Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good news - I'm not going bonkers. Bad news - I'm on the brink...

Got back from a business trip to find a parcel from CPFlight. It's the returned MIP board which according to Paolo, is working just fine. Since I made the decision to go full size on the cockpit (more on this later) and since Paolo has been very patient with me, I ordered a second EFIS for the first officer's side. Both board and unit arrived in good shape.

A quick test Friday. I powered both the MCP and MIP board separateley, plugged the board into the MCP and dual EFIS units, then ran the CPFlight test program. Result? THE BOARD IS NOT WORKING! See how the glare shield lights are grayed out? Ah ha! Vindicated - I'm not going bonkers. I'm right and Paolo is wrong.

After a night of mulling it over I thought, what if it's because I didn't have anything wired up to the board? Maybe it's the old EFIS unit playing up, since everything gets daisy chained through it?

Today I ran 2 more tests. The first I simply wired up the six pack to the MIP board, plugged the FO EFIS into it and ran the MCP to the EFIS. Here are the results:

The darned thing is working! Must be the captain's side EFIS. Second test, joined the EFIS units, ran the MIP board to the captains side, FO plugged into the MCP. It's working again!
Ok, I'll now unplug the six pack and see what happens. Same results! It's working! What are the variables here that meant it didn't work before but now it does? Is it the power up sequence? In the next test I powered up the MCP before the MIP board. Same result - all checks out ok...

Now do you see why I'm on the brink of going bonkers? Paolo is right and I'm wrong... I'm going to design an interface board to make it easier to swap out the MIP board in the future. Wiring and un-wiring every connection in the MIP is a pain in the rear - anything I can do to simplify will be time well spent. I fear we will see more problems with it down the road.

Other developments for you. As you may recall, last year I purchased a more realistic yoke to replace the CH Products mash up I made. First order of business was to find a new tube that would fit the yoke neck. The local home improvement stores didn't have anything that would work so I started asking mates for any tubing they might have, including Bob up in Oregon, a fine home brew maker and a stunt double for the guy on the Burt's Bees packaging. Nothing doing. 

Quite by chance I happened on a metal supply company less than a mile from the house. In and out in 5 minutes with a piece of 3 inch metal tube cut to length. The neck fits perfectly.

I plan to redo the yoke damping mechanism and will experiment with a design I found here. More details to follow.

What else? Order the first officer panel,electronics and what nots from Fly Engravity this week. I'll be heading out again back end of next week on a long trip to Europe, hope to find the package on the doorstep when I get back. Means redoing the MIP stand etc (think I'll use plywood this time) but I figured it best to get the exact MIP dimensions before making the outer shell - my winter project is already planned.


  1. Greetings - Three things that can do this (at least on my rig) are:

    1: Metal chassis of CPF module earthing on metal somewhere. I have mine taped so they do not earth;

    2: Faulty DIN plug. I had a plug that was earthing out and caused everything to fail;

    3: The CP power plug itself. Sometimes if I start the computer with this attached and turned on I have issues with the modules. In every case, when I have powered the plug after the computer is turned on there isn't any issues.

    Hope this may provide some light in a longish black tunnel, Iain

  2. Thanks Iain. It could be I swapped our a crappy cable without realizing it. Self medicating with booze to make the impending bonkerness go away...