Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

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JackZero
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

#1 Post by JackZero » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:08 am

Hi everyone,

almost a year after I'd started planning my SimPit, I finally found time to start the fun part of putting the first things together that I'd like to share with you. My SimPit will loosely based on a Piper Arrow, but is rather concepted as an Instrument Trainer then a 1:1 replica, especially on the parts which would be hard to replicate (e.g. the flaps lever & parking brake). The goal is to finish the SimPit until spring 2021 as I plan to start training for my Instrument Rating next year when the Basic IR (EASA) finally becomes available in Europe.

The one thing that is very different on my build compared to many other cockpit projects is the setup of the monitors. While most projects place a single large display above the yoke (which is often to high to be realistic) I'll be instead using a dedicated Aspen 1000 directly above the yoke and two 13" HDMI panels placed vertically left and right of the yoke. This is easy due to the fact that I have a Iris Dynamics yoke which has a very slim but long box (15x10cm) but wouldn't be a problem for other yokes as well as the panels I'm using (laptop panels with HDMI adapter directly from China) are so flat that you could put it in front of the yoke as well.
This way, I can place the Engine Instrument Clusters, RPM- and MP/FF-Gauge directly where they belong.
Structure.jpg
Most of the work was creating the Apsen, but this is almost completed... Everything is 3D printed (the body in black, the buttons in white) and spray painted in matte black. The buttons will then be laser engraved to show the markings. The Aspen is almost the exact size of the real one and uses a 5.9" full HD smartphone display which is cropped in order to get the correct aspact ratio. The AirManager instrument will therefore have to be scaled to 250%, which isn't perfect but image quality is still quite good. The main reason to use an Aspen is that as a training device, I can use it either as an Aspen 1000, or an analogue AH with either a DG or a HSI (as it has two knobs below it) or even as an dual G5 (the left knob then being used for the upper G5).
Aspen 1000 CAD.png
The analoge instruments will then use bezels like the ones from Allan Glen https://www.thingiverse.com/allanglen/designs, and the avionics stack will probably consist a mix of hardware from RealSimGear (GTN750) and/or Flight Illusion hardware as I'm running out of time to design everything myself.

Display wise I'll probably just start with a 55" or 65" TV set as the outside view isn't that important for the IFR training aspect but I might add additional TVs for the side view later.

Best Regards,
Jack

rwelleosu
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:00 pm

Re: Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

#2 Post by rwelleosu » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:30 pm

That's an interesting idea with the 13" vertical screens. My honeycomb alpha isnt slim but i could disconnect the yoke from the post and add an extender (comes that way actually, they use a stretchy rj45 to connect back to the base for the yoke button functions). i'm working with a full pa-28-140 cockpit for my build but trying to now incorporate Arrow instruments since my bro in law just stepped up to an Arrow-200 and we want to try and partner. That would be dual G5's but you seem to have that covered. and another buddy has an Lance with an Aspen so might have to try out your build.

JackZero
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Re: Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

#3 Post by JackZero » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:55 pm

If you're interested in any sketches, STLs or parts lists, I can supply you with what I have once the parts come together... the Aspen has given me a tough time so far, I'm about to print the body for the fifth time, hopefully now everything will fit perfectly. Building the most complex part first wasn't the wisest choice but on the other hand, now it can only become easier...

JackZero
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Re: Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

#4 Post by JackZero » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:01 pm

This first milestone has been made, the Aspen 1000 is finished and running. The 3d print quality isn't perfect as I had severe stringing issues with the grey PLA for the buttons. It would probably better to print the buttons with a resin printer... In this case, one could also have the correct engravings (text) on the buttons and not symbols. And it would probably have better to solder the buttons to a PCB instead of using a glue gun. But for me the quality is sufficient and I can finally continue with the next steps.
Aspen 1000.jpg
Garmin G5 x2.jpg
Old School.jpg
Wiring.jpg

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Keith Baxter
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Location: Botswana

Re: Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

#5 Post by Keith Baxter » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:25 pm

Hi,

Nice work Jack.

Keith
AMD RYZEN 9 5950X CPU, Corsair H80I cooler, ASUS TUF GAMING B550-PLUS AMD Ryzen Mother Board,  32Gb ram Corsair Vengeance 3000Mh, MSI GTX960 4G graphics card 

JackZero
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Re: Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

#6 Post by JackZero » Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:32 pm

After some busy weeks with too little sleep and the 3D printer running hot, the pit is now almost finished. Only minor details are missing (a L profile with a LED strip for the panel lighting, a small box with the PTT, CWS and AP/Disc buttons on the yoke).
20210126_235119_small.jpg

ChuckK
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:33 pm

Re: Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

#7 Post by ChuckK » Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:09 pm

Well done JackZero, the Aspen is a fine centerpiece to your rig. Can you share the source of the Aspen screen? I currently run an Aspen as part of a monitor full of virtual instruments. I've been thinking of transitioning to mechanical instruments and retain the Aspen on the correctly sized small screen. Finding a decent Aspen screen has been the issue.


Thanks,

Chuck

JackZero
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Re: Piper Arrow SimPit with Aspen 1000

#8 Post by JackZero » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:13 am

Hi Chuck, I used a 5.9 inch Full HD cellphone display with HDMI to MIPI adapter which I bought bundled from Wisecoco via AliExpress. The case hides 10 px on the top and bottom and 40 px on the sides, resulting in a visible resolution of 1900x900 at about 5.8", which is 2.5 times the native resolution and almost the correct size of 6". That's the closest I could get. The screen is a Sharp LS059T1SX01.

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