Sunday, 16 September 2012

Engine start panel

On the way to the airfield we stopped at Maplin and I picked up some rotary switches and knobs for the engine start panel.

Back home I cut out the overhead panel and made a couple of 7.25" x 2" switch panels to fit to it. My hand sawing is improving but the edges are nowhere near as straight as I'd like. I'll need to think of a better way of doing this, particularly as I need to add text to the panels. One thing at a time though.

I drilled out the engine start panels and fixed the two rotary switches for selecting mags on left and rght engines, and a momentary toggle switch as a starter for both.

While Kerry was watching Downton Abbey I wired up the starter and left engine rotary to my Leo Bodnar card, and hurried up to the attic like a kid at Christmas to test it. I love starting the engines this way.

I sat in a Beech Baron 58, looking at the virtual version of the table I'd had lunch at earlier, and clicked the left engine switch round to BOTH. Then I looked over at the engine and clicked the starter. The prop span and the engine burst into life with a satisfying roar and a cloud of exhaust fumes. It's the little things :)

So the switches worked fine, another testament to the excellent BU0836X card. The only problem was that I hadn't wired up the OFF position on the rotary switch. I found that this caused problems when switching mags, going from OFF to R, then BOTH, missing R. This makes sense when you think about it. With the toggle switches on the lighting panel I saved one precious BU0836X input on each switch by assigning each light's toggle function to fire when the switch was ON, and when it was released (see below). You can't do this with a rotary switch as then each position is released FSUIPC doesn't know which direction it's going in.

I'll grab a screenshot showing this.

It's an easy fix though; just wire up the OFF position. It just means I have to use up another input on the  BU0836X card. I saw something about using the card's hat switch for rotary switches, although that may have been rotary encoders. I'll check it out and see if I canuse that instead, as 2 rotary switches with 4 positions (OFF, R, L and BOTH) on each will take 8 of my 32 inputs (my maths is good.)

I'll try to do a post explaining how I wired the rotary switches.

Anyway, that's a job for tomorrow night.

No comments:

Post a Comment