Return of the Panel

Today the panel was re installed into the cockpit for hopefully the last time.

Panel is back in

Inspiring stuff. Until you see the back of it and then you wonder what on earth you’ve let yourself in for.

Wiring by numbers

Before tackling that mess, a couple of extra things to put on the panel. First the battery warning light.

Battery warning light

Second the 3.5mm headphone jack which is not shown here. The reason for this is that despite taking exceptional care of the locking nut I lost it, so I can’t secure the jack in the panel. Not sure how to replace it, hopefully I won’t have to buy a new headphone jack piece but I don’t at this point know what size nut to buy, or where to buy it from. Anyway, not needed for now.

From there it was just a case of identifying which power cable goes to which switch on the panel (Allen and I had been swapping notes on that for quite some time now) and then identifying wires on the harness that needed to join to wires from elsewhere (PTT to PTT etc). This went fairly quickly and easily and after about 90 minutes I had almost everything connected. The power panel is complete except for the ground wire and the RDAC power cable.

Power Panel complete

The two white cables are the nav/strobe lights.

The back still looks a royal mess but once everything is confirmed working I’ll use a large amount of zip ties to bring it together and up out of the way. No point doing that if there’s a chance I’ll need to disconnect something.

Most everything joined

Talking of disconnecting things, I used D-SUB pins for a lot of the joins, heatshrinked to make permanent but I’ve decided to undo those and replace them with some kind of quick connects. Much easier to take things apart that way.

We have a bit of an issue with the battery cables that I bought – the eyelets are a little thick and we can’t get two of them onto the same post on the starter relay. However, I do think we can get two on the positive terminal of the battery. Always something.

So I think there is a good chance we can have first panel switch on this weekend, just need to change the connectors, install the ground bus that I bought and hook all the ground wires to it, and run the battery cable to the panel. Then sit back and wait for the loud bang.