because, I can".

Baldrick, is another Rhino pit builder on 'Hornet Pit Builders' Forums, and is half way through an exemplary home pit build. I find the aforementioned quote by Baldrick, very simple, plain-speak, unassuming and truthful.

Over a period of last one year, I have been asked this very question by many friends and family, most of who (I'm sure) thought I had crossed over to the other side (of sanity). :)

Anyways, after a hectic weekend of trying to complete my pit, I wanted to complete the minor tidbits still left over in annunciator wiring. As luck would have it, I got delayed at work. Not to waste what little time I had today, I thought, I might as well calibrate my touch screen UFCP and other in-cockit displays. 

Was quite content with how it panned out, eventually. 

My digital camera is mostly in my daughter's custody, and I can never get my hands to it, when I need it in a hurry. So, most of my pictures get taken on my phone. The picture I took today, in less than ideal light, was not much to look at. So dabbed a bit with photobucket photo editing tools also. Just for fun. 

The real Rhino pit has spring loaded, two-position, clickable switches for HDG/CRS selectors. I had always thought that a rotary knob (a.k.a Altimeter Increment/Decrement Knob) to be a more ergonomic alternative. Don't mean to be rude to the folks at Boeing, but, I chose to make this modification in my pit. I embedded two 8 bit rotary encoders to drive the Heading and Course selector knobs on the EFD. 

Did a 4 point calibration and 25 point linearization on the touch screen of the UFCP (will post a video of the same sometime later), and now it works like a charm.

Spent an enjoyable half hour positioning all the 2D gauges. 

Am using the 'Panel Position' tool available on Avsim to position the undocked 2D panels across multiple monitors. It's an awesome tool. Instead of using the GUI method (physically dragging the panels across), I found that it's best to get into the config file and manually edit the values to derive a precise control over position of each panel. One can control the starting coordinates and height/width of each panel upto a pixel. Awesome!!!

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