An Accidental Cockpit 4: Knobs and Switches

I’ve made a test run with all the gauges fitted (see pic 1). The gauges are all working fine, although  mounting it all up has shown that 3mm MDF is just not man enough for the panel faceplate – under the weight of eight gauges it’s very bendy and wobbly. So I’m going to have the faceplate made up from CNC routed aluminium. There’s a firm in Germany will do the job from supplied artwork for about £45. If I like the results, I’ll get them to make the other two faceplates as well.

Meanwhile, work has started in the background on the GNS530. Steve Masters, who designed the project was kind enough to let me have one of his spare PCBs, and I’ve been gradually collecting the various switches and encoders to mount on it. The faceplate was ordered from 11th Hour Prototypes, using Steve’s original drawings. It’s build using a ‘Selective Laser Sintering’ process. See http://www.11th-hour-prototypes.co.uk/SLS.html for more information. It’ll need paintiing and finishing, but it should look pretty good. I’m still trying to find a UK source for the LCD panel (at least, one that will answer my emails…) The US source that I have (Earth LCD) works out phenomenally expensive by the time you factor in shipping and duty (well over £300 for what should be a £150 part).

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