13.8.2 Annunicator Panel

This entry is part 30 of 66 in the series 13 - Electrical / Instruments

On the instrument panel, there is a need for a warning system. Kind of like the “idiot lights” on a car instrument panel. The Grand Rapids and Vertical Power can display warnings and alerts, but sometimes it’s a bit difficult to identify the actual failure or notification.

Most builders put some lights on the panel and put a label under it.

Here’s an example for a Low Voltage and Starter Engaged warning.

But I wanted something a little bit nicer.

This is the “Master Warning Panel” in a Cessna 441.  Sweet!

I found some really nice Hi-Intensity, wide angle LEDs. I then designed the circuit board that the LEDs would be mounted to.

But the one thing I kept coming back to was how to make (what I call) the mask. The thing with the lettering. My initial plan was to run some clear transparency stock through the the laser printer. But the black wasn’t opaque enough. But if I did two layers it was. but getting the two layers to align was very difficult. But that’s the only choice I had.

Then a friend told me that the shops that made trophies had this black stock that they hit with a laser and could make clear lettering. So I started calling around and I found one that could get the material and had the laser. After some back and forth on the dimensions and lettering, I had a “version 1″ of the Annunicator Panel mask.

While I was working on the circuit design, I breadboarded the circuit. Here’s what it will look like.

Now I just have to build the housing, get the circuit board etched, solder all the components, and figure out how to mount the whole thing to the instrument panel. :-)

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