Grounded

Over Friday night I read a lot of posts of people having trouble with their lamp indicator and I found a couple of forum posts and a web article with information on how to test.

Scott offered to come help with the testing so Sunday morning I pulled the plane out and we started through the tests.

First up was to check the generator was actually producing AC power, so I started up the engine and Scott hooked up his meter to the terminals and we could see that it was working just fine. So that’s a relief, just about engine wiring now.

Next up was the capacitor test and right off the bat, Scott was concerned about the component

Damaged capacitor

Why did the covering look like it had been mauled by a bear? The test says to measure the resistance across the two terminals and if it is not infinite (i.e. the circuit is not open) then the capacitor has failed. We measured a clear resistance so whether a furry creature or some electrical circumstance, the capacitor is toast and I have ordered some new ones.

There’s a 25A fuse between the rectifier output terminal and the power input on the panel. We took a look at it and it had blown. Which came first, I have no idea but obviously the charging circuit was broken, no power was getting to the panel and I suspect also why the lamp terminal isn’t grounded.

Given this state of affairs there seemed no point in carrying on with the tests so we put the plane away and decided never to speak of it again. Well, not until the new capacitor comes anyway. I will pick up a new fuse from the auto store.

1 comment for “Grounded

  1. Dave Uhlig
    October 25, 2017 at 08:37

    I’m sure its only a matter of time before you are airborne again. I had comtemplated your first flight, (strange what a person thinks about when they can’t sleep) and the creeping to the left, and had thoughts, but I have only ever flown in Flight Simulator, and read endless information on weather and flying, and balance of the aircraft, and so on and so on….. I had this thought that perhaps if the plane is well balanced with equal fuel in both tanks, it would be slightly heavy to the left side when you got into it, if there is no counter weight on the right side. Perhaps you might need to counterweight the right side of plane to ensure equal balance in your next few flights. I thought of filling the right tank with fuel and leaving several gallons out of the left tank to act as a counterbalance, but I don’t know the regulations regarding something like that, or your preference. Certainly with a plane as light as yours, a person siting on one side can make an impact on the balance of the plane merely by being seated. It might even explain the tendency to veer or travel to the left, as you have mentioned before. I would think it would make turning to the left much easier while turning to the right would feel more difficult. I ride motorcycle myself, and I find myself sliding my butt to the prevailing wind side of my cycle to counteract the tendency of the motorcycle to get blown by a cross wind. Kind of balancing my cycle against a crosswind. I’m just thinking on paper, so to speak.

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