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Welcome

Mission Statement 

The purpose of FLAPS-2-APPROACH is two-fold:  To document the construction of a Boeing 737 flight simulator, and to act as a platform to share aviation-related articles pertaining to the Boeing 737; thereby, providing a source of inspiration and reference to like-minded individuals.

I am not a professional journalist.  Writing for a cross section of readers from differing cultures and languages with varying degrees of technical ability, can at times be challenging. I hope there are not too many spelling and grammatical mistakes.

 

Note:   I have NO affiliation with ANY manufacturer or reseller.  All reviews and content are 'frank and fearless' - I tell it as I see it.  Do not complain if you do not like what you read.

I use the words 'modules & panels' and 'CDU & FMC' interchangeably.  The definition of the acronym 'OEM' is Original Equipment Manufacturer (aka real aicraft part).

 

All funds are used to offset the cost of server and website hosting (Thank You...)

No advertising on this website - EVER!

 

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If you see any errors or omissions, please contact me to correct the information. 

Journal Archive (Newest First)

Entries in Interfacing (2)

Saturday
Mar142015

New Interface Modules 

My friend and I have not been sitting idle.  Part of the upgrade to the simulator has been additional interface modules.

In early 2014, an Interface Master Module (IMM) was constructed to trial the modular concept.  This module housed most of the interface cards and relays that, at the time, were used in the simulator.  This trail was successful.  The single trial IMM has now been discarded and has been replaced with the:

•    Throttle Interface Module (TIM);
•    Throttle Communication Module (TCM);
•    System Interface Module (SIM); and,
•    A more advanced Interface Alert System (IAS) that connects to the TIM and a lesser degree the TCM.

Information concerning each of these modules, including an introduction to the modular concept, can be found in a new section on the website named Interface Modules.  Interface Modules can be assessed from the main menu tabs located at the top of each website page.

It has taken considerable time to design and construct, and then interface these modules to the simulator.  To some, the process may appear complex and convoluted.  However, in the long term the idea is sound and a centralized area offers considerable advantages.

I hope you enjoy reading about the new modular systems.

If you note any problems with the new pages, please contact me so I can rectify this issue.

Friday
Mar282014

V1-Avionics, ARINC 429 Protocol & SIM429-11 Interface - Interfacing OEM Aviation Parts

There’s nothing like using a genuine aviation part in Flight Simulator.  Real parts are made to last, cannot be upgraded, and offer a level of immersion rarely attributable to a reproduction part.  There is also the historical perspective knowing what airframe the part was removed from.  This said, although OEM parts are not difficult to find, a solid level of ability is needed to successfully convert many parts to use in Flight simulator.  

Conversion of an OEM part can involve  re-wiring, determining the pin-outs for each function of the part, interfacing with an appropriate card such as a PoKeys or Phidget card and connecting to a suitable power supply.  OEM parts that are more complicated in nature may involve further work to determine functionality and necessitate several interface cards and relays for correct operation.

ARINC 429 Protocol & SIM429-11 Interface

Put very simply, ARINC 429 is a data communication protocol used on most higher-end commercial, military and transport aircraft.  The protocol defines the physical and electrical interfaces to support an aircraft’s avionics instruments.  

LEFT:  SIM 429 enclosure by V1-Avionics - compact and easy to install (image copyright V1 Avionics).

With knowledge of the protocol, many instruments can be converted for flight simulator use if an appropriate avionics interface is used between the simulator and the OEM part.  

V1 Avionics has developed a low-cost interface called the SIM429-11 Interface.  This interface will allow easy connection of OEM instruments avoiding the necessity of rewiring and conversion.

Whilst the Protocol is used by many OEM parts, it is not used by all; therefore, if the Protocol is not supported, conversion of that part to Flight Simulator will still be the traditional way using an interface card.

V1-Avionics

V1-Avionics is the company behind the development of the SIM429-11.  The project team comes from a background in telecommunications, engineering and aerospace applications and is ideally positioned to unravel the intricacies of the ARINC 429 Protocol, to develop, and eventually release the SIM429-11 interface for public use.

Once the interface is released, conversion of OEM avionics instruments will become easier, more streamline, and within the reach of all flight simulator enthusiasts.

I'll post additional information as this technology unfolds.

For further information on the interface, additional photographs, diagrams and videos - navigate to the V1-Avionics website.

Acronyms 

OEM - Original Equipment Manufacture (real aviation parts)