Space Shuttle Simulator

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@Phil Smith your skills on electronics are awesome! Great MFD. In combination with my project one could build a working Shuttle flightdeck 😜

By the way, do you have an idea how to make the talkback indicators work? It would be just for show but very useful while running the checklists.

I also had plans for a multipurpose Simulator on my table. Even for Gemini and Apollo. I ended up with the Shuttle since it turned out that STS is actually a significant part of my life. Plus I can do all the phantastic payload stuff in an almost realistic environment.
 
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You probably wouldn’t need both fans. If you use one on the exhaust side, when it removes air, air gotta come in somewhere, so you could just provide openings where you intended, you won’t need a fan on it. People breathing even doing labor only use about 2.5 cu meters per hour (equivalent to 1.5 cu ft per minute). You fane moves 145 cu m/ hr, more than plenty, even with ducting losses. You could save that expense. Or conversely, use on the supply side, the air’s still gotta go out somewhere.
You‘re right. I already thought about this too. But I would need some good airflow trough the two openings on the main instrument panel and the one next to the CWS on the middeck, and for the two thermal control outlets just above the two aft observation windows on the flightdeck.

There is no documentation. But you can hear a good amount of airflow in high quality NASA videos:


The cabin fan in the Shuttle was capable of moving the entire air in the cabin within 7 minutes by the way. Equal to my fan if we take the sizes into account 👍 I think it‘s good to have plenty of capability...

Thanks for your thoughts on this.
 

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It’s probably not a bad idea anyway, redundancy in case of failure of one, the other will still give plenty of air and would not result in an abort.
 
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Yes. Redundancy would be good in this case.

There are only very few scenarios that could make me leave the simulator during a mission:

  • sudden illness with heavy symptoms
  • fire of course
  • water in the flat
  • electrical blackout

There‘ll be three small fire extinguishers and at least two smoke detectors in the sim.

During training and maintenance I‘ll leave the side hatch and airlock hatch open anyway, and just connect a felixble duct to the fan that pulls air into the sim. So that I can place the duct anywhere to get fresh air since it might become warm in the sim otherwise. Just like they did in the OPF during maintenance or in mockups during training.

I can‘t wait to start building. The plan is to buy materials next week and start with the lower frame and middeck...
 
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Those high quality NASA downlink videos are a great lucky strike for my project by the way. I created two awesome high quality sound files for the flightdeck and middeck. So it will sound exactly like the real thing. I‘ve got a document that says the noise level in the flightdeck and middeck was 60 to 64 db on orbit. So I will even get this one right.
 

Phil Smith

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@Phil Smith your skills on electronics are awesome! Great MFD. In combination with my project one could build a working Shuttle flightdeck 😜

By the way, do you have an idea how to make the talkback indicators work? It would be just for show but very useful while running the checklists.

I also had plans for a multipurpose Simulator on my table. Even for Gemini and Apollo. I ended up with the Shuttle since it turned out that STS is actually a significant part of my life. Plus I can do all the phantastic payload stuff in an almost realistic environment.
Thank you!

Regarding talkback indicators - you can use small solenoid and 3d printed structure with a little flag, controlled via small signal relay and transistor - just like a real one :)
transistor base is connected to output pin of your microcontroller.

Do you have any pictures showing a removed indicator? I found none yet..

EDIT - just found one! :))

 

Phil Smith

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Regarding the switches - I recommend you to scan ebay for military soviet ones - ok, they're not Honeywell, but cheap, robust and good looking.
I've purchased around 70 pcs of these (TV1-4) ( https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-TV...558025?hash=item23e5e09cc9:g:B3sAAOSwPjxfpU7c ) for just 100 bucks (yeah, you should dig deep into ebay soil to find such bargains). Also they require quite amount of force to be flipped - big boys' stuff :D
 
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Thanks for your information Phil (y)

I already thought about cheap alternatives for switches too. I think I would run into issues very quickly since the sizes of my flightdeck and middeck are shrinked. At a certain point switches might become too big to fit into a row/panel properly. But I will have a closer look as soon as I have reached the point of creating the panels.

I fear that making the talkback indicators work will give me a headache... :LOL: Nice find 👌 Luckily this is one of the last steps on the list, like working Event Timers and Mission Timers. It turns out, during my planning phase, that the design of the Shuttle's flightdeck and middeck is very very user-friendly for such a project. One can really tell that this was a 1970s spacecraft. Simple and handy shaping of panels, stowage, wall covering, etc. Relatively easy to rebuild...
 

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I would be curious to see how the Event timer selection knob and display work. The knobs look like they are 4 sided but the display next to them no sure how they worked?
 

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How do you plan to do the external visuals ?
You posted about having TVs for the windows, right ? HDR TVs can be get quite bright (1000 nits or more) and you need bright visuals in order to simulate daylight.
And how about sound ? Are you going to install speakers ?
Just curious about your project!
 
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I would be curious to see how the Event timer selection knob and display work. The knobs look like they are 4 sided but the display next to them no sure how they worked?
It's actually a simple logic. You have four small pushbuttons or rocker switches (like today's digital timers) for selecting the four digits individually, either up or down.. And you have switches to set/reset/test the timer, select counting up/down and start/stop it. As far as the electronics are concerned, one can get everything in electronic stores inlcuding LED digits. But the question is: can this be incorporated into my panels? Especially into the front Panel (panel F7) since there will be a 24" display behind the panel for displaying the 5 MFDs from Space Shuttle Ultra...
 

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It's actually a simple logic. You have four small pushbuttons or rocker switches (like today's digital timers) for selecting the four digits individually, either up or down.. And you have switches to set/reset/test the timer, select counting up/down and start/stop it. As far as the electronics are concerned, one can get everything in electronic stores inlcuding LED digits. But the question is: can this be incorporated into my panels? Especially into the front Panel (panel F7) since there will be a 24" display behind the panel for displaying the 5 MFDs from Space Shuttle Ultra...
You always can design a 3d printed "bezel" around 20mm thick to put electronics in front of the monitor structure
Thanks for your information Phil (y)

I already thought about cheap alternatives for switches too. I think I would run into issues very quickly since the sizes of my flightdeck and middeck are shrinked. At a certain point switches might become too big to fit into a row/panel properly. But I will have a closer look as soon as I have reached the point of creating the panels.

I fear that making the talkback indicators work will give me a headache... :LOL: Nice find 👌 Luckily this is one of the last steps on the list, like working Event Timers and Mission Timers. It turns out, during my planning phase, that the design of the Shuttle's flightdeck and middeck is very very user-friendly for such a project. One can really tell that this was a 1970s spacecraft. Simple and handy shaping of panels, stowage, wall covering, etc. Relatively easy to rebuild...
Nothing beats nice tactile feel on the real deal :))):hailprobe:
I'm sure you'll find a place to add them:cool::coffee:
 

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Thanks for your information Phil (y)

I fear that making the talkback indicators work will give me a headache... :LOL:
Are you sure you want to add indicators to your talk-back system?
All the areas I worked in didn't use them(except one). You identified yourself and listened for the reply.
The one that did have indicators showing which station had called was really part of a rebuild. The original system was falling apart mechanically and the key-switches were getting hard to find.
Our in-house engineering dept. designed and installed a new digi-system and it worked quite well. The PTT switches lit up from the remote station.
For some reason version 1 didn't cancel the last call station when another called you. At the end of the day, the panel was lit up like a xmas-tree.
Solved in ver. 2, fitted a "clear" button.
 
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How do you plan to do the external visuals ?
You posted about having TVs for the windows, right ? HDR TVs can be get quite bright (1000 nits or more) and you need bright visuals in order to simulate daylight.
And how about sound ? Are you going to install speakers ?
Just curious about your project!
I have three 55" 4k TVs. One for the two front windows, one for the two aft overhead windows and one for the two aft observation windows. There is a workaround for displaying different views of orbiter. But I didn't try it yet. One small display goes to the window of the side hatch, connected to the hatch on the outside. Daylight won't be an issue I think, since most of the time I'm in orbit 😀 Or let's say, most of the time actually is training i. e. simulating a simulation/training 😄

Yes, the simulator will feature several speakers. Sound is a very important key. I have seen so many awesome homemade simulators on youtube over the years, but most of them have a terrible sound environment which actually destroys the illusion. Personally I think it doesn't make sense to build a simulator when it has poor and quiet sounds. I have recorded and edited high quality cabin sounds of the real flightdeck and middeck from HD NASA videos (STS-125 and STS-134). Two speakers will be hidden in the middeck and two on the flightdeck for playing these two sounds in an endless loop on a real noise level (60-64 db). Another two speakers will play the orbiter sound (also real sound files recorded from videos, even for RCS firing). And additional speakers for playing real MCC communication, scripted along the mission according to the flight plan.

There is also a bunch of real cabin envirnment sounds I recorded from STS Videos so far, like noise of photo cameras, sound from what I guess comes from a handheld range tracker during ISS approach and some other stuff which can be played during high workload situations like rendezvous with Hubble for example. And there is also real airflow in the cabin which creates an aditional sound. I think all this in combination will make the sim a breathing, living environment.

During training I won't play real sounds and use only poor Orbiter graphics, just like in a NASA mockup for training (those mockups really lack sounds and good graphics). So I will have the "wow!!!"-effect only when flying a full mission (about 1-2 per month).
 
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Phil Smith

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yeah, sound fx are key to the real immersion. I suggest you acquiring/building butt kickers and other low frequency generation devices, capable of producing waveforms down to 5-10 HZ range. It'd add up significantly to the realism, especially during accent phase of the flight. Good news - there are plenty of beefy amps and subwoofers in autoparts stores - instead of putting em in some low-riding Cadillac, you'll put em in your high-flying Space Shuttle :probe:🔊🔊🔊
Also I plan to use some kind of G-geat, like this -

for giving me some situation awareness during ascent, orbital maneuvers and reentry/landing.
So basically, the sky is a limit here.. Or perhaps, in our case, the ceiling 😁
 
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@Phil Smith, yeah there is probably a solution how to integrate a working event timer into the panel. The question is if I'm able to do so, or if I will lose my head on this... :LOL:

I know what you mean regarding a tactile feel on the real deal. I had a professional flight yoke (just sold it in the process of making room for my project). The switches on this yoke were just like the switches in a Cessna: solid and relatively hard to press. Once pressed, one can really tell by the "click"-sound and feel that they're in their correct positions. But I think I'll have to make compromises. I have already shrinked the size of the sim to an absolute minimum...

Regarding the ButtKicker: it's funny that it's already mentioned in my manual and listed on the contents page :) Seems that we have an equal mindset (y) I will install it under the pilot's seat. There is just enough space for it (again shrinked size of the sim...). I believe it will be awesome during SSME ignition and early ascent/first stage (but also for touch down and landing roll). Especially in combination with my loud and real SRB and ET separation sounds recorded from inside the flightdeck (from an old video but with a good enough quality).

That G-seat is freaking awesome! Would be great for ignition and MECO. Maybe I could find a way to install something like that with a minimum of available space, just for forward/backward movement...

I'm curious about my heartbeat once I'm lifting off in this thing for the very first time with all that stuff, checklists, real comm- and cabin sounds etc... But we'll actually see. My sim will carry a working bioinstrumentation system 🚀 👩‍🚀

@Notebook, I'm not sure if we are talking about the same thing. I was referring to the talkback indicators which show the status of valves, doors etc. or "barberpole":

Untitled.png

Were did you work by the way? Sounds very interesting...
 
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Yesterday I got my aluminum food trays by the way. They're the only ones I could find, which are close to the real thing but not too big. They are actually for disinfecting sets of medical instruments. I will just misuse them:

IMG_5497.jpg

Let's see how they look with white velcro, magnetic strips and silverware...

I also got a few more nice space patches from the NASA gift shop at the Johnson Space Center for my suits/overalls. I will order more from time to time.

IMG_5498.jpg
 
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Notebook

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@Phil Smith, yeah there is probably a solution how to integrate a working event timer into the panel. The question is if I'm able to do so, or if I will lose my head on this... :LOL:

I know what you mean regarding a tactile feel on the real deal. I had a professional flight yoke (just sold it in the process of making room for my project). The switches on this yoke were just like the switches in a Cessna: solid and relatively hard to press. Once pressed, one can really tell by the "click"-sound and feel that they're in their correct positions. But I think I'll have to make compromises. I have already shrinked the size of the sim to an absolute minimum...

Regarding the ButtKicker: it's funny that it's already mentioned in my manual and listed on the contents page :) Seems that we have an equal mindset (y) I will install it under the pilot's seat. There is just enough space for it (again shrinked size of the sim...). I believe it will be awesome during SSME ignition and early ascent/first stage (but also for touch down and landing roll). Especially in combination with my loud and real SRB and ET separation sounds recorded from inside the flightdeck (from an old video but with a good enough quality).

That G-seat is freaking awesome! Would be great for ignition and MECO. Maybe I could find a way to install something like that with a minimum of available space, just for forward/backward movement...

I'm curious about my heartbeat once I'm lifting off in this thing for the very first time with all that stuff, checklists, real comm- and cabin sounds etc... But we'll actually see. My sim will carry a working bioinstrumentation system 🚀 👩‍🚀

@Notebook, I'm not sure if we are talking about the same thing. I was referring to the talkback indicators which show the status of valves, doors etc. or "barberpole":

View attachment 24869

Were did you work by the way? Sounds very interesting...

Ah, understood. We would probably have called those signals "tally-back".
The talk-back system was just that, you could talk to various areas that you needed to. Basically a mike-stalk, a speaker box and as many key panels as each area needed. A couple of spare patchable sources.

I worked for Thames Television, a UK commercial TV broadcaster and programme maker as an Operational Engineer. In practice I was in VTR, Telecine and Central Apparatus Room(CAR). There were three studios, each with lighting, production and sound galleries. Five VTR booths, four Telecine booths, three 35mm slide booths, CAR and Master Control. All potentially needed to talk to each other. The production gallery also had a "omni" mike so you could hear Production Assistant and Director without them having to press a key.
Designed and built in-house worked well till it just wore out. Multi-cable analogue of course.

This is what they had.

And this is the place getting demolished.

Frame five shows the Technical Block where I worked. Also had the Edit Suites, Dubbing Suites, Film Cutting Rooms, Band Room. Galleries for Studio 1 and Two.
Studio Three was detached and near the entrance on the roadside.
 

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Ah, understood. We would probably have called those signals "tally-back".
The talk-back system was just that, you could talk to various areas that you needed to. Basically a mike-stalk, a speaker box and as many key panels as each area needed. A couple of spare patchable sources.

I worked for Thames Television, a UK commercial TV broadcaster and programme maker as an Operational Engineer. In practice I was in VTR, Telecine and Central Apparatus Room(CAR). There were three studios, each with lighting, production and sound galleries. Five VTR booths, four Telecine booths, three 35mm slide booths, CAR and Master Control. All potentially needed to talk to each other. The production gallery also had a "omni" mike so you could hear Production Assistant and Director without them having to press a key.
Designed and built in-house worked well till it just wore out. Multi-cable analogue of course.

This is what they had.

And this is the place getting demolished.

Frame five shows the Technical Block where I worked. Also had the Edit Suites, Dubbing Suites, Film Cutting Rooms, Band Room. Galleries for Studio 1 and Two.
Studio Three was detached and near the entrance on the roadside.
I know, that you thought about that "talkback", just like in recording consoles :) Honestly, being studio gear junkie, this term confuses me in the same way 😄😅
Sad to see those places bite the dust... god damn apartments!...:mad:
 
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