ICP (Integrated Control Panel)

The ICP can be called the main Viper's panel, as it controls almost every function that is required for flying the F-16.
As it is located just in front of the pilot, it allows to switch between functions easily, without making it necessary to turn around and look for a certain panel. This way the pilot is keeping his head up at all times and can concentrate on the action that is taking place around him.
These features are also very important when flying a simulator, and therefore the ICP is just a must for every sim-builder.

When building Sim.ver.2.0 (low fidelity) I had problems to place all switches, rockers and the wheels on one panel. Another big problem was to find the appropiate 4-way switch. After resolving all these problems, I had a functional ICP, but...it was too big :( - It turned out to be 25 mm too wide at the left and right sides and 13 mm too high at the top and at the bottom.
The new ICP has the precise dimensions AND holds all switches, rockers, buttons and the four control wheels!!
As you can see, this time high fidelity is achieved 100%

ICP Table 1

ICP Front View

ICP Labels

ICP Right Control Wheels

As you can see, RealSimulator in Spain did again a great job. Thank you guys!!
The panel is an exact copy of the original ICP. The pressure required to push in a button is also equal to the real thing. This turns to be out a very nice feature if you fly wearing gloves. A click is heard and felt when the button or the rocker is depressed, giving you also the right feeling during flight.
All details have been taken into consideration: the spring-loaded DRIFT C/O switch jumps back to the NORM position after being pushed down to the WARN RESET and released again. The solid 4-way switch allows to be used, without being scared, that it gets broken if you apply some more pressure on it.
The rockers have as required each two positions and the four control wheels even have a switch at the OFF position. However, the left wheels have the OFF position at the top instead of being at the bottom. This is due to the used potentiometers, but I can for sure live with it. ;)

ICP Table 2

ICP Bottom View

ICP Side View

ICP Top View

Here a list of the ICP's Features:

- USB Plug & Play
- 19 buttons
- 2 rockers (each with 2 positions)
- 4 Control wheels with Off position
- 1 solid 4-Way switch
- 1 3-Way switch
- 1 3-Way switch with lower spring-loaded position
- exact dimensions
- neat Labeling
- authentic pressure feeling when depressing the buttons and rockers

About the price: It is a fact, that I could not find such a nice ICP for that little money anywhere else. The price is low,regarding the features of this ICP. The delivered software has the original F-16's layout, but can be reprogrammed at will any time. - I just use it as it comes, and still have one extra button left (WX button), that I can use for some special action like swapping between different layouts, or whatever I want ;)
As you can see at the pics, the ENTR button is higher than the rest of the Key pad. The original ICP has the same difference of height. This allows to find the ENTR key without needing to look what key you are hitting. Some enhanced dots are also at the panel, allowing to locate a key without looking at the ICP.
The upper 6 buttons (the round ones) are also higher, as on the real ICP.

Why using a copy, if you have the real panel?
This is a question I have been asked many times. The answer is simple:
Even if you have the chance to get a real ICP, which by the way is very expensive, you will encounter problems if you try to use it. The original parts normally require 28 Volt and 400 Hz, and in order to obtain that frequency you would need extra and expensive electronics, so that you can use the original ICP with you PC. .(
Building a simulator is not exactly the cheapest thing ones can, do and therefore I try to keep the price low whenever I can.
I would recommend you to do the same, and as far as we can get parts that are high fidelity, parts that really work with our PC and parts that allow us to keep our budget within normal ranges, we should use them.
This way I am sure you will have as much fun as I am having now! ;)

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