Reworking panels on the overhead

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22. May 2019 by Peter

One of my most viewed youtube videos is the one about the overhead. It is about 5 years old and has close to half a million views!!! Nearly half a million! I am so amazed.

So most of the comments on that video is just positive feedback. Some ask if I sell it – which I do not. It is merely what I made for my self that I share. However a few comments replied on the horrible quality of the overhead in that video. Of course I know they are right. It does not have the quality of the panels you buy. But on the other hand you get the file for free. However a few of those negative comments actually got me… Why? Well because the panel in the video is a mock up. And if you put some effort in to it you can make them look quite good.

So over the last week I have reworked my fuelpanel. It was in a horrible state. No gauge, some of the wires had come loose and the back was in no way organised. So what I have done is:

  • The panel / the plate is the same.
  • I bought some locking toggle switches . They were about €2 each.
  • I printed 13 annunciator boxes on my 3d-printer.
  • New annunciators have been made with the extra set of annunciators supplied with the overhead files.
  • Annunciators has two states: bright and dimmed.
  • Gauge installed, and I have ordered a camera uv-filter that will be my cover / Front glass.
  • Caps for the switches will be made from a plastic rod and craft pearls.
  • I might also 3d-print a cross feed knob
  • A total rewiring with as little soldering as possible. All switches now uses female spades.
  • I 3d-printed a back cover / enclosure box.

Notice how the back looks. I really did put an effort in to cable management – and it payed off. I have used something like 15-20 wire strips. But this looks good. The switches and LEDs are connected with db9 and db25 plugs. Further more I 3d printed an box to mount the plugs in and enclose the panel. That way I prevent things coming loose.

The blue annunciators are dual stage. They can be bright or dimmed. This is done via a 270 ohm resistor. So the LED has two power wires attached. One for bright and one dimmed with the resistor attached. Remember to add diodes to both wires to prevent “back flow” of the signal to the other wire. But it turns out that Prosim is using another logic for dim/bright annunciators. Prosim uses ond pin and software.

Another thing I did was to mount the toggle switches on a back plate instead of directly on the overhead plate. I drilled a 12 mm hole in the overhead for each switch and then mounted them on a piece of plastic behind the overhead piece. This give a nice 3d effect to the overhead and the nuts from the switches are not that visible making it look more realistic.

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