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Will Depart in...



What have you done for your simulator today?

Started by blueskydriver, January 14, 2018, 04:01:20 AM

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I have built some comercial grade force feedback units for custom made systems. More info in the thread:


I am going to build a remote display unit version, so you have a 2 1/4" gauge in the panel to setup the force feedback system.
And an updated firmware to work with MSFS.

Video with a example system driven by this unit:



Hi guys.
To my old friends, no I'm not a goner, still kicking!!
I finally was able to dig my password and login.

I recently had to re install all software and upgrade some hardware in my 737NG sim. Lots of pain. Incredible how one forgets details.

The pain started on reinstalling Windows 7, YES, Windows 7, call me archaic or whatever but I refuse to bow to MS telemetry and painful updates. I only use Windows for my sim, for everything else, Linux.

After installing the OS, installation of P3D v4.5.1 failed, oh horror. It turned out that .NET 7.4.2 failed  repeatedly with an error of failure to authenticate (I could install it without sweat of my previous W7 SP1 installation) Multiple searches on Google and DucDuckGo yielded no solutions until I tried searching on Yandex. The issue was that SP1 uses SHA1 authentication and .NET uses SHA2 authentication. SHA2 was installed through Windows updates in the past, not anymore. So, I had to download the update manually.

I decided to install as little addons as possible. Only P3d v4 compatible airports for stability. My previous system had all sorts of garbage that caused unknown failures. Then Orbx changed everything and they did not even have my previous credentials, which meant that all my previous investment went up in a puff. So no AiTraffic or any kind of external traffic. P3D was snap since it does not depend on the registry, just copy the folder and voila. The reprogram Flight Illusion and some lights and switches since again, the Windows USB stack is a mess.

I do not know about the pains of Win11 for this type of setup but the way things are going, everything needs access to the net in order to work, or registration of your data which again, will be for sale.

I don't know what will happen with the next Windows iteration. They are always full of surprises.

In the meantime, I continue to enjoy my sim under Win7, and is solid stable now.

Warmest regards to all



I have been experimenting with laser ablation of paint for panel decals.

I read everything I could, then had a go. The photo shows 3mm MDF painted with several layers of cheap white spray paint, two layers of clear lacquer, and two layers of quality top paint (Rust-oleum Satin Granite).

I used a 10W LED laser in raster mode at about 3000mm/min and 30% power. I still have to do more experiments, but those are the settings that gave reasonable results.

Obviously it doesn't work for backlit panels, although I think you could replace the MDF with opal acrylic.

I didn't take a huge amount of care, but it worked well. I'll see if I can replicate the results with a similar lack of care later.

Using the laser in this way also ensures alignment between the decal and the cuts, because they are done without removing the workpiece from the laser cutter. Although now I'll have to figure out how to paint the edges without overspraying the decal again.


Very interesting results!  What type/model of CNC Laser Engraver are you using!

Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v5.3x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-4090 GPU (new), resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.


It's an Emblaser 2 10W. A little expensive, but very safe, and ready to go out of the box.

The technique will work with any laser, but it's a question of getting the speed/power just right.

Joe Lavery

I have a 60 watt, 600 x 400 laser and the best method I found for panels was clear acrylic sprayed with multiple coats of high build white primer, followed by about three coats of the RAL 7011 grey.
But to get the best spread of backlight when embedding the LEDs in the panel, the LEDs (or bulbs) must not be placed directly under the lettering. Also the back of the panel should ideally be painted black.
However there are many other methods to create lettering. One the looks great but cannot be backlit is white wax rubbed into the engraving. That came from HeliMech on YouTube.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain

Journalist - writer for  PC Pilot Magazine


This week I have been mostly working on panels for the Challenger 300 glare shield. There are three panels: master caution, FGP, and DCP. The master caution and DCP are duplicated for Pilot and FO, so five panels in total.

Master caution is tiny, so it's easy. FGP is drawn, but I am waiting for components to arrive to be sure they match the technical drawings before I print or cut anything.


What is the icon for the sound of crickets chirping?

I'm on holiday at the moment, but when I get back I will do three things. One, build the panels I mentioned, together with a support panel that looks like the glare shield. Two, write code for an Arduino that monitors the buttons and rotary encoders, and controls the Master Caution LEDs and glare shield lighting strip. Three, integrate this with X-Plane.

The panels will be interesting as I will integrate 3D printing and laser etching for backlit decals and keycaps.

I'm writing about this on another site (sorry), but just curious if anyone on cockpitbuilders.com is, um, building a cockpit?

Jason L

It is awfully quiet here for some time now.  I'm in the midst of my cockpit build still.  I post updates on my own website and Instagram.



Incidentally, if anyone has access to a real Bombardier Challenger 300 let me know. On the other site I'm in touch with a pilot, but the more sources of data I have the less work any individual has to do.


Hey Guys,

Even though I'm no longer building, I still check this everyday to follow along. Or, to torment myself...lol!

Just glad to see that things are still happening here after all these years!

So, don't let crickets chirping get you, because after a while they chirp in symphony and make awesome music that everyone comes back to hear. In other words, keep building/posting and they will come back to see your work....

| 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 |


My force feedback system is finally working with MSFS.
I am rebuilding my A2A piper comanche to migrate all the systems to MSFS.
Bye bye p3d.


I have been playing with UDP communication directly from an Arduino with Ethernet module to X-Plane.
It seemed to me that no-one was doing it, and instead relying on the Arduino USB serial interface communicating via a plugin.
I connected a Wiznet W5500 module to an Arduino Nano and installed the Ethernet library. I created a UDP object and used it to send and receive packets with X-Plane on port 49000.
I sent some RREF messages to subscribe to Master Warning and Master Caution, which worked. In my Arduino code I can read the result and turn two LEDs on or off accordingly.
I can also send a CMND packet to execute an X-Plane command, or a DREF packet to change a dataref value.
It all works. No plugins necessary.


Poor quality photo of Master Warning/Master Caution panel, indicators, and switch. It's a 33mm square arcade button that has been filed down, with a 3D-printed LED holder inside and a baffle to keep the red LEDs and yellow LEDs separate.

The LEDs match the state of the sim indicators by subscribing to two datarefs. The indicators are cleared when the button is pressed by sending two CMND messages.


Quote from: blueskydriver on December 02, 2023, 09:13:18 AMHey Guys,

Even though I'm no longer building, I still check this everyday to follow along. Or, to torment myself...lol!

Just glad to see that things are still happening here after all these years!

So, don't let crickets chirping get you, because after a while they chirp in symphony and make awesome music that everyone comes back to hear. In other words, keep building/posting and they will come back to see your work....


You're still building legos though right?
Less than 4 years to retirement......


I have built and improved version of my Insight G4 engine monitor. especially designed for the A2A Piper Comanche. But great for advanded sim aircrafts with per cylinder temps. (A2A, Airfoillabs..)



A new gauge! A led angle of attack indicator:


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