Sunday, February 14, 2021

We have power...and no smoke

 The past few weeks have been a blur of smaller projects.  One of those projects was getting the panel and avionics ready for first power up.  To reach this goal I had to finish tying up wire bundles, replace a connector or two,  and what feels like at least a hundred other tasks.  In the end I was successful in getting the system up and running.  I ran into three issues that I thought I would relate.  

First, the wiring diagram for the Carling Contura switches I am using is misleading.  If you look at the diagram without looking at the actual numbering scheme of the 8 terminals on the back of the switch you will wire it wrong.  I'm visual...I don't like comparing numbers to diagrams and if the diagram is wrong, so will my wiring be.  This was indeed the case, all 10 switches had to be rewired.  That took a day...or so.  

Once I finally got the master switch to work and provide power to the buss, the EFIS reported that the config module was missing.  So, back under the panel I went to pull the connector and see if I missed it.  Nope its there but I did find that two of the tiny pins that make the connection had backed out of their socket.  No problem, push them in and all is good again.

Then during the configuration phase the GNX375 was reporting that the transponder had failed.  Back under the panel (a little farther this time) and pull the entire back plate off of the radio tray only to find that I had used the pin numbers for the wrong connector when wiring up the RS232 connection to the ELT.  Fixed that, powered up, and the transponder was working properly.

Part of the prep for powering up included re-cutting all 4 instrument panel inserts.  I swear this must be the 5th time I have redone these panels.  This time I did it for three reasons.  First, I wanted to install a master warning light on the Pilot side panel.  Flying the G3X in the 9A I found that I sometimes missed the alert that came up.  I want to be sure a warning is very obvious to me so I added this indicator.  Second, is now selling clear anodized aluminum plate.  It looks just like the brushed aluminum look that I really wanted.  So, I ordered some of that and I really like the way it turned out.  Finally, I had to replace the lower center console panel because the original plan was to put rheostats in to control the oil cooler shutter as well as the cowl flap position.  In reality the will only ever be open or closed so I replaced the rheostats with switches.

The seat belt brackets being fitted for the nutserts I installed in the frame of the seat.  I had to locate each nutsert by feel, punch a small hole to verify the location, and then cut a full size hole for the spacer that will go between the seat belt bracket (silver above) and the seat frame.

Spacers all fitted.

lower center console panel insert after re-cutting and labeling.

I also worked on the FAB including this fiberglass transition through the snorkel.

A balloon to hold the wet fiberglass cloth to the foam in the picture above this one.

New Pilot side panel insert. You can see I added both a Master Warn hole and label as well as an Alt Static hole and label.

Co-pilot side panel insert.  The only change here was moving the Passenger warning to this panel instead of the center panel.  The center panel will have an iPad mounted on it that will hide the warning.  Oh, I also changed to using #6 countersunk nutserts for the GDU mounting holes.  Much easier than trying to get the mounting frame that comes with the mounting kit to work.

New center panel.  No changes here except the new clear anodized aluminum.

These are the extra dry transfer labels I used on the new panels.  I tried using my CNC to do the engraving but found that the anodized surface left a very rough edge that I couldn't sand to smoothness without scuffing the surrounding anodized finish.  So I decided to use these dry rub decals and then coat them with a flat clear coat.  I really like the way they turned out.

Panel after installing my avionics and almost ready for first power up.

It works!