Taking the plunge! 172 panel

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Taking the plunge! 172 panel

#1 Post by Ivantheterrible » Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:18 am

Hi all.

Taking the plunge on building a 172 panel. 1 want to build 1 main screen for the game with two monitors for the instruments. Would this USB powered monitor work?

ASUS MB168B 15.6" HD Portable USB-Powered Monitor https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00FE690DI/ref ... WCb7VFB89B

I was also thinking of using old laptop LCDs and getting a controller card.

Which works best?

Also, I also noticed about 17fps drop with 2 panels. Is that about right?

Thanks in advance and nice to meet you all!


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Re: Taking the plunge! 172 panel

#2 Post by Serge Luke » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:00 pm

The monitor you are considering would work, but it seems that it does not have a touch-screen capability. If that is correct, you'd be missing an important feature in Air Manager - ability to interact with the instruments without using mouse. Another consideration is the resolution, this one is only 1366 x 768.

I would recommend looking for a touch-screen 1920x1080 resolution, which would give you more real estate for the instruments. It is hard to find one in 15.6 size that is affordable. I found refurbished 21" Viewsonic on Ebay, which was the most affordable 1920x1080 touch screen monitor last December.

I understand that monitor size might be limiting factor for some; if it is not, it might be worth getting a full HD one.

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Re: Taking the plunge! 172 panel

#3 Post by Sling » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:24 pm


I agree with Serge. USB monitors have their uses but for this application i’d also recommend a 20+ inch touch screen. You’ll be surprised how much screen real estate is needed to display everything you need. I prefer 2 screens myself for instruments as it gives me the most flexibility. Instruments can get small and the panel congested with only one. This is of course dependent on the panel and the selected instruments.


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Re: Taking the plunge! 172 panel

#4 Post by SimPassion » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:54 pm

Hello Ivan

The ASUS MB 168+ is working properly using the DisplayLink driver
the requirement is a NEC compliant chip or similar on USB3 connection
We are using it in our hardware cockpit for instruments that doesn't require human interaction, like vertical engine cluster with additional RPM and L+R fuel gauges and Windows 7 PC with very low specs
indeed no touch able capability
but really nice for specific cockpit application that would require this small size factor and vertical placement


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Re: Taking the plunge! 172 panel

#5 Post by Ivantheterrible » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:56 am

Thanks so much for the quick responses all.

My thoughts on touch no touch.

I am making a panel with pots and switches. One concern I have is if I reach for the heading bug and touch the screen of the instrument by accident will it do anything I don't want it to do. i.e move the instrument in the window or drop a mouse cursor on there.

I don't know, but I don't think I want the instruments to be interacted with.

The screen size thing is another challenge. So I built this ugly as f*!S version in my basement to check dimensions and I want the panel to be small-ish. See the super awesome 1981 diagram below. I was thinking 14in laptop monitors are dirt cheap and small. One more thing, I am not sure if I can have monitors with different resolutions running on the same machine.
|----------------- |--------- | |
|I | | | |
|I M 1 | | M2 | |
|I----------------- | | | Radios Stack Later...
| switches Y |----------| |

Lastly, huge progress today. I made a couple of buttons work on my Arduino 2560 haha. Pretty proud of that. Next is getting a potentiometer to work.

Have a great night, look forward to hearing from you all!

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Re: Taking the plunge! 172 panel

#6 Post by SimPassion » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:51 am

Here's the MB 168 + with our vertical like "cluster"



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Re: Taking the plunge! 172 panel

#7 Post by Ivantheterrible » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:14 am

Bingo Gilles that looks great!

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Taking the plunge 172 panel

#8 Post by BeJimmiehib » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Im using the mic input on the laptop, it has no line in.

Also I have a Logic3 istation which I use for our mp3 players, and it has a micro usb port. I was thinking of taking the output from the amp into the Logic 3, and then out to the lappy via usb. Feasible?
The logic3 has line in.

Thanks guys

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Re: Taking the plunge! 172 panel

#9 Post by jph » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:14 am

Ivantheterrible wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:56 am
One more thing, I am not sure if I can have monitors with different resolutions running on the same machine.
Yes, each monitor attached to a windows machine can have differing resolutions. No problem there.

I like the small overlay panel method if you are not using real (physical) gauges. A panel that goes over the screen with miniature encoders etc as needed built in.
I think many people completely ruin their home cockpit by not allowing for the yoke. The idea of small screens is appropriate if going the 'displayed' gauges route. And why not ? it is far easy to alter something in code than by hammer lol :lol:

Laptop screens are no problem to run with the chinese boards that convert them to HDMI (just check you get the correct one for your screen) - but, a BIG caution !!! that may be a show stopper is that the viewing angles on laptop screens tend to be atrocious as the panels are TN.. if you have a laptop there, try it by just moving the viewing position. By design laptops tend to be used with a canted back screen with a downward looking view - they are designed for this. The minute you mount it in a panel where by design or necessity you would be glancing or looking downward from above at a vertically mounted panel then the view is terrible and - certainly to me, totally unusable. If you try this with a laptop - you will find the screen image is FAR worse in this position. Simply put the laptop on the table with the screen back vertical and raise your viewpoint to a simulated panel level looking downwards.....
This is also effected by how far you sit back from the panel - same applies in the opposite sense - if you were to use a laptop panel in a portrait layout - this can be even worse. Luckily many have a laptop already and can experiment without taking it to pieces :shock: :o - simply load an panel and set the screen at the approximate height and distance and check the viewing angles / image quality. It tends to manifest as a horrendous contrast washout. If you can get an IPS panel then ok... post any links with good prices if you find any please. You dont even need to load a panel of course - just use any windows page - this forum is good due to the discrete colouring and really makes the point.

This is where the dreaded yoke issue rears its head also. As we cannot cut a hole (well, and expect it to continue to work after... ) in a nice sized monitor for the yoke rod to pass through, many put the yoke in front of the panel which - again IMHO - is terrible both from an ergonomic and aesthetic viewpoint. Some even mount the yoke 'box' UNDER the monitor ending up with a panel that is far higher than it should be, or the yoke is far lower. it is a real balancing act. Small IPS monitors are - probably - at this moment one of the best ways - with an overlay with the hardware if you don't want touch - (I definitively do not) - VA would also work but I am unsure as to availability.
My design for a yoke is based on linear rods and slide bearings as used in the cheap Chinese CNC machines. These parts are now dirt cheap and can form the basis of a superb and solid action yoke that will actually only have a tiny 'case' compared to others available and can go UNDER a board and be only 5 cm deep - and can give full travel and even have ffb added lat a later stage.. It has a far greater 'depth' - or length to it.. but the rest of it is really compact.
Hope that helps ?
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
“Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”
Joe (CISSP) -IT security consultant

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