8. August 2013 by Peter
Just spotted an error: All gauges are too big. They should only be 5cm wide.
I have drawn the overhead in Adobe Illustrator. I provide you with both the .ai-fild and pdf here. If you have Illustrator this gives you the option to edit the file before you print it. Otherwise use the pdf-file
Download the Illustrator-file here: Dropbox-link.
Download the pdf-file here: Dropbox-link.
Curent version 1.3
I added one more thing onto the list of unfinished projects: I have begun on the overhead.
The reason – I think – was because there is an add-on to Prosim737 that can play various soundclips depending on the status of the aircraft/flight (Like play a “This is your captain. Welcome on this flight to Munich. Bla bla…” after you enter EDDM as destination on the FMC.) And so I needed an overhead to trigger actions like APU start and engine start.
As the cockpit is on a budget for the time being (My wife has started her own company so income is a bit low these months) I can not afford the €500 for the complete pedestal from ProSimParts. And so I have found a cheaper alternative: A sticker!
So, my plan was to draw the entire overhead panel and print it on to a huge sticker and then stick/glue it on to a piece of plexiglass or Foamalux.
So I started drawing the overhead panel in Illustrator some months ago. My first plan was to make a single sticker sized 65×67 cm (or whatever the size of the FWD overhead is) but then I started thinking. Instead of all panels on a single sticker I should make each panel as a single sticker. So I gave each panel/part of the overhead a margin/bleed of 1 cm on each side. Furthermore I also made extra versions of all gauges and annunciators. More on that later. I ended up with a document that measured aprox. 95×115 cm.
I had a small company in Copenhagen print it on one single large/huge sticker. That only stood me in €35. A fair deal in my eyes.
It arrived today.
So each panel must be cut out from the sticker. I then use 5mm Foamalux as back plate. As I have mentioned before Foamalux is just so much easier to work with than plexiglass. As the sticker-solution not is fit for back lightning I went with Foamalux. The good thing about Foamalux is that it is so easy to cut holes for annunciators. All you need is a sharp knife. The picture to the right shows the cutout sticker and the Foamalux-plate with holes for annunciators later on.
Putting the two things is a bit tricky as all corners must meet and you also must ensure that no air is trapped under the sticker. That will leave bubbles.
I learned that the hard way after the first panel, the Air panel (to the left on the picture). There are a few small bubbles and I drilled the holes in the backplate before mounting it which resulted in all switches being 2 mm offset. It shows.
But apart from that is was very easy. Cut the Foamalux to measure. Apply the sticker, carefully drill holes for the switches and finally glue them (the switches) on the back.
It is an good idea to glue the switches so you don’t need the washer on the panels frontside.
Overall I am pretty happy with my solution. It is cheap and quick. But as you can see from the picture, it is just a sticker. So when you cut holes for the switches the plastic might get just a millimeter to wide or to short or tear a bit and that is clearly visible. So one must be very carefull.
Before I mounted the switched I cave eash panel 3-4 layers of matt finish / varnish. The sticker it self is glossy but the matt finish gives it a nice look and hopefully also helps protect it a bit.
And here is a small trick if you want to try this you self. Bend the sticker around the corners just after you have sprayed the finish/varnish on. That softens the plastic and so it is much easier to make a sharp bend.
Regarding the gauges and annunciators My plan is to use the extra gauge on my print as backplate and then cut away the annunciator that is on the panel right now. This will also give some depth to the gauge. And as gauges is very easy to set up in Prosim I might do a few of them.
The annunciators on the panel I also plan to cut out. Then I will cut plexiglass in 0.5 x 1 inch (Size of an annunciator) and wrap the extra annunciator-sticker around the plexiglass and then fit it over the hole and glue it from the back side. Hopefully that will create the illusion of mounted annunciators. Only problem is that I not am looking forward to cutting out 120 small pieces of plexiglass…