MCP operation

IMG_0553I decided to make some alterations to my current MCP before it is mounted in my new MIP. I have an Open Cockpits MCP (v2) in a metal box. In this version I miss both leds for the FD and the backlichting.

IMG_0554After removing the metal ‘hood’ you see more air than equipment. A problem is the USB cable that is protruding through the backside and is soldered to the print. I will have to desolder those wires before I can remove the box completely.

IMG_0555You can not easily access the soldering points, but fortunately I have a soldering iron with a pencil tip so I could manage. First take a picture of the current situation then you can always look at the original situation.

IMG_0556After the soldering only an empty box remains. I put the hood and screws back in place.

IMG_0557After both fronts were removed you can see the print completely. Removing those fronts is not as easy as it looks. The switch for the AP disengage has its own front that can be removed by squeezing together the clip that holds that front. After that you can easily remove both fronts.

IMG_0558First I marked the spots where the FD leds should come. My first intention was to carve a ‘M’ in the paint and light it from the back. However the front is made from white acrylic and that doesn’t let through enough light for the depth I can carve away to be noticeable.

IMG_0560Both green leds have gotten a layer of black acrylic paint. It does not cover enough so I had to put a second (and a third) layer of paint on. I plan to carve a ‘M’ in the paint.

IMG_0561After the third layer was applied I started carving the paint. That was not a success. I removed more paint then wanted. So I sanded the top of the leds before applying another three layers of paint. After the paint had dried overnight I started scratching again, but also without success. These leds are now in the dustbin and I decided to drill holes through both fronts and place green leds in it. I will however put a larger resistor before each led so they won’t give too much light.

IMG_0559I have also been busy with the backlighting. I put the sticky ledstrips against the print in those places where needed. I still had these strips leftover from a previous project (temporary MIP with push buttons). I checked where the lighting was needed and put the strips in those places as good as possible.

IMG_0562After soldering the wires to the strips this is the result. All strips give enough light. Now it is still more than enough, but later, when the MCP is mounted in the MIP, the backlighting will be regulated by a dimmer.

IMG_0563The fronts are hard to replace. All switches have to be in the exact correct position before the fronts can be replaced, but then it looks like this.

IMG_0564And when the light above the table is turned off it looks like this. Now all I have to do is glue the FD leds in the transparant front and solder the resistors and wires, then I can assemble the MCP again. After cutting a hole in the aluminum front of the MIP I can mount this MCP. I think I will modify the EFIS in the same way (if possible) because I am not satisfied with the current backlighting.

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