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Seeking advices for a DIY 737 Yoke and Throttle

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Fellow flyers !

 

I've been seriously thinking about building myself a replica of 737 yoke and a throttle quadrant. Yoke can be desktop style or with the column doesnt matter at all and also throttle quadrant not need to be motorized as it's something beyond what i can realistically accomplish. Regarding the budget for tools and gadgets, i'm pretty open with this but dont wanna spend horrible amounts on those ready-to-use ones. What im actually seeking here is a bunch of advise and a good list of materials i would need to start this off and i have a couple questions on that. I'd really appreciate if somebody already has a diagram for these things with realistic dimensions

 ( I do not have a 3d printer)

1. Can i just purchase any PCB with a couple of potentiometers for the axis and buttons or is there a particular type designed for this purpose ?

2. Which material would be the best one to build the control wheel ? ( In terms of weight, feeling and durability)

3. What kind of software would be needed to get  Windows10 to recognize my hardwares ? 

 

Thanks in advance


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Posted (edited)

Well I really doubt if its possible to build one that would be any good for less than you could buy a motorized one. It seem to me that less than $5000 is a good deal. I beat it would cost you far more than that to make one. And it would be about a year of spare time. A quick google search shows that you can even get a Replica 737 throttle pedestal for less than $1000. I really can see anyone being able to make one for less than that.

here are free 3d print files:

https://cockpitbuilderswebstore.com/product/motorized-737-throttle-quadrant-v2/

Edited by Quasimodo

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Posted (edited)

An easy (ish) way to build a yoke which will be tough and a convincing shape, is to use copper tubing (most DIY/Plumbing stores will have stuff of a suitable diameter). I have done this in the past and it is fairly straightforward. In addition to the copper piping, you will need to get hold of an internal pipe bending spring (one of these) so that when you bend the pipe to the yoke shape, it will retain its tubular shape. The internal bending spring sits inside the pipe while you bend it, to prevent it from collapsing, then you slide it out when you are done. Lengths of copper pipe only cost a few quid and being a pretty soft metal, it is easy to bend, drill, sand, file etc.

Another advantage of using copper piping to create something like this, is that it is easy to braze with a torch (which you will need to do in order to create the shaft of the yoke). So you'll need one of these as well, which fixes onto a butane aerosol can. If you have never done brazing, it is not difficult (basically similar to welding, but at lower temperatures) and there are many online tutorials about it, so don't be afraid to try it. Another advantage of using copper tubing is that if you want to attach thumb buttons to your creation for the trim controls, with the tubing being hollow, it is easy to run wires down the inside of the tubing and it is easy to drill holes for switches.

To give the yoke you make out of copper tubing a suitably shaped finish and surface, I recommend screeding modeler's putty over the surface (this stuff). That kind of modeling putty can be smoothed and shaped easily, or rolled into sheets to cover large areas, and you can use water to smooth it out even further. When it is almost dry, you can replicate the slightly roughened grip surface of the real 737 yoke by impressing the surface of the almost dry putty with some sandpaper.

The central box section 'hub' area of your yoke can be fashioned from a few pieces of thick balsa wood, which is easy to cut and work, then this too can be covered over with a layer of modeling putty to give it some strength and to form the final shape and texture.

Apart from the cost of the brazing torch, some brazing rods and a can of gas to run the torch (which you may be able to borrow from a plumber or mechanic anyway), the rest of the materials and tools will only be a few quid and will give you a nice convincing result. A quick blast with some black plastic coat aerosol paint is all it then needs.

For wiring, USB connections, control boards etc, take a look here for some ideas and products to get things connected to your PC.

With some inventiveness, you can probably have the entire thing done for less than the cost of a joystick, so long as you are fairly handy at crafts and D.I.Y.

Edited by Chock

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Thank you very much i really appreciate your time and efforts. I'll definitely let you guys know of results. ( God knows when 😄 )


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Intel Core i5 9600K 4.7GHZ / MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus / MSI Nvidia RTX 2060 Super Ventus GP OC / Corsair 2X8GB DDR4 3200MHZ RAM / Corsair MP510 480GB M2 SSD / Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 RGB

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