The Panel Continues to Progress

The pictures make it look like we have taken a step backward, but we actually have made good progress today. I took the two GDU 460 displays out to make it easier to work behind the panel. Lots of small “punch list” items got taken care of today including:

ELT wired in.

Most of the firewall forward sensors and shunts are in place.

Installed all the wiring for the GDL-51A which is now in the tail section.

Connected various ground wires.

Terminated the TNC connectors and ran the coax for the GTN-650 GPS antenna.

Began the connection of the GSA28 pitch servo into the Garmin Can Bus. This was actually already wired, but we decided to redo it because the wire from the servo had already been routed from the tail and it was easier to re do the Can Bus instead of rewiring the servo which is relatively difficult to get to. I should be done this project during the next work session.

We have one significant issue to resolve which is some wiring associated with the yaw trim and positioning which has to go into the VPX. I need to call Vertical Power to discuss this with Chad.

Important things coming up include wiring the control sticks, terminating the Can Bus at the right wing root (for testing) and beginning to dress all the wiring in the tunnel.

It is pretty clear that this airplane is significantly updated compared to the RV-8 and RV-10 that I owned. A whole lot more wires going to a whole lot more places.

12 hours (2 people x 6 hours)

Smoke Test

Powered up the panel today. Not everything is done – notably the connections to the tail. Only significant problem is that the GTN 650 did not power on. I am sure that it is not mating into the connectors at the back. I will have to adjust the tray so that the unit can slide further in.

Woo hoo!

More Panel Progress

Jon, my Dad and I worked for about 8 hours today on the panel. We got a lot of it done but there is probably another full day of wire work to do before we can test it all out.

I started the morning terminating RG400 coax with BNC connectors. First one took me 45 minutes but after that I was able to do them in about 10 minutes each. The video by SteinAir (available on YouTube) is invaluable.

I realized that the GPS antenna connection for the GTN650 uses a TNC connector instead of a BNC connector. Another order from Stein…

We got to work pulling wire to the wings and tail. The wire runs were filling up fast when Jon noticed that I was running wire behind the panel stiffener instead of in front of it where it was supposed to go. Lots of swearing later, and I was able to re-pull all the wires I had already done. Argghhh! The good news is it looks much better in the proper place.

I attached about 40 ground wires to the firewall termination block. Some of these could have been grounded locally, but doing a home run for all grounds will ensure the devices get a proper ground.

Two odd things from SteinAir:

1. The TP51 temperature probe was wired into the GSU 25 ADHARS but couldn’t possibly fit through the wire runs/grommets. Will need to re-do it.

2. The headset jacks/mics are terminated at both ends (in the connector for the GMA 245R and on the jacks themselves. Again, no way to run the wires through the wire runs/grommets.

Sore backs all around from spending so much time leaning into the airplane.

16 hours (2 people x 8 hours each)

The wires in the front of the photo are ones that have yet to be run.

Pulling Wire

Now the hard part. Pulling all the wires to the wings, the tail, the sticks and to the engine compartment. I hope to be able to test it within a week.

My guess is that it is 100+ wires including ground wires.
I decided to mount the GDL51A right behind the baggage compartment. I built a small shelf for it to sit on. The advantage is that the coax runs are shorter, but Stein needs to make an extension cable to connect it.

Making Serious Progress on the Panel

We’ve got most of the components in now. Last big one is the GTN-650xi. It has taken a few hours to get the mounting tray for it installed. The fit is tight and it will look bad if the bezel sticks out.

I will have to move the GDL51 because one of the connectors hits the back of the GDU. Exploring options now.

Still a lot of wire to be run including to the stick grips, wings and various antennas.

Got the EarthX battery today. Amazing how light it is. I knew it was light, but the box almost feels empty.

Rosie the Riveter
I realized after I built this little shelf that there would be no way to remove the GEA24 after I put the top skin on. In the very unlikely scenario that I have to remove it, I will drill out five rivets.

Working on the Panel

The panel from Stein is artwork! I began installing the remote components including the GAD 29, GMA245R and the GTR20. I hope to have all these plus the transponder, the GEA24 and the XM interface done by the weekend.
8 hours (2 people x 4 hours).

Done Painting for a While

Finished painting the canopy frame and other miscellaneous parts. I still don’t completely understand the spray gun and the proper technique. Overall pretty happy with the result though. Probably a solid B for quality. The important thing is that I am no longer blocked from moving forward with the windshield install.

6 hours

A Great Day for Painting

It took me four tries to build a paint booth that I’m happy with. The key was using heavier (4mil) plastic. I used two exhaust fans and a single inlet vent. I also have a small electric space heater that can quickly raise the temperature in the booth to about the surface temperature of the sun.

Today’s goal is to paint more interior parts and the canopy frame. I need to get the frame painted so I can install the plexiglass windshield and rear window.

The biggest thing I’ve learned about painting is that the set up to paint takes 10x the time it actually takes to paint.

Meanwhile the panel should arrive on Wednesday. Jon thinks it will take a couple weeks to get the panel fully in. He is probably right, but I am hoping it is quicker than that since the engine should be arriving in three weeks or so (and I still have to glue the canopy).

3 hours (not including the drying time)