Friday, June 29, 2012

King Air Motorised Trim Unit

After having already sold a few of these motorised trim units over the past year or so - but never having had the time to actually get the product properly up on our website - these will finally be available through our site in the next week or so. (Oops, it was added quicker than I thought ... Link here)

This unit was originally designed for the King Air C90 simulator that we built for a flight school last year, although the entire throttle quadrant that we developed in doing so was based around the dimensions used in our King Air B200 construction drawings. [Note: We don't offer the TQ dimensions themselves as the originals were based around a particular product from a 3rd party that was a one-off design. We are, however, in the process of organising a basic King Air Throttle Kit, which will consist of various, unassembled aluminium levers, acrylic plates, knobs, etc.]

Anyway, back on topic, our complete Operational Elevator Trim Unit is supplied pre-assembled and consists of the following components:
  • Trim Wheel (unpainted)
  • Trim Dial (printed/laminated scale supplied)
  • Gears and Belts
  • Motor and Mount
  • Motor Control System Circuit Board
  • Pot to connect to your joystick controller
  • Push-rod to connect trim dial to pot
  • Physical stops to prevent over-travel

The mechanics of the unit is assembled on a shaped side-plate, and a corresponding side-plate for the other side is also supplied. These can then be screwed to the outer sections of your throttle console/pedestal, where they will then form the correct curve for the rest of your throttle lever assembly.

All you need to do is connect 12Volts DC to the control system as well as connect three wires to the centre-biased rocker switch in your yoke. The rocker switch will then control the forward and backward motion of the trim wheel. The geared down trim dial is connected via a pushrod to the pot (mounted on its own bracket), which will be wired to your joystick controller. (This will need to be set up in FSUIPC as the Elevator Trim input)

The trim wheel can be manually operated as well, as the motor torque has been purposely kept low so to allow it to readily stall.

Below is a short video from our YouTube channel showing the motorised trim actually in operation ...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Custom Annunciator Software

Subsequent to the annunciator panel that we recently designed for the Bell 206, we are currently working on an Annunciator Panel Program and Annunciator Controller Board that can be fully customised to control various annunciator lights. 

The reason for writing this software is because we’ve previously found it necessary to write (sometimes complex) work-arounds for various CAUTION / WARNING indicators because the actions themselves are not normally part of the operations within MSFS or FSUIPC. These calculations have been hard-coded into the various units that we've built for customers, but this means they cannot then be readily altered.

By providing this software as a stand-alone feature (in conjunction with our new Annunciator Controller Board) however, we're hoping it will allow cockpit builders a wider scope as to which annunciators they want to action and how they go about making this happen. Previously, all of this had to be done during the manufacturing/software writing process and required that we learn and understand the detailed operations of each aircraft type we worked on. Whilst we enjoy learning about this of course, simmers with specific knowledge about the actual aircraft they're building, will undoubtedly have a much more intimate knowledge of what they require.

Below is a quick sample of the configuration program showing how you can have multiple conditions to control each light (click on the image to get a readable view!). You can have a combination of conditions grouped together and there is also an ‘OR’ section so that you can set up a wide range of separate conditions to be implemented. By using the 'between' or 'equals' parameters, it is possible to set up most conditions you will need. The example shown here will turn ON the ROTOR LOW RPM annunciator when the Rotor RPM is between 0 and 90%, OR when the engine is not running. This means that the annunciator will only be OFF if the engine is running and the Rotor RPM is above 91% which is what we need of course.

Each annunciator can be named according to its function, and prior to any conditions being set up all of these fields will be empty.

This program operates with our Annunciator Controller Board, which has ribbon cable connections to our B206 Annunciator Panel, but is also easily connected to your own customised annunciator panel. When the program is run, you can see the annunciators being lit on the screen as well on the panel itself, but normally you would minimise this when flying your aircraft.

Note: For illustration purposes only, the above screenshot shows our 
annunciator software running alongside the default FS2004 Bell 206

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bell 206 Overhead Panel

Continuing with our range of Bell 206 simulation products, 
we have recently completed the development of the 
overhead panel, which has just this afternoon been 
finalised and assembled as a complete unit.

These panels are fully populated and the appropriate functions 
(relating to DodoSom) can be operated via one of our 64Input 
Boards, which has been especially coded for the Bell 206.

The majority of the circuit breakers you can see here are 
dummy units, although there are also four which can be 
manually 'pulled'. You can see one of these in the photo 
below with the red marker on display. The two circuit 
breakers to the right of this are also operational, 
as is the Field CB on the lower panel.

These panels are supplied with all of the appropriate 
switches fitted and even where there is no specific FS 
uses currently related to them (such as the Heat/Off/Vent) 
we have fitted the correct componentry regardless - 
as they can sometimes come in handy for other functions. 
An example of this is the 'HTR Start', where we've fitted 
rotary encoder that operates the Difficulty Level 
(which is displayed in a hidden panel on the MIP 
we are doing the final assembly work on). 

Hopefully the above photograph reminds you of the DodoSim panel...!

And lastly, a closer view of the operational circuit breakers.

We haven't finalised all of the costings for this panel yet, 
as there are still some details regarding what we will offer on the 
software side of things. We're expecting to have a price for it in 
the next week or so, but we can always be contacted through 
our website before then if you have any questions.