Howto:Build your own Panel or Cockpit - Skills & Knowledge

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As you construct your cockpit, especially if you are building a close replica, you may encounter problems to solve that may be easier if you have or acquire basic skills and knowledge from such areas from Electronics, Physics, Metalworking, Woodworking, Materials, Safety, etc.

This page is not intended to provide education, but to provide a springboard for a dive into any of these topics that you might feel a need to develop. You may want to find online articles from a variety of sources to support your learning.

I'd be interested to know if any of this kind of information is useful to you or not and why. Please comment on the talk page.

Topic Facts Importance Links
Conductors, Insulators and Semi-Conductors Facts Importance Links
Voltage (V)
& Ohm's Law
V = I x R
I = V / R
R = V / I
Given any two of V, I or R, you can calculate the third
Power Calculation Factoids Importance Links
Heat Disappation Example Example Example
Impedance Facts Importance Links
Inductance Facts Importance Links
Circuit Elements Capacitor
Voltage Regulator
Example Example
Transistors - Bi-Junction Facts Importance Links
Transistors - Field Effect Facts Importance Links
Topic Facts Importance Links
Micro-Circuits Facts Importance Links
Oscilloscopes Facts Importance Links
Logic Analyzers Facts Importance Links
Digital and Analog Voltage Meters Analog Voltage Meters have input resistance that varies for different voltage ranges. The sensitivity is typically 20,000 Ohms per volt at full scale.

Digital Voltage Meters often have input resistance on the order of 10 MΩ in most ranges
Depending on the impedance of the circuit you are measuring, the input resistance of the meter can affect the reading on the meter. Because of their higher input resistance, Digital Voltage Meters are less affected.

An inexpensive Digital Multimeter is probably quite sufficient for work on cockpits. [[1]]

H Bridge Circuits Facts Importance [Wikipedia: H Bridge]
Header text Facts Importance Links
Magnetic Induction The physical phenomenon underlying all types of motors
Brushed DC Motors [Wikipedia: DC Motor]
Brushless DC Motors [Microchip Application Note AN885
Brushless DC (BLDC) Motor Fundamentals
[Wikipedia: Brushless DC Electric Motor]
AC Motors Wikipedia: AC Motor ]] | Wikipedia: Induction Motor ]] | Wikipedia: Synchronous Motor ]]

Stepper Motors [Wikipedia: Stepper Motor]
Air Core Motors Facts Importance [Wikipedia: Air core gauge ]
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Metric Example Example
Imperial Example Example
Fractional Sizes Example Example
Metric Sizes Example Example
Number Drill Sizes Example Example
Wire Sizes Example Example

Standard Instrument Sizes
Processor Description Links
Raspberry Pi Runs Linux
BeagleBoards ARM Based Boards
Runs Linux

Various ARM Processors, Interfaces & Prices.
Lowest price is Pocket Beagle $25 USD
Arduino Various Atmel chips
Atmel (now owned by Microchip)
PIC (Microchip)

STM32 (also works with PIC)
Header text Header text Header text Header text
Python Example Example Example
Javascript Example Example Example
C Example Example Example
C++ Example Example Example
Arduino Example Example Example
Raspberry Pi Example Example Example
Beaglebone Example Example Example


Plywood Plastic Film Acrylic Sheet Delrin 6061 Aluminum 8020


Things a Datasheet might contain


Types of Screwdrivers Nut Drivers Wrench Sets Socket Wrenches Saws Drill Presses Routers 3d Printers 3d Routers 3d Mill Mill Lathe


This section contains some practical advice. Take it.

Topic Risks Protective Measures Examples
Right tool for the job Personal Injury
Tool Damage
Part Damage
Cosmetic Damage
Risk and Situational Awareness

Have the right tools close at hand while working
Use the right size tool
Put tools no longer needed away
[[| Screwdriver Safety
Any hand tool can hurt you. Power tools just do it faster. Much faster.
  • Improperly Supported Work
  • Improperly Adjusted or Fastened Tool
  • Wrong Size Tool
  • Loose Clothing
  • Material Kickback
  • Thrown Debris
  • Violently Thrown Parts of a Tool when a Tool, Bit or Blade Breaks During Use
  • Material being worked pulling body part into tool path
  • Risk and Situational Awareness

  • Tool Inspection and Evaluation

  • Safety Equipment not Disabled
  • Stand out of tool Rotation Path
    Safety Barriers
  • Correct Tool and Tool Speed for Material
Preventing Lost Body Parts (Eyes, Fingers, Hands, Arms etc.) Learn about this... We're not kidding.)
  • Tools without covers or Missing Safety Equipment
  • Tool Shutoff Disabled
  • Inattention
  • Holding Material with Hands
  • Protective Gear not Available or Not Used
  • Risk and Situational Awareness

  • Read Instruction Manuals
  • Observe Safety Instructions
  • Constant Situational Awareness
Protective Eyewear Lasers

Intense Light
Object striking or penetrating the eye
Abrasive Materials embedded in eyelid
Chemical Exposure

Risk and Situational Awareness

Safety spectacles (clear or tinted safety glasses)
Goggles / Overspecs
Face screens / face shields
Visors / Browguards
Welding Helmets
Special Protective Eyewear for Laser Exposure
Prescription and Reading Glass lenses available

Saint Luke's Health System: Types of Protective Eyewear

Noise Protection Noise Levels above 95 db Risk and Situational Awareness

Insertable Earplugs - Foam, Wax, Silicon, OtoPlastics
The typical range for hearing protection is from 15 to 35 decibels of sound attenuation. The higher the NRR is, the more noise attenuation it provides, as long as it is also a good fit in the ear. Earplugs 7 Different types of hearing protection

Lung Protection Paints & Solvents


Risk and Situational Awareness

Adequate Ventilation
Work Hoods
Read MSDS for materials
Correct type of Face Masks
Breathing Apparatus
Fires Paints & Solvents

Improper Storage
Improper Disposal

Risk and Situational Awareness

Follow Recommended Storage and Disposal Procedures
Fire Extinguisher Location Awareness
Fire/Explosion Supression Grounding