Why an RV?
Empennage Attach
QB Wings
Aft/Center Fuselage
Forward Fuselage
Cockpit 1
Cockpit 2
Cockpit 3
Tip up Canopy 1
Tip up Canopy 2
Tip up Canopy 3
Avionics/Panel 1
Avionics/Panel 2
Avionics/Panel 3
Avionics/Panel 4
Tricycle Gear
Engine/Prop 1
Engine/Prop 2
Cowling 1
Cowling 2
Ram Air
Last 10 Percent
Last 5 Percent
Last 3 Percent
Last 1 Percent
Phase 1
Phase 1 pg. 2
Phase 2
P-Mag Install
EFIS Flight Logs
Tips & Mods
Fine Living
Avionics Manuals
N447RV Documents
Helpful Builder Docs
FAA Documents
Contact Information

The Boo

Avionics/Panel 3

10/10/04 I finally figured out how many enunciator lights I want on the panel.  I've been searching for a Looooong time trying to find the coolest lights I could find.  In the end I went the cheapest.  They mount in round holes (cutting square holes sucks) and they'll handle all the little loads I need of them.  I decided against a starter engaged light and a few others.  In the end I have a Low Volts, Aux Low Volts and Electronic Ignition warning light.  I can always add more later.  I made a template (4 times) to get the holes perfectly lined up on the panel.  The faces of these lights are square and if they're off by just a hair you can see it (bad).  In the end it came out perfect.  Patience plays a big part when drilling the panel.

Here's my template full of holes.  The three on the right are the ones I used, exactly 31/32nds apart from each other and perfectly aligned.  Holes drilled.

Here's the el cheapo lights from AS P/N 11-06050 installed.  The low volts lights get feeds from the B&C regulators as indicated in their drawings.  The LASAR EI indicator gets power on one side and the orange wire from the black box to the other side.  Power to all of these comes from the main bus except the EI which comes from the e-bus.

Wiring of the EFIS units begins.  Here I'm just laying everything out.  There's a lot of wires to hook up.

10/11/04 Final determination of my wiring layout on paper, no pics.  But I've updated the Load Analysis spreadsheet for you.  It's kind of a work in progress but at least it's about 95%.
10/12/04 I'm wiring my EFIS units a bit differently.  The EFIS 1 unit (top left directly in line with my eyes) is powered off the battery bus so it gets it's own dedicated DPDT switch to the left.  It's a DPDT because it also turns on the power for the AHRS unit and Magnetometer which all three units share.  If EFIS 1 fails I still want the AHRS and mag. to get power.  EFIS 2 is on the E-bus and gets it's own mini toggle switch so I can turn it on and off for starting or whatever.  But In case of total electrical failure (running on battery) I still may have a need for a second EFIS unit incase EFIS 1 fails.  EFIS 3 is on the main bus and gets it's own mini toggle switch also.  I like these mini toggles but I may try to get some which are a bit bigger.

Here's how I solved the hobbs pressure transducer installation.  The transducer is too big to go on the side of the manifold so I opted to route oil pressure to the next upper manifold by making an aluminum tubing run and capping the other side.  Cheap and not too heavy.  The other option was to mount the manifold on some 1/2" UHMB block as a standoff.  But that just creates more work.

10/13/04 Not feeling too hot today so just did a little work.  Cut out of work early and took a well needed nap.  I ended up replacing the mini toggles for EFIS 2&3 with a slightly larger model.

Ran power and ground for the three EFIS units and powered them up for the first time in the plane.  The AHRS and Magnetomer are not hooked up so the units don't display anything meaningful at this time.

10/15/04 Beginning work on the pilot and co-pilot headset and misc wiring.  I decided that there would not be a mic switch for the co-pilot.  I can't remember the last time a passenger ever used it so why bother?  It's just a pain to wire something in the co-pilots stick since it's removable.  Not going there.  Since the pilot and copilot headset connectors will go into the overhead panel behind the seats I wanted the wiring to be detachable.  So I'm going to use a DB25 connector inside the panel and a molex connector for the LED light power.  Here the labels have been affixed to each wire and noted in my plans.

Here's the business end of the DB25 connector.  I soldered the ends to the mic (smaller of the holes) and audio.

10/16/04 Today one of my good friends from college stopped by for the weekend to help on the plane.  Thanks Bucky for all the help, you rock dude.  Come on down anytime.  It was a very productive weekend, but, next time try to moderate your drinking :)  Here's the farnz seeing if his eyesight is what it used to be by unraveling the shielding of the audio cables.

This is my first attempt at making RG400 antenna leads.  Came out perfectly.  I bought a special cutter from eBay which makes all the cuts in one fell swoop but the bozo sent it to my old address.  So I cut these by hand.  First cut 3/16" down to the center conductor, being careful not to nick any of the center conductor wires.  Then crimp the pin.  Next strip the plastic out sleeve 1/2" in back leaving the shielding in place.  Now shove on the sleeve and then the B&C connector shoving it under the shielding.  Now slip the sleeve back over the shielding and up against the connector.  Crimp and trim any remaining shielding sticking up between the sleeve and connector.  Final result.


Continuity testing.  All good so far.

If you look closely, you'll see a four letter word being formed.

All systems go, ready for launch.

We connected the antenna to the GNS430, plugged in the headset and prayed.  Bingo worked the first time.  Here are two very happy campers looking very strange to passing cars.

10/17/04 Bucky wasn't feeling too hot this morning.  A little over the top at the Yakitori joint last night.  That soju will kick you ass.  After a hearty breakfast and a bottle of aspirin, we were back at it.  Now it was time to hookup the ipod stereo input.  When John Stark wired my instrument stack he didn't do two items; a 20db boost in the music input and no muting of the stereo.  I didn't know about these two items at the time or I would have asked him to do that.  It's really easy to do but now I must get some High Density D-sub male connectors in order to complete those two tasks.  Meanwhile, I picked up two of these little stereo input jacks.  I'm going to mount them on the passenger side on the bottom of the panel, completely hidden.  I will have one for Music 1 and one for Music 2 as the Garmin GMA 340 has two music inputs.

Here they are soldered and mounted in place.  The first picture is a shot from the top looking down.  The second is a shot from the bottom looking up, sort of like if you had your head on the passengers lap, is that allowed?  We had a bit of an issue connecting the ipod initially.  The music 1 input being muted by any ICS activity the music is muted.  Turns out that the squelch was too low on both headsets.  Ipod works great, now I just need to get another 20 db out of it.

Some shots of the overhead panel with the pilot and copilot headsets plugged in.  The panel is not secured yet, just hanging on with a couple of screws.

Here's how the wire is run up to the jacks.  I love these glue-on wire tie holders.  If they ever come off I'll just replace them. 

While at the electronics store I picked up a few 90 degree B&C adaptors.  These are really handy, as you can see by looking at my COM1 underbelly antenna which gets connected to the GNS430.  The other COM2 antenna is a wingtip mounted antenna and gets connected to the SL40.

My wiring run from the panel to the rest of the plane comes through this conduit.

One of the things I hate is when a vendor sends you a part that is supposed to be installed with a new tool.  I'm not gonna buy a new tool just to mount 5 wires!  The AOA pro that I have is really a nice unit and I've gotten great support from them as well.  But come on, why use those MT connectors.  You need the smallest crimper on the face of the earth with those 26 awg wires.  Once I messed up the first one I knew there had to be a better way.  So at the electronics store I picked up some connectors which are more robust and I can solder them on.  Connected the dim and ptt and powered it up.  Looks awesome.  Here's a stupid look.

10/18/04 I saw a little trick on Dan's website about making a template on the backside of the switches which has the little hole for the washer to keep the switches from spinning.  Here's a template.  I'll test it later.

Again I'm making use of the 90 degree B&C connector here for the ELT antenna.  The cable passes through the baggage bulkhead and then down the sides through those little wire-tie holders and then to the ELT.  Very neat and tidy.

And here again the little glue on wire tie holders in the mid channel with some wire ties in them.

10/19/04 My standard car battery charger just isn't quite right for this PC680 battery.  So I bought this Battery Tender from Pep Boys for $69. 

I also received some lexan back engraved samples from Aircraft Engravers.  I'm not sure which color to chose yet.  I plan on making a square backing plate for the switches and have each switch back engraved.

Here's the ACK ELT antenna.

Next I fabricated this little tray for the GPS antenna.  I got this idea from Dan.  It will sit on the top of the firewall, engine side.  Reception should not be hampered by the top cowl.  The top of the tray is the GPS stiffener plate which came with the antenna.  The other pieces are made from .032 and some little angle I had left over.

10/20/04 I picked these little gems up at Orvac.  I got half a dozen of these 90 degree B&C adaptors.  I had some but ran out.  The other B&C fitting next to it is the firewall bulkhead fitting for the GPS cable.  The next package are some male High Density D-sub machine pins.  I'm going to use these to jumper a few pins on the GMA 340 audio panel.  One to disable music1 muting and the other for a 20 db boost in music 1 and 2.

Today I also received my AHRS and magnetometer back from GRT.  They were sent in for a hardware upgrade.  I had some very early models (serial #39) and there a few fixes.  Anyway I hooked up the power for these and powered up the panel for the first time with all EFIS running.  Very sweet.  Of course my focus stinks.

10/21/04 Man, drilling the holes for this little GPS tray through the firewall with limited access is only bested by trying to rivet the sucker in place.  Anyway, I haven't forgotten my riveting skills.  It turned out pretty nice.  I drilled the hole for the antenna pass-through in the wrong place.  Doesn't matter, that's what they make stainless plugs for.  This is going to be the shortest antenna in the world going from the GPS to the firewall bulkhead B&C fitting, about 2 inches.

10/22/04 Time to get the stick grip wired.  I don't know why I was delaying this but probably because I hate soldering 26AWG wires.  The directions for this Ray Allen stick grip is pretty good.  They even give you the precut wires for running the pos and neg wires in the head of the grip.  So I started with those.

Well I didn't have enough multistrand cable to finish this the way I would have liked but I have one wire with 4 strands and one with 3, and a blue wire for connecting the ptt.  I soldered the remaining wires and made sure to label them in my notebook.  Then affixed the labels.

For the two SPST momentary switches on the top of the grip I will have one for switching the com1 and com2 on the GNS430.  The second switch is for a/p engage/disengage and the wiring diagram from Trutrak shows plainly how to do that too.

Now I was thinking early on about using bus bars for connecting the wires from the stick to the wires coming from the stack.  But these are little itty bitty wires.  If you have to make changes to the wiring, say you placed the trip wires reversed (it can happen) the you can easily change the orientation.  But those bus bars are heavier that hell.  So I'm opting to place the wires into a DB15 connector.  They're lighter and I have no issues getting wires to come out of them.  So today I placed an order for a bunch more DB connectors.


Home | Why an RV? | Choices | Search | Empennage | Empennage Attach | QB Wings | Bulkheads | Aft/Center Fuselage | Forward Fuselage | Cockpit 1 | Cockpit 2 | Cockpit 3 | Tip up Canopy 1 | Tip up Canopy 2 | Tip up Canopy 3 | Avionics/Panel 1 | Avionics/Panel 2 | Avionics/Panel 3 | Avionics/Panel 4 | Firewall | Tricycle Gear | Engine/Prop 1 | Engine/Prop 2 | Cowling 1 | Cowling 2 | Baffling | Ram Air | Last 10 Percent | Last 5 Percent | Last 3 Percent | Last 1 Percent | Phase 1 | Phase 1 pg. 2 | Phase 2 | P-Mag Install | Videos | EFIS Flight Logs | Tips & Mods | Links | Fine Living | Avionics Manuals | N447RV Documents | Helpful Builder Docs | FAA Documents | Contact Information

 For problems or questions regarding this web contact me.
Last updated: 07/06/05.