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Building a NAV or COM radio, other types also possible
MicroDriver info pages
If you have questions about this article, please feel free to mail me "wendy (AT) telee.com"This article was written when the old 7-segment driver boards were released. By now I have added some info on how to do the same with the new MicroDriver boards. As an example of how easy it is to build a radio I will show you below the steps to follow for completing a B737 radio panel. I will show you how I made it, complete with ready to use parts from my shop. Of course if you do not have a CNC or laser you can also buy ready made panels from different suppliers, more than enough choice. I decided to make the panel myself.The panel which holds all the parts has been made with a combination of laser and the CNC and consists merely of transparent acryl with the front a white layer of a special material, I will keep this for myself. Basically all panels were cutout with the laser and after that the panel was mounted on the CNC and all the necessary holes that do not go through the panel were cut out.I will show you the wiring using my 7-segment display driver boards that can be used to connect via Pokeys USB or Ethernet to ProSim 737, FSSymphony or X-Plane. My display driver boards can be used with all these 3 software packages.Later I will show you how to connect it with the new MAX driver board to a Arduino microcontroller using Jims wonderfull Link2FS program which connects directly to MS FSX.
LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE SHOWS Old situationFront side with 1 working display See the clear glass acrylic in front of the panel and the smoked grey PVC sheet which goes over the 7-segment displays
RIGHT SIDE OF THIS PAGE SHOWS using MicroDrivers2 MicroDrivers are needed for 1 radio The 2 MicroDrivers are mounted directly behind the openings in the frontpanel. No wiring to the displays are needed because the displays are plugged onto the MicroDriver board. Each MicroDriver connects with 4 wires to the PoKeys card. See connection details here
Mounting the second display 7-segment displays are mounted onto digit boards which we have available from 3 to 6 displays in our shop. I'm using high brightness KingBright displays
Well I decided to finish the panelPanel painted in Boeing grey, matand laser engraved ready to be made into a full NAV radio.The panel was cutout in 6 mm acryl and covered with somethingto get real white lettering.
Old style wiring, not so difficultbut a lot of fine solder work !!!
There are a lot less steps involved than the withthe old display driver boards.With the new MicroDrivers …-you only need a small screw driver to connect the 4 wires to the PoKeys card-it is much cheaper -it is much faster, only a few minutes to build a radio-you do not need electronics knowledge-you do not need to know how to do fine solder work
New style wiring with MicroDriversfast and simple !!!