Installing the avionics pedestal

One of the last major avionics projects prior to closing up the cockpit with trim was the installation of the avionics pedestal. This piece is screwed to the floor and has Dzus rails for mounting various avionics including the radio control heads.

Boeing OEM pedestal prior to removal. Note the entire structure was removed prior to tackling this part of the project, given how stuck the fasteners were. Throttle quadrant and flight control removal was delayed until even later, when the floor was in vertical position.

The pedestal itself is a Boeing OEM unit that was installed in the cockpit I originally bought in 2011. Removing the pedestal required a great deal of patience as the screws holding it in place were exposed to the elements for a couple of years while the cockpit was waiting in the boneyard for me to rescue it. PB penetrating catalyst was essential to this task. I stripped the pedestal and refinished it with a self-levelling compound made by 3M. I then painted the unit in the style of an NG model 737, with off white for the body and gray trim around the top. Clear matte spray finish makes for a better appearance and covers up the sandpaper texture of the primer.

Pedestal mount, looking forward. Gray structure at the top is the base of the throttle quadrant. Gray frame in the center of the picture is the pedestal base. As this piece crosses the midline, it was used to index the left and right sides of the floor during reassembly.

The power and USB cables were previously run under the floor back when it was still in vertical position. I chose a combo 12v/5v power supply to provide 12v to the FDS-SYS3 card and 5v for the lighting. This power supply also wound up being used for two USB hubs that wound up inside the pedestal. The backlighting is on a FDS-IBL-DIST-DIM with a FDS-IBL-DIST-EXP card. A 24v power supply was added later when I finished interfacing an OEM fire panel.

Pedestal during installation. Top of frame shows aft part of throttle quadrant and fire panel. FDS-SYS3 interface card mounted on wall on the left, USB hub on the top right. Small interface boards on either side are FDS-IBL-DIST-DIM boards. Avionics modules will be installed on Dzus rails.

After screwing the pedestal back onto the OEM nutplates, I connected the various pedestal modules one at a time. My pedestal has 2x multicom units, 2x NAV radio heads, 2x dummy audio panels, one transponder control, a cargo fire panel, a dummy radar control panel, aileron/rudder trim panel, a door access panel, and a lighting control panel.

Avionics pedestal complete after installation of modules, all manufactured for the simulation market by Flightdeck Solutions except the fire panel seen at the top.