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Hole diameter for knobs and switches

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Greetings everyone, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ricardo from Bronx, NY. I've recently begun construction of a panel that will hopefully be similar to that of the Boeing 757. I'm ready to start painting and detailing parts of my panel for backlighting. I have almost no knowledge of electronics at this time and plan on working with that aspect of the project as I go along and learn. This is where my dilemma begins. I would like to drill holes for where switches and knobs will be, but I have no idea what diameter to use. I am hoping that there is a standard or common diameter that can be recommended for most types. If I have to, I could leave it alone and then drill when I have the switches and know how to install and interface them, but I'd rather avoid that.

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Ricardo, Welcome to our community, Apparently you are new to this forum (correct me if I'm mistaken) But to tell you this, Some of us may be lucky, some of us may not be lucky. Otherword, its hard to find information on exact diameter in order to build or create yokes, throttle, panels. eventually knobs. This has changed everything since 9/11 where we civilians has restricted accessing into flight deck, So either way you would want to do is: 1)you could buy real knobs any manufactures that sells them. (based om my expereience its hard to find boeing type knobs)2)Try your best on your estimation, build them on your own.(maybe one of these day, you could become lucky one, and swap them from one you create into real one.So basically what I m trying to say, don't be so "hard-nosed" having all the parts to be in exactly diameter. Because I believe 2 out of 100 cockpit builders has all exactly parts or diameter of parts.Hope this help

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Hi Arthur. Thanks for the reply and the welcome. You are correct, I am new in this forum. It's not really the knobs that I'm worried about, it's basically the hole that I will be mounting the actual switch, ex:toggle, rotary. I did a little research last night and learned that a variety of rotary switches mount on a 7/16 hole. Since there are probably different diameters for different types and brands, I think I'll leave the drilling for when the time comes that I am ready to actually install them. I kind of didn't like the idea of painting and detailing a panel only to have to work on it again later, but I think I should start getting used to that right?:) Hopefully in the next week or two I can have some pics to show you guys. I've been building the instrument panel on this idea that some of you might find interesting. It applies mainly to the 757 because of the location of the displays. A few weeks ago I cut the entire intrument panel as one piece, but I scrapped that idea for a new one which is to cut the panel in four segments. I look forward to sharing my experience with you guys on my project.

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Hi Ricardo, 7/16 inch would be the best bet. I have cofirmed those by measuring it out of my FDS panels.(B777 type center pedestal) But not all of them have 7/16's!>>I kind of didn't like the idea of painting and detailing a panel >>only to have to work on it again later, but I think I should start >>getting used to that right?:) You re correct, Most cockpit builders would always statsfy with their work at first, then for a while they would become unstatisfy with their work and redo it. The same based on my experience, Since 1998, I have been done lot of rebuilding my cockpit. I haven't once get it to fly. It's Not because I did lousy job. The idea and innovations is what change my plan. I have always want to create my own panels myself but unfortunately I couldn't do that because I just dont have actual measure, correct equiments in order to create backlighting panels with letters. I am currently doing research on it for overhead panels. So, yet... if you need more or any kind of help... dont hesistate to ask anyone on this forum. They wont bite Looking forward for the picture on your progress.. Good Luck!

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Again, thanks for the reply Arthur. And yes I think I should accept the idea that here and there I will have to go back and work on something that I thought was complete. I think I've been fortunate enough to like the 757 and have a gentlemen actually post pictures on his website of the cockpit with a measuring tape at hand. I am refering to simpit.de. I'm sure many here know about that site and also know that the A320 cockpit is also covered. I promise to have pictures this coming Monday. As for backlighting, I've researched a few methods from other cockpit builders and this led to my own creativity that I will try out. Do you have a website Arthur?

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>>Again, thanks for the reply Arthur.No Problem>I think I've been fortunate enough to like the 757 and have a >gentlemen actually post pictures on his website of the cockpit with >a measuring tape at hand. I am refering to simpit.de. I'm sure many >here know about that site and also know that the A320 cockpit is >also covered. Yup, I am aware of that website, yup you have been fortunate enough to have that information. I wish he would have also posted B767-400 too.Do you have a website Arthur?Used to have yes... but not anymore since I've changed the domain... The new webpage of mine is currently in progress and I will let you know when its ready soon.

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Ricardo,Welcome. My approach is somewhat different from the norm...I have bought/am acquiring ALL the component parts PRIOR to measuring and cutting my panels. It is hard to get OEM spec parts...so you have to improvise to make budget!What you will quickly realize is that the "PLAN" and "ACTUAL" seldom meet. If you are even 2mm off on a switch and have to change it due to availability/price, you will end up with rework on the panel. So...a few ideas:- Buy/get a sample of each component you need for your panels and use the exact measurements to design/build the panel - Book/Catalog measurements are not always the best ones to design around. For example. A switch width may be 15mm, but the hole needs to be 16.5mm bcause of clearance. You can estimate that it needs 1mm and you'll end up filing things down. Actual parts are best.- Look at the panels to see what is common...and only get samples of those items...at least you'll cover yourself on a big portion of the build.- Try building ONE panel first...and learn your lessons on that panel...far cheaper than designing a whole set and having to rework them later.Just some thoughts.

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>So...a few ideas:>- Buy/get a sample of each component you need for your panels>and use the exact measurements to design/build the panel >>- Book/Catalog measurements are not always the best ones to>design around. For example. A switch width may be 15mm, but>the hole needs to be 16.5mm bcause of clearance. You can>estimate that it needs 1mm and you'll end up filing things>down. Actual parts are best.Yea, I have to agree. Also, you should plan on the electronics part as well, so you might as well get a bunch of different knobs, switches and rotaries etc, and build yourself a MCP ("autopilot") box in some plastic box or something for now - it gives a great fun to sim flying and gets you started on the electronics part as well. Then it all pays off when you are building the "real thing".This is something a friend did, this has just an overlay of label design that I did for him and what he printed and laminated to get a rough panel thing. It does not try to look "real", but it works and gave him a solid idea of how this stuff works. They are building a "real" cockpit next.http://tigert.gimp.org/vatsim/cockpit-stuff/PANEELI3.jpgTuomas

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Could someone explain how that was built? It is pretty close to the 767 MCP. Maybe with 767 color paint it would look more realistic. I have always wanted a MCP but didn't want to spend 500 dollars getting a pre-made one. That one looks pretty inexpensive. Thanks!pwapilot

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Thanks for the advice guys. The electronics part of this is going to be the hardest part for me, as I have zero knowledge. I'll give it my best to learn as I go along, right now I am researching and reading tutorials. This first panel that I am working on could very well be a first try, but I am going forth on the idea that it is the only area that I am lacking in, as I am pretty good with the wood/construction aspect along with the some good computer knowledge. But I must say, this is one corner of flight simming where knowledge of electronics is a must.

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>Could someone explain how that was built? It is pretty close>to the 767 MCP. Maybe with 767 color paint it would look more>realistic. I have always wanted a MCP but didn't want to spend>500 dollars getting a pre-made one. That one looks pretty>inexpensive. Thanks!http://mikkila.wabbits.org/fsbus/partanen/index.phpSee that for pics, text is in finnish.Long story short, it was made with FSBUS - www.fsbus.de - or you can just get the Aerosoft MCP if you want something that "just works" without much tweaking.Tuomas

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