Just got my hands on two TCA Boeing Throttle Quadrants very cheap (two under the price of one 🙂 ). So I don't need to print the 4 Engine Qudrant for the big birds like the C-130J completely by myself anymore, which would have been a big piece of work.
Now I only need to integrate a trim-wheel to this double pack, which I print myself. After this most of my inputs are ready for doing the electronical stuff like integrating all the POV's and switches. I also got my hands on some more old TM FLCS & TQS, which will spent their POV's to all my HOTAS.
I am currently planning how to make 5way POV's out of some of these POV's as well, in which I still make a pushbutton micro switch switchable on the axis of the POV. This would also save some work instead of printing all POV's completely. So the project slowly goes further. 🙂
The two TM TCA Boeing Throttles are here. 🙂 They are used, but in absolute mint condition!
Surely there will be made some changes and added some additional parts, which I will print myself.
A trimwheel will be added to the outer left side of the quadrant. Since the TFRP rudder pedals can be connected also directly to the quadrants, I will use this output to wire the trimwheel potentiometer to it.
Let's see what I could do with the remaining two axes from the TFRP connector. 😅
The C-130J like yoke is a self-made and can be used in alternation with the different centersticks or the different cyclics also on my self-made centerbase. In this case the aileron-axis can be locked and only the elevator-axis of the base is functional. The aileron axis-pot sits inside the yokes lever, behind the round cover. The whole mechanism will be mounted with the use of two large ball bearings.
P.S: I also bought a new used laptop for my workshop. It's a Lenovo Thinkpad P51 with a dedicated NVidia GPU and 32Gb of Ram, which will replace my old Lenovo SL410 Thinkpad, which has served me faithfully for the last 12 years. 😪
It's not a machine from hell, but it will be much easier to do 3D on this new one as on the old one and I don't have to use the HTPC in the living room anymore to do my HOTAS parts. 😅 Now I can again make my designs right next to the 3D printer and test print them right away.
Just did a closer look at the Quadrants and I think I will change many things on them. The dial switches will be removed and replaced by three other switches (autopilot functions etc. make no sense in the quadrant) and some of the buttons will also be replaced with switches for the engines.
My new Laptop also get's an upgrade with an additional 1TB SSD for the programs and one 1TB HDD for all the 3D models to backup. 😄
I'm still struggling with Windows 11 on my laptop to get it to run the way I want it to. I'm still a fan of Windows 7, but unfortunately it's finally dying out and many programs won't run on it in the future.
You can also "silence" Windows 10 or 11 and get rid of all the forced guardianship and unnecessary crap, but it's not that easy. Anyway, I have the 11 now soon set almost exactly as my good old 7 was, with a few exceptions that unfortunately no longer work (my 7 was extremly modified for performance and compatibility with any kind of software - even non certified drivers etc.).
If 11 now runs the way I want it to and not the way Microsoft would like it to, then I can transfer it to my gaming rigs as well. 😅
Ok, the laptop is mostly running like it should. 😄
Windows 11 does what I want, and I've also integrated VMs with Windows 9X, XP, Vista, and 7 to prepare those OSes before moving them to my other PCs and retro machines. All the CAD and 3D printing tools are now running again too.
A few minor adjustments are still needed, but after that, my new "workhorse" will hopefully be ready to do everything I need for my hobby for the next few years until Windows 12 comes along with great new user restrictions and other so-called features. 🤣
So, now that everything is set up and running as it should, I have a new problem that I didn't know about until I was confronted with it myself. The Lenovo P51 series has massive problems with CPU and GPU temperatures under load when both processors are called upon at the same time, i.e. the normal processor and the GPU.
There seems to be a general design flaw in the case's cooling system, plus inferior heatpads and thermal paste. In addition, the distance to the heatpipe is generally too large and therefore it does not rest properly on the components to be cooled.
That's great, because I bought this used laptop precisely because of the performance under 3D and CAD. For web surfing, my old SL410 would have done just as well!
I hope I get the problem solved with undervolting (there is still a little room in which the CPU still runs stable) and possibly also a renewal and replacement of the thermal paste and the pads with high-quality components.
However, the P51 has to be completely disassembled for this, even the display and its mounts, etc., because the heat pipe is not accessible through a service hatch, as was the case with all older laptops. A really great design, Lenovo! 🤮 🤬
I used to repair laptops professionally and know what a hassle that is. I hope that the problem can be solved by undervolting, but I'm afraid that since it's a used notebook and the whole cooling design is poorly done from the start and the thermal paste and the pads are certainly already very worn out due to the constantly high temperatures, I won't be able to avoid disassembling it. 😡
Great, actually I wanted to finally continue with my 3D designs and e.g. construct some accessories for the newly acquired TM TCS Boeing Throttles, but instead of doing this I can rework the whole laptop now. Now that I have bought many additional components especially for this P51 and have invested many hours of work in setting up the software, a return is out of the question for me. So I have to solve the problem the hard way. 😒
Looks like it's enough to fix the whole thing via software configuration. I am now using ThrottleStop together with TPFanControl and until the problem seems to be under control.
At least there is no unexpected crash anymore and the temperatures are in the reasonably green range. I hope it stays that way, because I really don't feel like disassembling the thing right now. 3D printing software and CAD is running and to stress the part a bit I have to test my various RC simulations on it right away of course. 😅
That's also the only other thing that should run on the laptop besides 3D printing software and CAD. It's not a gaming-rig of course.
The laptop was now completely disassembled, the thermal pads renewed, a reasonable thermal paste used and everything before again cleaned with compressed air (cooling chambers, etc.). In addition, I bought a laptop cooling pad and put it under the computer.
In performance mode, the computer is now fix clocked at 3.5Ghz and the CPU does not get any warmer than a maximum of 70°. All this can be achieved with ThrottleStop and TPFanControl. The VoltageOffset is -150mV for the CPU and the cache. The multiplier is fixed at 35 for all cores and Speedshift EPP is set to 0. TPFanControl is manually fixed to 7.
The thing isn't exactly quiet, but I don't always need the performance mode. The performance is now more than sufficient for all my 3D applications and even most games run at decent frame rates on high settings. Not simulations like DCS or more elaborate modern games, of course. But it has enough power for some older titels to run them with full settings. 😅
Now I can use it to construct the rest of my cockpit parts and this time a little faster and more efficiently. Maybe I'll give it another 32Gb Ram, then it will have a total of 64Gb Ram, which will give it another performance boost, especially in CAD programs.
Hey Viper, New to the forum here and have been really looking into building an Apache collective. I've got a few raw solid works files but I am no where near proficient enough to get them functional, any chance yours are floating around? I'd be happy to send ya a tip for em as well!
The GUI interface is as it should be (clean and efficient), without all the W11 crap 😅 and when the system is logged in as Real-Admin you also don't have the many restrictions to get software running without problems. UAC and Windows Defender are completely shut down as I use other security software and this OS is also not meant for surfing the WWW. I always use extra virtual machines for this.
CPU and GPU can be overclocked without any thermal problems and I was even able to reach the Firestrike benchmark peak for comparable laptop systems (the result is only invalid because the latest NVidia driver 527.27 for this Quadro card was used, which is considered blacklisted by 3DMark 🤔).
I will also copy this W11 to my Homepit computer and my Comandunit PC, so I don't have to do the whole setup again on these computers. Only the drivers need to be reinstalled after cloning the system and of course another new product key needs to be activated. This makes setup on these computers infinitely easier and all systems are identical. I have been doing it this way since Windows XP.
P.S: Don't know why 3DMark shows the CPU running at 2.7Ghz, it was set fixed at 3.6Ghz for this benchmark and the M1200 was running at 1150Mhz. I never reached critical temperatures during benchmarks, despite overclocking, which is quite an achievement for the Lenovo P51. Many had extreme heat problems even with normal applications on a newly purchased P51, which often led to a crash of the computer.
So, all done so that I can construct my parts properly again, then I can proceed with the designs. 😀
Now that a C-130 and a CH-47 are coming into DCS, it makes sense to modify the TM Boeing quadrant to better fit the Herc (if possible), and also continue the work on my CH-47 and CH-53 collective handles (hoping we'll get the last beast into DCS at some point too), which I started at a very early stage last year. I have also started on an A-4E grip.
I will post pictures of the constructions and prints again when there is something worthwhile to see. I'm still going to use the bad weather to 3D model the grips so I can then prime and paint the printed parts again in the summer like I did last year.
There are also some things for the panels that still need to be printed and then painted. So the work on the cockpit project will not run out anytime soon. 😂
I am in the process of adjusting all my HOTAS print settings for Cura 5.2.1. Until now I have been using Cura 4.13.1.
I made a backup of my entire 4.13.1 profile, but many plugins have changed and some are now missing from Cura 5 as well.
I made some test prints and it looks like the quality is now almost the same as before.
I don't like that at all when new versions come and stay mostly with the one that worked fine. But since we are already at 5.2.1, it was time to switch to Cura 5.
At the moment I'm in the process of creating reasonably usable POV-hat housings for the Chinese SMD 5-way direction switches, where you can then switch between 4 and 5way by using a different stamp, which is also serving as a receptacle for the actual POV-hat.
I want to be able to use these SMD direction switches, cause they are much smaller as a POV that is based on the 6x6 tactile switches and also cheaper as the ALPS 5-direction switches, which are sometimes also hard to get here in Germany.
And it looks like they aren't very different in feeling compared to the old TM POV used in the FLCS and TQS. Im not a fan of the new hats used in the new TM sticks, cause they feel too spongy. Maybe that the real OTTO switches also have a larger travel, but I prefer the short travels, like the old FLCS, F22Pro and TQS had, a lot more.
I just ordered another 32GB Ram (64GB in total) for my new laptop.
Especially when reworking and smoothing the raw shapes of the 3D models of the HOTAS, this is really advantageous and speeds up the process immensely, since there are then incredibly many polygons.
With 8GB on the old laptop it was horrible, with 16GB on the new one I could still go for a coffee until the process was complete, with 32GB it has become bearable and with 64GB I hope you can sit and wait for it. 😅
So, the AH-1Z Viper / UH-1Y Venom Cyclic is a little further along. I have integrated all POV's and buttons, but the triggers are still missing. Also the lettering is still missing and the POV's still need to be painted. I still only used FDM, even for the hats. As long as the result looks like this, I don't have to go to the trouble of completely cleaning my Anycubic Photon again every time, just because of the print of a few POV hats. Everything will be painted over anyway. 😅
The handle here is also not yet fully screwed (only two screws, one at the top and one at the bottom), so there is still a gap visible between the handle buckles.
After all these things are done, the whole Cyclic will be painted satin clear to seal the lettering (water stickers) and give the whole handle an even nicer satin look. I will do this work for all HOTAS/HOCAS together as soon as the weather is still good enough to work on the balcony.
The cyclic is not 100% like the original, as I only made everything from photo templates, but I'm happy with it so far.
In the links are pictures of the original cockpits of the AH-1Z Viper and the UH-1Y Venom for comparison.
The project is still going on, although there is not much to report at the moment. Right now, I'm printing countless of my self-developed POV mechanics for these China 5 directional switches I bought.
They work quite well for my needs, although they are really not top notch. But using more advanced Alps or even OTTO POVs is too expensive for me.
The pressure point or behavior of the POV's during operation is roughly comparable to that of the old Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS coolies, except that I can implement a much smaller design of the POV's here and don't need as much space inside the case.
It is also possible to set the function between 5 and 4 way POV by using different stamps.