Jump to content

Any Apollo/NASA Nerds Who Can Help Me?


NeoMorph
 Share

Recommended Posts

I’m still working on my Real Navball Project to have a real 8-Ball to use with KSP but need to shout out to the greater KSP social group.

you see I’ve been trying to find out what font was used on the ball itself and I think I’ve looked but just can’t find anything on the actual building of the FDAI/8-Ball whatsoever. Either it was filed under top secret or the CIA ordered it shredded like a lot of the stuff about Apollo (like the F1 engines).

fdai12_300.jpg

I’ve been looking for the past 6 years on and off to find this font. Does anyone know the font they actually used?

I have made one close-ish match... what do you think?

G2V7ORM.jpg

The 3 doesn’t curl as much as on the real FDAI but the rest of the font looks pretty close. It’s called Brown... if one colour the 60’s was known for is brown ... or was that the 70’s lol. 

I really wanted to have a Kerpollo cockpit built for the 50th but it was harder than I thought. The research takes AGES to compile for a start.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is probably still out there. My guess is that NASA just reused standard mil-grade navballs. Trick would be finding the mil-spec document. The search string though would be whatever the formal name of a navball is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, steuben said:

I think it is probably still out there. My guess is that NASA just reused standard mil-grade navballs. Trick would be finding the mil-spec document. The search string though would be whatever the formal name of a navball is.

Actually it’s nothing like Earth based artificial horizons. Those are made to show pitch, roll and includes slip and turn indicators. They have a small gyro inside the instrument itself that it uses to display pitch and roll.

8brbx0iq27x21.gif

 

 

What took me a while to figure out is that the Apollo 8-Ball is a TRUE 3 axis instrument with the gyro located outside of the instrument because it’s much bigger and much more complicated. Just look up “Apollo IMU”.

 

 

The inside of the Flight Director Attitude Indicator show pitch, roll and yaw as well as showing fly-to needles for pitch, roll and yaw and also rates of change for all three axes too. The “ball” is actually 2 hollow hemispheres either side of a fixed disk. The hemisphere rotate around an axis that goes through the middle of the plate.

OP_EPO_FDAI_IMUGimbal.gif

 

The above screenshot is what started me on truly realising what the Navball was and what made me want to make a working one that could be linked to KSP... but while I could find text on the formulae that drove the navigation system, I couldn’t find hardly anything on how Honeywell actually made the thing.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still think milspec might be a good direction to go digging in. I managed to find a couple of spec numbers MS28086B and MIL-I-21203A. They might have a bit more information on the font. But looking some of the pics, if you can figure out what font the rest of the Apollo Capsule was labeled with you might get closer.

And I know you may have already tried, but have you talked to the folks at NASA to see if they know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, razark said:

Do you have any idea if the same font might have been used in Shuttle?

I might have someone that could pull up some information.

Looking at the site where the pic on of the navball is from - no.  They have a pic of the Shuttle's navball, and the '3' is very rounded.  (The Shuttle's could well be a variant of Courier.)

Interesting to me is that they have the Shuttle navball next to a short ruler - which uses the font from the Apollo navball.  It wouldn't surprise me if it's some font designed for inscribing into items.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That looks very much like the fonts you'd use on a drawing board, tracing them with a pen through a template.

We used the DIN (German) version in college, which has a more rounded 3, but I bet there's some kind of ASA standard for drawing letters.

DIN Normschrift:
normschrift.png

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang. I had forgotten all about those drafting stencils. They were beginning to go out of style as I was making my through school.

But, I think I may have found your font. It kind of looks like the K+E Leroy Lettering Guide. The 3 seems to match.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Thiagobs said:

Looks a lot like this one:

MS33558 Rev.C

http://everyspec.com/MS-Specs/MS3/MS33000-MS33999/MS33558C_13545/

And someone made an usable font out of that:

http://www.fontsaddict.com/font/MilSpec33558.html

0425aff3e8a24d404320c5cf7a7dfa9c-ms33558

 

 

Holy *Bleep*... THATS IT! (or the closest I’ve seen so far)

The 4 is the correct one too which is what confirms it. 

Thanks a million. 6 years searching and I could just have looked on here. DOH!

 

Off to download it now.

Edit: Got it and its the one all right. When I saw you said Mil Spec I was imagining something like the spray one they use on all military containers of the time... not this stick font (which is perfect for engraving). There are several versions of the ball and some have rounded 3's which make it tough to choose... but I have always liked the look of the engraved balls. Thanks again... I'm really going to have to work on doing the template for the sphere now... oh and finish building the Spherebot to engrave the ball. I got the silicon mould today to make the resin version. That's going to be a challenge too.

Edited by NeoMorph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, NeoMorph said:

The above screenshot is what started me on truly realising what the Navball was and what made me want to make a working one that could be linked to KSP... but while I could find text on the formulae that drove the navigation system, I couldn’t find hardly anything on how Honeywell actually made the thing.

Please let us know which committee decided white-on-white would be good for the needles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually the needles are orange. Fluorescent orange. The ball is off white and the flat horizon bar in the centre is fluorescent white. So even someone with red/green colour blindness can read it.

FDAI01.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/7/2019 at 2:24 PM, Pecan said:

Ok, those needles are nice in the second version.  Still not at all sure about white on off-white but they probably have good reason for it.

There were a LOT of changes made from Block I to Block II. And surprisingly there are a lot of different versions of the FDAI (even without accounting for the fact  that the LEM and CM versions were different too).

In fact just look at these two pictures and spot the difference (sorry for the poor quality of the Margaret Hamilton one... it's from a newspaper... and no, I have never been able to figure out why it's like that... my only thought it was a change between Block I and II).

mhh-apollo_II.jpg

31861D5000000578-3462708-image-a-31_1456

 

EDIT: The newspaper picture filename tells the whole story lol... She's sitting in Apollo 2 which WAS Block I. Guess the pilots decided they felt that the 8-Ball wasn't right in that orientation because only the Command Module was mounted that way and switching over to the LEM meant having to rotate their mindset 90 degrees. Makes sense. KISS principle in action.

Edited by NeoMorph
Found more info on the photo in question.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The rotated navball between block 1 and 2 CSM might have something to do with the launch orientation. I've been listening to the Space Rocket History podcast and he had a quote from I think Jim Lovell who said that Mercury capsules launched heads up, Gemini sideways and Apollo heads down. If the block ones were originally intended to launch on their side that might explain the rotation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...