Well, Christmas and new year has passed and I'm still working on the simulator. There have been some niggly teething issues that every infant must succumb to (even me).
Faulty Power Supply
A problem developed with the throttle quadrant which had me baffled for several hours (read days). The TQ would stop working or some of the controls/commands would give sperious results. Was it incorrect FSUPIC, offsets, was it "dodgy" wiring or loose connections (?). I went through the construction and set up with a toothcomb. Then the solution was found. It was a power supply which was powering the Belkin hub that a few of the USB cables were connected through to the computer. I noticed the power supply was quite warm and getting warmer, then it would just stop working to begin working again when it cooled.
Replacing the power supply plug seems to have solved the issue. This said, I'm a little wary of running too many important USB connections through a hub. Therefore, tomorrow I intend to add another row of USB interface connectors to the motherboard and maybe an addtional powered hub to help share the load. One important snippet of information important to know when using Phidgets is NOT to connect them directly to your computer. They should be connected to a powered hub (this comes from the Phidget forum).
As you know the MIP has arrived as has Sim Avionics and some other assorted software. Everything is installed and I'm going through a learning stage with correct software set-up and operation. It takes considerable time testing to ensure the best set-up.
Sim Avionics is complex, but no unfathomable. The interface is very clean and very easy to use once set up correctly. Currently, I've been put to the test remembering (or learning) flight operations that either I have forgotten or never knew! A quick glance at the PFD display will give you a idea what this beast is capable of - amazing stuff when you think about it. Reading, learning and asking questions takes time!
I'll put together a basic report on the MIP, CDU and Sim Avionics software in a few weeks time - once I've got a good handle on its functionality.
The MCP I am using is produced by CP Flight in Italy. For the last two weeks or so I've been struggling to get the MCP to connect correctly to flight simulator. After in-depth testing with CP Flight and others, CP Flight have asked that I return the unit for replacement. Over the years I've used many products from CP Flight, and for the most part all there products are exceptionally solid and robust. Hopefully a replacement unit will soon land in Australia as flying using a virtual MCP isn't exactly easy and fun!
Other than this, I've been touching up some painting, cleaning up the wiring, fabricating two side panels to fit between the throttle quadrant and the front of the MIP and a few other bit and pieces here and there.