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The Start of a new sim build Era

I recently realized that it has been a while since my last blog post. This is mainly because I have been sharing my ideas with the sim community on Patreon to get their feedback and perfect them.


As you can tell from the title of this post, I have become obsessed with creating panels that cater to all levels of expertise and budget. I am striving to create a product that is accessible to everyone, regardless of their skill level. I have been exploring the world of PCBs, in combination with 3D printing and other manufacturing processes, which allows me to create components like never before.


Below are some of the PCBs that I have created for the 737SS:


I've had PCBs in the shop for a while, and while most people could get away with soldering the components on, I received hundreds of emails and discord requests from people saying that a part didn't work or they had damaged the PCB tracks while soldering. This led me to move away from entirely through-hole soldering solutions and to fully pre-soldered SMD components with only the bare minimum components requiring through-hole soldering.


Introducing my latest and most comprehensive design to date, the VHF NAV panel.


The version you can see is for the FS weekend presentation, but it does demonstrate the new connection method I'm using for the 737SS sim panels moving forward.


I love how easy and cheap these RJ45 sockets and plugs are. Combine these with the white standard cabling from most real aircraft, and we have looms that look great and connectors that are cheap and visually appealing. Real aircraft Canon plugs are just not an option due to their high cost. Even as a 30-year engineer in the trade, with hundreds of them around his house, no one else could ever afford to buy them or the associated crimp tooling.


Each panel will have these RJ45 plugs and sockets coming from the rear. I have included a couple of photos of the new panel below.



These new designs are available in the webshop now, as the PCB has become an integral part of this panel, it is necessary to complete the design. However, I understand that this may increase the cost for some people. To address this issue, please note that there is already a version available on the website that does not require a PCB. Additionally, to offset the additional cost, the 3D print files can now be downloaded for free.


Along with this new design, it's the first design where you can buy all the parts in one DIY kit to create this excellent panel at home as soon as it arrives. This means that all the parts you receive are guaranteed to fit and be the exact ones I used.


Most of the new 737SS panels will be in this format (hopefully). Along with the new RJ45 connectors to panels, the idea is that these looms get connected to the new interface board I created. This is not essential in any way! But I created this next board based on my own requirements for the 737SS. I don't like those spring wire connectors on Leobodnar boards or other interface boards. I also hate those cheap screw terminal connectors that are pretty much useless. This is why I opted for the robust 5.08mm detachable screw connectors.



Each board is designed to be used with Mobiflight and provides 64 input and 32 output pins in addition to the pins already available on the Arduino Mega. I chose to use the Arduino Mega Pro as the connecting device because of its size and cost-effectiveness in comparison to its larger counterpart, the standard Mega.


Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year in advance for 2024!

Best regards,

Karl.







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8 comentários


Steve Morris
Steve Morris
06 de jan.

Absolutely awesome again Karl. Just wondered are you still going to provide wiring diagrams for components for those of us that may not be able to afford these fantastic pcbs? Wish I was not having to ask questions like this but sometimes finances dictate more than we need.

Curtir

have not seen the 737SS boards in the store yet. Pricing? and will you have module kits plug n play like the radios or panels.I may be over my head thinking of this project, now being disabled,. plug n play modules would make this dream a reality.

Curtir

These look awesome using the rj45 connectors on like the radios ,but . why not use the rj45 connectors on the interface boards? and use standard CAT5 cables instead of making wiring harnesses? we do this in building radio studios called studio hub..I figure its easier plug to plug. less chance of a bad termination... just my thoughts

Curtir

Jan van Grafhorst
Jan van Grafhorst
28 de dez. de 2023

This looks awesome can’t wait to apply this in my dual seat build

Curtir

Dan Tican
Dan Tican
24 de dez. de 2023

Karl you are truly a brilliant man. Thanks for everything you do for our community.


I will definately be purchasing your PCBs as they come out. I'm curious if, when time allows, you could create a video detailing the process of integrating these components into the final boards. Specifically, I'm interested in understanding how many USB wires can be connected to a computer and whether hubs are necessary, and if so, roughly how many. I've come across information suggesting that some individuals employ two computers for optimal functionality. Could you shed light on how this is achieved? Additionally, I'd like to learn about the best practices for connecting backlighting and ensuring the safety of all plugins in a household setting.


Curtir
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