Panel First Lights

Milestone day today – first panel switch on!

The Panel Lives!

To get to that point, we first installed a grounding bar on the firewall

Grounding Bar

and finished connecting the RS232 data wires, PTT etc to each other. We also installed the RDAC unit on the firewall

RAD Installed

It seems that we need to ground the RDAC to the engine block rather than the grounding bar, so although the power is connected to the panel, it isn’t functional yet.

With some fear we switched the master switch on and after noticing the lack of a bang or any smoke I was excited to see the elevator trim indicator lit up. The stick is wired to the master switch so I was able to control the trim and the flaperons.

Next up was the avionics switch and on came the radio and the EFIS – so pretty!! It is going to take a lot of time to understand how to use the panel, let alone set it up properly. A test of the lights showed that only the pax side lights were working. I started to prepare myself for opening up the wing to check out the wiring but Allen suspected the switch and after some messing about he determined that the top terminal on the switch was not hot. So we combined the wires from each side into one terminal and everything worked.

Next test was the radio and using a headset and a handheld we were able to communicate two way over the airwaves.

Incredible that so much worked!! The only things I haven’t tested yet are the USB charger and the transponder, the former for lack of a cable and the latter because I don’t know how on the panel to control it. Right now it says “7777 STDBY” which I don’t know whether is an error or just pre-initialised status.

The compass showed North which was correct for the direction the plane was pointing so the following day I pulled the plane oue and faced it in some different directions. Each time the compass showed expected headings.

Electronic Compass Test

Ugh, look how bad the two tone white vinyl looks. I may not be able to live with it.

As part of some finish up work, I added some labels to the control stick

Stick Labels

And finally in some non-panel related work I installed an l-angle and clamp to keep the fuel hose off the sharp edge at the back of the rudder pedals.

Fuel Hose Chafe Precention

Not sure what’s next, some time to enjoy the feeling of achievement before we return to the struggle.