Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Testing our Collins radio

Previously embedded below was a short video showing me testing one of the Collins radios we manufacture. The product has since been considerably upgraded and seeing as more recent video now exists, I've deleted the link below and moved the updated version to a newer post. 

The top display is the ACTIVE setting whilst the lower display shows the STANDBY.

The standby setting is swapped to become the active one by momentarily flicking the right-hand transfer switch (named XFR). Switching to the MEM function (memory) allows you to cycle through up to ten preset frequencies. 

The smaller knob on the dual concentric rotary encoder controls the decimal numbers, and the larger one handles the whole numbers.

The example shown in this video is running as a NAV radio (hence the .05 steps) although by making a simple alteration to its software it will then function a COM radio, which steps like so: 0 - 2 - 5 - 7 and back to 0.

The software can also convert it into either an ADF or a Transponder, although of course they have no standby function, and the decimal point on the ADF is in a different place.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Testing some new overhead circuitry

So the overhead panels are back up once again, although with the circuitry for the fire handle units now fully operational. Below is a short video of us testing them. The 'slave' landing gear indicators are also demonstrated here. 

In an actual aircraft, in which redundancy is essential, these would be driven completely separate from the those located on the main instrument panel, although here (for the sake of efficiency) their data is derviced from the same place.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Updated site

Just a quick note to mention the upgrading of our Ruscool Electronics website.

More ATR progress will follow on this blog very shortly though. Hopefully by this afternoon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Working Fire Handles

Well unfortunately I haven't made as much progress as I would've liked over the holidays, although after reading the ATR72 manual and discovering that part of the initial procedure is to check the fire handle system prior to each flight I decided to get these up and running. 

Below are some photographs to show where they're currently at (testing the fault switch, squib button, and fire):



Another small job I completed was this Collins radio unit with dual concentric encoders.

I'll discuss this, and the fire handles, in more detail once all of their final tests have been completed. The idea is to also get some updated videos happening too, but ideally I'd like to have the entire simulator back in one piece again before I do that. This shouldn't be too far away with any luck!

I've also now acquired a third 24 inch LCD monitor for the scenery set-up too, which has helped the horizon levels greatly now that all three screens are the same dimensions.  

Apologies for the brief update!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Painting the Overhead

Amongst several other projects relating to upgrading the simulator over the holidays, I've spent the past couple of days in-filling with colour the appropriate sections of the overhead, which actually turned out to be an easier task than first imagined - though still requiring of several hours to complete.

After consulting the main diagram that the overhead had initially been designed from, I purchased two sample pots of the necessary paints (green and blue) from our local hardware store, as they offer a service whereby they will mix any custom colours you desire. I already had a tube of orange acrylic paint laying around the workshop.

The first step was to select which portions to do first and to mask off any areas where the paint may fall into other engraved lines that are positioned nearby. Paint was then applied, and pushed, into the appropriate lines fairly liberally and left to dry for roughly ten minutes or so. I'd actually completed the green sections previously but had forgotten to take photos of the process, so here I am beginning the blue lines.

Because the brown base of the overhead was done in a semi-gloss paint and was extremely hard from having been completed a long time ago, the newly-dried paint around the in-filling sections was easily removed by simply 'scratching' it off. Care was taken not to scratch the finish beneath however, by protecting it from my fingernail with an old rag.

It wasn't so much of an issue with the text (as I'm shown working on above) but with the other main lines it was important not to have too much excess paint to wipe off around them and to make sure that it was properly dried - because if it isn't there's a chance of the paint 'tearing' as it's removed, which results in an uneven finish due to paint possibly being pulled out of the areas you're trying to fill.

And here are some photographs of the completed look ...

The next post will probably concentrate on the fire handle panels again, as I've been reading the ATR 72-500 manual where it mentions a far more involved start-up procedure than I've been performing. This includes (amongst other things) testing the engine fire alarm operations prior to engine start, so I've been spending time wiring these up properly to transform several components which were initially simply dummy parts into fully operational pieces.