- Terry's 737NG Cockpit Project - Page 6
In May, I took the plunge and ordered the 'Silver Line' Overhead Panel with Backlighting from Sismo. They offered it with either USB or Ethernet connection. On their advice, I choose Ethernet connection. It arrived safely on Tuesday 8th of June. After opening it, I couldn't help but admire it - it's a wonderful replica of the real thing. I am still amazed at the wiring on the back (which is open).
Now it had to be installed into the overhead section of the cockpit, so I removed the overhead section and brought them both over to Michael on the following Saturday. Michael made a frame for the Panel and hinged it at the front. Two sliding bolts on the end lock it in place and because it is hinged, it is easy to access the rear of the Panel. Thanks to Michael, that evening I headed home with a perfectly fitted Overhead Panel, which was ready for installation in the cockpit.
The next day, Sunday I phoned Ian and asked him to help me put back the overhead section into the cockpit. He arrived soon after but we couldn't get into place as it was too heavy for just the two of us. So I got a neighbour to help us hold it in place while we fixed into position. What a difference it make to the cockpit.
The Panel has two power supplies, one for the Backlighting (12v) and one for the Instruments (5v). One Ethernet Cable connects to the Flight Sim PC or a Networked PC.
A script file from Sismo is required to run the Overhead and it is here where there's a problem. Because PMDG refuse to release the keyboard commands for their 737NG aircraft (so much for customer support in this area), hardware manufactures, such as Sismo and cockpit builders who use the PMDG 737NG cannot make their hardware work with the PMDG 737NG. Because of this, the only switches on the Panel that work on the PMDG 737NG are the Landing lights and Strobes lights. I did know about this problem but I would have been happy to be able to start and shut down the engines but it was not to be. So I have a wonderful Overhead which I cannot use. I have decided to switch to FSX in the new year as the Overhead will work on it but I'm going to wait until L4SC (Logics For Simulation Cockpits) have completed their new software, which currently runs the Overhead and will run the MCP, EFIS on FSX. This, along with the Sismo Orion Glass Cockpit, will all be a cheaper alternative to Project Magenta.
Second FMC CDU
I have finally connected the second FMC CDU, which didn't display at first. I remembered that it would only display when you were in the Virtual Cockpit of the PMDG 737NG. So I switched to the VC and it worked! Now the PNF (Pilot Not Flying) can use his own FMC during our flights.
Glareshield Extension (November 2010)
The Glareshield Extension Panel was installed on a Saturday afternoon with the help and guidance of Michael (photo below). The MCP, two EFIS and the Capt. and F/O Glareshields had to be removed first as had the two ribbons cables attached to each Warning Panel. The Glareshield Extension Panel had the bolt holes bored to match the cockpit base, so in theory, you just place it and bolt it into position. Unfortunately they didn't quite match on one side, so Michael had to drill them to make it fit. He also had to drill 6 holes on both sides for the Capt. and F/O Glareshields. After attaching the MCP, two EFIS and the Capt. and F/O Glareshields to the extension panel, we then had to replace the four ribbon cables with the supplied longer cables. Trying to follow the original cables to their circuit boards, through a loom of other cables proved very awkward, especially as we had no cabling diagram. However, we did manage to get them connected. The following day I connected the three sets of LED lights to the 5v power supply. Now I don't have to lean forward to use the MCP or EFIS.