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Author Topic: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP  (Read 3237 times)

Offline redman

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Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« on: December 30, 2018, 07:57:12 AM »
Hi everyone!

To begin with, I’d like to say I’m a new member to this forum. I joined this community since I was inspired by the magnificent jobs you guys are doing with your home simulators.

Last month I started building my first “real” home cockpit. I have the Saitek yoke and pedals, as well as the Saitek radio panel, switch panel and multi panel. I also use two iPads together with Air Manager to display the flight instruments.
A couple of weeks ago I purchased the Reality XP GTN 650 and 750 with an intention of having them displayed on a touch screen. However, my end goal is to build bezels for the software just as some of you have done.

Thus, I'm writing to kindly ask if you could briefly lead me through the process of building your own GTN bezels with the functional knobs and buttons. Maybe you know of any links to websites with the 3D printing files? For now, I’ve found these two projects:

https://grabcad.com/library/garmin-gtn-650

https://grabcad.com/library/garmin-gtn-750-aircraft-navigation-1

Perhaps there’s something better out there?

Also, are there any particular touch displays would you recommend for the bezels?

Finally, once I have the bezel printed and purchase the appropriate touch display, how do I get the knobs and buttons to work? Arduino/Raspberry Pi? By work I mean the dual rotary encoder, a working direct and home button etc…

I would really appreciate it if you could help me get started!

Mike

Offline Trevor Hale

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 11:07:57 AM »
Depending on your chosen Simulator platform (X-Plane or FSX/P3D) you can do this cheaply with Arduino and a lot of Practice.
For just simple knobs, I suggest something like a LEO Bodnar Board as it just works as 32 Button Interface and you can assign the buttons in X-Plane or FSUIPC.
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Offline KyleH

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Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2019, 04:50:20 PM »
Here's one ready to go:

https://realsimgear.com/collections/all/products/realsimgear-gtn750-bezel-for-x-plane-and-p3d

Thank you for the link Kyle. I know RealSimGear, I've bought their GNS 430 recently. However, regarding the GTNs, I'd like to try and make them myself instead of spending $500... I assume the costs should be lower.

Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2019, 05:35:40 PM »
Trevor, I'm using X-Plane 11. The GTN 750 has only 2 buttons and 2 knobs, the same goes for the 650. Thus, hopefully it shouldn't be that complicated or am I mistaken? Nevertheless, I'm a rookie when it comes to designing bezel instruments and programing so any suggestions whatsoever would be helpful and appreciated. Which LEO Bodnar board in particular do you recommend?
Also, are the following files from grabcad.com a good choice for printing the bezels or do you know of any better alternatives?
https://grabcad.com/library/garmin-gtn-750-aircraft-navigation-1
https://grabcad.com/library/garmin-gtn-650
I've seen some users have already undergone this project, although I couldn't find any details on how they did it. I found the GTN 750 bezels in the following topic: http://www.cockpitbuilders.com/community/index.php?topic=6891.msg50804#msg50804

« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 05:37:37 PM by redman »

Offline Trevor Hale

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 06:01:52 PM »
They Probably cut it using a CNC Machine, Hard to say, but I doubt that could be 3d Printed.
The Bodnar board you probably would want would be this...
http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=94&products_id=180&zenid=7cb63bca1b32b9e751a935e31cc0a9aa
Will do the buttons and Encoders, and give you spares for other things like Landing gear or light switches.
Thats the easy part,  Getting someone to cut the panel on a CNC might be a little trickier.
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Offline jackpilot

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2019, 09:04:15 AM »
Franck will do it....contact   https://www.homecockpits.fr/en/


Jack

Offline Trooping

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2019, 09:47:35 AM »
Michael,

Sorry buddy I got your PM but Ive been away over the Christmas break.

Regarding the GTN750 bezels, I made mine entirely out of 1/8 and 1/4 inch MDF.  Cost about $10 for both sheets, $15 for the bodnar dual rotary encoder and probably about 10 cents for the momentary switches ( bought a batch of 100 off ebay ).  The switch's work perfectly with the Reality XP software and on Xplane 11.  So yes, you can make them for next to nothing, however the touch screen will cost a bit.  Im using an 18 inch Acer touchscreen behind mine, but thats because I use 2 GTNs side by side.  My touchscreen I bought off Craigslist ( used items for sale here in the US), it cost me $90.  Removed the plastic bezel off it and mounted it behind my MIP.

Hard to explain in words how I made it, and stupidly I did not take any pictures when I did so I cant really provide any visual references.  But I will try...

Just imagine the bezels to be almost like a small picture frame, with each side having a 45 degree slope on it.  I made each side with 3 layers, 1/4 on the bottom so it sits flush on the back of my MIP and the monitor,  1/8 inch for the middle ( which provides the outside frame ) and then another 1/4 that goes on top of the 1/8 inch but is cut to provide the hand grips on both sides. 

Each "layer" was cut on a 45 degree angle on a table saw, so when you glue each layer together it creates a seamless 45 degree angle that is almost 0.75 inch high.  Make 4 sides ( like a picture frame ) and join together.  You will have to cut the top layer in the shape of the and grips with a jigsaw and sand down to get a nice smooth curved shape.  The middle 1/8 layer remains square

Then drill out the rear hole for the rotary encoder with a forstner bit to create the pocket for the main bulk of the switch to sit in, and use a regular drill bit to drill the rest of the hole to put the shaft through.  My HOME and DIRECT TO switches are round ( not square ) so you just need to drill an normal hole and then glue the tactile switch in.

Hand sand and fill and little cracks/crevices to get a nice smooth finish.  Spray paint about 10 times ( you only need the $1 cans of black spray paint from Home Depot or whatever your equivalent is in Poland ) , then a top coat of matt clear and they come out really nice.

Like I said, I tried to explain it.  I will take a few close up pictures of mine to show you better, but they are now glued into my sim so it wont be much detail unfortunately.  I will PM you a hand drawn side view section to better explain.  Sounds complicated, but its really not.  In fact very easy and low cost and came out great in my opinion.

Joe.


Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 03:01:33 PM »
Hi Joe,

You could 3D print it. In the link you posted it has the .stl files, but it'd need too be edited for 3D printing. You could ask Joe Lavery to do it, he might charge a fee, but if he is willing to make the changes, I would print it out for you. My cost is a roll a filament, plus shipping to send items (total for items and shipping is $50-$100 range depending on where you live in the world). I cannot speak Joe, so PM him...

John
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 03:02:46 PM by blueskydriver »
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Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2019, 01:37:59 PM »
Thank you for the input guys! Your comments are very useful.

Trevor, do you happen to know if the Bodnar board will also support Air Manager just like Arduino does? After I connect the knobs and buttons of the GTN It'd be nice to have some spares for a future project, that is the Air Manager Aspen EFD1000: https://siminnovations.com/wiki/index.php?title=Aspen_EFD1000
That's two more rotary encoders (single ones) and a few momentary switches. But that's something for the future... :)
Anyway, I was wondering if there are any significant differences between the Arduino and Bodnar. Is the functionality basically the same or is the Arduino a more complex device, thus making it more difficult to set up for a beginner like me?

Joe, thank you for getting back to me and being so thorough. I gotta say I'm impressed with your ideas for the GTN project! :D I'd never guess your bezels are made out of MDF. If the 3D printer option won't work out I'll try and do the same. $15 is a good deal for the bodnar dual rotary encoder! cause now they stay for $29 per unit plus $7 for the knob. I found a different encoder which has good reviews - the propwashsim dual concentric encoder, it $12 (knobs included): https://www.propwashsim.com/node/15
I forgot to ask you what device you're using so that X-Plane can see the rotary encoder, home and direct buttons, is it Arduino or something else? If you have the time please do PM me some pictures and possibly the hand drawn side view section.

John, Jack thanks for the info!

BTW, it seems that the projects behind the grabcad links I posted earlier are mockups. However I've found a different bezel which should work:
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3234204
That's the GTN 750 stl file. I couldn't find the 650. However, since the difference between the two bezels is basically the hight, I thought that perhaps the 750 could be rescaled to make it look like the 650, what do you think? Does anyone have the software and knowhow to change the hight? The 3D bezel is 159mm in width and 147,3mm (the original Garmin is 152mm) while the Garmin GTN 650 is 159mm in width and 67mm in hight.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 01:51:41 PM by redman »

Offline _alioth_

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2019, 02:03:36 PM »
Anyway, I was wondering if there are any significant differences between the Arduino and Bodnar. Is the functionality basically the same or is the Arduino a more complex device, thus making it more difficult to set up for a beginner like me?

Leobodnar is a joystick, where you can add the buttons, axis, encoders, that you need. So, If you use a software where you can assign functions to joysticks, it will work. This is not the case of air manager Aspen.

Arduino is a more complex thing. Some arduinos can work as a joystick too, but it is not the main thing, and you have to program them in C lenguage to get this. Air manager has arduino support (mega, uno and nano), so you can configure aspen with one of this arduinos.
But arduino alone, without any software can be used as a brain, that receives data from simulator, and do things, even drive real gauges, and send data to simulator again.

I design an 3d printed my gtn750 bezel. Mine works with stand alone software from  flight1tech (not flight1, but flight1tech). This stand alone software runs in a mini pc inside the cockpit. This gtn750 interface with key comands. I programed an arduino micro to read the buttons and encoders and send those key commands.

The mini pc runs air manager too. To run the engine monitor, which has 5 buttons for its functions (display diferent data, mixture setup tool, add fuel to tanks...) and there is an arduino nano linked to air manager to read these buttons. You don't have to program arduino in this case, but only the air manager gauge sketch.



Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2019, 02:16:34 PM »
Hi Michael,

Since this is on Thingiverse, it’d be simple enough for me to download the file and change the size to the GTN 650. I could do it in Simplify3D, then send you the .stl file for someone you might know and who is closer to you, to print it.

If you want me to print it, I need to know the color you want, then I’d get the cost for the roll of filament, have you pay for it or you just send me the PayPal payment. Afterwards, I’d print it out and ship it with you paying for shipping costs upfront.

Sadly, it’s the shipping prices that makes everything higher in overall costs, and with you being in Warsaw, it’d be high...like $50 US range or thereabouts.

Let me know if you want my help,

John
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Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2019, 04:20:10 PM »
Leobodnar is a joystick, where you can add the buttons, axis, encoders, that you need. So, If you use a software where you can assign functions to joysticks, it will work. This is not the case of air manager Aspen.

In case of the Reality XP the Leobodnar is enough to run the dual rotary encoders and buttons and it doesn't require any programing. An alternative is an arduino micro but it needs to be programmed. Did I get it right? :)

I design an 3d printed my gtn750 bezel. Mine works with stand alone software from  flight1tech (not flight1, but flight1tech). This stand alone software runs in a mini pc inside the cockpit. This gtn750 interface with key comands. I programed an arduino micro to read the buttons and encoders and send those key commands.

So by mini pc you probably mean a Raspberry Pi?
 
The mini pc runs air manager too. To run the engine monitor, which has 5 buttons for its functions (display diferent data, mixture setup tool, add fuel to tanks...) and there is an arduino nano linked to air manager to read these buttons. You don't have to program arduino in this case, but only the air manager gauge sketch.
Ok, the mini pc is only used to run the monitor as an alternative to connecting an external display via hdmi as a second monitor? If raspberry was your choice it has a dedicated AM app. Then there is arduino that is responisbe for making the physical buttons work for the AM gauges. So regarding the AM Aspen, I can either do the same, or connect a 7" display as a second monitor and use the arduino nano to assign the rotary encoders and buttons, correct? What do you mean by saying that there's no need to program the arduino to run the knobs and buttons for AM but only the gauge sketch?

Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2019, 05:33:59 PM »
Since this is on Thingiverse, it’d be simple enough for me to download the file and change the size to the GTN 650. I could do it in Simplify3D, then send you the .stl file for someone you might know and who is closer to you, to print it.
Hey John, that'd be great. I might have someone to print it for me but I need to show him the files first... If there's a way I can avoid the shipping costs it's worth a shot :) If by any chance he won't be able to do it than I'll get back to you on that, if that's ok.
For now, I'd really appreciate your help with changing the size of the bezel. Now that I think about it, maybe it's worth checking the dimensions of the touch display that will go behind the bezels. I wouldn't want it to interfere with the knobs and buttons on both sides of the bezel. Once you open the file in Simplify3D is there any way you could measure the length between the two holes visible at the bottom of the bezel (actually, its the top of the bezel since in the picture it's upside down), that is the round hole on the left (for the com knob) and the square one on the right (for direct to button)? Maybe also the inner dimensions for the screen? I guess it might be worth checking to know if the screen will fit. Perhaps it will need to be printed a few mm wider or the other way round.... :)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 05:37:22 PM by redman »

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2019, 07:27:09 PM »
Hi Michael,

Okay, I will play with the file tomorrow, as I gotta do some packing of the CDU for Gavin tonight... I'll PM you once things get done.

John
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Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2019, 07:31:57 PM »
Thanks John!

Offline _alioth_

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2019, 08:13:19 PM »
In case of the Reality XP the Leobodnar is enough to run the dual rotary encoders and buttons and it doesn't require any programing. An alternative is an arduino micro but it needs to be programmed. Did I get it right? :)

Correct. Any arduino with ATmega32U4 chip can emulate an USB joystick. Teensy can be used too.

So by mini pc you probably mean a Raspberry Pi?

No. I mean a small pc. A MSI Cubi in this case.  It uses windows 10 and manage two displays. One with gtn750 software, and the other one with my AM engine monitor (vm1000c). This pc does not run the simulator. Only the gtn750 and AM software. It is in the same network than the main pc.

What do you mean by saying that there's no need to program the arduino to run the knobs and buttons for AM but only the gauge sketch?

If you need an arduino to act as a joystick, you have to program it in the arduino IDE (C lenguage).
But, if you use an arduino with Air manager, you dont have to program the arduino. You say AM that you are using a NANO, and you want pins X or Y to be push buttons.. etc. But you don't have to program anything in the Arduino IDE.
Air Manager is easier.


About real gtn750 and display choice... is not an easy thing. I reaaly wanted my gtn had the real dimensions. And I got it, but I had to use a bigger display, which is partially covered by the warning panel.
If you want the gtn750 AND gtn650, then you are lucky. If I if I remember well you can use a 10" 16:9 for both units, and there is space for buttons and encoders.
If you only want the gtn750, it is a nightmare. The display is not a standard size/aspect ratio.

And remember that not everything is the bezel. I had to design and print all this pieces to fit the display, electronic board, arduino, encoders etc..



Arturo.


These are the real specs:
Unit dimensions, WxHxD: 6.25"W x 6.00"H x 11.25"D (15.9 x 15.2 x 28.6 cm)
Display size, WxH: 4.46"W x 5.27"H (11.33 x 13.39 cm); 6.9" diag (17.52
cm)
Display resolution, WxH: 600 x 708 pixels
Display type: Color TFT LCD; sunlight readable


« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 08:18:35 PM by _alioth_ »

Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2019, 07:01:52 AM »
If you need an arduino to act as a joystick, you have to program it in the arduino IDE (C lenguage).
But, if you use an arduino with Air manager, you dont have to program the arduino. You say AM that you are using a NANO, and you want pins X or Y to be push buttons.. etc. But you don't have to program anything in the Arduino IDE.
Air Manager is easier.

Sounds like the best option is Leobodnar for the GTNs and an Arduino Nano for AM  :)

If you want the gtn750 AND gtn650, then you are lucky. If I if I remember well you can use a 10" 16:9 for both units, and there is space for buttons and encoders.
If you only want the gtn750, it is a nightmare. The display is not a standard size/aspect ratio.

Exactly, a gave it a thought and the GTN 750 together with the 650 is the best option in relation to the display. I've put apart an Eyoyo 10.1 touch display to check the exact dimensions of the screen and it's exactly 23 cm in hight x 14.9 cm in width. Should be fine, the only thing that makes me wonder is the width... Some part of the screen will be hidden under the bezel, I just hope there will be enough space for the encoders and buttons.

And remember that not everything is the bezel. I had to design and print all this pieces to fit the display, electronic board, arduino, encoders etc..

Hmm, haven't thought about that yet  ::)





Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2019, 11:44:35 AM »
Okay, I will play with the file tomorrow, as I gotta do some packing of the CDU for Gavin tonight... I'll PM you once things get done.

Hi John,
I've sent you a PM with the original specs on Saturday. Hope you can apply the changes.

Michael

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2019, 05:13:02 PM »
Hi Michael,

I looked at your specs, but didn't get to making any changes yet. Arturo sent me some files as well and I plan too look at everything tonight. I would've done this already, but I got side tracked over the weekend... :idiot:

John
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Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2019, 05:37:07 PM »
Not a problem John... Looking forward to it then  :)

Michael

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2019, 02:14:39 AM »
Hey Michael,

Okay, I've been looking at the files, measurements and so on, but what I need clarified is the height x width x depth of the bezel. In terms of 3D, it's usually measured in X Y Z coordinates (sizing is in mm's). From what has been posted and PM'd too me, I need to know what you want exactly?

So, from my point of view, if I lay this bezel flat, the X is the size from right to left; thus, what is that size? Next, Y is the size from top to bottom, so what is that size? Last, is Z and it's the size from the back of the bezel to the front, so what is that size?

The sizes you've given are from the Garmin website (I assume) and those sizes include the back box depth, which is nearly 10 inches or 286 mm's further behind the bezel. If you look at the pics I attached, you will see how the GTN 650 and GTN 750 are stacked with the back boxes (back boxes are what holds the electronics).

Anyway, I am assuming you only want the bezel shapes and they're only so thick in Z depth; thus, how thick does it need too be? Look at the second picture, it just shows the bezel and that's what you're going for right; just a 650 bezel (that's shorter in Y Height from the 750) with a 750 bezel sitting on top to create a stack?

Currently, the GTN 750 on Thingiverse is 159.00 mm in X (right to left), 147.32 mm in Y (top to bottom), and 12 mm in Z (back to front). What Arturo sent me is 159.00 mm by 152.00 mm by 10.82 mm, as well as it looks much closer to the real deal. Plus, he made a chassis for his, that fits behind the bezel.

If the sizes for Arturo's GTN 750 Bezel meets your needs, I can print that, and then I can scale it down to the GTN 650 sizes, then print. I am assuming you do not want the back boxes included.

John
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 02:37:04 AM by blueskydriver »
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Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2019, 01:58:43 PM »
Hey John,

Your absolutely right about the bezel depth. The thing is I forgot about back boxes which obviously I don't need. So if you could scale the GTNs to the following dimensions that'd be perfect:

GTN 750
Unit dimensions, WxHxD: 159mm (X) 152mm (Y) x 12mm (Z)
Interior 6.9" diag (175.2mm), WxH: 113.3mm x 133.9mm

GTN 650
Unit dimensions, WxHxD: 159mm (X) x 67mm (Y) x 12mm (Z)
Interior 4.9" diag (124mm) WxH: 113,3mm x 50,2mm

I haven't seen Arturo's file with the 10.82mm depth. If you believe it look better and more like the real thing than please use his project if that's ok with him. The 12mm vs 10.82mm doesn't really make much difference.

Please send me the two files (650 and 750) so I can check if my buddy can print them. He's got a 3D printer. However, he needs to see the files first.

Michael

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2019, 04:03:09 AM »
Hey Michael,

I sent Arturo a PM and just waiting too hear back from him. His is rather nice and he posted some pics of it (in pieces); although, he planned additional things into the design.

For your request, the 12mm vs 10.82mm would not make that much difference, so I'd suggest you go with the latter. Also, can you tell me about the diagonal measurements? Where did you get those values; are they something you figured out for matching the displays or are they for something else?

In regards to the the file formats, they'll be .STL which is pretty standard for 3D printers. Can you ask your friend about his 3D printer and if he wants them as .STL or something else, as well as ask him what type of printer he has and what is the bed size? It needs too be a little bigger then the layout sizes of your project and it should be able to print down to .01mm or .02mm (the smaller the better).

Additionally, you need to decide what type of filament you plan to use; ABS is strong, but PLA would work fine if you're not pounding on the item(s) during use. This you can discuss with your friend, he'll likely knows all of this already and can help with your decisions.

For everyone else following along. Flight Simulation is going through a change with the advent of 3D printers being used to print simulator parts. Over the last few years more and more builders have either designed and printed something themselves or they've found an item on the internet from places like Thingiverse, and then had someone else print it out (you can even have that done through Thingiverse nowadays).

Anyway, my point is, this post of Michael's definitely shows how easily this can been done and if you're thinking about doing a project, just ask about it here on Cockpit Builders. Someone will  offer too help you...and that's what this website is all about...builders helping each other!  :idiot:

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Offline redman

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Re: Help in building a GTN 650/750 for Reality XP
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2019, 01:02:57 PM »
Hey John,

Let's go with the later, that is the 10.82mm. Regarding the diagonal measurements, I got those values form Garmin's website.

In regards to the the file format, the .STL would be best. My friend's got a DA VINCI 1.0 PRO 3D printer. It can print anything up to 200mm x 200mm x 200mm. From what I can see in the printers specifications it should be able to print down to .01mm/.02mm.

Anyway, my point is, this post of Michael's definitely shows how easily this can been done and if you're thinking about doing a project, just ask about it here on Cockpit Builders. Someone will  offer too help you...and that's what this website is all about...builders helping each other!

Well said!  :)

Michael

 

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