So a few months ago, we took on a project to rehab a CRJ-700 simulator that was dead... like dead dead. None of the computers worked...but...
So a business associate contacted me about this CRJ system and that he had a buyer for it. Sight unseen, I said sure, it should be fixable. So said business associate sent another business associate to pack up the CRJ and haul it across the country.
A few weeks later, there is a CRJ in the back warehouse... in pieces, but the parts that I need are laid out and ready to be checked. The computers wouldn't turn on anymore was the first problem. All of the wiring and switches had to be checked and the interface between the panels and the computers had to be checked.
Step 1 - Get the computers checked out
Pulled the computers and removed the hard drives... three of them worked. Well, that's a help... computers still will not boot up... strange. So I pulled the computers from the racks and there was this mess of wiring so that a power supply down in the bottom of the rack controlled everything... and when it went, the ability to turn on the computers went with it.
Put the first computer on the bench... nothing. Yanked that crappy key system out of it, rewired the power switch, removed the video card, removed and reseated the memory and TA-DA, computer boots... it is a bit weird, but booting... cleaned up the video card and reseated it... and the whole system works! This one might be the glass cockpit computer. One down... three more to go.
Second computer - remove the crappy key system from it and try to boot it... it boots and is the Visual System computer. Nothing wants to load properly... due to the fact that it needs all the other computers. By pass the startup software and this computer is fine.
Third Computer... DEAD... nothing... seems like a power surge or lightning (maybe that took out the key power supply thingy)... the hard drive is dead in this computer too.
Last computer, is the instructor's station... clean it up and remove the crappy key system and it seems fine till it gets hot. Typical.
Backup all of the hard drives that work so that I can access them without needing the computers.
Step 2 - The electronics interface boxes
Onto the electronic interface boxes for the panels... OK...the backlighting box works... that is a start (we can read the panel labels). There are four boxes - one for the backlighting and the rest for the switches and knobs.
Get the wiring untangled... everything seems intact except to the tiller.
The first one is for the Overhead Panel... it seems ok. I can see all of the switches working with the software from Phidget. I can check all the LED's (one is out, but it is for the AC) and they seem fine.
The second is for the Center Pedestal... it seems kinda ok... something isn't quite right. The number of phidget boards to what the system is reporting isn't correct. The transformer for one of the USB hubs is super hot!! Well, it seems that the USB hub has failed... order new hubs... all the phidgets have come back on-line! Excellent!!
The third one is for the glareshield and the side panels... its fine. Thank goodness.
Informed the buyer (now owner) of the system that it wasn't a waste of money and that for the most part, it could work again... and handed him a price.
On to how all the parts interface to the computers and software in part 2...check it out here