Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Door Light Power

If you've been following along with the build then you know that I have installed a light at the bottom of my door. This light will turn on when the door is opened and shine down on the wing, lighting the way into the aircraft. I had postponed figuring out a way to get power from the fuselage to the door as long as I could. Now is the time where I have to figure it out if I want to finish wiring the overhead. After some head scratching I came up with an idea. It's simple and effective and I think it will last through some wear and tear.

I drilled two really tiny holes in the fuselage. They are slightly offset and are just big enough to slide a D-Sub pin into.

I superglued the pins in place for now to be sure they don't move.

I then added big globs of RTV for extra support and protection. This completed the "female" side of the plug.

I then started making the "male" side of the plug, a jumper cable, that jumps from the fuselage to the door. It spans the hinge so it has to be able to accept constant movement, be weather tight, still allow easy installation and removal of the doors.

I bent the male pins over after crimping them on the wire.

I then added heat shrink and slid them into the holes. With a little tape to hold them in place I added some superglue to be sure they don't move since their positions are important.

I added some RTV to make it more "squishy". Then applied heat shrink over the pins and pushed the pins through puncturing the heat shrink.

With the plug in place you can install the hinge plate over the top and when its bolted down it holds the connection in place, strain relieves the pins, and creates a weather tight seal. I added heat shrink tube to the two wires and, making sure they didn't cross each other, wrapped them around a screw driver and and applied heat from the heat gun. This created the coil shape that allows the movement of the door to open and close.

Here it is installed. It doesn't make the door any more difficult to install and doesn't get pinched or bind in any way. I'll go back and push that black connector further inside the pocket of the door before I paint the doors and the finished look will be really nice. Most people won't even notice the wire.

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