Another finish-up task is done – installing LED nav/strobe lights on the wingtips. It was an easy job, simply installing the light mounts and connecting the lights themselves to wiring runs from the wing conduits.
One of the cool things about this stage of the project is that after a few hours of wiring I can turn on some part of the RV’s avionics and see it work.
For instance, I’ve had these Oplite 6 LED lights for several years now and finally got them wired up to the Garmin GAD-27 as instrument panel lights, so they’re controllable by a dimmer on the panel. These lights are really rugged and when driven by one of the GAD-27’s PWM lighting controllers, they’re dead quiet too – no hash on the radio like I’ve encountered with some other dimmers. Very cool.
I’ve also had Whelen LED nav/strobe lights sitting around for a few years, waiting for installation. The tail nav/strobe is finally wired through to the cockpit, and here’s some video to show how damn bright they are…low current draw too, and no need for a heavy strobe pack like older nav/strobe lighting systems.
Next on the list was wiring the flap motor, but I need some hardware to fabricate a mounting bracket. So, I jumped ahead to wiring the Advanced Flight Systems Angle-of-Attack (AoA) system. This is the only “legacy” avionics system on the airplane, as Advanced doesn’t sell it anymore. I hope it doesn’t fail.
For those of you who aren’t into aerodynamics, AoA is the angle at which the wing meets oncoming air, thus generating lift. If AoA exceeds a certain value, the wing stalls and lift is drastically reduced – so you can see why knowing AoA might be important for staying in the air. If you’re really into the concept, watch this video.
Everything lights up, and the self-test lady says the system is working…
Of course with all the gee-whiz stuff lit up, I had to take a picture. Enjoy!
I’ve been checking off some smaller tasks from my to-do list, one of which is figuring out where to mount the Pilot and Co-Pilot headset jacks. I didn’t want them hanging from the panel, so I put them on the cover plates in front of the wing spar bulkhead.
These covers are sold by Aircraft Spruce, and they worked really well.
Sometimes all those little individual tasks you’re churning on, come together in a moment of progress. Tonight was one of those nights – the battery contactor and avionics relay switches are now active, and the main and avionics busses are connected. It’s time to flip a few switches…
Lots more wiring to do, but motivation is high.
Even more fun with wiring…working my way forward from the tail I routed serial data and power wires to the ELT and assembled the autopilot pitch servo DSub connector.
I also ran coax to the GTN-650 GPS and G3x GPS/XM antennae.
Assembling coax connectors is fun, at least for me…
More to follow as I work my way forward to the cockpit.
Back from Thanksgiving with family at Bear Ass Cove on Newfound Lake, New Hampshire and guess what UPS delivered? That’s right – the avionics harness!
I’m almost ready to install the harness – just a couple of empennage things left to finish – but I couldn’t resist stretching it out. This is, essentially, the Mighty RV’s nervous system and having it fabricated by the neurosurgeons at Approach Fast Stack is saving me a *ton* of build time. Cool!
…is getting brighter – it’s time to start installing and wiring avionics. I’ve been plotting and planning how to mount the Garmin G3x Touch system, radios and transponders and I’ve settled on building a tray which will hold all the remote-mounted LRUs, Comm 2 and transponder.
Here’s a cardboard mockup.
The GAD 27 and GAD 29 are on the right side. Most of the airframe power interfaces will be through the right firewall passthrough so having these boxes on the right should make wiring a little more straightforward.
Sometimes you see a really cool tool that you think about buying, but you don’t need it at the time – and when you do need it, it’s no longer available. Such is the case with the Terminal Tool.
I had originally bought a hydraulic crimping tool from Harbor Freight, but the dies that came with it weren’t compatible with quality Amp terminals.
Fortunately, a friend and fellow RV builder at KASH had a Terminal Tool. It’s easy to use, and makes first-rate crimps on large cables.