Archive for September, 2005


Wired up the microswitch to the ejection handle last night. It works like a treat with the Plasmav2, testing on my laptop. Pull the handle, joystick button 1 shows a press. Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to run the keyboard studio/mapper software on my sim rig due to some bug, which means I can’t actually test it hooked up to F4:AF until I rebuild that machine – which is now definitely on the cards.

F4Glass for F4:AF

If you have F4:AF and a second PC, you need F4Glass. The new version 1.03 supports F4:AF (patch level 1.03 only) and it’s bloody marvellous having your instruments on a second PC screen.

goose? goose? GOOSE!

The ejector handle construction is complete! I don’t mind saying, it looks totally tits.
First the ejector block. this is simply a 35×90 pine offcut with some 10mm holes for 10mm dowel joiners, painted “skank grey”, with a metal angle plate on the bottom for the spring to attach to.
ejector_block (58k image)
Next is the handles – just regular garden hose wrapped in black and yellow electrical tape. Time will tell if the tape glue starts going all gunky.
ejector_handles (44k image)
The slide is just aluminium sheet, bent and cut for the block pegs. The cutout also restricts the amount of movement available which is good for the microswitch.
ejector_slide (33k image)
And here it is assembled! Basically I just clamped the hose on the dowel with some… you guessed it… hose clamps.
ejector_assembly (47k image)
This is the spring assembly which gives the handle some tension. On initial testing, the spring is a bit weak so I’ll either double up or get a stronger spring eventually. it’s hooked onto another plate, which is screwed into the top of the seat.
ejector_spring (57k image)
And here’s the finished product. It sits just in the right position for an instinctive grab and slides reasonably smoothly. A bit of wear and it will be smooth as silk.
ejector_finished (65k image)
So tomorrow I’ll hook up the microswitch and wire it to the PlasmaV2 to send the CTRL-E signal to the sim when I yank the crank. And I can’t wait for that one.

ejection handle

Did some work on the ejection handle mechanism tonight. As I’m going to have a cyclic between the legs, the traditional F-16 “pull your junk off” type is a no-go, so I’m going with the F-14 “pull your ears off” type for that authentic Top Gun feeling.
Tomorrow I need to get some yellow electrical tape for the handles (I wrapped 2 pieces of garden hose in black electrical tape tonight) some 10mm hardwood dowel to join the handles to the slide block, a microswitch for the ejection signal to the BetaInnovations Plasma v2 and 4 12mm hose clamps to keep it all together. So hopefully by Friday night I’ll have a functioning ejection handle! I might even give myself a TFR failure just to try it out :)
Photos later in the week.

monitor console usable!

I had my first flight in the pit with my new monitor console on friday night. I have some screws and stuff to finish off just for structural integrity, but the construction is done. It didn’t even budge when I gingerly laid the big 21″ on top. I love it when a plan comes together.
shazam01 (64k image)
a bit hard to get a good angle, but you get the idea
shazam02 (53k image)
I celebrated with a couple of nights’ flying with the VAAF. Here’s some screenies of saturday night’s fest with 5 in my server – Pasive, Baddog, Burnzoire, Taipan and yours truly.
RTB – me, Taipan and Burzoire
oca_20050924_2 (30k image)
ACMI of our OCA strike. Only my own craters showed (bug?) but Burnz got the parallel runway and Taipan got the taxiways. ACMI available if you like to watch.
oca_20050924 (40k image)


Finished the centre supports today. Still need to screw them to the main structure, but it’s sufficient to take the weight and the screens fit perfectly.
stand_screens (51k image)

progress this weekend

Got the ACESII cushion back from the mother in law – she’s done a great job. As usual, when I said it didn’t need to be fancy, she’s stitched it to perfection and installed a zip. Sweeeet.
bum, meet cushion
pit_cushion_cover (33k image)
I also completed stage one of the monitor stand. It’s generally together, but needs further strengthening.
one more solid weekend and it will be all good
monitorstand_stage1 (45k image)

server move

Hi all,
In order to save some money I’ve moved pitblog to a new server, hosted off my own broadband. You might notice photos download a little slower, or the site is down for short periods sometimes. If you notice protracted downtime, or the site is not behaving as you would expect, please email me.
You’ll also notice that the front page is shorter. As people tend to read only the latest entries when they visit, to save load on the server I’ve shortened the front page to the last 3 days worth of entries. You can still read every entry in the archives.
Thanks, James

another aviation headset modification

Dave Seltzer modified an Avcomm aviation headset so that he could use it with his cellphone.

What do you think?

This is the latest incarnation of the pit monitor stand plan. Basic criteria are it has to be rigid and support the weight of a 21″ CRT and 2 14″ CRTs plus assorted other gubbins. DO you reckon it’s strong enough? The ply is 12mm, the struts are roughly 17mm x 75mm in cross-section.
the whole deal
pitbase_20050907_01 (41k image)
front view
pitbase_20050907_02 (41k image)
rear view
pitbase_20050907_03 (29k image)

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