One point fewer on the todo-list of the MIP!

The first challenge was to equip my JAA Panels with suitable potentiometers and buttons. Fortunately I could get a pair of older A320-type Opencockpits-Panels via the community. Thanks a lot to Florian at this point!


Equipping the Panels

So I started to strip the OC-Panels and checked out what could be useful for my plans. The Panels consists of three layers of acrylic glass. Comparing the Opencockpits-Panels to the JAA-Panels, it was obvious to see that the JAA-Panels are smaller. So unfortunately the potis didn’t fit into the small holes of the JAA-Panels, and I had to use smaller ones I previously ordered from Also the airbus style knobs don’t fit perfectly as they are a bit too wide – but knowing the price, if you need to buy a new one… I can live with it. Here are the first results:

The GPWS/GS (Ground Proximity Warning System/Glideslope) warning button is still in preparation, so I continued with the backlight!


Building the Backlight

Backlight was always a difficult topic to me, as I didn’t consist of good soldering skills. At least that was what I thought, until I was watching one of those fantastic soldering tutorials on youtube. With fresh motivation I started to make a list of parts needed. In my case, those were:

  • Soldering station
  • Solder
  • Thin wires in different colours
  • Amber coloured LED-Stripes
  • Suitable carrier panel
  • 12 Volts power supply

It makes a lot of sense to use a soldering station with adjustable temperature. The solder shouldn’t be too thin or to thick – 0,8 mm are perfect. To solder a wire onto the LED-Stripes, the contact points of the stripes should first be carefully prepared with abrasive paper. That makes the solder stick better. Then a ball of solder should be applied onto the contact poins. The very short end of the wire has to be coated with tin, too. Then, just put the wire onto the ball of solder and heat it up. It will merge perfectly.

Fortunately, the Opencockpits-Panels are made of three layers of acrylic glass. One of them was perfectly convenient to carry the LED-Stripes. So I began to test, where the stripes need to be placed to get a evenly backlight. Then I drilled two more holes for the 50mm mounting screws and cut the LED-Stripes into suitable pieces. After sticking them onto the carrier panel I just had to connect the LED-Stripes with thin wires. The carrier panel was finally fixed with nuts.

When more panels will be backlighted in the future, I need to wire them with a centralized power supply. I bought a used power supply of a PC for this. But before that I need to calculate the power demand of the LED-Stripes.

Next step will be to build the GPWS/GS warning button! Stay tuned 🙂

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