Substituting Transducers 

Transducers are expensive. These are well refined potentiometers attached to your throttle lever, sidestick, flaps lever or spoiler/speedbrake. Transducers usually come with more than one potentiometer – this is for redundancy and to ensure the values in all the potentiometer read the same; any error would have severe catastrophic consequence.

If you are lucky, when you purchase your part the transducers should be attached to the part. Transducers have high resale value – on the aircraft tear-down market they can go for thousands of dollars.

Fortunately the pedestal when received had the transducers already attached to the throttle lever arms. Wiring to an interface board such as a Leo Bodnar is as simple as plugging into the cannon plugs on the pedestal.

If your part does not have the transducers a home made solution is in order. The simulator’s genuine sidesticks and flaps panel did not have transducers so it was necessary to create a substitute. With some creativity, it is possible to create a device to communicate with your I/O board. The device simply translates physical movements to an electrical signal for the computer, and the flight simulator to read.

With some tips from Simon a solution for the sidesticks nil transducers was made. Sliding potentiometers, nuts, bolts, washers, Ikea spare parts and a handy glue gun were facilitated to create a functioning sliding mechanism.

Two (one for each sidestick) PTA4543-2015DP-B103 Bourns sliding potentiometers (45MM, linear) were used to translate Y axis (elevator) on the sidestick.

Two PTA6043-2015DP-B103 Bourns potentiometer, 10k (60 MM, linear) were used to translate X (aileron) on the sidestick. 

The flaps panel solution was created out of a 10k potentiometer purchased at a local electronic shop, tape, and zip tie. Total cost < $5.00.
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You need to be creative when you are missing essential parts for the sim and the examples above are ways around how you might create a solution. They do not need to be expensive as long as they work! Other builders I have discussed with have also used sliding potentiometers for their pedestal throttle levers.

11 thoughts on “Substituting Transducers 

    • You can try either the BU0836A or BU0836X board. I preference the BU08368A because wires can be plugged into pins directly. With the other board you have to fiddle inserting into each individual contact point.

    • Transducers translate mechanical movement to electrical signals on the pin outs. If you don’t have transducers the pin outs on the cannon plugs will not work.

  1. would it be possible to advise on what transducer you used on the flap lever and how you connected it as I have got the flap module

    • If you look closely at the photo above you can see a simple 10k pot held together with zip ties inserts into where the transducers would fit.

  2. Pingback: Airbus Interfacing | SoarbyWire

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