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I am a flight simulation hobbyist currently working on building instruments, gauges, radios and controls for a C172.

I'm on vacation till 8-March-2018

What I'm doing:

Flightgear Code Introduction

Recently I began the effort to fully understand the skills needed to contribute to the Flightgear project's codebase. I'm beginning to look through various parts of the Flightgear code-base to understand how the parts fit together and how supporting libraries are used in the project.

I'm documenting my efforts. see Flightgear and Simgear Code Take a look if you're on the same heading.

I'll be working on the interface between Flightgear and low level hardware in a panel or cockpit. It is my understanding that others, including core Flightgear developers are also working on this and my efforts will follow, derive from, depend on and I hope contribute in some small way to their work.

Progress on Cockpit Building

As of Feb 1, 2018:

  • I've done only a few prototype circuits
  • have been working to develop skills I'll need to produce a realistic cockpit.
  • Developing skills in Fusion 360 to support 3d Printing and 3d machine tools.
  • Working on tests for a cluster based on Raspberry Pi Zeros
  • Beginning to use a 3d Router
  • Milling into thin prisms and hand polishing disks of plexiglass for illuminating dials in Sim Instruments

As part of my Cockpit Building efforts, I'm also working on


 Email Callahanp through the wiki

I show up occasionally on #flightgear on and am a member of several public forums related to cockpit building.

Callahanp (talk) 09:45, 11 November 2017 (EST)

My Skills

  • Programming in whatever language is available
  • Databases
  • Making the following list of chips do what they do:
  • MCP23XXX Multiplexer
  • MAX7219 Serially Interfaced, 8-Digit LED Display Driver
  • Designing a few types of circuits that work on a breadboard (see electronics below)
My Developing Skills -- Beginner
  • Grokking Flightgear's code base.
  • Very basic machining on a lathe or mill - no significant experience
  • Electronics - Basics - DC, High & Low speed digital circuits, motor control, emi suppression and mitigation
  • Soldering - Learn to deal with small components
  • Designing circuits that make it from breadboard to cockpit.
  • Getting a cokpit project off the ground
  • C++ - Updating coding skills from an early version of C++
  • Avoiding Writing Howtos
My Developing Skills -- Making Good Progress
  • Fusion 360 3dCad
  • 3d Router

The Howtos -- Oh yeah... those...

I'm working on these along side building my cockpit. Some of the early attempts were not that useful. My current approach is to build and document actual hardware. I hope this will be more helpful.

Current Projects:

See below for the my personal rules about these howtos going forward. I had to write these because it was becoming a morass and time waster.

The following is yet another work in progress

Writing Advice to Callahanp from Callahanp  or How to write a Howto.

Rule 1. Brevity.

Rule 2. Real Hardware & Software. If I haven't done it yet I'll talk about it on my personal wiki page. That's where stuff like that belongs.

Rule 3. Project Planning, Building Teams, and anything else about developing a hobby project belong elsewhere. If you want to write about these things, go ahead, but don't do it in a Howto on building something specific like a cockpit. If you haven't done the project yet you'll get it wrong. Plus, you'll sound like a...

Rule 4. Grand visions, Vaporware, Abstract thinking, Advice and other nonsense don't belong anywhere.

Rule 5. Get rid of your darlings. Those witty turns of phrase, that elegant prose, the puns, jokes and asides. Fun to write maybe but not so fun to read. They're distractions. These are things a skillful writer can weave into an uninterrupted smooth train of thought but you're not that good a writer. Don't even try,

'nuff said.