I finished the detailed layout of the panel for the major components. I wanted to get these laid out first since they are symmetrical about the centerline.
Here you can see the cutouts marked for the two main EFISs and the four sub panels in the center. I have left room for an Avidyne (either 540 or 440) in the center, as well as a Garmin G5 on the left of the pilots screen. Given the additional cost of the Avidine however, I will be waiting a little while to purchase that.
I’ve been working over the last several months on the panel layout and design. I’ve gone through a few iterations and I’ve finally settled on a design.
I have a full size rendering of the panel so that I can visualize it as I do the detailed measurements. I have the entire thing measured out in CAD as well for the cutouts. The actual panel currently has a few reference lines marked on it for pilot/copilot centerlines, panel centerline, 1.5” ref line from the top, and finally 1” & 2” ref lines from the bottom.
Next update in a few days will have the complete panel marked and ready for cutting!
Today I spent a solid chunk of time routing wires. Making wiring harnesses has been one of my the more satisfying parts of the project so far.
I started by organizing the firewall forward sensor wires. This bundle contains everything from engine temps, to oil and fuel pressure and the ignition harnesses. These are now secured to the engine mount and won’t be able to move.
On the other side of the firewall I’ve secured everything and routed a portion of the harness down the left side of the fuselage in order to route the wires to proper area.
This is the center section between the pilot and passenger seats. The main harness here is routed up to the vertical power above for all the power distribution. Other parts of this include all the serial connections, and the electric pitch and roll trim motors.
Here’s another look at all the wires and how they’re routed (Ignore the tie wraps and scraps). The harness splits to allow for the left and right lighting wires to route to the correct wing. I’ve isolated all power wires from my radio wires so that there will be no interference.
This is my serial hub, it had ports for the primary and multifunction flight displays (empty slots) and the five serial avionics. The ADSB, transponder, Vertical Power, GPS and ELT (black box) all communicate via serial. This hub allows all the components to connect to the two main flight displays in parallel for each of the five serial ports. Once I’m down with all the routing of the wires this will be mounted to the sub-panel permanently.
Once I finished with the wiring I wanted to test fit my fuel pump and selector valve. I have custom fuel hoses from TS Flightlines, so I had to modify the brackets to allow the hoses to fit (you can see the cut bracket on the left below the wires). Once I mount the wings, the two fuel hoses will attach to the fuel tanks.
Tonight I spent a few hours making my ignition harnesses. My engine uses twin P-Mag ignitions, so I had to make two identical harness.
I started by removing the connectors on the ignitions so I can attach the wires. The connectors use a screw-clamp style connection.
Here you can see the connector attached to the ignition with the wires attached. This is a six pin connector with Ground, ignition kill, power, and RPM out. There are two additional pins that can be shorted in order to change the default timing of the ignition.
The left ignition connector is on the bottom of the ignition and is a bit more challenging to get to, but I managed.
Here are the bundles completed. Looking forward to the day I get to start it up!
Yesterday I spent a few hours making the engine controls bracket. The bracket that comes in the kit is flimsy 0.032 aluminum sheet that is bent so it can attach to the bottom of the panel. I knew I wanted to use something different than the stock bracket, so I made one.
Here you can see the completed bracket. It’s made from 1/4” aluminum angle. It’s very hefty. The three holes are for the throttle, prop and mixture control. The two larger holes have relief cuts made on the back of the angle to allow for the nuts to hold the controls onto the bracket.
I then lined the bracket up with the control panel, and drilled matching mounting holes. I then added some nut plates to the panel so that this can easily be mounted flush to the bottom of the panel. Now it just needs some priming and painting and the bracket is done.
Today I continued with my wiring extravaganza. I didn’t get any new pictures, but I started by beeping out the ELT DIN connector. I originally made the harness a few years ago, and forgot to write down the wire designations. I tested the connector and verified with the specs provided with the ELT and then made the DSub15 connector for the serial bus. The ELT just has serial Rx, power and ground.
Here’s the DIN connector that plugs into the ELT. The tail sticking out is to test the Rx signal. It will eventually be tucked away.
Here are two of the main power connectors from the VPX. I connected these and began to separate out the bundles by where the wires needed to route.
On the other side of the VPX are the two D25 connectors J1 and J2. These are for some lower power items, like flap position sensor and interior lights, as well as the VPX serial connection. The J2 connector is for all the switches. These will go directly to the panel switches, which will be connected to ground on the other side.
These bundles are such that each group will go to the same general area of the plane. The lighting harness for example is split into two half way down in order to go to the left and right, for each wingtip. Others are for powering the aft components such as the ADSB, transponder, and autopilot servos.
This side contains the switch bundle, which heads off to the right side of the image from my hand, and the other bundles are for the flap position sensor, and the serial connection.
Here’s a wider shot showing the EMS in it’s mounting location. Once the plane is built this area will only be accessible by laying under the panel and accessing it from below.
The last thing I did was to drill the copilot’s control stick for the quick release pin.
This pin allows the copilots stick to be removed in case the passenger wants a more comfortable ride. There will be two wires coming out of here for the copilots PTT for the radio. It will be fitted with a connector in order to make the system removable.
Today I did a lot of wire organizing in the forward section of the fuselage, under the panel. All of the cables routed from the aft fuselage and under the seats funnels into the center section and routes on the floor up to the panel.
Once I organized the rats nest of wires I ended up with two nice bundles. These include the two trim motors, flap motor, ADSB, transponder, ELT, and ADHARS unit. These will be wired to the different serial and power connectors under the panel.
On the right side of the fuse I’ve separated out the radio antenna wire so that I reduce interference as much as possible. This will be behind there side panel from my interior, so it won’t be seen. The RG400 coax wire has a minimum bend radius of 1in, which I am well above in all these bends.
On the left side of the fuse I’ve bundled my two autopilot harnesses. These are separated out from the power wires and autopilot disconnect which will route directly to the pilots stick. The Dynon autopilot harnesses are the standard SkyView Net 9 conductor harnesses except for power. So the only wires needed are the paired data wires.
Here are the Dsub15 connectors for the GPS, ADSB, and Transponder. The red wire for the ADSB and Transponder are left off the connector in order to connect to the VPX. The GPS is powered by the SkyView screens, so it’s fully pinned into the connector.
There are 5 components that use serial connections. In order to connect all the serial to both the PFD and MFD screens, I made a serial bus board that has 7 connections. These are all hooked up in parallel on each pin. When I connect all the connections to the board, each screen will be hooked up to each component properly. I’ve done the pins so that each Rx and Tx from the screens are assigned properly.
Yesterday I spent most of the day at the hangar cleaning up and working on the installation of the VPX mounting brackets.
I started with the rough position of the mounting brackets under the sub panel ribs. This will be the final position of the VPX under the panel.
Each corner needed a nut plate installed, so I match drilled the brackets to the ribs, and then lined up the nuplates and clamped them in place.
I then drilled all the nut plates, deburred, dimpled, and riveted the nut plates to the sub panel ribs.
Here’s the close up of one of the nut plates riveted in place with the angle bracket loosely held in place with a mounting screw.
During the day, a friend of mine visited the hangar to check out the project. He took this awesome picture, thanks for hanging out (and helping) Andrew!
It was fun to chat about the project, and airplanes in general. I always enjoy sharing my love for aviation with other people.
Later in the day, I received a nice shipment from Dynon! My autopilot panel, and my comm radio were delivered! These are some of the final components in my avionics package. The remaining component is the second HDX screen.
These buttons are very satisfying to push! I’m looking forward to installing this in the plane soon!
This weekend I spent time working on the main EMS wiring harness. It includes everything for engine monitoring including oil pressure, temperature, fuel flow, fuel pressure, manifold pressure, rpm, etc. It’s quiet extensive.
I started by reviewing my wiring diagram that I made, and reviewed the pin out of the EMS D37 connector.
I then opened up the main harness that is included in the skyview EMS in order to identify every pin.
I used my multimeter to check each wire and then I used that to label each one according to the function.
Here’s the EMS and the main harness (silver) plugged in. As you can see in this picture, the wires are labeled and then separated out into the appropriate pairings (e.g. oil pressure power, ground and signal). Then I began to wire the engine sensors and measure the wiring runs.
Here you can see the main EMS harness come through for all the firewall forward components. Mounted to the top of the firewall is the sensor manifold, which includes oil pressure, fuel pressure, and manifold pressure.
Here’s the oil and fuel pressure sensors mounted to the firewall. These are wired into the main harness and share their 5v source on the same pin (pin18) of the EMS. It’s a common source for low power components and is shared between several other sensors.
Here’s a close up of the oil temp sensor wired to the harness.
Here’s the manifold pressure sensor. It has a tube that’s connected to a T in order to share a manifold pressure source with the ignition system. E-Mag ignitions also need to know the pressure of the intake in order to adjust timing of the spark.
Continuing the work is a bit slow, but it’s getting there. Lots left to do.
This weekend I spent a few hours working on the roll trim system. I’m using the Ray Allen trim system from Vans, so everything is nicely packaged together into its own subsystem.
I started out by modifying the plastic block that holds the pivot arm. This needed two holes drilled through it foe the AN3 bolts that hold it to the aluminum plate. I also botched the larger counter bored hole to allow access to the cotter pin that holds the pivot arm in place.
I then trimmed and match drilled the mounting plate to the seat pan holes. This allowed for a perfect fit. Once I drilled the two holes on the left, I temporarily installed it to drill the two holes on the right to the floor ribs.
Here you can see the original hole where the nut plate was. I removed the nut plate and then used the center hole to mount the plate in order to drill the bottom hole. This was done on both sides of the center channel.
I then cut the pivot arm tube to the right length so it can sit in the block and then be mounted to the metal plate. I cut off about an inch of tube. Once I did that I drilled a 1/16th hole for the cotter pin.
After drilling the block to the mounting plate, I dimpled, and mounted the nut plates to the mounting plate. I will complete this plate by priming it before final installation.
I then installed the pivot arm into the plastic block, and then installed the washer and cotter pin to hold it all together.
I then test fit the assembly by installing the bottom two screws. The top two are where the floor is held on to the ribs. The pivot arm needed to be adjusted to not rub on the control rod.
In the bottom left is the servo block. I need to drill that to the floor rib for final installation as well.
The final thing to do next time is to finishing the assembly with the control stick springs and cleaning up the assembly with some final adjustments.