FDS Dimming boards 

These boards allow you to provide a dimming source for the panels, MIP and pedestal.

The Airbus pedestal backlight and MIP backlight is controlled by the Integral light knob found on the pedestal.

If you are using genuine aircraft parts it is a struggle to use the more commonly available dimmer boards found on eBay as they are mostly only 12V compatible.

Aircraft panels use 5v. The FDS panels also use bulbs and not the more commonly used LEDs in replica panels. For this reason their dimmer board works mostly out of the box.

With one main dimming board you can control 2 extension or distribution boards.

It is important to use more than one board to provide sufficient backlight current to the whole cockpit. Each board has a capacity limit of 10 amps and has a fuse to ensure you do not go over this limit.

And then we had light…

Each bulb on an Airbus panel requires 115 mA. For the pedestal 2 dimming boards are used. The MIP uses one dimming board. The plan is to use two dimming boards for the overhead.

The dimming board requires a 50k potentiometer to operate correctly. Unfortunately genuine airbus potentiometers are 470k and are therefore incompatible.

The integral airbus pot will need to be swapped out with a 50k pot to have the full range of dimming function.

Overall FDS provides a straight forward solution which works well for the dimming of aircraft panels, replica or genuine.


The original FDS dimming boards can now be modified to work with genuine Airbus potentiometers.

2 thoughts on “FDS Dimming boards 

  1. Pingback: Instrument and Pedestal Integral Light Dimming Function | SoarbyWire

  2. Pingback: Backlight revisited – modifying the FDS dimmer board for genuine Airbus potentiometer compatibility | Soarbywire

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