Making a MCP (English).

J. Carlos Lopez Muñoz

Making a del MCP based on the Boeing-737 NG airplane. This work will based on the IOCards of Manuel Vélez. At this moment and awaiting having finished the cards, I have explained as making everything the rest and I have connected it to a keyboard dismounted just as it is explained in the section of the EFIS.

Once have the IOCards, I will change the connections to connect this MCP to this hardware and power to have it full operative.

To see more information on these cards and the panels made by Manuel Vélez, you can visit

MCP original del B-737NG

An image of like it is what I want to build, the MCP for B-737 NG. If you move the mouse over the picture you will see the MCP iluminated from the rear (Backlight).

Enlarged image. Enlarged image backlighted.

Aspecto final de mi MCP sin y con retroiluminación.

The finished MCP that I have built. The same as the previous, moving the mouse over the image, you will see it backlighted.

Enlarged image. Enlarged image backlighted

To begin we will make ourselves later on the Mask that will serve me as guide to locate the components in the initial position, I will have to go adapting this mask to the final disposition because the size of the components is not similar to the real one. If you want, you can dowload my mask in Corel Draw or JPG format, directly making a click on the image.

This mask already has the final color, although if you are interested, you can be changed it easily. You can also download it in Corel Draw or JPG format, making a click on the image. Likewise, you can download the font used that I got through the partner of the list of cockpit maker Pedro Bibiloni and that it has been made by Derek Higgs

To begin, we will make the first storing of materials, in the image they are appreciated most of the components

We will order it an entire little bit... see it all more fence. We have the rotary switch of 12 positions with their revolvable control, toggle switches, displays, leds, printed circuit, bulbs for the backlight, resistances, thickness, acrylic, wires, ...

and some tools like screwdrivers, pincers, marker, pliers, cutter, files and of course a multimeter.

And with all this, For where we begin? We will print the mask in vegetable paper and we put it on the circuit card to begin to locate the components and to make us an idea of the space that we have.

The circuit card that I used has some measures of 100mm x 160mm (4"x 6"), for what I have used three cards that joinedthey will give me a measure for the MCP of 100mm of heigh ( 4") for 480mm of lenght (18.9"). Later I have drilled the circuit card where they will go located the rotary switchs. These circuits cards are standard and they already have drilled the holes to also put the components with some standard measures. (2.54 by 2.54 mm or 0.1 by 0.1 inches).

After deciding the location in a more precise way, I have drawn the position of all the components and joined the three circuits cards with some metallic plates.

The next step, I will begin to also drill the acrylic on which I will put the mask. At the moment alone I make the holes for the switches, rotary switches and fixation screws that will attach the circuit card and the acrylic using some thickness.

It is important to be made with a vertical support to make the drills, since it is necessary to try to be the most precise possible.

Let us prove to see that such they go coinciding the holes with the future location of the components.

Finally we locate the components and the mask of vegetable paper to help us to mark the acrylic and...

... to finish making the others holes (square holes), to have access to the rest of the toggle switches. In the picture, you can see the finished assembly.

Following my friend's advice Manuel Vélez, I will disassemble the rotary switches to remove them the stop of turn and to cut the spring that take in the interior to make it less hard the turn. You can see more information of this operation at:

Let us see that we need: the 5 rotary switches of 12 positions, a screwdriver, some pincers (very useful), a cutter and some scissors.

A tip to make this operation is to get a piece of sintetic foam. Inside of the rotary switch, we will find a little spring and small two balls that if we drop they will make us run for the whole room until finding them and with the foam, this won't happen, making us the easiest life.

Here you have the center parts with the spring to cut. In the black piece of the right we also have to work to remove with the cutter the one of stop that it limits the turn to 12 positions In the market they also exist other switches without this it stop and it is solved removing a washer that they incorporate for this purpose.

With the spring once cut we will proceed to mount all parts again.

Well, because with all finished, we can already begin to weld the components...

...beginning with the displays...

... and toggle switches, ....

... to finish with the LEDs. Here already you see like it goes being the whole assembly.

Next, we begin to weld the wires, beginning again with the displays...

... as you see in the image.

We have already finished so with the displays, a rest to continue with the work.

...and to begin to weld the wires that they go to the toggle switches and LEDs.

We already almost have everything.

Finally, all the wires are welded. The acrylic separated by some screws of the circuits card. These screws will substitute them later for metallic thickness.

To finish, we have to connect all the terminals of the displays and leds to a common ground. This has made it for the superior face. They are the wires that are come between the displays and toggle switches.

At this moment the displays doesn't connect to the FS, I will light them with some fixed numbers and at the moment it will be rather visible the MCP. When I have the IOCards, I will remove these resistances and I will weld the wires to the mentioned card. Therefore I have added to the rear side of the whole assembly, the card that you see to the right, so I will remove this circuit card without having to unweld anything of the main card.

And this it is the aspect that at the moment goes taking the MCP, where the fixed figures are come that have connected and some of the leds that I have activatedequally.

Here, I have located it next to the booth to see like it goes being.

It is already hour of going putting everything in a box, so with metacrilato I put on hands to the work being what you leave in the image...

... giving him later a knack of spray painting...

... to put everything inside ...

... being this way ...

... or this way.

Now we work with the mask that we had prepared...

... we place it above ...

... and we have finished the MCP.

Good, it has not been bad, when I begin to fly at night and turn off the light of the room, I won't see anything, so we can make a backlighted panel.

If you have not still seen the section that it has more than enough this there is in this same page, I advise you that you take him a look before continuing at: Backlighted

We will begin painting of white the face that gives to the circuit card, that is to say, the one of behind. This way the light will be reflected and it will extend by the acrylic very well.

Above the white painting, we paint again with a blue painting. Now no longer we will be passed neither a piece of light, except for where it interests us, bony the part that we will see.

Next, we paint with marker and for the part of behind, the colored one, the location of the lights and the journey that will take the wiress that conect the bulbs.

For each place that we have painted, I have gone making a hole with a drill to put the bulbs then. I notice that I have not passed over the acrylic, but rather I have hollowed it. If you click on the picture and the wide ones what you can it will appreciate better this.

This is a picture of like it is for before. This is the face on which puts on the mask that when having the letters in white, it will be for where it allows to pass the light. I remember that this face has NOT painted.

We will put the bulbs in the holes that we have made and conect it with wires. All the bulbs use 12V and they go connected in parallel, so that if one is out, don't stay the whole out panel.

The final test, we connect everything to the input source and here we have it, all the bulbs work.

This is the aspect for the face of up. I advise that before welding each bulb it is proven, won't be that is out and let us have to re-do work.. This is extensive to all the components as leds, displays and even the toggle switches.

In this point, we can already give almost had finished all the steps, but when putting the printed mask in the white adhesive polyester, I observe that it is not the sufficiently opaque thing, for what I decide to hit him from behind a black acetate that it buys in any Paper Shop.

Therefore, once hit this black acetate behind the mask, this it serves me as guide to go cutting with a cutter everything that I have more than enough, beginning with the holes of the toggle switches, displays and leds and continuing for where I want that the light comes out, that is to say the letters and lines...

Here already it has ended with the letters and I put on...

... hands to the work with the lines.

I finally already have it all fact, so I mount it, I connect him the source, I install it in the hole that it is waiting in the booth and I list for some instantaneous ones. So alone I have left to wait to have the IOCards so that everything works me connected to the FS.

In all ways, meanwhile, I have connected him a disassembled keyboard, like I made with the EFIS, and at the moment some of the functions are already operative. I leave you with some pictures of the finished work. I have also incorporated a video that you can get off the corresponding section or click directly in: To see Cockpit 3183 Kb de la sección correspondiente o pinchando directamente: See the Cockpit Video (3183 Kb)





Circuit Card 160mmx100mm


Acrylic 480mmx100mmx5mm


White Poliester adhesive blanco


Switch with LED

Rotary Switch of 12 positions and 1 circuit2.37511.85
Rotary Button1.0355.15
Yellow LEDs0.10141.40
Blue toggle switch0.26143.64
Two positions switch1.5323.06
Vegetal paper0.1120.22
Green LED1.2911.29
TAX 16%8.91
Total64.60 Euros




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