Assembling the simulator box

The thickest plywood piece (60x50x1.5) is used as the base.

The thinnest piece (60x25x0.5) is glued (or screwed) on the base covering its front half surface. This front half will be used as the scale model setting.

The two 45x25x1 pieces are used as walls on the rear half to form the box. They are screwed by means of the metal corners, if needed on both inner and outer surfaces.

The 60x25x1 piece is used as the ceiling of the rear half box. It is screwed by means of the metal corners, if needed on both inner and outer surfaces.

Two metal corners are screws on the front and rear openings of the box in order to allow for slide-in and slide out of the front and rear components with a 0.5cm spacing for the front and a 1.3cm spacing for the rear.

For the rear component, we use the last remaining plywood piece (60x45x1) with a drawer handle attached to it. For the front component we will use the plexiglass later.

The simulator box is spray painted using the two spray paint cans of our color of choice, preferably dark color. Dark red was used for the demo version.


Constructing the sky

A constellation pattern by painting dots (representing stars) using a permanent marker is made on the plexiglass sheets. Two sheets are recommended so they will be used as two alternate night sky scenarios (e.g. winter and summer sky).

Using a very slow speed electrical drill we open holes where the dots are. The diameter of the drill tip should be such that the LED’s are wedged in (e.g. 3mm).

The two plexiglass sheets are spray painted using the dark blue spray paint can.

LED’s are wedged in the holes corresponding to stars. Most LED’s will be white. Main stars will use the high brightness LED’s and secondary stars will use the lower brightness LED’s. Particularly orange/red stars (e.g. Betelgeuse, Antares) can use the orange LED’s.


Constructing the scale model setting

We glue a piece of green velvet paper as the floor of the scale model setting. Model figures, benches, trees etc. are glued as to our preference to create our desired scenery (e.g. park). Light fixtures can be created by using LED’s inserted through a black plastic straw cut with scissors.


Assembling the inner parts

The breadboard is screwed or glued to the bottom of the simulator box. Then the wiring is performed using the wiring guide. The long jump cables are used to power the stars. The short jump cables are used for connections inside the Arduino board, the shield board and the breadboard. The silicone cables are cut to length necessary to bring the control switches in the desired location. All jump cables are inserted while cables to the switches must be soldered.