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The inclusion of an FMC/CDU is not as easy as was first thought, without using PM.

A kit was readily available and easy to get hold of, but when I received it, it was going to prove very difficult to achieve what I wanted.

I was determined to keep going down a route of not using PM, which others had done, but all found that including the FMC, especially interfacing it with FS9 was rather difficult.

I found a guy in Australia that had made and was selling PCB’s already made ready to fit the engravity kits, without all the wiring having to go through a white plastic board under the keys.

This is what the PCB looks like, as you can see I have already soldered the 40 pin connector and all the micro-push switches on already.

As you can see the picture above shows all the switches fitted and the first overlay plastic from the kit in place, however when the second overlay is fitted we can start to see some problems, if you look closely, not all the switches are exactly in the centre of the holes for the enunciators.

Because the lettered enunciators already have the fitting for the push-switches moulded into the backs, I have to very, very carefully file down the outside dimensions of each button to fit the holes and keep them central, like so:---------Not an easy task!!

After many long hours I managed to file down all the necessary enunciators and got all the buttons fitted, I made a small balsa surround and bracket to mount it all in.

The way I wanted to use my FMC was to open, then undock the FMC graphic in PMDG and move it to another 15” flat panel that I had mounted in the centre section of the MIP, just forward of the Throttle quadrant.

I would then use the “key 2 Mouse” programme again with an interface to mimic the enunciator pushes, by moving the mouse over the co-responding button on the FMC graphic, which in turn would work.

But the problem of the screen view still needed to be sorted, the way I planned it was to keep the kit as ‘slim’ as possible and overlay it directly onto the graphic on the screen, ingenious even though I say so myself!

So after may hours of programming, tweaking, adjusting graphic sizes, mouse ‘click’ positions etc. It all, finally came together as below, so here are some more photo’s of it, in it’s working state.

As you can see the FMC doesn’t cover the entire 15” flat panel screen, so the right hand side is used to display the instructions and response button number instructions, from Radar Contact, which is working via WideFS on another computer.

I saw an advert on an American web site for a miniature rope-light, so I thought that would illuminate the enunciators, but as you can see that wasn’t very successful at all, never mind..................!