Rework of the pedestal

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14. February 2020 by Peter

The Pedestal was one of the forst things I builded for the cockpit. So I guess it is some 6 years old by now. I gave it a small overhaul last month and this is some of my takes on why.

Pedestal out for rework in the living room (Cockpit next door)

Additional interfacecards

I bought additional interface cards for my pedestal last fall. Before I had one OpenCockpits MasterCard in the pedestal connected with a very long parallel cable to an OpenCockpits ExpansionCard in the MIP. With this addition the Pedestal has its own ExpansionCard and two MasterCards.

So by Christmas it was time to do some rework on the Pedestal. Installing those additional interface cards. I placed a MasterCard on each side in the pedestal bay in a hope to separate the wires a bit.

One row of interface cards. Opposite there is a similar row.

The pedestal is always a mess in wires. Each block of 7-segment displays needs at least 13 wires. 13 wires times 13 displays. That is a lot of wires going to the interface card.

It came out pretty good. I bundled the wires and had them installed in each if the MasterCards.

An OpenCockpits Mastercard is limited to 4 DisplayCards. You need 5 for the entire pedestal. But as this point I only have 4 available. So my COM2 radio – which I never use has mirrored displays (The two banks show the same frequency).

Better power management

I have had power issues earlier. My 7-segment displays blanked out when too much power was used (Too many LEDs on). I guess the voltage dropped below a minimum. That is why I installed a separate 5v power supply in the pedestal. Turned on everything ad adjusted the voltage to 5.2 v. There is a small yellow screw in the power supply that you can turn to adjust the voltage. It is s good idea to check that.

Rails for panels

When I made the pedestal 6 years ago I looked for some aluminium rails that would give me stability. I choose H-shaped rails. 2 for each section and the one across in the top and one in the bottom. Now it turns out they are too wide for must panels. So I have been looking for an alternative.

Dzus-rails are impossible to find. You could go ahead and 3d-print them. But my printer is limited to 25 cm across. So the ‘stability vs weight’ would become an issue.

If I should rebuild the entire Pedestal I would go for L-shaped aluminimum rails. Maximum width 9 mm / 0.35 inch. Because then you can fit an OEM-panel later on.

My H-shaped rails were too wide. So I ended up starting the multicutter and cut the half of the H away to fit an OEM panel.

OEM-panel clashed with my H-rails.


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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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