Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ignition Wiring and Fuel Flow Sensor

Back to firewall forward stuff. I have all the wires hanging around for the ignition system I need to tidy up. First you have to figure out timing and install the sensors, etc etc.....its all in the instructions.

I wanted to cover how I ran the sensor wires through the rear baffle. I drilled a large enough hole to pass the sensor through (it comes pre-wired).

Then used a high temp large OD small ID grommet. I then went back later and sealed the hole thing with high temp RTV.

This is how you come up with the power and ground wires for the ignition system. I admit I was a little baffled at first as to how a coax cable was going to successfully and safely be split. But just grab a pick and "de-braid" the shielding....done.

DON'T USE RTV to seal anything in the fuel lines. Use thread sealant and don't apply to the first three threads.

This is how I installed the fuel flow transducer (Red Cube). If you read the installation instructions this is the location they suggest. I had TS Flgihtline split the fuel line and add end fittings. The cube is actually really well supported with the stiff braided fuel lines. But vibration can be destructive, so I RTV'd the thing to the engine. Now it's not going anywhere for a while.

We started trying on the headset and letting Ayla play with it around the house. If you ask her if she wants to go flying she says "Yes! and wear headset!" : )

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Finishing" the Instrument Panel Wiring

I put quotes around the "finishing" in the title because it turned out I wasn't done. I came to find out certain wires on my wiring schematic should have gone to the VPX and not the G3X and a few other hiccups. Nothing major, small stuff really. I think I only messed up one pin on the entire thing so I shouldn't complain. But it felt major at the time. When you're nearing the end, anything that you have to redo is going to be awful work.

I tried and tried to be really organized with the wires. And, I guess it turned out ok. I get complements from electrical engineers so I suppose I did a good job. But in reality you never see it. So as long as you can figure out where each wire goes when maintenance issues pop up then your in good shape.

I love my Passenger Warning label. : )

All finished and installed! Just need the center console and engine controls.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Switch Wiring and Ignition Fan

Ignition Fan
The Lightspeed Ignition boxes need forced air into them for cooling. This isn't a super critical item so I found a small 12 volt fan on Amazon for a couple bucks. Then made a manifold from aluminum sheet and tubing. After gluing it in place with JB Weld the two are now inseparable. For an added measure I wired this fan to the VPX and it will display a warning if the fan quits operating, otherwise I would never know it quit working.

Instrument Panel Switches
Started cutting the holes for the switches. Lots and Lots of wires will wind up in this area.

Wiring up the switches. A little safety note. You should have an individual ground for every switch because you do not want one ground coming loose and disabling all of your important switches. After testing out the switches in the plane, in the dark, I noticed they were REALLY bright. So I added a dimmer. This will probably be set to a certain brightness and then forgotten so I installed it behind the instrument panel. But its still accessible while flying if need be.

Not the best shot of the switches installed.....maybe there will be something better later on....sorry.

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 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.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Seat Belts and Some Help

I installed inertia reels on all the seat belts. I didn't like the idea of not being able to move around without having to loosen or slide off the shoulder belts. This was a major "must have" for both my wife and I. And now that I'm flying with them they are great and wouldn't change anything. But, the standard seat belt brackets wouldn't work for the inertia reels. I needed a bracket that moved them further from the airframe. Before you get all worked up, don't worry, I did a stress analysis of the new bracket and surrounding structure and the new bracket is just as strong as the original.

Ignore the seat belt cables, these were eventually replaced by custom length stainless steel (non magnetic) cables with swaged ends matching the stock cables.

I FINALLY got some help on the aiplane! Her choice to help and her decision to wear the goggles. : )

Friday, April 10, 2015

Headliner, Vents, Soundproofing, Visor Fix

Around Easter my In-Laws visited and between the Easter activities my Father In-Law and I worked on the airplane. Since I had help I focused on the headliner. A much easier task to do with two. We used automotive headliner adhesive and just followed the directions on the cans (yep took more then one can). And it turned out great.

Applying the velcro strips to the headliner.

With the velcro strips attached to the back of the headliner and mated to its other half. We removed the adhesive backing and carefully placed the headliner into position. Then we had to remove the headliner and go back and push really hard on the strips that were now adhered to aircraft top. This really helped the strips get a strong hold to the cabin top.

After the headliner was in I had to place the seat and interior panels in the plane to see how it all looked. Looking awesome!

I wound up finding that just adhering the vent to the fuselage skin was going to wok better then how Aerosport planned on it being installed.

Soundproofing going in. Note to future builders: install the lower soundproofing, then the lower panel, then the upper soundproofing. The top of the pael screws into the longeron and the soundproofing can block access to the screw holes. Obvious, I know. But trust me, it's a pain if you don't do it in the right order.

Here's a picture of the little brackets I made to attach the ADEL clamps that support the wire bundels as they pass through the frame holes.

Once I sat in the front seat for the first time I immediately noticed that the visors were going to be a problem in their standard installation configuration. The seats sit much higher then I thought they would causing your head to be really close to the visor's post as it hung down right in front of you. So I came up with a solution. If you look closely I made a small 90 degree bracket that rotated the visor mount up and forward out of the way of the seat occupant. A simple and effective solution to the problem. Painted it black and screwed it in place. Works great.

Now the visor post is rotated up and out of the way.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Post Catch Up and New Magnetometer Mount

It's been a while....
It has been FOUR MONTHS! since my last post. WOW. Well, I have an excuse. After I got the hangar everything started happening very quickly. The parts from the painter were almost complete and needed to be moved into the hangar. Parts were arriving from the vendors and my "deadline" date was approaching. I wanted the plane to be done and flown off before our family vacation; a trip we take every year. With all the parts I needed on hand, and the painter nearly ready to paint the fuselage, I had a lot of work to do in a small amount of time. I was also very ready for the project to be over....I was ready to fly this thing and get my life back. Late nights and long weekends....lots and lots of work happened in only a few months. The home stretch, the last big push, the most trying times of the entire build. I took pictures and recorded times as best I could, but I have to admit that a lot of work passed by and not a single picture was taken. The recorded times fell behind and I lost track. I was working too hard to keep up with it all. For that, blog readers, I apologize; but when you get to this point in your build you will understand why. So enjoy these last posts because as I write this the airplane has completed Phase 1 and we made our family trip. I will enjoy writing about the work that is now well into the past. I'm happy its over, but it was all worth is an amazing airplane!

(The dates on the posts will be altered to reflect roughly when the event actually occurred, OK, back to the blog.)

New Magnetometer Mount
If you've been following along since the beginning then you know that I designed a mount for the Dynon ADAHRS then decided to change everything and install an entire Garmin system. (If you didn't you do) With the system change I now needed to modify my ADAHRS mount into a magnetometer mount.

First, I made a plate with a large hole to mount the magnetometer. As you can see in the image I did this by drilling lots of holes around the inside perimeter of the large hole. Then started cutting away with the dremel. This worked really well and went by a lot quicker then I expected.

Here is the complete mount. A couple L-angles made a great Z-channel and my new mag mount was complete.

Installed on the old ADAHRS mount with brass screws and nuts. Despite the system change it all worked out in the end. BTW the Garmin System is awesome. No regrets.