Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Auxiliary Panel

I am keeping my instrument panel as minimal as possible. But no matter how hard you try, you have to have some switches and indicator lights. So I decided to make an auxiliary panel. This is a smaller panel that attaches to the main panel and contains all the "misfit" switches. I've been calling it my "emergency"panel because I really don't need to flip any of the switches unless there is some kind of malfunction. The same goes for the indicator lights, they should only illuminate under less then ideal circumstances.

I drew the panel out using CAD and then printed it full scale. Then I drilled in the center of every hole.

I then started opening up the holes to their final diameter. Slow and steady. This needed to be as close as possible because, as you'll see, there is a full decal that this needs to match up to.

Clecoed in place...looking good. The plate will be held in with six small screws. It screws in place from the back.

Nutplates in and all the switches and LED's in place.

And here is the front shot. I'm pretty happy with it. All of my placards came from Aircraft Engravers at Engravers.net. They did really nice work and they matched my CAD prints exactly. I recommend them. And the two circuit breakers you see are the only ones in the entire aircraft....thank you VPX.

Looks great installed. Having all of these small items on a little removable panel will be very helpful when the day comes that I need to remove the entire instrument panel. Just six little screws and all my small switches and indicator lights are out.     ...since you're wondering.....that little LED screen to the right of the Aux Panel is a voltmeter. It will turn on and indicate the remaining voltage on my ignition battery backup if the primary voltage ever drops below 12 volts. Since I've already been flying and through Phase 1 (writing this blog in the future) I can say that it works great. I disabled the alternator and let the volts drop for a while and the little screen then popped on and indicated 13.4 volts on the backup battery....perfect.

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