50th Anniversary Apollo 11 DSKY Kickstarter Killer w/NASA Code and AGC--Not a Toy
(Slim Line DSKY)
What you will receive:
This is a scaled down Apollo DSKY (DiSplay KeYboard) 3D printed model though a 1:1 height and width presentation.
This kit makes a Slim DSKY that is portable and actual authentic height and width but only 1.5 inches thick. The battery or power cord is a separate item that is outside the case and not included. Any USB charger from the dollar store will work or one of those cell phone battery chargers at Wal-Mart is used to power this. It is slim so it may fit in a console panel (sold separately) or it will fit in a back pack and travel with you.
The blueprints for the real DSKY are not available so this design was created by measuring museum DSKY's, historical photos, research, and photo interpolation. This is a working physical model in strong plastic (ABS), not cardboard or paper. It includes the face plate, mounting base, error lamp module, digital display module, display covers, Allen screws, LCD display, Lamp display PCB, 19 keys, graphics, overlays, all LEDs with a built in Apollo Guidance Computer with all CORE memory files hidden behind the high brightness TFT LCD. The included dual core computer chip is smaller than a postage stamp. The DSKY keys are back lit with 1 watt super bright LEDs. Each error lamp is made of three 1 Watt LEDs and are visible in direct sunlight. All LEDs are multiplexed to reduce current draw so any smart phone charger or portable battery will work.
The DSKY and the integrated AGC work "Out of the box" so if you plug in any USB keyboard and a USB power cord you can play with it immediately. The error lamps aren't hooked up to the display but you could plug that module into the display module and have lots of fun while you start the paint and assembly process. (It is a simple cable that is included.) Included is a Display Support stand to mount the pair of Display units on for ultimate portability.
The original unobtainable short life span digital electroluminescent display for the original DSKY, is simulated with a Long-Life 4.3 inch TFT LCD with a touch screen. The touchscreen has an included stylus but this is not used in the DSKY software. This display is not turned on in the picture but pictures are available for the other DSKY listing in a separate auction. It is crisp and beautiful with the NASA character set. The fonts used are as per NASA specifications. Your graphics will be perfect and will look near identical to the EL display except it wont wear out or fade and does not cost a fortune and require a burn in period. If you want to improve, or "age" the display, you may replace the graphic set with your own and specification of alternate graphics is easily done. All graphic elements including COMP ACTY on and off are actually graphics you can edit and load as an additional graphic set. You can select the different graphic set by a command and retain the original set. You could change the display to look like LCD, grey with EL, LED, or whatever you want to create. You will not damage the original graphics as this DSKY connects over the Internet and updates itself when commanded.
This DSKY is similar to the full size DSKY except everything has been fitted into the first 1.5 inches of depth. The distance between the key backlight and the keycap top is less than in the full depth DSKY so the keyboard backlights are a little brighter. The key travel is the same as a real DSKY though.
What's Under The Hood.....
The CPU in this DSKY/AGC is about a hundred times more capable than an Arduino and is comparable to the CPU in your Laptop, not your coffee maker (Arduino Nano). The entire DSKY and the Apollo Guidance computer with all 14 core files from all unique Apollo variations is included. This DSKY does ALL of the NOUN VERB commands a DSKY and AGC does whether the AGC was in the Command Module or the Lunar Excursion Module (They were quite different).
AGC software is loaded into the on board dual core 64 bit CPU to enable you to operate the DSKY in all documented hardware configurations from Apollo 1 to Skylab. This lets you run simulations with block 1 and block 2 AGC software from all Apollo and Skylab missions. Maybe even the Apollo Soyuz Test Mission. This loads the hardware setup for the operation of the DSKY/AGC depending on which configuration you select. If you do not select a configuration, Apollo 11 Lunar module is selected and the firmware runs as it did in the Lunar Module that landed on the moon.
What Can You Do with The Telemetrics DSKY.....
The AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer) function integrated into this DSKY replica is able to be redirected to another AGC on the Internet, or a simulator that has the rest of the spacecraft simulated. Included is a WIFI interface and wired Ethernet network. There is also an Integrated Web Browser so you can surf the Internet or watch YouTube videos. You could check your Email if you have to.
This DSKY/AGC runs Launch and Landing scripts so you may select for example a Saturn V launch or Apollo 11 lunar landing, and the display animates for about 10 minutes to provide an interesting demo of what it was like in the spacecraft. You may edit or create your own scripts if you need to and have the skills. These script files will repeat forever and make an excellent presentation in your simulator, museum, kiosk, gift shop or Space Cave.
The software is open source and Internationalized (at least for Italian). We ares till adding foreign language menus and because ALL of Telemetric's DSKY's are fully networked, we can update yours remotely, as a free service.
Now some Technical stuff....
This DSKY/AGC is run on a single board computer that has been integrated behind the LCD. This computer runs Raspian Linux and there are 4 USB ports (one is reserved for the internal DSKY keyboard), Bluetooth, WiFi, a network interface, stereo audio, and general purpose inputs and outputs. Included is 1 Gigabyte of memory built on to the CPU and a 32 Gigabyte micro-SD card that is used as a solid state hard drive. The lamp module can connect to other modules so you can control additional LED's such as a spacecraft illumination LED array. This product is designed for portable use and also for people that want to make a Lunar Lander or Command Module Simulator that is connected to the Internet. These are designed for museums, science centers, schools, escape rooms, and folks just like you.
This DSKY, which is the first 1.5 inches of a genuine DSKY, does not have any need for display relays or other electronics that are in the real DSKY so if you don't need or want the rear section, you don't have to buy it. If building this into a console, you just need the correct size hole. This DSKY will mount on a wall or sit on your desk. Since the Apollo Guidance Computer is included, and shrunk to the size of a finger nail, you don't need a separate one. Its pretty hard to see if your engine is lit up if you don't have an engine, or see how fast you are going when you aren't actually moving, so this DSKY connects to remote AGC simulators that have spacecraft modeling and simulation to act like you have the rest of the spacecraft installed. This feature is free and uses the Virtual AGC software at ibiblio and virtualagc.
Yes, We are Bragging.......a Little
The unit is 3D printed on Stratasys industrial printers and not a low quality home, table top printer pressed into a commercial manufacturing role. To enhance the manufacturing capabilities, I have 6 of these commercial printers. This is a quality product with .01 inch resolution and you will be finishing and painting it look authentic. Your kit parts will look like those pictured and some parts might be sanded for fitment but generally this is the most time consuming part of the build so if you don't want to sand and paint you will at least have to file and sand some of the parts. This is mainly the keyboard, since it is pretty close tolerance. Of course, for an additional amount you could always have an assembled and tested one.
What Do You Need To Know To Build This Kit
You have to know how to solder to build this kit unless you want the Solder-less option which is another $100. That's where our techs pre-solder and terminate all the wires for you so you just plug them in to pins.
You also need to know how to work with surface mount components; you need to get the super bright LED's behind the keys because you have to make the lamp modules which have tiny wires. If you don't have a good soldering iron or your hands shake, you should get the solder-less option where these are pre-wired for you.
These DSKY's are suitable for Museum and Science Center exhibits and kiosks and use Cherry Brand MX key switches rated for a million keystrokes. The paint and graphics will wear off before the keys wear out. (All graphics are replaceable including the keys)
The software is upgrade-able over the Internet from the password protected maintenance menu (accessible from the DSKY keyboard) and does not assume you can operate a computer. Although product support is given and a "Cheat Sheet" of popular commands is provided, you should not expect training on how to operate a Guidance Computer. There are many Internet sites devoted to this and books are available.
If you damage your DSKY, it is most likely repaired by changing out the micro-SD card however this product includes a Virtual Network Server that allows coordinated access into your DSKY for remote servicing and testing. It is important to note that the DSKY (Like every computer) has to be properly shut down or the file system can be corrupted. This happens to people who just yank the power cord or let the battery go dead while operating. If this happens, it is repairable for the maximum cost of $15 and a minimum cost of a command from a USB or Bluetooth keyboard.
Telemetrics LLC is making these available for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, which is in July 2019. The original DSKY/AGC was not perfect and any bugs in the NASA code are included in this code (FREE SPACE BUGS! Yaaaaay!) Was that a 1201 or a 1202?!?!
OK Now for some REALLY Technical stuff....Geek'n Out
1. The simulator software runs full screen, auto-starts on boot, and has changeable graphics.
2. The 19 key USB keyboard has the keys 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,+,-,V,N,R,C,P,K,and "Enter"
3. An external 23 key numeric pad (not included) has been remapped to use as another keyboard or a DEDA for the AGS.
4. The graphics on the Digital Display can be changed if you desire a less crisp or different color.
5. You have a complete multi core, modern computer buried under the display with text editor, spreadsheet, games, and etc.
6. You get a chance to write the scripts yourself if you want perfect realism.
7. The software, operating system, and CPU board is all open source. This is not a limited product.
8. Although I cannot release the parts or design files, you get all drivers required and a schematic/diagram.
9. You can use an external wireless (Bluetooth/2.4 GHz) keyboard, mouse, and stereo speakers.
10. The touchscreen and stylus is included but only used in the non-DSKY mode.
11. Additional LED and keys can be connected to the keyboard encoder module for your use.
12. Additional keyboard input is available for your use to add 100+ keys for instrumentation/simulation.
13. Optional GPS/GYRO/IMU/MAGNETOMETER/ACCELLEROMETER/TEMP just plug it into the USB and write or find the code.
14. Does not include a power supply since it is a common thing and you probably have it already.
15. Stereo audio and Bluetooth Audio, not a beeper or a mp3 player but it does play movies, music, streaming Internet audio/video.
16. It will run in your car or airplane with any cell phone power adapter. (Use airplane mode if it isn't your airplane).
17. Many other features.
So, In Conclusion.....
The biggest challenge to this project was recreating the digital display with off-the-shelf LCD displays. The display module selection is very close to the actual size used and much much more affordable. The technology used, forces various design changes so 100% realistic is not affordable. 97% is however and this is what you get. In addition, since you have a modern computer embedded under the display, you can do modern tasks. Unfortunately the small display is rather cramped for using a browser and servicing the computer, BUT you can do it. For this reason, this DSKY/AGC has a networking client on it so you may access it from a typical desktop computer networking client. We prefer Moba X-Term but you may prefer Real VNC. This lets you use a full size display for servicing the DSKY. The computer has HDMI video and you could connect a conventional wide screen TV or computer monitor to it. You will have to change video modes from the configured mode and you need some skills for that as computer support is not offered with this DSKY.
The interest in this DSKY/AGC project has been phenomenal and many full size units have been sold already. There have been a huge number of changes over the life of this product's development. This includes a complete change of the hardware and the software. To say it has been redesigned a few times is an understatement. Don't worry, we went through the labor pains so you can get the baby.
How Long Till I Can Get My Hands On This......
This item is printed as you pay for it and this takes about 40 hours of continuous printing. Because of this and shift working hours, this item is not currently a stocked item. It is printed when paid for and this makes a shipping time of 14 days. The CPU and everything not "printed" is in stock though. Orders are on a first come first served basis so if a lot of people are ahead of you, we will advise.
Because this is a kit, there typically are no refunds but if you have an issue with any item not up to the standard you expect, contact us. We want you to be a happy customer for life. Out of a skill level from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most skill, this kit is a 4.5 due to the soldering. It is a 3.5 if you let me do the soldering, and a 2 if you aren't good with paint and sandpaper. If you mess it up, we can try and help you out for an additional fee. Just give us a call and send us some pictures of where you are at.
These are great investments and this price is subject to an increase. Apollo wannabe Astronauts, Movie Producers, Museums, Schools, and Private Collectors have purchased them. They are easily resold.
One Last Word Before You Fall Over From Reading....
To enable the DSKY to easily connect to the Internet, you could set your wireless AP up with an SSID of "Mission-Control" and the DSKY will connect automatically. You could also navigate to the internal WiFi setup and install your own WIFI connection. This DSKY does not need the Internet to run and runs completely on its own. Note: we are working on some servers that will run Mission Simulations and if this is something you would like a part of, the hardware and network is in place and active. This would be a fun, free project for you if you want to participate.
Because this DSKY has a modern fully networked built in computer, and the NASA software outputs Attitude Angles, it can be networked to the FDAI that displays the simulation data on a moving "8 Ball". This will be available separately and since it is networked, can be driven by any computer on the Internet including this DSKY. Coming SOON!
(If you read this whole thing, you read 2788 words according to MS Word.....we have to work on abbreviating our descriptions.....but good on you for going the distance!!!)