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Pictured above, the current (as of Dec 2020) mockup of my end goals for this project. I've been working on this project on and off since around June of 2015... I initially first appeared on Page 6 of the Simpit Repository where I showed off some really nice hardware I'd collected for the project. The goal is to create a controller using real instruments to provide readouts of orbital data, temperature, fuel, electricity, and other critical values. The controller will have joysticks and toggle switches and other controls to command the in game vessel. I'm using this project as an opportunity to force myself to learn C programming, and as a furthering of my electronics hobby. While this thread has a LONG way to go to catch up with my progress, I'll work on it over time. INSTRUMENT PANEL PROGRESS STATUS DESIGN HARDWARE SOFTWARE Assembly: Completion % 100% = Difficulty••• Completion % 100% = Difficulty••• Completion % 100% = Difficulty••• Analog Resource Meters 0% • Vertical Velocity Meter 90% • 0% • Radar Altimeter Tape Meter 80% • 0% • DSKY Numeric Readouts 10% • DSKY Units Readouts: ------- ------- ------- Diode ROMs ------- Address Decoders 75% • 25% • 0% •/• DSKY Annunciators 90% • 75% • 0% • DSKY Keypad 90% • 90% • 0% • Delta V Carriage Meter 25% • 0% • 0% • Navball Controller: ------- ------- ------- 400Hz Sine Gen ------- 115vac Amplifier ------- Synchro Emus 25% • 0% • 5% • AUX Data Display 25% • 0% • 0% • Velocity Readout 95% • 0% • Attitude Rate Meters 50% • 0% • 0% • Bezels 10% • 0% • ------- CONTROLLER PROGRESS STATUS Not yet officially started, but many individual components and designs have been established, including the support frame. The control panel, fortunately, is a much simpler build electronics wise. It's mostly machining panels and mounting hardware. Solder all the bits together, add some communication to the instrument panel's main controller, and that's it! Part of why this has taken so long, is it's not only a learning process, but I've split my time with other projects. My custom mechanical keyboard was built to work with this Kerbal controller build, and will actually slot into the controller! The number pad magnetically detaches, so when my keyboard tray is extended, I have full use of the extended keyboard, but with the tray pushed in, I can set the number pad aside, and use only the core keyboard! This is the button that started it all. I was inspired by how AWESOME this button looked, and how big and red and "Aborty" it could potentially be! The Instrument panel enclosure is a re-purposed Harris Stereo 5 console that was saved from the local AM radio station. You can see several instruments here. On the right is my analog vertical velocity meter, and in the middle, my FDAI. The Flight Director-Attitude Indicator, more commonly known around these parts as a navball, is a real awesome find! I'm in the process of building a controller for it, but that is a daunting task... It requires nine 28 volt amplitude modulated sinusoidal outputs that are controlled by multiplying DACs, and a 115 volt sinusoidal reference source to provide both power and synchronization for all the 9 other signals. This is the keypad I made for my "DSKY", inspired by the DSKY (DiSplay KeYboard) of the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC). It normally lights green, but can flash red if there is an alarm condition... Such as the "I'm about to pop like an overheated popcorn kernel" condition. My throttle lever (as well as the keys for my DSKY keypad) were salvaged from an old video effects controller board. I have a LOT of these relegendable, backlit push buttons, in two different sizes. My analog meters are inspired by the edgewise meters used in the Apollo Command Module, Lunar Module, and Space Shuttle. I'm taking the extra effort to print proper scales that use the Futura typeface that NASA used, and follow an overall design that visually resembles the Apollo instruments. Likewise, Tape Meters were also used as instruments on Apollo, and even more so in the first revision of the Space Shuttle, before the glass cockpit upgrades. Tape meters have a long tape on spools. The numbers scroll passed a stationary pointer, the opposite of what an analog meter does, where the pointer moves over a fixed scale. This allows very large scales to be depicted, limited only by tape length. The meter I have will be reprinted with numbers corresponding to the radar altimeter. This is the complete DSKY. I'm currently working on it, and getting it to the point where I can control all the LEDs right now. Current progress has all the large numeric LEDs controlled by MAX7219 controller chips, and the small 7 segment display and one of the three alphanumeric displays is currently functional. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Cwm_xQZsFo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwXZKIfvEkI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wlv3oyobcg Flashy, isn't it! I've been making diode ROMs to decode characters for some of the LEDs. These cost me literally nothing but time to make, and they satisfy my interest in basic digital circuits. I also rather find I enjoy three dimensional free form circuitry! So yeah... I'm enjoying this part! In all honesty, I really should have started this post back then! I was just collecting parts back in those days, and always said I'd start a dedicated thread when I began assembling things... The Simpit Repository is now up to 23 pages at the moment I'm typing this... It just grew to incredible proportions, and a few times I felt a little bad for dominating the thread with build posts (that really belonged here), but at the same time, I knew my work was showing other people how to do things, and keeping the Repository frequently in the lime light. It just grew to a size that felt too big to abandon, and too big to move the content. I'm starting this post, because I think this build HAS started moving at an accelerated pace, and It should have a dedicated place. I'll build this post up gradually, to cover not only the new content, but to consolidate the content I posted in the Simpit Repository here as well, so the entire build process is properly detailed. I had debated whether I should move content (remove from the Simpit Repository, and replace it here), but I think that'd be unfair to those who replied or were inspired by that content. I'll eventually consolidate everything here, but I'll leave my old posts at the Repository alone. as for new posts, I'll still post at the repository, but I'll no longer post massive multi-image mega build posts... I'll keep my posts there a bit more basic, and put the details all in this post. I'll still offer my knowledge to answer questions people have at the repository. That won't change. It's just silly that I've taken THIS LONG...
Found a news story on someone having built a sonic tractor beam. That is, it uses sounds to move or levitate very small objects. Apparently, if you can assemble one yourself, if you have parts from Arduino and access to a 3D printer. CBC article here. Build video here. Explain of how it works here.