Cheap gauge


1. February 2014 by Peter

Okay, so this is my take on how you can make your own gauges. The cost is under under $10.

If a picture says more than a thousand words then I guess a video says more than a thousand pictures, or?

I few things I would like to point out as you watch the video:

Servos only turn 180 degrees. So in order to make it turn more (normally you need 270 degrees on a gauge) you need gears with a ratio.

The gears I use are pretty thin (Only a few mm’s high). So I need to make sure they stay in place. Therefore I use a 5mm spacer to minimize the space the room for gears to move in. Together with the extra “spacer” (The white “hill” in the video) the gears should be in place.

I use a 20mm spacer to get some distance from the gauge to the servo engine. This should add to stability. Furthermore the more layers the more stable. Therefore I have two layers of plexiglas at the end. Also make sure you place the gears in a way, so the shaft not can move forward/backwards. If you have this problem you might want to an extra gear/disc on the shaft (Next to the plexiglas) with the only function to hold the shaft in place. The additional gear then only work as a disc and not a gear. In worst case glue a disc/gear on each side of the plexiglas.

For this gauge I have used my own overhead print. But you can of course use gauges from OpenCockpits or other vendors. Or you can draw your own and print it.

I installed this gauge on Foamalux. But in fact it would have been better to stick it on plexiglas so you can backlight it.

For this gauge I have used the following:


11 thoughts on “Cheap gauge

  1. Jet Vector says:

    I like your idea of using cheap materials to build a gauge. I never thought of that. Where did you get the plans for the gauge? Thank you

  2. […] The gauges are all the same behind the foil. They are build using the same principe as I described in this video. […]

  3. Jorge says:

    Thanks Peter I found the shopping list I needed to make the gauges here, awesome tutorials.

  4. Samuel says:

    Hi Peter! I’m just wondering if you have any suggestions for me to find a shaft. thanks!

  5. Mark Freaney says:

    Hi Peter

    could you please tell me where do you get the gears from – the ones linking the shaft and the servo motor – Thank you.

    Best regards


    • Peter says:

      Hi Mark.
      They are from eBay. I bought a bag with 59 plastic gears for a few dollars.
      Best regards Peter

      • Mark Freaney says:

        Hi Peter
        Thank you – hope you had a great time in Egypt – its been wet and windy here in Wales.
        best regards Mark

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About BuildaBoeing

My name is Peter and I live in Denmark.
I am building the cockpit of a Boeing 737 in my basement using my limited skills and inspiration from fellow builders.
I post my progress on this blog and hope it can be an inspiration to others.

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