Light Panel

LP1 Lights please!!! Light and backlighting is a great way to add some character to your cockpit. Creating the light panel was in the works for a while, but the thought of having to connect dimmers and potentiometers really scared me and for this reason I kept postponing the idea. I got to a point where I just could not postpone this anymore so I went to the shop I usual buy my equipment and bought everything I needed. The project was divided in two major category, the first was about connecting the hardware, the second was to create some backlighting for the panels.

LP2 I originally planned to use plywood but I quickly changed my mind and used 12 mm MDF. MDF is easier to work with because is very soft, you can fix some small mistakes by sanding them down where you can, the down side is that MDF is a very heavy wood, luckily the panels are not very large. The panels I purchased were not backlight ready so I had to come up with an idea that would allow me to add this to it. Searching the net I find out that led strips are an easy solution, of course you need to be able to do some soldering, but since I had learned to solder when I connected my MIP up I was OK with the idea.

LP3 I started by wiring the dimmers, perhaps my solution wasn’t the best since it is a bit messy, but it worked and that is for what’s important. Fixing physically the dimmer to the panel was a bit of a challenge and required some creativity. With my band-saw I had to create small bridges that would fit around the back of the dimmer and keep it stable. If I was going to use only the provided screw, with time I know it would have become loose and fixing this issue once the panel is mounted would be too complicated. Then I connected to cables and I have a great you tube video I used to understand how a dimmer works, following those little steps just ensured that the dimmer worked first time.

LP4 Power for the dimmers is taken from a 12v power source also bought from the same shop

LP5LP6Than was time for the potentiometers. They are used to change the brightness of the navigation display and EICAS (both), they do not get directly connected to a power source but instead an input/output card is required. I have used the Leo Bodnar (insert name) card (insert image), this card has 12 inputs available and worked great, plus the shipping from the UK was super-fast, I was really pleased

As always I have a few videos showing the process.

Thanks for watching and happy flying.

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Categories: MIP