Put More Korry In Your Flight Sim Switches

Never underestimate how far some flight simulator aficionados will go with their builds. No detail is too small, and every aspect of the look and feel has to accurately reflect the real cockpit. As a case in point, check out these very realistic Korry buttons that [Santi Luib III] built for an Airbus A320 simulator.

Now, you might never have heard of a “Korry button” before, but chances are you’ve seen them, at least in photos of commercial or military aircraft cockpits. Korry is a manufacturer of switches and annunciators for the avionics industry, and the name has become shorthand for similar switches. They’ve got a very particular look and feel and are built to extremely high standards, as one hopes that anything going into a plane would be. That makes the real switches very expensive, far more so than even the most dedicated homebrew sim builder would be comfortable with.

That’s where [Santi] comes in. His replica Korry buttons are built from off-the-shelf parts like LEDs and switches mounted to custom PCBs. The PCB was designed for either momentary or latching switches, and can support multiple LEDs in different colors. The assembled PCBs snap into 3D printed enclosures with dividers to keep light from bleeding through from one legend to the other.

The lenses are laser-cut translucent acrylic painted with urethane paint before the legends are engraved with a laser. The attention to detail on the labels is impressive. [Santi]’s process, which includes multiple coats of sealers, gets them looking just right. Even the LEDs are carefully selected: blue LEDs are too bright and aren’t quite the proper shade, so [Santi] uses white LEDs that are dimmed down with a bigger resistor and a light blue photographic gel to get the tint just right.

These buttons are just beautiful, and seeing a panel full of them with the proper back-lighting must be pretty thrilling. If civil aviation isn’t your thing, check out this A-10 “Warthog” cockpit sim, and the cool switches needed to make it just right.

Continue reading “Put More Korry In Your Flight Sim Switches”

Global Status Board Keeps Eye On COVID-19 Situation

When it comes to keeping abreast of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are basically two schools of thought. Some people would rather not hear the number of confirmed cases or deaths, and just want to focus on those who recovered. That’s fair enough. But others want to have all of the available data at their disposal so they can form their own conclusions about what’s happening with this virus on a global scale. Looking at this incredible COVID-19 status board, we’ll give you one guess which category [Reuben] falls into.

Note the laser engraved component labels

Constructed out of 2020 extrusion with both 3D printed and laser cut parts, this wall-mounted display is built to last. Clearly [Reuben] believes we’re in this one for the long haul, and taking a peek at the plethora of data points this device can show at once, it’s not hard to see why.

Stats are pulled down every hour from a JSON API by an ESP32 and stored on an SD card. A running total of confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries are shown on several TFT displays located behind the face of the display. On the right, the relative severity of the infection in 32 different countries is visualized with LEDs of varying brightness.

Perhaps the most visually striking element of the display is the large annunciator panel on the left side, which lights up to show various conditions all over the world. We appreciate that [Reuben] has thought ahead and added a light that can be used once a vaccine is deployed for COVID-19, but the inclusion of a “MARTIAL LAW” indicator certainly doesn’t help us shake the feeling we’ve all found ourselves in a proper dystopia.

For those who’d would rather get their information from the source rather than have it filtered through the media, we’ve recently covered a few APIs that will allow you to pull your own up-to-date COVID-19 stats. Whether you’re looking to build something as elaborate as this display, or just want to echo it out to the terminal, making sure you’re seeing accurate data is key to identifying the turning point.

Continue reading “Global Status Board Keeps Eye On COVID-19 Situation”

Nuclear Reactor Simulator Is The Project Of A Lifetime

Have you been watching Chernobyl? Well, so has everyone else. Right now it seems the whole Internet is comprised of armchair dosimetrists counting roentgens in their sleep, but [Mark Wright] doesn’t need a high-budget TV show to tell him about the challenges of wrangling the atom with 1980s technology. He’s done it for real. His memories of working at a Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactor over 30 years ago are so sharp that he’s been building a nuclear reactor “simulator” running on the Raspberry Pi that looks nearly as stressful as sitting in control room of the real thing.

The simulator software is written in Python, and is responsible for displaying a simplified overview of the reactor and ancillary systems on the screen. Here all the information required to operate the “nuclear plant” can be seen at a glance, from the utilization of individual pumps to the position of the control rods.

Continue reading “Nuclear Reactor Simulator Is The Project Of A Lifetime”