I am glad to announce the release of the VRMAX radio panel. Initially I thought it will be a separate device, but after actually building it and making some changes in the process, I decided that nothing prevents it from being a mod to the AB412 collective head. If you have one already, you just need to reprint and replace the bottom part of the housing, and tie and solder the radio panel combined i2c cable to that of the 412 head.
I have made a few changes since when the video from the previous post was filmed:
- panel mode switch now respects the stack selector switch position; this means we now have 6 more button sets for 4 radio panel knobs to map to some useful functions.
- I noticed that OBS and HDG knobs were way too slow to be operated comfortably, so a new continuous turn mode was added: it will be making a lot of short button presses on each knob step, resulting in OBS knob continuous rotation (up to around 30 degrees). Pressing the button of the knob switches between 1-press-per-step and continuous modes, a button press in the latter stops rotation. This works for OBS and DIR GYRO knobs.
- After some thinking, I changed the behavior of radio panel knob pushbuttons: they are now mapped to 3 different joy button sets depending on the stack selector switch position. This allows us to use 2 top buttons for ACT / STBY buttons of the selected radio ( 1 for COM, 1 for NAV), and 2 other buttons – for audio panel mute / unmute buttons (for currently selected COM and NAV)! This is useful, when you have tuned some AWOS frequency in advance on your second radio, and want to mute it until you’ll be close to the airport, or when you want to make sure you’re tuned to the correct VOR and check that you’re actually receiving the signal from it.
To test the new panel, you can use this web based tool: https://html5gamepad.com/. It displays all of its 154 buttons properly 😀
Here’s how the head looks when installed onto the single collective:
You can find the assembling manual here. I will be making a tutorial and a flight video shortly.