MCDU Conversion Kit (Part 2)

This article is a follow up to the article Thales MCDU Conversion

The second or First Officer MCDU has now been successfully converted using Simulator Solution’s SimStack MCDU Conversion Kit.

Simulator Solution, an Australian based company, offers replacement parts for the Airbus and Boeing line of CDUs. The SimStack software is compatible with ProSimA320, ProSim737 and Aerowinx PSX 747.

Simulator Solution SimStack MCDU Conversion Kit

The hardware included with the kit includes their SimStack interface board, a VGA display and its controller board, aluminium framing for mounting the boards and display, and a thick clear glass screen to simulate the CRT. An extensive 34 page installation guide is also included with the kit.

The SimStack board comes preconfigured and wired to the display controller board and a header for connection to the MCDU keypad. The parts are relatively plug and play and work as advertised.

The MCDU requires a significant amount of preparation prior to the installation of the MCDU kit. All the original electronic boards inside the MCDU have to be removed. If you are unlucky you may have a number of screws stuck and frozen requiring drilling or dremeling for extraction. The provided aluminium mounting frame (supports the VGA display, controller board and glass) must also be drilled accurately for correct placement. Preparing the OEM unit for the kit installation can be labour intensive depending on the condition and state of your equipment.

With all OEM boards removed you are left with an MCDU skeleton frame

The first MCDU received from Simulator Solutions initially had issues with the pot brightness and VGA power logic (linked to the Aircraft Essential Bus state). I am happy these issues have now been addressed with a ProSimA320 update, and a small change to the SimStack wiring. The behaviour of MCDU now acts appropriately and realistically with LCD being in the correct powered active state depending on the simulated aircraft electrical bus state. The SimStack boards are able to perform the correct switching and power supply logic without any additional special hardware, or relays.

OEM MCDU Power Supply schematic indicating it receives 115 VAC from the SHED ESS BUS

The SimStack conversion kit provides a solution for enthusiasts who would like to use OEM MCDU equipment. More information available at Simulator Solutions.

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