There's a knob for that.
October 3, 2010 11:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an image of a ridiculously over-the-top complicated control panel. The more knobs, switches, dials, buttons, gauges, etc, the better.

A friend at work makes a piece of software that has a notoriously unmanageable number of "knobs". That's the term they use; they're command-line options/parameters. I need to poke fun at them for this, so I'm going to make a little joke poster in the "" vein to send to them. For this noble purpose I need an image of decent resolution (thumbnails just aren't funny) of a control panel/system with a preposterous number of "knobs". Knobs, switches, dials, buttons, gauges, etc.
posted by madmethods to Technology (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I did some browsing for scientist and "control panel" and found some neat images, this one (from this) is maybe my favorite because it is old-timey looking and what is that wheel for? Astronaut stuff is often good for this because it's from the 60s-70s in many cases. One example (from here). Lots of good stuff at the Computer Conservation Society in their Ressurection issue.
posted by jessamyn at 11:19 AM on October 3, 2010

This may be up your alley...
posted by tjenks at 11:20 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

The control room at the Chernobyl reactor is pretty impressive.
posted by exogenous at 11:23 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've had good luck by googling "control room."
posted by Gilbert at 11:24 AM on October 3, 2010

An F1 car's steering wheel is pretty complicated.
posted by alby at 11:37 AM on October 3, 2010

posted by victors at 11:47 AM on October 3, 2010

As far as toggle switches go...

There's a good photoblog for this (and its accompanying FPP.)
posted by sysinfo at 11:47 AM on October 3, 2010

Airbus cockpit. Actually any modern jet airliner will have awesome cockpit layouts. There is one for the shuttle floating around too if you search.
posted by chairface at 11:56 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Control panel of linear accelator, at Stanford University. 1954. (The full-res version has a watermark which you may be able to crop out for your purposes.)
posted by caek at 11:59 AM on October 3, 2010

So most sound mixing consoles look pretty complex

(note they're not as bad as they look since they're basically the same row repeated for every channel of audio)
posted by bitdamaged at 12:08 PM on October 3, 2010

Switches. I can't remember what it is, only that I grabbed it because it looked awesome.
posted by mendel at 12:17 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't think you can get much more ridiculous on this score than a sound studio control panel. Not only a crazy abundance of knobs, sliders and switches but vast swathes of them appear identical and they are designed to be operated by only a couple people and maybe even a single person.
posted by Mitheral at 12:23 PM on October 3, 2010

B-52 Stratofortress cockpit - each of the eight engines has its own set of gauges.
posted by zippy at 12:30 PM on October 3, 2010

How about a Funk Logic 3P-III Palindrometer?
posted by PSB at 12:49 PM on October 3, 2010

Fighter Aircraft Cockpit!
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:01 PM on October 3, 2010

Check out the console for the largest pipe organ in the world.
posted by archagon at 2:42 PM on October 3, 2010

The cockpit of the space shuttle was mentioned earlier, but not linked. Here's a very big photo.
posted by letourneau at 3:01 PM on October 3, 2010

Space Shuttle cockpit.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:08 PM on October 3, 2010

Definitely Google Image search "nuclear control room."

They are quite complex.
posted by derogatorysphinx at 8:55 PM on October 3, 2010

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